John Stewart recently aired a Moment of Zen that stopped me in my tracks. Lindsey Graham (my favorite southern graham cracker) discussing ISIS. I believe he was trying to make a serious point, though the point was probably, as always, “Go, Republicans! Boo, Democrats!”
Here’s the quote that got my attention:
“[ISIS has] adopted a theory of religion that’s 1,000 years old that requires a worldwide caliphate that will purify the Islamic religion, kill or convert every Christian and Jew and vegetarian in their way.”
Of Sloths and Voters
When I started writing this blog I had no idea I had this much to say about politics, but I guess I set the tone from my very first posting – which was about how the DNC stalked me during the last election.
I’ve also written about how few people voted in the last election, but unlike the blockhead – I mean contributor – on NPR the other day, it’s not because I believe that people are sloths. Really – he was comparing non-voters to sloths and apparently being compared to one is a bad thing.
Pictures of this “new” Congress remind me that I haven’t talked to my Grandma in a while. She’s 86 and while you’d think this would be too old for politics, John Conyers, Louise Slaughter, Chuck Rangel, Sander Levin, and Sam Johnson wouldn’t agree. Currently, there are 71 members of Congress over the age of 70.
I know there’s a lot of chatter about ObamaCare, but I’ve not really been paying that much attention. I’m one of those Americans who has health insurance through my employer – it’s not like I use it much thanks to good genes and yoga.
But, I can empathize with those Americans who’ve been surviving without healthcare. I know that if I got really ill – even with health insurance – I’d probably have to move to the U.K. – either that or go straight from my doctor’s office to my bankruptcy lawyer (now considered a medical specialist, though not one covered under my insurance).
But there’s a big difference between health insurance and health care. ObamaCare is technically ObamaInsurance and this is where it falls down for me.
Playground Politics 2
To start off the playground politics for this year, the House re-elected pop-jock John Boehner – the class bully – to be Class President. The first thing he did was behead his competition even though his challenger (Dan Webster) was a symbolic one. It’s not like Webster even had a chance to unseat Boehner with his paltry 12 votes. Grandma Pelosi had a better chance – or Colin Powell.
But sometimes I just have to stand around and watch the train crash, shake my head and wonder how it happened. That’s what happened this week with Sarah Palin’s speech to the Freedom Summit.
2015 is still young, but we’ve already heard a lot about the possible Republican candidates for President. It looks like the GOP is getting an early start. Either that or the Dems are sleeping in after an epic New Year’s Eve party.
As a Democrat, I have a vested interest. I need to start planning how I’m going to vote in the primaries. I’m vote on March 15, 2016 so the Dems better get cracking! I’m sure I’ll need all 419 days to decide.
Cruzin’ into 2016
Isn’t Ted Cruz looking svelte these days? Has he lost some weight? Maybe he’s on the same diet as Chris Christie – the Presidential Diet. Eat only good healthy American foods (I’m sure we have a couple) and run from unpopular issues.
My husband and I often debate the relative (de)merits of the British and American political systems. I’ve already discussed how great it is that British elections are only 4 weeks long; the U.S. should adopt this immediately!
Christmas came early in the hallowed halls of the Capitol Building. They lit the Christmas tree, passed a Christmas Tree bill, exchanged tax breaks with a few friends, and then went home for the holidays.
The Democratic Party needs an intervention, or at least some serious behavioral therapy. Obama delayed some controversial votes to help Democrats in the mid-term elections. So, how did that work out? Obama definitely needs new advisors and some new Senators.
What Americans, even the Democratic ones, want is good old-fashioned action – or at least the appearance of action. Americans have little tolerance for delays and hedging even if there’s a good reason.
The new movie “The Imitation Game” is about Alan Turing. Among Turing’s many accomplishments was a test for assessing artificial intelligence – quite a feat for a man living at a time when computers were the size of bank vaults and as mentally quick as 1st graders.
But all this talk about the Turing Test and artificial intelligence got me wondering if I could use the same approach to choosing a political candidate. I know, I’ve talked about this before, but a Turing Test would tell me if I was voting for a person or a politician.
During the last election, 33% of Americans showed up at the polls. This is a lot, isn’t it? We get in a panic when we hear that one in three Americans is overweight or that one in three black males will go to prison. I’ll admit, the Australian stats look better – 9 of 10 Australians vote, but the government threatens to take their pocket change if they don’t. The U.K. might be a closer comparison.
To Sue is Human
Republicans are suing Obama over Obamacare. Politicians suing politicians!? Can they do that?
I suppose the couple of hundred lawyers that we have in Congress should know. But we didn’t see their academic transcripts when they applied for the job – last-in-class doesn’t sell well in the job market, but on the campaign trail ethics and knowledge of the law are real draw backs. What is the old saying… “Those who can’t litigate, legislate” (or in this case, the opposite).
Is your Congressman Smarter than a 5th Grader?
It’s not that I need my congressman to be Albert Einstein or Sheldon Cooper (though I’d prefer the people I elect to be smarter than say, Justin Bieber), but I smell hypocrisy when politicians meddle in education
ExxonMobil for President
Let’s face it; we’re all being a bit racist. Corporations are people, too. But the way we act towards them you’d think they were heartless nonentities – somehow less than human. Some in this country are even actively trying to deny Corporations personhood!
I’ve already written about how the DNC stalked meduring the last election (and here). I’m thinking of taking out a restraining order before the next election. But at least I didn’t get the shame mail that other Democrats got. I say I didn’t, but at one point I replaced my mailbox with a recycle bin so I may not have noticed.
Voter Seeking Candidate
I have a very low tolerance for hypocrisy in politics, which makes it very difficult to listen to any single politician for more than about five minutes – or decide who to vote for. I’ve written about how difficult it is to choose a candidate before. Smartvoter.org is a good place to start, but their advice for how to choose a candidate goes on for five pages. It feels too much like homework.
The End of the Beginning
Finally, Election Day! The robots will stop calling, the apocalyptic fliers will cease, and I don’t have to watch any more noir TV ads. The season of good chidings is over at last – at least until Primary Season, which starts a week next Thursday, but I’ll take any respite I can get. It may be time to consider taking a leaf out of the British playbook. Their elections last only four weeks. Really. It doesn’t take a Brit eight months to decide who to vote for. I’ll bet we could make up our minds faster if we had to.
We’ve seen it all before. I’m convinced this election was a re-run anyway.
Republicrat – Democlican
In a previous post, I mentioned that if I weren’t a Shame old PoliticsDemocrat, I’d probably be a Libertarian. Americans really like dichotomies and these are really the two choices. One party believes in big government, the other believes in small government.
I’ve never really been able to wrap my head around what the Republicans believe.
Who Wants to be a Senator?
I’m not sure why I answered the phone. I’d already dodged a dozen robocalls that day. To my surprise, there was an actual person on the line and the person was the actual candidate!
He wanted to know what issues were most important to me. Frankly, at that moment the most pressing issue on my mind was who was “in” and who was “out” – which I suppose is also what politicians are most concerned about.
I’ve just returned from voting (early and often!) Now, all of you Democrats out there listen up – you can stop stalking me. No more phone calls, emails, eager young Dems knocking at my door and for heaven’s sake, stop sending me glossy fliers unless there’s a pizza coupon attached. I’ve done my duty.
It’s election season. I know that because I need a back hoe to transfer the glossy political fliers from my mailbox at the front of the house to the recycling bin at the back – with only one or two stops along the way to hang-up on yet another robocall (or was it a pollster?)
I used to be upset by the amount of money spent on elections, but not since I decided that elections are primarily exercises in the redistribution of wealth.