October 1, 2012

Feeling Good On Monday Morning

Patrick Laverty

I think back to the old Southwest Airlines commercial (see it) advertising the all the great things about Philadelphia, including the cabbie proclaiming "Well there's a lot, a lot of culture here" and then all the other people in the commercial just proclaiming the greatness of the cheesesteak. Sometimes, I feel like people here in RI do the same when talking about why Rhode Island is a great state. We have the beaches, we have umm, Boston and New York are nearby. Oh, there's the restaurants, and of course we have Del's slushy lemonade. There you go, case closed, I've made my case for why Rhode Island is such a great place, why we're all here and why everyone else should consider coming here.

Just in case we needed the other view point in one concise web site, we now have that. The state's Republican Party launched RIRankedLast.com. Some of the things to enjoy with your morning Cheerios can include the state's rankings in various surveys like our dismal unemployment statistics, cost for education and a comparison to its effectiveness, our infamous business climate, and one for all the people who have sought fit to keep the Democrats in one-party rule for pretty much their whole lifetime: RI is the 7th worst state to retire in. How's that one grab you? You've been voting Democrat for the last 40-45 years or so, you're finally getting ready to retire and the fruit of your labor is non-existent. Abysmal. About the only thing you can do is start scouring the internet for your new home in the Carolinas or Florida, like everyone else. You helped create this environment and when it isn't working out for you, you flee, leaving it for the rest of us to try to clean up. It's like using the toilet and neglecting to flush.

Anyway, crude allusion aside, the web site has other information like links to all the recently convicted politicians we've been able to enjoy as well as lists of alternatives to consider next month.

It's sad that such a site is necessary and maybe even this isn't enough to get the message across to people but hopefully it'll at least get some people thinking about whether it really is true that "Yeah, the Assembly is a bunch of scumbags, but I like my guy. My guy is good!" We'll see in about another 37 days.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

The progressive narrative is that Rhode Island is fine and all state rankings are flawed except those published by progressive organizations you've never heard of. Anyone who says otherwise is "wrong" and anyone who leaves the state is a "quitter" they are better off without. When confronted with the long list of Rhode Island's severe and chronic problems, their narrative changes to a denouncement of the state's politicians as "fake" Democrats (secret conservatives) and a conspiracy theory that the state is ruled by unspecified, shadowy corporate interests. But at the same time they'll tell you how wonderful it is to live in Rhode Island and take full credit in the claim, nevermind the glaring contradiction in these two assertions. Unions have no power in the state, according to the narrative, and the fact that RI unions donate more money to politicians than any other group and all corporations combined is of no political consequence - but at the same time they claim corporate donations are outcome-determinative and need to be stopped. Progressives offer even more public-private investment through EDC vehicles as a solution, despite the EDC's abysmal track record of waste, negligence, and corruption. They blame all of the EDC's shortcomings on the Republican former governor as some sort of catch-all boogeyman, although they can't coherently describe anything they would have done differently when pressed on the matter (Capco Steel, to name one of the many failed loans, was a unionized local manufacturing company).

Progressives should launch a counter site based on the "Baghdad Bob" model of denying plain reality. They are doing it everyday already because it is necessary to maintain their wafer-thin ideological narrative.

Posted by: Dan at October 1, 2012 9:22 AM

Dan, the counter web site would be complaints as well. I don't think progressives are all happy with the current status of RI. They think we're not progressive enough.

Posted by: Patrick at October 1, 2012 10:14 AM

Just like the communist countries of the world blame all their glaring economic failures on the subversive elements of the population, capitalist country oppression, traitors to the cause, etc. Failed states need a scapegoat while controlling the information and taking credit for the few successes. It's the same mentality on a smaller scale: "Everything in Progressiveland is wonderful, but to the extent that it's not wonderful, it's because of the few conservatives/Republicans/libertarians left in the state. Eliminate these traitors and place your trust in us and all will be well again."

Posted by: Dan at October 1, 2012 10:30 AM

It's sad to see so many of you young people think this state is ever going to be anything different than a progressive sewer.
Get out and go to someplace more sane before you end up middle-aged and bitter. This state is as doomed as Greece and Belarus.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at October 1, 2012 11:17 AM

I don’t think that Rhode Island is fine and all state rankings are flawed except those published by progressive organizations. I don’t say that anyone who says otherwise is "wrong" and anyone who leaves the state is a "quitter", and I suppose Dan would classify me as a progressive. I can assure the poor fellow that I do not carry those attitudes. I would say that I am disappointed with most elected Democrats, but prefer them to the Republican alternative. I wish the man would stop telling people what “progressives” say and believe. Why not let the facts speak for themselves.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at October 1, 2012 11:40 AM

OTL - The facts do speak for themselves. The problem is that you don't like what the facts are telling you. Government is very clearly the problem in Rhode Island. Since the state is an important case study in where progressive economic policies invariably lead, it is necessary to counter the ridiculous narrative being peddled on RIFuture and the like that Rhode Island's "free market" or "corporations" or miniscule conservative percentage of the population are to blame for its perpetual stagnation.

Posted by: Dan at October 1, 2012 12:04 PM

You did it again. You are saying that I don't like what the facts are telling me. The facts to me are that the RI Democrats are poor and beholden and that the Republican alternatives are worse.

Honestly, you'd be better served if you'd disengage from your class warfare bunker mentality, say what you believe, and stop interpreting other people's beliefs.

Can you take this in? The RI Democrats are bad and the RI Republicans are worse. That's what I believe.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at October 1, 2012 5:01 PM

OTL - You should consider your own advice - all you ever do here is tear down. If you can wade through the mountains of insults and silly, patronizing metaphors to find me even one constructive and coherent policy argument in all your posts of the past year, I will be amazed and humbly apologize to you. But we both know that is not possible for you to do.

We agree that RI Democrats are bad. It may surprise you to learn that I don't think in partisan terms and have no real preference for RI Republicans either. The important lessons I see in RI are that "expert-driven" central economic planning and an incestuous quid-pro-quo political relationship with organized labor facilitate corruption and lead a state to financial ruin. If you deny either of these plain realities of Rhode Island, I say you are ignoring what the facts are screaming for you to hear.

Posted by: Dan at October 1, 2012 5:28 PM

" They blame all of the EDC's shortcomings on the Republican former governor as some sort of catch-all boogeyman"

Which first of all, disregards the G.A.'s critical role in the 38 Studios deal. And secondly, it disregards the still unexplained apparent failure of the current governor to properly oversee 38 Studios operations, as provided for in the agreements. Why wasn't this oversight taking place? Who at the state told IBM it was fine to switch from written to verbal reports? Why did they do so? Did someone, in fact, see something and fail to report it, choosing instead to provide everyone with deniability by moving away from written reports?

Posted by: Monique at October 2, 2012 9:07 AM

That there was little oversight by the current administration is not surprising in the least. But I think it would be a mistake to focus on it too much as this company was so fundamentally flawed and mismanaged that it had no chance of surviving beyond the initial infusion of public cash regardless of oversight.

The important takeaway lesson, which progressives have been feverishly working to undermine by blaming everything exclusively on Carcieri, is that this type of public-private expert-driven central economic planning is always a disaster in practice and can have no outcome but what occurred. It doesn't matter who from the GA or executive office were involved or behind it - the idea itself is flawed in the first place. Central economic planning doesn't work.

Posted by: Dan at October 2, 2012 10:12 AM

But Gov't can pick winners! Solyndra! Well, OK--not that one. Tesla! Well, OK, not that one...Darn....

As for OTL, while I respect your right to believe what you will, over-generalizations such as "Democrats" and "Republicans"--as if all the people were all clones--don't help with the clarity or legitimacy of your opinion. Perhaps if you were to tell us why all Republicans are worse, what advantages you have/see in the current Dem majority thus are happy to continue supporting it, etc...

Posted by: Mike at October 2, 2012 12:17 PM

Don't forget Evergreen in Massachusetts. Accepted millions in tax credits, shut down, and moved to China.

Posted by: Dan at October 2, 2012 12:54 PM

To whom it may concern,
When state senator Sosnowski ran as a Republican I voted for her. When she ran as a Democrat I supported her. I support her now. The label she ran/runs under is meaningless to me.

One of the better presidents in my memory was Eisenhower, a man who gets almost no mention from today's Republicans. It is questionable that he would even get the nomination from them today if he were available - consider how today's Repubs shunted Colin Powell aside after setting him up as a fall guy.

Mike, think about it a minute and let us know what present day Republican gets your unqualified support. Faux neutrality is how I'd label your attitude.

Dan, I started this by writing "I don’t think that Rhode Island is fine and all state rankings are flawed except those published by progressive organizations. I don’t say that anyone who says otherwise is 'wrong' and anyone who leaves the state is a 'quitter'". I also wrote"I would say that I am disappointed with most elected Democrats, but prefer them to the Republican alternative." and, Dan, you resort to the cheap tactic of bringing in a straw man argument - specifically, you wrote, "RIFuture and the like that Rhode Island's "free market" or "corporations" or miniscule conservative percentage of the population are to blame for its perpetual stagnation." You might want to tell me who brought RI Future into the argument, you or me. Come on, 'fess up. To tell the truth, I never read RI Future. The post means nothing to me. Now if you want to talk about Salon.com, Counterpunch, or cuenteme.com we can get going, otherwise I suppose that you can continue playing intellectual Onanism.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at October 2, 2012 7:25 PM

OTL - RIFuture is the leading liberal/progressive blog in the state. I reference it as a litmus test for what the more vocal and influential progressives of the state are saying. Only the most tortured interpretation of my post could conclude that I am suggesting that every progressive in the state believes exactly the same thing on every issue (although I recall you describing yourself as a Marxist rather than a progressive, close as the two may be). If you are against public-private investment through EDC-like vehicles, then you are going against the general consensus of that blog and the broader progressive movement. If you think RI politicians are corrupt or its government is ineffective, then you are again going against the broader progressive message. The views I describe are being broadcast by numerous progressive contributors and commenters on that blog on a daily basis. Kudos for being an independent thinker if you diverge from them, but it doesn't change the general consensus of that (warped) community.

Posted by: Dan at October 3, 2012 10:09 AM

OTL - How can you say that the Republicans are "worse" when the Dems have had control of the state for over 50 years?

In all seriousness, how can you make that determination?

You admit that most Dems are "bad", and that the (12 or so) Republicans are "worse".

How can you say that and truly believe it?

And I'm not talking about the Governor's seat, we all know it's the GA that runs this place.

Posted by: StuckHereinRI at October 3, 2012 11:07 AM
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