Norm is on the road back home and thinking about how Football is a game of seconds not inches. A year of study, blood, sweat and tears and in four minutes the Eagles are headed down, the Cowboys are headed up.
No point offering advice to the Democrats, who have the world, and also their chief Republican adversary, by the tail. So we gather, anyway, from the polls. Still, for the record:
What goes around, comes around. Or, as W. H. Auden phrased it notably 66 years ago, "Those to whom evil is done/Do evil in return." Now evil is a strenuous words to use in the context of an indoor sport like American politics, but the enduring insight is worth attention. What you do comes back to bite you. When/if, as the Democrats plan, they go back to running America, they will find Republicans -- maybe a whole bunch of them -- acting out lessons learned at Democratic knees. Such as:
1. Don’t just assent to a federal judicial nomination nomination. Question. Doubt. Fight. Don't let a putative enemy -- a Ruth Bader Ginsburg, say -- on the court without demanding to see all, meaning all, the nominee’s papers, then fretting aloud over whether he or she will upset the court’s delicate balance. Call the nominee, if you must, an :"ideologue" who is "out of the judicial mainstream."
We can’t say yet that this approach has worked in the case of Judge Samuel Alito. It has worked well, nevertheless, at the appeals level, where Democrats, by glowering and threatening, have managed to keep off the bench various judges of excellent ability and repute, all of whom they would have confirmed 15 years earlier, before -- sigh! -- we all started hating each other.
2. Don’t work with the president on anything. Nancy Pelosi in the House and Harry Reid in the Senate have perfected this approach. Everything GeorgeW. Bush says is -- to them -- suspicious and probably a violation of civil liberties.
Democratic pooh-bahs don’t even need the facts. The script says, Bush lied us into war, only rich people benefit from tax cuts, and who needs oil that comes from an Alaskan wildlife refuge?
As for ending the Iraq war in a way congruent with American interests, and thus dignifying the American loss of life there, that’s fine, but don’t anticipate from the opposition party any whispered words of sympathy. Further, let’s question every rationale for the war, so that, if homefront obstructiveness takes its toll on our effort, we Democrats can say, told you we shouldn’t have gone in there. Let’s hire some more special prosecutors, by all means.
These are large and mighty lessons from the minority party. It might behoove Republicans at all levels of party life to keep rags and silver polish handy to make these lessons bright when, as they must some day, the Democrats retake control. What’s the fun of minority status if not to make the majority miserable? I think that about capsulizes the present Democratic attitude.
It never is fair to posit some magical time when politicians of different parties and large ambitions worked together large-mindedly for the common good. Politics, based as it is on the lust for power, is about as nasty as a trade as, well, pro football. Republicans, we may now have to admit, overdid the Bill Clinton thing: indeed, showed toward the guy the same kind of visceral dislike many Democrats manifest towards George Bush.
Even if every article of Sen. Joseph Biden’s weekend knock against White House integrity proved Gospel true, where would that get us at the moment? What good would it do?
Democratic rancor over the war and the high court makes it hard for members of the two parties even to talk civilly to each other. That's why this word to wise Democrats. What goes around can come right back and bite you in the hindquarters. Likely the Republicans should have taken that advice to heart back in impeachment times, but you know what? That's gone. What's left is the ugliness and corrosiveness of 2005: of which, if you know human nature, you can bet we haven't seen nearly the last.
DallasBlog.com welcomes Sandra Lewis's Blog on Food and Life. Sandy has garned legions of fans worldwide as she has blogged about food and its role in life. Delightful and serendipitous Sandy doles out recipes, restaurant advice and more and drops it all in a background that makes reading Food and Life the kind of experience that gets your day started right.
A well-placed Dallas source has told DallasBlog that Dallas County Republican Judge Margaret Kelliher was observed recently having lunch at the Palomino restaurant with a number of local Democratic operatives, including former Dallas Council member Lois Finkelman.
The word on the street is that Judge Kelliher has struck a deal with Democrats relating to the retirement of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. Representative Johnson is expected to retire either in 2006 or 2008, at the latest. If she steps down, State Senator Royce West is the odds on favorite to replace her. Then, according to the scenario laid out to DallasBlog, John Wiley Price would run for West’s seat in the Texas State Senate. Both West and Price will have served enough time in state government and county government respectively to be entitled to their full pension as elected officials.
The interesting part comes next. If Price were to step down as County Commissioner, the County Judge unilaterally appoints his replacement. There are many excellent Black Republicans to choose from in Dallas County, but our sources tell DallasBlog that Judge Kelliher has made a deal with Dallas County Democrats to appoint a Democrat to that post. In return for that commitment, Dallas County Democrats would agree not to mount a serious challenge against Judge Kelliher when she runs for re-election as a Republican in 2006.
It may only be November 2005, a year away from the next general election, but with District Attorney Bill Hill announcing that he won’t run for re-election, and with Republican Judge Kelliher wooing Dallas County Democratic activists, it looks like 2006 already is shaping up to be a very interesting election campaign year in Dallas County.
The newly created Texas Tax Reform Commission, headed by former Democratic Comptroller John Sharp, meets next Monday, November 21st, in Austin for the first time.
Rep. Garnet Coleman criticized the governor November 7th, saying the Sharp Commission was not inclusive enough in its membership. Coleman said the commission should include educators, workers and consumers. Will Lutz reported on the Coleman criticism of the Commission in a November 7th story at DallasBlog.
John Sharp reacted to Coleman’s comment in a reply published in the San Antonio Express-News. Sharp said, in what has to be the quote of the week, that: "I love Garnet to death, but I think if he died and went to heaven, he’d complain about his room."
Judge Dan WydeAn e-mailer says Judge Dan Wyde is considering running for D.A. and is forming a support committee. Wyde is another criminal district judge, and he previously worked as a prosecutor in the D.A.'s office. A Republican, Wyde handled some high-profile cases when he was a prosecutor. His Web site is www.danwyde.com.
In another arena, Democrat Ken Molberg says Royce West won't run for D.A. but look for Democrat Will Pryor to go after U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions. Pryor would be a quality candidate for Congress but might have a better shot at a county race instead of in the 5th Congressional District. Anybody analyze it since 2000, when Sessions won 54 percent of the vote against Montoya?
The Fed apparently means business of late, as the weekly FED statistics suggest that their actions are now matching their words. This a total surprise to this observer since the Greenspan FED has had little use for the traditional FED tools for control of monetary and credit aggregate growth. The tried and true measures of the success of this FED policy will be the level of EXCESS FREE RESERVES in the Banking system and the level of BORROWING at the FED Discount Window. The banking industry possesses 56.6% of M3 deposits (see http://www.federalreserve.gov/Releases/H6/Current/ for definition) Thus, if the banking industry is getting the message from the FED verbally, as well as, on their Balance sheet, the results will be evident in these statistical measures. If the FED means business, credit growth must and will be reigned in. In the year ending the second quarter 2005, nominal Gross Domestic Product grew $707B; this was accompanied by Total Debt growth of $2986B. Yes Virginia, it took $4.22 of debt to create $1 of nominal income growth Debt creation used to bid up the price of housing creates very little income growth for the economy as a whole, but saddles the purchaser will interest payments and debt repayments out of future earnings.
Bank loans are growing at a 9% Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (SAAR) for the last 13 weeks, and the combination of Bank Loans plus Commercial Paper Outstanding is growing at a 12.2% SAAR. These growth rates are in excess of nominal sales growth of the economy and are especially concerning since inventory accumulation is significantly lower than 3, 6 and 12 months ago. For every $1 of inventory financed by a bank, $.75 of Receivables needs to be financed. Short Term debt financing is being substituted for Long Term debt issuance and debt is being used to acquire assets. More supply of credit enables increased demand and thereby higher prices. How more debt has been taken on to take advantage of the tax break on repatriation of foreign Retained Earning? Multinational firms do not keep $200B of idle cash on their books as a standard business practice.
The level of Excess Reserves made a new 2 year high in September at $2.054B and are now $1.457B in the November 9th biweekly reporting statement. Borrowing at the Discount Window remains at meaninglessly low levels, coming in at $284 million in October, but up from $42 million in February. The chart on FED credit is adjusted for credit that is provided for the level of U.S. Treasury demand deposit balances, which can be maintained either at the Fed or in the banking system. From all appearances, the stair step approach of the FED has gone to the next level. Bank liquidity ratios tell the observer to what degree banks are changing the status of the asset side of the Balance Sheet in order to meet loan demand in excess of deposit plus borrowing growth. Liquid assets of the Banking industry peaked on June 8, 2005 at $2728B and stood at $2676B on October 26th; during this period, loans grew by $207B.
Forewarned is forearmed, or in more contemporary diction, been there, seen this. In a $10+ Trillion economy, economic forces build slowly and dissipate slowly. Remember the vision of the mind’s eye is invisible in the everyday world of almost everyone.
Knight-Ridder, the second largest newspaper chain in the United States, announced Monday that it "is exploring strategic alternatives including a possible sale." In business lingo, that means the Knight-Ridder newspaper chain is in play. Knight-Ridder owns the Ft. Worth Star Telegram.
Private equity companies, which own large blocs of stock in this publicly traded company, have been urging the Board of Knight-Ridder to sell the company. Gannett, which is the largest chain of newspapers in the U.S., has been mentioned as a possible purchaser. Goldman-Sachs will represent Knight-Ridder in exploring a possible sale of the chain. Knight-Ridder’s stock has risen nearly 20% since large shareholders began putting pressure on the Board to sell the company.
Will the Dallas Morning News be next in line to be sold along with other papers owned by Belo Corporation, the parent company of the News?
The Dallas News may not have discovered that Rep. Terri Hodge is in some hot water over allegedly accepting free rent from a developer for whom she has done political favors 11 days after Channell 11 discovered it but the News did discover that DISD help desk employees, among many others, are guzzling a lot of gas at taxpayer expense. Good job by News reporters Tawnell Hobbs and Kent Fischer.