So, you might have heard by now that the Congressional "Supercommittee," a bipartisan effort to overcome partisan gridlock, has succumbed to...partisan gridlock.
This is from USA Today:
Republicans refused to cross their ideological line against increasing taxes. Democrats refused to allow cuts in popular programs that serve the elderly and poor without a compensating growth of government income, especially from the wealthiest Americans.
No one really knew what the Supercommittee was doing, anyway, so the sham of its negotiations — which looked as if they would have high sham potential from the git-go — ended in #EPICFAIL shouldn't shock anyone. But the USA Today report is admirable for starkly stating the core difference between the two sides.
That said, it's easy to cast the Democrats as pro-tax, in the interest of being pro-poor and pro-old folks, while saying that the Republicans wouldn't raise taxes if the future of the, um...republic depended on it.
AP Photo/The Enterprise, Wayne Tilcock
In this Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, photo University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad Friday in Davis, Calif. Two University of California, Davis police officers involved in pepper spraying seated protesters were placed on administrative leave Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011, as the chancellor of the school accelerates the investigation into the incident.
Just a quick comment on this segment from this morning's Airtalk broadcast. The issue is whether the Tea Party is getting media treatment equal to the Occupy Movement.
I'd have to say probably not. But then again, this isn't an apples-to-apples comparison. The Tea Party is a political movement: it's an evolution of the Republican Party's libertarian element, which has been a factor, albeit a minor one, for decades. Occupy is a protest movement: it's not running anyone for office but rather complaining about the way the U.S. has allowed equality to stagnate under pressure from a global financial system run amok.
Both groups are angry about the current state of affairs. But their plans of action, strategies, and execution are different in trajectory. The Tea Party wanted to elect candidates and enter the mainstream political conversation. Occupy aimed to...take up space and provide a physical representation of what was really a fairly inchoate sense that something has gone horribly wrong with the nation.
A few final hits from the the 2011 La Auto Show, which runs through the Thanksgiving weekend. In this video, the mighty 911, now available in a new version for 2012.
The 911 is the sports car by which all other sports cars are judged. Sort of the Platonic form of the sports car. Great handling. Fast. Beautifully made. The kind of car that, in theory, can seamlessly transition from a freeway cruise to a brisk turn on the racetrack, in the span of nothing more than an offramp.
In other words, there's still no substitute.
Thomas K. Fowler/AP
In this image made from video, a police officer uses pepper spray as he walks down a line of Occupy demonstrators sitting on the ground at the University of California, Davis on Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. The video - posted on YouTube - was shot Friday as police moved in on more than a dozen tents erected on campus and arrested 10 people, nine of them students.
One of the central problems with understanding the Occupy Movement is that, in America, we have no real recent experience with large-scale protests. It's not like police, mayors, members of Congress, university presidents, of even President Obama himself have been studying the country's last major protest movement, again the Vietnam War.
Some of these leaders have no excuse. They lived through Vietnam. Some were on the protest battlements themselves. Some were in the actual war.
The result is that the country is dangerously unprepared for what has suddenly morphed into an increasingly violent showdown between Occupy protesters and the authorities.
Last week, I suggested that another Kent State shooting is unlikely. "Kent State" is popular shorthand for a 1970 massacre at Kent State University in Ohio, when national guardsmen killed four students and wounded nine, prompting a national outrage and signaling the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War, as well as much of the romance of the countercultural 1960s.
So let me throw this one open to the audience. Lincoln: luxury yes or luxury no? And does Ford have any business keeping its luxury brand alive, when many people think that it just isn't as...luxurious as brands like BMW, Audi, Mercedes, Lexus, and even Cadillac, its historic rival?
I've argued elsewhere that Ford should let Lincoln go. But maybe I'm wrong...