Saturday, October 02, 2010

Please join the discussion...


  1. Howard Dean is always first.

    While cleaning yesterday I came across a card quoting Dr. Dean:

    "Whether you call them ideals or moral values, there are a number of basic principles that I believe the Democratic Party should stand up and fight for. Here are a few:
    *Livable wage
    *Affordable health care
    *Decent education
    *Common sense foreign policy
    *Healthy environment
    *Feeling of community that comes from full participation in our democracy
    *We do not saddle our children and grandchildren with our debt"

    The elected Democrats forgot all that. And that's why they're in trouble.

  2. Permit me to defend the Democrats.

    Despite fierce Republican oppositino, all Americans will have affordable health insurance by 2014. And some of us, including Medicare recipients such as yours truly, are already benefitting.

    Democrats have supported bill to limit climate chantge and one to make union organizing easier (although I suppose you are more focussed on the minimum wage). These bills have not moved forward in the first 20 months due to a combination of Republican opposition and more time-ungent agenda items (many of which Howard did not mention because it was not obviouis in 2003-4 that the time bomb was ticking). But if the Democrats keep their Congressional majorities, I expect to see these bills passed in some form.

    I haven't been following educational issues, but I noticed that a strong educational system was one of the talking points on the walk sheet I used today.

    On foreign policy, it is possible to question the way Obama has handled the transition from the mess Bush left us with to a more common-sense approach. But at least we're on our way out of Iraq.

    And I'll point out that, under the ausipcies of the combined Democratic campaigns as successor to Obama's Organizing for America, I spent the afternoon talking to people about why it is important to vote in November. Isn't that full participation in our Democracy? Indeed, I can safely say that the reason there is no longer an Oak Park DFA chapter is that elected Democrats in the area have so effectively picked up the mantle of grassroots participation. One of the people I met today's organizing meeting was Jim Dickert, who had been one of the last four people trying to hold the DFA chapter together.

  3. Forgot to mention the deficiet. The economic situation today is quite different from that in 2003-4. What we need to do today is create jobs. IMHO, draconian budget cuts aimed at balancing the budget are exactly what is NOT needed. And indeed, the effects on jobs might render such cuts counterproductive, since they would end up reducing tax revenue and might make the deficiet worse rather than better.

  4. Livable wage - yeah, if you're lucky enough to even have a job

    Affordable health care = If you can hold on for four more years. Oh yeah, if you really can't afford it the government will help you. But if you earn too much to get help don't worry, the IRS will collect your fine for you.

    Decent education - not if any of the spelling I've seen online is any indication

    Common sense foreign policy - Yeah, lets leave 50,000 troops in Iraq and call it "done". Oh, and ramp up the deployment of killing drones in Pakistan, okay?

    Healthy environment - Um, response to Gulf oil spill?

    Feeling of community that comes from full participation in our democracy - unless someone doesn't like what you have to say and publicly calls you a f**king hippy and that you're just a whiner.

    We do not saddle our children and grandchildren with debt - no let's call a panel to see if there's some way we can cut off the safety net of social security instead. And on this last one, Bush got us so deep in the hole I can't see us ever getting out. But lord knows we MUST have money for war!!

  5. Thankful and I got back around dinner time from our excursion to Monticello. We started late, and got a little lost, and missed the wine tour, so checked into a Charlottesville motel, got up early today, and did the regular tour, including parts she hadn't seen the last time. Our Guide was great (an architectural history major at UVA), funny and knowledgeable. Monticello was *wonderful* and we had a wonderful time! Lotsa talk and great company.