The Business of Government

I love baseball. Well, I love the Mets and the Mets play baseball most of the time. This week they have been playing (and beating!) their cross-town rivals: the hated NY Yankees.

The Mets have played second fiddle to the Yankees for most of the 51 years I have been following the Mets. The Yankees are considered Major League Baseball’s most successful franchise and, with a monetary value exceeding a Billion dollars, they are estimated to be the richest team in all of professional sports.… [Read more]

Flogging the Taxman Redux

Congressional Republicans are trying to keep alleged White House “scandals” simmering well past al dente doneness. As facts unfold, it’s more like vainly trying to keep a wave upon the sandy beach.

Let’s remember last year’s GOP presidential primaries. Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) made a seemingly intoxicated tirade about a tax return the size of a postcard.… [Read more]

Polls, Politicians and Public Attention – Wrapping Up the Week

Another week, another wrap-up. The problem is that this past week feels like déjà vu all over again as the news cycle spit out one story after another about the “scandals” of Benghazi the IRS and even “umbrella gate.” Yeah, ‘umbrella gate’ — in which the far right has lost what remains of its senses by throwing yet another hissy fit over a Marine holding an umbrella for the President as he delivered a speech during the rain.… [Read more]

Cruisin’ for Bruisin’

Watching this week’s news cycle made me think of this song’s title. How often must we, the public, be subjected to the same nonsense spewed as ‘doing the work of the people’? This week it was revealed that the political wrangling disguised as an inquiry into the tragic events in Benghazi is nothing more than misinformation and twisted facts.… [Read more]

How Quickly They Forget

After this week’s congressional election between Mark Sanford and Elizabeth Colbert-Busch it is hard to think of the Republican Party standing for anything. The Grand Old Party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Eisenhower has fallen to new lows in the election of often disgraced Mark Sanford, but it is the South, and politics below the Mason Dixon line is far from mainstream in any sense of the word.… [Read more]

Resurrection…and why what you say should match what you do.

Today, Easter Sunday, is the day when many around the world celebrate resurrection, the miraculous return to life of Jesus Christ. Whether or not one is a believer, the story is interesting and presents many lessons from which we can learn about the power of change and belief. Like many people, I enjoy finding a lesson in stories; learning from events in others’ lives fosters growth and development.… [Read more]

Outrage du Jour: Gay Marriage or Gun Control today?

Let’s face it; the past few months have been bad for conservatives and Republicans.  After a fairly good shellacking in the Presidential and Senatorial elections last November, which many pundits didn’t even see coming, Republicans have good reason to be retrospective. The recent election postmortem by the Republican National Committee underscores the sober reality that the Republican band is damaged from excessively rounding “an ideological cul-de-sac.” This has led the GOP’s to lose influence among many, including minorities, women, young adults, and the gay community (while still doing well in the “old white guy” demographic). … [Read more]

Taking the Good With the Bad

Taking the good with the not so good; isn’t it all a balancing act? As with every other week, there was much on the nation’s calendar to juggle this week; so much to do…so much to fix. This week, we’re wrapping up with a look at a study in contrasts.

During the same week in which there was strong focus on the environment in the form of the International Day of Action for Rivers, we also received word that the US Environmental Protection Agency may delay proposed greenhouse gas limits for power plants.… [Read more]

We Used to Know You…

Back when you were the party of Abraham Lincoln, we knew you.

When you became the party of Dwight D. Eisenhower, we knew you.

Even when you became the party of Barry Goldwater, we knew you.

And then you became the party of Ronald Reagan….and while there was much to squirm over, we still knew you because we knew what to expect.… [Read more]

The messy demise of Reagan’s ‘Eleventh Commandment’

It appears many of the Republican “true believers” aren’t observing Ronald Reagan’s famed Eleventh Commandment, “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” Add one more to the discarded pro-choice and sensible gun control missives of the Matinee Cowboy’s purged lines.

Good ol’ Ronnie wouldn’t have been thrilled…

In the spirit of “Beware the Ides of March,” there’s a tempest in the G.O.P.… [Read more]

There You Go…Again.

For several months, politicians on both sides of the political aisle have been sounding the alarm. We’ve been warned that the sequestered spending cuts are across-the-board and, therefore, without analysis. We’ve also been warned that the draconian measures will slow economic growth and, as a result, cost the nation somewhere in the area of 750,000 jobs – a figure agreed to by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.… [Read more]

You’ve got a real winner there, Pennsylvania. Electoral Vote-Rigging and Lobbyist Gifts..what else?

Will Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Corbett, stand against electoral vote-rigging? Based on reports disclosing that he took $11,000 in gifts from lobbyists and business executives, and that he’s seeking to reform the state’s two pension systems in a manner that will raise costs, why would anyone expect him to do the right thing where upcoming elections are concerned?… [Read more]

When the going gets tough, the tough go on vacation.

Two-time Pulitzer winning cartoonist Mike Luckovich, of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, sketched an appropriate cartoon the other day on the string of inept GOP brinksmanship showdowns. Yes, America is tired of it. Making a mess in the kitchen, and leaving it for the missus is not a path to domestic bliss.

Kowtowing to the Tea Terrorists, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh.) “led” his ‘Party of No’ on another sabotage raid on the American economy.… [Read more]

Austerity and American Exceptionalism: Stubbornness Before the Downfall

“None of this is necessary,” said President Obama during his weekly address to the nation. “It’s happening because Republicans in Congress chose this outcome over closing a single wasteful tax loophole that helps reduce the deficit.”

How ridiculous that we’ve arrived at this point. And how utterly exhausting for the nation. We’re wrapping up yet another week watching the train wreck that is U.S.… [Read more]

When Pushing Congress Works – Violence Against Women Act

Here’s an update for you:   FINALLY, the House has passed the broader Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act bill. It’s now on it’s way to President Obama for his signature.

We wondered if House Republicans would FINALLY do right by women and sign the reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act.

We are aware that the hold-up on the issue had been that House Republicans wanted to make sure the law omitted references to sexual orientation, and that it didn’t give Native American courts greater authority to try non-Native Americans who are accused of acts of domestic violence on tribal lands.… [Read more]

Will House Republicans (Finally) Do Right by Women?

Remember when the Senate passed a reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act but then House Republicans threatened to block the legislation? And then protests and petitions asking that citizens tell House Republicans to stop denying women protection against violence because of petty partisan politics bombarded the offices of elected officials who were standing in the way of renewing the  VAWA?… [Read more]

Voting Rights and the SCOTUS

Election day is months behind us but the issue of voting rights has once again become a ‘hot topic’. Tomorrow, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Voting Rights Act case, Shelby County v. Holder. At issue in this case is whether the decision made by Congress in 2006 to reauthorise one portion of the Act in particular, Section 5, has exceeded its authority under the 14th and 15th amendments (equal protection and voting privileges), thereby violating the 10th amendment (state sovereignty) of the U.S.… [Read more]

All the wrong talking points…but they still won’t shut up.

How many times must the GOP and its laughable public relations firm, Fox News, be wrong before they realise that it’s a good idea to remain silent?

When an announcement came from the office of the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, on Monday that President Obama will receive the Presidential Medal of Distinction – the first time ever that Israel has given this honour to a sitting US president – I wondered just what will it take?… [Read more]

Weekly Review: Downgrading our reputation – Thanks, John McCain!

A look back on this past week reveals another historical first – and we’re in only the second month of the year. By now most are aware that for the first time ever, a presidential cabinet nominee was filibustered. Republicans succeeded in blocking a man who happens to be a fellow Republican. What did that man, defense secretary nominee Chuck Hagel, do to deserve use of this filibuster procedure that should be reserved for critical legislative actions?… [Read more]

The Scary Side of the Republican Party

In February of 1950 a young, virtually unknown Republican Senator left for Wheeling, West Virginia. He was on a mission for his party. It wasn’t his first mission. He had been a Marine during WWII and had flown on missions in which he fired a tail gun at coconut and palm trees just for giggles. He normally sat behind a desk preparing reports in relative safety.… [Read more]