Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This isn't the gift I wanted for Christmas

from the Democratic Party and Obama. In fact, I expected much better from Obama. The very people who elected him, he has forgotten. This does not bode well for him or the party in 2010 or 2012.

As Drew Westen wrote over at Huffington Post:

Somehow the president has managed to turn a base of new and progressive voters he himself energized like no one else could in 2008 into the likely stay-at-home voters of 2010, souring an entire generation of young people to the political process. It isn't hard for them to see that the winners seem to be the same no matter who the voters select (Wall Street, big oil, big Pharma, the insurance industry). In fact, the president's leadership style, combined with the Democratic Congress's penchant for making its sausage in public and producing new and usually more tasteless recipes every day, has had a very high toll far from the left: smack in the center of the political spectrum.

Progressives put out this ad:

Obama and Congress must pay attention to the base. We have already seen what happened to the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey. Politicians who are in cahoots with Wall Street and lobbyists are doomed next year. Also, the base will not turn out for uninspiring, middle of the road, timid Blue Dogs. If a person wants a conservative, they will vote for a Republican, not a Democrat. Why is this so hard for our incumbents to understand?

In order to inspire the base, don't just talk the talk, do something progressive. Here are some progressive points that resonate with the base:

a) Single-payer health care or even a public option which was the compromise.
b) Ending the wars.
c) Prosecuting those who perpetrated war crimes in the lead up to the Iraq war.
d) Meaningful and strong environmental policies to curb global warming.
e) Ending Mountain Top removal.
f) Prosecuting those who violated the Geneva Convention by allowing the use of torture.
g) Replacing the Bush Attorneys in the Justice Department.

Why is this stuff so hard for Obama to do? It should be a no brainer, but he hasn't acted. This makes him appear weak and afraid of the right. Embracing Lieberman and Snowe only make him look like a loser. Sadly, even the weakest of the Republicans are trying to distance herself from him now.

This is demoralizing to the base, especially all the young people and cross-overs, who were the foot soldiers in 2008. All their hard work and for what? It seems futile, now. Why would they bother and work on campaigns for these wimps in 2010? They won't, they will sit home. They aren't the only ones who will sit-out 2010: labor has threatened to do so, too. Then what? Republicans win.

Why? Why? O Why? It doesn't have to be like this. I can't scream it enough: Obama and Dems listen to your base. Stay away from lobbyists and quit reaching out to Republicans. They hate you. This Stockholm Syndrome that Dems seem to possess has got to stop and stop, now.

Monday, December 21, 2009

70% of Americans supported the public option

only 30% of all Americans support the current bill. Which one do you think the Senate Dems passed?

Sad day, indeed, final vote will be Christmas Eve with the same voting pattern of 60 -40 expected. Obama is touting it will reduce the deficit, but the previous bill (with the public option in it) reduced the deficit by $25 billion.
Senator Feingold chastised the bill before voting for it:
Unfortunately, the lack of support from the administration made keeping the public option in the bill an uphill struggle. Removing the public option from the Senate bill is the wrong move, and eliminates $25 billion in savings.

Sen. Al Franken brazenly went on the Daily Kos and posted a cheerleading diary about this "Historic Piece and why he supports the Senate Health Reform Bill". Here's some of it:

Requiring insurance companies to spend 85% of premiums on actual health services -- not administrative costs, TV ads, or gargantuan CEO bonuses -- is a big victory. Senator Rockefeller and I worked hard to get that provision included because it holds insurance companies accountable and will put an end to exploding premiums and obscene profits – a huge win for progressives.

His diary has generated close to 2500 comments mostly against his sell-out stance. Most progressives don't think this is a huge win for anyone but insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Franken never addressed the give away to pharmaceuticals by prohibiting the re-importation of drugs into this country; nor did he address Sen. Ben Nelson's amendment which harms poor women in need of an abortion. This bill directly conflicts with Roe v. Wade because poor women are denied safe access to abortions. Rich women will always have a choice and means for safe abortions. Private insurance even pays for it, notice no Senator is trying to deny or interfere with private insurance.

In the end, I am disappointed in Franken, I must ask: WWWD? What would Wellstone have done? He would stand for the people, especially women and the poor. He would have taken a stand against corporation giveaways. Senator Franken, you sir, are no Paul Wellstone.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Called home" at age 91

Famous Pentecostal fundraiser, Oral Roberts, we call them tele-evangelists, passed away today. He is best known for his threat in 1987 of "God is going to call me home, if I don't raise $8 million dollars for my City of Faith" was finally called home.
By the way, he raised $9.1 million on that stint. He built that City of Faith plus acquired some airplanes, mansions and his school was involved in several scandals ( yes, sex, too).

How much the world has changed since this

Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth

Bet someone is wishing he followed those rules now.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The War Goes On

Update: Just watched the most uninspiring speech I have ever seen from Obama. The cadets at West Point are dozing off, and so is my husband. As for me, I am quite peeved at Obama. Way to go, Democrats.

We are looking at least three more years of IGTNT. This sucks. Every night that IGTNT is published, everyone, including the writers, wish this heartbreaking series would come to an end. I truly don't understand why Obama is doing this. Why continue this war? What justifies this war?

Afghanistan will doom Obama. It isn't called the "graveyard of empires" for nothing. From the Mongols to the Soviets, nobody conquers Afghanistan. But even if it were to happen that we did conquer them, then what? What in God's name is the reason for us to still be there? It isn't Al-Queda because they are not in Afghanistan. They are in Pakistan, Asia and the Middle East. Remember the 9-11 terrorists were mostly from Saudi Arabia. The bin Ladens are from Saudi Arabia not Afghanistan. Osama might have been in Tora-Bora but we let him slip away. Most likely he is dead. Benazir Bhutto confirmed it in this interview shortly before she was assassinated.

A friend wrote at Out of

Let's play this one out. It is December of 2011. Karzai has made little to no headway on the anti-corruption front. Every last member of Al-Qaeda is in the mountains of Pakistan. The Taliban have largely been routed by NATO troops, but in limited skirmishes the Afghan National Army seems unable to handle them without NATO support. Both supporters and opponents of the war can agree that this is a fairly plausible set of outcomes. Does that mean we can leave?

If we start drawing down, the Taliban will start fighting back. Maybe they'll take a few villages here and there, maybe mount an unsuccessful assault on a major city. Al-Qaeda hangs out on the Afghan-Pakistan border, depending on which side is being more aggressive. People still hate Karzai. His brother is still the biggest opium dealer in the country. A suicide bomb periodically blows up a Kabul market square. Do we keep drawing down? Do we re-surge? Do we keep troop levels the same? Where do we get these troops in the first place? Now it's 2012 and Republicans are running on the platform that Obama has lost Afghanistan.

You see, the situation in Afghanistan has always been fucked. It is a country where multiple generations have come of age knowing nothing but war and corruption. It is also a country with almost no infrastructure, limited roads, and a brutal winter that shuts large swaths of the country down for months. It is a country where we prop an anti-democratic corrupt figurehead surrounded by brutal warlords so that the country isn't overtaken by ruthless fundamentalist ruthless warlords. And we are in this country because it might potentially serve as a haven for a bunch of men in caves plotting terrorist strikes against the United States. I find it incredibly hard to believe that the leaders of Al Qaeda could not find another place in South Asia, the Middle East or Africa to sit on rugs and conjure up plots, if we were somehow able to make an impassible mountain range between Afghanistan and Pakistan more inhospitable for them than it is now (And while we're at it, let's please stop with the nonsense that Pakistan may become so destabilized by these fundamentalist hicks that they will lose control of their nuclear weapons, which will then be launched against the United States, or India, or Israel).

In other words, there is no good reason for us to be there. This is the 3rd poorest country in the world, do we really want to occupy it? We cannot remain as their policemen overseeing corruption and abuse. Heck, we have enough of it here. We need them here at home and now.