Thursday, January 29, 2009

Obama and the GOP play 'chicken' and the GOP Lost

For the first time in my life I took an active interest in the passage of a bill namely the 'stimulous' package that was passed in the House yesterday. I watched C-span and watched the votes tally, and watched as not a single Republican voted for the bill.

It has been widely reported in the media that Obama has talked repeatedly to GOP leaders in an effort to reach out to them on compromise. It has been widely reported in the media about how the bill has been 'watered down' to appease Republicans.

And therin lies the seeds of Obama's victory. IT WAS WIDELY REPORTED!!!!! Every Dick, Jane and Sally on the street now know that efforts were made by the Democrats to reach out to the GOP and when vote time came, despite these provisions the bill passed witout ONE. SINGLE. REPUBLICAN. VOTE.

The Republicans, under full media scrutiny have just demonstrated that they are totally redundant. The next time that Congress needs to take up a bill of national importance (like say, health care reform) they now know that they can do so without having to worry about major obstructionism from Republicans, and the Republicans have no one to blame but themselves.

For years the Republicans have defined 'bipartisanship' as 'giving us our way all the time'. They will not compromise, they will not find consensus. Our way or the highway. This is precisely the attitude that caused them to lose ground in 2006, 2008, and in all likelihood, 2010 as well.

The bill that passed was a compromise bill, things were give up by the Democrats in order to appease Republicans, and they still wouldn't play ball. And the whole country watched them as they behaved like petulant spoiled children instead of statesmen, and in the process have handed Obama a major victory in the Court of Public Opinion.

Monday, January 26, 2009

So much for Obama's meeting with Right Wing wankers

Ok, so Obama met with some prominent conservatives over lunch to try to win them over to the stimulous plan. As expected they wasted no time in shit canning the whole plan. The wankers need to understand two things:

1. Bipartisanship means not having your way all the time. It's a two way street, and they can't block liberal measures forever.

2. THEY LOST, and WE WON, they never bothered to consult with the Democrats (and especially never talked to liberals) when they made policy, and sooner or later the Democrats are going to wise up to the fact that they don't even need the conservative votes to pass legislation.

One further observation, a lot of liberals like myself bemoan the fact that Obama seems trying just a little too hard to make nice with the conservatives. Well yes, and it's been widely promoted in the press. He's playing chicken with them, daring them to compromise, and it's an easy win for him. They won't compromise, and they end up looking like the complete dicks that they are, and when the Democrats start passing legislation without 'consulting' the opposition, the GOP will get no sympathy from a public who have already been told what a great efforts been made to 'reach out' to them.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Barak Hussein Obama

It feels right. The country is in good hands now, so I'll be watching what happens in the next month or so with great interest.

ON a less euphoric note, I'll just put it up front. I hate cars. I hate driving. I hate paying for gas, I hate paying for insurance, and I hate trying to find a place to park. Cars are not liberating, they have not given us the freedom to go where ever we want whenever we want. They are expensive, dirty, and take up a lot of space. My dream is to live in a place and have a job were public transportation negates the need for a car.

This rant brought to you by the pin-headed gas attendant at the Irvings who made it all but impossible for me to cash in my Shaws gas coupons.

I can be so petty sometimes.

So here's hoping to a Stimulus Package that includes lots of public transportation improvements.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feeling Good

I am so over Bush.

I am so ready for Obamarama!

It feels good. It feels really good.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Elizabeth R

This is less a post about partisan politics as an observation on the nature of politics, in the form of a Review of the first episodes of the 1971 mini-series 'Elizabeth R' starring Glenda Jackson.

First let me say up front that Glenda Jackson is by far the sexiest Elizabeth I've ever seen portrayed. She gives Elizabeth a feirce intellegence and independent spirit that is very compelling. I should also note that Jackson does this without making Elizabeth a jarring anachronism of modern attitudes. Her Elizabeth is very much a woman of her time.

What struck me about the first episode is how the writers avoided creating simple black an white situation where the heroic Elizabeth combats her evil sister 'Bloody' Mary Tudor. Refreshingly, Mary is portrayed without prejudice, even with sympathy as a woman sincere in her desire to bring England back to Catholocism, but who lacks the diplomatic and political skills to win over the people or the most powerful men of the realm who could help her affect the changes she wants.

Elizabeth in contrast is persuasive, careful, and never burns any bridges with anyone who might be useful to her in the future, even the jailers who throw her in the tower. Even when her position is tenuous she carefully builds alliances, and never says anythign that could inciminate her.

This sets up a clear deliniation between the idealistic, but innefectual Mary, verses the more pragmatic Elizabeth.

I'm keen to continue with the series and see how Elizbeth deals with Mary, Queen of Scots.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

T Ridership is up.

The Boston Globe reports that despite the drastic drop in gas prices over the last four months, public transit ridership is still up. In fact there's been an overall increase in ridership numbers in the last quarter across the country.

In a way I think this confirms my theory that the people who bitch loudest about how unnecessary public transportation is, are the ones who have never actually used it. People who started using transit in the summer during the price spike, have continued to use it even when gas is cheap again. You don't have to fight traffic, pay exorbarant parking fees, and you have the chance to relax, and read the paper, or a good book you've been putting off, and sip a comforting warm beverage while riding the bus/train to work.

This was my experience during the periods that I have relied on public transportation, and these conveniences for me and so it seems for other people, out weighed the slight extra time it might take to get to work.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Conspiracy Afoot?

Well, Al Franken has been certified the winner of the Minnesota Senate Election. Despite this, he is not in Washington right now to be sworn in with the other seanators due to Coleman's threatened lawsuit against the results, despite not having a leg to stand on.

About two years ago, I had heard Franken in an interview on NPR (before he was a declared candidate) say that if he did run and if he did get elected, he'd try to get a quickie impeachment trial against George Bush going before Bush left office.

Perhaps Coleman's delaying tactics have less to do with trying to regain his seat, then to keep out of jail. Currently he's the subject of an ethics investigation, and perhaps in exchange for a Bush pardon, he'll try to keep Franken out of the senate long enough for Bush to leave town.

Mind you this is nothing more then paranoid speculation. But it's how I have fun.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A bit of a gap

Just noticed that it has been exactly a month since my last post. I'd appologize to my readers if I had any.

The good Liberal takes the bus

Suzanne and I wanted to see a movie Saturday night, and she was working in town, so rather then take two cars in town I checked the bus schedule, and caught the bus down town to meet her.

While my schedule doesn't allow me to take public transportation all the time, I do feel that at the very least I have an obligation to use public tranportation when my schedule allows it.

Besides that, it's not just a duty, it's fun. For me anyway. I'm a people person, I like to people watch. And I hate driving. And I especially hate trying to find a place to park in downtown Portland. I also have the luxury of having two bus routes pass near my house both heading to city center. There is the Six Bus and the Seven Bus. I opted for the six bus because it got into town a little sooner and I wanted do some errands before meeting Suzanne.

As it turned out it was a nice day for a walk around the Monument Square section of Portland. The bus got me there about 4:05, so I had nearly an hour to kill before Suzanne got off work.
I had some bills to mail out so I popped over to the Post Office on Congress Street. Then I hoofed over to Casablanca Comics to see if they had the third volume of DMZ. As it turns out they didn't have a copy dammit. Finally a trip over to City Hall to use the ATM, and then over to the library to meet Suzanne.

This is why I'm a fan of population density within reason. This all took place within a one block radius of downtown Portland. I didn't have to waste gas to get there, and got some badly needed exercise. Sadly we never did get to the movies, but we did have a nice sandwich at O'Naturals which is basically a restaurant that serves healthy, organically grown fast food, with the added benefit in that they also serve beer. Top that McDonalds.