February 26, 2009

Bobby, we hardly knew ye

Obama gave a barn-burner of a non-state of the union state of the union address last night, as you no doubt are aware.

The speech was roundly hailed as a success and follow up polls in its wake showed nearly 80% approval. I think part of its power was simply the fact that here was a man who could actually speak English without coming across as a B-string weekend sports reporter for a station in Wichita. And without all the obvious B.S. delivered with so little conviction that it would be clear to a small dog that the guy wasn't buying it himself.

The speech was a long overdue call to arms directed at all Americans, those who skimmed and rigged and fixed the game their way and then looted with reckless disregard for the country as well as to the millions of Americans who know that to the previous regime, they never existed, let alone had their needs addressed.

Feel free to add your thoughts on Obama's speech, I won't belabor it here.

Because I want to get to Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal, who was chosen for the elite position of delivering whatever the hell passes for Republican positions these days immediately following Obama's address.

Jindal has been long touted as a rising star in the post-Bush Republican party, and has clearly shown a desire to run for president. This was indeed a plum opportunity for him to present himself to the nation.

Apparently this fact got to poor Bobby.

He emerged and walked to the podium mincing along like he was trying to hold a dime in his butt cheeks. I could have sworn I heard squeaking noises with each step.

His face looked like a death mask with a plastered on half smile, half grimace, and his entire presentation was uncomfortable at best.

To say he was wooden doesn't do it justice. His first few minutes devoted to "Hey, I'm Obama too!" rhetoric was designed to highlight his son of immigrants story and inspiring rise to power fell as flat as his embarrassingly weak attempts at humor.

I didn't know if I was watching a rebuttal speech or a hostage tape.

It was sing-songy and sounded like you were listening to some guy reading a book to a group of 6 year olds.

The substance was equally lame, bizarre, and utterly free of any concrete proposals or even a hint of any ideas on where the Republicans hope to go in the future.

His primary case against Obama's plans was that the (REPUBLICAN) government failed miserably responding to Hurricane Katrina, drawing comparisons to the current economic "storms", and saying that government can't fix it.

OK... so while your party was leading the government, it screwed up criminally in the wake of Katrina, and so..........

Because it let thousands drown and millions suffer unnecessarily, now that millions more may be out of a home and suffering the effects of the Bush economic collapse, we shouldn't even TRY to help them out..... because.... you guys were so inept after Katrina. I see. You sure that's where you wanna go with this Bobby?

Your gang couldn't shoot straight on Katrina so we should not even dream that any government agencies or programs or say, economic bailout could ever be done right?

OK. So we can't possibly hope for anything but the rampant incompetence and corruption of your parties government. I get it. Why even try?

I'm with you. Screw it! Let everything collapse. Individuals can handle stuff like a near depression and natural disasters. Government is never the answer, even after crisis affecting millions.

Good luck with that Bobby.

Look over there! I think I just saw a falling star!

February 15, 2009

A timely topic

The Moline Public Library is featuring a local professor in a presentation about the New Deal era works programs Works Progress Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)

From their press release:
Press release submitted by Moline Public Library


The Moline Public Library is proud to present Jeff Hancks from Western Illinois University as presents The WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps in the Quad Cities on Saturday, February 28th at 2:30 p.m. This free program will meet in the Silver Meeting Room and is open to all ages. To register for this discussion, please stop by the Moline Public Library or call 309-762-6883.

The Works Project Administration (WPA) and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) were federal work relief programs begun under Franklin Roosevelt"s New Deal. These programs were responsible for the creation numerous construction, parks, and arts projects. Mr. Hancks" discussion will focus on the local impact of the WPA and CCC, which included such projects as the Moline Municipal Airport and Black Hawk State Park.

About the presenter: Rock Island native Jeff Hancks is Professor of Regional Studies and University Archivist at Western Illinois University.

In light of the push for public works funding and programs to at least slow the Bush economic collapse, this lecture will certainly be interesting, especially in view of the current effort of some know-nothing Republicans in congress in trying to spread utterly false or distorted information about the New Deal and it's effect in reviving the economy on the heels of the Great Depression.

Republicans are arguing that the public works programs and the New Deal didn't work.

This is pretty funny, considering that FDR was re-elected TWICE afterwards, which indicates to me that the country didn't exactly feel like it failed.

Some of the nicest and most architecturally beautiful places in our area were built by government projects during the FDR era, as was Starved Rock Lodge and many other beautiful public places.

The lecture should be very interesting and will no doubt inform listeners about what these projects really were like, as opposed of what Republicans are trying to sell.

February 11, 2009

One reason I'm a democrat

With all the Republican theatre of the absurd lately over their "Just say no" campaign in trying to stymie and delay any attempt at crucial efforts to stop the nation's economic slide into the dumper, I've frankly been overwhelmed with thoughts on the matter.

But with utterly idiotic and irresponsible crap emitting from the right on a daily basis, and anger towards them growing exponentially as they practice exactly the sort of phony rigidly partisan crap that they so liked to deride the Democrats for, and engage in their favorite past-time, projecting their own sins onto others, I find myself unable to properly crystallize my feelings on the subject.

Suffice it to say that everyone with a brain knows that the country needs massive and unprecedented infusions of cash money to halt the hemorrhaging induced by the wild money party thrown courtesy of Bush & Co. And everyone with a brain knows that the Republican beefs are nothing but bullshit. Carping about funding for desperately needed and long overlooked programs such as education and funds to cities and states to stem massive lay-offs of public safety personnel, and standing for hours cherry picking desperately a minuscule fraction of the spending and holding it up as if the entire package is nothing but foolishness.

And even when they wave these items around like a bloody flag, they look like assholes, decrying aid to education, aid to students, aid to virtually anything or anybody but their fat-cat cronies and masters in the banking industry.

The newly elected moron heading the RNC argues that all the measure creates is work, not jobs. When pressed on this bit of lunacy, he clarified. Only private business can create jobs, government only creates work.

Thus in one neat move, he classified the cops on the beat, the postal workers, the fireman, the building inspector, the nursing home inspector, and virtually every member of the military as not having jobs.

He further illuminated his cretinous ramblings by explaining that government "work" has an end point, while apparently private sector jobs go on forever.

Perhaps he could explain that to the hundreds of thousands of private sector workers who are seeing their jobs vanish, with ever more to come the longer these boobs obstruct meaningful action.

So anyway, here's but one reason I'm a Democrat.

We're clearly better looking.

February 7, 2009

Phil Hare, media darling

Local Congressman Phil Hare scored quite the media coup Friday evening by appearing for an interview with Rachel Maddow, whose show on MSNBC is one of the highest rated cable talk shows.

MSNBC's Hardball, Maddow, or Countdown have become coveted spots to appear for politicians, especially Democrats. Maddow's show, along with Keith Olberman's "Countdown" were the only two such shows on television to show a profit last quarter, and both enjoy huge ratings, particularly with those under, say, 80.

Maddow had Rep. Hare on to discuss the unrelenting Republican war against labor, and their latest ridiculous attempt to block the nomination of Hilda Solis as Secretary of Labor. The object of their patented phony outrage this time? Solis' heinous offense is being married to a guy who owed taxes on his business, to which Solis has no connnection whatsoever, and who has long since paid them off.

Hare pointed out that this of course is just a means of trying to block or dirty up Solis, who they know will not be reliably anti-union as all Republican Labor Secretaries in the past. It's simply an early salvo in the fight against proposed laws which would allow workers a choice as to whether or not they would like to be represented by a union.

The so-called "card check" measures would allow workers to essentially petition for a union by signing cards indicating their preferences. And despite Republican lies to the contrary, workers wold also be allowed to do so by secret ballot if they chose.

Hare was Hare. He spoke. He was rather wooden, as you might expect a person with not much prior media experience. But he stated his case well and got through the softball interview just fine.

After decades of a congressman that seemed allergic to any sort of media exposure whatsoever, this is kind of nice to at least see a representive from our area getting some real national exposure.

And it's also good to know that Phil Hare is there to do his part to defend unions against the masssive effort to weaken or destroy them. Now more than ever, unions should play an important part of reclaiming the country back from the sliver of economic elites that have so thoroughly dictated the direction of our country and our economy for far too long.