Saturday, March 27, 2010

This guy kicks ass

I love seeing a Democrat with a spine. I love everything there is about Alan Grayson..... here he is in action

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sarah Palin-- Domestic terrorist?

I think so. Check out the FBI's definition of domestic terrorism.

Domestic terrorism refers to activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States

Now check out the picture that she posted on her Facebook page


I get it that they're targeting certain seats and districts. That's politics. However the symbol she chose to means that she's targeting them in more ways than just electorally. In my opinion that's condoning violence against them. Sarah, I get it that in Alaska you like to shoot things. But here in the Real America, what you did is inciting violence.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

yes we did

and it was signed today.

the chants of "fired up ready to go" bring tears to my eyes. I hope that Democrats stay 'fired up ready to go' through November

Sunday, March 21, 2010

yes we can, yes we will, yes we did

Those were my words when I was driving home from Pennsylvania on Election night 2008. In fact it's the last status update I did on my Myspace profile. Well I am again crying tears of joy. For the first time in over a generation, healthcare reform has been passed. this

This bill is far from perfect, but thanks to the leadership of President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid, it was resurrected after the pundits called it dead after Scott Brown won MA. Tonight it is all but passed.

Remember that celebrating victory should be quick though. We still have a lot more work to do. Next thing we should focus on the Senate ending the antitrust exemption for the health insurance companies and to pass Alan Grayson's public option law.

The other thing that we have to do is work very hard to get the 220 Democrats who voted for this bill, including my representative Frank Pallone, re-elected in November. Yes we can!

stay klassy teabaggers

The United States is about to witness history. Sometime today or tonight, healthcare reform legislation will be voted on (and should pass) the House of Representatives. This legislation is not perfect but it’s a long time coming. While the support for the bill is increasing among Americans (especially when one takes apart the legislation and asks about specific provisions of the bill such as ending the horrible business practices of the insurance companies), the opposition is still vocal than ever.

I’ve written about the tea party, or teabaggers (a term they originally called themselves before realizing that the term comes from porn and means a vulgar sex act) as I’ve called them are still as loud and vocal than ever. This is both on the ground and in the media. I’ve long considered the teabagger movement as a racist one, as it started only after President Obama took office (they were not opposed to his predecessor spending like a drunken sailor in a whorehouse without paying for his spending.) Some of the things they’ve said about President Obama have been racist.

However this weekend when they marched on Washington, their racism and bigotry was even more vocal. They called Representative Barney Frank, the only openly gay congressman, a f****t (rhymes with maggot) and Representative John Lewis a n****r. They also spit on Representative Emanuel Cleaver.

I get that they are opposed to the legislation. I get that they’re exercising their right to protest. However, spitting on people and using racial and homophobic slurs is not the way to do it. Hopefully this will let the public know that the tea party movement is just the Ku Klux Klan version 2.0.

pass the damn bill

Healthcare reform has been debated in Congress for almost a year. Now we’re at the finish line—today the House is going to vote on the Senate’s bill (that cannot be changed due to GOP obstructionism). The House will vote on the bill, and later a reconciliation amendment that can pass the Senate with 51 votes and would correct some of the worst pieces in the Senate bill.
As I have said before, this legislation is far from perfect. However if you look at the history of healthcare reform legislation, it’s the furthest we’ve gotten in a century. This alone must be looked at as a victory.

This legislation has not been without controversy. It is not a government takeover as Faux News tells their sheep, I mean viewers, that it is. I WISH it was a government takeover because I believe that our problem with the healthcare system is the profits. Government can do things without skimming so much off the top like for-profit companies do.
Some of the better items that have been left out of the current legislation have been introduced as separate bills. Perhaps this legislation should have been introduced as separate pieces of legislation (ie ending preexisting conditions in one bill, etc) but it’s too late now.

To my representative, Frank Pallone, thank you for all your hard work that you have done on this bill (as the rally outside your office yesterday showed). To the Democrats still on the fence (I highly doubt any of them are reading my blog), just do the right thing and vote yes on this bill. IT’s far from perfect but it can be fixed down the line.

And there will be one added bonus should this legislation pass. Hatemonger Rush Limbaugh promised he would leave the country if this bill passes. That should be reason alone for the Democrats to pass the bill.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the tea party and the circus

for those of you who say that the tea party is a legitimate movement (which I think it is not) and that they're informed (which they are not), I invite you to watch this video. They all admitted that they watch Faux News, who has been on the forefront of misinforming the American public, especially since President Obama took office.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

a new way to look at the deficit

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about the federal deficit. Most people understand that as a country, we are in debt. But what many do not understand is how we got there. Everyone also understands that there are two parties that are in charge. So instead of trying to explain things the way that most do, I am going to pretend that it’s a household instead of a country. The two parties usually involved in a running a household are a husband and a wife (let’s assume this is a heterosexual couple running this household). I’m going to make one more assumption in this household—the couple has several marital problems and does not always get along.

Before the couple got married, each spouse had some savings. Instead of keeping their previous finances separate, they decided to combine them and use them to start their marriage. After a few months of marriage, he develops a few bad financial habits---he must have all the latest electronic toys and a develops a gambling addiction. Neither of these bad habits are paid for in cash. He eventually runs up credit card debt to feed his habits. The debt and interest payments are higher than she is comfortable with, and he continues to spend the money. For eight years, due to his habits, the couple spends more than they make.

So the wife decides she needs to take charge of the finances. Before she’s ready to do this, she consults financial counselors and family, and they agree that she should manage the finances. So she takes control. However, in the first few months of her control of the finances, there is a major spending issue that comes up that they cannot control. Her old gas guzzling SUV breaks down to the point it is not worth fixing. So she goes and buys a car, so she can get to work and therefore keep her job (and income). She makes the decision to buy a new hybrid vehicle. She justifies her purchase by looking at the long-term savings. She will no longer have to pay for frequent repairs and will save money at the pump (going from 12 to 50 MPG). Now that he all of a sudden pays attention to the household finances, he yells at her for buying a car. He claims she should be more fiscally responsible and either buy a clunker or take the bus and that she’s running up the household debt by buying the car. The price of her car is a drop in the bucket compared to the electronics and gambling that he spent the household money on.

Does this sound familiar? Let’s translate this to politics. The husband in this situation is the Republican Party. His financially irresponsible habits of gambling and electronic toys are the Party favorites of war and tax cuts. The responsible wife trying to clean up after him is the Democratic Party. Her purchasing a new car is the Democratic Party’s health care reform bill--- it spends money in the short term but corrects problems in the long term. The husband has very little credibility here on financial issues, as he blew the couple’s finances on gambling and electronics. So why is America even listening to him in this situation? Clearly the wife needs to get her message out more. And this is true for the Democratic Party.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Is the perfect the enemy of the good?

About a month ago, I attended a Progressive Democrats of America state conference. And I felt like the most conservative person (if one could imagine) in attendance. I agreed (and still do) with all of the issues that the organization stands for. However, I also consider myself a realist. Most people (even conservatives) would not disagree with me that healthcare reform has been one of the hottest issues of 2009 and into 2010, so that is the issue that I will focus on today. PDA endorses single-payer health care. I would like this too, but the realist in me does not see it happening anytime soon. The House was able to pass a public option, but a very watered down one that not everyone is eligible for. The Senate, held hostage by every Republican, and Democrats such as Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln, was not even able to pass a public option or an optional Medicare buy-in for Americans aged 55-64.

Health care reform is at the finish line and needs a final push. Because of the Republicans filibustering everything, the Senate bill cannot be changed at all. The House is (thankfully) more progressive than the Senate and rightfully has a problem with some of the measures in the Senate bill. However, President Obama’s plan is to pass the Senate bill through the House and later a reconciliation bill, which would only require 51 votes (instead of 60) in the Senate to pass, that would correct some of the biggest problems in the Senate bill.

There are a few Representatives that will not vote for the Senate bill to get healthcare reform over the finish line. Most notable is Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), my first choice in the 2008 Democratic Presidential primary. I admire the man for his guts and how he stands up to Corporate America. Kucinich is a single-payer guy who was one of the sponsors of HR 676, the single-payer bill in the House. He was one of the 39 Democrats who voted against the House bill in November. However, he was the only one of the 39 who did not come from a conservative district, identified as a blue dog, or is a freshman member of Congress. He voted against the bill because it did not go far enough. Today, he went on Ed Shultz’s MSNBC show saying he would do the same again.

I will agree with Dennis Kucinich and the rest of the progressives opposing the current healthcare reform bill that it is not perfect. It’s far from it. However this is a question I would like to ask all of the progressives opposing the bill. Is the perfect the enemy of the good? I think not. This bill is far from perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. If this bill passes, discrimination based on pre-existing conditions would end, insurance companies could not drop a customer if they get sick, and young adults would be able to remain on their parents’ plan until age 27. This is just part of what the bill would cover.
If healthcare reform is not passed, insurance companies will continue to raise rates by double digits as they have done recently. Someone with a pre-existing condition, no matter how minor, would be excluded, and more people will go without insurance and preventive care. This is the cost of doing nothing.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lessons from GOP obstructionism

On Friday, several Americans who have dealt with long-term unemployment learned that their unemployment benefits would run out on Monday (which was yesterday). They have one person to thank for what will be another wreck in their financial life--- baseball player turned Republican Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky. As a baseball fan, I respect the man as a baseball player because he had one hell of a career (although not in my lifetime). However he’s a nasty old man who needs to get the hell out of politics (and will when his term is up this year.) Maybe he’s bitter that he did not play baseball in the modern era, where players are multi-millionaires (his talent alone would have fetched him a hot contract). Such is life and here he is imposing his misery on the rest of the country.

I will be the first person to admit that I am no expert on Senate procedures. In fact a whole bunch of them make absolutely no sense to me and I’m seeing the consequences of them now. Two procedures in particular baffle me. The first is the filibuster. The procedure is clearly being abused by the Republicans (I’ll post a chart and accompanying blog entry depicting the number of filibusters over the years when I get my regular computer back up and running) to block President Obama and the Democratic Party’s agenda (290 bills have passed the House and are being held up in the Senate by obstructionism). The second is Senate Holds, where one Senator can hold up a bill or nominee. The latter is where I have a problem with Jim Bunning in particular.

Senator Bunning had reasons for holding up this spending bill—he was worried about the national debt. Like most members of his party, he only worries about the national debt when there’s a Democrat in office and the government money is being spent on the working class (as opposed to on war or tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans). His record indicates votes for the Bush tax cuts and all funding related to the Iraq war, both of which are going to be paid for by my generation and younger, not his generation. He obviously had no problem with Bush looting the treasury to give the money to the wealthiest Americans and his friends in the military industrial complex.

However Bunning is not alone in his obstructionism. Rather he is the latest of several Republican Senators to play politics with the safety and (in this case) financial security of the American people. The party is the party of no. The Democrats have been handed political gold from Senator Bunning and really have to use it in campaign ads this fall if they would like to hold onto Congress. It’s time for the Democrats to stop rolling over and playing dead every time a Republican (or 41) obstructs. Put the gloves on and time to fight back.

Monday, March 1, 2010

sticker I saw today

As I was driving through Long Branch, a municipality in my county that is predominately Democratic, I saw a disgusting sticker. It read “I love (heart) Gitmo.” Guantanamo Bay, more commonly known as Gitmo, is a detention camp owned by the United States located in Cuba. The Bush administration used it as a prison for foreign terror suspects and used “harsh interrogation techniques” such as waterboarding on detainees. Waterboarding is an act that stimulates drowning. Critics of waterboarding like myself believe it is torture. Most on the right, however, agree with the use of waterboarding. Right-wing radio host Eric “Mancow” Muller underwent waterboarding in May 2009. Previously the radio host did not believe that it was torture, however after undergoing the procedure he changed his mind.

Regardless of how one feels about whether or not waterboarding is torture, Gitmo is commonly associated with torture. Do you really want to drive around in a car with a sticker saying that you love torture? People are free to place whatever stickers they want to on their cars (I’ve seen plenty that I disagree with and I am sure several people disagree with the Democratic stickers on my car), but I just find it rather odd that you would advertise on your car that you love torture. Makes me wonder how this driver treats his/her friends and family.