Day: December 22, 2010

An Amazing, Historic Day: Triple Victory And Culmination Of Brilliant Lame Duck Session, One Of Greatest Performing In American History! :)

December 22, 2010, will go down in history as an extremely rare day in American history, as THREE major accomplishments came to fruition in just a few hours! ๐Ÿ™‚

The signing of the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” for the military in a morning ceremony was a great civil rights victory, the greatest since 1965.

The ratification of the START Treaty with Russia was President Obama’s greatest foreign policy accomplishment in office, and won 13 Senate Republican supporters, winning 71-26 in the afternoon. This was an important step forward in gaining Russian support for dealing with the growing threat presented by Iran.

And then, in an ultimate vote of conscience, the Congress gave justice to September 11 First Responders by passing medical care legislation for those heroes who worked so hard under difficult conditions after the tragic attack on the World Trade Center.

This day just culminates a fantastic Lame Duck Session, in which unemployment compensation extension was accomplished, along with continuation of tax cuts that already existed (but unfortunately with continued tax cuts to the top two percent, which will add nearly a trillion to the national debt, but a necessary compromise under the circumstances), and a food safety bill which gives the Food and Drug Administration more authority over the subject than at any time since 1938 under the New Deal.

The only major failure and loss was the DREAM Act, which Obama made clear, at a triumphant, confident, press conference, was still a major goal to be accomplished in the 112th Congress, which seems doubtful.

But Obama certainly revived from the major defeat in the midterm elections just six weeks ago, and is seen as having made a “comeback”, which means no one should underestimate his ability to get things done, and to accomplish his goals, because as he said, when he feels strongly about some issue, he is “persistent”!

So we should all congratulate Obama and his party for having done what seemed to be the impossible–REAL accomplishments in a Lame Duck session, which many Republicans thought was a useless waste of time! HOW WRONG THEY WERE !

Triumph For The September 11 First Responders Medical Care Legislation! :)

As I write, the 9/11 First Responders Medical Care Act has passed its last hurdles to passage, and being signed into law by President Obama.

The threatened “hold” of Oklahoma Republican Senator Tom Coburn was overcome with a voice vote, and after a little tinkering with the cost, which is fully paid for.

The fact that the legislation was held hostage by Senate GOP leadership is an absolute disgrace, and they were shamed into allowing action finally, after condemnation by Jon Stewart of the Comedy Channel, former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, and even Fox News Channel’s Shepard Smith! ๐Ÿ™

The idea that Senator Coburn, himself a so called medical doctor, opposed passage and tried to bottleneck it, should be condemned as absolutely despicable and unconscionable behavior, unbecoming any United States Senator! ๐Ÿ™

But as we know, these past two years have seen example after interminable example of outrageous behavior and statements by a party which used to be seen as respectable, but now is seen as representing the loonies, rather than the mainstream of America! ๐Ÿ™

The fact that our “heroes” of September 11 will finally get some well deserved justice and financial support for their sacrifices nine years ago is to be hailed as a great moment in the history of our nation, as what they did is no different than what our freedom fighters have done throughout our history on the battlefields of the world, promoting freedom and liberty in the name of our ideals! ๐Ÿ™‚

The nation should be blessing our 111th Congress for the great deed they have finally achieved!

The Reality Of Budget Cuts To Come In The 112th Congress: The Poor, The Young, The Retired To Suffer Greatly While The Rich And Privileged Suffer No Pain! :(

We hear a lot these days about “cost cutting”, and “budget cuts” and “reckless spending” as code words for what the 112th Congress under House Speaker to be John Boehner will be addressing next year.

What it comes down to, though, is that the rich and privileged and the corporations will suffer no pain at all, and instead the poor, the young, and the retired (mostly elderly) Americans will bear the brunt of such a dramatic slashing of the budget!

It means that medical care will be denied, as it is, for instance, in Arizona to Medicaid recipients who need heart, lung, kidney and liver transplants, and instead will die, being given a “death panel” decision by Governor Jan Brewer! ๐Ÿ™

It means that class sizes will be dramatically raised, making educational conditions in thousands of school districts across the country far worse than they already are!

It means that crime fighting and fire fighting will be impeded, which will affect poorer communities more than wealthier areas within the states!

It means many prisoners will be released because of overcrowding and budget cuts in state prisons, and that will add to the crime rate, particularly in poorer areas!

It means that college students in community colleges and state universities across the nation will, in many cases, be priced out of higher education, or go so deep into debt with rising tuition and housing costs, that they will be forced into bankruptcy in future years! ๐Ÿ™

It means that dedicated civil service employees who have devoted their lives to serving the public in many capacities will now be cheated out of labor arrangements and retirement plans that they thought were legally binding!

It means that basic amenities such as parks, beaches, libraries, and other public services will be cut back dramatically, making the quality of life far worse!

It means that basic services to the elderly poor will be cut back, endangering many in their health and safety, and the whole concept of the “golden years”!

The more one thinks about this series of realities, the more the inequities of the situation scream out. So the rich and privileged will do just fine, while large portions of the population will suffer in an age of selfishness and greed, unparalleled since the 1920s and the previous Gilded Age (1865-1897), which one would think we would not repeat.

And now we will have a Republican leadership that does not apologize for this circumstance, and instead embraces it with impunity! ๐Ÿ™

Another Progressive And Liberal Victory: The Struggle For Civil Rights For Gays In The Military Finally Accomplished! :)

Another major victory for civil rights was celebrated this morning at the Interior Department before an overflow crowd, as President Barack Obama signed into law the ending of the policy in the military of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.

It was an emotional moment for many, and shows what the constant battle has been throughout American history: to overcome discrimination, prejudice, favoritism, elitism, based on race, ethnicity, gender, disability, and now sexual orientation.

There is absolutely no justification to deny any American the same rights and liberties that every other American has, but in the past, only white men of property had any rights.

If we were to go by the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the concept of “originalism”, we would still have denial of equality for African Americans, other ethnic minorities based on religion and nationality, gender, disability and sexual orientation.

Instead, we have had the expansion of equality over many generations of struggle, whether those who were privileged at the time liked it or not.

There is no negotiation on basic human rights in this nation, and we must all remember that when one looks at history, whether in the 19th, 20th, or 21st century, who was it, broadly based, who fought “tooth and nail” against civil rights and civil liberties for all Americans?–the conservatives of each time frame, not always identified by political party, but by an attitude of privilege and entitlement! ๐Ÿ™

And who was it that fought for human rights in each time frame, not always identified by political party, but committed to justice and equality?–progressives and liberals who were committed to principles that come from the Constitutional Convention, but developed beyond the “originalism” view so vehemently espoused by conservatives!

And sooner than we think is possible, gay marriage will be accepted, as interracial marriage was adjusted to in the 1960s, and it will not be a question whether everyone approves it, as basic human rights, including marriage, are not to be seen as negotiable due to one’s personal or religious beliefs. After all, no one demands that a person like what is going on in society, but simply that he or she accept the fact that it is none of their business to interfere in a basic human right!

Personal freedom is an inviolable right that is not subject to the whim of public opinion polls!