The Spirit of Spiro


Amid all the whoopin' and hollerin' that John Edwards was so damn optimistic, photogenic, and voterific comes a nice reality check from the pollsters at Rasmussen Reports, who suggest that America's latest love affair with a vice presidential candidate will be as short-lived as Courtney Love's sobriety.

In fact, Americans--well, 1,000 likely voters--are also showing an increasing amount of healthy distaste for the sitting vice president, as well. That's two signs that the terrorists haven't won and that The Spirit of Spiro Agnew still thrives in this sweet land of liberty.

From the RR account:

Edwards, Cheney Unfavorables Grow

July 16, 2004--A week after John Edwards was named as the Democrats' Vice-Presidential candidate, more people have an unfavorable opinion of both Edwards and his Republican counterpart than they did a week ago.

Forty-six percent (46%) of Likely Voters have a favorable opinion of Edwards. That's unchanged from last week. However, 30% now have an unfavorable opinion of John Kerry's running mate. That's up five points from 25% a week ago.

Among voters not affiliated with either major party, 42% have a favorable opinion of Edwards, down from 48% a week ago.

Dick Cheney, the man whose job Edwards hopes to take, is viewed now viewed favorably by 40% and unfavorably by 48%. Those numbers are down from 41% favorable and 45% unfavorable a week ago.

Edwards' image as a moderate is tanking, too. Forty-five percent now view him as a "moderate," down from 54 percent a week before (to be fair, roughly 90 percent of Americans view multiple heart-attack survivor Cheney as "pure evil").

Whole thing here.

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  1. "DeSoto has taught us that secure individual property is the source of general wealth."

    DeSoto advocates for the takeover of large private holdings by groups of landless poor people, and the government's recognition of the squatters' ownership rights.

    Perhaps he's onto something with the government merely supporting, rather than initiating, the large-scale redistribution of property, but I'm not sure how his ideas apply to the Energy Task Force. Perhaps you're drawing a parallel between the pro-(oil)oligarch policies supported by Cheney, and the pro-(land)oligarch policies (defense of large landholders' property rights) policies supported by the Peruvian government?

  2. M. Simon,
    That is a fair point. Outside of that, since abandoning government control is a long term task at best, I would prefer greater transparency into the process or at the very least a more balanced committee.

    I don't think most people here would have a problem of greater transparency on the way to greater deregulation. In fact, I believe that greater transparnecy is critical to getting greater deregulation. Once the public sees how much back scratching a trading of favors goes behid the scenes, they may realize we're no better off with a lot fewer regulations.

  3. You are wrong.

    2,643% of the American people think Chenny is evil and are planning to vote for Ralph Nader.

    And I have proof. It says right here in the human play book that the other sides's guy is always the incarnation of ultimate evil.

    The fact that it is occasiionally true keeps the meme rolling. But seriously folks. Isn't the alpha male hysteria getting to be a bit much these days?

  4. joe,

    You are quite correct that in effect what DeSoto reccomends is a form of theft. Where he improves on the deal is to show that in the long run the government must conform to the will of the people.

    Given this fact a smart businessman might decide that selling the land would beat having it appropriated.

    Funny thing is though, once you bring the peasants into the property system they have an interest in defending it. So politically and economically it is in the interest of the property owners to see that property is more widely dispersed. If this is in fact an expression of human nature no appeal to fairness is going to change the results.

    So in the long run expropriation and development of some property may make all property more secure. In effect you have a repeat of the land rushes of America. It is one of the real strengths of America that so many here (even the poor) do own major property.

    See the thing is that I don't (any more) have the Libertarian magic formula that has a logical answer for all political, economic, and social problems. I propose we let interests compete and that other wise we muddle through.

  5. Mo,

    If you want to study the history of goverment regulation of industry there is no better place to look than the history of the ICC.

    Hint: the regulators always wind up owned by the industry they regulate. Always.

    Your idea that transparency will fix it is in fact the triumph of hope over experience. If you require open meetings, then the meetings will happen quietly and unannounced. You will know less than you do now.

    Why do you believe you are dealing with rocks? These are people. They will change with the environment. The best incentives offer rewards rather than punishments. Why is all any one can think of is punishment? Kinda sick ain't it. You would be better getting your dose from Madame Dominique and leaving it out of politics. Generally such behavior helps avoid uncivil wars.

    When ever you think of a new law think: drug law. Who will obey, who won't. The cost of compliance. The advantages of non-compliance etc.

    When all is said and done if Chevron charges too much for oil you can always buy a solar powered car. They exist. Or power your house and car by wind. It is being done.

    You say buying the gasoline is cheaper? Yes. Then your point was?

    So let's see - were the energy companies working with Cheney to have a plan to stabilize supplies in case of a major disruption? If that is the case it might be better to keep the plan secret until it is put into action.

    It is not clear to me that transparency is always a good idea.

    'Course if you were on the losing side of the alpha male battle and don't trust our current leader I understand.

    BTW what has Kerry done to shelter his wife's billions? Talk about lack of transparency. A Senator and a billionairness sleeping together. Sure seems like a conflict to me. Sex and money for political favors. You say she is his wife? OK. How does that change anything?

    Is he going to vote her money or America's interest? And just how much of him does the Catholic Church own?

  6. And just how much of him does the Catholic Church own?

    Given that some bishops are refusing to let Kerry take Communion because of certain, um, controversial stances of his, I'd say that Kerry is in no way owned by the Catholic Church. Call his flaws Legion, for they are many, but being a tool of the church is not one of those flaws.

  7. M Simon,

    You are absolutely right. Take power away from the government and you take away corruption. If I were in a room full of people and had a million dollars, it wouldn't make any difference if I owned it outright or were allowed only to give it away to select people. I would still have the same power. The government is basically the second option the only difference being the Congress has 2 trillion dollars to give away. Do we wonder why they slobber all overthemselves at the thought of raising taxes or spending money? As far as Cheny disapearing on 9-11, it was a good idea. Why on earth would you want the President and VP in the same place or in known places where they were vaunerable to terroist attack. Yeah the VP didn't disapear after Pearl Harbor, but the Japs weren't boming NYC and Washington or highjacking planes either.

  8. M. Simon,
    Sure we can see what Kerry did to shelter his wife's billions, just look at his voting record. I understand there is no such thing as 100% compliance and there will be horsetrading going on outside of the monitored meetings. There's a lot of Congressional horsetrading that goes on off the floor, but I don't think the existence of that should be a reason we should throw up our hands and say, "We can't catch all the dirty dealings in Congress, so lets let them meet in private." If something in the meeting involves national security, that part can be classified like other issues concerning national security (though way too many things are classified nowadays IMHO).

    More information and transparency in government is always preferable to less.

    "The regulators always wind up owned by the industry they regulate"
    I agree, maybe it's naive to believe that making this more obvious would help or that requiring greater transparency will make it more obvious. But you're right, secret meetings will always happen and those closest to the controls of power will be able to hide their tracks better. My goal is to make it as difficult as possible to hide, so when there is a slip-up it's easier to nail the wrong-doers.

    BTW, I'm not sure if the alpha male comment was aimed at joe or myself, but neither side is one I can call my own. I don't trust either potential leader. I just prefer Kerry because a) he'll get little support from his own party, let alone across the aisle, and won't be able to get jack done and b) I'll take the devil I don't know over this specific devil I do know.

  9. thoreau, I think M. Simon was trying to make a point about guilt-by-association.

    At least, I hope so.

  10. Nick,

    I think the last stat was the most telling, even if you did pull it out of your ass. I mean, far be it from me to judge on looks alone (his words and actions also dictate that he is the prince of evil), but good gawd! One look at Cheney's trademark "Evil CEO" pose (straight out of one of those great blaxploitation flicks where it's a black hero from the hood vs. The Man), and anyone with half a brain can see that, yes, he is the pure embodiment of eeeevil. He just always seems to have that "I'm going to burn your village and eat your children" glint in his eye. Abe Simpson will surely concur.

  11. Hmmmm.....Dick Cheney=Mr. Burns?

    Full story at 11.

  12. For my part, when I gaZe upon Dick Cheney's pasty visage, I am reminded most of the SubGenius OverMan.


  13. I can absolutely see Dick Cheney standing around, viewing his empire, and tapping his fingers together while murmuring "eeeexcellent"

  14. There are probably more than a few psychology and political science dissertations to be written on the weird demonization of Dick Chaney. If there is a more boring middle of the road conservative technocrat then Chaney, I am not aware of him. Yet somehow, the whole world has convinced themselves that he is Dr. Evil. Dick Chaney? Are you kidding me? Why? Because he ran a large corporation, whose earnings by the way have tanked in the last year primarily due to government contracts in Iraq that were supposed to make them rich? Its really baffling to me. I can see why people dislike someone like Ashcroft, he is an irrepressible bible thumping do-gooder and even as a member of the vast right wing conspiracy bible thumping do gooders drive me up the wall. There really is some kind of mass psychosis going on with people's fascination with Dick Chaney.

  15. John, Undisclosed Loaction + Secret Energy Task Force Meetings + Caught Lying Multiple Times About War = Creepy

    As for the top story, Bush, Cheney, and Kerry would KILL to have a negative of 30%.

    Especially Cheney 😉

  16. Joe,

    Was the energy task force any more secret than Hillary's health care task force, which by the way was declared to be in violation of open meeting laws? So what he met with energy officials. It was energy policy, who the hell was he supposed to meet with, pro sports teams? The Democrats as much as let liberal interest groups determine their positions on everything from judicial nominees to environmental laws, yet no one seems to have a problem with it. Dick Chaney meets with a couple of oil executives and he is creepy. Oh and the lying part. Forget for a moment that you offer no concrete example and assume for the sake of argument that its true. What then does that say about Bill Clinton who was caught lying and covering up for most of his administration and oh buy the way had his attorney general and FBI burn a bunch of people alive on national TV?

  17. I'm not aware of joe ever having expressed admiration for Janet Reno.

  18. Mr Burns? No, Monty is too spindly. I thought this was rather obvious, but no one has said it yet: Cheney = Darth Vader with the helmet off.

  19. Perhaps John means Lon Chaney, who was typecast as evil for much of his career.

  20. SR,

    The point is that Chaney is a typical politician, considerably less creepy than many we have had in the past. Ever watch an interview with Al Haig? That he gets tagged with the darth vader label is rediculous.

  21. SR,

    I didn't see where anyone indicted that "joe expressed admiration for Janet Reno"

    What was the point of your post?

  22. I believe, zorel, that it has something to do with John's spittle laden "yeah, but" post from 10:28.

  23. Thanks, Joe!

    That post "blamed" what Bill Clinton supposedly did (had his AG and FBI burn ...) - so I was confused by SR's strawman (Reno - strawoman?)

  24. John,
    Imagine that Kerry and Edwards win this November (stifle your gag reflex). Don't you think it would be a tad suspicious if Edwards held a special tort reform task force, met only with top lawyers and the ABA and then came out with a solution that was friendly to lawyers, don't you think that would be suspicious?

    The Cheney creepy thing is largely due to the a) "puppetmaster" feeling people get wrt the administration
    b) The nation is under attack and the VP just poof and disappears. Henry Wallace didn't do that after Pearl Harbor. And when Cheney does emerge, he was largely motionless. For weeks I was convinced the White House was pulling a Weekend at Bernie's type hoax.
    c) How emotionless and "efficient" his speqaking mannerisms are (the efficient is in quote because it's based on an SNL Cheney parody).

    Not quite ghoulish, but not exactly a cuddly guy. Edwards is a little too cuddly.

  25. Go fuck yourself.

  26. The only confirmed killer in the group is Kerry. There's at least one Vietnamese baby's blood on his trigger finger. As far as you know, Edwards hasn't murdered anyone yet.

  27. You are wrong.

    2,643% of the American people think Chenny is evil and are planning to vote for Ralph Nader.

    And I have proof. It says right here in the human play book that the other sides's guy is always the incarnation of ultimate evil.

    The fact that it is occasiionally true keeps the meme rolling. But seriously folks. Isn't the alpha male hysteria getting to be a bit much these days?

  28. I can't see America electing a war criminal. Unless of course he promises to kill all the Republican first born under the age of two.

  29. Mo,

    I understand your suspicions. The best way to solve the problem is to eliminate all government control of the energy industries. If the government controlled nothing why would any one collude with them.

    Now once you have government control there is an argument about who it should favor. So you have people with votes and people with money vying for control. A very unstable situation.

    Short of a change in human nature (the New Soviet Man?) I don't see how you stop it.

    DeSoto has taught us that secure individual property is the source of general wealth. So right away we understand that that the more government restricts the security of private property the poorer we all are.

    Without government restrictions to use and overcome the oil company execs wouldn't give Cheney the time of day.

  30. I wonder if Edwards and Kerry switched teeth, would anybody notice?

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