Monday, November 22, 2010

Streams Of Consciousness


Howard Dean is adamant that he won't challenge Obama for the Democratic nomination. This morning DFA sent out an e-mail alert to their members from Governor Dean reiterating his position-- the Democratic position, and most Americans' position-- that it is time to end the hateful and bigoted Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. I even saw a CNN crawl a few minutes ago that the Marines have agreed to comply if there is a repeal. Nice of them. Dean:
For the first time since 1993, we have a real chance to end the shameful anti-gay policy called Don't Ask Don't Tell. The President and Democrats in Congress promised the American people that they would repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" before the end of the year-- this is their last chance to deliver on that promise before Republicans officially take control of the House of Representatives just over a month from now.

Earlier this year we seemed to be making progress. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen testified before Congress in support of repealing the ban. Then in September, after repeal passed in the House of Representatives, Republicans in the Senate killed it. They saw this as a chance to play politics with the civil rights of American men and women just before the midterm election. It was disgusting.

This is not a tough one. In poll after poll-- two more released just last week-- a clear majority of Americans have said they think Don't Ask Don't Tell should be repealed. More than 70 percent of active duty and reserve troops have said that the effect of repealing the policy would be "positive, mixed or nonexistent."

The American people know repealing the ban is the right thing to do because requiring someone to lie about who they are, in order to serve their country goes against our values. As General Mullen said during his testimony before Congress, "allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly is the right thing to do. It is a matter of integrity."

This is one of the most important civil rights issues of our time. To get this done, Democrats must stand up to Republicans in Congress and fight for the rights of America's gay service members. It's time to declare once and for all that they will no longer be treated as second-class citizens. It's time to allow all Americans to serve the country they love, regardless of who they love.

When Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva stepped on the landmine outside of Basra that broke his arm and resulted in the amputation of his leg, he became the first person wounded in President George W Bush’s Iraq war. Sgt. Alva is also gay. Now, if someone is brave enough to take a bullet for the United States of America, then they ought not have to lie about who they are. They deserve the right to serve openly.

Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he'll hold hearings on repeal as soon as the Senate reconvenes after the Thanksgiving break. McCain has vowed to filibuster any legislation that repeals DADT. Can Reid muster the 60 votes he'll need to break the GOP filibuster? There are 58 Democrats in the Senate-- if you count Ben Nelson as a Democrat-- so either two or three Republican votes will be needed. So far John Ensign and Lisa Murkowski has each indicated that they will not block the repeal. There are reasons to believe that Dick Lugar and Susan Collins-- even if Olympia Snowe is in an hysterical teabagger panic-- will also support repeal. And outgoing Ohio Senator George Voinovich is another possibility. On the other hand, God only knows what to expect from Nelson, Joe Manchin and dingbat Claire McCaskill.

Meanwhile the teabagger organizations are laying claim to the members of Congress they bought and paid for. Freedomworks is getting exactly what they paid for from Utah's newest fringe lunatic Mike Lee: "using a very safe seat as the high ground to launch Overton Window-shifting attacks on the political consensus. Forget the question of whether Jim DeMint hurt the GOP in a few Senate races. If all he did was help Rand Paul and Mike Lee into the Senate, he's tripled the number of die-hard strict constructionists in the GOP conference."

Americans For Prosperity, one of the most bogus of the billionaire-financed tea party groups, was bragging they have the whole GOP House leadership in the bag when it comes to killing Climate Change legislation.
The following representatives will lead the U.S. House in the 112th Congress and have all signed the pledge:

• John Boehner - Speaker of the House
• Eric Cantor - Republican Leader
• Kevin McCarthy - Republican Whip
• Jeb Hensarling - Republican Conference Chairman
• Pete Sessions - National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman
• Tom Price - Republican Policy Committee Chairman
• Cathy McMorris Rodgers - Republican Conference Vice-Chair
• John Carter - Republican Conference Secretary
• Kristi Noem - Freshman Elected Leadership Representative
• Tim Scott - Freshman Elected Leadership Representative

It didn't even cost much. Americans For Prosperity spent $1,322,060 helping the Republicans defeat progressives Alan Grayson, John Hall, Carol Shea-Porter, Mary Jo Kilroy, Steve Kagen, Ann Kuster and a bunch of Blue Dogs. Their biggest single expense ($189,029.00) was to help elect vehement climate change denier Rick Crawford instead of slightly less vehement climate change denier Chad Causey in Arkansas, on whom the DCCC I.E. Committee squandered $1,771,176.95 (their single biggest candidate expense).

How Long Before Boehner Starts Hitting The Bottle Bigtime?

Boehner has been urging the unruly mob of freshmen teabaggers to start behaving like adults. They just make farting noises in response-- especially when it comes to the debt ceiling. He can't even get freshmen in his own state who he gave piles of money to, like Bill Johnson, to think about acting responsibly. When Boehner tells them they could bankrupt the country they get confused thinking that that, after all, is what the party plank they ran on was urging. “Most of us agreed that to increase the limit would be a betrayal of what we told voters we would do,” said Johnson. If the extremists manage to prevent the deby ceiling from risingit would probably lead to an economic catastrophe for the country, something many of the teabaggers are eager to provoke.
The financial markets are on edge today, with U.S. Treasury bonds being the safe haven for most investment capital. Refusing to raise the debt ceiling would recklessly disrupt the sale and purchase of new Treasury bonds, and could potentially cause a run on outstanding Treasurys as well, as investors sought other investments. This could have catastrophic consequences for our economy as well as the economic stability of the rest of the world.

Such a move will also increase long-term deficits and debt, while cutting off Social Security and Medicare benefits for millions of seniors. But if Johnson is to be believed, many incoming Republican freshman will put that second to their Tea Party ideology.

This may sound ominous to you but it's sweet music to the ears of new elected fanatics like Bill Johnson, Jeff Denhem (R-CA), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Mike Lee (R-UT).

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At 2:00 PM, Anonymous me said...

Howard Dean is adamant that he won't challenge Obama for the Democratic nomination.

I'm not sure I'd vote for him if he did. I have come to hate Democrats as much as I hate scumpublicans. I think he's making a huge mistake continuing to back O'Bummer, the man who gave a Medal of Freedom to Bush Sr.

If Dean went with another party though, I'd send him money for sure.


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