Saturday, August 13, 2011

How Lazy Are Liberals?

Last week, a flood of outside money blunted what could have been a historic exercise of democracy in Wisconsin.  As it was, two GOP state senators were recalled, and that's a good thing.  But we needed to get three to block the wholesale assault on worker rights that's going on there.

So, time to give up and go home?  Whine about how we'll never be able to beat the billionaires?

Today, Texas governor Rick Perry announced his candidacy for President, and it was like déjà vu, all over again. Here was a smarmy Texas governor, spouting obvious platitudes and lies, knowing his billionaire backers would be running interference for him.  Here's a direct quote from his speech today:
"We cannot afford four more years of this rudderless leadership. Last week, that leadership failed, and the tax and spend and borrow agenda of this President led to the first ever downgrade of the credit rating of the United States of America."
Now for those of you not scoring at home, the recent credit downgrade of the US Treasury from AAA to AA+ came from Standard and Poor's, who explicitly laid blame  for the downgrade on the GOP, which can be read in their report [from page 4]:
"Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act."
I am not here to talk about the deficit, very few people are being honest about it anyway.  I only bring up this example of a hired hand (Perry) willing to lie, knowing vast amounts of cash and power will protect him.  In this post-Citizens United era, I guess it's game over, right?  We should all just give up?

In case you hadn't noticed yet, the conservatives never give up.  The Koch Brothers, and their father before them have been supporting right wing causes for decades.  I believe the election of Barack Obama was a great event, but it also created the illusion that the battle was over.  Obama had the ruby slippers, and all he needed to do was click them, and we'd all go home and be happy.

But, then came the 2010 elections.  When Obama didn't give us the magic flying sparkle pony that farts glitter, we got bored. We didn't show up to vote, and the teabaggers took over Congress.  Things were bad enough with the GOP minority in the Senate able to filibuster any meaningful legislation, now there would be none to block!

So, let's wrap this up.  I think nothing is more important than the re-election of Obama, and the defeat of the teabaggers, and the hopeful return of Congress.  So, the question is, is the game already over?  Is it too late? Will the propaganda machine win?

I don't think it has to end that way.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Treason Enough?

I know it's a harsh word, and perhaps a little too charged, but what is treason anyway?

Today, when the disappointing unemployment numbers came out,  an interviewer asked of Michele Bachmann:  “Does it strike you that as unemployment goes up, your chances of winning office also go up?”  Bachmann responded by saying: “Well that could be.  Again, I hope so.”

Perhaps treason is not the most accurate term for her acknowledgement that a bad economy will help her defeat Obama is 2012.  Disloyal? Unpatriotic? What do you think this means?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Shared Sacrifice

What a Dream I Had

Right now, the Democrats and the GOP have reached an impasse over how to solve the budget deficit.  In short, the GOP wants all savings to come from budget cuts, and none from taxes.  The Democrats are proposing about 17% of the savings to come from closing tax loopholes.

In past times, when this sort of thing has happened, compromises were reached, with roughly half of the savings coming from cuts and half from taxes.  But we are living in an age where compromise is a dirty word, and we need to find some middle ground.

What I'm trying to do is simply start a 'meme' here.  The politicians are waiting for the public to provide enough support to push the negotiations in one direction or another.  I believe that the Democrats (worst poker players ever!) are asking for too little, and we need to return to the classic 50-50 compromise.

How is this supposed to work?
I have no experience with politics or grassroots movements.  I've started a simple one-issue facebook page where all you have to do is click on the 'like' button.  I'm hoping that you will also click on the little facebook 'f' that's just below the title of this blog post.  If for some reason this resonates with enough people, we'll take the next step and share this info with the politicians.  I'm hoping some of you are better at this than I am, and have some good advice too!

Maybe this is a crazy idea, maybe not.  Either way, I don't expect this situation to last for long.  What do you think?

Hostage Negotiations

Negotiating With Terrorists

How does one negotiate with the GOP on the budget?  Using the analogy of the satyrical magazine cover to the left, (apologies to animal lovers, it's a joke!) the basic GOP position is:
If you don't shoot the dog, we'll shoot the dog!
If that seems hard to make sense out of, I think the basic idea is that if the Democrats don't go along with dismantling the government, the GOP will allow the budget default to happen, further weakening the government, hurting the economy, and hopefully, ensuring Obama loses in 2012!

It's a great plan, right?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

None Dare Call it Treason

Majority Leader Eric Cantor
Will They Get Away With This?

Something that has seemed obvious to me for quite a while is finally being publicly acknowledged by some Democrats. Yesterday, Democratic senators finally called out the GOP for being willing to hurt the economy, so that Obama will not be re-elected.  Today, Majority leader Eric Cantor dropped out of the budget talks until Democrats stop asking that billionaires pay their fair share of the taxes.  Purely and simply, it would seem the GOP is willing to let the economy collapse to insure that 2012 goes their way.

I think this is treasonous, and the GOP is essentially working for multinational corporate interests, and they don't care about this country.  There, I've said it.  If you agree, don't be quiet about this.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The line it is drawn

Harry Reid after vote.
The curse it is cast.

Today, before the Republicans in the Senate had a chance to wise up, Harry Reid held a vote on radical GOP congressman Paul Ryan's budget proposal, which includes the notorious plan to end Medicare as we know it.  While the bill was solidly defeated 57-40, if it were to be held a week from now, there would be even fewer Republican senators willing to take a stand.

After last night's historic special election in New York's 26th Congressional district, Reid quickly pushed to get GOP senators on record as supporting the GOP budget.  Now, if the Democrats have the resolve to stick to the message (even though they have a tendency to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory), they can spend the next year and a half reminding voters that Senator so-and-so voted to end Medicare.  There are only 10 GOP senators up for re-election in 2012, compared to 23 Democrats, so it would be a stretch to think the Republicans can be reduced to sub-filibuster levels, but in this era of unlimited anonymous election spending by right-wing billionaires, the Democrats need all the help they can get.

Speaking of Medicare, Bob Dylan turned 70 yesterday!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Passing on Wisdom

Biting My Tongue
Today I went to the California Academy of Sciences since I have the week off, and just before I left, after having a nice, overpriced lunch in their killer cafeteria, I went to visit the Foucault pendulum. I had just done a small pendulum lab in my physics class, and felt like just closing the circle, so to speak.

Not to be too technical, but what this pendulum proved, over 150 years ago, was that the earth truly was spinning on its axis in space.  The swinging ball would stay pointed toward some spot in space while the earth turned beneath it.  There's a sign on the side saying essentially just that.

So, there I am, kind of mesmerized, thinking of how I used to watch this same ball as kid, when some dad starts explaining it to a group of kids.  He talks about how some motor swings it back and forth, and how the earth's magnetic field makes the ball move in a circle!

I wanted to tell him he was wrong, that he was misinforming the kids, but I didn't.  I can be a real know-it-all jerk in situations like that, and just sort of suffered silently as he led his little group on to who-knows-what. It's a good thing that parents bring kids to a science museum, right? I'm not really sure what to say here, but I'm sure we've all passed along some sort of misinformation to the younger generation.  I know I have.  Still, I wish those kids could know just how cool this spinning ball was!