One half century

 Posted by at 09:17  Politics
Jan 202011

Has it really been 50 years already?

“And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

Seems like only yesterday.

The full text of President Kennedy’s inaugural address may be found following the break.

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Jan 192011

As they promised they would, the Republicans in the House of Representatives staged their bit of political theater and voted today to repeal the health care reform that was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last year. The vote was 245 to 189, with three Democrats – Reps. Mike Ross (Ark.), Dan Boren (Okla.) and Mike McIntyre (N.C.) – joining Republicans in backing the measure. Here are some of the provisions already in effect which they voted to repeal:

* Excluding children under age 19 with pre-existing conditions
* Lifting lifetime and annual limits on benefits paid. No longer can a price be put on someone’s life.
* Allowing young adults to remain on their parents’ policies.
* Closing the Medicare Part D donut hole for seniors.

Thankfully, this cruel and devastating bit of legislation has gone as far as it is going to go. Majority Leader Harry Reid has stated that it will not even see the light of day in the Senate. If by some miracle it happened to make it through the Senate, it would still require the signature of President Obama. That is not likely to happen. But at least the Republicans can tell their extreme right wing base that they did what they said they would do — they voted to repeal health care for Americans.


Jan 182011

Bob Herbert’s latest New York Times op-ed column is entitled “How Many Deaths Are Enough?” I’d encourage you to read it. Here is but a paragraph…

We’ve allowed the extremists to carry the day when it comes to guns in the United States, and it’s the dead and the wounded and their families who have had to pay the awful price. The idea of having large numbers of college students packing heat in their classrooms and at their parties and sporting events, or at the local pub or frat house or gymnasium, or wherever, is too stupid for words.

Rick Perry is, unfortunately, being inaugurated today for his third full term as governor of the state of Texas. He is heavily in favor of legislation currently pending in this state that would allow college students to carry guns on their campuses. Too stupid for words.

Weekly Address 01-15-11

 Posted by at 08:52  Politics
Jan 152011

“Before We are Democrats or Republicans, We are Americans”

From the White House weblog:

As Congress returns to work, the President calls on them — and all of us — to debate our differences vigorously but to live up to the spirit of common cause we felt following the tragedy in Arizona.

Click below to listen to the audio only:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Transcript follows the break.

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Jan 142011

anderson011111.jpg   artley011111.jpg   artley011411.jpg

bagley011011.jpg   bagley011211.jpg   bennett011211.jpg

bennett011411.jpg   chappatte011211.jpg   englehart011111.jpg

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keefe011211.jpg   keefe011411.jpg   luckovich010911.jpg

margulies011111.jpg   margulies011211.jpg   matson011111.jpg

morin011111.jpg   pett011011.jpg   pett011211.jpg

priggee011111.jpg   rogers011211.jpg   sorenson011111.jpg

stahler011111.jpg   toles011211.gif   zyglis011011.jpg

As always, our thanks go to the talented and observant cartoonists who, each week, help us smile through the pain.

Bonus video (may not be viewable outside the United States):


Up in arms

 Posted by at 11:47  Politics
Jan 112011

The right is up in arms (pun intended) over this New York Times editorial. I think it is quite excellent, myself. See what you think. Here, let me get you started. You’ll need to click the link to read the whole thing.

An Assault on Everyone’s Safety

Glock 19
Glock 19

The Glock 19 is a semiautomatic pistol so reliable that it is used by thousands of law enforcement agencies around the world, including the New York Police Department, to protect the police and the public. On Saturday, in Tucson, it became an instrument of carnage for two preventable reasons: It had an oversize ammunition clip that was once restricted by federal law and still should be; and it was fired by a disturbed man who should never have been able to purchase it legally.

The ludicrously thin membrane that now passes for gun control in this country almost certainly made the Tucson tragedy worse. Members of Congress are legitimately concerned about their own safety now, but they should be no less worried about the effect of their inaction on the safety of all Americans.

As lawmakers in Washington engage this week in moments of silence and tributes to Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other casualties, they should realize that they have the power to reduce the number of these sorts of horrors, and their lethality.

To do so, they will need to stand up to the National Rifle Association and its allies, whose lobbying power continues to grow despite the visceral evidence that the groups have made the country a far more dangerous place. Having won a Supreme Court ruling establishing a right to keep a firearm in the home, the gun lobby is striving for new heights of lunacy, waging a campaign to legalize the possession of a gun in schools, bars, parks, offices, and churches, even by teenagers.

It reflexively opposes even mild, sensible restrictions — but if there is any reason left in this debate, the latest mass shooting should force a retreat. Is there anyone, even the most die-hard gun lobbyist, who wants to argue that a disturbed man should be able to easily and legally buy a Glock to shoot a congresswoman, a judge, a 9-year-old girl?

UPDATE: Also recommended: “A Flood Tide of Murder” by Bob Herbert.

Jan 112011

Some of you may remember Jon Stewart’s memorable comments after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. His business is comedy, though he has been recognized in several polls as “the most trusted newsman in America.” Somehow he always seems to strike the right note following a tragedy. Here is his take on the recent shootings in Tucson, Arizona. (Note: may not be viewable outside the United States.) A transcript of his remarks is after the break.

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Jan 102011

On the night of October 28, 2000 we attended a Tina Turner concert at Reunion Arena in Dallas, Texas. Reunion Arena has since been demolished and a parking lot stands in its place now, but the memories of that night will live on forever. I can honestly say it was the best concert I’ve ever attended. I was very surprised to find this video online. I remember this as though it were only yesterday…

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