Alan Grayson’s New Congressional Ad

 Congress, Election, Politics  Comments Off on Alan Grayson’s New Congressional Ad
Sep 272010
 

Unfortunately Alan Grayson is not my representative in Congress, but I sure wish he was. I don’t have anything against Cathy Kastor, my current representative, except that she’s the typical milquetoast Democrat. Alan Grayson doesn’t mind speaking truth to power, and he calls out the talibangelist views of his tea bagger opponent in this ad. And this guy has tried to pass some of his extreme religious views into law in Tallahassee. Democrats should take note, this is how the game has to be played for now.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvB-mHXcWzg]

In fact, maybe Alan Grayson should become head of the Democratic Party.

Alan Grayson's New Congressional Ad

 Congress, Election, Politics  Comments Off on Alan Grayson's New Congressional Ad
Sep 272010
 

Unfortunately Alan Grayson is not my representative in Congress, but I sure wish he was. I don’t have anything against Cathy Kastor, my current representative, except that she’s the typical milquetoast Democrat. Alan Grayson doesn’t mind speaking truth to power, and he calls out the talibangelist views of his tea bagger opponent in this ad. And this guy has tried to pass some of his extreme religious views into law in Tallahassee. Democrats should take note, this is how the game has to be played for now.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvB-mHXcWzg]

In fact, maybe Alan Grayson should become head of the Democratic Party.

Healthcare: Government Bureaucrats or Insurance Company Executives

 Congress, Featured, Politics, Presidency  Comments Off on Healthcare: Government Bureaucrats or Insurance Company Executives
Mar 082009
 

Choose your poison.

I don’t know the final best answer to the healthcare crisis in this country, but I know it’s a mess, and it has to be fixed. Bill Clinton tried, but the Republicans were having none of it. Obama is now trying it, and again, the Republicans are doing all they can to protect the status quo. In fact, even some of the Democrats are bought and paid for by the health insurance companies.

I know one thing that is an absolute certainty. This problem will never be solved until the insurance companies and their influence are removed completely from the process. They have every reason to keep things exactly as they are, and nothing to add to the conversation. They are the ones primarily responsible for the mess we have now.

I have heard some really stupid people who keep complaining that they certainly don’t want the government and some bureaucrat to be responsible for their healthcare. Neither do I. I want my physician making those decisions. The problem is, these people, stand around and ignorantly spouting their Rush Limbaugh talking points have no clue what they are saying.

They make these comments to support Republican positions for keeping things as they are. So what they are saying is that they would prefer to have an insurance company executive and/or (if they’re lucky) some med tech or some other low cost healthcare person, making the decision about their healthcare.

I want everyone who holds such beliefs to think about this…the insurance companies, all of which are publically traded, have absolutely no obligation (none, nadda, zilch) to get you or keep you healthy. Their only legal obligation is to increase shareholder value, and they do that by paying for the least amount of care for you they can.

So, when you all are out there mumbling about our great healthcare, and how you don’t want a governmentbureaucrat involved, just know that you’ve placed your help in the hands of a company that is considered to be in the “financial sector” of the enconomy…and how’s that working for you right now?

Nov 102008
 

Last Tuesday night/Wednesday morning was certainly a bittersweet time. As I’ve said before, I’m not one of the millions of Obama-maniacs, but I was glad he won. I think America will soon be in far better hands than she is now. I was even more pleased to see a good number of hateful and bigoted Republicans kicked to curb, and their nasty campaign rhetoric repudiated. Obviously though, the passage of the three anti-marriage amendments was a great disappointment.

Obama's First Press Conference as President ElectThe Big Picture

Obama was clearly the winner, and it seems he did it with a tightly run and disciplined campaign. One of the heartening parts of his campaign was that it was funded to a record-breaking level by millions of smaller donations from everyday people. They relied on thousands of volunteers, and brought an untold number of new and younger people into the political system. And I don’t mean just newly registered voters, but more important, people who made an investment of themselves into the campaign. I think that is critical in trying to restore democracy to this country. However, it means those millions have a vested interest in his success. That cuts both ways. It means he should get support, but people will expect results.

Certainly both sides ran attack ads. That is to be expected, but I found Obama’s to be a lot fewer and a lot less nasty. The McCain just went out of their way to be disrespectful to Obama, and hateful in the messages they were putting out. I saw nothing but negative ads from the McCain campaign. At various times throughout the campaign, especially from the end of September during the economic collapse and through the election, McCain gave off a very real attitude of panic and foundering. It was clear that he and his campaign were struggling to find a voice. Obama seemed to remain calm, decisive and above it all…in short, he came off as more Presidential, and I think the voters perceived that.

What Was Different

I believe there was also something of a perfect storm of events and changes in the world that made this election different. Many of these were things the Republicans could not, or didn’t, account for. In the end, I think they make our democracy stronger.  Continue reading »

Election Roundup for 08-07-2008

 Congress, Corruption, Election, Politics  Comments Off on Election Roundup for 08-07-2008
Aug 072008
 

I thought I’d consider a single post to provide my observations on the election shenanigans.

McCain’s still getting pretty much a free pass from the media, but I hope it won’t last. He’s flip flopped on the Bush tax cuts, offshore drilling, campaign finance, immigration reform, the religious right, negative campaigning, torture, etc., etc., How is it possible for anyone to go on television and say that McCain is still the “maverick” of the 2000 election. Perhaps his adoring fans in the media are just having a tough time coming to grips with the fact that their old buddy is no longer recognizable.

Then there is a little issue with a Charlie Crist/John McCain campaign contributer/bundler. McClatchy is reporting:

Alice Rocchio is an office manager at the New York headquarters of the Hess Corp., drives a 1993 Chevy Cavalier and lives in an apartment in Queens, N.Y., with her husband, Pasquale, an Amtrak foreman.

Despite what appears to be a middle-class lifestyle, the couple has written $61,600 in checks to John McCain’s presidential campaign and the Republican National Committee, most of it within days of McCain’s decision to endorse offshore oil drilling.

A former FEC official said that it’s possible that the Rocchios had the means to make those hefty contributions – their first reported donations to a federal campaign. But the official, who declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter, said that their donations also could trigger a complaint or otherwise catch the eyes of the agency’s enforcement staff, tasked to ensure that companies or wealthy individuals don’t illegally circumvent contribution limits by using employees or other third parties as “conduits” for cash.

And it looks like there are some other questionable “donor’s” along with this couple. McCain’s been fast and loose with the election laws, but it looks like this story might get some legs. There are a lot of people involved.

The McCain campaign has managed to push around the Obama camp, and many Democrats are getting concerned. They believe Obama is not fighting back hard enough, and I tend to agree with that. The guy has ideas, but unfortunately, Presidential campaigns are no longer about ideas…they’re about mudslinging…and the Republicans have that down to an art.

Speaking of Good-Time Charlie Crist, Mr. “I’m a live and let live kinda guy,” is apparently still campaigning to be McCain’s running mate. He’s quickly gone from opposing off-shore drilling to being in favor of it, and he’s gone from taking no position on Florida’s Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment to being in favor of the amendment. As we’ve noted previously, despite his life-long status as a  bachelor, it appears he’s now also found a girl toy and gotten engaged (can you say Fag Hag?). I actually had some respect for the guy at one time, but that’s all blown away now.

I also find it interesting that a whole bunch of Republican Candidates in tight races are saying they just don’t have time to make it to the Republican Convention. They all seem to have scheduling conflicts. That’s completely understandable with such short notice given on the dates for the convention. (snark) It appears they’re not even sure if George and Dick will make an appearance. Of course McCain has an ad out now attacking Bush and saying that Washington is broken. I’m sure he’d prefer it if the current administration stayed home. I wonder if they’ve told him yet that they aren’t leaving office regardless?

Feb 262008
 

We have already held the primary here in Florida, but of course our vote didn’t count (more on that in another post). At the time John Edwards was still in the race, and I voted for him. I believe he was the most sincere candidate running, and he seemed to have the most radical ideas for change, and some radical change is needed. Of course you know he’s out now, and it’s down to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So who will I be voting for in the general question? Well frankly, I’m still debating who I hope gets there for the Democrats.

I don’t know if there was ever a time I would have voted for John McCain, but there was a time I could have probably lived with him as President. I have completely changed my mind about him. I think he’s been in Washington long enough to have become pretty much as corrupt as the rest of them. Despite his rants against the lobbying industry in Washington, he’s more connected to it than anyone. His complete support for The Bush/Cheney War and their attempts to circumvent the constitution makes him unsuitable to be President.

There was a hint today that Mitt Romney might “un-suspend” his campaign. While it’s obvious the religious wingnuts don’t like McCain, I hope the Republicans won’t reward this Ross Perot move (I’m in, I’m out, I’m in again.) Of course this has been typical of the Romney campaign. He’s changed his position on practically every issue since he played to liberals to get elected in Massachusetts. So his dishonesty makes Romney unsuitable (but a perfect Republican candidate).

Ralph Nader has said he plans to enter the race again. I’m sure there are a bunch of Republicans whispering in his ear to run, and I suspect they are lining up the appropriate funding for his campaign. Ralph Nader used to have my respect, but his feeble attempts at politics has diminished his legacy. I do believe his 2000 campaign helped King George ascend to the throne. Nader hasn’t even been an active consumer advocate for the past years. He brings nothing to the table. Mervin Malone at ARIA Blog has a great post examining Nader’s motivation.

So, that leaves the choice between Hillary and Barack. I have to admit up front that I can’t imagine not voting Democratic, but I am waffling between these two. I think they started off pretty strong, but have both fallen into the trap of attack politics.

I think Hillary does have more experience/exposure. She would also have access to many of Bill’s former staffers, so she could get up and running much faster than Obama. That will be critical in this time of war. Also, let’s be honest, Bill Clinton is very popular around the world, and frankly, America could use someone like him as a roving Ambassador to help restore our reputation world-wide. I am still a believer in single payer healthcare, but that’s going to require a real leader, and we’re not yet there. But I do like Clinton’s healthcare plan better than Obama’s.     Continue reading »

Republicans Naked Fear of Single Party Government

 Election, Politics, Presidency  Comments Off on Republicans Naked Fear of Single Party Government
Jan 112008
 

This is a clip of Chris Matthews talking with Club For Growth’s Pat Toomey and Family Research Council’s Tony Perkins about the divisions within the Republican Party. All they seem to able to discuss is how most of the Rethug candidates aren’t conservative enough.

Most interesting though is early in conversation when Perkins and especially Toomey are fretting over one-party rule in Washington. Gosh, it was so good an idea when it was the Republicans. Not so much when it’s the Democrats.

Sep 112007
 

I suppose no blogger can let 9/11 pass without a post reflecting on what it all means. Unfortunately, the Bu$hCo Administration has done everything they can to tie the events of this day to Iraq. They have gone so far as to ensure that the Petraeus report is delivered to Congress so as to coincide with the observance of this anniversary.

The attacks of 9/11 were used to justify the invasion of Iraq, and ever since, Bu$h has been using the mantra to strike fear into the hearts of Americans and ensure continued support of his war. He and Dick have incessantly linked the words “al-Qaida” and “Iraq.” In a  recent speech about Iraq, Bush mentioned al-Qaida 95 times. No matter that the insurgents in Iraq are not the same group that attacked the U.S.

We all knew what Petraeus was going to say before he said it. He was going to spend most of his time talking about how great things are in Anbar…again, never mind things were getting better there long before the “surge” started. We need also to remember that progress has been made there only by striking another “deal with the devil,” Saddam’s Fedayeen. Bush arrogantly attempts to play the alpha dog Commander and Chief with his, “we’re kicking ass,” comment.

 Everyone in America who gets any outside input beyond Faux News knows the real situation on the ground in Iraq. Read some of the blogs of the soldiers that are there. So just forget the absurd debate about progress. The questions to be asked are much more basic–Why can’t we bring ourselves to end the debacle, and why did we invade Iraq in the first place?

Congress cannot bring themselves to end the Iraq war because they haven’t yet grown the backbone to question the basic assumptions on which Bu$h’s “War On Terror” is based. To this Administration, 9/11 justifies everything and ends all arguments. As Gary Kamiya wrote at Salon.com:

Bush’s reaction to 9/11 was to declare a “war on terror,” of which the Iraq adventure was said to be the “front line.” The American establishment signed off on this war because of 9/11. To oppose Bush’s “war on terror” was to risk another terror attack and dishonor our dead. The establishment has now turned against the Iraq front, but it has not questioned the “war on terror” itself, or the assumptions on which it is based.

We chose this go-it-alone vigilantism over reason and justice. We responded from our biological instincts –“fight or flight” – we were hit, so we had to hit back. We responded like a drunk in a bar fight, and combined with our preconceived notions about the Arab/Muslim world, we ran up against our prejudices. The problem is we allowed Bu$hCo to convince us that instead of taking vengeance on the people that attacked us, we should attack the guy standing on the corner watching. It’s a male thing. On the school yard its called “bullying,” and for conservatives it appears to be a necessary reaction. Hence their bully-ish name calling of war critics as “wimps, girly-men and appeasers.”          Continue reading »

Jan 242007
 

Here is the Democratic response to the State of the Union Address as delivered by Freshman Senator Jim Webb (D-VA). Extremely well written, consise and delivered perfectly.

This is the text prepared for delivery by Sen. Jim Webb as the Democratic response to the president’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night.

Good evening.

I’m Senator Jim Webb, from Virginia, where this year we will celebrate the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown – an event that marked the first step in the long journey that has made us the greatest and most prosperous nation on earth.

It would not be possible in this short amount of time to actually rebut the President’s message, nor would it be useful. Let me simply say that we in the Democratic Party hope that this administration is serious about improving education and healthcare for all Americans, and addressing such domestic priorities as restoring the vitality of New Orleans.

Further, this is the seventh time the President has mentioned energy independence in his state of the union message, but for the first time this exchange is taking place in a Congress led by the Democratic Party. We are looking for affirmative solutions that will strengthen our nation by freeing us from our dependence on foreign oil, and spurring a wave of entrepreneurial growth in the form of alternate energy programs. We look forward to working with the President and his party to bring about these changes.

There are two areas where our respective parties have largely stood in contradiction, and I want to take a few minutes to address them tonight.

The first relates to how we see the health of our economy – how we measure it, and how we ensure that its benefits are properly shared among all Americans. The second regards our foreign policy – how we might bring the war in Iraq to a proper conclusion that will also allow us to continue to fight the war against international terrorism, and to address other strategic concerns that our country faces around the world.

When one looks at the health of our economy, it’s almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better.          Continue reading »