Can anyone imagine Congress taking a pay cut?

President Obama’s salary and pension may be exempt from sequestered cuts but that hasn’t stopped him from taking the same cut that other federal employees are being subjected to due to budget sequestration. Today, it was announced that the POTUS plans to return 5% of his $400,000 annual salary in response to and in support of federal workers who are going to be furloughed.… [Read more]

Rigging the Presidential Election

Let me start by saying I think the entire Electoral College process stinks. It’s antiquated and subject to manipulation. Although I don’t think that it will happen in my lifetime, I believe that it’s time to move to a popular vote process.

If Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act and the need for affirmative action can be argued as outdated, why can’t the Electoral College process?… [Read more]

Fixing Food Stamps

Part of the fallout from our current recession has been the growth of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), neé ‘Food Stamps,” participation throughout the nation. This Federal program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Food & Nutrition Service and the states, provides non-cash food assistance to households in impoverished financial distress.

Republican conservatives regularly use SNAP as a poster child for lambasting ‘welfare’.… [Read more]

Our Broken Procurement System

I can remember back, even in the “go-go” defense spending days of an administration which proved a matinee cowboy actor could get elected President, when this writer was a Navy Supply Corps officer. In my “beans, bullets, and black oil” portfolio came the responsibility of competitive bidding in procurement from private industry.  By statute, regulation, and policy, we were to shop the marketplace for the best deal for mission effectiveness and value to the American taxpayer.… [Read more]

CPAC 2013: ‘Crazy birds’ Flock

“If standing for the Constitution, standing for liberty, standing for conservative values makes one a wacko bird … then I am pleased that birds of a feather flock together.”  – Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Little Havana)

Viewed as a 2016 rising star, the freshman senator from Florida accomplished in one short speech, calling liberals “freeloaders,” what unsuccessful 2012 Presidential wannabe Mitt “Mitt WHO?” Romney (R-Bain) labored several years to get ineptly caught at with his infamous “47%” secretly videotaped, campaign scuttling, fundraiser remark.… [Read more]

Delusional: Ryan’s Budget Plan not Grounded in Reality

This week Congressman Paul Ryan released the new Republican budget for the federal government. One thing was notably missing: anything different from the budget he proposed last year. Rep. Ryan and his colleges on the GOP budget committee produced a document that turns Medicaid into a voucher system, makes further cuts in programs that many Americans rely on for their daily survival and his core proposal being the repeal of the  Affordable Care Act.… [Read more]

We Can’t “Spring Forward” if We’re Going Backwards

“Spring forward”….yes, that’s a good message to share as we wrap up another week. In taking stock of the past week’s events, we can see that several things took place that lay a foundation for moving forward, including but not limited to improvement in the nation’s employment figures, record-setting stock market averages, reauthorisation of the Violence Against Women Act, and even (some) Senate Republicans broke bread with the President to discuss getting beyond the self-imposed sequester.… [Read more]

Rand Paul’s Twisted Talking Filibuster Lite

Those of us in the political pundit class tend to be big fans of Frank Capra’s 1939 Jimmy Stewart classic Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. Some of us keep replaying the film often enough to keep the lines fresh among the decaying political plant fiber in the Washington swamp.

Before the fabled filibuster was reduced from rare drama to daily droll by Senate Republicans under Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), once upon a time, filibustering was a marathon talking event.… [Read more]

Beware of elephants bearing ‘gifts’

So the Republican-controlled House of Representatives proposed a $982 billion bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year instead of more brinksmanship.  Before we start dancing in the streets, and name a few golf courses and watering holes  after House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), the devil is again in the details.

As a former Federal agency budget analyst and before that, a military comptroller, we need to look beyond the spin platitudes and delve into the numbers.… [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]

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]

“Go Ahead, Make My Day”…Threats of Another ‘Fiscal Cliff’

The famous title line from “tough guy” actor, director, and GOP Convention empty chair talker Clint Eastwood is now for President Obama and Congressional Democrats to use against Right-wing foes bent upon driving the nation off yet another fiscal cliff.

Congressional Republicans want to allow dramatic across the board cuts under the sequester. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker John Boehner  (R-Oh.), unable or unwilling to provide adult leadership to the more radical ideologues in the ‘Party of No’, now see fit to let the crazed upstarts drive the bus off the cliff.… [Read more]

Senate Follies

“Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement…” Will Rogers (1879-1935)

Never a Senator….overqualified

So nice to see in the land of the free and home of the brave the US Senate remains ever vigilant. Not content to convene a Secretary of Defence confirmation hearing reminiscent of Romper Room, the Republican minority brain trust has let slip their dogs of war and …..sanctioned the latest howler, a once-in-a-century filibuster to ensure that the self-styled Great Democracy® again lives down to its formidable reputation for utter stupidity.… [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]

Obama’s Stirring SOTU Speech

For a guy who never has to face another election to keep his job, President Obama confidently strode to the dais to deliver a bright, ambitious smorgasbord of public needs and his answers to a weary, but recovering, nation saddled by an obstructionist Congress.

State of the Union

In a stirring address, the President told the Joint Session of Congress, America, and the world, that while much has been accomplished, much remains to be done. … [Read more]

Wrap Up: Looking back, moving forward into the week ahead

In case you missed it, here is the latest episode of “West Wing Week” posted by the White House. Whether one agrees with the politics or policies discussed, it’s a great way for citizens keep abreast of the decisions made by the President and power brokers in Washington. If you agree with what’s going on in Washington then request more of the same but, if you don’t agree, then raise your voice and make sure that your representatives are aware that the needs of their constituents are not being met.… [Read more]

Late-Night Sneak Attack Voting In Question

The state that is home to the ‘city that never sleeps’ has an interesting new piece of legislation submitted for consideration. A few days ago, New York Senate Bill #S03412 – which seeks to prohibit lawmakers’ taking votes on legislation after 9pm and before 9am – was put forth and is now pending senate investigations and action by the government operations committee.… [Read more]

Mainstream Media’s Viewers: Want More Cheese With that Whine?

If you’re a political junkie like me, you’d likely discover there is no such thing as an off-season for elections. Campaign planning begins years before we ever see the faces of contenders and their contributors. Some election cycles get more coverage and national exposure than others, which lead us to believe that elections happen less frequently than they do.… [Read more]

It’s Not Fair

This week’s “Say It In Song” choice is by British singer Lily Allen. While the song isn’t political, most of the lyrics can apply to how many of us are left feeling after watching politics each week. We think our elected officials are supposed to care but, unfortunately, in too many cases the evidence points to the contrary.… [Read more]

Waiting on the World to Change

This week’s Say it in Song pick is John Mayer’s Waiting on the World to Change.

One day our generation is gonna rule the population…so we keep waiting…waiting on the world to change.

We don’t believe in waiting for things to change; we believe in active participation and being, as Gandhi said, the change we want to see in the world.… [Read more]