Monday, December 20, 2010

Putting faces to "these people" who voted against the 9-11 First Responders Bill

Shepard Smith and Fox News are getting all kinds of credit for their rant about Congress failing to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010

However, what a lot of people didn't seem to notice is that the Fox anchors never mention that it was Republicans that blocked the bill. Instead, they use terms like "these people" and "congress" or the dreaded "they" - Shepard calls "them" out to be accountable. So who are "they?" Well, listed below are the senators responsible for this "national disgrace" including their photos so we can remember their smiling faces and links to their page on

Sen. Lamar Alexander [R, TN]
Sen. John Barrasso [R, WY]
Sen. Robert Bennett [R, UT]
Sen. Christopher Bond [R, MO]
Sen. Scott Brown [R, MA]
Sen. Jim Bunning [R, KY]
Sen. Richard Burr [R, NC]
Sen. Saxby Chambliss [R, GA]
Sen. Thomas Coburn [R, OK]
Sen. Thad Cochran [R, MS]
Sen. Susan Collins [R, ME]
Sen. Bob Corker [R, TN]
Sen. John Cornyn [R, TX]
Sen. Michael Crapo [R, ID]
Sen. Jim DeMint [R, SC]
Sen. John Ensign [R, NV]
Sen. Michael Enzi [R, WY]
Sen. Lindsey Graham [R, SC]
Sen. Charles Grassley [R, IA]
Sen. Judd Gregg [R, NH]
Sen. Orrin Hatch [R, UT]
Sen. Kay Hutchison [R, TX]
Sen. James Inhofe [R, OK]
Sen. John Isakson [R, GA]
Sen. Mike Johanns [R, NE]
Sen. Mark Kirk [R, IL]
Sen. Jon Kyl [R, AZ]
Sen. George LeMieux [R, FL]
Sen. Richard Lugar [R, IN]
Sen. John McCain [R, AZ]
Sen. Mitch McConnell [R, KY]
Sen. Lisa Murkowski [R, AK]
Sen. James Risch [R, ID]
Sen. Pat Roberts [R, KS]
Sen. Jefferson Sessions [R, AL]
Sen. Richard Shelby [R, AL]
Sen. Olympia Snowe [R, ME]
Sen. John Thune [R, SD]
Sen. David Vitter [R, LA]
Sen. George Voinovich [R, OH]
Sen. Roger Wicker [R, MS]

Note: Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic leader, switched his vote to 'no' at the last moment in a parliamentary move that allows him to bring the measure up again for a vote. [See AP Story for details]

Source: Roll call number 269 in the Senate:

Full info on the bill:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Obama's failure? Not correcting failed Bush administration policies fast enough

The GOP and right-wing die-hards have hated Obama from the start. Now, just about everyone, left and right, is at least annoyed with him, and more likely, fed up.

What he calls "compromise" has been nothing but back-sliding and it hasn't helped his position with conservatives in the least - they still hate him and bad mouth him at every opportunity - at the same time, this backsliding has cost him his, once tremendous, support among liberals.

What a stupid and feckless strategy for someone that appears to be so smart.

We could go on and on about what he could have done differently - but for me, what's more important is what are we to do for 2012? The GOP has not earned my vote. Their childish tactics and full focus on messing with Obama instead of worrying about finding solutions for the country is unforgivable and sickening. He gives them what they want, and they just call him a flip-flopper. Meanwhile, the democrats, who despite two years with a majority in congress and the president on their team, continue to be unable to get out of their own way to get anything done (or un-done as the case may be) and have become as worthless and ineffective as I can recall in my lifetime.

So where has Obama disappointed us the most? It is in NOT successfully un-doing the mistakes and failed policies of the Bush-era. So why on earth would anyone be thinking about going back to a presidency brought to you by the same people that brought you George W. Bush (and Sarah Palin) now? As bad as Obama has been in terms of not correcting all of the Bush administration's damage fast enough for us, would we be better off with an administration that continues to introduce more such problems?

This is what is perhaps so frustrating about the "tax cut compromise" - not only does it show once and for all how poorly Obama is at debate and positioning, it perpetuates a policy that has been clearly shown to be ineffective and downright dangerous. Reagan's own Office of Management and Budget - David Stockman - calls the Bush tax cuts "the biggest fiscal mistake in history". This "compromise" has come to represent everything that has gone wrong with Obama's administration. It puts a fine point on just how badly the Obama team has been out maneuvered by the GOP. They constantly have him on his heals, fighting their fights, on their terms - the fight still carries Bush's name in the popular media for freak sake! And the GOP can, on the one hand, successfully rail against "democrat spending" [sic] and on the other, they can push for bank bailouts and pass these tax cuts for the wealthy, representing $700 billion added to the deficit! Un-freaking believable.

Obama backs down every time - that is, unless it's against his own party - that's the only time he seems to get tough.

Anyway, the point is, what the heck are we supposed to do in 2012? As noted, the GOP can't win again - we cannot suffer another "Bush-era" (or worse) that someone else has to try to clean up after. On the other hand, Obama has not shown the kind of savvy persuasive power with his political enemies required to move things forward. To say nothing of his willingness to support bad policies, like Wall Street bailouts and continuing to engage in two expensive and futile wars.