Friday, October 3, 2008


These colors don't run
Because they're just too damned proud
And stupid to run.

Even with the arrival of my daughter, there are still a few things that can get the old cranky professor up out of bed and in front of the computer, ready to fill a missive with a tenuous anger that almost irks the bile of the interwebs. Sure, this all could be a projection of hatred caused by the Cubs' complete collapse in the post-season (Come on! Really? You're gonna lose the first two games of the series? Fine. Whatever.) but still, there are a few items that need addressing. Here goes:
1) The Veep debates. People are giving Palin credit for being able to participate in the debate without completely breaking down into tears. Fuck that. How about giving Palin credit for answering the questions that were posed to her? Oh, she didn't - even going so far as saying "I'm not going to answer that question. I'll talk about our energy plan instead." This wasn't a speech, Palin. It was a debate. Wherein you're expected to answer the questions posed. If you can't do that, then you fail. Simple.
And if you want to talk about your energy plan, then you really shouldn't talk about a plan that does little to wean the American people off oil. I'm pretty certain that drilling for oil in the outer-continental shelf and in ANWAR isn't going to do a whole lot to a) cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, b) give the American market incentive to look to alternative fuel sources, or c) actually get us out of the crisis we're currently in. We need a champion for change that considers ideas beyond using depletable natural resources. Of course, that champion also needs to understand the cause of the climate crisis, something Palin also fails to do.
What's even more disturbing is the number of people that liked her "straight talk" and "down-home-ness," because she says things like "darn right" and "doggone it." Haven't we learned our lessons from having a "down-home" leader? Why does it seem that the people that want leaders that are more intelligent than the average citizen are in the minority?
One last thing on Palin: I'm not quite sure how she can call herself "middle class" when her estimated assets are over $1 million. Seems to me that she's at least upper-middle class...

Sorry for the pointed ranting about Palin. She just frightens me so much.

2) The bail-out bill. This has already turned into a long-ish blog, so I'll keep it short. The original draft of the bailout bill was three pages long. The bill that the House killed was just over 100 pages. The bill passed by the Senate? 450 pages. Most of that is extraneous "sweetener" that adds an extra $120 billion to the cost of the bill. It also includes the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008, the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addition Equity ACt of 2008, and the Heartland Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2008.
In an economic bailout bill.
Fuck you, Senate.

I'm going back to cuddling with the baby.

No joke for today.


Fred said...

In fairness to the Senate, the Wellstone/Domenici thing was literally, not politically, necessary to get the bill voted for. Constitutionally, the House must pass a bill before the Senate does their version. So in order for the Senate to jumpstart the bailout without the House having passed something, they pulled out an old bill that had been sitting around for years, one that I believe requires health insurers to cover mental health too (old enough to have been cosponsored by Wellstone), and built the bailout around that bill. The sweeteners are garbage, though.

Julie Blaha said...

It is Paul's bill and has been kept alive by his son Dave Wellstone and his organization Wellstone Action for the past five years. The bill requires health insurers that cover mental health services have to cover them at the same rate as other medical services. It doesn't require them to cover mental health services, but if they do, there needs to be parity with the rest of the plan.

And Fred is right that it wasn't tacked onto the bailout bill, the bailout bill was tacked on to it.

They've come close to passing it many times, it was on a good track to pass this time anyway, so that one wasn't really a "sweetener".

I do agree with you in the sense that Senate rules which allow tacking on things that are not even close to germaine is a problem.

Julie Blaha said...

Oh, and you are so right about Palin! When she clearly didn't know what they were talking about with the whole Cheney in the Legislative branch thing it reminded me of the Couric interview where she wouldn't name a news source that she reads.

I'm thinking her news all comes in a "morning zoo" format.