Daily Archives: July 1, 2008

Dems determined to throw 2008 election!

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The Democratic National Committee, whose conventions in 2000 and 2004 were marred by left-wing protests (the former ultimately undermining Al Gore’s chances to become the 43rd President), has apparently learned nothing from that painful experience. The Denver Post reports that protesters at this year’s convention will be corralled behind fences, in an attempt to bury their legitimate concerns about a party whose commitment to its own stated values tends to depends on day-to-day exigencies.

They know this won’t work; in fact, they should realize that the effect of such action will be exactly the opposite of their desired goal of a convention scrubbed clean of Clintonistas, a captive audience for what should be some pretty amazing additions to the Obama personality cult. Given their understanding of the stakes, and their knowledge that a Democratic victory in November will be the result of long-simmering resentment among the American people, particularly among the young and the poor, it’s worth questioning the party’s commitment to winning. Imagine the blogging that will come out of that protest pen; imagine the camera-phone video that will come out after the inevitable civil unrest.

The smart thing would have been to let the protesters protest, allowing them to engage the self-satisfied suits who run the party, trusting that Obama (who is extering enough control to move party operations from DC to Chicago, but has remained silent on the protest-pen issue) is a real enough deal to bring all these people together. Instead, Howard Dean and friends are handing the Republicans an opportunity to present the Democrats as being too factionalized to run the country effectively. After all, the Democratic congress has done nothing since they took over 18 months ago, seemingly afraid of the slightest criticism or blowback from actions that the American people elected them to put into motion, and the primary process was marred by public infighting that is only now starting to cool down a bit. The Democratic convention could potentially serve as Exhibit A for the proposition that the Dems don’t have what it takes.

Random speculation on the housing market

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Apparently there is some use to AOL, after all. The homepage I can never remove has an article today about the stagnant housing market. Actually, “stagnant” is probably an understatement, give the sort of harsh words afloat on the subject. While some cities like Phoenix and Salt Lake City have not outright tanked yet, in some cases showing marginal progress from the past year (2007 will have been the last “good” year for people in this industry), all the prestige, high-value property on our coasts has proven nearly impossible to sell, even at some of the steepest discounts seen in my lifetime.

In Florida, where citizens were joking as late as last year that the state bird should be the building crane, the game is already over. Crist’s property tax cuts failed, inciting budget shortfalls statewide, to the point that they were rolled back in Jacksonville within a matter of weeks.