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Saturday Morning News Roundup

Saturday Morning News Roundup

The contrail of a meteor

From NBCNews:

A meteor flared through the skies over Russia’s Chelyabinsk region early Friday, triggering an atomic bomb-sized shock wave that injured more than a thousand people, blew out windows and caused some Russians to fear the end of the world.

Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has gone out of his way to prove that my home state, the state in which I grew up, has no clue, no ethics and no brains.

The downfall of Jesse Jackson, Jr and his wife is deeply distressing. About six or eight years ago, I met Jesse Jackson Junior in Chicago. At the time, I was representing the Society of Critical Care Medicine in a commission sponsored by the American Medical Association, which was tasked with figuring out how to end healthcare disparities. The young Congressman spoke to us. He was thoughtful; he was passionate. Healthcare for all. He was talking about a constitutional amendment which would guarantee the right of healthcare for all. I thought this was going a little far, but his passion was infectious. This is so sad. In my opinion, it is different when someone has no future and turns to crime. Somehow, I can justify that in my mind. On the other hand, when somebody has an extremely bright future and is making good money but wants to make the money faster, wants to take shortcuts, that is extremely disheartening. You can read the federal charges here.

The nomination of Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense has been held up by Senate Republicans. On one hand, this has been explained as Senate Republicans showing that they can still flex their muscle as the majority party. (Here’s a relatively straightforward explanation.) From my standpoint, it’ll be interesting to see what the Obama administration is willing to give Senate Republicans in order to free up the Chuck Hagel nomination. I know that Senator McCain is still upset that Chuck Hagel didn’t play his little “yes or no” game. One of the reasons that I am not a senator is that I’m not sure I could have shown the necessary restraint. I think I would’ve told John McCain that the answer to his question was no. No, you’re not right. The war was not worth fighting. The number of men and women we lost in Iraq simply wasn’t worth it. The surge didn’t work. The purpose of the surge was to allow Iraqis to figure out how to live in peace. Instead, we allowed the Shiite Muslims to ethnically cleanse neighborhoods of anybody who didn’t worship like them. But, I digress.

When will Congressman learn about twitting young women who aren’t your wife?

By |2013-02-16T22:31:25-04:00February 16th, 2013|Senate|2 Comments

This ain't the 1990s

big business
Eugene at DK has a very popular post that dovetails into what I was talking about here.

As we reach the end of the Zeroes, the first decade of the 21st century, it may seem an odd question to ask whether anyone has realized the previous decade, the 1990s, are over.

Yet judging by the discussions in recent days about the health care bill, progressive activism, left-right alliances, corporatism, etc, it is quite clear to me that way too many people are still trapped in obsolete political thinking more appropriate to the 1990s than to today. By doing so they’ve lost touch with fundamental changes that require us to shift the way we think about our politics if we are to get the things done that we entered politics to achieve.

The “political reality” is that American politics underwent massive change in the 2000s, yet too many progressives

still act as if it’s still the 1990s, and that we must hide our progressivism away and embrace neoliberal policies that do nothing for us out of some deluded vision of what it takes to stop the right. By further empowering corporations who use their wealth and power to fuel the right-wing, we’re simply handing our power over to our enemies, instead of using it to advance our own goals. It’s as if FDR had given the technology for the atomic bomb to Stalin and Hitler but told Oppenheimer that we couldn’t do it ourselves because we might cause problems for the US abroad.

Americans don’t want to be governed by corporations. It wears them down mentally and physically at the workplace. It takes away their money and their rights in our political systems. Poll after poll after poll still shows that progressive ideas are popular in this country, yet it’s we who are supposed to bite our tongues while neoliberals destroy our economy, our freedoms, and our political fortunes?

It’s certainly not enough to assert our values, we also need to have a practical strategy for achieving them.

Sometimes that will necessitate compromise, either with neoliberal corporatist Democrats, corporations themselves, or the right-wing. But we should approach those situations from a position of strength. Instead we’ve been approaching them from an internalized sense of weakness, where we believe the things that are said about us by people who want to block our agenda from becoming law.

Sometimes the most practical thing you can do is throw off the obsolete ideas and frameworks of the past. Until we realize that the 1990s – and the 2000s – are really over, that progressives have the ability to drive our agenda forward and defeat both the corporations and their right-wing stooges, we will be reliving the 1990s as a sort of permanent Groundhog Day (itself an iconic product of that decade) forever.

Now, Eugene’s post is huge. I have only posted about half of his post. He has a lot to say. The bottom line is that we aren’t playing the right game. ¬†We are playing checkers while the corporations are playing chess. We need to reign in corporations.

By |2009-12-27T23:05:27-04:00December 27th, 2009|Business, Congress|Comments Off on This ain't the 1990s
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