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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It's Hard

I encourage my readers to read Thomas Friedman in the New York Times today. For the first several paragraphs he lists the complicated and hard realities of the Middle East. The challenges we face in engagement with that part of the world are increasingly mired in deceipt, bigotry, hatred, wealth, poverty, friends, enemies, historic inconsistencies and yes, nuance. As President Obama makes the first attempt by a modern President to really understand it all before jumping to war, we ought to rally behind his sense of being sensible. For politicians running for President and current members of the Congress saying such irresponsible things from ignore Libya, to bomb the heck out of Ghadaffi, it is good to have someone reasonable and thoughtful attempting to figure it all out first. John McCain and Dennis Kucinich could be cavalier about American blood and Constitutional mis interpretation, but thankfully the President is a lot smarter than they are. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Trumping of America

I bet all the President's opposing Republican candidates wrote their NO speeches before the President even delivered his and that is the usual fare for this crop of embarrassments. Particularly scary is the new birther, Donald Trump who needs publicity more than air. Today he irresponsibly connected Libyan rebels to Iran. No proof, just said it. Soon the new word in the lexicon for those who hate the President at all costs, who put ego before country and who care more about the Iowa voter than the whole America they claim to love, will be known as Trumping. The list of outrage continues to grow..Good. We are much smarter than that. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Peoples' Focus

In class today, I tried to impress upon my AP students the importance of global interdependency. Their reaction, was reflective of the population at large. There is incredible difficulty connecting the importance of our trade relationships with China to our commitment to human rights. It is hard to explain how our commitment to fossil fuel drives our foreign policy while impacting our economy. Americans focus on pocket book issues. Guns vs. Butter. In the words of Jim Carville, "It's the economy stupid". Yes it is. The President doesn't want to be perceived right now as a man who cares more for Libyan Oil than he does American jobs. His enemies are piling this message on to the voters and as polls suggest, we are very weary of war and leary of the mission. And yet, I think the President has been crystal clear with Libya and hopefully he will do a good job tonight convincing others. The reality is that Americans are going back to work, the GDP is growing, there is stability in banking and some positive signs for manufacturing. Growth is slow and there remain economic issues unresolved, but if our focus is on the economy, we need to look around. Things are beginning to turn positive. Our focus may be selfish at times, after all we have bills to pay, but our greatness comes from our sense of right and wrong, our sense of humanity and our history of collaboration. There must be a balance between our place in the world, and our place at home. President Obama has a lot on his plate, but I think fair minded people will agree that his focus is the same as ours. The United States must be a partner in the future stability of the world for reasons essential to our economy and our morality. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Campaign 2012

The Republican party has officially kicked off the 2012 campaign. Its collection of candidates at this point are tea party focused, but their ability to raise money has been helped by the Supreme Court, the Kochs and some Governors. It is time for Obama's surrogates to get down and dirty. While the President is doing his job, we have seen candidates go abroad and criticize his efforts on foreign policy, a traditional no no. We have seen candidates flip flop on every Obama word, just to take the opposing point. We have heard candidates express the agenda of "one term President" without recognizing the President's shift toward compromise and conciliation. We have heard former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, that lying bastard, blast the President for being weak and too careful. We have heard gay bashing candidates seeking loudly the Iowan caucus voter. We have seen state laws denying a woman's right to choose. We hear a continuous drumbeat against health reform. It has been loud, obnoxious, inaccurate and pathetic. However, history shows this kind of mean spirited and delusional strategy works. We continue to get fear mongering. We have 50 percent of Repbulicans thinking our President is not from this country because facts don't matter to the ignorant or to the conservative media. It is time Mr. President, to campaign for your re-election in ernest. Your surrogates must be aggressive in calling out the liars. They must fill the editorial pages, accept interviews, hit all the Sunday shows. Dominate twitter, facebook and technology. The message must be strong, clear and loud. It is time to expose these despicable charlatans for what they are. Complete and total failures. Donald Trump is a buffoon with money. Sarah Palin is an idiot in nice clothes. Newt Gingrich is an adulterous, lying slob. Michelle Bachmann is the Manchurian Candidate and Mitt Romney is a used car salesman. Do we want one of these people as leader of the free world? Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Libya

The United States, under authorization by the United Nations, is with its coalition partners preventing a massacre of the Libyan people by Muammar Quadaffi. There will not be a land invasion by American troops and the goal is to have the Libyan people remove Quadaffi, which is our hope. We have installed a No fly zone and for a few more days will weaken Quadaffi forces. WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND? It's not. It's just politics. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spelling Bee

How do you spell Khadaffi? This is what I found today:

Khaddaffi
Khadaffi
Khadafi
Gaddaffi
Gadafi
Gadaffi
Quaddaffi
Quadafi
Quadaffi
Qadaffi
Qaddafi

I hope it's the same guy. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Multi -Tasking

So I guess our President can sign a trade agreement in South America, assist militarily with an international coalition, the Libyan rebels, send help to Japan, order a review of Nuclear plants in our country, prepare a budget and watch a basketball game all at the same time. Wow, a multi-tasking President. How comforting. Now, think of Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman, or Newt Gingrich doing those things. Let's see, Palin will need a map to find Libya, Bachman will need a history book to find out about our Revolution and Newt will need to find a new lie to spin about his past transgressions and hypocrisy, but not much else.

And, disgraced Representative Rangel from New York's Harlem district? We don't care what you think about Congress's role in Libya. Read Article 2. If you don't like the actions of our President because he didn't support you during your time of legitimate disgrace, then vote against funding the troops and vote against a declaration of War.

Look, I multi tasked today in my blog. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Unjust Criticism

It is not a surprise when your harshest critics pile on, but when more mainstream idealogues and loyal supporters do, it gives one pause. Today I have heard from all philosophical perspectives a dump on President Obama for picking March Madness winners, to slowness on a Libyan response, to hiding during the nuclear crisis to an absence of leadership on the budget and I say....Good. Good, because a patient, thoughtful, intelligent and reasonable President, not prone to overreact is better than a quick on the trigger, hasty and irrational President. Look what waiting has gotten us..an Egypt that is not only pursuing democracy, but has offered military support for Libyan rebels. Imagine that, an Arab nation pledging military support for a campaign. Imagine a U.N. that can decide something without the bully aggression of a United States, having just passed Action 1973 with international support against the dictator Gadaffi.
As far as Japan, we now have a legitimate call from our President about our safety from radiation because he listened to experts and made a responsible and clear judgement. Imagine, that, clear judgement during an awful situation. Congress is beginning to march toward some sort of budget compromise with Republicans actually turning away from the tea party. Imagine that, letting Congress do what the Constitution requires it to do..pass a budget. The President has set an agenda, now Congress needs to respond. Those Democrats complaining about the absence of Presidential leadership on the budget ought to stop whining and do their jobs. If they cannot beat back Republican opposition and get the people on their side, it is their fault. So, having Mr. Obama thinking before acting, reasoning before jumping and evaluating before deciding, is something we haven't had in a long time. And by the way, March madness rocks. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bit by Bit

Our Government is proving to be ever as incompetent as in the recent past. It really makes no difference which buffoons are in charge. Once again, we have a three week, incremental, bit by bit stop-gap measure being passed by Congress to keep the government operating through April 8th. I am currently teaching about the Budget and Economic Policy in my Advanced Placement class and it is no wonder the youth of our nation continues to be so turned off to the things that are so crucial to them in their lives. They simply do not understand how their country can shut down and furthermore how elected officials threaten to shut it down. Other than politics being a hateful blood sport with officials really having not one iota of concern for its citizens. It would be easy to do what is right. Divide the current difference between the two parties in half, and pass a budget. Instead, John McCain and his ilk call for spending cuts while encouraging the President to thrust us into another open ended expensive war in the Middle East. Speaker Boehner is lauding the budget from the state of Montana for its cuts in social programs as if this will be enough to impact the deficit. It certainly will not be and many people in need will be hurt. Tea Party nuts call for cuts without realizing the benefits they so dearly cherish are paid for by the Government...or didn't they know that? I guess Michelle Bachman knows and can alert them with factual information coming from her ass. Anyhow, putting people to work fixing our country might increase the tax revenues and be the best remedy to deficit control. Or, how about telling Americans that they need to pay into social security at levels higher than 106,000 in income? Or perhaps really putting forth a single payer health reform bill that would work and reduce cost? Doubt it. We just don't have the will or the right people to do it. Mr. President, don't forget "Executive Orders". Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan

The images are frightening, sad and incredibly poignant. The nuclear incident is concerning and the prospects for finding the missing are dimming quickly. And yet, watching these people line up for food, showing respect for each other and for property, not looting or rioting in any way is inspiring to watch. They are hurting physically and emotionally but they move on with dignity and hope. Lessons to be learned. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

I am actually Glad

I am actually glad that the Republicans in Wisconsin undid the rights of public workers in 30 minutes and here is why. Success in a democracy is measured over time, not moments. Governor Walker may have won the moment, but he has lost the future. At the next election cycle, he and his Republican colleagues will see what "We the People" really means. He has single handedly ignited a dormant aspect of the Democratic party electorate, Unions. He has united a restive public against his hypocrisy and his cozy relationships with Corporate big whigs. He has given Wisconsin back to the people. Not today, but certainly tomorrow. Those with heart and character out there, do not despair, the battle lines have been drawn, and the War ahead will be won by you. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hearings

One of Congress's important roles is oversight. This has become historically a political process but is still indeed important. As the party in power, you own the Chairmanships of various committees and therefore can schedule hearings on matters related to your committee purview. I am not sure which committee would handle my recommendation, but since we are targeting specific groups out of bigotry and hatred a la Mr. King's Muslim hearings, this is my target group....The bankers that gave bad loans and caused one of the worst recessions in history...the politicians who lied about health reform and still wish to put people on the street without insurance..the Governors who vilify teachers and other public workers...the credit card companies that still charge unaffordable interest rates...the politicians whose lack of intellect makes them a scary bunch, hurting our great nation...the writers of the tax code...the Koch Brothers whose ownership of politicians will put decent and honorable people on the street without jobs...George Bush for lying about the war, Dick Cheney for being Dick Cheney, Sarah Palin for existing...Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh for preaching hate, fear and racism...These are the people that we should be having hearings about. They have done more to harm this nation than any other group I can think of. Even Muslims Mr. King. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Peter King

Just as the nation's economy begins to show real signs of a recovery and just as the public seems to be telling the Republicans that it doesn't support the destruction of unions and their rights, the Republican party goes back to its favorite playbook...FEAR. Representative Peter King from Long Island, New York is heading up the anti terrorism committee in the House. He is investigating why Muslims aren't doing more to stop the extremists amongst them. He is promoting the campaign of fear against Muslims, coupled with the extremist wing of the Republican party continuing to lie about the President's own past. This is a pattern that we should be so familiar with. Give breaks to the wealthy at the expense of the shrinking middle class and the poor, tell us that teachers and public workers caused the deficit and scare us about terrorism. I thought George Bush was in retirement? I wonder if Mr. King will investigate Christians for allowing abortion doctor murders or Jews who deny a two state solution at all costs? Scare us some more Pete. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, March 4, 2011

You're fired

You're fired. That's what Governor Walker from Wisconsin told the Democratic Senators who were in Illinois about public employees. "Come back to work or I fire workers". What kind of man is this? Are the jobs needed or not? When making decisions to fire someone, as I have done many times in the past, the judgement should always be about the person and the job. Are they performing well? Is the job needed? Can someone else do it without losing productivity? These are the intelligent questions that the Governor needs to be asking. Instead, he uses people as pawns in his chess game intended to eliminate collective bargaining rights. He tells Democratic Senators that if you do not give me my vote, I will fire 1500 people beginning today.....just to get back at you. Who is he? A 7 year old in a sandbox? One should not play political chicken with peoples' lives, particularly when you have a position such as Governor. How dare he. The jobs are either needed or not and this is the appropriate debate to have. Never, should job elimination be done out of spite. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Utter Gaul.

While the Republicans continue to bloviate nonsense including comments like Huckabee's "mispeaking" about the President's Kenyan roots, or Governor Walker's hiding of the fact that public workers have agreed to givebacks that would take care of the budget woes in Wisconsin, we also have the ongoing budget debate. The bloviation continues. Governor Jan (beheaded people)Brewer of Arizona is sueing the Federal Government for not enforcing the borders. Immigrant bashing Republicans today announced that illegals are stealing the jobs of minorities and that our borders remain vulnerable. They claim the President has not protected us. So, what is in their next recommendation for cuts in the budget? That's right, border security. The utter gaul. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?