Kansas, Mexico and Points Beyond

I could write about how Mitt Romney just revealed that the elderly, the military, the poor and disabled consider themselves victims and don’t want to take care of their own lives but I had a few other random thoughts I wanted to cover. This will be brief.


An idiot in Kansas files a petition to have Barack Obama kept off the ballot in November on the grounds he was not born in the United States. Birther nutjob and Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach considers the petition along with the rest of the all-Republican Objections Committee. Of course the fact that Kobach is a self-described “adviser” to Mitt Romney didn’t seem to make him think he should recuse himself from this judgment on Obama. Apparently enough people contacted the original petitioner and called him a moron that he withdrew his petition. Kobach, not wanting to appear the Birther-wuss said more investigation was warranted. Then Monday he finally agreed to have Obama placed on the November ballot. Of course, one of the folks demanding that this birth issue be thoroughly examined was “California lawyer and dentist” Orly Taitz, a lunatic I thought had finally faded from the scene.

There was a time in this country when no decent person would have made such outrageous claims about a sitting President for fear of being roundly rebuked. But then as Bill Clinton reminded Ted Kennedy back in 2008, there was a time in this country when Barack Obama would be doing nothing more than getting Kris Kobach a cup of coffee.


I guess I’m ashamed to admit it but the one area in which I identified a bit with conservatives was their attitude toward “illegal aliens”. As someone who has been income-challenged for the past few years, I bought hook, line and sinker the notion that Mexicans were stealing jobs from deserving Americans. Even when I recognized that for the most part they were doing jobs most Americans didn’t want to do, I still resented it.

Watching the Democratic National Convention a few weeks ago gave me a bit of an epiphany. I already agreed that Obama was right to extent flexibility to children of undocumented workers who came here by no choice of their own. But the DNC gave me a new perspective on the parents. For the most part, these “illegals” represent the promise of the American Dream. They are no different from the scores of immigrants who have come to our shores over the past 200+ years. They come here to escape a life of certain poverty. They come here because they believe they will find opportunities not available south of the border. What makes them different is that instead of an ocean, there is only an invisible line in the soil separating them from their dream.

I don’t believe we should have open borders. I know it is not feasible to simply let every Tom, Dick and Harry enter the United States at will.  But the DNC made it clear to me that we need a compassionate immigration policy. Undocumented workers don’t come here to hurt us. They come here to help themselves.

Points Beyond

The Muslim Meltdown

Once again an insult to the Muslim prophet Mohammad is propagated and once again a small contingent of angry Muslims go wild. This time the rage is accelerated by newly elected unstable central governments (Cairo) and opportunistic terrorists (Benghazi, Libya). It was humorously suggested on Comedy Central this week that perhaps Islam’s big problem is immaturity. While at first blush this might seem absurd, Islam is a good 600 years younger than Christianity. Christianity’s record for civil behavior was not peachy keen even within the past 300 years (e.g. Salem Witch Trials). Perhaps a Muslim reformation sometime in the future is not outside the realm of possibility? I believe the only way to get rid of radical Islam is from within.

Israel v Iran

That Israel possesses nuclear weapons is the worst kept secret in foreign affairs. So, as a foreign policy neophyte, I ask my more knowledgeable readers why can’t the Iran/Israel standoff be resolved this way:

Iran simply says to Israel, “We will stop developing nuclear capability when you demonstrate that you have disarmed your nuclear weapons.” Seems simple enough to me. What am I missing?


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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When a Flip-Flop is Simply a Lie

Mitt Romney, assumed presidential candidate of the Republican party, is well-known for his flip-flops. In the past two decades or so Mitt has been on both sides of issues ranging from a woman’s reproductive rights to his support of Ronald Reagan to global warming. If we are in a charitable mood we can say Mitt simply changed his mind as his political views “matured”. Mitt’s latest flip-flop doesn’t leave much room for charity.

When running against the uber-rich Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney called the notion of a blind trust “a ruse” that fools people into thinking the beneficiary has no control over his own investments. Now, in 2012 Romney uses that same blind trust to claim he has no control over where his money is invested.

Mitt’s a smart man, particularly when it comes to finances. The Mitt of 1994 was telling the truth. The Mitt of 2012 is lying, plain and simple. An objective observer would have to ask how can we believe that someone, Obama, will jump start our economy in the next four years when he hasn’t done it in the past four. That same observer would have to ask how we can trust our government to a man, Romney, who has proven his word cannot be trusted.

Postscript: It would not be fair to finish this post without remarking on the constant state of Silly Season that is this presidential race. We have over 8% unemployment. We have cities declaring bankruptcy and resorting to paying their public officials a minimum wage. We have a global financial market in turmoil that could blow up in our face at any moment. The election is less than four months away and neither candidate has offered anything of substance about how to fix our problems. When we are not hearing platitudes, we hear attacks against the opponent, often tangential to anything that ultimately matters. The President is doing, at best a luke warm attempt at defending his record. His opponent will not discuss his time as Governor of Massachusetts and runs away from any in-depth discussion of his time as a businessman, the key experience he claims makes him the candidate of choice.

As of this writing Obama and Romney are neck and neck in the polls. Virginia is one example where the president has lost ground and neither candidate is particularly appealing to the electorate.

As we look at the current campaigns, we long for an adult to offer solutions. There does not seem to be an adult to be found.


Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Primarying Obama

As a complicated relocation has condemned me to living in a hotel for a month, my posts will be short and sweet. Well, depending on my mood, perhaps not so sweet.

When Ted Kennedy challenged sitting President Jimmy Carter for the 1980 Democratic nomination it put the final nail in Carter’s political coffin. The legacy this left us is the common belief that intra-party conflict against a sitting President dooms that President to one term.  So why you might ask would I even entertain the idea of someone challenging Barack Obama.

It’s not that I’ve given up on Obama but I cannot give him a glowing review. The rose-colored glasses were smashed within about a year of his taking the steering wheel. People hate to hear about what he inherited from his predecessors (yes … predecessors … some of our problems date back to Clinton) but there is no doubt the man volunteered for the crappiest job in the country and he has done a decent job of keeping things afloat. That he did not turn out to be Superman is less his fault than our cult-of-personality expectations.

The fact remains that this Marxist, Socialist, Communist (pick your latest hyperbolic label) is anything but. Compared to the true “liberal progressive agenda”, Obama is the very definition of a moderate. He is the compromiser-in-Chief much to the chagrin of the militants who voted for him in 2008. While I don’t necessarily want Bernie Sanders for President, one has to wonder is Obama really the most dynamic, explosive turn-this-country-around choice we’ve got?

In short, there seems something undemocratic in anointing Obama the nominee without challenge, without debate, without discussion of alternatives. Shouldn’t we liberals at least get to see a couple of folks debate how best to achieve liberal goals? Is Obama’s way the only way? And what is Obama’s way exactly? Never in recent history have we had a President so difficult to pin down ideologically. I have found him to vacillate between thoughtful deliberation and downright political opportunism. The most recent example of the latter was Obama hinting to a group of LGBT supporters that he might just support gay marriage if he got a shot at a second term.

And with your help, if you keep up the fight, and if you will devote your time and your energies to this campaign one more time, I promise you we will write another chapter in that story.

via Obama Addresses LGBT Record, “a Little Debate Going on Here in New York” – Poliglot.

I personally find that sort of hope-and-change extortion pretty reprehensible. But I digress. Why are we not eager to hear multiple voices before we go to the polls in November of 2012?

I suppose the risk of making no further progress with a Republican President makes challenging Obama’s Dem nomination a fool’s game. Sometimes true democracy can backfire in your face.


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