Monday, December 28, 2009

TSA, Unions, and the Republicans

I always knew Republicans (the current variety) were some of the biggest hypocrites in history; but to see them beating on Obama because of the Nigerian terrorist is the worst.

So, Senator Jim DeMint spent a lot of time this weekend railing about TSA. What he neglected to tell his audience is that he has a hold on the nomination of the new director of TSA because the rank and file may want to unionize.

Then there are the 100 Republican lawmakers who voted against funding TSA this year!

Give me a break! I thought Ronald Reagan taught Republicans what to do with uppity unionized federal workers - fire them all! It worked for the Air Traffic Controllers and the airlines kept flying so it could probably work for TSA.

Given the economy and the jobs situation in the US, you wouldn't have to wait long or look far for new employees!

We live most of the year in Greece and when we return to the US, we have to not only provide the airline (Air France) with our passport numbers, but also where we're going in the States - and we're US citizens. I can't believe it is easier for non citizens, even if they have visas.

And what's up with not being suspicious of this guy - he buys a one-way (!!) ticket in cash, has no carry-on luggage and is traveling for two weeks!

I don't think there's a enough communication going on.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2010 Elections - Will You Vote?

I've been reading how disappointed that Democrats are becoming with the Democratically-controlled Congress. So disappointed that fully 53% of them are saying they are less likely to vote for Democrats in the 2010 election!

The poll also shows that 81% of Democrats want Lieberman kicked out of the caucus. Frankly, keeping him in the caucus was one of the stupidest things that the Obama administration championed from the beginning. Not only did Lieberman work for McCain's election and trash Democrats - but he has never supported the Obama agenda.

So, how is the Administration going to change things? Time is running out especially since Lieberman is now in control of what goes in and what stays out of the health care reform bill. The only sure thing in the bill at this point is that people are going to be forced to buy insurance from the same people who have refused to cover them at affordable rates now.

We know the party partisans are going to insist that people not talk down the Administration, the Congress, or the bills that are (or mostly are not) being brought out for passage. I think people will smile sweetly and mouth all sorts of platitudes, but in the end - we'll know how many Democrats stayed home on November 2, 2010.

Now, I've always been proud of my voting record (which I think is close to perfect) since I was first able to vote in the California primary that saw Bobby Kennedy win the election and later lose his life. My personal philosophy is that people are dying for the right to vote all over the world and I have that privilege and right and often I've voted while thinking of them.

But, if I sit out this election (my Congressman has been serving in the House of Representatives since 1988 and is quite likely to continue to easily win elections, with or without my vote) nothing much will change. Neither of my Senators are up for election (and both are extremely capable and I respect them wholeheartedly) so, I could keep my record by voting for local issues and just bypass Congress.

Will I? Only time, and what kind of health care bill is signed by President Obama, will tell.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Empathy and White Men

The Supreme Court today ruled in favor of the white mail firefighters in Connecticut. Their rationale seems to imply that white men have a "right" to promotion.

Could this be because (and I'm purposely including Thomas here!) they are all white men. After all, they couldn't find that women deserved equal pay for equal work.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Letter to My Senator

Dear Senator:

Thank you so much for responding to my earlier letter about the situation in the Gaza strip.

However, missing from your letter was any discussion about the Palestinian people. Of course, Israel has a right to protect its people. What about the people of Palestine? Are they to be denied food, medicine, employment, freedom of movement, and now shelter forever?

What is Israel's responsibility to the people of Gaza and the West Bank? Israel is still occupying Gaza and has never "left" the West Bank. To say that Israel withdrew from Gaza ignores the fact that Israel controls all entry and exit into that narrow strip of land, smaller than Rhode Island, including air space.

It is time for members of Congress to be honest about what is going on. We have a new African American president; as he stated in his inauguration address his father wasn't allowed to eat in a restaurant in Washington, DC 60 years ago and now his son is the President.

It is time to stop allowing Israel to treat the Palestinians as less than people, even slaves were better treated because they were property and assets, and to insist that Israel begin to obey international law. After all, the US exports our military hardware, dollars and oil to that country. What do we the citizens get in return - Israeli actions that incite terrorism in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States.

Thank you,

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Republicans and Filibustering

One of the things I haven't been able to figure out since the Democrats regained majority in the Senate, is why they don't make the Republicans filibuster.

One would think, with public approval of Congress at an all time low, that forcing the GOP to explain to the American public why they don't want to assist Americans, whether it be in domestic policy (environment, jobs, unemployment, health care) or foreign policy (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc.) would go a long way towards educating Americans about what Republicans stand for and why they are dangerous.

Maybe someone can explain to me the political calculation that makes sense why this should be. I mean, everyone knows Republicans don't play fair - they don't know what that means. So there couldn't be a quid pro quo involved here. So what is it?

The Employer Free Choice Act is crucial to helping Americans regain the economic security many families have enjoyed over the past 60 years; especially families of color who worked either in the auto industry or for the government - federal, state, or local.

Make they explain why they're giving us the finger!