Wednesday, April 23, 2014

My Democratic Party Is So Stupid

I am very proud of what my party stands for.  

I am proud of its history in the years it produced a brave and visionary president like FDR, a crippled man to fight the Depression and WWII in the days when there was no general acceptance of the crippled as capable.  

A president like Harry Truman, a humble haberdasher, feisty and smart.  

A crusader for the barefoot poor of his Texas hills and for all the poor and for civil rights, Lyndon Johnson, sadly drawn into a disastrous war but deserving high praise for his great domestic achievements.

John Kennedy, the first Catholic president, a hero in WWII and a hero in keeping the peace even when the military pressed hard during the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban missile crisis, and a hero in beginning disarmament talks.

Barach Obama, first African/American president, who saved us from financial collapse, saved the auto industry, killed Osama Bin Laden, got us out of two wars, got Russia to destroy Syria's chemical weapons, ended federal discrimination against gays, got Native Americans the billions owed them in royalties for their resources, ordered huge cuts in carbon emissions by the auto and coal industries, got $20 billion from BP to clean up the Gulf coast, and  -  what no other president was able to do!  -  got us a national program of health insurance.  And more, lots more.

That's a hell of a record for a political party.  

But there's things to be ashamed of too.  The Democratic Party can be so stupid!  Willfully stupid!  And it can be colossally chicken.

It has held back from lauding this wonderful president and instead let the GOP dominate the media with its slimy, racist slurs against this good man.  With calling him "liar" during the State of the Union address.  With accusing him of fraud as to his birthplace.  With likening him to Hitler.  

This failure of the Democratic Party to stand up en masse is not only chicken, it's dumb.  "You can run, but you can't hide."  He's the president, the very obvious head of their party.  They can't disown him just because he's black and the racists don't like blacks.  They can't disown him just because the GOP has skillfully played on this racism and also skillfully scared the beegeebers out of people about Obamacare.  Nobody in America will accept that the Democrats have nothing to do with Obama.  They can stand aloof all they want, but he is theirs.  

They should embrace him proudly.  Praise him loudly.  Tell the people what I'm telling you here:  This is one of the best presidents of all time.  Instead they let the media speculate unchallenged about how badly Obama is hurting Democrats' chances in the fall election.  Hurting them?  He's all they've got and a lot more than they deserve! 

If we lose the House and the Senate in the fall, it's the Democrats' own damn fault.  The prize does not go to the stupid or the faint of heart.  They dug their own graves.  Silent, they let the GOP tarnish the solid gold guy who could have won them victory.

I wish I could say that the above is the entire extent of my party's stupidity, but it isn't.  Today, in an email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the party made plain that it's too dumb even to learn the biggest lesson in campaign politics, one staring them right in the face.  Tune in next time, and I'll tell you what it is.

For now, call your Democratic Congress person's office and complain forcefully about the party's desertion of Obama.  If your Congressional representative is a Republican, complain that you are fed up with the refusal of the House to work with the President.

After all, this Democratic Party is your party.  

And certainly YOU haven't disavowed the best president in our lifetime.  

Or have you?




Saturday, April 19, 2014

Happy Days Are Back!

They're back!  The happy days of the fun-flinging GOP candidates are returning.  Sure, we don't yet have another  GOP Senate candidate cooing that "I am not a witch", but we're moving in that direction.

Keep your eyes on Kansas. It seems to promise the best fun so far this election year.  For starters, the incumbent GOP Senator apparently lacks a bona fide residence in the Sunflower state but has come up with a substitute.  It's a shed on the golf course of his country club!  

Now that's creative.  While doing a variant on the populist log cabin bit, he's actually letting his core voters know that he's one of the non-47% who can afford a country club, plus he's hinting that he's possibly a racist and anti-female, since country clubs often exclude blacks and women.  Oh, yeah, and Jews. And he sure is reassuring his core that he doesn't pander to those environmentalists who go nuts at the sight of powerful golf course sprinklers swirling water into the air where it can evaporate.  Added to this, his name is Pat Roberts, so the intellectually lazy can hope he's that unChristian pastor who's always equating God with Katrina-type disasters apparently provoked by New Orleans jazz music.

As if all this were not enough, Kansas has a right-winger flying even to the right of Senator Roberts as a primary challenger.  This Tea Party guy is a radiologist who loves to share his patients' x-rays on his Facebook page and laugh at them.  He claims it's all for instructional purpose.  Yeah, right?  "See that broken leg?  Ain't that hilarious!"

To add even more spice to the wildness of Kansas, it's been rumored that Kathleen Sebelius may run as a Democratic candidate in the race.  A Democrat trying for the Senate seat in Kansas is as pathetic a hope as her reassurance to the President that the Health Care website would be up and running on time. If she has any sense  -  and since she trusted her IT contractors, she obviously doesn't  -  she will pull out apace.

But don't despair. This slate of fools isn't all who will be cavorting on the political stage.  The presidential hopefuls for 2016 are  starting to coast around the country sticking their toes in the water.  It's rather refreshing to imagine Chris Christie with his toes in the water instead of in his mouth.  Also toe-dipping is our old pal Governor Rick Perry of Texas, he who couldn't remember in 2012 those three things he wanted to do when he became president.  Apparently he's remembers now what that elusive third one was and thus is going to have a another shot at the White House.  Speaking of which, remember that he's the one who talked about shooting federal officials.

Yep, folks, so far in 2014 you ain't seen nothing yet!      

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Amazing News After a Long Time-Out

Good to be back after the wilds of the dentist chair and other unsavory episodes.

A lot has happened in the past weeks, but it was only today that things really got hot.  Here we go on a quick catch-up on the universe.

1. Here in the USA, Obama announced that 8 million have signed up for Obamacare.  Yep, count 'em  -  eight million!  No, don't count them.  Eight million is too many to count.  Plus another ten million are newly signed up in Medicare and CHIPs.  And some large number of under-26s, previously uninsured, can stay on their parents health insurance. Total those numbers and you'll see we're moving toward thirty million newly-insured, which is getting close to the total estimated number of America's uninsured before the Health Care bill was enacted.  Plus 1/3 of the 8 million newly insured are under 35, enough to make the program fiscally possible.  

So the sign-up site sucked but the sign-up succeeded. Now let's hear some drum beating!

2. In Eastern Europe John Kerry says that Ukraine, Russia, NATO and others have agreed to resolve the Ukraine crisis peacefully.  It's always a good day when we learn we will not be having a nuclear war.

3.  Not all news can be good.  On my TV is a hideous note of doom crawling across the screen:  A cocoa crisis is looming in South America and Indonesia that will not only drive up the cost of chocolate but force a change in its flavor.  I have gotten through 77 years of the wild ride of life by hanging on to chocolate.  It was known in our family as "brown medicine".  Why doesn't science do something useful and develop a cocoa plant that grows in the USA?  Like on my patio?

4.  Out in space about 500 light years away a planet has just been discovered that is "virtually a twin to Earth".  Now here's the big question, and it's not about there being life on the twin.  It's about the twin's cocoa crop.  If the crop ain't that great, let's not bother with the place.
                                           ****
During the entire Crimea/Ukraine crisis a few folks in Ukraine kept on reading old posts of this blog.  Were they trying to escape their own reality?  Looking for guidance to their madness in ours? In any case, I am touched.  If 2012 pieces about Paul Ryan being Eddie Munster have proved useful to the Ukrainians, I'm glad.  And I hope whoever they are that they are safe and hopeful, maybe even laughing. And stay that way.  

And the same wish for all of us.  Even for my dentist.         

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Apology

Been on a time-out due to medical/dental.  Nothing serious, just time-consuming.  And dollar-consuming.  The health care delivery system in this country is so badly broken!  Let's hope Obamacare can help fix it.

Hope all of you are well and that we don't go to war over the Crimea. Are we destined to repeat all of England's failed wars?

Back soon with some excitingly good new for Democrats and the environment.

I'm back!!  Effective April 18.  Catch the new posting.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Good Environmental News! Take that, Koch Brothers!

NB: Hopefully this is the last posting in this tiny type that Blogspot considers "normal". From now on the type will be bigger.

Here's a double Valentine for each of us and a mud-pie in the face of each of the two Koch brothers, that dastardly pair that are trying to buy our country politically so that they can further pollute the world and our atmosphere with their oil.

One of the punches in their collective face comes from President Obama, who has just ordered the EPA to adopt emission controls for trucks so as to lower the amount of carbon being put into the atmosphere. He's already had the EPA adopt tough controls on autos, such to go into effect this year. With no help from Congress he's still keeping up the fight against global warming.

The second punch comes from a billionaire Democrat. Yep, a "billionaire Democrat".  Apparently the Republicans don't have a monopoly on money men.    This one is Tom Steyer, a big-time hedge fund manager from  -  where else?  -  Silicon Valley.  Being located in Silicon Valley means he at least has brains enough to believe in science and therefore be alarmed by global warming.

But unlike most alarmed Democrats, he wants to do something about it instead of just shrieking. He's putting together a $100 million campaign fund, half of it being his own money and half from other richies to campaign against candidates who refuse to do anything about global warming.  He's also going to be running educational ads just to drive some sense into the heads of Americans presently bewildered by all the climate-change denial the GOP scoops out. 

He's a go-get-'em guy. With $11 million of his own money he helped Terry McAuliffe win the governorship of Virginia.  Some Democrats turn up their noses at Steyer because he's using the loopholes in campaign financing that were created by the hated Citizens United decision.  Hey, Democrats!  Get real!  We're facing an apocalypse, and the niceties of campaign spending cannot shackle Democratic efforts while the GOP goes wild in destroying the planet.

If any Democrats are truly disturbed by Steyer's use of big money, why don't they start an on-line funding drive to get a million people to each donate $100 for the same campaigning that Steyer has targeted. Heaven knows, far more than Steyer's $100 million is needed this year if we are to save the Senate from a GOP takeover and have a chance at recovering the House. To date the GOP and its associates, such as the Koch brothers, are swamping the Democrats in terms of fund-raising.

Will Steyer's money balance things? No. More is needed. But at least one Democrat is doing the right thing. Thanks, Mr. Steyer, for trying to save the world for my grandchildren.

And thanks, President Obama, for doing yet one more thing to make life better for all of us.

How little thanks you get, Mr. President. For that, I am so sorry. But here there's at least one person who is truly grateful. Keep it up, Mr. President. Don't get discouraged, sir, because so few seem to notice how much you do. I know you don't do it for gratitude but because it's the right thing to do. But I still want to say thank you.


       




Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine Day Massacre: House GOP Shoots Self in Both Feet!

{ The following post was up for about 20 minutes when the GOP in the House suddenly announced it would vote a "clean bill" to raise the debt ceiling.  No demands of any kind. Goldernit, the GOP ain't any fun any more.  At least I was prescient enough to start out originally with "I can't believe this".  It was indeed just to good to be true!}

I can't believe this! Never has any major political party done something so hilarious.  Or so stupid.  Or so helpful to their despised rivals.  At least not since the GOP convention in 2012 featured Clint Eastwood talking to a chair.

It's the GOP again, of course. The GOP House members  have lined themselves up against the wall of a garage and shot themselves, each in both feet.  Happy Valentine's Day to the Democrats and any Americans who have a sense of humor and can follow the GOP's amazing script.  It's like something Kramer would plot on "Seinfeld".

Okay, this is how it works.  The debt ceiling is up for action again.  There wasn't going to be any bargaining this time, just as Obama refused to bargain last time.  And the GOP sure can't shut down the government again. So one would think the GOP would just quietly do its job and vote to raise the ceiling and thus pay the bills it has ALREADY incurred.

But no.

The GOP can't just do its job like a bunch of grown-ups.  It has to extract some kind of bribe as it has tried to do before.  It has to swagger. Last time the price was supposed to be the killing of Obamacare.  Well, that didn't happen, as you will recall.  So it's pointless to try that again.  Therefore what trophy can they require in order to look like hot stuff and tough guys to their voters back home?

Get this!  This is the price they announced Monday:  They are demanding restoration of a cut in veterans benefits that they  -   these exact same Republicans  -   JUST ENACTED.  "Give us back that cut we just made, you dirty so-and-sos!  How dare you withhold the funding we just required be withheld!"  Man, what is scarier than that!

So of course the GOP is going to get this as their "price".  Not because they are so scary but because the Democrats want the restoration of that benefit even MORE than the GOP does!  And so do the veterans, a key voting group,  And so does much of the public because our veterans get treated badly enough as it is.

And, oh boy, does Sen. Harry Reid want the House to restore that cut!  He's jumping up and down with delight all over the Senate chamber.  He's already appointed four Democratic Senators to carry parallel restoration legislation in the Senate.  Each of the four is up for re-election in a state which tends to be red.  These four spearheading a benefit for veterans will go down nicely in those four states, thus helping the Democrats to hold the seats this year the party needs to keep its majority.

The best sit-coms are on C-Span?

All you Republicans, line up against that garage wall.  And take your shoes off!

The rest of you, pass the chocolates!

Happy, hilarious St. Valentine's Day to all!  And a Happy Debt Ceiling Day too!

{But too bad for the vets not getting their cut reversed.  Hope they remember that on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.}





Monday, February 10, 2014

Wile E. Coyote Is Now Iraq Terrorist

I know we shouldn't laugh at 22 people getting blown up, but sometimes we haven't any choice.  Today's NY Times is reporting that a terrorist instructor in Iraq mistakenly used a loaded suicide belt to teach a class of wanna-be young terrorists the tricks of the trade.  The lesson they actually learned was "Kaboom!" and "Adios, Charlie!".  Or more accurately, "Adios, Wile E.!"

Wile E. the Terrorist Instructor not only took 22 of his "pupils" with him (yes, the NY Times actually calls them "pupils"), but he also gravely injured 15 others and sent 8 fleeing into the arms of arrest by the authorities who rushed to the scene.   To paraphrase a famous line in "Fiddler on the Roof", "With your help our whole movement is being destroyed."

It's a silly scene in a horrible way.  But the hard truth is that these terrorist recruiters and instructors are really very destructive of their own young people.  And not just when they goof up like this.  After all, they are recruiting and instructing in the name of suicide.  All their "pupils" are doomed to die by the demented syllabus these instructors in death have espoused.  Most of these pupils are young.  They are someone's sons or brothers. I have spent many years as a teacher of boys these ages.  I love these misguided boys.

When are the Islamic people going to say, "That's it." Even if they have no feelings for the young who are being led so dreadfully astray, surely they must care about their own friends and neighbors who are so often the collateral damage of terrorism.  Has anyone besides me noticed, with the exception of Boston, that the explosions are now almost always in Muslim countries, not in the hated West?  Has this terror war shifted almost completely to Sunni v. Shiite?

And should we in the West care?  After all, lots of people say, "Let them kill each other off.  They've been fighting for a thousand years."  So should we care?  Yes, I think we should.  Just as Jews believe that he who saves one life saves the world, the opposite is arguably true. i.e.  he who takes one life, diminishes all.  Also keep in mind that where violence runs rampant, dictator types look really good.  And didn't we just get rid of a lot of dictators.

Okay, you say, caring is one thing.  Do all the caring you want to.  But doing something about Muslim v. Muslim is another.  After all, you point out, what can the West do?  Stop the flow of weapons?  We can't even do that in our own neighborhoods.

Maybe we can't do anything.  Maybe it has to be Islam which finally says that enough is enough.  After all, Northern Ireland is now entering its fourteenth year of non-violence after three hundred years of Celtic Catholic Irish and Celtic Protestant Ulster Scots blowing each other up.  And they stopped this killing of Celtic cousins only after the two communities said that it was time to stop, that vengeance was no longer sweet. They stopped after two little boys died in the fire that destroyed their home after it was bombed because one of the parents was a Catholic and one was a Protestant.  The boys are called "the Little Martyrs".  The peace in Northern Ireland was written in their blood.

We don't want any martyrs.  I don't even want that Wile E. Coyote of an instructor to be dead, though I despise him for leading the young not just astray but to their doom.  Unless we say that all human life is valuable, no one is safe.  But the people who are fighting have got to want peace and safety.  Sadly, the young Muslim martyrs seem to want something else, a blaze of glory and phony heroics.  It's discouraging, isn't it?

As the folk song says, "When will they ever learn?  When will they ever learn?"  You'll note that the question is stated twice.  Not a good sign.