Sunday, December 7, 2008

I do have a life, really

If the sporadic-ness does not show I have a life, then I'll be happy to write about it. I live on the east coast and love my state. My hobbies are reading - books and blogs - textile art (stamped crossstich. And I like to cook, much to my fiancee's fear since he's more meat and potatoes and I'm more..."esoteric".

I am a Christian, an Independent Liberal, and right handed. I'm African-American, though with Anglo-Saxon background, like 60% of most blacks. I'm reluctant to show my picture due to both security concerns (hey, I'm paranoid) but also the field I'm in tends to be hyper-sensistive - no not NSA, higher education; though I am planning to get involved health care to expand my choices as well as my wallet.

What is the VP's power

It seems that even fellow Dems don't like Joe. Why else would the Senate Dems do this?

Washington — In a move to reassert Congressional independence at the start of the new presidential administration, the vice president will be barred from joining weekly internal Senate deliberations, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun.
Reid’s decision to exclude Vice President-elect Joe Biden from the Senate arena where he spent most of his adult life is intended to restore constitutional checks and balances that tilted heavily toward the executive branch during the Bush presidency.

In the comments, there is the argument that Cheney was a bully, and that it twisted the powers of the VP in the Constitution. It really doesn't matter to me even though it should because if Cheney were a Dem, it would be they who say it was within the realms of power and the Reps who would have said it was a violation. Constitution games that Cheney played are par for the course in American government, as seen with HRC and the promotion to Sec State.

But the overall story talks more of how Biden is shunned and how the Dem Senate is regaining their independence. It is a good thing - if Cheney did overreach and "bullied" the Reps as the report implies, then many things that could have been avoided were ignored, like maybe the light approach to Iraq or even the 2005 Bankruptcy bill's changes. OTOH, Dems are infamous for hardheadedness and infighting, which could stymie important things like how to handle Iraq post surge or how to handle the recession. Either way, it's not pretty. But fun to watch if like me you can't stand Biden.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

God Bless Barack Obama

As a Christian, I believe in the phrase "God bless us, everyone" even if I have to grit my teeth. But I'm sincerely happy about this one. Why?

Joe Lieberman gets to keep his Senate Seat (reuters)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senate Democrats on Tuesday yielded to the wishes of President-elect Barack Obama and allowed Joe Lieberman to keep his committee chairmanship despite having backed Republican John McCain for the White House, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa said.
Emerging from a closed-door meeting, Harkin told reporters that Democrats had stripped Lieberman of a subcommittee chairmanship, a far lesser punishment.
There were fears that Lieberman, a former Democrat turned independent, might become Republican if he lost the chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee. Democratic aides said Obama urged Democrats to do what it takes to keep Lieberman, who represents Connecticut, in their Senate conference where he routinely votes with them.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro; editing by Doina Chiacu)

I strongly disagree about the "punishment" aspect, and I am definitely pissed over the concept of party loyalty. Where are we, Soviet Russia? Joe Lieberman is a good liberal. He gets "As" in abortion rights, gay rights, medicare, and pretty independent on affirmative action, and health care liability. But the Dems only wanted to punish him for supporting W on Iraq. To isolate him to the point of bring in pseudo-Dem to challenge him in CT back in 2006 changed not only my opinion about Dems but also changed the opinion bloggers like Brendan Loy. Many liberals are truly liberal - we destest bullies. So what happened to Joe the Politician and Joe the Plumber enrages us.

Both parties have been acting like four year olds over the concept of party loyalty. What about loyalty to represent the citizens??? Can I get an Amen, somebody? Neither Lieberman nor Obama, nor Tancredo or anyone else should be forced to get in line. It's not just childish, it's dangerous for this country. It ruined Rome, it ruined Russia (White vs. Red factions after Lenin's death), don't let it ruin this country.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Untitled 1

I was pretty cranky over an Obama win until I found this via cynical nation. Now in the real world (those who don't blog) his election was a deal, but not that big of a deal. But still, this is rather kind and inspiring. It also reminds me of one thing I've forgotten this week - we are together in this.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Channeling Hannah Montana here

Ever since Obama has been elected (heck even before) there has been talk about the possible destruction or massive reorganization of the Reps. Because of W's policies dealing with Iraq and the fiscal overreach of Reps, the brand is not as popular as before. Kinda like the pet rock, but with more usefulness.

Conservatism has not failed; the economy gave the Dems the upper hand. It's common sense. Carter got the boot when the economy flailed on his watch. But for Republicans to flail because they lost this election is kind of silly. I know they have to regroup but don't be so broken up about it. If anything, O's election actually gives the Reps and upper hand, as they will no longer be the excuse/scapegoat for anything that goes wrong between 2009-2010

If the Detroit Lions can still be together as a group, Republicans can:) We need both worlds to get the "best of both worlds".

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Formal Congratulations

As Obama won the presidency tonight, I give him congratulations. However, I hope he realizes that his honeymoon is beginning to end. Forgive me for being cranky, but in my opinion, he did not deserve to be President. I don't care about his ties to his family nor to Wright or Ayers. Rather, his lack of effectiveness as state senator in Illinois.

Now I know Southside Chicago is not Palm Beach. It is rough. But Obama had a chance to prove himself and failed. The thing that bothered me was Gross Park housing project. To me, if O could not take care of his own neck of the woods he could not be trusted with anything larger. Add Joe Biden to the mix and I ended up writing in my candidate.

On the blog cynical nation, I argued that I would try not to care, as if Obama was elected, the whole kit and kaboodle of responsiblity would be blamed on the Dems and Dems alone. But I am bothered. I'm bothered by the press allowing him a pass on his effectiveness as leader. I'm bothered by the far left turn this country has taken (I'm liberal, but I do want balance). And I'm worried that the thug tactics Obama's troops have done to the media and Joe the Plumber will continue even worse as President. There is no record of his legistlative behavior, so how will we know how he will govern?

Knowing my luck , however, I'll be defending him when the chips are down and his so called fans leave him like rats from a sinking ship. When people stop riding on his coattails because he is popular. Just like W :)

Still, Obama needed to win. McCain would not have recieved media respect or objectivity as he would be the "second president to steal the election" or "Bush III"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The *real* problem of the Republican Party

I was reading a recent article off Reuters called "If McCain loses, what next for Conservatives?"

The main argument was - as usual - against the social conservatives. "Focusing on social conservatism alienates moderate and mainstream voters and will consign us to 160 House seats in the South and the mid-west," said Patrick Sammon, president of the Log Cabin Republicans, a group of gay Republicans which stresses social tolerance and fiscal conservatism.

The problem is, I don't believe it. I'm liberal and pro-choice, but I'm old (38). I was in my teens during Reagan and the PTL years and in my 20s when Roe v Wade was at risk due to two court cases, Missouri v. Reproductive Board of Health, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. My mail was dominated by letters from NARAL, NOW, Planned Parenthood. And my grandmother had PTL on alll day in my childhood. In short, socon = pro-life.

The point is, I believe we are nowhere near the SoCon Dominance of the Republican Party. Under Reagan and Bush 41, socons were part, but never sucessfully pushed for anything. The two abortion cases were actually individual cases dealing with state rights v. federal rights, a very commonplace issue in the courts. Bush 41 did not actively seek the overturn of RvW, unless you count all of his picks on the Supreme Court (Clarence Thomas and David Souter).

If only by a stretch can you put W in the socon court - Terry Schiavo and the HHS letter. And to me, both are tepid compared to Bush 41 years. The Schiavo case was bouncing around Florida for at least TEN YEARS. Eventually it was going to be a national case as both Terry's husband and parents refused the courts' decisions. And since the Supreme Court punked out of their responsiblities, Congress and W came in. In retrospect I agree with them; Michael Schiavo was not the dutiful husband the media invented - he had a common-law wife and kids by her while Terry was comatose, and Terry's "humane death" was far from - she was purposely withheld food and water until she physically died. People are sent to prison for treating dogs like that.

The one - and only one - connection between Republicans and Social Conservatives is a letter from HHS director Michael Leavitt supporting W's belief that doctors and medical personnel who do not believe in supporting abortion or abortifacents should lose their jobs. It sounds fair to the average schmoe, but this would also include people who believed that certain forms of birth control (such as IUDs) were abortifacents. This should have been a big toodoo but the press kept it so under the radar that one would have to be a poliblog geek like myself in order to find it. I thought this would be on the covers of Time and Newsweek (was it?)

The real problem of the Republican Party? FiCons. Yeah you heard me. Fiscal Conservatives. Of my 4+ years reading blogs I have come to the conclusion that ficons are the most hard nosed dissatified group of people. For one, ficons always blame the socons for the demise of the Republican Party, when they are no where in power compared to the 80s and 90s. I would be happy to argue that socons never had the power or influence that ficons claim they have. If W is the socon's represenative, they got ripped off. Apart from the Faith Based Initiatives, they don't have much to show for it.

(warning: I'm channelling my Berkeley hippie liberal thing...)
Ficons are also purists. It' s one thing to want a balanced budget, it's another to totally ignore the concerns of citizens and their needs when the market does not provide them or provide them at an affordable costs. Like schools and medicine, ie NCLB and Medicare Part D. The Dems constantly succeed in votes because they tap into the needs and concerns of the people. Yeah it costs. Yeah one gets deficits. But people need things. And Ficons seem to have a fit if you spend one dime over what they think is wrong. I'm not talking about earmarks; I'm talking about programs that Americans want.

Ficons also worship Reagan the way the Dems worship Obama. Ficons forget that Reaganomics was seen just as costly back then as W is now.

So at least for two years, Republicans will get a leave of absence for two years. And for those two years they will be blaming the smallest subset out of the group, the socons. While Ficon's own behavior in the Republican party may still keep it in the wildernes even after 2010.