Thursday, August 20, 2009

Bipartisanship is dead! Long live bipartisanship!

Let's admit that there are not two parties in congress. There are three: Republicans, Democrats, and Blue Dogs.
I believe the president, using all his political skills, can craft a bipartisan healthcare package that satisfies both the blue dogs and the democrats.

There must be threats, of course. Not just carrots, but sticks. Fortunately, the congressfolks have excellent health insurance, so they can gain treatment to cure what bruises may come.

The Republicans? At this point, I think crafting a bill - any bill - that wins the support of a significant number of Republican senators or congressmembers would be a source of shame, not pride, for any reputable legislator. That Obama wants to craft bills that would garner Republican votes shows a lack of good judgment on his part. I hope he really doesn't hold up the progress of his administration for that vain pursuit.


Saturday, May 02, 2009

I know I don't have a lot of credibility when I say it's not a left-right thing, but violators of the constitution must be criminally prosecuted. Is it my fault that the Republican party - supposedly home to originalists who believe the constitution must comply exactly to the original intent of the founding fathers (back when the concept of a founding mother was anathema) - has not actually been constrained by the constitution for the past eight years?

So, yes, not only have I become the master of the run on sentence, but I also believe violating the constitution (modern meaning, please) is a criminal offense. It isn't debatable, interesting, a gray area. Sorry, boys, it's a crime.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Hey, it's a whinge about the Republican party. All secondhand, derived information from other, more interesting folks. Yet I post it all here, because I feel frustrated. Enjoy - or don't read.

After demonizing their opponents for so long, too much of the GOP leadership can't remember that there is a line of decency that can't be crossed even if it will win a few dozen votes.
Thus, VP Cheney feels it perfectly fine, while still wearing the mantle of the vice-presidency, to denigrate his successors to foreign governments and then tell the world emphatically that the new guy's an easy mark. Come and get him!
(Imagine the uproar in the GOP and the mainstream press if a Democrat had done anything remotely so unpatriotic. There'd be a public hanging.)

Thus, GOP leaders and pundits talk about the massive incompetency of the Obama presidency while he's in the midst of passing more and more sweeping legislation in his first 100 days than most presidents attempt in their first two years.

Thus, GOP senators put anonymous holds on top-level treasury appointees, then make fun of the administration for not staffing up instantly in a crisis.

Thus, the ambassador to North Korea, phenomenally well-qualified, appointed by Bush five years ago to accolades, is now too inexperienced to go to Iraq. Our effort is weakened because we can't confirm a talented ambassador, but at least the GOP thinks they've scored a few political points. Mission accomplished!

When I think of all the terribly incompetent appointees the Democratic congress confirmed in 2001 because a president should, after all, be able to get his people, I shudder. Obama was right that we need to be bi-partisan (or postpartisan) as a nation, but he's made a terrible game theory blunder.

I don't know alot about game theory (kind of like politics), but what I have read suggests this is a prisoner's dilemma situation (best outcomes for me, in order: 1) I defect, you cooperate 2) we both cooperate 3) we both defect 4) I cooperate, you defect.) The winning strategy for these types of sits is to do whatever the opponent cum partner did the last round. So, let's say the opponent - we'll call him "Rep" - defected, by say, impeaching the last Dem prez for lying about an affair. The proponent, Dem, shouldn't cooperate by confirming an attorney-general (at least two) who don't believe in the rule of law and civil liberties for US citizens.

That's old history. If Rep spent alot of time demonizing you and claiming your election would destroy the United States, don't expect trying to cooperate with him on a desperately needed bailout is going to get you to that #2 state where it's a win-win for both parties.

Nope. Accept that lose-lose is the best that's on offer. And force the other guy to cooperate first. Nothing else is going to work. With this GOP leadership, even that won't work until they feel there's absolutely no other choice for political survival. If the country's survival is jeopardized in the process, so much the better, evidently.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yes, we're all congratulating ourselves and each other for electing a black American president. Me too, I feel it, I'm part of it.

But, wait a second. Stand back for a minute.

How pathetic are we that electing a black man president of the United States is such a shock, such a dramatic sign of progress?

Boy oh boy, do we have a lot of catching up to do.

Monday, December 08, 2008

It starts to feel like time is running out. That sounds morbid, but it isn't. As parents, we too often feel we can put ourselves aside for the good of the children. It's exactly the wrong thing to do, which doesn't make anything else make any more sense. But the office would be better served by more, better employee selfishness as well. There's a balance of course.

There's a balance of course!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

After all the hullaballoo - Is he against Israel? Does he have mean, crusty Carter-era anti-semites as advisors? Is he a secret Muslim? - it turned out that 77% of Jews voted for Obama.

Wow, that's a lot you may say. The Jewish vote must have been rallying to the election of a minority to the presidency. No, you wouldn't say that. Hopefully you wouldn't say that, anyway.

See. Here's the thing. Kerry won 74% of the Jewish vote, or so I heard on the radio. Al Gore garnered 79%. Looks like the Jews were color-blind and voted pretty much as they always have.


Well, I know Jewish voters who have always voted democratic but didn't this time. They just didn't feel Obama was pro-Israel enough. I also heard my people, whether they be Shasu or Habiru archaeologically, showed signs of straying from their democratic roots, in this the multiplicity of their fruitfulness. Younger Jewish voters were more likely to vote McCain than their wise elders (who evidently decided better the reputed muslim than the known radical Christian Palin). We are probably the only subset of the nation's population to be trending in that direction this year.

What does it all mean? The dread time when the Democratic party can no longer rely on the Jewish vote is steadily approaching, masked by the Obama near-landslide.

It's fortunate, indeed, that Virginia and Colorado and North Carolina are looking like the possible swing-states of the future, leaving Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania behind.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Obama won. Obama Won! Obama Won

Nope. It doesn't matter what tricks of typography I try, it still feels anticlimactic.

Big tears. Life goes on

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