Day: September 2, 2009

Lamar Alexander And Health Care Legislation

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee is one of the more distinguished member of the Republican caucus in the Senate.

He has had an impressive career, including being Governor of his state, Secretary of Education under the first President Bush, President of the University of Tennessee, faculty member of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and Presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000. He has been a Senator since being elected in the year 2002.

I have always had respect for Senator Alexander, and thought when he sought the Presidency twice that the nation could be far worse off with many other GOP candidates than Alexander.

That is why I am so disgusted with Alexander by his recent statement in opposition to health care legislation, in which he says that if it is passed by the Democrats without GOP support, then there will be a “minor revolution”.

Senator Alexander, what are you doing, encouraging bloodshed and violence because your party members, including yourself, refuse to cooperate on a bipartisan bill on health care? Your background and career make it hard to understand WHY you would issue such a statement.

I think you need to reconsider your outrageous assertion, and retract it promptly. I doubt that will happen, but it SHOULD!

Barack Obama And Health Care Speech To Congress

President Obama has announced his plans to deliver a health care speech before a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, September 9.

This is an excellent and necessary move, as so much propaganda and lies have been promoted by conservatives, Republicans and the health care insurance industry, all of them determined to defeat any substantial health care reform. These special interests have been willing to do anything to promote myths, fear, and trepidation, and encourage raucous Town Hall meetings.

The President must explain explicitly what he wants in the health care bill, why it is so important to the future of the nation, and challenge and destroy every last piece of propaganda, lies and myths that have been spread without shame across the country.

Health care reform is absolutely essential, as it has been discussed since Harry Truman’s time, and was first generally proposed by Theodore Roosevelt during his 1912 Progressive Party campaign for President. Isn’t a century since TR, and 64 years since Truman, enough time to take action finally on this crucial issue?

President Obama And Staying In School

President Obama is going to spend an hour next Tuesday speaking to the nation’s students via cable and television as the Fall term begins, or has already begun for the education community.

His goal is to emphasize and support the idea that all students should stay in school and graduate high school, and that college students should complete the degree that they start.

Is there anything wrong with the President advocating this to American students as a goal for the nation’s growth and prosperity? I would say certainly not, but apparently already there is a backlash of so called parents who seem to think it is none of the President’s business to be pushing education on their youngsters.

This growing criticism is just mind blowing to me. Have America’s parents been doing a good job of emphasizing education when millions of parents have no time for their kids; do not provide books, magazines and newspapers to their children in their homes; do not work to prevent their sons and daughters from dropping out and going to work at a dead end job; never emphasize learning and education as an important part of the parenting role; and in many cases fail to improve their own educational levels so as to create the chance of changing their own occupational future?

While there are many parents who do what should be done, is there any harm in the President raising the standards of the nation by encouraging “stay in school”? I think not, and all we can do is ignore these stupid complaints and the President move ahead and do what he plans to do–promote education as the best way to mobility in American society!

Hank Paulson Interview In Vanity Fair Magazine

Hank Paulson, the last Treasury Secretary under President Bush, was interviewed by Todd Purdom of Vanity Fair Magazine over a couple of years, a total of eight times, and the material gathered was finally published today.

In the eight interviews, Paulson made it clear of his high regard for Timothy Geithner, his successor as Treasury Secretary, and Ben Bernanke, head of the Federal Reserve Board, who both worked with him during the financial crisis that broke out a year ago.

He also spoke of his admiration of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Banking Committee Chair Barney Frank of Massachusetts, presenting a very different view of both legislators than is generally reported in the news media.

While certainly there has been criticism of Paulson and his two partners under Bush who now work for Obama, it is refreshing to see a Republican who worked with Bush understanding that the situation required massive intervention, something often rejected by conservatives and Republican operatives and misunderstood by many average Americans, who seem to think that doing nothing would have been a better answer. To believe that is totally ridiculous and a sign that many American are distressingly ignorant of the economic realities we face.

It will take time and patience to get out of this Great Recession, but we are on the road to recovery, and panic, hysteria, and anger is not going to solve this crisis.

The Texas Secession Movement

Texas Governor Rick Perry must be regretting last April 15 when he decided to show up at a meeting in the state capital of Austin organized by secessionists who advocate Texas breaking away from the United States, and going back to being a separate nation as they were from 1836-1845.

Perry, who is seeking reelection as governor after the longest stint of any governor presently in office (ten years), made it seem that states rights and secession was acceptable language. In other words, the terms which remind one of South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun, the Civil War, Ross Barnett and Mississippi, George Wallace and Alabama, and the Ku Klux Klan, is acceptable doctrine in 2009.

A Civil War which killed 620,000 men supposedly settled the issue of states rights and secession–that it was illegal and would be met with force. Now just this past weekend, Perry was absent when these crazy secessionists met again in Austin and declared that bloodshed, violence, and war were likely to be necessary in order for Texas to break away for separate nationhood. They quoted Thomas Jefferson about the need to spill blood to cleanse a nation, taking the great Founding Father and President totally out of context, but does that really matter to dangerous crackpots who advocate the use of violence?

Even then Governor George W. Bush had the sense to use the state police force to crack down on a dangerous secessionist sect that advocated violence in the mid 1990s, but apparently Rick Perry, though absent this time, seems not to feel that he can or should oppose such a radical sect of nuts.

It will be interesting to see if Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who crazily has decided to take on the burdens of the poorly run state of Texas by running for Governor in the primary against Governor Perry, will be able to use this issue against Perry and win the nomination and probable victory in November 2010, and hopefully restore sanity to Texas state government. We can wish her good luck, as it would be a break for Texas!