Politics today is all about messaging. So I took a quick look at the Twitter account for Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. What I found will not surprise you. Republicans are focused on the ACA rollout and the report that people are being drop from their insufficient healthcare plans. While Democrats are focused on everything from Women's Rights to debt reduction.
While the President mentions healthcare in his tweet today. He also mention's how low the debt is currently vs. 2009. The Democrats are currently searching for a winning message, while the Republicans think they have found one.
President Obama, Senator Reid and Representative Nancy Pelosi pulled off an epic victory for the American people this week when they held strong against the Tea Party’s best efforts to sabotage our government. After fifteen long days of the government shutdown, it was the strong-minded determination of our Democratic leadership that caused House Republicans to blink. The take-away is simple: good wins out in the end.
Undoubtedly, the Tea party will try to regroup and spin the narrative in their favor, but when the January and February due dates approach to revisit the budget and debt ceiling my bet is on bipartisan communication averting anymore drama. Polling indicates most American voters hate what the Tea Party did. Career politicians like GOP Rep. Herrera Beutler are finding their way to the middle, and hard core Tea Party leaders will be booking tickets home in 2014. When the American people make up their minds on something, it takes decades to change it, and they have now decided good governance makes their lives better. Read more
Lately a memory has been haunting me a little bit. It was a television image that I noticed during the frantic, wall to wall TV coverage of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. While firefighters were scrambling through the dust and smoke of New York City, the anchor tossed to a reporter on the Beltway in Washington D.C.. The freeway was packed with federal employees. Some had provisions strapped to the top of their Range Rovers while other were furiously peddling their mountain bikes, as back packs full of canned goods swayed from their perspiration stained torsos, towards Maryland. All were abandoning the city. Lesson: These folks will cut and run.
None of them were even remotely interested in talking with reporters. Think about that for a second. The Washington elite, the people we entrust to fight for our interests, no matter how we define those interests; leaving their posts and fleeing the capitol...and refusing an opportunity to talk with the press! Read more
Now that the government shutdown is a reality, I want to take this opportunity to register my disgust at how this played out. I try and take a reasonable approach to the issue of who is responsible for government problems, and have a rather evenhanded focus, but in this, I am rather upset at the Republicans in the House of Representatives. Read more
Ted Cruz did cram all the words he could ram as he tried to slam and sought to damn a health program to hep your fam, invoking Sam from Green Eggs and Ham.
His ideas have dust and opinions rust, but with gusto, lust and bluster robust he fret and fussed and cringed and cussed
as he may and must to filibust.
He took the floor for many and more with a right-wing roar at his conservative core. But what lore in store was he fighting for? To slam the door on the working poor?
Like a babbling book he shimmied and shook, taking hammer and hook to the plan he forsook. Yet for this scheme he did cook, did he actually look at the Dr Seuss book from which quotations he took?
Because, sir and m'am, our friend Sam-I-Am works out of his jam, burst through the dam and with a bam and a blam LIKES Green Eggs and Ham. Sadly, that won't quiet or clam the Senator's scam.
He filibustered with Green Eggs and Ham. But really it was all Greed, Ego and Sham.
If Cruz Control isn't your speed, shift gears to talk Obamacare, the UN and DC stalemates with some fresh mates, fresh ideas and fresh pints at your local progressive social club. Read more
With the talks already ongoing to try and avert a government shutdown in the face of another debt ceiling crisis, I have decided to look at the broader question of whether it is genuinely possible to have an actual dialogue, on any subject, given the current political atmosphere. The first item in this conversation is to determine what dialogue actually is. Despite many different definitions that come to mind, and a lot of searching, I have happened upon a quote that seems to make the most sense. In the book On Heaven and Earth then Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, in his introduction has this to say on the idea of dialogue:
"Dialogue is born of a respectful attitude toward the other person, from a conviction that the other person has something good to say. It supposes that we can make room in our heart for their point of view, their opinion and their proposals. Dialogue entails a warm reception and not a preemptive condemnation. To dialogue, one must know how to lower the defenses, to open the door to one's home and to offer warmth. Read more
We have all been seeing for years now the arguments put forward by some that President Barack Obama was ineligible to run for President because he was not a "natural born citizen" as his father was from Kenya. Despite Hawaii finally giving over a copy of the long form of Obama's birth certificate, and the repeated refusal of courts to entertain the issue, many are still making the same, tired arguments. Well, we have a debunking of that argument in the form of an Obama opponent who was born in Canada, holds dual citizenship due to Canadian law, and one parent who was not a US citizen at the time of his birth. That person? None other than Tea Party favorite and ultra conservative politician from Texas, Senator Ted Cruz. Read more
A few years ago I was asked to give a short talk on the subject of Roe v. Wade. As I have always been interested in the Supreme Court and the individuals who have served on it, I readily agreed. Knowing how controversial that particular decision was, I decided to try a little experiment. Opening the talk, I asked how many supported the decision. Roughly half the hands went up. Then I asked how many opposed it. Again, roughly half raised their hands. Then I asked the most important question. How many have actually read the decision? Sadly, out of perhaps 20 people two raised their hands. I asked them when that shocking revelation revealed itself "How can you support or oppose something without even having taken the time to read it to know what it actually says?" Read more
One day the Supreme Court can undercut one of our nation's strongest voter protection. The next day, the Court makes history again promoting equality for all our citizens.
One day, a majority of Texas conservatives prepare to legislate against choice. Then a Lone Star Senator starts a filibuster, rallies the public & delays the bill for now.
Activists protest the Keystone XL Pipeline and America's inaction on climate change. Then, the President announces executive actions to reduce carbon emissions where Congress won't.
Elections have consequences. Advocacy can lead to results. Activism can shift our culture.
These forms of democracy affect our lives, our health, our loves, our rights. And it's a reminder for the next election: in so many matters, democracy matters.
Let's celebrate the highs & drink down the lows at a festive, feisty, fiery, friendly, fun fete with like-minded lefties and liberal libations at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
The Obama NSA has been secretly collecting millions of phone records of American citizens. For all this intelligence-gathering, they haven't found the intelligence to realize how wrong this is.
Turkish authorities have heard the rumbles of uprisings across Europe and the Mid East, but haven't listened to their own people's concerns, nor learned how to peacefully quell a protest.
A Senator who listened to the challenges faced by New Jersey & the nation has passed away. A Governor who can only hear the drumbeat of ambition has chosen an illogical expensive way to replace him.
With governmental leaders these days, you don't have to ask, "Can you hear me now?" But when it comes to responding to their citizens, the real question is, "Why the heck won't you listen?"
If you want to be heard, listened to & engaged, start a convo with the welcoming cohort at your local progressive social club
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
I will give Senator Rand Paul (KY) credit for being steadfast with his filibuster, which says he actually believes what he is saying, or else he has serious designs on Continue Reading →
The post Rand Paul’s Filibuster and Rant Shows Fear and Ignorance
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Instead of stalling senseless sequester slashing, the GOP prefers to prove a point by sinking a ship instead of saving it -- but it's their Party's that's submerging slowly.
The 75 Republicans who speak for repealing DOMA are former players, out of step and out of power, dreaming of a moderate GOP future, but stuck in a moderate GOP past.
A former Senator nearly gets blocked from becoming Secretary of Defense because he had the good sense to get out, while he left the senseless back on the Hill.
They say rats flee a sinking ship, but this time everyone else has fled the Party and the rats in the GOP are doing the sinking.
After the haggle and Hagel, you need a huggle, so embrace an evening of engaging imbibing at your local progressive social club.
DRINKING LIBERALLY Find - or start - a chapter near you.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a lot of chatter about the Congressional sequester cuts going through and shock from some that we have reached this point. This astonishment is somewhat warranted given that Congress and the White House reached a deal to avoid going over the so-called fiscal cliff in January, and then voted to raise the debt ceiling for a three month time period. So why has there been no deal or at a minimum a punt? Let’s look back a bit.
In the aftermath of the fiscal cliff deal, both parties began setting the stage for the next parts of these fiscal negotiations: the sequester, the debt ceiling, and the budget. Each party is convinced that they have leverage in this fight and that the other party will be forced to come to them. Of course it is impossible for both sides to be correct. Time will tell who ends up with the upper hand, but with all of these challenges that need to be addressed, it is useful to look at the preferences of the White House, Congressional Republicans, and Senate Democrats.
By comparing the preferences of the various groups, the likely outcomes of the three fiscal issues become readily apparent: Read more
With President Barack Obama currently in the process of filling vacancies in his cabinet—already one current United States Senator has gotten the nod—and with the retirement of Senators Rockefeller, Harkin, and Chambliss, there has been a good amount of chatter about the ramifications of opening up a U.S. Senate seat. While every state is a unique case, we started wondering what the actual numerical advantage is when it comes to incumbency.
The answer is 7 or 10, or 9 or 16, depending on the situation. While this is a little less prophetic than the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life (42 for all the non-Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fans out there), there is an interesting pattern that has developed over the past six years or so. Read more