Archive for February, 2010

24
Feb
10

cool idea

Just read this piece from the New Republic

http://www.tnr.com/print/article/unhampered

I love the idea of a new Home Owners’ Loan Corporation dusted off from 1933.  But can you imagine the GOP howling about this?  Government buying homes and using eminent domain to do so?  It is ok to take people’s houses to make shopping malls – but to help someone stay in their home?  Big Biz, Big Banks and the GOP would just go insane.

Let’s do it!

23
Feb
10

Glenn Beck is a communist and other inconvenient truths

I so love this clip from the Daily Show.  Satire is such a wonderful tool to point out how utterly ridiculous things are.  But, serious people can make their points, too.  So, also attached is a copy of Paul Krugman’s column yesterday.

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18
Feb
10

God help us

I was depressed this morning. Sometimes it seems that everyone has gone mad. I saw a clip of Glenn Beck barking at a video of the President talking about the stimulus, saying it was time “we took back the country”. (Never mind that the report on the stimulus is that it has worked, not perfectly, but the 2 million people working because of it probably think it is working ok. Even the Wall Street Journal reported its achievement.) I watched a Teabagger in Washington state say that she wanted to hang a senator – the message to rise up and take back the country. Yesterday I read the comment of former representative Tom Tancredo saying we should have literacy tests before people could vote and “This is our country. Let’s take it back.” These were the things on my mind when I heard that a plane crashed into a building in Austin. My first thought was of the OKC Bombing and my second was “please let it be an accident”. As the reports come out, still many unconfirmed by authorities, it appears this was an act of domestic terrorism. Amazingly, it appears the pilot is the only fatality.

How much did the shrill, hateful and hyperbolic ranting mood that seems to engulf our media, if not really the country, contribute to his deciding to do this? Is any, one, yelling talking head culpable? Can we call out Beck? Can we call out Roger Ailes for his disregard for facts in favor of tabloid journalism and overblown commentary? What about Palin and her ilk running for future office by playing to the angry mob? What about Rick Perry and his flirting comment about secession?

Or do we have to look no further than ourselves. All of us too busy to pay attention. All of us unwilling to truly participate in our own government. All of us as a whole who wish to pay no price for all the services that we want and then look away in disgust as the politicians tell us exactly what we want to hear. Do we have to look no further than our infantile culture.

16
Feb
10

They get what they deserve

I would be ok with that, except I get what they deserve too.

The recent polls and reporting coming out about how the Republicans are gaining and, more specifically, how the majority dislikes the stimulus, makes me want to scream. More and more news reports are touching on the hypocrisy on things like the stimulus bill. More stories are noting that the Republicans claim to want bipartisanship but refuse to participate. Yet, they are gaining credence? It doesn’t make sense to me. Sure, the Democrats can always manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. They are never a united front and never seem to clearly articulate anything. Still, how can you buy into some of these arguments? For example, Boehner says the President should sit down and discuss healthcare ideas with Republicans. The President says ok, let’s do it. Boehner then goes on the news circuit to say “It’s a trap.” What? Does that have any logic to it other than pure political cynicism? The only way getting a meeting that you requested is a trap is if you simply have nothing to offer. It is simply disgusting that this blatant subterfuge works. It is disgusting that everything coming through the Senate is being blocked by requiring 60 votes. It is unprecedented. Yet, the GOP is not taking the heat for lack of progress. True, the Democrats are ineffectual and rather cowardly. They let the threat of filibuster become a stopping point. They make that choice. Why not let them filibuster? Why not showcase what is really a foot here? Why can they not simply communicate “We want to pass this bill for these reasons and this is how it will help you.” Then let the Republicans filibuster. The longest filibuster was Strom Thurman – it was less than two days. Nothing is getting done anyway, so why not spend two days listening to Republicans talk and talk, reading phonebooks and cherry pie recipes and let that play on c-span?

Of course, that won’t happen. The Democrats have 10 months of having the majority. At this juncture, it seems unlikely they will maintain them after the election. You think there is gridlock now?! If the current trends are any indication, the party that claims government is the problem will make big gains on the hill – possibly even winning the majority in that branch of government. The majority will get what they deserve.

God help us, we all get what they deserve.

15
Feb
10

Maddow Schock

Nice face to face discussion of one senator’s hypocracy. Glad she got a chance to do it on NBC (outside the “liberal den” of msnbc). Even David Greggory tried to get Sen. Schock to respond. Not that anyone would ever admit to it. (A couple minutes into clip).

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11
Feb
10

do i need to go on?

In speaking to a friend yesterday regarding my frustration with the hypocrisies of the Republicans, he pointed out that Rachel Maddow had just done a piece about it.  I realize that to many of my Faux News watching friends using Maddow or anything MSNBC as a source simply nullifies the information for them.  However, what an awesome summary of the double-speak on just the issue of the stimulus package!  The information can be found elsewhere, so this is not a “liberal media” thing.

10
Feb
10

Hold On

The news that Senator Richard Shelby put a hold on 70 appointees has been in the news the last few days and he has now released all but 3. The accounts all state he put the hold on to secure funding for projects in his state – that he states are for national security. The merits of his projects can be debated separately and are really not the point here. The blatant and utter hypocrisy is the point. And it is not just the honorable Senator from Alabama. Any senator can place a hold on a nominee. Nominees can be delayed in numerous ways. Sometimes there may even be a legitimate reason to do so. Yet, that is not what this is about. Shelby’s stunt was a hostage situation. Give me money or no one gets through the Senate. Never mind that he decried the process of holding up nominees just a few years ago. (Or that the administration gets derided for not having positions filled.) It seems every person on the hill with an (R) after their name has had changes of heart. It is not just nominees, it is legislation, it is the insistence of saying they don’t have a voice in decisions when they simply refuse to speak.

Yet, their behavior is actually true to their core belief – that government is dysfunctional. And if it could possibly function? Well, throw all the road blocks you can to make sure it doesn’t. If you sit down the president to discuss your ideas, hold a press conference immediately afterwards and say that he didn’t listen. Doesn’t matter if that is truth or not, just say it.

It seems the Republicans decided that maybe shrinking government until it could be drowned in the bathtub wasn’t working. So over the course of eight years they tried to make it so big it would explode. That almost worked. Now, with so much damage done their tactic is simply to block anything that might correct the harm inflicted.

Is that hyperbole? Of course. Yet, look around. They cling to their belief that government doesn’t work and they do their best to make it so. For a year they have decried everything the Obama administration has done or tried to do – event programs or policies that were in place before he took office. If he proposes anything that was their idea, they change their mind. Hell, they wouldn’t even applaud tax cuts during the State of the Union. Tax Cuts!! That is their Holy Grail, their raison deter, their only solution to any problem!

It has taken a year for the Obama administration to start fighting back. Olive branches are nice, but when they aren’t accepted, it is time to move to the next step. Obama didn’t let Boehner’s press conference in which he said the republicans were pushed to the side at the “bipartisan summit” go unanswered. He went to reporters too and said what has been the case all along. Yes, they have taken and incorporated republican ideas, but they are not going to throw out everything they believe in and proceed only with those few ideas. That simply is not how compromise works. Duh. Yet, what is completely obvious seems to be difficult for many to see. Finally, we are hearing the reports on things such as the hold put on nominees in the media. Finally, it seems they are saying not simply that a hold was placed, but that it was done to get some pork. Finally, you hear people make the connection of how many times they say one thing and do another – even things as inane as giving a speech using notes and notes on your hand while mocking someone’s use of a teleprompter. (Seriously? You couldn’t remember “Energy, Tax Cuts, Lift American Spirits”?) If anything is going to get accomplished, these tactics and hypocrisies need to be pointed out. Constantly. The Democrats are not and have never been organized enough to employ such block force tactics and couldn’t keep it from being disclosed if they did. Their inconsistencies and blunders always make the news.