World Map showing magnetic curves. c1850. Interesting map in terms of scientific advancement. Magnetic compasses are great, but they do not point to true north. One of the issues that effect that deviation from true north are the earth’s magnetic fields. As the map shows those fields vary according to a ship’s location.
Sloop yacht “Volunteer”. Published by Currier & Ives, c1887. Not all sloops were as upscale as this one. Many were used as small cargo carriers. Not a perfect comparison, but a large frigate of the era would have been like a large tractor-trailer carrier of today, while a slope would have been like a delivery van. The “Volunteer” was commissioned as a racing yacht built in 1887 to compete in the America’s Cup races. It won the Cup that same year racing against the Scottish sloop Thistle.
There are always conservative memes. They are the frequently utter falsehoods being pushed, sometimes purely emotional appeals that are rooted in fetid imaginations – the kinds of columns Peggy Noonan and Bill O’Reilly write, and most of the editorials on the WSJ opinion page. Fox’s morning program does a weird variation that makes great use of the outrageous push poll – Do You think President Obama kicks kittens one or three times a week – we want to know what you the viewer thinks. They’re still pushing the Libya Embassy lie pretty hard and I’ll get to that, but one of the other major memes is that President Obama is running for a second term without an agenda, without a platform. Republicans frequently run on the barest of platforms, the vast majority consist of the promise to return America back to the golden age of 1850, though certainly some time before FDR and the New Deal. President Obama has plans for a second term. The kind of plans that keep conservatives up at night, concerned that Mitch McConnell (R-KY) might not be able to block them, Right-Wing Media Ignores President Obama’s Plan For Economic Growth
Wall Street Journal: Obama Is “A President Without A Plan.” After the October 16 presidential debate, The Wall Street Journal published an editorial headlined: “A President Without A Plan.” The editorial asked of Obama “What’s his case for four more years?” and opined:
Judging by Tuesday’s debate, the President’s argument for re-election is basically this: He’s not as awful as Mitt Romney. Mr. Obama spent most of his time attacking either Mr. Romney himself (he invests in Chinese companies), his tax plan as a favor for the rich (“that’s been his history”) or this or that statement he has made over the last year (“the 47%,” which Mr. Obama saved for the closing word of the entire debate).
The WSJ’s superiority complex is showing. They are as dismissive of any attempt to help anyone making less than a million dollars a year as Mitt Romney. Conservatives have done their best to keep unemployment as high as possible, because as Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) admitted such tactics increase their electoral chances – Remember it is always the conservative movement first, America last in the conservative mindset.
Economists Say Obama’s Public Sector Investments And Small Business Tax Cuts Would Boost Employment And Grow The Economy
Obama Has Proposed The American Jobs Act, A Package Of Tax Cuts And Investment To Create Jobs. The American Jobs Act, legislation proposed by President Obama, combines investments in infrastructure with targeted tax cuts designed to benefit small businesses and create jobs. [White House, 9/8/11]
Mark Zandi: American Jobs Act Would Add Nearly 2 Million Jobs. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, estimated that the American Jobs Act would increase employment by nearly two million jobs, cut the unemployment rate by a full point, and increase the size of the economy by 2 percent..
..Macroeconomic Advisers: American Jobs Act Would Be “A Significant Boost To GDP And Employment.” In a post on its blog, Macroeconomic Advisers estimated that the American Jobs Act would be “a significant boost to GDP and employment
[Economic Policy Institute, 9/8/11]
EPI: Public Investments “Are Highly Cost-Effective Ways To Boost Aggregate Demand And Employment.” In an analysis of Obama’s and Romney’s economic plans, the Economic Policy Institute found that policies proposed by Obama are particularly stimulative, while Romney’s plans reduce economic growth.
…President Obama’s FY 2013 Budget proposes a bold plan to renew and expand America’s infrastructure. The plan includes a $50 billion up-front investment connected to a $476 billion six-year reauthorization of the surface transportation program and the creation of a National Infrastructure Bank. In support of this commitment, the Department of the Treasury, with the Council of Economic Advisers, has updated our analysis of the economic effects of infrastructure investment. [Council of Economic Advisers, 3/23/12, via the Treasury Department]
…CBO: Spending On Infrastructure Is More Stimulative Than Tax Cuts For Wealthy. The Congressional Budget Office’s report on the estimated impact of the stimulus on the economy found that transferring money to state and local governments for infrastructure spending provided one of the highest returns on investment of various policy proposals for increasing economic growth:
…NY Times: “Income Inequality May Take Toll On Economic Growth.” An October 16 New York Times article reported that income inequality has risen to the highest levels since the Great Depression and that as the top 1 percent of earners makes more in comparison to the rest of the population, economic growth decreases:
…Obama Administration’s National Export Initiative On Track To Double Exports By 2014. After proposing the National Export Initiative in his 2010 State of the Union Address, exports have increased by 16% and the initiative is on track to double exports by the end of 2014. From a White House post by Export-Import Bank Board of Directors member Patricia Loui:
White House Sent “Startup America Legislative Agenda” To Congress To Benefit Startup Businesses. The Obama administration proposed the Startup America Legislative Agenda to benefit startup and small businesses. According to the White House’s fact sheet, the agenda “builds on the President’s record of signing into law 17 tax breaks specifically for small businesses”:
There is more at the link, but everyone gets the drift. Conservatives are supposed to be as legend has it the hardest working people on the planet. yet conservative pundits cannot be bothered to argue facts. They just start typing or dictating their fantasies. Those fantasies become the meme pushed by the Republican noise machine. Every conservative nutbar in America memorizes the soundbites and that becomes the intractable dogma, the inerrant truth of events. They’re too lazy to argue facts. I read a few years ago that O’Reilly pulls down about $3 million a year. Conservatives claim that getting $4 a day in food stamps makes people lazy. Well apparently conservative pundits and politicians making from high six figures to millions see no incentive to start being intellectually honest. On the contrary, conservatism rewards laziness. While that might sound like a quip, it is actually based on reality of the conservative base – many of whom do work, but idolize their pundits and pols like infallible gods. The Mitt Romneys, Koch brothers and blue-collar high school grads of the red states do have some things in common. One is the tendency in live in the nether-lands of denial, Blue States are from Scandinavia, Red States are from Guatemala
We’ve come to think of “blue” and “red” states as political and cultural categories. The rift, though, goes much deeper than partisan differences of opinion. The borders of the United States contain two different forms of government, based on two different visions of the social contract. In blue America, state government costs more—and it spends more to ensure that everybody can pay for basic necessities such as food, housing, and health care. It invests more heavily in the long-term welfare of its population, with better-funded public schools, subsidized day care, and support for people with disabilities. In some cases, in fact, state lawmakers have decided that the social contract provided by the federal government is not generous enough. It was a blue state that first established universal health insurance and, today, it is a handful of blue states that offer paid family and medical leave.
In the red states, government is cheaper, which means the people who live there pay lower taxes. But they also get a lot less in return. The unemployment checks run out more quickly and the schools generally aren’t as good. Assistance with health care, child care, and housing is skimpier, if it exists at all. The result of this divergence is that one half of the country looks more and more like Scandinavia, while the other increasingly resembles a social Darwinist’s paradise.
[ ]…By nearly every measure, people who live in the blue states are healthier, wealthier, and generally better off than people in the red states. It’s impossible to prove that this is the direct result of government spending. But the correlation is hard to dismiss. The four states with the highest poverty rates are all red: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, and Texas. (The fifth is New Mexico, which has turned blue.) And the five states with the lowest poverty rates are all blue: New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont, Minnesota, and Hawaii. The numbers on infant mortality, life expectancy, teen pregnancy, and obesity break down in similar ways. A recent study by researchers at the American Institute for Physics evaluated how well-prepared high schoolers were for careers in math and science. Massachusetts was best, followed closely by Minnesota and New Jersey. Mississippi was worst, along with Louisiana and West Virginia. In fact, it is difficult to find any indicator of well-being in which red states consistently do better than blue states.
There is more, including more stats, history and details at the link. Conservatism is clever. Being clever has never required an Ivy league degree. All one has to do is appeal to some very base instincts of people. It appears to even native southerners like me, that red state conservatives vote against their own rational self interests. Yet this election cycle I have considered another possibility. That conservative red staters have a deep desire and enjoyment of social-Darwinism. They think that making life as difficult for themselves and others is, through some sick logic, virtuous. Because of the built in hardships of life – accidents, illness, old age, death – I tend to think that even if America became a shining example of progressive governance tomorrow, life would still be hard. Add in that progressive-ism does not and should not guarantee outcomes – conservative straw men to the contrary – the pour outcomes; you don’t get the job you want, you do not get the rise you might deserve, bad investments wipe out half your savings, personal bad habits hold one back, etc. life is still hard. Conservatives seem determined to make it sadistic. To perpetuate suffering for the pure sake of suffering, when there is no moral, economic or political reason to push that agenda. They’re obsessed with someone getting a bag of chips with their food assistance allowance, yet think its great that Wells Fargo Bank, among others bilked millions from working class Americans. Conservatives champion the crony capitalism of Mitt Romney and Sheldon Adelson. Conservatives will spend millions on lobbyists to keep from paying the same amount in taxes. They would rather fund the good ol boy network of lazy cronyism than see that a poor family of four gets basic health care. Democratic bloggers can blog all they like, very moderate centrist politicians can run all the ads they like, bright articulate progressive minded newspaper columnists can spill all the ink they like on the positives of having a more progressive nation – and they are just never going to get through the tin foil of the far right. It is not about politics – here is my study, history, data that shows these are the best policies, it is about progress versus deeply held dogma impenetrable to facts or genuine morality.
Audience member: If you get the call as president, and you had hostages…Ronald Reagan was able to make a statement, even before he became, was actually sworn in—
Audience member: the hostages were released—
Romney: on the day of his inauguration, yeah.
Audience member: So my question is, really, how can you sort of duplicate that scenario?
Romney: Ohhhh. [A few chuckles in audience.] I’m gonna ask you, how do I duplicate that scenario.
Audience member: I think that had to do with the fact that the Iranians perceived Reagan would do something to really get them out. In other words [unintelligible]…and that’s why I’m suggesting that something that you say over the next few months gets the Iranians to understand that their pursuit of the bomb is something that you would predict and I think that’s something that could possibly resonate very well with American Republican voters.
Romney: I appreciate the idea. I can’t—one of the other things that’s frustrating to me is that at a typical day like this, when I do three or four events like this, the number of foreign policy questions that I get are between zero and one. And the American people are not concentrated at all on China, on Russia, Iran, Iraq. This president’s failure to put in place a status forces agreement allowing 10-20,000 troops to stay in Iraq? Unthinkable! And yet, in that election, in the Jimmy Carter election, the fact that we have hostages in Iran, I mean, that was all we talked about. And we had the two helicopters crash in the desert, I mean that’s—that was—that was the focus, and so him solving that made all the difference in the world. I’m afraid today if you said, “We got Iran to agree to stand down a nuclear weapon,” they’d go hold on. It’s really a, but…by the way, if something of that nature presents itself, I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.
This is why Mitt loves the Libyan embassy attacks and the conservative propaganda machine is so busy spinning it. It is the best they can do for a substitute for an Iranian style hostage crisis.