Monday, January 7, 2013
It was quite an eventful week end
There's so much to write about such as the GOP drawing line- in- the sand and challenging the president to lead but only on their terms. They seem to think that revenues are off the table now and its time for austerity measures. Mitch McConnell said that Congress does not have time to tackle gun control because we have to reduce spending. We have a couple of republican senators suggesting that we have to consider shutting down at least half the government if necessary. How short sighted is that? A shut down of government just to say we are not going to pay the bills that we incurred and it will downgrade our credit rating, increase our interest rate and destabilize the world economy. I rarely agree with Newt Gingrich, but yesterday he was right when he said that the GOP needed to increase the debt ceiling without any fanfare because they have two more bites at the apple coming up in their continuing resolution and the sequester cuts. Sure the republicans want the president to lead because that way they don't have to make any hard decisions. They can set back and use the president's words against him in the 2014 midterm elections.
The deficit and the debt are serious problems, and I will use the illustration from yesterday's Meet the Press as proof. We have this family making $24,000 but owes $38.00 leaving them with a $14,000 deficit which they put on their already overextended $164,000 balance. The recent fiscal cliff paid $385 toward that bill. If it's a family budget, we are talking about, and then I don't think we would make serious cuts to our basic grocery bill, start canceling our children's doctor visits or quit paying for grandma's meds. In the absence of government support, `many of our nation's poor children could not afford basic health care and nutrition, let alone education to acquire the skills necessary to improve their condition. Right now, it would make more sense to get rid of farm subsidies because this is just a big payout to millionaire farmers, for the most part. In 2011 and 2012 farmers income went from $133 to $135 billion. We could also stop subsidizing the drug companies with noncompetitive contracts. We should allow our hospitals, clinics, and taxpayers to purchase cheaper foreign drugs or least allow our government to buy in bulk and pass the savings on the taxpayers. There's more than one way to approach the deficit and the debt. I don't think you can reduce the deficit and create jobs at same time, and that's what's missing from the conversation. The current republicans remind me of our old anonymous posters who abused their privilege in our local forum. They were allowed a comeback but only if they used their real names. The banned posters did that, but then they went on a rampage insisting that everyone use their real names.
I still get a good chuckle when I hear Senator Lindsey Graham say that the president's nominee for secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel, is out of the main steam. Hello Mr. Graham, is anyone home? It's clear and simple; republicans have been angry at Chuck Hagel since January 2007, when the republican senator denounced the war in Iraq. It was about that time that I started admiring to Chuck Hagel. It doesn't help his cause that he endorsed John Kerry and probably voted for President Obama twice. I think the president is lining up his ducks for a smooth transition out of Afghanistan. Today, it was announced that John Brennan is the president's choice to head the CIA. Lindsey Graham said that the president was poking a finger in the eyes of republicans with his nomination of Chuck Hagel but the president is very comfortable with those three picks to carry out his agenda of a peaceful resolution first, the withdraw in Afghanistan and scaling back the bloated defense budget. Chuck Hagel has two purple hearts and still suffers from wounds he acquired in Vietnam. The generals' and the neo conservatives will not be able to look Hagel in the eye and convince him that we need to stay in Afghanistan for 20 more years.
The other issue is an attitude of winning at all cost. It pained me to watch the Washington Redskin quarterback being allowed to play a very violent game at less than 50% of his capability because of his injured ankle. Robert Griffin III sustained an ankle injury several weeks ago and was withheld one game for that injury, yet in the big game, the coach Mike Shanahan chose to listen to a rookie who said he was hurting but not injured. The Redskins have one of the best team doctors who did not clear him to play. The coach has been around for several years, and he knows a 22-year-old always thinks he's ready to go. I hope RGIII completely recovers (even thou I don't like the Redskins) because it would be terrible to end a promising career when responsible people should know better.