Thursday, November 09, 2006

Things the Democratic Congress* Should Do, But Probably Won't (for the *, see #6):

1) Open things up. This is the biggest sin that the platformless Republican party committed against America, but it's a grave one. More stuff got pushed behind closed doors into committee meetings that only took place when Republicans and only Republicans were in the room. Thousands of pages of things were silently put into a record that the Democrats who opposed the legislation never saw (not that it would matter, it was destined for victory).

2) Create open hearings on the secret prisons and rendition practices of the Bush administration. Listen, I know it relates somewhat to national security, but it's also KGBish. We don't do this stuff in this country, or at the very least we don't get caught.

3) Two words - trade deficit. We used to be a financial partner. We are now a financial purchaser. This is inevitably going to doom our nation unless we do something to correct it. We need to manufacture something other than weapons, we need to export something other than our troops, and we need to spark some sort of industry more meaningful than It's not going to be easy, we're on a downward spiral and the "solutions" that are used to lessen the trade deficit don't help anyone but scions of industry (restrict all 50 non-municipal employees who are in unions, decrease wages, protective tariffs). But something needs to be done, and we could start by being more choosy about our trading partners. There's no reason our country should be funneling billions of dollars in profits to China, when China is the greatest threat to the United States' future survival.

4) The Estate Tax - Wah wah wah, cry me a gooddamn river. If you die leaving $7,000,000 and can't figure out how to avoid the estate tax, you should lose a lot more than they're charging you. For one, being born to rich parents has already entitled you to too much. Secondly, it's not an estate tax, it's a sloth tax. Any idiot can hide money from the estate tax through completely legal means. If you don't prepare for such events, too bad. I don't like the estate tax, but given the deficit 6 years of Bushonomics have caused, we need some money back, and a tax that only punishes the ridiculously wealthy who are also ridiculously stupid is a step in the right direction. Think of it as eugenomics. (both because it's my theory and because it's a mix of eugenics and economics)

5) Rethink our deployment strategies. We can't bring everyone back, the administration has dug its heels into a mass grave in Iraq that will only get worse if we pull everyone out and let the country fall into immediate civil war exceeding what will inevitably result. But we can at least prioritize our deployments and send those who are most reasonably expected to go. No more of the National Guard/Reserve deployment first strategy. Fact is, if you've gotten paid full-time military pay for years, you're the person who should go, not the guy who was willing to join the reserves in case his country needed him. It's not the job of the National Guard to guard other nations or serve in other nations. It's ours. They need to be here for when this nation needs them.

6) Do something to try and keep Joe Lieberman. Blame the blogs for bringing out the Lamont crowd, because lord knows why I'd stay a Democrat if I was Joe Lieberman. The Republicans should be offering him a position of major authority, because it'd give them the unholy power they've wielded unfairly in secret for years. But if Lieberman feels a loyalty to the party which he rarely supports, they will need to do the same. Biden's already cornered the Foreign Relations Committee, but there's plenty of plum deals for Connecticut's favorite incumbent. Make sure he gets one, or you're going to see yourself as a minority in the senate with a mere 50.

7) Listen to Jon Tester. He might be the wisest 7-fingered man in Congress, even if there are others. The Democrats need to consider a more libertarian strategy, or else they'll be back to being the only party without a platform.

8) Insist that every American receive a tax cut in 2007 in the form of a copy of Snakes on a Plane on DVD. It looks good (note the words "tax cut"), but has the same salutory effect that the illusory tax cuts the Republicans put into place had. And it would spark a serious cultural rise in this country.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I missed out on so much...

Item #1: from the IMDB...When Madonna arrived in Malawi last month she was amazed to discover her name took on a whole different meaning for all the people she met. The "Hung Up" singer has sparked furious debate after adopting David Banda towards the end of her stay in the African country - and began to wonder why locals knew her name when they had no idea of her superstar status. She says, "People started to say my name and they had never heard of Madonna. And, in Chichewa, the word 'madonna' means 'distinguished white lady', so I think they got very confused."
In a nutshell: "distinguished white lady"? Yeah, I can definitely see how that would confuse them.

Item #2: Neil Patrick Harris revealed that he is indeed a homosexual.In a nutshell: Unlike Mark Foley, he did not need to guise it under molestation or alcoholism. That said, Doogie Howser's computer journal might have given Mark Foley a few too many ideas about sharing emotions with a computer.

Item #3: Saddam Hussein sentenced to death by hangingIn a nutshell: This is commendable on one count, hanging, if done properly, is probably far more humane than any method of execution used in the United States. As for it being a product of the invasion're damn right it is, and the trial was such a mockery as to be pointless. A fair trial might well have come out to the same conclusions and would have secured no more of Saddam Hussein's cooperation, in fact, it would have been impossible. But what they think they're going to accomplish by martyring him, I don't know. Enjoy your civil war, I hope our people aren't forced to fight it.

Item #4: Man, isn't it interesting that all the people who spread their message that homosexuality is sick and perverse are in fact, sick perverts who are homosexuals?In a nutshell: This is the Roy Cohn generation. Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, who's next, Fred Phelps? Bob Dornan? Jim McGreevey ranked high on the creepy scale when there were conversations about his affair, but he at least wasn't campaigning to stamp out his own existence.

Item #5: The Army Times says it's time for Rumsfeld to goIn a nutshell: Let me assure you that the "independent" publication is nonetheless not that independent. These are papers that are published for people in the military, and it really shows. Whether it's the Air Force Times or the local military newspaper (in Bellevue, it was the Air Pulse), these are not papers that are going to go out on liberal limbs that are going to make news very often.

Item #6: Comcast needs to learn how to write headlinesComcast's Headline: Renowned Screenwriter Schrader DiesIn a nutshell: Paul Schrader ( writer of, among other films, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, and writer/director of Hardcore and Affliction) is, in fact, still alive. His brother, Leonard Schrader, has died. Paul Schrader is one of the most renowned screenwriters (though, in my opinion, he's living on borrowed time and has done nothing since 1980) and writers on the subject of film in the world. His brother, on the other hand, may be renowned to some, but I can count the people I know who have seen Kiss of the Spider Woman on one hand, probably a hand with no more than two fingers. It's not that Leonard Schrader isn't renowned, it's that I don't think there's a person in the country who would think of him first when reading that headline that wasn't personally aware of his death.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

"We believe marriage is a union between a man and a woman and it needs to be defended."
-George W. Bush in Georgia yesterday

That's right southerners...the Republican party supports unions. Good're voting libertarian this year. Where's Michael Badnarik when you need him? Oh...that's right, he's been lurking outside your house talking about how he has the right to drive drunk unless he hits someone. And stalking your wife with a concealed weapon -- just because he has the right. And interrupting your adult education class ranting about the war on drugs and how it is the motivation behind your son's inadequate education that came from the failure of the education system because it left the market system.

You're right. It'd just be easier to support unions. Fine, Southerner, be a pinko.