Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Congressman Smith says: "Bring it on!"

Shooting straight from the hip, Washington Congressman Adam Smith (D) addressed the issues of the stimulus bill and the thwarted attempts of a Republican uprise at the Washington State Democrat PCO/Party Activist Training yesterday.

Citing a need for the government and private sector to work together in order to grow our economy once more, Representative Smith discussed the merits of the recently signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and how the US - and Washingtonians - will benefit from the bill.

"We're trying to prevent a 10 year recession," Representative Smith said.

The 1071 page stimulus bill encompasses details for tax cuts (including stimulus checks), a surge of aid to the states to help with the increasing dependency on their social services, an increase in unemployment benefits, an increase in Cobra health benefits for the recently unemployed, money to improve our transportation infrastructure, money to "green" our energy infrastructure, assured availability of money for university students and the sciences, and miscellaneous projects.

A bill that is the answer to what Herbert Hoover could have done in 1929 and parallel to what Franklin D Roosevelt did during his first term in office, this bill has the ability to soften the blow of the country's largest recession since 1945 and help the country bounce back on to its feet.

However, economists such as Seattle University Professor Russell Lindman cautions we won't feel the effects of the stimulus bill right away. According to recent numbers released, the US economy may level out by 2011 and may see a gain by 2013.

Professor Lindman stressed to the same crowd addressed by Representative Smith that no jobs means no consumer consumption; no consumer consumption means a bad economy. And in an economy that is 70% dependent on consumer spending, the stimulus bill is probably the only answer we have to balancing out our economy.

But try telling that to the Republicans.

Serving as a major road block to every form the stimulus bill has taken over the past few weeks, the Republican Party has been stomping like a little spoilt child and screaming that the stimulus bill is all "spend, spend, spend" and offers no immediate relief to the tax payers. (since when have they ever cared about the little guy?) In an appearance on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer on 08 February, Senator John McCain (AZ) said the bill was going to do nothing but increase our national debt.

- Read the entire transcript of McCain's interview -

"We're going to amass the largest debt in the history of this country, by any measurement. And we're going to ask our kids and grandkids to pay for it," he said.

Apparently Senator McCain forgot we're already paying for the largest debt in American history before the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act even begins appropriating money. And he conveniently forgot the pre-stimulus debt is due to the party politics and selfish deeds of the Republican Party from the past eight years. Not to mention, he has failed to realize the reason we need a stimulus package is because his party helped put the US economy in the toilet! How convenient he is running in the opposite direction of the disaster zone he helped create.

Representative Smith recognized this himself. "We need to make McCain and the Republican Party responsible for their failure," he said.

Even though the stimulus bill has passed and President Obama signed it into action today during his visit in Denver, Republicans are still upset with the bill. It doesn't serve their personal interest - which is to cut taxes, lessen the amount of money the government is taking in, and not help out the economy.

The Republicans are also failing to see how the stimulus bill will create jobs. Maybe they skipped that day in economics class? Or the class of life? Projects funded by the government (or the private sector) creates a new pool of jobs. And projects like building highways take several years; thus, a person will have their job for awhile and give them a steady income. I don't know how they don't see this.

While the Republicans - save three smart moderate Republican members in the Senate - continue to deny the stimulus bill will create jobs and help get our economy back into shape, they've now chosen to jump on the band-wagon belief that the stimulus package will not work and count on the fact they'll all soon be able to join together in a chorus of evil laughter of "I told you so."

"They've got nothing but criticism," Representative Smith said to his audience with a grin of confidence when he spoke about the Republican's negativity.

And if the Republicans want to try blaming the Democrats for the ills of the economy and the supposed negative impact the stimulus bill will have on our country, Represenative Smith says "bring it on." He, along with every other Democrat in the country, are ready to talk the Republicans into a corner about why their misconceptions are well, misconceptions.

With a reassuring look and a belief that this historic legislation is in the best interest of the country, Represenative Smith said: "I'm proud of the process, actually."

Relative links:
To find out more information about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and how the money is being spent in your state, go to its dedicated website: Recovery.gov
MSNBC: What's in the stimulus bill for you? (re-print from the Everett Herald)
MSNBC: Obama signs stimulus into law

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Obama to sign his first Congressional bill

It was announced by the Associated Press today that the Ledbetter bill, which will make it easier for women to sue for pay discrimination, has passed Congress and is on its way to President Obama's desk. The creation of this bill is in light of a Supreme Court case thrown out in 2007 in which Lily Ledbetter sued for pay discrimination after finding out that after 19 years on the job, she was purposefully paid less than her male peers at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co's plant in Georgia. The case was moot by the time it reached the Supreme Court since the plantiff only had 180 days after the company decided to pay her less money to file a complaint.

Under the new law, women will have 180 days to file a complaint once a paycheck (of the discrimintorary value) is issued. This gives women the chance to file complaints years after they began to be paid less for their job.

While this bill sounds fine and dandy, the question remains -- when will women make as much money for a job as a man? Women in the U.S. currently make $.22 less per dollar than a man. This is a double standard to the Civil Rights bill of 1964 and its subsequent titles; nonetheless, women continue to be discriminated against and there is really no end in sight. Even in the 21st century when it seems like the U.S. is the closest it will ever come to being an even playing field for both genders.

The significance of this bill is rectified, yet it lacks significance at the same time. The right to be able to sue for pay discrimination is not advancing the civil rights ideals set forth by our 20th century forefathers. It's shameful this is all Congress can offer us. It may be a step in the right direction, but not until every gender and race can be guaranteed equal pay, this will continue to be a problem.

President Obama is scheduled to sign his first piece of legislation on Thursday. For more information on this story (and it's back story), you can read the AP article here: Congress sends Obama pay discrimination bill.

She's baaacck...

A First Read story from MSNBC that you guys should definitely read. It'll make you laugh in spite of the fortitude of gloomy news that has been clogging up our daily news over the past few days.

Palin creates SarahPAC

How Republicans think Sarah Palin is the answer to their problems is beyond me. I believe they think she is the answer to their problems because she is a) young and b) made herself the answers to the GOP's woes. But hey, I could be wrong. (I'm guessing probably not)

What I hate most about this is not the fact that it's a way for her to get her (unwanted) foot back into the national political door, but because she ripped of Hillary Clinton's format of helping fellow Dems raise money. The Republicans don't need help raising money or awareness. The country, as a whole, is fairly moderate and borderline conservative. We elected a Democratic president just recently because the Dems made a stronger showing this year (and the fact that so many kids came of age this election season helped out); not to mention we were tired of the ol' Republicans. Republicans have ruled the roost at the White House far more often than the Dems have. So, really, the country is not lacking for support of the GOP. Argo, the Republicans do not need to rip off ideas from the Dems in order to save their own behinds.

This may be a biased thing to say and an old stereotype, but Republican voters tend to have a bit more cash lining their pockets than Democratic voters do. It would make sense why the Democrats would need something like HillPAC to raise money for their candidates. It doesn't make sense the Republicans would need one as well. What the GOP really needs to save their party are bright young political stars (that are not dingle-dork Palin) who aren't so down-trodden by the old Republican party image. Party members who can stand up in a crowd, speak, and captivate different audiences. And they need party members who aren't so bitter and cling to their party beliefs. Obama reached out across the aisle to get voters. And he's making an effort to stay party neutral while in the White House. (so far, that is) The Republicans need to reach out in a similar way if they ever want us to take them seriously again.

Sarah Palin, all I have to say to you, is GO HOME. No Sarah Palin. Just, no. We do not want you on the national scene, thank you very much. You've only been governor of Alaska for about two years and all you've done is run for VP, taken the credit of the last governor's biddings, and make it sound like you've 100% set up a huge gas pipeline to go through Canada even though it's being fought by the Canadian Native tribes since day one and the deal hasn't really progressed that much. Those are your claims to Alaska governor fame. (Besides claiming you can see Russia from your house) These things do not make you a political star or a Republican worth looking up to. Shoo! And take SarahPAC with you!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

I want a new day and age

On January 20th, the administration we've been waiting to be rid of finally left.(In the words of Chandler Bing: ding dong, the psycho's gone!) And now, we usher in the administration we've been (im)patiently waiting to step into the Oval Office since November 4th 2008. Thank god.

Along with millions of people, I witnessed (via TV) the inauguration of President Obama. While I missed the actual swearing in of Obama and Biden (I heard Chief Justice Roberts made a gaffe with the oath - ha ha, stupid Republican) thanks to the three hour time difference, I still witnessed Obama's speech and soaked in the hope emulated through his words. 'Hope' is, of course, a ubiquitous adjective used to describe anything related to Obama; however, there is no word more appropriate to use at this moment. In his speech, President Obama touched on all of our problems and called for the country to come together in hopes of fixing the issues that will take years to be solved. He spoke to the American people as one - not as a divided crew of Democrats or Republicans. He spoke to those who didn't vote for him or the ones who never bothered to vote. He voiced our concerns and let the country (and the world) know that this is the dawn of a new era. The era of 'Yes We Can': Yes we can overcome this economic hardship. Yes we can successfully pull out of Iraq in the next 18 months. Yes we can jumpstart the green collar industry. Yes we can successfully update our health and education systems. Yes we can reform immigration and social security policy. And more importantly, yes we can be taken seriously as a country once again.

Today history was made in so many ways, but most of all today brought the beginning of a new American patriotism. As I watched Obama give his speech, I felt proud to be an American for the first time in eight years. As a country, we are so behind when it comes to equality and open-mindedness; however, electing Obama opened a new door for the culture of America. His election opened a door welcoming all us former haters into the reformed idealism of what America stands for. Our country needed a strong leader and Obama came to our rescue. He came to the rescue of our government and for our people. This is an administration I can stand behind. This is something I can be proud of.

Tomorrow, the honeymoon will be over and it will be time to get to work. I don't know about you, but I've been waiting for January 21st more so than January 20th. The 21st is the first time in eight years when we won't have to deal with a bumbling idiot as the highest representative of this nation. In a few hours from now, we will get to deal with a president who can speak in coherent sentences and present logical ideas.

Tomorrow Obama will be tested and the words he speaks will be taken as serious ideas. His idea of a stimulus package a few weeks ago was attacked by Democrats and that was the end of it. He didn't have clout yet so we didn't have to listen to anything he said. Now, he has clout. Things he says are now up for grabs. We can either say "no" or "yay" to his ideas. Here's to hoping there are more 'yays' than 'nays' conveyed after Obama tosses around ideas in meetings dealing with the two biggest issues facing the U.S. right now - the economy and the war in Iraq.

And while Obama deals with our governmental issues, lets just remember how lovely January 20th was and never lose sight of what it means to have Barack Obama as our 44th president.

And to celebrate the occassion of the change from tryrant Republicanism to hopeful Democratism is a verse from a song that represents the days, weeks, months and years ahead:
Bless your body, bless your soul
Pray for peace and self-control
I've gotta believe it's worth it
Without a victory I'm so sanctified and free
Or maybe I'm just mistaken
Lesson learned and the wheels keep turning

-the Killers, The World We Live In

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Vote Clinton for Secretary of State


The Associate Press is now reporting Sen Hillary Clinton may be up for the post of Secretary of State. Um, yes please! I'd like to have a serious woman in that position once again. Madeline Albright, you did your best and Condi? Er, not so much.

If this proves to be true, this move made by the Obama-Biden administration will be something that will reign in more support to their cause. For the former Hillary supporters who never got behind the "Yes We Can Express" this is a renewal of the hope we once thought was lost: a chance to have Hillary in the White House. She's already ruled out running for president in 2012, so this is the next best thing for Hillary. (besides being VP, of course)

Cross your fingers everyone that this report turns out to be a true one. I can't honestly imagine anyone else more perfect for the position of Secretary of State than Hillary Clinton. She's got experience and knowledge that Obama won't even have until his tenure in the White House is up. We need her in the White House! Because if Biden, who was picked as VP for his foreign policy expertise, can't talk Obama into/out of something -- Clinton sure can.

Officials: Sen. Clinton eyed as secretary of state
I guess there is more truth to this story than I thought. In another story released by the AP, it states two Democratic insiders have divulged the information about Clinton's possibly candidacy for the 3rd highest ranking in the executive branch. I just hope these "insiders" aren't bumbling douches like the McCain "insiders" who blabbed information about Palin that we didn't care to know about (ie. answering hotel door in a towel!) after the campaign lost its bid for the White House. Time will tell.

REALLY? Ya think?!

Watchdog Panel is Empty; Report is Unfinished

The Washington Post reported today that money granted as a bailout for our failing economy is not being watched. Huh... Tell me something shocking cuz this news sure isn't!

I supported the bailout at first. They said some nice things and pounded in the word oversight into every speech given by a politician about this bill. The word oversight is sorely lacking in our government right now, so whenever a politician mentioned it, it made us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Right? It made us feel like we could trust this bailout to do something, even if we knew it wouldn't help 'Main Street' right away. McCain and Obama supported it so how could we not support it? Too bad the politicians we should have listened to were the ones speaking sentences that placed the phrase "need some palpable" before the word oversight.

This bailout cannot work if there is no functional oversight. We all know this! With $290 billion already in the hands of large banks like Bank of America, no one is around to watch what happens with the money borrowed against our ever-growing national debt. There also isn't a group of people overseeing what the bill can do next. With a lame-duck Congress that will probably wait until the new session begins in January to do anything about this and doubts that anyone will understand the bill enough to oversee it's purpose, this $700 billion bailout is now another cloud looming over the hell that is 2008.


Wednesday, 29 October 2008

If one slanderous lie doesn't work, pick another one

McCain and Palin... Palin and McCain... Their campaign is based on negativity. Based on taking stretched out truths and attempting to make those lies work for them. Will they ever learn? I think more people are afraid by facts than lies. And they have no solid facts to pull out on Obama that would hurt his campaign besides the fact he doesn't have much federal government experience. But hey, Palin has less than Obama so whose complaining there, right?

The latest slander McCain/Palin have taken out from their box o'dirty tricks is Obama's "tie" to a Palestinian called Rashid Khalidi, who is a former Columbia University professor. He apparently has ties to the PLO and believes Israelis are "terrorists." Obama happened to be at a send off for the guy when he decided to leave his teaching career behind back in 2003. He got up and said something about how he enjoyed chatting with Mr Khalidi and having dinner at his house. There is apparently a video tape of this farewell and the Los Angeles Times has it in their possession. In fact, they've had it for over six months and have reported about it's existence. I barely remember this story, so obviously it's not an important issue.

But now --after a failed attempt to tie Obama to socialism (man someone needs to go back to college and learn what socialism really is), Ayers, and ACORN-- Palin is calling for this video to be released. Which is dumb because Obama's alleged existence at this event doesn't really matter. It gives us no proof that Obama has ties with something dodgy that used to promote terrorism against the Israelis. It supposedly just shows Obama saying good-bye to someone he does not consider to be a confident.

Besides the fact, when Mr McCain was chairman for the International Republican Institute, he allocated money to Mr Khalidi. The institute gave money to the Center for Palestine Research and Studies, which was founded by Mr Khalidi. If anyone has ties to a dodgy terrorism-like organization, it's McCain. Not Obama.

And I must note that apparently Palin's five or so years in the undergraduate circuit as a Journalism major failed her. You can't demand a newspaper to hand over material that has been given to them anonymously and/or with conditions! Did she skip the day they covered this stuff in Ethics or what? Actually, that's just common sense. For journalists, it's all about protection of sources and material. If you don't believe me, read the Associated Press Stylebook.

If you want to read a good blog entry about this story --which highlights Palin's attempt at this new dirty trick while Joe the Plummer stands beside her (YEP)-- head over to MSNBC's First Read: Palin keeps up the hits. The best part of this blog, though, is the comments everyone left at the end of the article. I thought I was a Palin-hater but man! These guys are good. And I still haven't found a pro-Palin statement amongst these comments, which is rare.

Mwhahaha, another slanderous attack has backfired on you Mrs Palin!