Land Use map of the USA 1970
From the legend at the top right:
tan – cropland
yellow – brazing and pasture, public land and private
green – forest and woodland, excludes special use land
red – special uses – urban and other built up areas, parks and special facilities
gray – other land – desert, swamp, marsh, sand dunes, and tundra
Notice how little land is set aside for parks east of the Mississippi. Teddy Roosevelt didn’t come along early enough to save the east from poor land management.
Panoramic view of West Palm Beach, North Palm Beach and Lake Worth, Florida. Published by W. K. Pleuthner in 1915. This is the kind of display map one would have found in places like city hall or a tourist office. While still a nice area to visit, also another example of land developers trumping thoughtful city planning.
Just in case anyone is not had enough coverage of the VP debates ( they were stilling talking about them on the Today Show this morning), The Real Paul Ryan Is Bad for America
There is a deeply held Beltway myth of Paul Ryan, Man of Big Ideas, and it dies hard. But, if there is a just god in the universe, on Thursday night, it died a bloody death, was hurled into a pit, doused with quicklime, buried without ceremony, and the ground above it salted and strewn with garlic so that it never rises again.
Setting aside the conservative spin on laughing and smiles, and ignoring the substance (How The Media Used Biden’s Smile To Deflect From Ryan’s Dishonesty) America got a close look at one of the Young Guns, the allegedly brainy conservatives who is supposed to be the future of the conservative movement.
The Young Guns shared some overlapping goals with the amateurs of the tea party, especially an abhorrence of taxes. But there is no mistaking them for grassroots rubes; all three are career politicians and longtime allies of the hedge-fund managers, bankers, and other corporate interests that fill their campaign coffers. For all they talk about private enterprise, Cantor, Ryan, and McCarthy all went on the public payroll in their twenties, and have cashed government or political paychecks all their working lives.
You cannot be a conservative without being the Lex Luthor of hypocrisy, so no surprise there. Despite that well entrenched myth of conservatives being for small government, they have always believed, betrayed by their actual behavior, that government and the plutocracy should piggy back off each other. From Paul Ryan to Sarah Palin to Michele Bachmann to George W. Bush we’ve seen conservatives who take every advantage of government programs, subsidies and special favors to get the inside track to money and power not available to the average American. Republicans see government as their own personal Politburo. That is one of the reasons for the resentment against Obama. Only the Politburo elite should rule. Democrats will not crack down on the uppity working class Americans demanding their fair share of the nation’s output. Great cartoon here illustrating the point, Ryan at the Trough.
Not all of the media, but much of it has set expectations about the way things are supposed to be. They would have probably been fine with a Biden win done the way they thought it should have been done, but it was done on Biden’s terms. If the talking heads on the TeeVee would like to try a little experiment they could try putting the performance out of mind and just read the transcript. The Vice Presidential Debate: Joe Biden Was Right to Laugh
The essence of the whole campaign for me was crystalized in the debate exchange over Romney’s 20 percent tax-cut plan. ABC’s Martha Raddatz turned the questioning to Ryan:
MS. RADDATZ: Well, let’s talk about this 20 percent.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well – (chuckles) –
MS. RADDATZ: You have refused yet again to offer specifics on how you pay for that 20 percent across-the-board tax cut. Do you actually have the specifics, or are you still working on it, and that’s why you won’t tell voters?
Here Ryan is presented with a simple yes-or-no answer. Since he doesn’t have the answer, he immediately starts slithering and equivocating:
REP. RYAN: Different than this administration, we actually want to have big bipartisan agreements. You see, I understand the –
“We want to have bipartisan agreements?” This coming from a Republican congressman? These guys would stall a bill to name a post office after Shirley Temple. Biden, absolutely properly, chuckled and said, “That’d be a first for a Republican congress.” Then Raddatz did exactly what any self-respecting journalist should do in that situation: she objected to being lied to, and yanked on the leash, forcing Ryan back to the question.
I’m convinced Raddatz wouldn’t have pounced on Ryan if he hadn’t trotted out this preposterous line about bipartisanism. Where does Ryan think we’ve all been living, Mars? It’s one thing to pull that on some crowd of unsuspecting voters that hasn’t followed politics that much and doesn’t know the history. But any professional political journalist knows enough to know the abject comedy of that line. Still, Ryan was banking on the moderator not getting in the way and just letting him dump his trash on audiences. Instead, she aggressively grabbed Ryan by his puppy-scruff and pushed him back into the mess of his own proposal:
MS. RADDATZ: Do you have the specifics? Do you have the math? Do you know exactly what you’re doing?
So now the ball is in Ryan’s court. The answer he gives is astounding:
REP. RYAN: Look – look at what Mitt – look at what Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill did. They worked together out of a framework to lower tax rates and broaden the base, and they worked together to fix that. What we’re saying is here’s our framework: Lower tax rates 20 percent – we raise about $1.2 trillion through income taxes. We forgo about 1.1 trillion [dollars] in loopholes and deductions. And so what we’re saying is deny those loopholes and deductions to higher-income taxpayers so that more of their income is taxed, which has a broader base of taxation –
Three things about this answer:
1) Ryan again here refuses to answer Raddatz’s yes-or-no question about specifics. So now we know the answer: there are no specifics.
2) In lieu of those nonexistent specifics, what Ryan basically says is that he and Romney will set the framework – “Lower taxes by 20 percent” – and then they’ll work out the specifics of how to get there with the Democrats in bipartisan fashion.
3) So essentially, Ryan has just admitted on national television that the Romney tax plan will be worked out after the election with the same Democrats from whom they are now, before the election, hiding any and all details.
No Democrat could get away with that answer. Have you heard any commentary – from the broadcast media in particular mention this very specific point and how large an issue it is that the Republican presidential ticket is doing what amounts to faking its way through a job interview. Do you know how to use Excel? Well you know I’m kinda familiar with spread sheets, my roommate used to use them so I’m sure I’ll pick it up easy enough if you hire me. Democrats could not get away with, not because of conservatives so much as left of center pundits at The Nation, or the ones that get aggregated at Common Dreams, Paul Krugman at the NYT, and on and on would call them out on it. When conservatives lie and deceive, conservatives cheer on the new reality, while the press might say that Democrats disagree. Josh Barro gets into the nebulous nature of the Romney-Ryan plan, or stretch they made at lunch on the back of a napkin – The Final Word on Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan
Mitt Romney’s campaign says I’m full of it. I said Romney’s tax plan is mathematically impossible: he can’t simultaneously keep his pledges to cut tax rates 20 percent and repeal the estate tax and alternative minimum tax; broaden the tax base enough to avoid growing the deficit; and not raise taxes on the middle class. They say they have six independent studies — six! — that “have confirmed the soundness of the Governor’s tax plan,” and so I should stop whining. Let’s take a tour of those studies and see how they measure up.
The Romney campaign sent over a list of the studies, but they are perhaps more accurately described as “analyses,” since four of them are blog posts or op-eds. I’m not hating — I blog for a living — but I don’t generally describe my posts as “studies.”
The Tax Policy Center has done a study, an actual reality based analysis. Romney has had some friends he used to hang out with behind the caddy shack say that his plan looks really cool dude. Acknowledging that politics and political races are not all about being rational and factual, I still do not understand why Romney is polling over 20%. Romney and Ryan are no more than the high school brats running for student council promising free cupcakes if elected. What bozo brained human could take him seriously. Biden was not faking any laughs, it is genuinely difficult for a reasonably mature and informed adult to consider voting these conservative clowns dog walkers much less the nation’s executives. Mitt and Tagg Romney Are Not Capitalists, They’re Looters and Plutocrats
What Tagg lacked in experience in the world of high finance, he made up for with a vast network of political connections forged through his father, who seeded the firm with $10 million and was the featured speaker at its first investor conference in January of 2010. Romney also reportedly gave strategic advice to the company, which secured prominent campaign donors as some of its first investors.
Unlike most private equity firms dedicated to analyzing and buying companies, Solamere specializes in something else: billing itself as a “fund of funds” with “unparalleled networks,” it provides investors with “unique access” to an elite set of other private equity firms and hedge funds. Sun Capital Partners, the fund founded by Leder, is one of at least thirteen Romney-linked firms in Solamere’s network, according to a prospectus circulated among potential investors and uncovered by The Boston Globe last year. Solamere also has an investment relationship with Bain Capital, the pioneering fund founded by Mitt Romney.
Solamere, a firm predicated on its founders’ relationship with Romney, presents a channel for powerful investors to influence the White House if he wins.
Wait a minute, how could this be. Conservatives, legend has it, build things, utterly and completely on their own. Conservatives would never belong to a network of crony capitalists. Conservatives would never take the icing and most of the cake produced at the bottom of the pyramid by people who do actual work. Government is evil so they would never use government to enhance their power, income and build walls through which only the elite may enter.