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Flap’s Links and Comments for September 7th through September 8th

These are my links for September 7th through September 8th:

  • Older GOP voters – Or Why Social Security Matters – After the theatrics last night on Social Security I wondered how big a deal this could be with the Republican electorate. The Post’s polling director Peyton Craighill told me that “the GOP has significantly fewer young voters.” In the general registered voting population about 17 percent are 18- to 29-year-olds; only 12 percent of Republicans are in that age bracket. For 30- to 39-year-olds the difference is 15 percent (for all registered voters) vs. 19 percent for Republicans and Republican leaners. Put differently, in the GOP electorate that is likely to be selecting the next GOP nominee, 69 percent are 40 or older. Forty-eight percent are 50 or older.

    No wonder the Mitt Romney campaign is recirculating its e-mail from the debate, entitled (all in caps) “RICK PERRY: RECKLESS, WRONG ON SOCIAL SECURITY.” It reads:

    “Our nominee has to be someone who isn’t committed to abolishing Social Security, but who is committed to saving Social Security.” – Mitt Romney

    Governor Perry Believes Social Security Should Not Exist:

    Perry Does Not Believe Social Security Should Exist, Asking: “Why Is The Federal Government Even In The Pension Program. . .?” PERRY: “When you look at Social Security, it’s broke. . . . Get it back to the states. Why is the federal government even in the pension program or the health care delivery program? Let the states do it. . . . That, I will suggest to you, is one of the ways this federal government can get out of our business, save a lot of money and get back to that Constitutional way of doing business in those enumerated powers that they’re supposed to have.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 11/5/10)


    Read it all

  • On Disclosure – Writing about the Koch confab referenced in today’s morning links, my friend Dave Weigel points out that Mother Jones has published profiles of some top donors to various Koch organizations. Dave comments:

    And it’s just a disgrace that this information is smuggled out of a meeting like a heroin shipment, instead of being disclosed. The Tea Party movement, the GOP, etc — no one who benefits from this disagrees with the goals of these people in making more money. Why hide it?

    First, I wouldn’t assume that everyone who donates to these causes does so to enact policies that will make them more money. The Kochs themselves, for example, spend money advocating for an end to ethanol subsidies, even though their business benefits from those subsidies. You could certainly call that hypocrisy. But it doesn’t fit the narrative that their political activism is all about enriching themselves. The easier explanation is simply that they’re free market ideologues. And if you’re not a free market ideologue, that’s a fine reason to criticize them.

    But I also want to address Dave’s point about disclosure. I can think of lots of reasons why someone wouldn’t want their donations to political causes to be made public. For example, there’s a bi-partisan history in this country of using the IRS to target the political opponents of the party in the White House. I could also see a business executive not necessarily wanting a regulatory agency to know that he’s donating money to groups that would like to dismantle or diminish that agency’s power.

    I suppose those two examples aren’t going to win much sympathy from Koch critics. So let me offer a couple more: I could also see why a progressive-minded businessman in, say, Salt Lake City, would want to keep secret his donation to a group advocating for gay marriage in California. Or why the trust fund kid of a Raytheon executive may not want his family to know he gives to anti-war organizations.

    But the best example of what I’m getting at here may come from Mother Jones itself. Mother Jones is published by a non-profit organization called the Foundation for National Progress, which “exists to publish and support Mother Jones.” Which means that the magazine is mostly funded by donors. So who donates to Mother Jones? Good question. They won’t say!


    Read it all

  • yfrog Photo : Shared by Flap – Rick Perry meet and greet at Camarillo Airport #tcot