Archive for the 'Politics' Category

Constitution Crisis

Let me get this straight: During today’s first-ever reading of the Constitution on the floor of the House of Representatives, the following happened:

  • There was preliminary squabbling over which version of the Constitution to read — the Rs insisted on the politically corrected version (otherwise known as “amended” version), which basically ignores  some of those  unpleasant items from the early days — like the 18th Amendment, which kicked off Prohibition.
  • New Speakeasy, I mean, Speaker John Boner, I mean, Boehner kicked off the long-awaited festivities by reading the Preamble, then sneaked out shortly thereafter for a frackin’ PRESS CONFERENCE?!?!? Guess we know what’s most important.
  • Testosterone Moment: the reading of the much-coveted Second Amendment by Rep. Frank Guinta of New Hampshire, the lucky bastard.
  • Mike Fitzpatrick, one of the two reps who still hadn’t been officially sworn in, participated in the reading, raising the question of whether his reading might be stricken from the official record.
  • By the time the reading was completed, not only was the chamber nearly empty, but someone realized that pages had been stuck together, so some of articles IV and V had to be read after the fact!

For entertaining reading on the reading, check out this summary from David Weigel at Slate.

Of course, that was all after Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick (the aforementioned non-sworninees) had missed their swearing in because they were at a fundraiser/party celebrating Fitzpatrick’s swearing in. Then they tried to rectify their gaffe the way Americans usually do, by raising their hands and talking to the TV!

All I can say is that Nancy Pelosi must be licking her chops. You go, girl!

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What the …? Kentucky Stomping

This video is disturbing on so many levels. Why is this type of behavior at political events okay? Not to mention all of the hemming and hawing on the back end about what happened.

 

Howling About All Things Texas at DogCanyon

The Armchair CoyoteMy pal Glenn Smith has just launched DogCanyon, a new web site about Texas culture, politics, mystique, et cetera et cetera. As the literary editor, I get to blogging about books, authors, writing, bookstores — basically, “Lone Star Lit 101” (my first post!). I’m hoping to post one longer piece a week, with some shorter tidbits in between.

Dr. Greg Jackson is also going to be writing about health care there too — we’re still trying to find a home for that book of his. His first piece is “How to Fix the Costs of Health Care? Let’s Do the Math.”

DogCanyon is also going to be an online media partner with the Writers’ League of Texas, so eventually other Leaguers will also be posting there.

Check out the Dog!

How to Take Back the Health Care Debate

Finally, a voice of reason emerges, but no one seems to be listening: George Lakoff has this short take on what Dems need to do to take back the “debate.” His points:

  • Name the villain: insurance companies that are doing exactly what the screamers are saying “reform” will do.
  • What has failed is insurance company health care.
  • Ask: Who’s had to wait for an authorization for care? Who’s been denied authorization by insurance companies? Who has lost their insurance?
  • Change “public option” to the “American plan” (Are you for the American plan or not?)
  • Insurance companies spend 20-30% of premiums to deny you care.

Hmmm, no talk of killing Grandma or my personal favorite: promoting “gender confusion” by pushing sex change operations!

Lakoff also had a interview on Minnesota Public Radio. The sad thing is that the truth does not seem to be an option.

Playing Catchup

Well, there’s been so much going on! Not only the Writers’ League of Texas Agents Conference, but then we have the trifecta of John Ensign, Mark Sanford, and Sarah Palin! Oh yeah and all of the Michael Jackson stuff. So just thought I’d do a quick placeholder post to get back in the swing of things.

First, I vote that He of the Old Appalachian Trail just change his name to SINford and be done with us. Don’t cry for us, Argentina — you can HAVE him!

Then Sarah Palin retains her throne in the WTFWT?!?! Hall of Fame (translation: “What the F was THAT?!?!”) with that wacky resignation move. The transcript is even better than the video. My theory: She just couldn’t run the state of Alaska and write a book at the same time. And guess which one will make her few million?

But John Ensign, ah, now that’s a scandal we can all sink our teeth into. And it just gets weirder and weirder with Mummy and Daddy paying off the girlfriend.

Hmm, did SP try that with Levi? Maybe that’s why she needs to bring down the big bucks — to make Levi just go away!

History in the Making: Obama in Cairo

Obama ReutersHe does it every time, our president. He takes whatever troublesome bull is before him by the horns and refuses to let go. I caught the first half of his Cairo speech today, awed by its forthright magnificence and sheer ballsiness. Rachel Maddow has been going on about he grabbed the third rail, tallying eight third rails  in this single speech. I need to catch the rest of it.

The line that resonated strongly with me was this gem: “But I am convinced that in order to move forward, we must say openly to each other the things we hold in our hearts and that too often are said only behind closed doors.  There must be a sustained effort to listen to each other; to learn from each other; to respect one another; and to seek common ground.  As the Holy Koran tells us, ‘Be conscious of God and speak always the truth.’  [Applause.]  That is what I will try to do today –– to speak the truth as best I can, humbled by the task before us, and firm in my belief that the interests we share as human beings are far more powerful than the forces that drive us apart.” That admonishment tracks beautifully to us as individuals and how we can be in our own relationships with others, no matter how cursory or intimate or global.

As I was listening  (while ironing my ensemble for the day, if you must know), the thought prickled at me that this could very well be President Obama’s Nixon-in-China watershed moment. Set aside the bold statements about Israel and Iran and extremists, etc.; it was his mastery of nuance and utter comfort in gray areas that also impressed me. He is blessed with an uncanny ability to weigh both sides (or even multiple sides) of an issue and then carve out the true line between.

I keep reverting to the utilitarian slangy metaphor “He blew me away”; unlike the president, I’m at a loss in devising a more eloquent translation of that particular sentiment. Bottom line: I  love our president and his audacity –– it’s our great hope. But remember, each of us can go there ourselves. “So come on, people, now / smile on each other / everybody get together, got to love one another right now” (Okay, I have NO idea where that came from — wait, I mean, I know the song, but I wasn’t expecting that to pop up, but it does sort of fit!).

May God’s peace be upon us, each and every one!

My Favorite Book Review of All Time

After reading more than my share of book reviews, I’ve rather given up on them. Then I stumbled on the best book review of all time: It’s our friend Helen reviewing Ann Coulter’s latest tree killer so her longtime pal Margaret won’t have to read the dang thing. You gotta love a reviewer who starts out buying a used copy of a book!

This excerpt from the post “Ann Coulter Is Just Not That Into Anyone” just slays me:

“This chapter is titled ‘When 95 Percent of World Domination Just Isn’t Enough…”’ which seems to have nothing to do with anything contained in the chapter.  It should have been titled ‘95% of Ann Coulter  is pure bullshit… and the other 5% is pure bullshit.’ It occurs to me that reading a Coulter book is like drinking the water in Mexico – eventually you find yourself wondering if the shit will ever stop.”

Then: “I can’t wait to move on to something more enjoyable than Ann Coulter – like irritable bowel syndrome.”

Hall of fame review, that alone! The fun starts here with Chapter 1.

Heck, Margaret and Helen have the most entertaining blog anywhere, especially when they blast off on Sarah Palin.

You GO, girls!!!



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