Friday, January 10, 2014
Harry Reid (D-NV) – Brings Partisanship to New Heights – Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) – works with Coburn (R-OK) on Bill – Sick of it All Yet?
An article in the New York Times speaks to the power plays by the Majority Senate Leader, Harry Reid and his “uncompromising” position on anything Republican. Apparently, there have been bills brought forth by Republicans which Democrats of like mind might have voted for or against (with dialogue), yet Senator Reid stops all from being brought to a vote on the Senate Floor(New York Times). Reid, the Majority Leader, has the job of traffic cop when it comes to legislation and whose legislation is brought forth, voted upon and sent to the President’s desk for signature. When he blocks one party entirely, he’s playing partisan politics, which, one might suggest, will not turn out well for the current party in power (Democrats, which Reid leads by the nose).
Playing nice, at the moment, is the newly elected Progressive from Massachusetts, Senator Elizabeth Warren, with of all people Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK). Apparently they have co-written legislation on transparency with corporations specific to tax breaks, and the people’s money (both personal and tax) when it comes to banking. The referring article by the Huffington Post notes Coburn as an arch-conservative. - Coburn releases the annual government waste book available here, at www.coburn.senate.gov From this point of view, it’s a reasonable match, as Coburn is shouting government waste from the rooftops, and Warren is shouting corruption and waste as well. The bill will be on the Senate Floor, but the question remains, with Reid’s inability to allow anything with a Republican Label go to the floor, what happens to Warren and Coburn’s noble quest?
Reid is now in a position to play this either way – for example: He may shut it down entirely as it would appear that a Republican has something to offer and to be bi-partisans should it go to the Senate floor for a vote or, he can allow the vote – giving the one most likely to run for the Democrat Nomination for President (Elizabeth Warren), a leg up so to speak.
Meanwhile, all the worthwhile and the worthless legislation that both parties are writing (as that is the job they are hired to do), sits and nothing gets done – and Reid rules over a do-nothing Senate – if he were slightly less moral, one might liken him to the mad ruler of Rome, Caligula (referring to the madness of Power).
As the general voting public on both sides including rank and file Democrats and Republicans as well as Tea Party and Progressive, are growing more leery by the day of the partisanship shown on both sides. It is as if two big bullies are running the nation – into the ground. Which brings up a point – if one of each of what is seen as the more radical factions of both parties, actually makes a run at the Presidency and or any office for that matter, and avoids the general label of D or R – it follows that that individual would endear themselves to the public – the voting public.
A perfect example of such is the recent brouhaha over Chris Christie and his Turnpike Scandal. Not a fan of the Governor on some points, the level of partisan rhetoric coming from the Democrats, and stony silence from the Republican’s is ridiculous. The man took responsibility for something he was unaware of, and that shows leadership. Of course, the Republicans have some grievances with Christie as they felt he should not have embraced the President during the crisis of Hurricane Sandy, while Mitt Romney, the second worse candidate in recent memory, was trying to unseat the worst President since Jimmy Carter. Blaming Christie is ridiculous, as Romney was not supported by either the right wing evangelicals as well as the Tea Party! – When 20 million voters stay home, it’s time to change strategy. Not likely as they are having Bush delusions (Jeb Bush) and the Democrats are currently in love with Hillary Clinton. One might suggest that none of those mentioned in the preceding, will actually make it through the nominating process.
Which point, one of the most progressive individuals one might meet, suggested, who cares about Christie, why is this even news? This is referring, of course, to the labels - again.
Keep it up Harry, the DNC and the RNC and soon we will have new parties develop which are long past due. The public is becoming increasingly aware and increasingly Independent (or not affiliated with any political party)
Thursday, January 09, 2014
Children at play - circa 1960 - image from Sharonssunlitememories blog
The CDC is reporting that only one (1) in four (4) teens meet the CDC fitness guidelines and these are partial findings, with results not yet weighed for treadmill tests – obesity also played a factor – however, the fact that the survey (done by parents) suggests that an hour of physical activity – per week, was accomplished is mind-boggling. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
What this reports is suggesting is that with each generation, we get heavier and are more inclined to sit on the sidelines rather than engage in physical activity. Recalling that most baby boomers were considered “soft” by their parent’s standards, those who are now grandparents, are recalling childhoods that involved a higher level of activity than their children and children’s children have enjoyed.
Technology is a factor, with entertainment at one’s fingertips; it is far easier to enjoy leisure time without moving a muscle. Crime against children might be included – parents hesitating to send one’s offspring’s out into the wilds (without supervision) is more likely to occur.
The snow was deeper, there were fewer buses, and we walked six miles backwards up steep hills to get to school.
There was more reading of books, and more imagination used, as there were fewer “gadgets” available to help one think! Organized sports were there, of course, but it was more likely that there were unorganized games as well, played for the fun of it, without any supervision and without the threat of litigation that hangs over each household should a game of “dodge ball” knock out someone’s front tooth!
Rusty nails and tetanus shots were common, as were leaving the house in the wee hours of the morning and returning home at dark in the summer. Parents sent children out of the house, without the fear of abduction in summer. In winter, children were shoveling, sledding, and otherwise engaged in snowball fights and building forts (as soon as the homework was done).
It was, looking back, somewhat idyllic and out of reach for today’s youth.
We all worked, from the time we were old enough to want to buy candy at the local mart, we were picking vegetables, had paper routes, did chores, babysat, or raked lawns - we were entrepreneurs who never thought of child labor as a bad thing. There was no minimum wage in the farmer’s field, yet, we could not wait until he needed a hand. As one got older, one might have worked as a cashier at a local store, and one had to count without the benefit of a computerized register.
Conveniences have bred a lack of enthusiasm for exercise of the mind and body for our youth, and to be honest for those who are, at any age, glued to the TV, or the laptop, or the Ipad.
Therefore, these results are not surprising, only wistfully sad. The few that do aspire to be able to count without the aid of a computer, or to climb mountains, ski slopes, and compete and play as well, are somewhat elite, compared to the masses who – sit. It is an inequality that we, as nation, have brought upon ourselves.
Are there solutions, most likely, however, it is also unlikely that the siren that is the convenience and the bogeymen that are very real, will continue to keep us enslaved and a little bit slower and heavier with each passing generation.
Wednesday, January 08, 2014
Bob Gates Let’s Loose – States What Most Already Surmised on Defense Strategy of Obama Administration
Although it is being perceived as “shocking” by the major media outlets, Bob Gates, former Bush and Obama Secretary of Defense’s, critique of the administration’s handling of the nation’s defense in his new book ; he goes so far as to suggest Joe Biden could be wrong on foreign policy (ABCNews).
One might have been living under a rock for the past eight years not to notice several things gone astray, and remarks made publicly by administration officials, including Joe “foot in mouth “Biden, regarding the nation’s defense (foreign policy, economic policy, health care policy, etc. , etc.). It is not necessarily partisanship that drives the aforementioned suggestion; it is the reality of the world today, and the world – pre 2008. Lost opportunities in Iran (the student uprising of 2009), was a beginning of doubt of competence – it was not, to be honest, the fact that it was a lack of trying; it was a lack, as stated by Gates, of the general belief in the outcome.
The entire “sordid affair” will be shoved under the proverbial rug, no doubt sooner than later. Suffice it to say, that the nation, once emboldened by employment and a sterling education, no longer cares it appears, what petty partisanship remarks, made by either side of the political status quo aisle, rather, ignoring and bearing with each and every day of more trial and error.
History will decide, which is often noted by former President George W. Bush, who appears to be quite content. The job, which is bestowed on the President, generally ages and destroys even the most devote political animal – take a long look at President Obama – he is weary, as was Bush in the waning days – some are made for the positions, others have the position thrust upon them, some prepared through governing, others not so much. In this case, historically, the jury will be out for some time, regardless of the progressive bent of historians in general. Take Carter, who has been given a virtual pass by the elite, the general public remembering him as a “good man”, but…not suited for the job. Bush (W), more popular post Presidency, than during, may find history turning in his favor, due to the economics and a sense of nationalism. With the current administration, it is too soon to tell – yet, this book by Gates will be added to the research when the time comes.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Best Quote of the Week: “We’ve had record warmth. We’ve had record cold. The fact is it’s happened, and we don’t know exactly why.” –
Time to recycle 1970's Time cover - image from the conservative mind.net
Given the fact that we’ve (the U.S.) has had blistering cold weather this week in places as unusual as Alabama and Florida, there is always an explanation – the best one yet – based on the New York Times article on the Polar Vortex, also produced the best quote, by far, on weather by David A. Robinson, New Jersey’s state climatologist and a professor at Rutgers: “We’ve had this amplified pattern for the past six weeks or so,” he said. “With it, we’ve had record warmth. We’ve had record cold. The fact is it’s happened, and we don’t know exactly why.” (New York Times)
The Times also includes the usual “Global Warming” theories – however, that’s getting a bit difficult to swallow, unless the crew that’s on the second ship which is stuck at the north pole, trying to rescue the first global warming ship that got stuck in the ice, have some earth shattering news they’ve been unable to send back – what with all the chattering teeth.(Grist.org)
What those who are not paid global or anti-global warming activists can surmise is that the weather changes – this is especially true if one is from New England –just wait a minute, and the weather changes. Historically, weather patterns develop, where there are 20 years of cold (simplistically put) and then 20 years of warmth (again simplistically put). Some who have lived long enough may recall the global cooling craze (otherwise known as the coming of another ice age) which was popular back in the 1960’s & 1970’s (Read overview here:mastersource.org – the global cooling scare revisited One might just plug in global warming, and a lot of taxpayer resources for both “theories” and it starts to sound a bit like a money making gambit, rather than – historical weather patterns, which have occurred over the millennium.
Go figure. No one really knows.
Monday, January 06, 2014
Massachusetts 2014 Governors Race – Primary Challenge for GOP – Charlie Baker and Mark Fisher – Could a Republican retake the Governor’s office?
It goes without saying that Charlie Baker will be seeking the Governor’s office this year as Deval Patrick finally exits. He will, however, face a challenger, Auburn, MA businessman, Mark Fisher. Fisher, who is more Tea Party, offers a non-politically connected option to those Bay State primary voters – His website: www.markfisher2014.com offers an about Mark, as well as an issues page. Charlie Baker who ran in 2009 against then incumbent Deval Patrick, managed a loss of 1% based on a third party (Independent) candidate – or someone who was a Democrat conveniently turned Independent in time for an election. Baker’s website www.charliebaker2014.com offers issues and insight into the candidate as well.
In Massachusetts politics one is instantly inclined to ask – “why bother” when Republican’s run against what is the Democrat machine in the Bay State. However, Boston Magazine suggests that with the top Democrats vying for the Governor’s office, there is not a great deal of confidence.
It would be the same if all nine of the Congressional seats (mainly incumbent Democrats) were also facing challengers, there would and should be a lack of confidence. The reason is not that the Bay State has suddenly turned red – by no means. It is more the anti-incumbent and anti-political party – that should have anyone who paid the slightest attention to the statewide local elections nervous. There were good and not so hot, mayoral races (outside of Boston) that went either way – with incumbent Republicans and solid Democrat mayors finding themselves short on vote, being replaced when it was thought not quite possible.
Since Massachusetts has been cast in the roll of what to do to win national elections, one might want to take a hard look at who is the least “political party” candidate and factor that person as a possible contender for the win. Of course, that does not take into consideration the usual Massachusetts.