Rooting For The GOP In The Mid-Terms

September 2, 2010

Yes, you read that headline correctly: I hope the Republicans win the mid-term elections this November and take over the House Of Representatives. And putting them in charge of the Senate, although not as likely, wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

No, I am not smoking crack. No, I haven’t flipped parties–I am still a Liberal. And no, this isn’t a joke.

It’s time for the GOP to get to work and show the American public exactly what they will do to improve the economy, stimulate job growth, protect our borders, and make this country whole again. It’s time for the likes of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to stop whining and crying about how their party of “No” has been unable to get their ideas across the aisle. It’s time for the Republicans and the Tea Party to stop threatening to filibuster every vote on a Democratic bill, and delay every Obama appointment. It’s time to put them in the driver’s seat to see exactly what their “ideas” are. It’s time for them to do their damn jobs.

I don’t agree with anything they have to say, and I am surely not going to vote for them myself, but the GOP seems to believe that they can fix this country better than the Democrats can. Boehner and McConnell continue to assert that the American public doesn’t like how the Democrats are handling the economy, and they claim we don’t like the tactics the Democrats used to get healthcare reform and financial reform passed. So let’s see what they can do when they have the power to do it.

Here’s why this is a good strategy for the Democrats:

The Veto: As long as President Obama is in the White House, he still commands veto power. This is the Liberal safety brake that allows me to sleep at night. No crazy trickle-down economics bill will get passed Obama’s desk, and no bills will become law that infringe on my civil rights or raise my middle-class taxes. Healthcare reform will not get repealed. And no new wars will be started while Barry-O is sitting in the Oval office. However, I absolutely trust that if a good idea comes from the right wing that actually makes it to his desk, he will sign it into law. I trust the President to do what is right because that’s always been his M.O., and that’s why I voted for him. So as long as he is the check against anything radical or ridiculous, I say to the GOP: bring it on (I just had to get a W quote in here).

Congressional Procedures: Let’s see how the GOP likes to be filibustered to death. Let’s see them use the cloture they cried about during the healthcare votes. Let’s watch the Republican party squirm when the Democrats use every trick in the congressional playbook to muck-up their right-wing agenda. Let’s see how they like it when they have to compromise and water-down every idea they come up with–just like the left side of the aisle did for the last two years.

Transparency: It’s easy to criticize someone else’s ideas. But when the GOP controls our legislative branch of government, they will finally have to tell us what their ideas actually are. No more “the Democrats shut us out and we can’t get our ideas to the table.” That BS will be over, and the GOP will be required to say to the American people “Here’s what we are going to do. Ideas X, Y, and Z will take care of all our problems.” And the more the Democrats fight against them, the more they will have to explain their ideas and sell their ideas to the people. And their ideas will be laid out on the table for all the Rush Limbaughs and Sarah Palins to defend, and for all the Keith Olbermanns and Rachel Maddows to slice up and dissect each and every day for the next two years. And we the people will finally get some concrete answers to the question: “what would the Republicans do differently to pull us out of the morass this country is in.” They won’t be able to hide behind excuses anymore. Their ideas will be front and center, and it will be their agenda that will be up for debate. For all to see in plain sight.

Closing The Enthusiasm Gap: The most revealing poll out right now as a predictor of the upcomming November mid-term elections is the measurement of voter enthusiasm. Last week a Gallup poll came out that showed 46% of registered Republicans were “very enthusiastic” about voting in the November election, compared to only 23% of registered Democrats. Looks like the left needs a severe wake up call, and now is the time to do it. It’s easy to be complacent when you are in control, so perhaps all the Liberal voters decided that they could stop paying attention. “Yeah, my party is in power so they’ll take care of everything.” That attitude is about to backfire right in their faces. If the left-leaning independent voters and the registered Democrats aren’t worried, then they deserve to lose their edge. American politics are only as secure as the next election, so if you weren’t paying attention to every John Boehner press conference, and every Sarah Palin rally, and every Glenn Beck sideshow, and every FOX news broadcast, and every Tea Party march, well then brothers and sisters of the left you missed a lot. It’s not important how absurd all the conservative idea spittle is, or how inane their platform may be. A lot of voters agree with them, and they intend to vote for them. Once the Democratic voters start hearing a steady stream of tax cuts for the rich, show-me-your-papers immigration solutions, drill baby drill environmental policy plans, let’s overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s time to close down the Dept. of Education, privatize social security, and the end of Medicare, then we will see a fired up and engaged Democratic voter base. They all forgot how pissed off they were in 2008. If the GOP wins big this November, Democrats will have a lot more to be angry about again. And that can be very motivating.

Obama’s Second Term: The net-effect of putting the GOP in control, and putting their “leadership” clearly on display for the next two years will give Barack Obama all the campaign ammunition he needs for 2012: “Are you better off now than you were two years ago?” The answer will be a resounding “NO” if the GOP wins this November, which should teach the Democrats a lesson. I’d rather we spend the next two years taking the GOP to task for the things they do, rather than listen to their empty rhetoric. When you actually have a record to run on, then your opposition has your record to run against. The Democrats will re-take Congress and Obama will win a second term. Then we can really make some progress.

I am willing to sacrifice Hope and Change for the next two years if it will teach the American people (and the Democratic party) a simple lesson:  don’t believe the hype.


United Stupidity of America

August 30, 2010

“The trouble with people is not that they don’t know, but that they know so much that ain’t so.”
–Josh Billings

Such is the sad state of intelligence in the USA these days. When opinions masquerade as facts, and facts are seen as inconvenient truths, we have the basis for the existence of the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

How else can one explain Glenn Beck’s rally in DC this weekend drawing hundreds of thousands of people? Beck appeals to the notion that America has become a Godless country, and that’s why we have the problems we have today. This is just another instance of what Timothy Egan of the New York Times refers to as “Building A Nation Of Know-Nothings”. I call it the “American Revolution Part 2: The United Stupidity of America.”

This is a revolution of stupidity, in which many of my fellow citizens swallow whole lies and digest them as facts, then turn all this toxic brain food into nourishment for hatred, bigotry, and the breeding of more lies.

“Death Panels”

“Obama wasn’t born in America”

“Tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% will create jobs and expand the economy”

“Park 51 is a mosque”

“Pat Tilman died from friendly fire”

“Saddam Hussein has WMD”

“Mission Accomplished”

“Obama gave us TARP”

“Sex-Ed in schools is responsible for the rise in teen pregnancies”

“Global warming is a hoax”

“God hates fags”

“Obama is a Muslim”

“Redistribution of wealth”

“Obama is a Socialist/Fascist/Marxist/Nazi/Kenyan Terrorist”

Lies, lies, lies! And yet there are otherwise highly intelligent people who believe  these lies because it makes them feel better about their ignorance and personal bias.

Sometimes I feel the only way to deal with it is to wear a t-shirt that reads “I’m with stupid”. The arrows would point in all directions.

Build the “Ground Zero Mosque” NOW!

August 17, 2010

I recently visited NY, and from the moment I stepped off the plane I was bombarded with messages against the building of the GOP’s latest smear tactic: the “Ground Zero Mosque”. This latest stunt by the party of “no” is perhaps their most obnoxious one yet.

The GZM is actually called “Park 51” (go to their web site here), and it is actually a “community center” that is actually located at 51 Park Place, in lower Manhattan. Unfortunately, it is also actually located  a couple of blocks away from Ground Zero, which is not actually designated as an official location. Ground Zero is a place deep within the soul of America, apparently just one block north of Intolerance Avenue, just east of Racism Road, between Patriotism Street and Perverted Politics Boulevard.

The arguments against building Park 51 are predictable: “building the GZM is an insult to all the Americans who died there”, “it’s like erecting a KKK museum near an MLK monument”, or “I don’t want to see Islamic spires looking down on me from a mosque built right on top of my son’s graveyard.” I cannot put myself in the shoes of someone who lost a family member or a friend in 9/11, but as an American I find this all to be the height of ignorance.

First of all, Park 51 is not a mosque. According to preliminary building plans it will not look like a mosque, but rather like a high rise building. It won’t have spires, and it will not blare calls to prayer throughout the neighborhood. It is a community arts and education center that will contain a mosque for prayer, but it will be “dedicated to pluralism, service, arts and culture, education and empowerment, appreciation for [New York] city and a deep respect for our planet.”

Secondly, Islam did not attack us on 9/11–al Qaeda did. There is a huge difference. That would be like condemning all of Christianity for what the KKK did to African Americans, or like lumping in all of Germany for what the Nazis did to the Jews. al Qaeda hijacked the religion of Islam just like they hijacked the four planes that crashed that day, and Islam has paid a steep price ever since.

And in the third place, Islam is just as much a central component of the 9/11 tragedy as are all the deaths and destruction that occurred at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and that quiet field in Pennsylvania. Islam has born the brunt of a lot of backlash that should have been aimed at al Qaeda and their sympathizers. Islam’s true nature was smeared in the eyes of the world when the terrorists cited Allah as their motivation. Islam has suffered like everyone else.

So I find it not only fitting, but crucial, that Park 51 be built where it is proposed to be built. We need understanding, we need healing, and we need to confront our fears and bigotry head on so we can learn something. Park 51 must be built as a monument to education, integration, acceptance, and tolerance. It needs to rise so that America can say to the world: “we are not ignorant.” What better way to right one of the wrongs from that fateful day than to say that Islam was attacked too, and here is a progressive and positive way to heal ourselves with education and honesty?

It’s bad enough that Park 51 is called the Ground Zero Mosque. It is neither a mosque nor is it at Ground Zero. But the GOP has cherry picked this issue to divide the country because it plays into their core constituents’ fears and ignorance. Islam is part of the tragedy of 9/11, and it should be memorialized with education.

“Ground Zero” is a hallowed place for sure. The tragedy that occurred there will be remembered forever. So let’s not forget that part of the loss is the loss of freedom many Muslims have suffered to practice openly and live honestly. They can’t even open a community center just because it is within walking distance to a 9/11 memorial. It’s okay to open strip clubs and liquor stores nearby, and never mind that the devils of Wall Street are all around the neighborhood, but an Islamic community center? Well, that’s just so un-American isn’t it?

Build Park 51 NOW!

Same Shit, Different General

June 24, 2010

General McChrystal is out. General Patraeus is in. And a general state of malaise continues.

President Obama made a shrewd political calculation that in picking General Patraeus to run the war in Afghanistan, he has given himself plenty of cover in rightly accepting General McChrystal’s resignation on the grounds of gross  insubordination. Patraeus is the darling of the Hawks in Congress, who will confirm his nomination quickly. The prevailing thought is that if Patraeus can’t win this war, nobody can.

And that’s the political “out” that Obama needs. I was enormously disappointed that the President caved in and decided to apply the surge strategy in Afghanistan, with a pull-out target of mid-2011. If we haven’t “won” (whatever that means) in 9 years, why should one more year make a difference? It won’t.

So now we have a new General, and the clock is ticking on getting out next year. By then, how many more US and coalition soldiers lives’ will be lost? How much more money will be wasted? How much more violence and corruption will the Afghan citizens endure? How much more political division will continue to crush the American spirit? And how exactly will this counter-insurgency strategy prevent terrorists from attacking us?

We will find out soon enough, but we will not like the answers to those questions. We must get out of Afghanistan as soon as we can, and go on the defensive. We need to put the lives, resources, and money allocated to the Afghanistan War to better use here at home. Protect the borders and the shipping ports. Spend more energy keeping our enemies out of our country because they want to fight this war on our turf, not theirs. Al Qaeda doesn’t care how many Afghans get killed or continue to live in the 12th century, as long as our attention is diverted to that blighted land.

The Christmas Day/Underwear bomber and the Times Square bomber didn’t come from Afghanistan, and they almost wreaked havoc IN AMERICA. The real war is here, not “over there”.  Please President Obama, end the war in Afghanistan and bring home the troops. Defense is the right offense in the war against terrorism.

The Speech Obama Didn’t Give Last Night

June 16, 2010

About a week ago I got a call from President Obama’s Senior Advisor David Axelrod, asking me to write a speech about the BP oil disaster. “The President needs to find a way to quiet his critics, re-assure the people that we’re taking care of the situation, and motivate Congress to pass a comprehensive energy bill”, he said. “And we’ve got 15 minutes of air time from the Oval Office next Tuesday night. Give us something with a little meat on the bones.” So I got busy immediately, sent a draft to Axe, made a few revisions, and sent in my freelancer invoice which was promptly paid.

So imagine my surprise when I watched the President on TV last night delivering a very watered-down version of what I had written. I guess that’s what happens when Rahm shuts off the tele-prompter. In case you were wondering why the President decided to go “off message”, here’s the original text of the speech I had written for him:

Good evening. I apologize for preempting Game 6 of the NBA Finals, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

As we speak, our nation faces a multitude of challenges. At home, our top priority is to recover and rebuild from a recession that has touched the lives of nearly every American. Abroad, our brave men and women in uniform are taking the fight to al-Qaida wherever it exists. It’s all still W’s fault, but we’re doing the best we can.

And tonight, I’ve returned from a trip to the Gulf Coast to speak with you about the battle we’re waging against an oil spill that is assaulting our shores and our citizens, and ruining the summer vacations of top oil executives across the globe.

On April 20, an explosion ripped through BP Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about 40 miles off the coast of Louisiana. Is it any coincidence that this happened on “4/20”? Maybe the rig bosses looked the other way while all the workers took extended Scooby-snack breaks. Maybe not. Regardless, this is a tragedy of epic proportions.

Because there’s never been a leak this size at this depth, stopping it has tested the limits of corporate PR professionals. That’s why, just after the rig sank, I assembled a team of our nation’s best scientists and engineers to tackle this challenge, a team led by Dr. Steven Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist and our nation’s secretary of energy. The only thing we left out was a pair of scissors to cut through all the red tape, but that’s neither here nor there.

As a result of these efforts, we’ve directed BP to mobilize additional equipment and technology. And as usual they are thumbing their noses at us.

Already, this oil spill is the worst disaster America has ever faced since the election of W in 2000. And unlike an earthquake or a hurricane, or Dick Cheney, it’s not a single event that does its damage in a matter of minutes or days.

But make no mistake: We will fight about this spill in the Federal government for as long it takes to win in the public opinion polls. We will make BP pay for the damage their company has caused, unless they just go belly-up and walk away from it completely.

Tonight, I’d like to lay out for you what our battle plan is going forward: what we’re doing to clean up the oil, what we’re doing to help our neighbors in the Gulf and what we’re doing to make sure that people forget about this tragedy as quickly as possible before the 2012 election season.

First, the cleanup.

From the very beginning of this crisis, the Federal government has been recovering from the exhaustive in-fighting over the healthcare reform battle, and many members of Congress have been left politically impotent. I put Admiral Thad Allen in charge so we could show another military face on TV. People always feel better when there’s a military person in charge, so I called Thad. He’s about to retire anyway, and he could care less about how this all turns out.

Thousands of ships and other vessels are responding in the Gulf, and thousands of political pundits are broadcasting from the oil-soaked beaches to drive their ratings up. And I’ve authorized the deployment of over 17,000 National Guard members along the coast to shut them down. These servicemen and women are ready to help stop the criticisms of how we are handling this crisis, and I urge the governors in the affected states to activate these troops as soon as possible.

Because of our efforts, millions of gallons of oil have already been removed from the water through burning, skimming and other comparatively worthless methods. Over 5.5 million feet of boom has been laid across the water to make it appear as if we are stopping the approaching oil. Perception is reality. And reality is definitely a bitch right now!

As the cleanup continues, we will offer to make any appearances and photo-ops that our coastal states may need to feel like something is actually getting done.

Now, a mobilization of this speed and magnitude will never be perfect, and new challenges will always arise. John McCain will surely be up my rear-end about how he would have handled this differently. Doesn’t anyone remember all his “drill-baby-drill” crap? Michelle Bachman is bound to say something stupid and Rush Limbaugh will promote it. And even Keith Olbermann will get in my face too. I can’t win no matter what, so eff them all. I gotta do what I gotta do.

But we have to recognize that, despite our best efforts, oil has already caused damage to my legacy. And sadly, no matter how effective my response is, there will be more criticism and more damage before this siege is done.

That’s why the second thing we’re focused on is the recovery and restoration of the Gulf Coast.

You know, for generations, men and women who call this region home have hated folks like me. Educated African-Americans are not appreciated below the Mason-Dixon line, but now they’re all looking at me like “please come down here and help us! we need you Barack!” And I’m like, “Oh really? I thought you wanted less government intervention? I thought you all said I was a Communist Nazi Fascist from Kenya? How do you like me now?” Please!

I’ve talked to owners of shops and hotels who wonder when the tourists might start coming back. The sadness and the anger they feel is not just about the money they’ve lost; well, yeah, I guess it is about the money they’ve lost.

Tomorrow, I will meet with the chairman of BP and inform him that he is to set aside whatever resources are required to compensate the workers and business owners who have been harmed as a result of his company’s recklessness. We’re going to have a beer with Joe Biden just like when we met with Dr. Gates and that racist cop from Massachusetts. Except this time me and Joe are really going to be secretly downing Coors Cutter while Tony Hayward gets tanked. Then I’ll call in the secret service to kick his ass.

But this escrow fund will not be controlled by BP. In order to ensure that all legitimate claims are paid out in a fair and timely manner, the account must and will be administered by an independent third party. So we’ve tapped all the best financial minds from Wall Street to devise a few “investment strategies” that will increase the funds “overnight”. I might as well tap into the brain power of those unregulated crooks before we actually get some new laws passed.

Beyond compensating the people of the Gulf in the short term, it’s also clear we need a long-term plan to restore the unique beauty and bounty of this region. The oil spill represents just the latest blow to a place that’s already suffered multiple economic disasters and decades of political corruption that has led to disappearing wetlands and habitats from the criminal activity of an unregulated oil industry.

And the region still hasn’t recovered from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Anyone remember those hurricanes? Remember–those were W’s fault too.

Earlier, I asked Ray Mabus, the secretary of the Navy, who’s also a former governor of Mississippi and a son of the Gulf Coast, to develop a long-term Gulf Coast Restoration Plan as soon as possible. The plan will be designed by states, local communities, tribes, fishermen, businesses, conservationists and other Gulf residents. And BP will find some way NOT to pay for the impact this spill has had on the region. With all those competing interests trying to work together, the big-oil guys are sure to slip out the back door and lawyer-up.

The third part of our response plan is the steps we’re taking to ensure that a disaster like this does not happen again.

A few months ago, I approved a proposal to consider new, limited offshore drilling under the assurance that it would be absolutely safe, that the proper technology would be in place and the necessary precautions would be taken. Holy cow–talk about bad timing! No way I can embrace that idea now, so I’m about to backpedal like Michael Jackson doing the moonwalk at the MTV Video Music Awards!

I’ve established another national commission to understand the causes of this disaster and offer recommendations on what additional safety and environmental standards we need to put in place. That’s not going to stop the critics from calling me “too wonk-ish”, but it will buy me some time. Hey, it’s better than me getting out there and saying “mission accomplished”, right? At least I am being honest.

Now, one place we’ve already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service. We’ve slashed their “cocaine-and-whores” budgets by 50%, so they need to wake up and realize that the party is over. And I am not talking about the Democratic party!

One of the lessons we’ve learned from this spill is that we need better regulations, better safety standards and better enforcement when it comes to offshore drilling. But a larger lesson is that, no matter how much we improve our regulation of the industry, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell will do everything in their power to stand in the way.

For decades, we have known the days of cheap and easily accessible oil were numbered. For decades, we’ve talked and talked about the need to end America’s centurylong addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we drove bigger cars and trucks like Hummers and Escalades and F-150s. Republicans called it “patriotic”, and Americans embraced it.

Time and again, the path forward has been blocked, not only by oil industry lobbyists, but also by FOX News.

The consequences of our inaction are now in plain sight. Countries like China are investing in clean-energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America. And each day China owns more of us. In fact, Michelle just finished boxing up all the furniture in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House and Fed Ex-ed it all to Beijing. It’s getting serious folks.

We cannot consign our children to this future. The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean-energy future is now. Now is the moment for this generation to embark on a national mission to unleash America’s innovation and seize control of our own destiny. I mean, those kids are all unemployed now because of the economy, so they should get down to the gulf and pick up an oil-soaked bird and start scrubbing. And while they’re at it, they better be thinking of how to build a corn-powered car, because gasoline is gonna be $18 per gallon in a few more years.

This is not some distant vision for America. The transition away from fossil fuels is going to take some time. But over the last year- and-a-half, we’ve already taken unprecedented action to jump-start the clean-energy industry.

As we speak, scientists and researchers are discovering clean-energy technologies that someday will lead to entire new political in-fighting by Congressmen and Congresswomen who had their pockets lined by oil companies that refuse to let go of their stranglehold on the world. Good luck with that.

You know, when I was a candidate for this office, I never thought this job was going to suck as bad as it does right now. So I laid out a set of principles that I thought would be a layup for a Democratic majority to get accomplished. But I didn’t count on deadbeats like Joe Lieberman to screw things up, and now all the spotlight is on me. Let me be clear: I didn’t blow up the Deepwater oil rig. Joe Lieberman did.

So I am happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party — as long as the meetings can be televised like when I took all those Republicans to the woodshed on healthcare. No one’s gonna show me up on TV.

But the one approach I will not accept is inaction. The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is too big to fail. We took care of that idea when we gave out the TARP funds, so my guess is that if we throw enough money at the problem, then something will work out. Even if we don’t yet know precisely how we’re going to get there. We know we’ll get there. And if we don’t, then it’ll be the next President’s problem.

It is a faith in the future that sustains us as a people. It is that same faith that sustains our neighbors in the Gulf right now. And speaking of faith, it’s time for me to throw a Hail-Mary pass and end this show on a note about the one thing that all Americans agree on: religion.

So please join me in prayer that someone will figure out a way to clean up this mess that BP caused. Pray that we can stop the leak. Pray that we can restore the ecosystem. Pray that we can all come together to get through this crisis. And while we’re at it, let’s throw in a little prayer that Kobe has a big game tonight against the Celtics and takes this series to a game 7. I really need to unwind and there’s no way I’ll be able to slip past the press pool to watch game 6 tonight.

Thank you, God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Maybe Obama Should Kick Boehner’s Ass (it’s good to be back!)

June 10, 2010

Not that anyone noticed, but this blog has been on hiatus since April 28 since the writer (me in the 3rd person) has been too busy making a living at his real job. But that’s not to say I have had my head in the sand all that time, except for a week in Boca Raton when I literally had my head in the sand on those beautiful, un-BP-tarnished beaches. I’ve been following the news, and letting my mind wander back and forth across the political spectrum, trying to suss-out what the hell all those mopes in DC are up to. Or in the case of this Congress, what they are NOT up to.

So much has happened with the horrific BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. So much, except coming up with any solutions for stopping the leak, or keeping the ecosystem from being completely destroyed. Most of what has happened has been the ramping up of playing the blame game. BP blames themselves for the oil well exploding, but they also blame Transocean for not building the well correctly in the first place. Transocean is implicitly blaming the Federal Government because the rig was built under the lack of regulatory oversight that would have demanded a relief well to be dug initially, albeit for twice the cost.

The Democrats are blaming W, because the oil industry was de-regulated “under his watch”. And the GOP is blaming Obama, even going so far as to shamefully call it “Obama’s Katrina”, because “he isn’t getting pissed off enough”. They want more political theater from him, or as Pat Buchanan calls it, “leadership”. If angry = leadership, then happy = lack of leadership. Maybe that’s why W always had a goofy smile on his face.

This whole notion that Obama needs to get angry so that the people think he is doing something is ridiculous. Nevertheless, he was goaded into saying that he wanted to know who’s ass he should kick by Matt Lauer on the Today Show. How silly, and what a waste of political energy.

But then along comes my favorite political jerk, John Boehner (R-Ohio). Today, while pivoting back to the economy, he said “I think it’s time for Democrats here on Capitol Hill to start listening to the American people. They want spending cut and they want it cut now. And I’m wondering, why isn’t the president looking for someone’s ‘ass to kick’ on this subject?”

Okay Johnny, let’s start with you. As one of the leaders of the party of NO, why don’t you start by telling us what you’d like to cut. Since Republicans come with aversions to raising taxes as a factory-installed operating feature, please tell me what you’d like to cut.

Entitlements like Social Security, Medicaid, or Veterans’ benefits? Try it and your career is over. Maybe we should cut education so America can slip further into stupidity and let China and India eat us for lunch. Let’s cut infrastructure so more bridges can collapse in Minnesota. Let’s cut defense in the middle of two ill-conceived wars. Let’s cut the homeland security budget so that Times Square can get blown up by illegal immigrants coming in from Mexico (we’ll call that one a two-fer). Can we repeal TARP and let all the big banks fail so we can actually slide into the economic depression the bailouts prevented? No? Well we can’t cut healthcare because the reform hasn’t really started to kick in yet, but go ahead and try that one out before the November mid-terms. See how that position benefits your party. Will your party’s candidates have the balls to run on that platform? I doubt it.

So then tell me John Boehner, what would you like to cut? If it were up to me, I’d start by completely cutting the salaries of all the do-nothing politicians who have contributed nothing towards developing a solution for any of the myriad disastrous problems this country faces right now. And the first one on my list would be you, Boehner.

For POTUS: Carl “Shitty” Levin

April 28, 2010

C-SPAN: telling it like it is.

Carl: feeling shitty.

Ed Schultz Sits In On Voting Mad

April 21, 2010

Since I’ve been way too busy to blog lately, I have elicited the help of one of my favorite talk show hosts, Ed Schultz. Enjoy this clip from Ed, and I’ll be back as soon as I can!

Open Forum: What Does The Tea Party Want?

April 16, 2010

Love ’em or hate ’em, The Tea Party is now a legitimate political movement. With the ability to influence politicians and shape the Republican/Conservative dialog, The Tea Party has a voice that is too loud to be ignored. But what exactly are they saying with that amped-up voice of theirs?

Sure, I could profile them based on my purely anecdotal observations: they hate big government, taxes, abortions, and federal spending. They love guns, Sarah Palin, the sovereignty of states’ rights, American isolationism, and guns. Their positions scare many liberals, and they motivate conservatives.

But I don’t know any Tea Partiers personally, so perhaps I am missing something? I just want to know exactly what they see as the American way of life? What would they do if they ran the country? What would they change, and what would stay the same?

If you are a Tea Party member, supporter, or if you know someone who is please direct them to this blog, I just want an answer to this simple question: What does the Tea Party Want?

All comments will be posted without moderation, in an attempt to open up an honest dialog between the Tea Party and their detractors.

The Semantics Of Orrin Hatch

April 5, 2010

In yesterday’s Chicago Tribune there was an opinion piece written by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), with retired Reagan Attorney General Ed Meese, and Northwestern University Law Professor Steven Calabresi (read it here). It was the title “Forcing Americans To Buy What They Don’t Want” that caught my eye, and what followed was a stream of misleading boilerplate text that I’ve heard over and over from the GOP regarding the healthcare reform bill that is now law today.

I am just a regular guy, so far be it from me to take on such accomplished men as Senator Hatch, Mr. Meese, and Professor Calabresi, but I know BS when I smell it. So here goes.

First the title of the piece. Senator Hatch and his Hatchmen posit that Americans are being forced to buy health insurance, and this is something we supposedly do not want. Or perhaps they are trying to intimate that we are being forced to buy government health insurance? I can’t seem to figure out any other possible meaning of the title, and either explanation is a lie. Americans want health insurance, they want the security of knowing that if they pay for it they can’t be dropped when they get sick, and they want to be able to buy it if they were sick once before. The only thing Americans are being forced to do is insure that their bills will be paid so the rest of us don’t pick up the tab in increased premiums and higher taxes. Otherwise, it sounds like Hatch wants to return to being a welfare state where we pay for those who can’t or won’t pay for themselves.

The article opens up with some pithy statements about “playing fair”, and “ends not justifying means” in order to assert that the Democrats passed this law while ignoring the procedural rules of Congress. Really? If that were the case then the GOP’s lawyers would have already succeeded in overturning it. The fact is that Democrats used all the rules that were available to them, and Hatch doesn’t like it because he and his party couldn’t stop it. They got beat fair-and-square and now they are calling foul. That sounds like a case of being a sore loser over “how the legislative game is played”, as he puts it. Game over. You lost. Deal with it like a grownup.

But Hatch saves his best canned party lines for the end when he says “In 220 years, Congress has never required Americans to purchase a particular good or service”, and he specifically cites the “liberal” pivot of comparing this to being mandated to purchase auto insurance. Hatch has the nerve to say that purchasing auto insurance is okay because it is a state mandate, and not a federal mandate. C’mon Senator–you’re either for mandates or against mandates. A state mandate can’t be good when a federal mandate is bad; those are just semantics.

Just because the Fed has never mandated the purchase of health insurance before, that doesn’t make it a bad idea right now. Senator Hatch’s argument sounds like an argument against evolving, against learning, against growing up and facing our responsibilities together as a nation. Why, that sounds like an argument against patriotism, and e pluribus unum, and “one nation under God”! It’s an argument against the United States of America!!!

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get semantical on you.