Kelinci Hutan
07 October 2013 @ 08:27 am
Obviously President Stompy-Foot was not going to let the fact that the GOP finally grew a pair stand unchallenged. So, in a fit of pique, he has decided to make the shutdown far more unpleasant than actually necessary. So far we have seen governance by temper-tantrum that would put most two-year-olds to the blush.

  • The Battle Of The Barrycades
    Location: National Mall, Washington D.C.
    Read about it here and here.

    After storming the beaches of Normandy, fighting actual Nazis, and generally being awesome, World War II veterans returned home, worked hard, kicked back in retirement, and waited fifty-nine years before the US finally built a memorial for their work on the National Mall. However, because the federal government is shut down, open air memorials (as in, it's just sitting out there on the Mall with no fences or enclosures or anything) like this one have been barricaded. So far, the vets have been undeterred (probably because after fighting actual Nazis, nothing in the world seems that scary anymore), and--aided and abetted by Republican legislators--have armed themselves to storm the Mall with wire-cutters.

  • The Closure Of The Ocean
    Location: United States coastline - all of it
    Read about it here.

    The National Park Service has actually been directed to prevent people from accessing the ocean. As in, no boats or swimmers allowed on open water. The sheer ridiculousness of this particular stunt pretty much is its own joke, so I'll make no further comments on this one.

  • The Hiding Of Mount Rushmore
    Location: Black Hills, South Dakota
    Read about it here.

    To be clear, I can understand closing down the Rushmore park. If the government is shut down, there's no park minions to man it, or anybody to pick up the trash that the rude tourists drop on the ground. So, that part makes sense. The bit where this becomes a temper-tantrum is where cones have been set up on overlooks on the roads outside the park to try and prevent anybody from even looking at the mountain.


  • The Amber Alert Website Goes Dark
    Location: the internet
    Read about it here and here.

    In a move that actually surprises me more than I thought it would, the Obama admin has closed the Amber Alert website. Unlike the previous examples, which might not have come directly from the administration (though I'd be surprised if they didn't), the Amber Alert system is purely a product of the executive branch, which brings the responsibility for this one to rest squarely in the Oval Office. And this is most certainly the most damning of all the tantrums.

    To be clear, the Amber Alert system is still operational. But the website isn't there for nothing. Quoting from a set of tweets in this article, "Now as you know, the website being down doesn't mean that the Amber Alert isn't still in place, but it does take away an important function. The Amber Alert website is connected to a lot of agencies and people are on it daily to help find missing children. With the site being down, they're ridding us a very vital source of information that could be helpful to people searching for missing kids. Perhaps there is a missing child out there right now and a person believes that they spotted them. They go to the site & it's down...", on the other hand, is still totally operational. Because FLOTUS' pet projects are more important than abducted children, apparently.

So, basically, Obama is taking steps to make the shutdown worse than it should be. Even if you blame the GOP for the shutdown itself, you can't possibly excuse this behavior.

Thanks, Obama!
Location: Ivy Manor
Mood: pissed off
Music: "The Captain America March" - Captain America by Alan Silvestri
Kelinci Hutan
26 March 2010 @ 10:45 am
I'm mostly sticking this here so I can find it again. Basically, these are a couple of good articles on the "who's getting the worse threats" political football that's being tossed around at the moment. Here and here.
Location: Ivy Manor
Mood: interested
Kelinci Hutan
20 March 2010 @ 01:58 pm
Okay, so after doing some reading around I have discovered this article which explains the Slaughter Rule in a better way than the previous links. Apparently, rather than entirely hijacking the governmental processes, it's more like a fantastically hilarious legislative gymnastic contortion.

Here is the problem: The Senate has passed its HCR bill. If the House passes the same bill, it goes on to the president; once he signs it, the bill becomes law. But House Democrats, when they vote for the Senate bill using the "Deem & Pass" dodge, also want to simultaneously pass a package of amendments to the law. Except HCR will not, at that point, be law. It will only become law when the president signs it. Congress can amend the law -- it does so all the time -- but can it amend something that isn't law?

So there you have it. And so that I'm being clear, this is a retraction of my previous statement of totalitarianism. Granted, I'm still frowning heavily in Pelosi's general direction, but the rule is not quite so bad as I had initially supposed.

Update, 2:55 PM - And apparently, the whole plan to use this rule is dead now anyway.
Mood: interested
Location: Ivy Manor
Kelinci Hutan
19 January 2010 @ 08:28 pm
So, I'm watching the Massachusetts election results and Scott Brown is winning. Which is weird because Massachusetts is really, really Democrat. Even weirder because the last man elected to this particular Senate spot was...Ted Kennedy.

So, the news people are going on about how this is a referendum on the Obama administration and how people are Not HappyTM with what it's doing. In fact, it was described as "neo-monarchical" and "arrogant." The people in DC think they are smarter than The People, they know better than The People, and they will decide for The People whether The People like it or not. And I think that's a pretty accurate description of the attitudes that you see from some of the higher up politicians and their "progressive" supporters.

On the other hand, this same crew is applying this as a broader referendum on the Democratic party in general and predicting a wild swing back to the GOP. In this I think they are mistaken.

See, everybody knows that Brown is very much a "New England Republican." He's sort of Conservative, but he's not that Conservative. And people are mad at some of the Democrats, but not all of them.

I think this a referendum on politics in general. And I think the message is that people are freakin' pissed. There are two groups emmerging in politics lately that are going to change everything. The first is the Progressives. Progressives tend to be Democrats, but they aren't exclusively so. The second is the Tea Party. They don't tend to be politicians at all, but voters. And they aren't really voting along party lines. And lately, Progressives and Tea Partiers have been fighting like cats and dogs.

2010 is going to be a fun year.
Mood: interested
Location: Ivy Manor
Kelinci Hutan
12 November 2009 @ 08:48 pm
I've been obssively reading the news lately, and I found this article that says that abortion rights or health care was a "false choice" that Congress was being forced to make.

To grab a couple quotes that caught my eye.

...With the Stupak-Pitts amendment hanging from it like an albatross, a bill was passed that would cover millions of uninsured Americans but also strip millions of American women of reproductive health coverage. To the uncompromising went the victory.

Is this how it goes these days?


It's now abortion-rights supporters being told they must make further concessions or lose health care reform altogether. And, as Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette said, "a lot of the people are angry. They feel like the liberals and progressives always cave in because they want the bigger goal. We have to draw the line somewhere."

Where exactly do you draw a line when the opposition keeps moving it? How do you compromise with those who are uncompromising? These questions are too common in our polarized climate, but the stakes are even higher in this debate.

This is the kind of thinking I see in a lot of pro-choice writing. Why don't pro-lifers compromise? Why won't they settle for what they have now? Why doesn't this issue go away?

First off, when the hell did compromising your principles become a virtue we are seeking to attain? "To the uncompromising went the victory. Is that how it goes these days?" I sure as hell hope so, you moron! Thank goodness that we're finally seeing pro-life people have enough clout to get some legislating done on it. Not compromising is a good thing. Geesh. Compromise is what you do when you can't get what you think would be better so you make do with what's available. It's not the ideal, it's something less. Good grief.

Next, and this is something I'm more and more realizing as I interact with pro-choicers, I don't think a lot of pro-choice people really understand the pro-life position as well as they think. Because if they did, there would not be much surprise that the pro-life movement isn't going away. There'd be even less surprise that it gets stronger in the face of every defeat, regroups and tries again. And no one would ever be shocked that it's uncompromising because this isn't the kind of issue you compromise on.

"How do you compromise with those who are uncompromising?" The answer is, you don't. You either beat them or not. If Ms. Goodman would think about it, I bet she'd understand why, too. Consider that every unborn fetus who is aborted is a person. No, don't shy away from it or roll your eyes 'cause you've heard it before. Really think about it. Wrap your head around that concept. Let it sink in. People. Real people. Real, honest-to-goodness, they-have-a-life-and-a-voice-and-a-place-in-our-world people. Some of them would be your best friend, your lover, your teacher, your student, your enemy, your mentor, your criminal, your charity, your victim, your acquaintance, and your stranger. Real people. Real, empty spaces that should be filled by them. Real lives that are really lost. Those are the people--not the fetuses or the "groups of cells," but people--that pro-lifers see in all those dead babies. All that lost life. Real life and it's really gone. Take a deep breath and ask yourself a question. If you saw people like that dying all around you, would you ever, ever give up? Would you stop or rest ever until they were protected?

It's not good enough to take what we have. There are people dying and they need to be saved. Abortion is not health care. It's a business of death, and it needs to be stopped.
Location: Ivy Manor
Mood: okay