Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I interrupt my regularly scheduled blog with a few political remarks.

I'm listening to President Obama's press conference after the Republicans took back the House in yesterday's midterm election.  He claims that Americans are frustrated because his administration was in such a hurry to get things done that they didn't clean up how things are done in Washington.  He promised to take another look at earmarks (the process by which Congressmen add little sweeteners to legislation.)

Wrong, wrong, wrong!  People like me are frustrated because Obama didn't do enough in that magical 2-year window when he had a governing majority.  Does anyone outside Washington spend their time worrying about earmarks?  I doubt it. 

He promises to work harder for consensus, a lost cause if there ever was one.  The Republicans have no interest in reaching consensus, and Obama just looks like a weakling for attempting it.

Neither Obama nor any of the press mentioned what I believe to be the central problem of our time:  the concentration of our country's wealth in the hands of a very few Americans.  No search for consensus or yapping about preparing our children for the future can ameliorate our regressive tax structure and government policies that funnel even more money into the accounts of the filthy rich.

And now, back to our blog ---


  1. Although I'm a Canadian, who is not directly affected by these elections, I have to say: I couldn't agree with you more!

    (So you're *not* a libertarian!)

  2. northTO, I'm not a libertarian at all. I think there's an important role for government.

    Normally, I'd be a supporter of the public schools. I would still rather fix the public schools than just give up on the idea of public education.

  3. FedUpMom, I should have put a smiley at the end of that comment. I hope I didn't offend you. I do remember once speculating about your political views in a conversation with my husband, and I jokingly said you weren't easy to pigeon-hole, and were perhaps a libertarian.

  4. northTOMom, I am not in the least offended! It's a reasonable question, since many who speak out against the public schools turn out to be against any government-run institution.

    As I say, I'm not opposed to public education at all. If anything, I'd like to see it more truly public, as in, responsive to the parents who send their kids.

    Thanks for the chance to clarify!

  5. Earmarks?? Reminds me of when Clinton campaigned for reelection by talking about school uniforms. Give me a break.

  6. PsychMom says....As a Canadian observer..I don't know how anything gets done in the American governing system. To me it seems like the proverbial soup having too many cooks. Both types of cooks have equally valid recipes but they quibble over things like salt.....Yes, I know there are many types of salt...but in the end, people have to eat.

    Wasting time arguing over salt is ridiculous when people are hungry.

  7. PsychMom, as an American participant, I have no idea how anything gets done either. I think our system was actually designed to be unwieldy.

  8. I think the government could turn the US checkbook over to any sensible person and see our spending cut by at least 50%. I used to be a Federal Employee and I can assure you that ALL the money that was spent by my division was wasted. Not one penny of it was well spent. In my town, the teachers got Election Day off with pay. They called it a "professional development" day but I called the Superintendent's office and found out that there was nothing scheduled for the teachers that day. A teacher told me that they were encouraged by the teacher's union to take part in election activities.

  9. Kim, I'm sure there's plenty of waste in government, and it ought to be cleaned up. But I'm still in favor of many government programs. Your mileage may vary!

    I aim to have a diverse blog, so you certainly don't have to agree with everything I say to be welcome here.

  10. I totally agree FUM

    He promises to work harder for consensus

    Oh please...that like saying one wants to reach a consensus with a shark....But go ahead, the GOP love it when Dems beg. "Consensus" means ever more caving in to the new GOP congress.

    Let me translate: When Mr.Obama says he will work harder to reach a consensus with a GOP congress, he is saying he will continue to move to the right. Hold on to your social security, it's gonna be a bumpy night.

    The two year window of Dem majority was spent giving the health insurance industry and banks exactly what they of course an actual Dem agenda couldn't be attended to.

    What we see happening isn't a case of failure but was planned from the start. Mr. Obama was never going to change anything. He is there to continue Bush policies under a Dem brand. His DOJ is fighting to keep don't ask /don't tell as a policy of the armed forces...he even kept Bush's Secretary of Defence! I could go on. But imo, he's Bush 3 and that is what the American people rejected...the seamless continuation of awful Bush policies. The only way they were given to express that displeasure was to elect Republicans

    So out of the fat into the fire America...get ready for every voodoo economics trickle down , no taxes for the wealthy or corporations social services butchery and Social Security give away to Wall St scam ever floated to be attempted. Everything is in place for the Oligarchy to go for it.

  11. And this does not seem like cause for optimism.

  12. From your link

    But if there is cooperation, it will likely be around issues of teacher accountability and school choice, with President Obama potentially using private school vouchers as a bargaining chip in order to earn some Republican buy-in on tougher curriculum standards or spending on public charter schools.

    Chris when I read this, I read it as President Obama will bargain with the GOP so two GOP schools policies will go forward....what are private school vouchers and public( for the moment )charter schools but two GOP policies?

    Where is the Dem public education pay off in exchanged for giving the GOP what it wants? It's heads I win , tails you lose.... I can understand caving in for something...but for nothing? But who's surprised? The Obama administration's support of charter ( that is, private) schools is well known and President Obama has expressed his admiration for Ronald next up : ketchup as a vegetable

  13. What? Why would Obama need Republican buy-in on tougher curriculum standards or public charter schools? Those are Republican ideas in the first place.

    I thought the voucher idea had been quietly tabled in favor of charter schools.

  14. Nothing is ever tabled forever. It's loving stored away to wait for a better time. Every wacky, privatizing at the public expense idea will now be brought out of storage. imo

  15. So, any chance for Hillary Clinton for Pres. in 2012?

  16. PsychMom sure hopes so...

  17. Hillary just said again she will not be running in '12 or '16 ...but that maybe partly to forstal calls within the party for her to become the VP candidate in '12.

  18. I knew from the get go we should have elected Hillary Clinton.

  19. I'm getting flashbacks of the way the press treated Clinton vs. Obama, and it isn't pretty. The raging sexism directed at Clinton, followed by the craven boot-licking accorded to Obama ... yucko.

    I would also rather have Bill Clinton as "First Lad" (his choice) than Michelle Obama as First Lady. I find Michelle almost as disappointing as her husband. She's been very self-effacing, very Mamie Eisenhower. It's not a step forward.

    She takes on nothing but "safe" issues like childhood obesity. Is anyone in favor of it? And, speaking as a short round person, I have had it with genetically tall skinny people flapping their jaw about obesity. Give me a break.

  20. Can I be completely petty for a moment? Why not, it's my own blog! I also don't like the way Michelle Obama dresses. It's too girly, too decorative, too "don't mind me, I'll just stay in the background looking pretty."

    Barack Obama has to be careful not to seem angry or aggressive, which might turn off white voters, and he winds up looking detached to the point of not being on the same planet as the rest of us. Similarly, Michelle goes out of her way not to look powerful. I don't need to see a 6 foot tall woman in ruffles and bows, florals and polka dots. Hillary Clinton's pantsuits look good in comparison.

  21. Here's Hillary looking fabulous in an orange pantsuit --

    Hillary's Orange Pantsuit

  22. ARGH! A NY Times article quotes Obama as follows:

    “Part of my promise to the American people when I was elected was to maintain the kind of tone that says we can disagree without being disagreeable. And I think over the course of two years, there have been times where I’ve slipped on that commitment.”

    No! The problem was not that you weren't polite enough. Please, be disagreeable!

  23. “Part of my promise to the American people when I was elected was to maintain the kind of tone that says we can disagree without being disagreeable. And I think over the course of two years, there have been times where I’ve slipped on that commitment.”

    The only time I hear Mr. Obama be disagreeable is when he complains about his Left base know the folks that voted for him? Also VP Bidden told the Left to "stop whining". Charming. But they and other DC Dems are forever " reaching out" to the GOP to find " common ground". Help.

    Michelle Obama is a political prisoner who they are trying to make into a pre freedom riding token. When I see this powerful woman in her ruffles and bows, I think : chains

    The sad part of Ms Obama's childhood obesity campaign is it's funded with money here to fore allotted for food stamps. So we are giving less food to people and handing over the money to ad companies? I guess that's one way to check childhood least the ones who are on food stamps.

  24. What? I never heard that about the food stamps. That's terrible, especially because one of the known causes of obesity for poor people is that high-calorie food is cheaper than fruits and veggies.

    Here's my latest thought about Obama. People voted for him because he seemed to represent change. People thought he would bring a new perspective because of his unconventional upbringing, his racially mixed background, and so on.

    But the truth is he's gotten where he is today not by bringing a fresh perspective but by conforming and playing the game as it exists. He only looks like an outside-the-box guy to others.

    Obama wants everyone to like him, which I think is a common personality type for politicians. Bill Clinton is famous for it. But the desire to be liked and accepted is a real handicap for getting anything done in a polarized, bitter Washington.

    Franklin Roosevelt was born to wealth and privilege and on a deep level he had nothing to prove. He was able to become a "class traitor" and pass legislation to share the wealth a bit.

  25. The question of what to wear for women is not an easy one. Men have a uniform that projects seriousness, dignity, and authority. We all know what that looks like.

    Women don't have that executive uniform. We know how women should dress to look sexy, or girly, or decorative, but we don't know what serious looks like for women. Generally, women project seriousness by imitating men one way or another.

    Hillary Clinton's pantsuits are cut more or less like a man's business suit, but without a tie (paging Dr. Freud!) The bright colors say "I'm not just wearing drag, I know I'm really a woman." The predictability and plainness say "I'm a work horse, not a fashion plate." I think it's effective for her.

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