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Hot Air

I know a lot of you get this. Right now I'm talking to the few who don't.

The Republican Party is never going to repeal the 14th Amendment. They are never going to get rid of Social Security. It's all talk. It's all pandering to the extreme right of their party.

The Republicans had six years under George W. Bush where they controlled both houses of Congress. During that time, did they privatize or otherwise gut Social Security? No. It's a non-starter. It's a program so popular that any elected official would be absolutely crazy to actually touch it. Oh, talk about it, sure. Talk until they're blue in the face. But they're not going to actually do anything. Talk riles up the extreme right. Actually trying to do something angers the middle and, yes, the left and that's a combination that leads to a quick defeat in the next election.

Similarly, they aren't going to repeal the 14th Amendment. I've already pointed out how hard it would be procedurally. It would also be impossible politically. And no matter how they try to spin it, they aren't going to convince 2/3 of the country that illegal immigration has gotten so much worse in the last 2 years than it was in the six previous years when their party were the ones refusing to do anything about it. And how are they going to avoid the spotlight of hypocrisy when they're constantly reminded that their hero, the Great Communicator Ronald Wilson Reagen, was the one responsible for the immigration amnesty in the 1980s?

Again, talking about that crap is fine when you're in front of a riled up Tea Party audience. But if recent elections and primaries have shown anything it's that the Tea Party alone can't get anyone elected. They're a minority of a minority party (despite recent declines, more voters self-identify as Democrats than Republicans).

All we on the left have to do is vote. There are more of us. If the Republicans, or worse Tea Party Republicans, take over the houses of Congress, it will be because liberals and progressives don't vote.

We get the government we deserve.

Peace. Out.

Jim Henson's "Anchor Babies"

There have been a number of things I've thought about blogging on lately, but none of them individually moved me enough to write. Well they've finally reached critical mass. Here goes...

Repealing the 14th Amendment - The latest Republican campaign tactic to lure back the far-right Tea Party folks is this "idea" of repealing the 14th Amendment. You know... the one passed to overturn the Dred Scott decision which held than no person of African ancestry could ever be a citizen of the United States (but there's no "racist" element to any of this... not at all). This is a campaign ploy. It gives Republican candidates, facing a revolt from the far right fringe of their own party, a way to claim they're doing something about all the 'foreigners' who are 'taking away' the highly desirable jobs we see illegal aliens luxuriating in. And the only way to repeal a Constitutional Amendment is a pass another amendment... a process so trivial it has been accomplished a grand total of 27 times in over 222 years. It's not going to happen. It's not even going to get serious discussion - and by serious I mean discussion intended to actually consider doing it. It'll get talked to death in certain states and Congressional districts between now and November 2. After that I predict it will only be discussed at white power rallies, and maybe over the Palin's Thanksgiving table.

Midterm Elections - Maybe I'm just fed up, but I really don't care about the midterm elections. I'll vote, I always do. But I really can't get worked up about the outcome. We get the government we deserve. If enough voters really believe that the party that steered our economy into this fiscal mess should, a mere four years later, be giving the chance to do it all again, then so be it. If enough voters really believe that the obstructionist tactics of the Republican party should be validated and rewarded, then so be it. In other words, if enough of you (and I mean you because I'm certain not voting for these bastards) are stupid in the way the modern Republican party thinks you're stupid, then so be it. I'll do all I can. I'll cast my one vote. And we'll get the government we deserve because we're too lazy for democracy.
Prop 8 - I while ago I came to the realization that our country had passed the point where I could sincerely feel that we generally did the right thing for the right reasons. Everyone once in a while something happens that lets me feel that way again, and this week's Prop 8 ruling was one of those moments. Unlike so very many supporters of marriage discrimination, I have a close family member who is gay and thus even remotely affected by this ruling. I have a not insignificant number of friends who are gay or bisexual. And unlike many (apparently), I don't take seeing my friends and loved ones being told they are less deserving of simple human decency than someone else just because of who they fall in love with. The fact that this case was decided by an openly gay judge, a GHW Bush appointee, to whom the case was randomly assigned is nothing more than a curiosity. And to the notion that it was a conflict of interest for him to rule on the case I say "bullsh*t!" How would it have been any less a conflict of interest for a heterosexual judge to rule on it?

Peace, Out.

The History Eraser Button

Ken Salazar is a tool. He took over a horrendously f'ed up agency and did, practically, nothing to clean it up. And Salazar is Obama's man, so that makes the current oil spill situation Obama's fault. Partially.

The conditions that allowed the DWH disaster to occur go back before January 20, 2009. Cetainly they continued after that date, but there's no History Eraser Button that gets pressed when a new administration takes over. As much as Republicans would like to pretend there is.

Politicians of both parties think you're so stupid that you believe the policies and programs our government follow (or fail to follow as it were) can change like a direction like a jack rabbit. The ship of state steers more like a cow than a rabbit. Policy changes can take years, sometimes decades to have any effect, often because the courts rule that if one set of regulations is in effect when a project begins, then it is unfair to ask that the same project then adapt, on the fly, to adhere to a new set of regulations. And I think that's pretty reasonable.

So here I am, an Obama guy, openly proclaiming that the BP oil spill is as much the Obama Administration's fault as it is the Bush Administration's fault. I wonder how many Bush apologists will be willing to say it's as much Bush's fault as Obama's?

I won't hold my breath.

Peace. Out.

Could be worse...


I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!


Leadership

If you listen, you hear an awful lot about how Obama is failing to show leadership on the Gulf oil spill. Over the weekend a friend told me that every time he sees and Obama bumper sticker or hat he says "Oh you got a little oil on your <whatever." Well, he thought it was funny.

What I'd like to know is, precisely, what is Barack Obama not doing that these folks think he should be doing. Should he be down there in a deep sea submersible plugging the oil leak himself? Should he literally be holding a gun to BP's collective head?

Just what is the President of the United States, no matter who it is, supposed to be doing in a situation that is the definition of unprecedented?

"Leadership" sure sounds bad. It sure sounds like something the President should be providing. But what, in this context, does "leadership" mean? What would be showing leadership?

All the predigested Hannity/Limbaugh/Beck responses need not apply. The other oil companies don't know what to do either. All the oil skimmers in the world aren't going to change the core problem that the actual leak is a mile under water at depths we have only begun to be able to operate. And BP, like it or not, is an international company and there's only so much the US President can legally do to them.

So tell me... what concrete, meaningful actions should Obama be taking to show "leadership"?

Peace. Out.

When No Doesn't Necessarily Mean No

Opinion polls. It seems like there's nothing we like more than opinion polls. There are dozens of them. And often they have disparate results. One poll says Obama's approval rating is 52 percent, another says it's 45 percent. Both can't be right. Chances are that neither is.

The bad thing about polls, and poll results is that so much depends on how you ask the question and what the respondent thinks the question is asking.

Let's take that Obama approval rating. as of today, Gallup says it's 46 percent approval, 45 percent disapproval. What does that mean?

Too many seem to think that it means 45 percent would rather have a Republican in the White House. But the question is "Do you approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as President?" (or something close to that).

Now some people might say "Yes. He could be doing better, but overall, yes." Others might respond "No. I think he's doing a bad job." While still others might say "No. I think he could be doing better."

Is that third response really disapproval? Maybe. Does it indicate opposition to an Obama second term? Certainly not.

I think these kinds of polls would be much more informative if they ranked approval on a scale. If they, for example, said on a scale of 1 to 10, how do you rate Obama's performance as President? My gut tells me that rating at present would in the 5-6 range, not the 4-5 range. I could easily be wrong. I just think that some of Obama's harshest critics are people who don't think he's going far enough rather than going too far.

In short, I don't think the way opinion polls results are reported is as reflective of actual opinion as they could be.

Peace. Out.

Sci-Fi Geeks Rejoice!

Well, not just sci-fi fans.

The summer series' have returned.

Although I haven't watched it yet, Rescue Me returned last night. Now I finally  get to see who saves Tommy, who we left last season bleeding to death on the floor of the bar. I wonder who he'll have visions of this year?

Warehouse 13 and Eureka return next week! At long last my Joanne Kelly and Allison Scagliotti drought is over! Fine. I'm a dirty old man. So what?

SyFy also has a new series called Haven that I'm going to give a try.

At last something to get me through the months with no Criminal Minds, Castle, Big Bang Theory and Supernatural.

Woot! Out!

Days like this were meant for blogging...

So I' ve been sitting here all day, doing nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not because I have nothing to do... but because I have nothing I can do.

You see, several projects I am working on depend on other people doing certain things. At one point or another, I can't proceed until someone else gets something done. And those things aren't getting done.

I've told my boss that I need more to work on, but have been told that, for right now, there isn't anything but there will be soon. I don't know how soon "soon" is.

I know it sounds like I'm complaining about a situation I shouldn't complain about, but just being here in the office with nothing to work on is really boring. I browse the web, read my email, check Facebook and LJ... then what?

I don't want to play computer games,. simply because of how it looks. I know I could explain that I have nothing to do, but it still looks bad if you're sitting there playing Champions Online at work. So I sneak in a game of Snood or Solitaire every now and then. Otherwise I watch YouTube videos.

We're not overstaffed. Not by any means. At any moment I could suddenly be busy as Hell. It's just some days are like this... dead dead dead. 

I guess I could go home, but I'm getting low on vacation time due to my struggles with depression.

Speaking of which, it's getting better. Thanks to everyone who sent encouragement my way.

I do need to return my smartphone to US Cellular. I've had it three weeks and I don't care for it. It's an HTC Touch Pro 2 Windows phone. I've had to soft reboot it three times, the calendar only syncs with my "personal" Google calendar (not my work calendar which shows up on Google as an "other" calendar which I have access to), and I don't particularly like how the touch screen works. What I want is the HTC Desire, which runs Android 2.1, but it won't be out until August. I think while I'm there I'll ask about the Samsung Acclaim, which is supposedly going to be available July 9. I'll just reactivate my old phone until then... or I'll get a cheap Blackberry then upgrade to the Desire later this summer.

So far I've resisted the urge to get a Twitter account.

You see... that's what I'm down to. Blogging random thoughts.

Maybe taking two hours of vacation time wouldn't be so bad...

Peace. Out.

Are you freakin' kiddin' me?!?

$125 per seat to see Roger Waters at the United Center?!? What world do these people live in?