No Safe Haven for Obstructionists

  by Walter Brasch   Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), the Senate minority leader, is not a happy man. He didn’t like it when Barack Obama was elected president. Just about the first thing McConnell said was that his main responsibility was to make sure Mr. Obama was a one-term president. That vow drove McConnell’s and the Tea Party’s politics. They didn’t worry about the nation or the people. They worried about how to make Barack Obama a one-term president. They failed. But, in the past six years, McConnell managed to block almost all constructive legislation in the Senate.  And it’s not even a fair fight. McConnell manipulated and wheeled and dealed so that the majority no longer can do anything. … Continue reading

NRA Wayback Wednesday – Troutdale High School Shooting Update

Checking the wayback machine on the NRA today… @TerryMcCracken@d5e5@BlueDuPage Yup, let’s resurrect this NRA President Dude and re-install him at the helm pic.twitter.com/gv2SnCQnxC — DuneMyThing (@Kris_SacreBleu) June 11, 2014 Too sad… The gunman at yesterday’s school shooting in Troutdale, Oregon, was a gunchild: Oregon police on Wednesday identified the gunman in the Reynolds High School shooting as Jared Michael Padgett, a 15-year-old freshman… Padgett arrived on the school bus on Tuesday, carrying a guitar case and a large duffel bag, Troutdale Police Chief Scott Anderson said at a press conference. One of those held an AR-15 rifle that the teen brought from home, the sheriff said. We must do more… we must. Children with access to AR-15-rifles that they bring … Continue reading

Gun Culture is Out of Control in America

 As I sit on the futon trying to concentrate on reading Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich for my Existential Philosophy class I find myself unable to stay focused today. There has been another shooting at a school today, and my heart is aching for the loss of more lives due to gun violence. The question “when does it end?” does not even begin to address the issues at hand. Today’s school shooting in Troutdale, OR makes this “74 school shootings since the Newtown massacre less than two years ago.” 74 school shootings. Michael Luciano echoes some of my sentiments in the Daily Banter today, saying: In this country we always talk about how we can better educate The Children to prepare … Continue reading

The Appalling Demonization of Bowe Bergdahl

I have been appalled by the demonization of Bowe Bergdahl, which began hours after his release culminated by the “exchange of five hard-core Taliban leaders,” earlier this week. Most notable in the right wing uproar over the prisoner of war exchange is the flip flop of Senator John McCain who told CNN four months ago, “I would support… Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.” No sooner had the exchange been made when Senator McCain, “as he has so often in the past, switched positions for maximum political advantage. “I would not have made this deal,” … Continue reading

Obama to Address Economic Divide and Women’s Issues in SOTU

Tonight when President takes to the podium for his State of the Union address, he will make it clear that “he will not wait for Congress to act on reversing the tide of economic disparity, as he uses his annual State of the Union address to outline a list of actions he will take without legislative approval.” Needless to say he’s already drawing fire from the GOP, as Speaker of the House John Boehner warns, Obama is heading for a “Brick Wall.” Personally, I think President Obama is on the right track… In excerpts of the speech released by the White House, Mr. Obama vows to confront growing economic inequality in America, noting that “upward mobility has stalled” and that “too … Continue reading

Secretary of State John Kerry Returns to Mekong Delta

Secretary of State John Kerry returned to the muddy waters of the Mekong Delta this weekend, decades after commanding a Swift Boat there during the Vietnam War.  Serving in that war would ultimately turn Kerry against the war and take him full circle from military service, to activist, to decades of public service in the Senate, to presidential candidate, and now as the U.S. Secretary of State. John Kerry’s visit to the Mekong Delta was to “investigate climate change in his role as Washington’s top diplomat.” Kerry, who arrived in Ho Chi Minh City Saturday on a trip aimed at shoring up ties with Southeast Asia, travelled by boat through Ca Mau, a once-dangerous Viet Cong stronghold, an official with the local … Continue reading

Sixty Years of Poverty in the United States

Poverty in America is a pervasive issue that we’ve been wrestling with for a long time. Some moderate advances were made under President Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” but there remains little change in poverty statistics and policy in the past sixty years. Part of the reason is the contentious nature of Congress and the inability of Democrats and Republicans to see eye to eye on this very human issue. The following is research paper I recently wrote on poverty in America: Sixty Years of Poverty in the United States In the past fifty to sixty years, poverty in America has been a political issue that is tossed about quite a bit during the Presidential and Congressional elections, yet, we see … Continue reading