GOP should control The Hill?

I believe that Democrats should lose control of the House and Senate this election cycle; it will be good for them. Sometimes a forest has to burn down to reinvigorate itself. Hopefully, the two years in wilderness will force them to develop more spine and balls. Although it is hoping against hope; the Democratic Party is not one, but a conglomeration of  several political philosophies covering the entire spectrum from liberal to conservative. The GOP, on the other hand, is uniquely individual in its mindset: very conservative, the only variation being the ultra-conservative, far-right faction.

Talking of spine, the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress has achieved more than any other presidential term in recent history. Yet, they are afraid to advertise the gains made and explain to the public how it will better their lives.

That a healthcare insurance company is mandated to not turn down individuals for pre-existing conditions, that mid to large businesses are forced to offer health insurance to its employees and persons who can afford it are provided assistance for purchase, and that there would be no life-time maximums for any illness so one doesn’t go bankrupt under treatment are all part of a much needed reform of the predatory practices of the healthcare insurance industry. It would have been hard for Republican candidates to argue why do they want to take these benefits from Americans.

The only thing that bothers me is that the Democrats diluted the whole Healthcare Reform bill to appease Republicans, and yet, none of them voted for it anyway. Since this bill had to pass with only Democratic votes, why didn’t they follow though with their original agenda that included the public option. They would not have been any more unpopular with the segment of the populace that is now threatening to unseat them from power, but in doing so they would have acted with conviction and would have changed the country for the better. But this take balls.

The same is with the Financial Reform that received little GOP support despite it being watered down. Despite it having many helpful features still, it would have been far more effective had the Democrats stood their ground. The credit card reform and the creation of a consumer protection agency alone are very useful provision of the bill, but I haven’t seen Democrats crowing about it.

Other achievements such as increasing the student loans and removing the middle-men (banks) from the picture and enhancing fundings for research institutions like the NIH are left unmentioned.

Why don’t the Democrats explain to us the necessity of the TARP in preventing a complete economic meltdown? After all, this program was started under a Republican administration, yet the brunt is being borne by the current Democratic setup for supporting it and following it through.

Poor Juan Williams?

Mr. Juan Williams was canned from NPR after making remarks about Muslims: “…when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous.”

There has been a lot of protest from all shades of opiners, especially conservative. The right wingers are baying for blood; they want federal funding cut off for NPR. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., a member of the Senate Commerce Committee that oversees the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, said he would introduce legislation to halt taxpayer contributions to public media, charging that, “With record debt and unemployment, there’s simply no reason to force taxpayers to subsidize liberal programming they disagree with.” (emphasis mine)

As an aside, this emotional outburst by Republicans is nothing new, but has not succeeded in the past; it does score good political points to the fervent right-wing base. (Even when the GOP controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House back in 2005, a move to defund them failed after 87 House Republicans broke ranks and voted to reinstate money that had been stripped in committee: Time blog)

Rick Ungar in the Forbes blog does make a reasonable point by comparing to this Williams’ affair to that of Ms. Sherrod: NPR acted too quickly.

Kelly Boggs of Baptist News says that “He was fired because he expressed his feelings…”

Well, Helen Thomas and Rick Sanchez were fired for similar reasons, recently; they were expressing their feelings. Where were these voices then? If Mr. Williams would have said that he feels uncomfortable at night when he’s alone and a black man is walking behind him, there would have been an uproar, demanding his resignation from journalism.

Perhaps the St. Petersburg Times TV/media critic Eric Deggans‘ contention that Williams’ dismissal appears to have been the end of a long process for NPR is on the mark: “NPR has been distancing itself from Williams for quite a while now, changing his title and reducing his role at NPR amid increasing discomfort over the views he has voiced as a pundit on Fox News Channel. Back in 2009, when Williams described first lady Michelle Obama of evoking the spirit of radical Black Panther Stokely Carmichael, NPR asked him not to use his identification with their organization on Fox News. They had already changed his title from correspondent — which implies an objective journalistic role — to news analyst, which allows opinionating.

To this media critic, Williams’ firing seemed the ultimate expression of that unease; his comments about Muslims were simply the final straw on a very overburdened camel.”

At least his firing from NPR has gained Mr.Williams a multi-million dollar contract from Fox!