Thursday, January 3, 2013

Something to Know - 4 January

    U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (2nd L) stifles a sob as he awards astronaut Neil Armstrong (L) with the Congressional Gold Medal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington November 16, 2011. Also pictured is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (2nd R)


1.  There has been considerable talk on the left that Obama could have gotten more, and that he should have negotiated better.  I am not of that same opinion.  I believe that the change that we have seen since the end of the Bush era, and his horrible presidency that just about brought this country to total ruin has been slow and difficult.  The country was in more of a mess than Obama was probably aware of, and he should not have promised all that he did for his first term.  What we are seeing now, is the disintegration of the Republican Party, and there is going to be some nasty fireworks in the House of Representatives in the next 6 months.  To have negotiated for all that the goals of the Liberal cause might have turned off enough of the Senate to have had less than an 89-9 passage as it was.   Then, in my opinion, there may not have been the cross-over of sufficient Republican House members to the Democrats to get the passage of HR-8.  Then we would be in a different fix right now, and in my opinion, it would be bad.  What needs to be done is to romance enough cross-over support from the GOP to the Democrats to get through the next obstacles - the budget, the raising of the debt ceiling, and the deferred spending cuts from the "cliff".   If we can waltz this dance through to the 2014 election, we can do the necessary work to vote out the obstructionist in the GOP, and replace them with good Democrats.  Look at this perspective from E. J. Dionne:

2.  Gail Collins offers her opinion as to why the entering 113th Congress should be better than the departing 112th:

3.  And now, Fareed Zacharia provides the bitter pill for the left, as well as a suggestion to the right.   Entitlement programs, which are very popular to everyone, are really costing us more and more each year, and that needs to be addressed.  The Republican Party cannot solve the problems by just cutting spending.  Entitlement programs are not just Medicare, but include supporting the Military-Industrial Complex, subsidies to oil companies and other big businesses.  We do need to spend money on our infrastructure and education to face the future:

4.  While all of the bells and whistles in the media were concentrated on the House battle with the "cliff", Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled off something astounding.  Every pending White House appointment that the Senate had blocked in the past, and which just were not acted on, were APPROVED UNANAMOUSLY on New Years Day - 100 votes.   You need to see the "Last Word's" Lawrence O'Donnell's piece:

5.  Paul Krugman continues on with the same theme that E.J. Dionne laid out in #1, but with specific points on the same subject:

6.  Timothy Egan closes out today's commentary on the composition of the 113th Congress in a lighter vein, but just as serious:


"I am not one of those who in expressing opinions confine themselves to facts."
       -- Mark Twain
"Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve."
       -- George Bernard Shaw
"Love thy neighbour as yourself, but choose your neighbourhood."
       -- Louise Beal
"After an access cover has been secured by 16 hold-down screws, it will be discovered that the gasket has been omitted."
       -- De la Lastra's Corollary

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