Dynamo is religion

GOP is suffering of short memory loss

GOP leaders, including Palin, McConnel and others have started the movement to rehab Bush and his administration. Paul Krugman shows us how the public should not and does not want those "good ole times" to return:

"On the economy: Last week Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, declared that “there’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy.” So now the word is that the Bush-era economy was characterized by “vibrancy.”

I guess it depends on the meaning of the word “vibrant.” The actual record of the Bush years was (i) two and half years of declining employment, followed by (ii) four and a half years of modest job growth, at a pace significantly below the eight-year average under Bill Clinton, followed by (iii) a year of economic catastrophe. In 2007, at the height of the “Bush boom,” such as it was, median household income, adjusted for inflation, was still lower than it had been in 2000.

But the Bush apologists hope that you won’t remember all that. And they also have a theory, which I’ve been hearing more and more — namely, that President Obama, though not yet in office or even elected, caused the 2008 slump. You see, people were worried in advance about his future policies, and that’s what caused the economy to tank. Seriously.

On the deficit: Republicans are now claiming that the Bush administration was actually a paragon of fiscal responsibility, and that the deficit is Mr. Obama’s fault. “The last year of the Bush administration,” said Mr. McConnell recently, “the deficit as a percentage of gross domestic product was 3.2 percent, well within the range of what most economists think is manageable. A year and a half later, it’s almost 10 percent.”

But that 3.2 percent figure, it turns out, is for fiscal 2008 — which wasn’t the last year of the Bush administration, because it ended in September of 2008. In other words, it ended just as the failure of Lehman Brothers — on Mr. Bush’s watch — was triggering a broad financial and economic collapse. This collapse caused the deficit to soar: By the first quarter of 2009 — with only a trickle of stimulus funds flowing — federal borrowing had already reached almost 9 percent of G.D.P. To some of us, this says that the economic crisis that began under Mr. Bush is responsible for the great bulk of our current deficit. But the Republican Party is having none of it.

Finally, on the war: For most Americans, the whole debate about the war is old if painful news — but not for those obsessed with refurbishing the Bush image. Karl Rove now claims that his biggest mistake was letting Democrats get away with the “shameful” claim that the Bush administration hyped the case for invading Iraq. Let the whitewashing begin! "

They want their promise land, which is pure hell for the rest of us reasonable folks. We better stop them.
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Dynamo is religion

Victory for America

Today was truly a great day for America.

The Bill that had been voted into Law is more important than any other legislation over the last 45 or so years. Not since LBJ has this country seen such a sweeping, such an important, such a gargantuan bill.

I shall remember it. 219-212 to pass Senate's version and 220-211 to pass the reconciliation to the Senate bill. A year and a half of fighting the obstructionist Republicans, the conservative anti-abortion democrats, the fierce right-wing media, the hooligan Tea Party, it's all almost over. We have a week, in which the Senate should ratify the reconciliation - and then it is truly over.

There had never been any reason for the most industrialized, the richest country in the World to not provide Health Care to all its citizens. No reason and no excuse. No reason to take away the coverage from the sick and to raise the premiums on the rest of us.


Yes We Can!

There is one more sullen point I have. I have heard a lot of people say that they can not wait for Republicans to take over the US Congress in November so they can undo what had been done today.

To them I say - FUCK YOU. I'd like to see a Republican overturn the right not to be denied coverage due to sickness or prior condition or to leave some people without coverage at all. That would truly be political suicide. Republicans know that. It remains to be seen if they can win back the Houose. But whether or not they do, health Care Bill is here to stay.
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Dynamo is religion

Public Option received unexpected help

It is no surprise that the Health Care reform WITH a Public Option needs a lot of help to even still be alive as a piece of legislation. For various reasons, people have not been enthused by it and some were downright against it.

Never fear, help arrives promptly from an unexpected source: Enter the Insurance Companies!

During this week several major health care insurance providers announced double digit rate hikes. Among them are Anthem Blue Cross (California's largest for-profit health care insurance provider) raises its rates by up to 39% in the state of California. Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield raises their premiums by 22%. Anthem of Maine requests a 23% increase.

The private sector's health care is not working. it forces individuals and families to drop health care altogether as it becomes less and less affordable. Crisis grows, number of uninsured grows. And while Republicans ignore the crisis altogether, there are some key democrats who are fighting to revive the public option in Congress.

To recap, February 16th a group of 4 key Democrats in US Senate signed a letter to Sen. Harry Reid to hold a vote on a government-run public insurance option:

Sens. Michael Bennet of Colorado, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Sherrod Brown of Ohio signed a letter urging Reid, D-Nevada, to hold a vote on the proposal under a rule known as a reconciliation, which would allow the measure to pass with only 51 votes -- a simple majority.

Over the last two days that group grew in size. Now, 17 Democratic Senators are supporting the letter.

Among the new additions are Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Al Franken (D-MN), Pat Leahy (D-VT), John Kerry (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

If anything, these private sector health care providers' rate hikes brought more urgency into healthcare reform, and re-energized the public option.
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Dynamo is religion

Obama had quite a year

I keep hearing that Obama had a bad first year. That he didn't do much. That he tried to do too much in too many areas and, thus, achieved little. And then, I came accross this little statistic from Congressional Quarterly:

In his first year in office, President Obama did better even than legendary arm-twister Lyndon Johnson in winning congressional votes on issues where he took a position, a Congressional Quarterly study finds.

The new CQ study gives Obama a higher mark than any other president since it began scoring presidential success rates in Congress more than five decades ago. And that was in a year where Obama tackled how to deal with Afghanistan, Iraq, an expanding terrorist threat, the economic crisis and battles over health care.

"His success was 96.7 percent on all the votes where we said he had a clear position in both the House and the Senate. That's an extraordinary number," Cranford says.

The previous high scores were held by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, with 93 percent, and Dwight Eisenhower, who scored 89 percent in 1953. Cranford notes that George W. Bush's score hit the high 80s in 2001, the year of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. But Obama surpassed them all, Cranford says.

How 'bout them apples. Next time you hear people say that Obama's first year was a failure you can throw this stat right back at the m
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Stop the Blame Game

I love it how many pundits on the right find it convenient to blame Obama (in office for all of two months this far) for the stumbling economy and stock market in free fall.

These same guys blamed Clinton for 9/11 (8 months into Bush's term) and Carter for the 1981/82 recession (a year and a half into Regan's term).

The truth is, Obama had inherited this mess from Bush's Administration and Bush-allied Congress (including the stonewalling Republican minority of the 2007/8 US Senate). Obama's plans may be criticized by many. Even I find things not to my liking, such as refusal to nationalize the failing banks, fixing them and selling them back off into the private sector all cleaned up and profitable. But let this plan work. Let's see what economy looks like a year or two from now.

Here's an interesting little piece of wisdom from Joe Conason:

As Barack Obama's economic advisers confront choices that vary from bad to worse in their mission to revive the financial sector and the broader economy, it is worth remembering that those choices were in essence inherited by the president, who is still new to his office. Listening to his critics, especially on the right, it would be easy to believe that the president is personally responsible for ballooning deficits, gigantic bailouts, ridiculous bonuses, nationalized institutions and careening markets. It would be easy to believe but entirely false -- and merely the latest episode in an old political con game that is all too typical of Washington.

Ever since Election Day 2008, the usual suspects have been hard at work, deflecting responsibility from the Bush administration (and the Republicans in Congress) for the catastrophic effects of conservative policy enacted during the past eight years. Within days after Mr. Obama's victory, as stock prices fell, radio host and ideological commissar Rush Limbaugh exclaimed that we were already in the "Obama recession."

In fact, the economy had been shrinking for nearly a year by then, and the market was responding to bad economic news rather than the election result.

But facts are inconvenient for propaganda -- especially when politicians and pundits are seeking to escape blame for policies that have failed.

Among the boldest perpetrators of this con game over the past few decades is Mr. Limbaugh, who shares with his fellow Republicans a peculiar method of timing the blame for economic woe. When he was flacking for the first President Bush back in 1992, he wrote: "The worst economic period in the last 50 years was under Jimmy Carter, which led to the 1981-82 recession, a recession more punishing than the current one." But of course the president during the 1982 recession was not named Carter; that president was the sainted Ronald Reagan.

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Answer the Big Gay Sex Survey!

(x-posted to liberal)

So the Observer has uncovered significant minorities in the UK against same-sex marriage, against gay adoption and against an equal age of consent. It comes at a time when the head of the Islamic Medical Association in Britain has said:

“There is punishment and fine if you throw rubbish or filth on the streets, the gays are worse than the ordinary careless citizen, they are causing the spread of illness and they are the root cause of many sexually-transmitted diseases.

“They need neither sympathy nor help, what they need is the stick of law to put them on the right path.”

So answer me, world! What are your thoughts on homosexuality and gay people? Comment here and fill out the survey here, if you would.
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Obama for Prez

To Convince an Undecided

This is arguably the most important election that a member of our generation has yet faced. And this is unarguably a partisan issue. I am, and have been since the early days of the campaign, an Obama supporter and I offer no apologies as such. This essay is intended to explain my decision to support Barack Obama and Senator Joe Biden over Senator McCain and Governor Palin, and to spell out the reasons that undecideds like her should as well.

Senator McCain’s pick for running mate is nothing short of an insult to American women everywhere. Senator McCain’s choice not to go with those Conservative darlings like former Governor Mitt Romney, or Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, in favor of a little-known governor of the largest state in the union with the 3rd smallest population in the union is a political play intended to shave support from the disaffected women who feel they were short-changed with the defeat of Hillary Clinton. Sarah Palin’s politics are at the opposite of the political spectrum. Palin’s pro-gun, anti-choice conservatism rivals only a figure like Ann Coulter – a bastion of feminism if I’ve ever heard of one.

What is being lost on most of Hillary’s supporters is that Governor Palin is opposed to virtually everything that Senator Clinton believes in and ran on. All that Governor Palin and Senator Clinton share is a biological similarity – and nothing more. And if Hillary Clinton’s reproductive system was the only (or primary) reason that her supporters voted for her, then her supporters need to seriously reconsider their political priorities.

Consider for a moment the political positions important to this race, the political positions that Hillary Clinton believed were important when she ran for President: The issues that are important to women.


Senator McCain’s views on abortion have been made clear. Despite the attempt to portray himself and his ticket as a moderate shift from the Republican party, the Senator’s views on abortion have certainly met with staunch approval from the likes of Reverend Pat Robertson and Senator Sam Brownback. In fact, Senator Brownback read a statement by Senator McCain to a protest march in Washington on January 22, 2008 reading “If I am fortunate enough to be elected as the next President of the United States, I pledge to you to be a loyal and unswerving friend of the right to life movement.” NARAL Pro-Choice American has prepared a report stating that Senator McCain has voted against the right to choose in 115 out of 119 relevant votes. McCain has an opinion on determining what choices a woman should and should not have regarding her body and her family that is direct contrast with the views shared by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. And Senator McCain’s selection of a female running mate does on no way counters or balances these positions – in fact, they exacerbate them.

Sarah Palin is lock-step with Senator McCain on the issue of a woman’s right to choose. The website of NARAL Pro-Choice American cites an article from the Juneau Empire: “Palin, a member of the anti-choice group Feminists for Life, said during her campaign for governor that she is opposed to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.” Any comfort that female supporters of Hillary Clinton get from McCain’s running mate can be dissolved by realizing that the first female Vice-President will be an ardent supporter of eroding her gender’s hard-fought rights and victories over the male establishment over the years. And the woman who would be president should John McCain – who would be the oldest man ever to assume the Presidency – die or become incapacitated, would use her office to select Federal judges who would erode those freedoms, and would veto any bills that attempt to further those freedoms.

Fuel Prices

The McCain/Palin ticket's plan to wean America off of oil is predicated on drilling for more oil here in America. While this plan may help to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, it will do nothing to reduce our dependence on oil, which is the underlying problem.

In his state of the union in 2006, President George W. Bush, a product of the oil industry, announced that "America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology." Even T. Boone Pickens, one of the hardest-core oil men, has endorsed a plan that does not include oil!

The McCain/Palin plan not only does nothing to curb America's addiction to oil, it means to increase it! Assuming for a second that the President was right, and that America is addicted to oil, is the cure for an addiction more of the same? Think of it this way: If a man is an alcoholic, do we suggest that the best cure for his love for Scotch is to switch to American-made Tennessee whiskey? This is what the McCain/Palin plan is tantamount to. Don't work on the addiction, just bring the addiction closer to home. The only ones that benefit from the McCain/Palin plan is the people who make the record profits from oil revenues. Because they will have all sorts of new places to drill, and they won't have to go far from home.

Obama/Biden's plan is surprisingly-Republican sounding. Huge government investment in businesses to create economical alternative energy solutions. Basically they want to invest in the private sector and have industry solve the problem. It is surprising to me that there isn't an industry involved seeking out the Republicans for their stereotypical love of big business, in fact it's the Democrats that want to invest and show the tax-break love for an industry that can actually taper America's dependence on oil... Not just foreign oil, but domestic oil, too.


Experience is something that has been blown vastly out of proportion during this campaign. Pretty much every candidate, Democrat and Republican alike, have accused Barack Obama of being inexperienced.

Only in the Fox series "24" does the President call all his/her own shots. In the real world, the President makes a decision only after careful deliberation and debate amongst his/her staff and advisors. Same for the military. Presidents are the Commanders-in-Chief of the military, but they issue orders only after being carefully advised and briefed by the finest minds in the best-trained military in the world. Such is the nature of the civilian-run military.

But let's put that aside for a second and look at history's "greatest" (in quotations because this title can be debated) presidents.

  • Abraham Lincoln - Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, served as an attorney in Illinois, then a member of the State Legislature, then the U.S. House of Representatives. He never headed an executive agency, had even less foreign policy than Governor Palin does, yet micromanaged the Union through a civil war.
  • John F. Kennedy - President Kennedy, while a war hero who commanded a PT Boat in World War II, had no political executive experience. Kennedy served three terms in the House of Representatives, and then one term in the Senate before being elected president, and all he did was stare down the Soviet Union in the closest the U.S. has ever come to a full-scale nuclear war.
  • Harry S. Truman - The man that saw the U.S. to the end of World War II, and had to make the decision to drop the Atomic Bomb on Japan, though an officer in World War I, served as a county judge, Senator, and then served less than a year and a half as Vice President before ascending to the Presidency with the death of Roosevelt.

Despite what John McCain would like, the experience factor is not nearly as important as common sense and good judgment. Common sense and good judgment do not come from executive experience, they come from humanity.

Now, do not get me wrong, I am in no way stating that Senator McCain or Governor Palin have poor judgment or lack common sense, I am saying that their claims that Senator Obama will somehow fold under the pressure of an international crisis, or will inexplicably cause the end of the world are unfounded, and meant to question Senator Obama's common sense and good judgment. And that is unfair.


For the last eight years, mum has been the name of the game. Since September 11, 2001, the date in which the Bush administration decided that it could do whatever it wanted and had to answer to no one. Its secrecy and lack of transparency have been one of its greatest detriments, and it will inevitably go down in history as the most secretive and closed presidential administration in history... Yes, even moreso than that of Richard Nixon.

And it appears that the McCain/Palin team is headed down that same route. Senator McCain has done many press conferences and interviews with the media, and has answered reporters' questions on the trail. Senator Obama has done so as well. Senator Biden, since joining the Democratic ticket, has done a high number of Q&As, interviews and has otherwise interacted with the press. Governor Palin, in a nod to Vice President Cheney, has done a grand total of two interviews, and regularly ducks away from the press.

The lack of transparency in the last eight years has hurt the institution of the Presidency and the Vice Presidency. Only when the President acts as the employee of the people that he/she is, does the job itself mean anything. Secrecy for secrecy's sake is wrong. Senator Obama and Senator Biden have made themselves available like a President and Vice President should, while Senator McCain and Governor Palin are not.

As I said in the beginning of this article, this is the most important election that our generation has yet faced. It will not be the last important decision, but every important decision that will come has to start with this one catalyst. The Republicans have failed us all, and to surrender the Presidency back to them so that they may continue the country into the freefall that it has been in is basically shooting ourselves in the collective foot, and further hindering our progress as a society.

Senators Obama and Biden are running on a platform of change. Change can be a scary thing. But in this day, change is the only hope for millions of Americans. 47 million Americans have no health insurance, or not enough health insurance. Unemployment is at 6.1%. A thousand homes are foreclosed upon every day. The failure of major financial companies threaten to bring the global economic system to its knees. The deficit is at record-breaking levels. $10 billion goes to Iraq every month. Gas prices are hovering around $4/gallon. Change may be scary. But staying the course - now that is true terror.

Governor Palin's pick as a Vice Presidential candidate was intended not to secure a strong president should Senator McCain, hardly a spring chicken, die or become incapacitated in office, but to further isolate those Hillary Clinton supporters who still think that the supporters of Obama are somehow womanizers who simply don't want to see a woman in the White House.

But Hillary Clinton herself said it best - this election is too important. The election is not about her, it was never about her. It was about taking the country in the right direction, a direction that we have not seen for eight long years.

Crossposted to _liberal_, newliberal_army, cynicaliberal, and my personal LJ. Please feel free to link to it. I ask that you do not lift from the article, but rather link directly to it.
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