Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Went Back to Ohio, and My Sense Was Gone

With apologies to the Rubber City's most prolific rocker, it wasn't the city that's gone: it's your rights as a woman!  On Tuesday the Ohio House of Representatives passed House Bills 125 and 78, limiting a woman's rights to seek an abortion after a heartbeat is detected and outlawing abortions after 20 weeks

With job loss at an all time high (9.1 is not your floor exercise score, Republican majority: it's the unemployment rate), the Republican legislature decides that their most important duty is to push through the most draconian abortion legislation in the nation.  How does that create jobs?  And how the hell is that going to attract workers and business owners over the border?

Republicans are big on states rights.  Well, I guess there are those around Capitol Square who believe that Ohio has the right to drag its citizens right back to the 1500s.

Maybe they can get a bill passed soon celebrating the Earth's 6000th birthday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Al Gore, Baghdad Bob, and Noah

Politico Arena Topic: Does Al Gore Have Legitimate Gripes with Obama?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time to Keep the Promise

Politico Arena Topic: Is Obama Being Pushed Into Gay Marriage Support?

The president will feel pressure to weigh in, and he should feel it. Candidates run for office to do a tough job, and he has the toughest one, but he is up to the task. He is the president for every American, and if two American adults decide they want to unite themselves in matrimony, they should be able to make that choice.

Every American child grew up with the Pledge of Allegiance; if two people want to pledge themselves to another, let them. There is absolutely no reason, no reason at all, that in the greatest nation in the world, in the 21st century, that an individual cannot say publicly that this is who they choose to love, and make the leap that millions of straight couples have made.

As a country we should be ashamed we are still debating this. Marriage is not, and never has been, under attack from gays and lesbians. Marriage and families have had many foes: jobs with longer commutes, lower wages, less health care, the need for two paychecks, high education costs, taking care of children and sick parents, etc. But out of all the divorce decrees granted, I am willing to bet a clerk of courts has never had to type these words: "Reason for divorce: neighbors are gay."

With DADT on the precipice of ending, this is the time to knock down the walls of intolerance. Gays and lesbians were a solid voting block for the president in the last election, and even if they do not get all the campaign provisions they may have wanted, they will be behind him in this election. When soldiers and sailors are finally able to be open while serving, it will not be lifting a barrier to serving, because gay people have been protecting their fellow citizens since this nation was just an idea in the minds of the framers (which again is amazing that straight chicken hawks rail against how morale will fall in the military if men and women can serve openly when they have never worn a uniform and flag officers and the Sgt Major of the Marine Corps is saying publicly everything will be fine).

Marriage equality is not like being for an issue that you can live with if it is not in the forefront. If renewable fuels are not passed, you may, as an environmentalist be upset, but it is something you can wake up to and continue the fight. But if the country you love continues to tell you that who you love is wrong, then that cuts to the core of not only the individual, but to the core of our nation. America is not a tangible object: it is a promise. It is a promise that hard work, tenacity and fidelity can make any dream come true. It is a promise to every individual that biology is not biography, in that the station in life where you start is not where you have to end. It is a promise that while income and education levels vary, the value of a person does not. It is time to keep that promise. Let's not wait for it to get better; let's make it better. Cue the president.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Snow in South Beach

Politico Arena Topic: Is Mitt Romney helped or hurt by climate change stance?

Mitt Romney is dead on in his stance on climate change, no matter how loud the shouting from other conservatives. The deniers that continue to claim that humans have no effect on global warming never provide evidence for such pronouncements, and Romney should be commended on looking at the facts.

Even when provided with evidence (polar ice caps melting, rising seas levels, etc.), they scoff and will only say it is liberal hysteria. The evidence provides not only exhibits such as higher temperatures and more extreme weather, but air and water quality issues as well. When non-smokers are being diagnosed with lung cancer, from the air they breathe, that is a sign that humans are contributing to poor environmental conditions, and contribute to violent and unpredictable weather patterns.

Why won’t conservatives consider the evidence that science provides? The only reason for this has to be that the industries that provide the fuel for their political engines (cleaning up campaign finance might lead to many in office adjusting their attitudes to cleaning up the environment). Just as the EPA is being demonized for enforcing standards on power plants, the heads of said plants are trying to paint (least it is not lead-based) the agency as liberal revenue destroyers (this stance is even more amazing in that the EPA was created under a Republican president, and that George H.W. Bush strengthened air pollution standards under the 1990 Clear Air Act amendments). Their contributors in the dirty energy sectors do not want to be good citizens, just prodigious financial backers.

No matter how much they wish it, you cannot eat or breathe money, and ignoring environmental science is lazy and an insult to those who have worked hard to make our nation the standard bearer for the health of the earth, such as President Teddy Roosevelt (whose bull moose might need supplemental oxygen if we keep going the way we are).

Sharing the responsibility of being good stewards of the earth is as foreign to global warming deniers as snow in South Beach. If those in power do not take this issue seriously and find a fact-based solution, that weather forecast will become a reality.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tweet Your Resume While You Are At It

Voters do care about the personal conduct of their individual members, but the level of that concern rises with the unemployment numbers. No one wants their elected officials to be caught up in these scandals, but it is more egregious when jobs are lost, homes are foreclosed on, and (just like pre-WWII) college is becoming something that only the most affluent will be able to afford.

I have seen many commentators mention the salary of House members while covering this story. This number is tattooing itself into the mind of voters. While college educated citizens are fighting for minimum wage jobs, a congressman making more than $170,000, with a staff in Washington and in his district doing the heavy lifting of governing, has time to fool around on a computer like a teenager.

To the members of Congress who want to keep this up, those of us out here hunting for work will save a copy of the want ads for you ... because you, too, will soon be a college-educated person looking for work.