That may seem to be an overly optimistic headline but only if you haven’t been keeping track of current political events. The election year has begun with a bang and there is a lot to smile about this week for those on the Left. Cough cough. Those who support our President, in particular. Yes, we will!
Republicans…not so much.
I’m resisting the urge to gloat but the facts speak for themselves. If you don’t believe me, consider the increasingly desperate and unhinged behavior of the GOP candidates in their bid for the presidency. I can graciously say that although it’s early on, it’s simply not looking good.
Without invoking the words fascism, oligarchy, far right, libertarians, Tea Party, obstructionists, or idealogues, the GOP candidates are SO unpalatable that there is still NO clear front runner. A lot can be said for underestimating one’s enemy and even with the idiocy of the opponents, they have structural leverage and a hell of a lot of power. Even more alarming, than their greed and obsessive power, they have HATE. C’mon what else do you think is fueling the incessant drive to revile Obama EVEN when he does good for the country? So, I am expecting them to eventually coalesce for their shared goals, no matter how dismal, or morally objectionable, their tool may be…
2012 Iowa Caucus
The winner is…Mitt Romney. Coming in second place by a hair’s breadth, with 8 votes less, was Rick Santorum. This has been slightly overshadowed by claims of a miscount but in any case, they are the leading contenders. See final tally here.
Ron Paul came in 3rd. A fact that still boggles my mind considering his bigotry, homophobia, anti-semitic and libertarian views. Amazingly enough, he got a good portion of the young vote, presumably due to his anti-war stance.
Michele Bachmann has graciously decided to drop out of the race due to her very poor showing. Quelle horreur and in her home state, no less! It seems her time has passed and her one claim to fame will be the establishment of the Tea Party. Consider she got less votes than some people have followers on Twitter, I’m just saying.
Rick Perry, showing that he is more pugnacious than clever, remains in the race and is forging ahead to New Hampshire.
Newt Gingrich, is doing his best to emulate “Hell hath no fury like a GOP candidate scorned” has thrown down the gauntlet. Laying his dramatic decline in the polls at the feet of Romney’s negative campaign ads he too is forging ahead. Not with the logical goal of winning but seemingly motivated by revenge.
What could be more hysterical than the fact that the ads contain the truth about him? Unethical, no not him. Look at how he’s whining! Gingrich seems completely unconcerned that he will effectively split the Republican vote which is hardly desirable. So much for doing what’s best for the party. He shows all the signs of a man obsessed by power and dare I say that his emotionalism is NOT a desirable characteristic in a president? Would you want this petulant, narcisstic, elitist, egoistic individual to have his finger on the button? I didn’t think so.
In my opinion, the remaining contenders don’t count. Buddy Roemer, Champion of Citizen United, a worthy cause, has forgotten the old adage that it is better to change the system from within. His strategy will not hold water. He’s absolutely right about getting the money out of politics but unless he is endorsed by American’s Elect I doubt that he will do more than raise a hue and cry amongst enough voters to matter.
John Huntsman, the self-proclaimed underdog, in spite of his endorsement by The Boston Globe, doesn’t stand a chance. He has neither the numbers, backing, or financial support to cause a threat to anyone.
In an unprecedented show of insanity, Herman Cain has announced a new movement, The Solution Revolution. The gall just astounds me. He’s going on a bus tour looking for Congressional support of his policies including <cough cough> 999. talk about never say die. How clueless is this guy? Is the word movement not a shameless bid to identify his campaign with the common folk? He IS the 1%. Not to mention, the tiny fact that it’s feasibility has been challenged AND it will increase taxes on the middle and lower classes. Yet, he persists. I JUST CAN’T…
The ad is screamingly funny!
Notably, all this backbiting amongst the candidates is overshadowed by the inability of the Religious Right to back ONE candidate. There is a frenzy of activity to get their act together. Not that I can blame them. Tick Tock. Their indecision is very possibly forestalling votes for a specific candidate. With such a crew, they will find it near impossible to oust President Obama. Good luck with that.
The Redefinition of Rape
Attorney General, Eric Holder, announced this week that the definition of rape will be changed:
In a victory for survivors of rape and their advocates, the Attorney General announced a newly revised definition of rape for nationwide data collection, ensuring that rape will be more accurately reported nationwide.
The change sends an important message to all victims that what happens to them matters, and to perpetrators that they will be held accountable. It was because of the voices of survivors, advocates, law enforcement personnel and many others that FBI Director Robert Mueller was able to make this important change within the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (UCR) Summary Reporting System (SRS).
“Forcible rape” had been defined by the UCR SRS as “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.” That definition, unchanged since 1927, was outdated and narrow. It only included forcible male penile penetration of a female vagina.
The new definition is:
“The penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” See US DOJ for full article.
The world has changed and so must our conceptions of what rape is. Rape doesn’t just happen to women. It happens to children. It happens to men, transgenders etc.
It doesn’t just involve penile penetration, as any number of abused children can tell you.
This acknowledgement and re-writing of the law especially significant at a time when sex scandals, Child abuse and Church sex scandals seem to be on the rise. I don’t have to mention names, I am sure one, or two will immediately jump to mind.
It serves to send a message to the victims that they are not wrong, or crazy. It removes the stigma associated with non-female sexual assault and sends a message to society that we need to be supportive of ALL the casualties of sexual predators who dwell among us. Right On.
Obama’s Recess Appointments
Ah, how sweet the sound. President Obama in another move that smacks of strategic brilliance made four recess appointments, three to the National Labor Board and one for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Richard Cordray has been named as the Director of the CFPB. Finally! Someone to wield the power granted by the Dodd-Frank bill to institute financial regulatory reform and serve as an intermediary for consumers without the weakening of the bill favored by Wall Street/GOP. Amen.
There is much hue and cry about this from Republicans because they were beaten at their own game. Never mind that the President has used this less than any of his predecessors. They’ve been blocking this appointment using obstructionist, underhanded and transparent tactics for the better part of a year. Imagine holding Pro-Forma sessions for minutes, or even seconds, to effectively say they are not in recess? Amazing.
They are claiming his move is unconstitutional and illegal. Undoubtedly, it will be brought before the Supreme court but the fact remains that they are redefining what a recess is to suit their purposes and it has no historical precedence. They are searching for anything to uphold their vicious attempts to block financial reform that benefits the 99%.
1911 United For President Obama
President Barack Obama has a new, moneyed supporter in this new year — a super PAC dedicated to mobilizing black voters in key swing states.
Calling itself 1911 United, the super PAC is aiming to raise $1.5 million during the election cycle and train its efforts on Colorado, Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, committee treasurer Sinclair Skinner told POLITICO.
How totally awesome is that? Occupy and Movement seem to have become the hottest words in the English language. We owe that to everyday imapssioned and committed people who have stood up to fight for what they believe is right around the globe. It makes me smile to see it. It is no longer enough to talk, it is time to act. The fact that the millenials have become so engaged in world events and the political process is incredibly heartening. That’s all I need to say about that.
December Jobs Report
200,000 new private sectors jobs were created in December and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5%. That’s 22 straight months of achingly slow growth. Read it and weep! It really is getting better and imagine how much quicker things would improve if we had a Democratic majority to work with the President.
I’m still broke but I am indeed optimistic 🙂