April 2009 Archives

Congress is working on reforms to be applied to the credit card industry. Good. They need it. But, when it became clear that the government was going to bail out floundering corporations, did credit card companies begin to make themselves insolvent in order to get in line for tax payer dollars? With a few exceptions, the credit card companies did not begin to shut down consumer credit until government handouts were known to be coming and the recession underway.

He walked up and extended his hand. The neighbor extended his as well, saying "I want to be your friend."

I have friends I don't sleep with, or agree with. But, they are still folks I like to be with.

I had a neighbor I didn't like much. Saying Hi, and See Ya Later, kept us neighborly, as such.

Pres. Obama insists that his actions to insure torture will not take place under his administration is sufficient, and that crimes committed before he came to office by the Bush administration do not warrant the application of justice or expense of investigation and prosecution, except in defense of torturers. Pres. Obama said, "I am a strong believer in looking forward, not backward." This faulty logic applied to all crime would make the case that murderers, thieves, and rapists should not be prosecuted provided such perpetrators promise not to do it again. Where has Pres. Obama's logic and Constitutional law education gone?

Former Democratic Congressman and presidential candidate Richard A. Gephardt (Mo.), is saying Obama should not attempt universal health care (UHC) this year. His argument is that without first lowering the cost of health care delivery, the funding additions to create universal health care will cause the effort to fail. Gephardt recommends a more piecemeal approach. Pres. Obama bills universal health care as essential to future productivity, economic growth private sector competitiveness with other nation's whose corporations are not burdened by shouldering the costs of health care for employees. Who is right?

Deficit spending by the federal government, (spending beyond the budget year's revenues), has at various times in our history been essential and necessary. Necessity has been defined as insuring the integrity of the nation, as in World War 2, or, insuring humane conditions for the American people, as in the Great Depression or Dust Bowl era. Defining essential and necessary deficit spending is not difficult. Defining non-essential and unnecessary spending is a highly improbable endeavor for our American system of government. Therein lies the economic threat going forward. A potential solution sits idly in Congress.

Reality, at any given moment in time, is the culmination of infinite variables coming together across time and distance. A pragmatist attempts to identify a finite variable set available for changing, in order to produce a desired outcome. Ideology is a view of how the world SHOULD work based on a finite set of preferred variables toward a desired end. Ideologues are having a very bad day today, as Pres. Obama, the pragmatist, defies yet again his critic's ideological projections and desire for his, and our nation's, failure.

On Jan. 8, U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) and U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (D-Wi) introduced the Weekend Voting Act in the Senate and House in an effort to increase voter turnout. This is only 60 years late in coming. Sensing however, that there is a new Sheriff in town who reiterates that he will sign bills that make sense for America, not just bills that make sense for his party, some of the more responsible Representatives in our Congress are going to seize the opportunity to make political reforms never introduced before, but, long overdo, like this one.


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