Showing posts from September, 2013

President Obama's Weekly Address - September 28, 2013

Averting a Government Shutdown and Expanding Access to Affordable Healthcare "If Congress doesn’t pass a budget by Monday – the end of the fiscal year – the government shuts down, along with many vital services the American people depend on. On Friday, the Senate passed a bill to keep the government open. But Republicans in the House have been more concerned with appeasing an extreme faction of their party than working to pass a budget that creates new jobs or strengthens the middle class. And in the next couple days, these Republicans will have to decide whether to join the Senate and keep the government open, or create a crisis that will hurt people for the sole purpose of advancing their ideological agenda...   I will work with anyone who wants to have a serious conservation about our economic future. But I will not negotiate over Congress’ responsibility to pay the bills it has already racked up. I don’t know how to be more clear about this: no one gets to thr

Please Help a Twitter Sister @Keepitcleva

Twitter, we have a sister, @keepitcleva, who could use some help. I know, I know. You have either been burned by someone on twitter or you've watched it happen with all the accompanying twitter drama. I sympathize with you, believe me. I was burned badly by a twitter "friend" and my poor judgment is the only excuse I can give. I'm still embarrassed by my experience. Having said that, I've also built some strong friendships with twitter friends beyond the confines of twitter. I'm only sharing this with you so you know that I know risks abound when you decide to help someone you don't know. Cleva and I have been following each other for about 1 1/2 to 2 years, and in that time we've developed a friendship. We have never met one another, but we chat on the phone and text, tweet, and Facebook. Here's what I know about Cleva. She's a single mom with two kids, a nineteen-year-old son and a twelve-year-old daughter. She works for the county of Sac

President Obama's Weekly Address - September 21, 2013

Congress Must Act Now to Pass a Budget and Raise the Debt Ceiling "... after five years spent digging out of crisis, the last thing we need is for Washington to manufacture another... ...This is important: raising the debt ceiling is not the same as approving more spending.  It lets us pay for what Congress already spent.   It doesn’t cost a dime, or add a penny to our deficit.  In fact, right now, our deficits are already falling at the fastest rate since the end of World War II.  And by the end of this year, we’ll have cut our deficits by more than half since I took office... Democrats and some reasonable Republicans are willing to raise the debt ceiling and pass a sensible budget – one that cuts spending on what we don’t need so we can invest in what we do.  And I want to work with those Democrats and Republicans on a better bargain for the middle class.   But there’s also a faction on the far right of the Republican party who’ve convinced their leaders

The Partisan Divide Has Never Been Wider

There are two editorials in The Washington Post today. The liberal leaning Fareed Zakaria wrote " Obama on the path to success in Syria " while conservative leaning Michael Gerson titled his piece, " Obama's missteps in Syria lead to retreat ." And so it goes. The Grand Canyon-like chasm that divides along party lines would be laughable if it weren't so pathetically sad. And before I go any further, no, both sides don't do it.  As Steve Benen notes : "I suppose this is about the point at which some will suggest Democrats are equally guilty of playing politics with foreign policy and national security, but recent evidence points in the exact opposite direction.  For much of the Bush/Cheney era, Democrats were, often to the chagrin of their base, willing to be constructive partners with Republicans -- large numbers of Democratic lawmakers voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in large numbers; they backed the PATRIOT Act; and they

And The Winners of the New York City Mayoral Primaries Are...

... those who decided to actually vote. A friend of mine wrote this on his Facebook status: "The population of NYC was 8.2 million, as of 2011. 257,000 people voted for Bill DeBlasio. Assuming no runoff & a Democratic victory in the general, 3% of NYC decided our next mayor." THREE PERCENT. Now I know that primary election turnouts have historically always been low, but there were five candidates running in the Democratic primary. Does anyone want their voice heard? A total of 599,035 as of this writing, voted in the Democratic primary. A pathetic 56,817 (and counting) voted in the Republican primary , and winner Joe Lhota received 29,909 of those votes. Taking my friend's theory even further, if by some chance Lhota should win the general election (and hey, we haven't had a Democratic Mayor in New York City since NINETEEN-EIGHTY-FUCKING-NINE ) then .3%, that's three-tenths of one percent , of New Yorkers will have decided the next mayor. I'm a

September 11th

Twelve Years Later Has it already been twelve years? I've written this before, but it bears repeating so that I will always remember where I was on September 11, 2001. Written in June, 2009, after the death of Michael Jackson: "I was the assistant production electrician for the Michael Jackson 30th Anniverasry Concert at Madison Square Garden. We worked for a solid week getting this rig together  - by solid, I mean 16 hour days - and the stars that performed that weekend included Usher, Ray Charles, Liza Minelli, Britney Spears and the rest of the Brothers Jackson. There were two concerts, one on Friday night and one on Monday night celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Michael Jackson and The Jackson Five. After the second concert we worked all night to load out the show and ended at about 10am... on the morning of September 11, 2001." You can watch some of the concert video here . It's a little eery watching the crowd having so much fun and then

Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Zimmerman

There will be a day, probably in the near future, where Stand Your Ground Against An Unarmed Youth hero George Zimmerman will kill another person.  Since his acquittal of murdering Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman can't get out of his own way. For a while I wondered why? How could his continuing run ins with the law or playing good Samaritan  constantly make the news? I suppose if you're minding your own business, you wouldn't constantly be in the spotlight. But if you're looking for trouble, trouble will find you. "' He punched my dad in the nose my dad has a mark on the nose. I saw his glasses were on the floor,' Shellie Zimmerman said in the call. 'He then accosted my father then took my iPad out of my hands. He then smashed it and cut it with a pocketknife, and there is a Lake Mary city worker across the street that I believe saw all of it.'   Shellie Zimmerman tells her father on the call to get behind a car. 'I don't know if he&#

President Obama's Weekly Address - September 7, 2013

Calling For Limited Military Action In Syria "As the leader of the world’s oldest Constitutional democracy, I also know that our country will be stronger if we act together, and our actions will be more effective. That’s why I asked Members of Congress to debate this issue and vote on authorizing the use of force.    What we’re talking about is not an open-ended intervention. This would not be another Iraq or Afghanistan. There would be no American boots on the ground. Any action we take would be limited, both in time and scope – designed to deter the Syrian government from gassing its own people again and degrade its ability to do so.  I know that the American people are weary after a decade of war, even as the war in Iraq has ended, and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. That’s why we’re not putting our troops in the middle of somebody else’s war.  But we are the United States of America. We cannot turn a blind eye to images like the ones we’ve see