Last Wednesday, President Obama delivered an excellent address on the deficit, budget cuts, and American values. As part of his solutions, he proposed tax increases. But he didn't say "tax increases". Instead, he referred to:
"reducing spending in the tax code"
I consider this linguistic atrocity to be an impeachable offense.
Giving up without a fight? If we can't pass legislation limiting carbon (and encouraging renewable energy resources) after overwhelming evidence of climate change and the Gulf of Mexico disaster, when can we?
President Obama should fight for a strong, effective bill, within the government and with a public campaign. Then, the Senate Democrats should force the issue, letting the Republicans mount an actual filibuster, if they dare.
Remember that Fox News touted a partially faked video that got governments to denounce and renounce ACORN? Fox False News has now helped to cause an unjustified firing of an USDA employee, Shirley Sherrod.
The video clip at the center of the controversy received widespread attention when it aired Monday night on Fox News, but it was first reported that morning in a story by Brietbart on BigGovernment.com. Taken completely out of contest, the video seemed to show that Sherrod, an African- American, had discriminated against a white farmer, withholding some benefits.
Without hearing Sherrod's side of the story and without viewing the full video, which showed her to be without bias, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack called for her immediate resignation. his precipitous action was reportedly backed up by the White House.
This injustice may be reversed, but what does it show about Obama's administration.? Afraid of Fox News and Glenn Beck? Is the White House really cool and cerebral? Where is Rahm EmanueL? Isn't he running this administration?
Connecticut Attorney General and author Richard Blumenthal announced today that he would be returning his 2008 Nobel Prize for Literature. It had been won for his acclaimed best-selling novel, "From Here to Hanoi", a gritty tale of life in the jungle and on the streets of Saigon during the Viet Nam war.
Unfortunately, said Mr Blumenthal, some misplaced words and passages had given the impression that he had been heavily involved in fighting in that war. This was not the case and Mr. Blumenthal took full responsibility for the mistakes. He added that he would now be devoting full time to public service, working to ensure honesty and transparency in government.
Republicans and Democrats met yesterday at Blair House and discussed health care reform for over 7 hours. I watched most of it, which I guess shows that I have no life. All those hours of politicians with their talking points - but it was surprisingly interesting.
Republicans were respectful in their opposition to the health care reform bill even though their main point was the Congress should start over- from scratch after almost a year of legislative work. Then, they also asked that the Democrats forswear the use a majority vote to pass the bill. This strategy seems like the Bush diplomacy tactic of demanding that the other country give up its positions before we'll negotiate with it.
Again and again, the Republicans said that the American people oppose this huge bill. Some polls do show this, but, no wonder, after Republicans and Teabaggers havemisled the public, with talkof government takeover and death panels.
The Democrats were moderate in defending the proposed bills, with many pointing out that the legislation includes many provisions that Republicans had favored. President Obama presided, sometimes conceding value in a Republican point, sometimes explaining part of the bill and its rationale, sometimes correcting Republican misstatements. At all times, he demonstrated command of the issues and command of the room.
The meeting was a positive event and somehat instructive. No significant positions were changed; the Republicans really offered nothin to cover most of the uninsured and rally want just to kill the bill. The Democrats showed no inclination to include the logical and clearly popular public option, but seemed resolved to get this job done.
Interestingly, after months of Republicans complaints that Obama did not live up to his campaign promise of transparent negotiations broadcastby C-Span, this event was not covered by C-Span.
The highlight was to be Sarah Palin's speech, and the highlight it was. The Alaskan Barbie was in great form and the audience loved it, handing her many ovations.
The speech itself was in no way historic or substantive. But it was a fitting keynote speech, better than one that might be given here by, say, Newt Gingrich, or at a gathering of Democrats by,say, Al Gore. Palin criticized Obama and his policies and filled her speech with platitudes and tea party beattitudes.