Shutting it down and walking out

evil fanboys on looseSharp readers of my usual blather know that I do not pull punches when it comes to the Democratic Party.  Whatever problems our country has, it is abundantly clear, time and time again, that voting Democrat will not solve them.  Most of my readers are Democrats, and this upsets them, but I’d rather be right than conform to other people’s ideologies and accept their obvious flaws.  Their cognitive dissonance isn’t something I ever wish to explore.

Having said that, there are a number of narratives going around about the government shutdown and impending debt ceiling decision which hold the Democrats in contempt, or responsible, for both of these manufactured crises.  The Republicans, of course, blame the Democrats completely.  Some media outlets and other political actors take the tack of “a plague ‘a both their houses”; even my own party has recently made statements to this effect.  Placing the blame in this way is pretty easy, and it isn’t usually wrong…but again, if I’m standing on conscience, then it needs to be said: the former is absolutely ludicrous; the latter is just misguided. Continue reading

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Quick and painful

ImageA few quick notes on the government shutdown which has just taken place, in no particular order:

1. I’m always a bit chagrined about being right.  As I have mentioned elsewhere, I was and am in favor of Medicare-for-all as a health care solution for the U.S.  Barack Obama clearly was not, and was quite willing to go to the wall not against the Republicans to pass his plan, but against progressive Democrats in removing the “public option”.  The loyalist Dems who supported anything Obama said or did – quite a few – painted that as a necessary step in order to secure Republican support.  The GOP, they attempted to reason, was far too obstructionist, and only those who were politically “naive”, like the Greens, would think they could just push something through without their approval.  Even after gaining zero Republican votes from either house in passage, which should have negated that argument, they continued to triumphantly celebrate the obviously superior political skills of their nominally liberal President.  All part of the plan, we were assured…the necessary stepping stone on the way to single-payer. Continue reading

Out standing in my field

ImageUnusual times I find myself in of late.  My view on several issues is well-represented in the opinions expressed in Congress and among the public in general, even if it is not necessarily shared by the majority.  As an example, on the Affordable Care Act, while certain provisions are useful and I’m glad they were included, I am overall opposed to it and believe it should be repealed.  On the legality of President Obama’s actions as Commander-in-Chief, I believe that the President has committed impeachable offenses, and would be in favor of articles to that effect being drawn up and debated in the House of Representatives.  Both of these stances should place me squarely within the ideological grounds of Congressional Republicans, and perhaps within their vocal “Tea Party” minority. Continue reading

Seasons change with the scenery

look-sunsetI was in Glen Burnie yesterday and had lunch at Gino’s. If you are a Baltimore kid like me, you’ll understand the significance of this; this was my first time in a Gino’s in – I’m not kidding – 40 years or so. Growing up in Baltimore, even in the nearby ‘burbs as I was, you were a McDonald’s kid or a Gino’s kid. (Yeah, there was Burger Chef, too, but somehow they were never really part of the debate in the playground.) I was definitely a Gino’s kid. It just felt right to be so, even when I didn’t fully understand that McDonald’s was the interloper in our city, while the other burger joint was the enterprise of Gino Marchetti, who played for the Colts before my time. The new Gino’s is more like Cheeburger Cheeburger than McD’s – the food is to order, they have specialty milkshakes, and they play oldies while you eat – but that was fine by me: it was good food, there was Old Bay and malt vinegar on the table, and I was at Gino’s again and just basking in the nostalgia. Continue reading

The forest for the trees

objectionMost of the time, I don’t say anything – there are a mixture of reasons.  I don’t want to seem like a know-it-all.  I don’t feel like getting into it with a partisan of one side or another (i.e. the majority of people) when all I want to do is have a beer in peace.  Sometimes it’s just too depressing to talk about.  And a good part of the time, I just genuinely forget that not everybody sees what I see.

The verdict in the George Zimmerman murder case was announced a few hours ago to a cascade of disbelief and rage across the Internet and the MSM.  Continue reading

Breaking the news

no bullshitMy daughter, bless her, is an extremely intelligent and talented young lady who will be taking off this fall to the wilds of Ohio to attend a large university there.  I am very, very proud of her.  She will be studying journalism.  From the “adults” she interacts with, who never fail to ask her what she will be studying, this draws some now-predictable utterances of “ohhh…!” and furrowed brows, and the occasional snarky comment about the supposedly dwindling number of jobs in the field.  My daughter, to her great credit, ignores these supposed experts.  Continue reading

A quick hit on the latest scandals

black and whiteRobert Reich, who’s actually a pretty smart guy, correctly pointed out something about the current scandal at the IRS, which was posted to a blog I frequent: “Keep your eye on the big scandal. Although the IRS was wrong to target conservative groups for review based on their names, the bigger wrong was its failure to investigate the major groups — such as Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS and Priorities USA — that falsely claimed to be ‘social welfare organizations’ under 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code in order to hide the names of their donors…”

Again, mostly correct, but incomplete.  Continue reading