January 24, 2013 archive
Blue ribbon loosers one and all. Charolete Iserbytians degrading into programmable Nazified zombies. Truely frightening societal division induced by for profit media propaganda over several generations.
What is the highest petition signature count?
Is it green AGW? No.
Is it about guns? Nope.
Is it about impeaching Diane Feinstien? Nah.
Is it about alien disclosure and the release of free energy technology? Nah.
Is it about legalizing pot? Guess yet again.
This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
January 24 is the 24th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 341 days remaining until the end of the year (342 in leap years).
On this day in 1848, A millwright named James Marshall discovers gold along the banks of Sutter’s Creek in California, forever changing the course of history in the American West.
The California Gold Rush began at Sutter’s Mill, near Coloma. On January 24, 1848 James W. Marshall, a foreman working for Sacramento pioneer John Sutter, found shiny metal in the tailrace of a lumber mill Marshall was building for Sutter on the American River. Marshall brought what he found to John Sutter, and the two privately tested the metal. After the tests showed that it was gold, Sutter expressed dismay: he wanted to keep the news quiet because he feared what would happen to his plans for an agricultural empire if there were a mass search for gold. However, rumors soon started to spread and were confirmed in March 1848 by San Francisco newspaper publisher and merchant Samuel Brannan. The most famous quote of the California Gold Rush was by Brannan; after he had hurriedly set up a store to sell gold prospecting supplies, Brannan strode through the streets of San Francisco, holding aloft a vial of gold, shouting “Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!” With the news of gold, local residents in California were among the first to head for the goldfields.
At the time gold was discovered, California was part of the Mexican territory of Alta California, which was ceded to the U.S. after the end of the Mexican-American War with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848.
On August 19, 1848, the New York Herald was the first major newspaper on the East Coast to report the discovery of gold. On December 5, 1848, President James Polk confirmed the discovery of gold in an address to Congress. Soon, waves of immigrants from around the world, later called the “forty-niners”, invaded the Gold Country of California or “Mother Lode”. As Sutter had feared, he was ruined; his workers left in search of gold, and squatters took over his land and stole his crops and cattle.
San Francisco had been a tiny settlement before the rush began. When residents learned about the discovery, it at first became a ghost town of abandoned ships and businesses whose owners joined the Gold Rush, but then boomed as merchants and new people arrived. The population of San Francisco exploded from perhaps 1,00 in 1848 to 25,000 full-time residents by 1850. The sudden massive influx into a remote area overwhelmed the infrastructure. Miners lived in tents, wood shanties, or deck cabins removed from abandoned ships. Wherever gold was discovered, hundreds of miners would collaborate to put up a camp and stake their claims. With names like Rough and Ready and Hangtown, each camp often had its own saloon and gambling house.
Like Reagan, Obama hopes to usher in a long-term electoral realignment – in Obama’s case toward the moderate left, thereby reversing the 40th president’s political legacy. The Reagan metaphor helps explain the tone of Obama’s inaugural address, built not on a contrived call to an impossible bipartisanship but on a philosophical argument for a progressive vision of the country rooted in our history. Reagan used his first inaugural to make an unabashed case for conservatism.
Does E. J. Dionne not know that words have meaning?
Reagan was never remotely a conservative, let alone any kind of thinker. His silly “shining city on a hill” should provide a clue. The one-time union leader and aging philanderer was clearly a reactionary. He had more in common with LBJ than most any other president though Reagan’s achievements were enormously destructive while LBJ, despite his enormous flaws, managed the monumental civil rights achievement that reverberates so today.
Both were mainly good at jawboning, something totally beyond Obama’s ken.
One great story involving Al D’Amato, “Senator Pothole,” is illustrative. I think it was Michael Kinsley, every winger’s liberal so naturally he wasn’t, who told the story.
Al D’Amato was at a private dinner in a restaurant when a waiter told D’Amato he had a call.
When D’Amato got to the phone, Reagan started into his pitch for a vote on approving another missile funding that was hanging in the balance, D’Amato exploded, “Will you quit calling me, you fucking son of a bitch?” D’Amato had been receiving nuisance calls from some stalker.
When Reagan somehow convinced the fine senator from New York that Al was talking to the President, D’Amato quickly agreed to vote for the missile funding, forgetting entirely about his lengthy shopping list in his embarrassment.
How I wish there were a recording of that conversation as there is with at least some calls by LBJ to some Southern segregationists seeking approval of Johnson’s nomination of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court.
During Monday’s Inauguration coverage, MSNBC commentator and host Chris Matthews remarked about the slipping popularity of the Republican Party and how in order to win they will have to rig the elections in order to win in the future.
“If states like Pennsylvania ever get controlled by Republican legislators, that is frightening,” [..]
“There’s so much willingness to rig the elections by the Republicans,” Matthews continued. “They know they’re heading into demographic trouble. They know they’re going to be a minority in this country. It’s almost like Lebanon – we’ve got to fake the census now, y’know?”
He concluded: “And what I see them doing is saying, ‘Okay, we know we’re never going to be popular again, so we’re going to have to rig it.”
Apparently, Mr. Matthews was unaware of what the Republicans in the Virginia legislature were up to.
Virginia Senate Sneaks Through Gerrymandering Bill While Country Watches Inauguration
by Annie-Rose Strasser, Think Progress
While the eyes of the nation were turned toward President Barack Obama’s second inauguration on Monday, the Virginia State Senate managed to hurriedly pass a bill that would redistrict the state’s senate seats.
The vote, 20-19, would have been a tie had Democratic Senator Henry Marsh been present. Marsh, a civil rights leader, was in Washington, D.C., attending the inauguration.
Had Marsh been present, however, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, Bill Bolling, would likely have broken the tie. The bill was reportedly pushed through in a matter of hours. [..]
The gerrymandering bill now goes to the heavily Republican House of Delegates for a vote, where it will likely face little opposition.
Victim Of VA State Sen. GOP ‘Dirty Trick’ Calls Move ‘Shameful’
by Evan McMorris-Santoro, Talking Points Memo
“I wanted to attend the historic second inauguration of President Obama in person,” Marsh said in a statement. “For Senate Republicans to use my absence to push through a partisan redistricting plan that hurts voters across the state is shameful.” [..]
Marsh said he was “outraged” and “saddened” by the state Senate GOP move. He said the bill was “unconstitutional,” a line being used by many Democrats in Virginia these days that could signal future legal action.
Gov. McDonnell Condemns Virginia Senate GOP Move As Bad Way To Do Business
by Evan McMorris-Santoro, Talking Points Memo
After first distancing himself from the new legislative lines the Virginia Senate GOP forced through Monday, Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) condemned his party’s political gamesmanship Tuesday.
“I certainly don’t think that’s a good way to do business,” McDonnell told reporters in Richmond, according to the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star. [..]
McDonnell has so far not said if he would veto the redistricting plan, which still must pass the state House. It is not clear if McDonnell has taken or will take other steps to undo the Senate GOP’s surprise move.
I wouldn’t put any money on Gov. McDonnell vetoing that bill, as Laura Conaway at The Maddow Blog notes, the governor would like everyone to just stop talking about the sneak redistricting now
When I asked McDonnell’s office just now whether he would sign or veto the bill, which still needs approval from the House, they sent over a recording (mp3) of the governor fielding that question today with local reporters. The verbate:
REPORTER: Is it time yet to tell these guys, “If it comes to me, I’m going to veto it”?
MCDONNELL: Well, listen, my focus this year is on education, transportation, and budget and government reform. That’s what I had asked this session to be about. Obviously, the tactics that were used yesterday was a surprise, and I don’t think that’s the way that business should be done. But I haven’t looked at the bill. I’m not happy about the things that have happened. Look, some people said they were against my transportation bill long before yesterday, so this has got a long way to go. I don’t know whether I’m going to get a bill or not. But I’m going to wait and see at this point what happens. I have not looked at the bill. At this point, though, I want people to focus on the things that are important. What I said the session should be about is education, transportation — not redistricting and other things. That’s my focus.
The short answer, so far, is no answer yet. McDonnell could try to keep the House from passing the bill and sending it to him. A year ago, he found himself in much the same position, trying to get the legislature off the ledge — and off the front pages — with that forced ultrasound bill. He ended up signing that one.
The bill would create a Republican super majority in both houses, so that even if a Democrat is elected governor, s/he’ll be unable to pass an agenda. Gov. McDonnell will sign this it.