May 17, 2011
Question: When do Democrats fight?
Answer: In primaries! Democrats appear to value friendships across the aisle to knock-down-drag-out battles with Republicans or the Tea party in support of Democrats. Obama is good at accepting less than the whole loaf so long as he can keep the GOP as friends: see public option, Gitmo, Afghanistan, etc. But let us look at federal judges--the one branch of government where compromise is less obvious and where winning the presidency should really matter.
Both of our senators were on judiciary committee; both supported Louis Butler's appointment to the federal bench and Victoria Nourse for the court of appeals, but neither went to the mat for Butler or Nourse and now it appears both will be denied the appointments. Why? Just as the GOP dictates budget priorities despite Democratic control of the Senate and White House, so Pat Leahy, chair of judiciary, won't approve Butler or Nourse. Why? Because Ron Johnson opposes the two (Butler is African-American) and Leahy won't move any nominee forward unless both senators in the state agree! For god's sake! With almost 90 vacancies in federal courts, will Obama hurry up and fill the vacancies? Or will Democrats abandon ship when it counts? Who wants a nomination if the party in power won't fight to confirm?
Water: Looking at the Mississippi in full force is scary. Somehow the picture of drought in China, occurring at the same time, should at minimum suggest we ask if climate change is having an impact.
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Democrats are bumfuzzled, no two ways about it. Why in the hell would any Dem care what the GOP Senator from Wisconsin cared about in regard to a nomination to the court.
Part of the problem is the culture of the Club of 100. Leahy should have his head knocked, but good!
Drought in China. Hey Ed, it isn't just there. Down here in the borderland we are going on 100 days without any precipitation and folks are looking at all the water in the Mississippi and wondering why we can't have a water pipeline. Farmers in the lower Rio Grande here in Las Cruces NM are reduced to acre inches instead of acre feet but they still have to pay the same irrigation charges to keep their water rights. Acres are going unplanted because of it and the pecan groves will be stressed. Nice that you are worried about China but...
Seeing news that Baldwin may run for Herb Kohl's seat. Good news. Herb may have been a good behind he scenes guy but the times have often demanded more. I can't think of one single activist thing he ever did or hard stand that he ever took. Doing what is expected is not cause for high praise, it is just duty. Such are the times we live in that his drone like service brings forth words of high praise from some. In my day doing what was expected was just that and only served as a baseline marker. It was the least, not the best.
-Griebnotz Doerkpfester | I Escaped, WI. | May 17, 2011
Really good points. And I'll add the Democrats (Obama and his various Heads of Things)don't fight to keep Monsanto accountable and our food supply safe. Or fight to do something about the stupid No Child Left Behind but instead build on it. Don't fight Climate Deniers while at the same time working furiously to nab control of the melted North Pole for US business. You know, the Pole that ISN'T MELTING? They wanna grab the rights to the new shipping lanes and newly accessible resources up there before the Russians etc. Using force if necessary.
So they CAN'T go to the mat for common people when they got the new Wild West opening up in the far north. They'll fight like Valkyries with PMS for stuff like that.
So when will they fight for "small people"? If/when the recalls and the "backlash" reset the balance in favor of the Democrats, what will they do with it?
And then, when they do the Nothing Different that we all know they will, I have really serious concerns about the aftermath of that. What happens to the state of the union when checks and balances just do not hold up. Massive demoralization certainly. But what else? I can't think it will be anything good.
This is like a terrible marriage. The my-way-or-the-highway bullying husband, and the conciliatory wife, giving false assurances to the kids who depend on her that she'll "think of something" and things will "get better" just be quiet for now because it's complicated and hard for kids to understand. Don't make too much noise and make Daddy angry, if you have to sleep on the floor at grandma's for a while just don't complain. And don't, you know, talk about things too much with your friends and the neighbors. It makes us look bad. Maybe tomorrow after school we can go for some ice cream, won't that be nice?
Kids in abusive families hate the non-abusing non-protecting parent more than the abuser in a lot of cases. And IMO deservedly so. The non-abuser presents to the children as The One Who Gets It, who knows what is right and wrong, and encourages the children to trust. The abuser seems to just have truly skewed values, seems insensitive and oblivious to the kid's feelings. They see that AND understand it. The abuser is really just being himself (or herself)
The non-abuser who wants the kids' love but does not stand up for them, there is the serious betrayal.
Extremists in any culture who truly view others without empathy are just "not capable" and are being what they are. People get hurt. Okay.
People who promise "protection" and "deliverance" and then just set you up for more sucker-punches while telling you to not cry....
Hottest spot in Hell available yet? Plenty of Betrayers to fill it...
-Annie K. | Eau Claire, WI | May 17, 2011
I recently received this in a reply from U.S. Senator Dick Durbin regarding questions I had regarding decisions made by the Supreme Court.
"Upon confirmation, federal judges and Supreme Court justices serve lifetime appointments. From time to time, we disagree with the judicial decisions made by those serving on the federal bench. I disagreed strongly with the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. I also accepted its outcome. We are a nation ruled by law, and the courts are our final arbiters on questions of law.
Congress's legislative authority allows us to consider particular court decisions and other judicial acts. For instance, Congress may amend statutes that may have been misinterpreted by court cases or propose amendments to the Constitution that would rectify erroneous constitutional decisions."
In reading the full text of the correspondence it is apparent that this is not a battle Senator Durbin is willing to conduct. It is very troubling that the judiciary is the activist component of government and there appears as though there are no checks or balances on their powers.
-Richard Kanak | Cherry Valley, Illinois | May 17, 2011
Sucks when the shoe is on the other foot doesn't Ed?
-SW | Waukesha, WI | May 17, 2011
Well, for once Annie and I are in agreement, it is just that I would cast it a bit differently. She portrays the Dems as the abused wife and I would cast the Democratic party as political wife beaters. Honest honey, this time I will do better. If anyone is the victim it is the brain dead voters who keep expecting the Dems to change. Talk about Stockholm Syndrome. I see the Obamaplogists are still at it. Everytime Obungle shows even the least spirit they say "see, he can do it, just wait, he will, he has only been in office etc. etc.etc." Hell, FDR did more in 100 days than this guy will in 100 yrs.
I still say the protestors in Madison missed it when they failed to recruit and organize a third and liberal party. The 14 Dems who skipped the state did the right thing but if the Dems had been on their game all these years it would never have come to this to begin with. Now that I am in New Mexico I watch from afar but I still feel for the state of my birth and 61 yrs of living. Wisconsin has REALLY gone down the tubes.
-Griebnotz Doerkpfester | I Escaped, WI. | May 17, 2011
We all know the problem. Now, give us a solution. We are weary of the talk. We need action. Where are the people who can really make change happen?
-Pietr Haikuu | Hurley | May 17, 2011
The people who can really make change happen are all in South America and the Arab Spring. All we have here are internet petitions and anonymous blog commenters..
-Steve Carlson | Trego, WI. | May 18, 2011
For Peter and Steve. The people are out there but our politics discourages many from running. First, there is the money chase. Second, there is the petty inside game of the parties.
Progressives have totally dropped the ball with their blind allegiance to the Dems. This past winters protests in Madison were a prime opportunity to enlist members in forming a progressive third party but it was not done.
Given the current mood and the facts I have to wonder if people running for state assembly and senate might not be able to be elected as progressive independents. 200 or 400 signatures get you on the ballot. The rest is up to you. If ever there was a time to shake up the works it is now. If someone like this comes knocking on your door pay attention. It might well be worth you while.
-Griebnotz Doerkpfester | I Escaped, WI. | May 18, 2011