Everyone Stop, Take A Deep Breathe and Regain Rationality

About a year ago, shortly after Democrats won Congress, I told a friend of mine that the right wing were the most irrational people on the face on the earth. I said they were the only ones willing to actually kill people to prove political points.

My friend's response to me; wait till your liberal base starts talking when Pelosi is speaker. He was right. I am astonish, sometimes ashamed at the irrational attitude that envelopes here. Everyone needs to calm the f*ck down. We are in a political hostage situation and I thank God none of you are hostage negotiators. I certaintly wouldn't want to be a hostage in a situation where you are.

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Do Republicans Relate More To Americans?

DailyKos must love me. This is the third diary I've written about my pessimism about our chances next year. I want to point out that I still think we are favored to sweep next year, despite everything, but I think I have to make a point that I believe support for Democrats and progressives in America may be weak and based merely on the mistakes of the past rather on hope of the future.

I truly believe, at the end of the day, when faced with a choice and issues aside, America will find itself relating more to the GOP than the Democrats. Hold your fire and read on.

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Why We MUST Elect a Democrat President

We've all been told a lie. In our studies of American History and Government, we were lied to. I'm going to throw a lot of numbers around in this diary, and for those who never did good at math, you might need a pencil and paper to figure this out, but I hope it explains something.

We were told that the US Government consists of three equal branches of government, but when you truly look at it, the President is clearly more powerful that either other branch, and that is especially true when the President's party is loyal to him to the very end. Remember this number, the President only needs the support of 33.4% percent of Congress to get his way. Remember these numbers, 46% of members of the House of Representates are Republicans. 49% of the Senate is Republican.

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Dem Congress Scores Major Breakthrough on Energy Reform

The fact that the election of a Democratic Congress last fall has not yielded meaningful changes in the Iraq policy has helped engender a sentiment that this new Congress just isn't getting enough done. Though change in Iraq still appears difficult to achieve before a new President is sworn in a year from January, the Democrats continue to make headway in other areas, most recently energy reform.

Congressional negotiators reached a deal late Friday on energy legislation that would force American automakers to improve the fuel efficiency of their cars and light trucks by 40 percent by 2020.
[...]

The latest version of the measure, if it becomes law, will force wrenching changes on the American car companies, from design studios to new-car showrooms to executive suites. Automakers now have to achieve 27.5 miles per gallon on cars, a figure that has not changed since 1984, and 22.2 miles per gallon for light trucks, including minivans, sport utility vehicles and pickups. Under the compromise, the companies will retain the distinction between the classes of vehicles, but must still meet a combined 35 m.p.g. fleetwide standard.

[...]

The package will also include a requirement that most electric utilities produce 15 percent of their power from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2020.

This bill doesn't do everything that one would hope such a bill would do, but its passage would represent a giant step forward that should not be understated. The Democratic Congress appears on path to achieve something that no other Congress in my lifetime and even longer has been able to: Enact legislation that will actually help move the country towards energy independence.

Republican Congresses of the past have passed major giveaways to the oil, coal and other related industries that have clearly done little to bring much-needed change. But the effort by the Democratic Congress to dramatically increase the fuel efficiency standards for cars sold in America, as well as to increase the amount of energy being produced from renewable sources, would get move America a lot further along in the path towards both energy independence and better stewardship of the the Earth.

Enactment of this proposal would not only mark a major win for the Democratic Congress, it would also mark a significant success for Nancy Pelosi, who apparently did something no other recent Speaker of either party has been able to do: Stare down John Dingell and come out ahead.

So while this deal doesn't appear to be perfect, and its passage wouldn't likely lessen the unhappiness of those who want above all to see change in Iraq (or those unhappy about FISA or whatever else), it does underscore an important point: Far from being a "Do Nothing Congress," as was the case with the 109th, this new Democratic Congress is continuing to bring some much needed change, including (but not limited to) an increase to the minimum wage, the enactment of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, a boost in student loans and now (potentially) serious energy reform.

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Voters Shift on Iraq: Can We Still Win?

Picture This: It's October 2008. Hillary Clinton is leading the President race narrowly against Mike Huckabee. At their final debate in Hempstead, New York, Hillary is asked "Do you think the surge last summer worked?" Hillary answers that despite the drop in violence, there has been no political solution in Iraq and there needs to be more diplomacy. Governor Huckabee responds to Hillary, saying "But Senator, you did not support the surge. Now we have a chance at political reconciliation because of the surge, and you did not support it, you did not wish to give it a chance. You just wanted to cut and run"

A month late, Huckabee is President-elect, Democrats lose 10 seats in the House and gain only one seat in the Senate. Exit polls show voters perceived Democrats are weak on war because of their opposition to the surge. Voters forget that they too were opposed to it.

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