No doubt who’s responsible for the crisis, until there is


"The American people expect in Washington, when we have a crisis like this, that the leaders will sit down and have a conversation." - House Speaker John Boehner, Sunday, on ABC'c This Week with George Stephanopoulos Really, Mr. Speaker? That may be true if it were a crisis caused by uncontrollable or unforeseen forces, but… Continue reading No doubt who’s responsible for the crisis, until there is

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To be in the conversation, be part of the conversation


That could really be the mantra of the transition from Obama's very public, bully pulpit tactic of campaign style events, highlighting the issues he wants the American people to help him see through, to his new, private "charm offensive," a series of dinner and lunch meetings with Republican Senators and Representatives aimed at getting past… Continue reading To be in the conversation, be part of the conversation

Shocker: Government shirks responsibility, again


"The deal approved today is truly a missed opportunity to do something big to reduce our long-term fiscal problems..." - from a statement released Tuesday, by Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of a bipartisan deficit reduction committee If you don't stand broadly and shoulder the responsibilities of governing, there should be no surprise when… Continue reading Shocker: Government shirks responsibility, again

Lack of Cliff deal links to lack of fortitude in Congress


"New Year’s Eve is fast approaching, and for decades and decades, the American people have watched the ball drop in Times Square. But this year, Mr. President, the American people are waiting for the ball to drop, but it’s not going to be a good drop." - Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), in a… Continue reading Lack of Cliff deal links to lack of fortitude in Congress

Fiscal cliff compromise a wolf in elephant’s clothing


Here we go again. The Republicans are skipping down the path toward obstructionism, aiming to get away with doing the least by convincing us it is the most they can do. It isn't. They will give it another sham title like "Tax Reform." It won't be. They're saying it will increase significant revenue by being… Continue reading Fiscal cliff compromise a wolf in elephant’s clothing

For Obama, it’s really always been about unity


If there was ever a question about which commitment President Barack Obama has made in his life that will live beyond his presidency, it is his stubborn belief that a united America, without the distraction of division, can and will accomplish great things. Regardless of whether he is able to reach effective but difficult compromises… Continue reading For Obama, it’s really always been about unity

Legislative surreal-ities; what the GOP resists, persists


Compromise - it's the word that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) eschewed as a synonym for "sell out," when he spoke to CBS' Leslie Stahl on 60 Minutes, one year ago, before he took the gavel from Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), in January. It should come as no surprise, then, that the third most… Continue reading Legislative surreal-ities; what the GOP resists, persists

Sound and fury… another day, perhaps


In pursuit of reason, we clogged phone lines, crashed email servers and overwhelmed Twitter accounts. Sometimes it feels like, if there wasn't the predictable attrition of immoral and crooked politicians, we would see no glimmer of sunlight in the illusory, dark clouds conjured by the Kochs and Karl Rove. But our fight is not over… Continue reading Sound and fury… another day, perhaps

Debt rhetoric scary and entertaining at the same time


"I think disgust is still a valid emotion, and that's kind of the way I'm viewing this." - James Amos, CEO, Tasti D-Lite, discussing Congress' dysfunction, highlighted by the "self-inflicted" debt crisis, on MSNBC's Jansing & Co, Friday, July 29, 2011 The time for staying above the fray with logic has passed. The simmering, schmaltz-laden… Continue reading Debt rhetoric scary and entertaining at the same time

America’s mad circus


"There is no aphrodisiac like madness, but it wears off quickly." -Kevin Baker, from his novel, Dreamland (HarperCollins, 1999) In the din of madness, the seething intensity of rancorous anger, the light of American glory dims yellow like a string of bare bulbs outside a red, white and blue striped circus tent. The barker calls… Continue reading America’s mad circus