Monday, March 29, 2010

The Tea Baggers

There was a profile in the Post of one of the Tea baggers who is against, of course, health care reform.

Here are a couple of things this guy said:

"The president just about declared war against the American people last weekend," he said. And it is a war Millam intends to fight.

"I'm not ready for outright violence yet. We have to be civil for as long as we can," Millam said. But, he added, "we are watching the infrastructure of this country crumble under our feet. The government doesn't want to hear us. We have to make them listen."

Really and at what point would you be in favor of outright violence. And who exactly would that violence be directed at? And you'd justify this violence because you didn't get your way on a particular issue. Or maybe because the wrong person got elected to office.

It would never have occurred to me during the Bush presidency to contemplate violence against the government. Even when I viewed the Bush administration as gutting the Constitution and especially its evisceration of the first amendment.

People talked about bringing articles of impeachment against Bush. For me this was a non-starter. It was never going to happen and would only play into the hands of the Republicans.

The thing to do, as in all situations like this, is to work for a victory through the electoral process. And starting in 2004 the path to that victory began. It lead to the election of Barack Obama as president in 2008.

The tea baggers idea of democracy seems to be that their candidate must win otherwise the election results are some how invalid. They seem incapable of recognizing that. That sometimes in a democracy your side doesn't win. That sometimes your party or your beliefs are out in the wilderness. And that the path back to power may take some time. That it might take several elections. But that's how things work in a democracy.

But the path these people seem to be following leads anywhere but to democracy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Smile

Well it's another sunny Sunday in DC if a little cool. No protesters in sight especially no tea baggers. Here are a couple of strips to start the day off with a smile. The last one is my favorite. Click on the image to get a larger view. Enjoy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Spring Starts to Arrive

And it's about time too!!!!

These are some of the trees that are out near my house. Sounds like the next couple of days will be rainy and a little cold. But very soon the Cherry Blossoms will be here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Health Care Reform

I was going to comment on this earlier but some things came up which will be discussed in an upcoming post.

I was pleased that it was passed. I thought it was interesting that on one of the commentary programs I watch, Inside Washington, on Friday they talked like it was a done deal. They talked about when it passed and what the Republicans next step would be.

I was still skeptical. Then over the weekend the Tea Party people showed up. (It was a very busy weekend in Washington. Saturday was the DC Marathon, an anti-war march and of course the Tea Party. Sunday Tea Party again and the immigration reform march.) I guess I should not be surprised at the action of the Tea Party people when they went after members of Congress. Art and I discussed this on our most recent 2Politcal Podcast.

Several observations. They incredible hatred and bile by these people directed at the Democrats. The name calling: Nigger and Faggot. I wonder what the next step will be. But I wasn’t surprised at the reaction of some of the Republicans. I will say most said there was no place for this type of behavior. But not all of them felt that way.

This from Reps. Steve King (R-Iowa):

“I just don’t think it’s anything,” King said. “There are a lot of places in this country that I couldn’t walk through. I wouldn’t live to get to the other end of it.” He added that health-care supporters were “embellishing” the story to undermine the opposition.

First off the racist undertone of this comment is incredible. More to the point this is the grounds of the Capitol of the United States. There shouldn’t be any fear what so ever to walk across the street. And the “embellishing point” well that’s a load of crap.

The second comes from Devin Nunes (R-Calif.):

“When you use a totalitarian tactics, people, you know, begin to act crazy,” Nunes said on CSPAN. “I think that people have every right to say what they want. If they want to smear someone, they can do it.” He said the epithets were “not appropriate” but that the whole crowd shouldn’t be characterized by the behavior of a few members.

What totalitarian tactics are you talking about? And the best he can say about using faggot and nigger is they “aren’t appropriate.”

You have to wonder what it will take for all the Republicans to tone down their rhetoric. Like the lovely Governor Quitter who put on her site that people should reload.

I wonder what it will take for the Republicans to stop pandering to these people. Does property have to be vandalized? No wait that’s already happened. Calls by right wing bloggers for getting their guns ready to fight people? No wait that’s happened already too.

No guess someone is going to have to get seriously hurt or killed before that happens. But I’m sure there will be some way for the Republicans to blame the victim for bringing it on themselves.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2Political Episode 27

2PP027 - 23 March 2010

The passage of the healthcare reform bill starts us off today, and we then move on to the politics that swirled around Washington, DC that weekend. The teabaggers are a topic. That movement was co-opted by corporate elites, turning it into a mostly aggressive fascist movement. So, what do we call the original Tea Party folks, the ones who aren’t crazy? Republicans don’t get off lightly this episode, either, especially the “Tenthers” and other extremists. Comments let us talk a bit about more, including that infamous recent Supreme Court decision. Arthur screwed up the end of the podcast, but fixed it (mostly) in editing. That’s why there’s so much giggling.

Please leave a comment (anyone’s welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

2Political Podcast Episode 27 is now available. You can listen to it on the widget on the right side of my blog, or you can go the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tuesday Treat a Day Early

Two very funny Peanuts cartoons. So it's a Tuesday treat a day early.

Ushering in Spring

In DC it was a bright and wonderful warm sunny day. But for my brother out in Springfield it was a very different story as you can see by the video below.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I Got Counted

It arrived in the mail last week. And ten questions later I was all done with the census. I actually took it to work and filled it out after. I found a nice mailbox and dropped it in. Now hopefully everyone else will do the same.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Treat

Probably some of the funniest strips in Peanuts are about Charlie Brown and his kite. Here's a very funny one.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Kalb Report

A great Kalb Report last week. This one was on war correspondents called War Reporting: The New Rules of Engagement

All four journalists have spent extensive time in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rajiv Chandrasekaran, The Washington Post
Cami McCormick, CBS News
Laura King, Los Angeles Times
Martha Raddatz, ABC News

Cami McCormick is still recovering from injuries that she sustained in Afghanistan.

The U.S. military says a CBS Radio News correspondent wounded in eastern Afghanistan has been flown to Germany for additional medical treatment.

Cami McCormick was wounded Friday when the Army vehicle she was in struck a roadside bomb in Logar province.

CBS and NATO have not revealed the extent of her injuries.

McCormick, 47, was first treated at a field hospital and then at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. U.S. military spokeswoman Sgt. Susan Wilt says she flew to Landstuhl, Germany, on a military flight early Sunday.
They said that there is a better overall picture of what went on and what is going on in Iraq in comparison to Afghanistan. The main reason for that is there are more local Iraqi reporters that the main news sources can turn to. As Martha Raddatz said to get the bigger view you need to involve more people.

Chandrasekaran from the Post made in interesting point that you learn more one day on the ground in the war zone than interviewing people in DC for 30 days. It brought up a general discussing of the fact that people here in America the deciders so to speak don't always know what is going on on the ground day to day.

They also commented on the resilience of both the Iraqi and Afghan people. Also that in what has to be one of the worst situations possible you see the whole spectrum of humanity. People doing terrible things while at the same time other people deciding not to overwhelmed by the violence going on around them.

They said that most if not all of the soldiers are on board about the mission. But at the same time they are more than willing to voice their concerns about how things are being done on a day to day basis.

For me this was one of the best Kalb Reports I've been to.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Supporting Our Troops

Peter King from Sports Illustrated has launched a campaign to help out some of our troops in Afghanistan. King met Army First Sgt. Mike McGuire at a ball game in St. Louis several years back. They struck up a conversation at the game. Peter has kept track of Sgt. McGuire. McGuire will be going to Afghanistan again shortly. From King's column:

I asked Mike last year if there was anything he thought I could do for him and his troops when they deploy. He said it would be nice if the base that will likely be invented for his company -- as are many in remote areas of Afghanistan -- could have some or the comforts that the big bases have: a TV with video games, and weight equipment for the soldiers in the company to use in their downtime. The USO graciously offered to be the accountant for the project, and to collect the money -- and Mike and I agreed that any money raised beyond the $20,000 or so for his company's equipment will be used for other platoons in other remote areas of the war zones.

So far $124,500 has been raised. If you'd like to help out follow this link to the USO website.

I've contributed already and plan to do again.

It is after all the least I can do for their sacrifice.

Sunday Smile

Two very funny strips. Hopefully this will help brighten the day because it's rather gloomy outside.

Friday, March 12, 2010

2Politcal Episode 26

2PP026 - 12 March 2010

Special Days are back, and there’s an international aspect today. Then, we talk about passing healthcare reform through reconciliation, and that means talking about Republican hypocrisy Arthur names names, calling out the liars. Then we talk about America’s new McCarthy, Liz Cheney. We then talk a bit about John McCain’s re-election troubles, which leads to a larger discussion of the fringe taking over the Republican mainstream. Arthur says the 24-hour drumbeat on the right can’t end well, and we talk about that and some of the reasons things are as they are. Even the mainstream newsmedia isn’t immune from our gaze.

Comments let us talk a bit about snow, cognitive dissonance, the Canadian “dictatorship” and teabaggers—we have great listeners! As a matter of fact, almost half this episode is a discussion of a comment—which is the whole point in having comments, to foster a conversation. Keep those comments coming!

Please leave a comment (anyone’s welcome—agree or disagree!), or you can ring the 2Political Comment line on 206-350-3982.

2Political Podcast Episode 26 is now available. You can listen to it on the widget on the right side of my blog, or you can go the podcast site, You can leave comments there as well as download or listen to any episode.

Get 2Poltical Podcast for free on iTunes

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dinning Out for Life

It's that time of year again. Dinning Out for Life is tomorrow.

From the Food and Friends web site:

On Thursday, March 11th, the local restaurant community will unite to help Food & Friends provide so much more than a meal. You can help, simply by DINING OUT!

The funds raised through Dining Out for Life will support children and adults in the Washington area facing HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of each participating restaurant. Check out our list for your favorite dining spot, or select a place you've been hoping to try. No matter which restaurant you choose, your support will provide critical nutrition for your neighbors in need.

So follow the link to the list of restaurants that are participating. Get some friends together for dinner and help out others at the same time.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Finally Returning to Normal

Looks like no more snow. The Olympics is over. I think maybe just maybe my cold and sinus problems are finally a thing of the past. It’s starting to warm up too.

So maybe a little over two months into the new year I can start getting back to a normal routine. The normal routine mostly being about getting back into the gym on a regular basis. I was back at spinning on Saturday. It was a very good class. Thought about going on Monday but I stayed up and watched the Academy Awards and then for some reason couldn’t get to sleep until 3 am so decided not to go.

My training schedule has been changed. Shawn had to move Tuesday’s sessions to Wednesday at 5. Now the thing is can I, or maybe better put, should I take the 7am spinning class that day and then go back for the 5pm training session with Shawn. I think I’m going to try and see if I can do it. Of course it is possible I won’t be able to move on Thursday but I’m going to chance it. Now I have to find something to do on Tuesday. It looks there might be a yoga class in the morning. I’m still not sure about taking a yoga class. Being the klutz that I am I’m not sure I’d be able to get the positions correct. But I don’t have to decide until next if I’ll take the class or not.

In other news the piles of snow are just about gone. There was a small amount in my front yard but that melted on Sunday. About the only places that still have piles are in parking lots. One of the turn lanes in the Home Depot parking lot is still blocked. But all of that should be gone with the rain that is coming our way toward the end of the week. Thankfully it will rain and not snow.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Cold and Sinus AGAIN

Just when I thought I would be able to catch up on things. No more snow (very happy about that) and no more Olympics (sad about that). I get yet another cold and sinus stuff. The flow of phelgm isn't as great this time around. But WOW does my head hurt. Took all sorts of pills and they seemed to do no good at all. Left work early on Wednesday and stayed home Thursday and Friday. Hopefully by next week it will all be gone.

Can't wait for spring.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Trying to Play Catch Up

That’s what I’ve been doing for the last week at work. Now that the Olympics are finished I can try and do that at home as well. Cleaning up the house. I have to move things back into the room off my bedroom.

I took most out because the windows were leaking water. I tried several times to move the chair out as well. It would not fit out the door. I then remember that I’d put together the chair in that room. I’d realized at the time that once put together it would not fit through the door. I just wished I remembered that after the first time I tried to get it through the door instead of the third time.

I’m also trying to play catch up with the blog and figure out what’s going on in the world. It seems we might be close to getting health care. That is if Obama and the Democrats can get the reconciliation bill through the Senate.

The Republicans are of course up in arms over this. Orrin Hatch had a piece in the Post the other day decrying this

He said in part:

the Senate is designed for deliberation. That is why Senate rules and procedures give a minority of senators the power to slow or even stop legislation. Both parties do it when in the minority, and both find it frustrating when they are in the majority. But such checks are central to the nature of the institution and to the Senate’s place in our constitutional system. These rules temper majority power and generate strong incentives to develop mainstream legislation that commands broad, bipartisan support.

To impose the will of some Democrats and to circumvent bipartisan opposition, President Obama seems to be encouraging Congress to use the “reconciliation” process, an arcane budget procedure, to ram through the Senate a multitrillion-dollar health-care bill that raises taxes, increases costs and cuts Medicare to fund a new entitlement we can’t afford. This is attractive to proponents because it sharply limits debate and amendments to a mere 20 hours and would allow passage with only 51 votes (as opposed to the 60 needed to overcome a procedural hurdle). But the Constitution intends the opposite process, especially for a bill that would affect one-sixth of the American economy.

The problem I see with this is there is no interest on the part of the Republicans for any sort of bipartisan moves on health care. Their answer scrap the whole bill. They say the American people don’t want it. Except most polls show that they do want reform to health care. The Republicans also don’t have a leg to stand on because they’ve used the threat of a filibuster or the threat of cloture over and over again. The number of times this has happened is off the charts compared to past years. And it is on just about ever issue imaginable.

I’m not sure the filibuster should be done away with. There are many important reason to get rid of it. Like say preventing the work of Congress from coming to a grinding halt. But sometime the majority should be stopped to listen to the minority view. But if you’re going to keep the filibuster then go back to the old rules where people had to be on the floor of the Senate talking to continually. Along with that maybe put some sort of time limit on how long Senators can hold forth. Currently the filibuster is being abused and that needs to stop.