Tag Archives: Politics

The Timidity of Hope

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth. Revelation 3:15-16, New International Version.

Obama - Hope With Blood on His HandsIt should be no surprise* that our President decided to continue the 10-years war. The choice to order more thousands of our brave men and women in uniform to give their lives, and many more maimed and permanently scarred, is consistent with his presidency, his campaign promises and his life’s story. It is his war now. The choice to accept tens of thousands more innocent civilian lives to be lost or ruined as collateral damage is one that weighed the risk of peace against the advice for war against the political climate in Washington at odds with the history of Afghanistan.

Why is ordering peace so hard? The needs here at home are evident. Most Americans want the war to end. The spun reason for the conflict has been achieved. Must we stay in Afghanistan to wage clandestine war in Pakistan? Are the bordering countries of China, India and Iran not strong enough to control their neighbor? Or is it some lingering fear and presumptive need to have our forces pre-positioned surrounding Iran? Shouldn’t we be more concerned that the presence of our forces surrounding Iran may make a future conflict more likely?

Our President does not have the audacity of hope that he once so successfully promoted. The lessons of Mohandas Gandhi, Thoreau and Dr. King have been lost in his parsing compromise. Violence begets violence. Peaceful civil disobedience takes too long (suggested search terms: bombing campaign Libya). Wars not paid for and fought without the draft with the drones seem so easy. Or, is it simply that no sitting President has ever lost reelection during wartime?

This President is a pragmatist. He didn’t fight for healthcare reform because of the 40-50 million Americans without health insurance. He fought for a bill, any bill, because the GAO told him that costs were out of control, and until healthcare was reformed, our country could not have a balanced budget.

He didn’t allow green initiatives to be included in the stimulus bill because it was right for our country or our planet. He did so because it could create jobs and would make members of the House, who actually believe, placated for a while.

He didn’t promote Wall Street reform because of the grotesque change in the distribution of income in our country, or the outrageous profits made from no-interest Fed money. He supported the reform bill, any bill, in an attempt to prevent another meltdown. He has since backed away from the reform and strong rules his administration gets to write, because the economy is stagnant and banks are tanking.

Obama is also likely to accept the Republican demands to undo three-generations of Democratic achievement on social policy – even without a tax increase on the wealthy or getting rid of needless, mindless subsidies for corporations – because failure to pass the debt extension could destabilize world financial markets. That, and keeping the Republicans on track to dismantle Medicare and Medicaid increases the likelihood of winning the next election and while providing the cover to undo any budget deal in the next Congress.

There was a time that I thought that Rahm Emanuel was the force that had him compromise his beliefs for a pragmatic government. I was wrong. Obama never believed.
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* In a previous story, I wrote that he would be out of all of wars by the election. I was surprised that things in Obama’s world changed so dramatically in such a short time.

Fool me thrice

I have a friend who remarried his first wife. It worked out about the way one would expect. As he was sitting in the court room in what was the second divorce from the same woman, he was called to rise before the judge to  hear the order, “Mr. McKelvey,” the judge began, “I see here that you have already been granted a divorce from this woman once before.”

“Yes, your honor,” my friend humbly submitted.

“Mr. McKelvey, in South Carolina, we only allow one divorce per woman. Surely you can understand anyone who’d need two deserves what he gets.”

After the laughter in the court room subsided, the judge did order the divorce and my friend, at least so far, has not repeated the same mistake of marrying her a third time.

However, it looks as if America is getting ready to do just that – assuming the polls hold true, the tea party comes out and the Democrats stay home, for the third time in my generation, there may be a Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times, God help us all.

Just for the record, let’s take a look at how well earlier marriages with Republicans have gone. The following table lists the economic calamities in the USA during the past century and lists the party in control at the time.

Chart of those in power for the last century or so.


“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” – George W. Bush


And for those in the mood, from the Tams, What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I am).

The Big Game

Political-Football

As we approach the college football rival week late this month, it is time to begin an even heavier use of sports metaphor to describe the game of political football. Two great rivals. 77th meeting*. Home field advantage: Democrats.

With only a few months left in the second quarter of this Congressional session, the Republican defense has kept health care reform, Wall Street regulation, don’t ask-don’t tell and the energy bills out of the end zone. While the gallant defensive effort has not put not Republican points on the scoreboard, their fans have cheered wildly, drowning out any sounds of the Democrat faithful.

Since their stunning early financial stimulus touchdown, the Dems have largely relied on misdirection and fakes to their star issues to fool the gang-tackling Republicans and grind out enough yardage to kick easy field goals on stem cell research; banning torture; passing the largest ever middle-class tax cut; putting Sonia Sotomayer on the Supreme Court; expanding SCHIP to 4 million children; making the morning-after available to 17-year olds; cutting drug costs to seniors by $80 billion; securing EPA authority to limit climate warming pollution; fast-tracking a CAFE standards increase; expanding college loan access and grants paid for by killing private lender subsidies; implementing grants for state merit pay for teachers; releasing Bush torture records; implementing executive lobby reform; expanding hate crime laws; bailing out Detroit; making it easier for women to sue for equal pay; mobilizing the greatest response in history to the H1N1 pandemic; passing tobacco regulation; expanding wilderness protection; and killing major and unneeded military appropriation programs.

Current score: Democrats: 67, Republicans: 0.

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*Based on sessions of Congress. First Republican elected to 34th Congress (1855-1856). Sincerely hope my math holds up under inspection.

New on the Dew: News & Opinion Feeds

feed screen shotRecently we have added an exclusive new feature on the LikeTheDew.com site that you may not have noticed – News & Opinion Feeds. One page where you can view headlines and excerpts of almost 2,000 (and growing) of the most popular places on the internet – updated every few minutes with the latest posts. You get to it by clicking the “News & Opinion Feeds” link at the top of any page.

More than just world or US news, you can select to view the type of news you want. Want it local? Just click your state on the map. Want it more specific? Just click on the link at the top of the page for Arts or Business/Economic or Cause or Food or Green or Health or Places or Politics or Science/Tech or Sports or Writing or Every Block (a beta feature).

close up

This is a screen shot of the page showing what happens when you mouseover a headline and an excerpt appears. Click the headline and you'll go to full story.

Then, just mouseover a headline and you’ll see an excerpt of the story. Click on it and you’ll be taken to the site to read more. Want to see more feeds from that source? Just click “More Story Feeds” link at the bottom of each section.

A few words of warning – some of the feeds load a little slowly – 10-20 seconds with an average connection, but some pages may take up to a minute. Be patient, it will be worth it. Also, you are likely to see some broken feeds from time to time – many sites have their feeds go down for one reason or another and we’ll try and keep up with problems you find.

Now you might be thinking that we are stealing content – we are not. This page is generated automatically from RSS feeds provided by each site. This page acts as a gateway for the original site with complete attribution and links. These sites love that we are promoting their content (hear any complaints and we will immediately remove it and say we are sorry). We just wish they’d do the same for us.

In the coming months, we plan to offer more bells and whistles to the feeds – weather, editorial cartoons, photos, videos and more. We’d love your feedback and ideas sites (look for RSS, XML or Atom feeds – regrettably, many sites do not provide a feed) or sections to be added. Please email your suggestions and comments to: [email protected].