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Posts Tagged ‘debate’

Hellfire & Brimstone

Posted by AB on December 21, 2009

The battle over health care reform has brought some pretty fiery rhetoric to the good people of the United States.  In my opinion, save for the outbursts of Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), Congressional Republicans have been spreading the most abhorrent language to his or her constituents.  When we look back to this debate 20 years from now, we will all remember the big lie that was “death panels,” used by Republicans to scare senior citizens.  Unfortunately, the closer we get to a health care reform bill, the more incendiary the rhetoric has become.  Over the weekend it became biblical.

This weekend in Nebraska, former Republican Presidential nominee Mike Huckabee visited to criticize Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE).  Why would the former Arkansas Governor travel to Nebraska on short notice?  Because he saw an opportunity to once again act as demagogue when Nelson finally agreed to join the rest of the Democrats to vote for a health care reform bill.  Huckabee, forever the political opportunist, dropped this little line to drive home his point (via CNN):

 “I don’t want [senators] to go up there…and then somehow go back and boast ‘Here’s some money I got from you.’  The last time we saw that kind of historic moment it was 30 pieces of silver, and that didn’t work out to well for us either.”

He, of course, was referring to Judas’ betrayal of Christ.  Of course it is the same as expanding health care coverage to 30 million Americans, right?  What a stupid think to say, Mr. Huckabee, even for you.

And last night, stung by the realization that Senate Democrats had assembled the needed 60 votes to stop a filibuster, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) went to the floor of the “greatest deliberative body in the world” to release one of the most heinous comments that one could ever imagine.

That’s right; Sen. Coburn is calling for the American people to pray that a Democratic member  is unable to show up.  To the great disappointment of Sen. Coburn, God did not intervene, and even the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) made the 1 a.m. vote.  Democrats reached cloture by a vote of 60-40, along party lines.

I don’t know what is going on with our politicians these days–they seem to have all lost their minds.  The Senate bill should pass on Christmas Eve, and then there will be a whole new series of vitriol, as the Senate bill will go to conference to merge with the bill that was previously passed by the House of Representatives.  After the eventual passage of the health care reform bill, maybe we can all begin thinking more clearly.  Until then, get accustomed to “crazy talk.”

Posted in Economics, Misc., Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Any Bill a Failure for Conservative Groups

Posted by AB on August 11, 2009

What do conservative groups want out of this health care debate?  Many conservatives, in public, say that we need health care reform, but they seem to have a problem with absolutely everything about it.  Conservatives in the media, in congress, and in other groups say, “No, no, no” so much that it is difficult to see what they are for.  Well, Politico has a short article about a recent conference call by conservative groups, including the National Tax Limitation Committee, the American Liberty Alliance, the Tea Party Patriots.  Apparently, they are pressing members of congress to kill health care.  An AFL-CIO union official who listened-in on the call, quoted the moderator as saying “The goal is not compromise, and any bill coming out this year would be a failure for us.”

There you have it.  What are conservatives for?  It sounds like they are for, well, anything but reform.  I assumed that this was the case, but was surprised that someone let it slip.  Any health care reform would be good for Americans, but their biggest fear is that any success would be accredited to President Obama and Congressional Democrats.  So, if you are for health care reform, and you run into someone who is against this bill or that amendment, the easiest way to shut them down is to just ask them what they are for. 

Always be respectful, civilized, and peaceful as you debate, even if others aren’t.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Election: Iran (Part II)

Posted by AB on June 12, 2009

Iranian elections have now taken place, and record crowds have voted.  In fact, voting stations were so crowded across Iran that voting was extended to midnight.  By all of the accounts that I’ve read, the Presidential election between incumbent, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and main challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, is very close.

I have no idea when the election results might be released, but it is likely that those results will be known in the next 24-48 hours.  I am hoping for a Mousavi victory, but no matter who wins, the record turnout is evidence that a strong debate is taking place for the future of Iran.

Via TalkingPointsMemo (TPM) http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/,  there are two pieces that caught my eye (much more great coverage on TPM): 

One from the BBC that has a nifty guide on Iran’s power structure. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8051750.stm

Another from Time that has an interview of Mir Hossein Mousavi.  http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1904343,00.html

Posted in Misc. | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »