Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tea Party Reps Fail

Boehner and Reid
With the recent passage of the extension of payroll tax cut, we have witnessed a major failure by the new Congressmen who align themselves with the Tea Party.  While the Tea Party and other conservatives (e.g., Michelle Bachman) have generally considered the ending of temporary tax breaks as de facto tax increases, many have been strongly opposed to this tax break that benefits mostly lower and middle income tax payers.

Why?  On the record, they say it's because it doesn't really stimulate the economy.  But the unspoken reason is simply that Pres. Obama supports the idea, so they must oppose anything that Obama supports.

Still, Republican leadership knows there's no need to alienate so many middle class voters 10 months before the elections.  That's political suicide.  They know this middle class tax cut is political candy ( and you don't steal candy from the voters!  Even some conservative commentators couldn't figure out the hard line opposition by conservatives and Tea Party reps.

We all know that a two month extension passed Congress and was signed by the President only days before Christmas.  But the scandal for every Tea Party voter is how each and every one of the Tea Party Congressmen failed to stop this.

It would have been so easy for just a single one of them to kill the bill.  Speaker of the House John Boehner resorted to some old fashion, quick-gabble methods.  With very little notice, he reconvened the House and put up the bill for passage by unanimous consent.   Granted some Tea Party reps. couldn't make it back to DC in time with such short notice, but some could.  And it would take only 1 Tea Party rep. to show up to stop it by opposing the unanimous consent.

But not a single one of them were there.  

In other words, the entire Tea Party delegation simply did not show up!  Is this not the classic complaint against government and government workers, namely not showing up to do their job?  Clearly, this should motivate all Tea Party voters to vote them all out for this failure to show! 

(Personally, I'm loving observing this dysfunctional family known as the Republican Party!)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Political Candy (aka, Payroll Tax Cut)

The political debate over whether or not to extend the payroll tax cut tells us a lot about what candidates think of the American public. This debate tells me that the politicians of all persuasions think of the public as children and the payroll tax cut is political candy. It's only a short-time sugar high, but most people want their political candy! 

First, we see President Obama, feeling the pain of the average person in these tough economic times, saying now is not the time to end this tax cut. When the children are having a bad day, it just isn't nice to take away their candy. 

Then, we see various economists and others who are focused on our deficits saying they know what's best. Just because the children want their candy doesn't mean they should get it. They want to lecture the children about what's good for them and be firm: no candy! 

On the Republican side, the candidates for President are divided. Mitt Romney and Ron Paul like continuing the tax cuts. Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry don't like them. Bachmann says they're not working. But taking away their candy is no way to win votes. In a similar manner, Republic Party leaders realize they don't want Republicans to be tagged with taking away a popular tax cut going into a Presidential election year. But the rank-and-file, especially the Tea Party folk, disagree. 

I predict the tax cut will live for one more year. I see the Republican leadership twisting arms with the argument that in a close election, this issue could loose them their chance to capture the White House.

Back to the Blog

The last year has taken me away from blogging.  But, with the Presidential election coming up and the great fodder provided by the Republican candidates, I just have to get back to it!

More posts to follow.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Welcome to v2.0 of the Post 9/11 World

The current popular uprisings in the Middle East are proving the arch rivals of 9/11 wrong.

The neoconservatives of President George W. Bush's administration said democracy must come to the Middle East, but tried to install it by force, such as the invasion of Iraq. They were wrong. Democracy is coming from popular uprising, not unlike the way it emerged in the United Stated or in India.

Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida sought to overthrow the oppressive oligarchies through violent means. Today, bin Laden is far from center stage, as the oppressive oligarchies through nonviolent means.

Any day that both misguided neoconservatives in the US and misguided violent religious terrorists worldwide are proven wrong is a great day for the freedom of all people!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Is Democracy Breaking Out in Egypt? (But No One Is Noticing It!)

The world news is saturated with reports of the uprisings in the streets of Egypt. The clear and constant demand is for the departure of President Hosni Mubarak. But what is behind it? Is it the Muslim Brotherhood, as some are claiming? Will it lead to a more conservative regime? A regime based on Sharia Law?

Or are we possibly seeing the birth of democracy in Egypt? (Many demonstrators interviewed say they want democracy and free and fair elections.) And will it spread to the rest of the Middle East?

Things are different now in 2011. Authoritarian regimes can't keep their tight grip on a population linked by the internet. Information flows more freely. Regimes can't keep people in the dark or uninformed.

And secrets are a thing of the past, as we witness with WikiLeaks. In fact, information from WikiLeaks may have in part sparked demonstrations in Tunisia which may have in part sparked demonstrations in Egypt. And next Jordan. And maybe also Yemen, and Syria, and the Palestinian State.

They say the truth will set you free. So, are we witnessing a milestone event, where the free flow of the information on the internet may lead to an outbreak of freedom and democracy? Will this be the first revolution that started on Facebook?

Unfortunately, the western nations are too fixated on a "controlled transfer of power" as to miss what could be Egypt's version of the American Revolution leading to free and fair elections and real democracy. Yes, Mubarak will step down, but not until September, in part at the advice of an American diplomat. But this will not satisfy the people of Egypt.

The world is changing. And the democracies of the world cannot afford to sit idly by and not support the expansion of freedom.

(Note this post is in part inspired by my friend Kelvene Requiroso who posted: "I smell people's victory over there in Egypt! Democracies of the world, let us UNITE!")