Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Compromiser

BA posted what seems like ages ago, "Disappointed with Obama?" back in December 2009.  I must say that I am disappointed.  Governing IS different, much, much different than campaigning; that much is clear for the Administration.  But all the talk of being bipartisan and bringing the two parties together took his focus away from doing what is good for the country, or rather, doing what HE believes in.

Then again, what does Obama believe in?  Does he not believe in universal healthcare that is not a silly auto insurance version of mandatory purchase from a private insurer?  Does he not believe in regulating the excesses of capitalism?  Does he not believe in a tax code that is progressive and pushing it through Congress?  Does he believe in pushing his agenda through Congress?  He gave too much credit to the Democratic and Republican leadership on Capitol Hill, which led to the 2010 losses in the House.  He did not take full advantage of the Democratic control nor manage to fight off the obstructionist Repub strategy.  Was he unable or unwilling or something else?

Meanwhile, his jobs bill sits at a time when the economy added only 80,000 job in October and the longtime unemployed are starting to lose their benefits.  Are we seriously looking at a Carter "malaise" once again?  I know, Obama didn't create the economic crisis, but he definitely took his left wing base for granted.  But this ain't 1980 all over again, either.  See my Republican presidential field post...

It is said that politics is the art of compromise.  Is it really, and to this extent when the nation needs true leadership?  I cannot help the feeling of disappointment and opportunties lost.  Whither America?

Republicans who could win but GOP won't nominate

Let's face it, folks.  The GOP field is a sorry lot, and I'm not saying that just because I support the Democrats.  James Carville wrote similar sentiments on CNN comparing the 2012 lot to the 1980 lot (I bet he had input from his GOP wife), and the whole much-ado-about-nothing for Chris Christie indicates the discontent among the conservative and the moderate Repubs.

From Mitt "The Flipflopping Mormon" Romney to Rick "Oops" Perry to Herman "Some of My Best Friends are Women who I've Never Harassed" Cain, the road to the nomination has been all about appeasing the far right Tea Party.  Simply put, there are worthy Republican leaders who probably could actually have a shot at Barack "The Compromiser" Obama, but absolutely zero chance at surviving the nomination process.

It's fairly easy to think of two:  Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani.  I, for one, would seriously consider voting for Powell.  He is the most Reagan-esque candidate having the most centrist, moderate and independent appeal, and military credentials like Eisenhower.  As for Giuliani, the recent tributes and re-tellings of the 9/11 10-year anniversary reminded me once again how his leadership skills were critical in the aftermath of the Twin Tower collapse, the obvious opportunities to earn political clout notwithstanding.

It's also obvious that it's too late in the campaign season to realistically consider a better GOP candidate entering the race for Iowa and New Hampshire.  What a disappointing presidential campaign when compared to 2008.  Am I right, folks?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Faces and Names of the Price of Freedom

Egypt Remembers

They're Baaack! 2012 Presidential Elections, of course.

What goes around comes around, and here we go again.  The 2012 presidential election season has already started.  And we now have a blog to record our comments for posterity.

So, are ya ready for some football...I mean...Political Discourse?!  Looking forward to your contributions.

The Egyptian Revolution

Revolution will be and has been televised!  Congratulations and Glory to the People of Egypt!!!  Remember the date for the history lessons:  February 11, 2011.  The people of the world will refer to it as "2/11", and what ironic juxtaposition and extreme ends of the spectrum it is as it invokes inevitable connotations and reference to 9/11, and on so many levels!

The 18-day protest in Cairo's Tahrir "Liberation" Square has been nothing short of the most incredible history-making display of a people's movement that forced a monumental change in an Arab nation.  "People united can never be defeated!"  It had all the ups and downs, twists and turns of the newest and state-of-the-art thrill ride.  Such liberation, freedom, hope and opportunity for the future of Egypt.  And o so many questions, speculations, and topics to debate, to analyze and to discuss, so many things to say and to express as a mere observer of current events and world history.  It cannot be overstated that the Arab world has rarely seen this type of protests for freedom and have succeeded.

I want to share in the celebration and the exuberance of the Egyptian people, but history does teach us to be cautious and humble observers, as all revolutions have been followed by hardships, shattered dreams and even cruelty.  The French Revolution, the Revolutions of 1848, the Russian Revolution, the Iranian Revolution, Tienanmen Square, the 2009 democratic protest in Tehran.  Even the American Revolution could not avoid a war to gain independence for the Thirteen Colonies.  One had to wonder if Tahrir might become another Tienanmen (interesting to note that the word "Tahrir" keeps getting flagged by the Blogger editor as a misspelled word as it has not yet entered our common vernacular but that will change quite soon).  And let us not forget that there were people who gave their lives and endured bodily harm in the early days of this revolution to bring this change to fruition.

All indications are that this was a true people's uprising in Egypt, not some extremist or subversive group, that demanded Hosni Mubarak to resign, but what now?  Will Egypt become a democratic republic after nearly 60 years of dictatorship by military leaders?  It is reassuring that the military has publicly stated its support for a lawful transition of power and for keeping the peace treaty with Israel.  One can only hope to watch and pray for  peaceful and non-violent events toward the building of a new democratic political infrastructure and governance. The saga continues...and next stop, Algeria!?

Tunisia Gloria! Onward to Egypt...

Are we witnessing the dawning of a new age of democracy in the Arab-Muslim world, or will this wave of protest tip the scales and hand the balance of power to the radical Islamic fundamentalist movement?

The land of Hannibal and its people who fought three glorious wars against the Romans entered the limelight of the world stage!  Glory to Tunisia that ushered in reform and a new government by the people protesting in the streets and sacrificing themselves in order to break free from 50 years of dictatorial rule.  I must confess my ignorance to this fact.  While they filmed "The Life of Brian", the Tunisian people were suffering under oppression.  For a pop-culture nut like me, that puts things into perspective the fat and comfortable lives we enjoy in America.

And to think that it all began because of a desperate street vendor who resorted to self-immolation after he was stripped of his livelihood and dignity by the police state.  To refer to his act as a "spark" would be an insult and a defamation of the man whose name I don't even know, not just a terrible and inappropriate pun.  It appears now that this Tunisian Revolution may go down in history as the touchstone of Arab democratic revolt in the 21st century, in the same vein as the fall of the Berlin Wall brought down the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain of Eastern Europe in the waning years of the 20th.  This case is even more remarkable because there is almost no democratic tradition in the Arab world.

Who would have even thought that this type of protest would spread 11 days later to Egypt?  Is there any doubt that there are more demonstrations and protests to come?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

‘‘Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act’’

[Link to the pdf of the bill itself:  Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act]

Gotta love the title of the bill, don't ya?  You know, I'm not a fan of the enacted health care reform law since I believe in true socialized medicine, as in the single-payer universal health care.  That's why it is even more annoying that the Repubs continue to slam "Obamacare" as socialism.  Really?  Socialism?  Pardon the digression, but I still don't get how some of the Mad Hatter Tea Party-ers equate Obama to Hitler.  Is it the Death Panel thing again?

Anyway, back to the point, what is the Republican alternative to repealing health care reform?  Status quo?  They do keep saying, "Let's scrap it and start over."  Start over with what?  What's your proposal or even an idea?  I haven't heard it.  Does it cover more Americans than the current law?  I don't think so.  Repubs would be happy to have people who "choose" not to have any health care coverage.  What is it, then?  Where is it?

House GOP should stop kowtowing to the Mad Hatters and get back to business at hand.  Get people jobs and back to work.  Plenty of new GOP congresspeople got new jobs.  It's time to return the favor to the people who elected them into office.  2012 is not that far away, and the electorate certainly has a very itchy voting finger.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Trickle-down? Really?

Why do the Repubs still back this "tax cuts for the rich few" notion? It is clearly bad for deficit and does nothing for the economy. Still hanging on to the Trickle-down Economics of the Reagan Years? Come on...

Tax Bill to add $857 Billion to Debt

by CalculatedRisk on 12/09/2010 11:10:00 PM

From Bloomberg: Senate Tax-Cut Extension Plan Would Add $857 Billion to Debt

The congressional Joint Committee on Taxation, which estimates the revenue effects of tax legislation, said the provisions would cost the government $801.3 billion in forgone revenue over 10 years. Extending unemployment benefits for 13 months, another feature of the package, would cost $56 billion, the Obama administration has said.

It is important to remember the Joint Committee on Taxation assumed all the provisions will end as scheduled; the payroll tax cut after one year, and the other tax cuts after two years. That seems very unlikely, so the actual cost will be much much higher. As an example, if the tax cut for high income earners stays in place for the next decade that will add $700 billion alone to the debt!

Also, the vast majority of the impact is from extending the Bush tax cuts.