Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Tag: obama (Page 1 of 3)

O’Bama is Irish

One of the coolest things we learned at the North Texas Irish fest was how to attract musicians to your table. First you invite a well known performer to sit at your table. This acts as bait for other performers to come up and say hi and join in the conversation. OK. We didn’t really plan it that way, but that’s how it worked out.

We stayed at the host hotel, Radisson Central, where the performers and other out of towners were staying for NTIF. After the festival is over for the day everyone hangs out in the bar. Melissa and I were sitting at a table when Ed Miller and his wife walked in. We waved hi upon mutual recognition. Melissa and I hosted Ed Miller for a house concert the previous winter and so he knew us. Being the polite person he and his wife asked if they could join us. Like he needed to ask. We said sure. We had a lovely conversation. During the course of the evening in walked Liz Carroll who came over to say hi to Ed and she joined us. Máirtín de Cógáin also chatted with Ed though he didn’t sit.

We also had a lovely conversation with Liz Carroll. She’s plays Irish fiddle and is amazing. We’d seen her perform with Daithi Sproul in Tulsa last year before we moved to Tucson. She was performing at NTIF with her usual partner John Doyle. While we were chatting Liz said she was going to be performing for President Obama on St. Patrick’s Day. It wouldn’t be at the White House, but at the Capitol Building. Nancy Pelosi was hosting a luncheon for the President. I asked Liz if she’d gotten the gig because she was from Chicago. She pretty much thought that was part of it.

I don’t recall the exact details of what she said but this was the gist of it. She told us how John Doyle had called her up and asked how’d she’d like to play for free but told her she’d want this gig. Turns out when you perform for the President it’s on your own dime. I guess it’s the prestige thing. I knew that Obama had Irish ancestry. His great-great grandfather is from Moneygall in County Offaly. It was doubly cool for Liz because she told us her parents were from County Offaly.

To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day I thought I’d share this Barack O’Bama is Irish video. It was actually recorded during the campaign, but worth trotting out again. It’s not Liz or John.

Here’s a link to a Liz Carroll and John Doyle video (embedding disabled) if you haven’t heard or seen them perform: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tRU-Yn_RPJQ

And for all those of Irish ancestry (or not) check out Jimmy Crowley & Máirtín de Cógáin’s Captain Mackey’s Goatskin and Stringband Soldier’s and Songs: The Irish Abroad and Soldiering. Website says the CD is not out yet. It is, and it’s very good.

One last note. Speaking of Irish soldiering abroad. You’d think that Tucson as we know it today was founded by the Spaniards would not have a reason to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Well you’d be partly wrong. The presidio that became Tucson was setup by an Irishman in the service of the Spanish in 1775. He was known as Don Hugo O’Conor (born Hugh O’Conner in Dublin).

More headlines to piss you off

You can skip to the bottom for the headlines if you are ready to be pissed off. I didn’t always think that Republicans were bad. In the 1990’s, I listened to Rush Limbaugh and G. Gordon Liddy. I thought Clinton was a bad president. The main reason why I leaned towards the Republicans they were closer to the Libertarians. I held libertarian beliefs and read Ayn Rand. I even believed that Liberals were closet socialists and that big government was bad. I even voted for George W. Bush in 2000.

Here I am today a progressive and a registered Democrat. I voted for Obama in 2008. I’m not going to regale you with the details of my political transformation, but I will say the main reason I changed had more to do with my core philosophy of how I look at the world. Political belief is unscientific.

When a scientist observes the world and comes up with theories he tests it to see if his theory is sound. A good scientist knows when his theories have failed and moves on. He’s always changing and revising his understanding of the world. And so I have applied that principle to my view on politics. I try to pick a system that works best for people. Right now, progressive politics, seems to be the most effective. That could change in the future. In fact, it must. I’m beginning to suspect our choice of politics may be tied to our personality type.

I didn’t wake up one morning and decide that Republicans were evil and that Democrats were good. There are plenty of Democrats that I don’t have much faith in, Reid and Pelosi, come to mind. I’m not a liberal. I am a progressive. The term is used interchangeably and confuses the issue. It’s not a relabeling. I know I need to expand on that so you’ll understand where I’m coming from and how I got here. On to the headlines.

To understand the bullshit shenanigans the Republicans are pulling on this stimulus bill I thought I’d give you two examples:

Bike Paths=Green Pork?

Katie Couric Disses Energy-Saving Weatherization As Embarrassing

That’s right. Senator DeMint wants to ban any funding for bike routes and paths, and Senator Mitch McConnell wants to get rid of funding for weatherization. Both of these Senators want to prevent America from even baby steps to wean us off of dependence of fossil fuels, foreign and domestic.

So what are the benefits, As Obama said, it’s a threefer. You put people to work building bike paths and weatherizing homes. You save money on your energy bills. You reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Actually you get a fourfer. You help the environment upon which we all depend.

The problems that face us as individuals, as a community, as a nation, and as the world are immense and daunting. The Republicans, and I sure a few Democrats, but mostly Republicans, cannot see any further than the next election and protecting the interests of corporations at the expense of everyone else. In their own bubble, with their own set of limited facts, they believe they are doing the right thing. I’m sure some of them do know better.

It would be far better to convince the Republicans that it is in their best interest, not to mention, the best interest of America, to do the right thing, to lead us towards a more sustainable way of living. But if they don’t, then they must be voted out of office. Democrats aren’t perfect. They too have some problems, but the progressives have an in and are working to dominate the party. Progressives aren’t always Democrats. Teddy Roosevelt did a number of progressive things.

Next time I plan to have more links and less soapbox.

Oh, and one more thing, while I’m on my soapboax, the Republicans have been trying to get people to visualize how much money is being spent for “pork” by stacking it end to end. X billion dollars would reach from New Jersey to El Paso, or four times around the globe, or some other such bullshit visualization. It’s a distraction. Think how many homes could be saved from foreclosure with that. How many families that would help. Think how many people could have health insurance coverage. A stack of money benefits no one. You can show a benefit by how it’s spent. For example I could say the money spent on the Iraq war would stretch from here to the Moon or around the globe five times. I don’t know how big a stack it is, nor do I care, but you get the idea. I could say that for the money we spent on the Iraq war would have paid for universal health care for every man woman and child in America. That has actual payoffs for America as a whole.

What payoff has invading Iraq given us? Certainly not cheaper oil. A devastated country, thousand and thousands dead, thousand of wounded vets. You say it’s made the world a safer place. Has it? Dick Cheney was saying that we could expect a major terrorist attack on America because of Obama. That to me says Cheney’s people didn’t do a very good job of reducing terrorism in the world. At best, they merely contained it. And I don’t think they really did that.

Headlines that will piss you off

Why it’s almost time to tell Republicans to go **expletive deleted** themselves. I’m really getting tired of their **expletive deleted**. I’m really close to wishing that they and their supporters will be miserable for the next eight years. There have been a few things the Obama administration is doing that haven’t pleased me, but I’m willing to give them time to sort things out.

Gregg Confirmation Flashpoint Emerges as GOPers Decry White House Census Move

GOP Leaders Continue Opposing Stimulus Bill

Cheney The ‘Dick’ hopes for a major terrorist attack on America.

Edging towards a depression (a very scary and depressing graph).

I know there are decent Republicans out there. I know there are honest conservatives out there. You guys need to take your party back. You need to get rid of these ass clowns and douche nozzles who are trying score political brownie points at the expense of the country. If you don’t think Boehner and Graham and Coburn fall into that category, I pity you.

We are going to know how bad a shape the Bush/Cheney/Gramm cabal left the country in in a few months. The Obama administration is still doing damage assessment. Democrats had the last two years to put the slow down the destruction, but they didn’t have the guts to do anything. I hope the price of winning the last election was worth and that it’s not too late. We are heading for a depression. We just don’t know how bad it’s going to be yet. We have the leadership and the people to help us get through it, but it remains to be seen if they can convince the Republicans to stop their obstructionist crap.


Found another anger inducing headline.

What the centrists have wrought

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