Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
When the government takes a big chunk of taxpayer dollars and gives it to Boeing, the Boeing executives do not hand the government hundreds of fighter jets before they leave the capitol. Unless the GOP wants the government to act like a California or Florida home buyer and give nothing for something. That works real well until you eventually have to pay up and you don't have any money. The more responsible course, and the best course for the government to take is to pay for things up front. I think that the GOP senators raising this stink know that too, but they are wrapping themselves in a cynical, disingenuous blanket of lies so that their insurance/pharmaceutical lobbyist puppet masters can continue to fleece the American people.
If the health reform bill were to go into effect immediately, then they would be constantly rewriting the bill as it was supposed to be passed in August. Picking a start date in 2013 might not even be that far in the future once the bill actually passes if Senator Coburn keeps asking for a full reading of every amendment into the Senate record. Then we might not be done with the readings before 2014.
Oh yeah, and before I forget, these are the assholes of the week: Senator Coburn (OK) and Senator Lieberman (CT).
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
President Obama's ability to think things through may be the biggest hindrance to really nailing the bankers and their obscene bonuses to the wall. After all, how can he seriously denounce a practice that his own economic advisors have helped to create and reinforce during their years in the private sector? No, Obama does not really want to do anything about the bonuses but rather would like to appear, to the American public at least, that he is angry and that he is going to make them do something good for the country to make up for it. Good luck America.
What he really needs to do is follow the UK's example and say "fine, you want to give out big bonuses? Well, we'll take big taxes." The UK is likely to raise over a half a billion pounds by slapping a 50% tax on all discretionary bonuses over £25,000. One of the biggest arguments the banks are making right now to support their bonuses is that if they don't pay them, they'll lose their top talent. Well, with a measure like this all banks will have to reconsider doling out those big bonuses or risk paying dearly in new taxes. If they still want to give their top executives those hundred million dollar bonuses they can, but then the taxpayers (we the people) get a taste.
Friday, December 11, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
First of all, I want to thank CP for the opportunity to join this common cause. As a long time reader, I look forward to delivering hot and fresh rants while maintaining the tone well established by the blog. My political outlook is different, so I look forward to seeing where the rubber meets the road, the sparks fly and the metaphors mix.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Democracy is good and all, but there are times when democracies fall victim to the mistakes of blind majority rule. Such is the case with the recent Swiss referendum vote that prohibits the construction of minarets within the country. For those who don't know, minarets are "Minarets are generally tall spires with onion-shaped or conical crowns, usually either free standing or taller than any associated support structure"(wikipedia). Besides being tall spires, they are also typically found on mosques.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Karl Rove's brave expose on the Obama administration's use of the "Friday news dump" is laughable when you consider how the administration he lied and cheated for was no stranger to the practice of dropping bad news on a Friday afternoon or evening.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Frankly, seeing the insurance industry's reaction to the Baucus plan makes me think that the Baucus plan might actually be better than I initially thought. After all, if they don't like, then it must be doing something right. We need the principled members of Congress now more than ever to step forward, and stand up for a Single Payer system. And if opportunists like Senator Burris want to hop along on for the ride, great! But it's time to put the cards down on the table and see which Democrats want to be the ones to go down in Senate history for standing with the insurance companies, against the American people and President Obama, for a procedural filibuster against a Single Payer plan.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
That being said, Max Baucus is not only a corrupt coward, but a stupid corrupt coward because his actions today, or should I say inaction, that killed the public option in the health reform bill as it lurched its way through the Senate finance committee, will be the rallying call for Republicans in 2010 and 2012.
I think it was best enunciated during the Kerry v Bush battle of 2004. Why vote for Bush-lite when you can get the genuine article? By trying to appeal to conservative voters, democrats are throwing away their opportunity to show how they differ from their Republican rivals. If your campaign is based upon "hey look how conservative I can be while still calling myself a Democrat" your constituents are bound to say "well shit, why don't I just throw my hat in with the really conservative guy."
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Frankly, I am of the belief that matter how many more sons and daughters America and NATO decide to sacrifice in Afghanistan, there can never be "success" as I would define it, and I doubt that most people would consider what Mike Mullen is calling "success", truly successful. This brings us to the issue of what is success in Afghanistan, Iraq or Pakistan? What does it look like? Does anyone really believe that if we send another 100,000 or another 500,000 or even another 1,000,000 NATO soldiers to Afghanistan that it will transform the country into a Western style democracy where the biggest problems are which intern the President may have "not had sexual relations with"?
And if we are to have any trust in these generals, admirals and other military commanders, then they should say exactly how many more troops they need and for how long. Instead, we see them making their requests in a political framework, asking for 10-20,000 troops at a time. This is dishonest and erodes the public trust as well as prolongs these conflicts. It seems astonishing to me that all these military officials, who probably served during the Viet Nam war would still be unable to grasp the concept that America is not good at occupying other countries.
From the day American troops entered Afghanistan and Iraq it seemed to me that we were just beginning a countdown (or a countup of bodies) until the troops would have to be pulled out and the world would agree that the missions were giant failures and gross expenditures of lives and treasure.
If anyone believes that another 30,000 or even 300,000 troops in Afghanistan will truly achieve "success" then have I got some real nice shorefront property to sell you on Baffin Island.
Friday, August 28, 2009
For starters, there isn't really a Health Care debate. What there is, sadly, is a Health Insurance debate because the Democrats are too cowardly, the Republicans too crafty, and the American people too stupid to really fix this problem. What we need, first and foremost, is a single payer system for the entire country. Every legal resident of the country should be covered for any necessary medical procedures. Doctors should be reimbursed by a Government controlled agency funded by tax dollars.
No other system proposed would be able to fully cover the entire country as efficiently or as effectively as a single payer system. Today, dozens of insurance companies spend tons of money on redundant paperwork and advertising that would be unnecessary under a government run system. There would also be far less paperwork for the doctors and nurses who waste countless healthcare hours filling out forms to get approval to run tests.
The notion that people don't want the government to come between them and their doctors is ludicrous, not only because we are happy to let the government come between us and a fire, or between us and a criminal, but also because it seems to imply that there is no one between you and your doctor today. Wake up America, that's the insurance company. I would be surprised to find someone who did not have a first hand account, or a close family member with one, about how an insurance company prevented them from getting the treatments they needed without overly complicated paperwork and telephone calls.
As Dr. Dean said, there is virutally no one out there saying we should get rid of Medicare, so why is there so much opposition to expanding Medicare to all Americans? That is what a single payer system would be. It would be a form of Medicare or VA healthcare for all Americans in every hospital.
It is just such a sad thing to see so many people fooled and misinformed about the Health Care reforms facing the country. Sadder still that Senator Kennedy, who fought so long and so valiantly for a single payer health care system, did not manage to live to see it become a reality.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The next time you hear some blowhard say how there isn't enough money in the budget for health care, education or other programs that benefit society as a whole, just mention the F-22. Despite the administration's requests to cut the massive spending (we're talking many billions of dollars) Congress continues to try and slip in more purchases of the F-22 fighters to appease their corporate campaign donors. Enough is enough. Call your Congressmen and Senator's offices and demand that they not fund the F-22 and instead fund something that truly matters to the American public.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
For the past month, citizens of the Empire state have had to watch as their state senate ground to halt thanks to the bumbling power grab by State Senator Pedro Espada.
For those who haven't been following, Pedro Espada and girlfriend stabbing senator Hiram Monserrate departed from the Democrat caucus in the beginning of June and joined the Republicans reversing the 32-30 majority that the Democrats controlled. This led to the month long battle between the two parties and "accidental" Governor Paterson.
Thankfully it has since been resolved with both morons returning to the Democratic caucus and allowing legislation to resume, but not before jeopardizing the budgets of numerous municipalities as well as wasting New York state tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars in state senate salaries and expenses.
Now, the turn coat has been appointed Majority Leader of the party he abandoned. While I am glad that this impasse has been cleared it churns my stomach to think that this fool actually came out ahead in all of this. I hope that when his term is up, the good people of New York's 33rd district have the good sense to bump him out of there and replace him with someone who cares more about his constituents than about senate titles.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I hope that other countries will realize the folly in keeping drug use a criminal offense and begin to save on the tremendous amount of money and time that is wasted on waging "drug wars" against their own citizens.
Friday, June 26, 2009
Liz Peek demonstrates in her diatribe "Can the Climate Control Zealots In Congress Be Stopped?" Republicans and Conservatives in America are still acting as if we have a choice in the climate-change arena. As if we can just close our eyes, block our ears and put clothespins on our noses and everything will be ok.
What they all miss whenever they talk about how much all of these programs aimed at curtailing our use of fossil fuels, breaking our dependence on foreign oil, and creating jobs and whole industries for America is the hidden figure: what it will cost us if we do nothing.
You cannot fix this massive problem of climate change, energy overuse and America's crumbling industrial sector without a healthy infusion of spending and planning. We need for America to get back on her feet with innovative new industrial sectors that will create jobs, here in America. We also need to curtail the wasteful use of fuel in this country, that has stemmed from the relatively low prices Americans pay at the pump (compared to other industrialized nations).
To do this, we need to make sure there are provisions so that the most vulnerable among us will still be able to get to work and afford the necessities in spite of much needed raises in fuel prices. They can call these tax credits, to appease the Republicans, or they can call these fuel stipends or they can call them fairy godmother gas checks, so long as people at or below a certain level (probably 3-4 times the poverty level would suffice) can receive government money to cover the increase in prices at the pump and for groceries by taking part of the tax revenue generated through carbon caps.
Liz Peek and her friends at FoxNews have tried for years to feed Americans the same lie over and over again that climate change isn't real, or that it's not as bad as people say, or that it's inevitable. Hopefully Americans are waking up to the fact that it is real, it is here now, and unless we do something about it, we will pay a far bigger price that what President Obama has so far proposed.
If there is anything to criticize in this Energy Bill it is that it does not go far enough and that industry has already meddled too much in its formulation and drafting, to the point where it will not be as effective as a truly transformational energy bill should be, but I don't think Liz has any problem with that.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
How pathetic and small minded of a journalist do you have to be to ask such a stupid questions as to whether or not Iran officials will still be invited to July 4th parties? Well, thanks to Wolf Blitzer and Major Garrett we now know.
Even sadder than their wasting of precious question time with the President and a senior advisor we now have confirmation from the Associated Free Press that in fact, they have been disinvited.
For the past week I have been seeing death tolls related to bombing attacks in Iraq. Throughout all the hubbub being made over the Iranian election have we forgotten about that country with almost the same spelling to the west that we invaded? With all of the media reports a few months ago to the tune of "victory at hand" have we really started to believe it?
If so, this is what Victory looks like.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
If we summon the courage to look back at America's clandestine activities over the past century destabilizing and supplanting governments around the world (many of them democratically elected) I'm sure that at the time spokespeople said the same thing and pretended that the activities that were taking place in foreign capitals were organic movements with no help or direction from CIA agents and assets.
Sadly, violence in Iran is exactly what the CIA and the Western governments would love to see, and if it can look like angry students calling for democracy then all the better. Therefore it is completely understandable, while not pardonable, that the Iranian authorities would see the present demonstrations and protests as simply an arm of the American intelligence machine, seeking to destabilize their government in ways outlined by leaked memos over a year ago.
So while Ahmedinejad's government may be paranoid, that doesn't mean MI6 and the CIA aren't out to get him.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Of the many dangers listed that stem from computer usage, the ignorant author states "...lacerations from the sharp corners of a CPU...". Really? From the sharp corners of a CPU? Does the author, who could not be more appropriately named (her name is Tiffany), even know what a CPU is? For her information, the CPU is the Central Processing Unit, which is one of those tiny little components tucked into the motherboard and unlikely to lacerate someone unless they are taking the computer apart and then stabbing themselves, forcefully, with the processor. What she is referring to, of course, is the computer case. Sadly, the case is often mistakenly referred to as the "CPU" by people who think that's an abbreviation for "computer", or the "hard drive" by people who have learned over time that their hard drive is inside of the case.
Well done Tiffany, taking another courageous step away from disproving stereotypes about women and technology.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
There has been a lot of talk lately, of the Obama administration's conflict with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the issue of settle construction in the West Bank. The most irritating thing about this entire discussion is the ease with which the Obama administration could put an end to settlement construction if they really wanted to. It is cases like this that prove that America is not some independent arbitrator between the Israeli and Palestinian people. America has so much leverage over the Israeli government that it is blatantly disingenuous for an American President to ever claim that despite trying everything possible Israel will not relent on some issue, whether that issue is bombing civilians in the Gaza strip, or building illegal settlements in the West Bank.
In 2007 alone, America gave Israel more than two and a half billion (with 9 zeros) dollars, most of which was in the form of military aid. If President Obama really wants the settlement construction halted, all he would need to do is tell Mr. Netanyahu that America will not give another penny in military aid until the settlement construction stops completely. In fact, this tactic could be used, if the President truly wanted peace, to finally establish a two state solution to the Israeli debacle. The fact that no President has ever threatened to stop the copious amounts of American tax payer dollars that go to Israel, every single year, shows the lack of will in America for peace in the middle east.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
1. Technology has increased a great deal since 1994 so the cost savings associated with networked parking meters etc would have been realized by a city controlled parking infrastructure similarly to a private one.
2. The author does not list any of the rates from 1994 or the rates from today. More than likely it is this difference more than any other that accounts for the increased revenues.
3. What do these increased revenues mean for the small businesses that rely on customers driving to their stores? It's a little bit difficult to bring your desktop computer to a store for repairs on your bike.
4. Instead of just giving the readers a he said/she said between Stationnement de Montreal and the researchers, why not investigate and then tell us which figure (1.6 or 20 cents per dollar) is the correct (or closer to the correct) amount?
I must say I am slightly disappointed with this article as it is a subject that should be of more interest to people but the important questions are not asked, much less answered.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Certainly, without any doubt, the Conservative attack machine is always fueled up and ready to go, waiting with bated breath for a signal, or an order to come down the Rove/Limbaugh/Hannity bat-phone and announce who the day's target shall be. As it turned out yesterday, the target was Sonia Sotomayor, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals judge that President Obama has just nominated to replace Justice Souter upon his retirement. It was no surprise to see Karl Rove jump out in front and begin his typical attempt of labeling her "a liberal". Truth be told, I wouldn't even mind all this incessant labeling if it was even remotely accurate. The sad truth of the matter is that most of the people FoxNews and friends label as being "unabashed liberals" are really Liberals in the Phil Ochsian definition, meaning that they are unabashed moderates.
Consider this Supreme Court nominee and her history. While the one case that Sean Hannity harped on for half of his show on Tuesday focused on a decision to allow a fire department in Connecticut to choose to not promote anyone in favor of only promoting white firefighters, that's not that earth shattering of a decision since all she did was affirm the lower court's decision in the case.
You would think that if they really cared about Liberal vs. Conservative issues, they would be happy to have Sotomayor given her likely views on abortion, but that's not even what's at stake for the GOP. Better for them to attack her as a Liberal and have it established that yes, she is a Liberal, so that the next person they talk about will seem really liberal in the eyes of the public. The game they are playing is redrawing the lines and trying to move the "moderate" line to the right...and sadly, it's working.
Pundit after putrid pundit on the cable news programs use terms like "unabashed liberal," "out spoken liberal," and "established liberal" when discussing Judge Sotomayor and they go completely unchallenged by anyone out there. If she is those things, what does that make someone like Dennis Kucinich who is one of the only true Progressivs in Congress? And if she is so far the left as they claim, does that make Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), with his record of supporting torture and opposing voting rights initatives, a moderate? It is this kind of rightward shift in the public perception of our political battlefield that allowed John McCain to pretend to be a moderate republican. Truth of the matter is, moderate republicans like Jim Jeffords (Vermont) and Arlen Spector (Pennsylvania) have been forced out of the GOP and the ones that remain (Maine's Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins) may not last much longer.
Personally, I hope this whole nomination of Judge Sotomayor is Obama's Harriet Myers, albeit far more qualified. It's not that I don't think she'd be a fine Supreme Court Justice, but given the Bush appointments of Alito and Roberts, and the current makeup of the Senate, now seems like the perfect opportunity to seize the day and put on the bench a young, progressive, healthy justice who might break William O. Douglas' record for longest serving member of the Court.