Professor’s Congressional Scorecard

Time to review the US congress for the month.  A little review will be necessary.

2008 past scores:

Jan–1 step forward

Feb–No Step

Mar–2 steps backwards

Apr–1 Step forward

May–3 steps forward

Jun–4 steps backwards

Jul–No step–a stand still for the month.

Now let us look at August 08.  I am gonna be as kind to them as I can–I give them a step forward for the month–why?  They were not in Washington to screw anything up.  By my calculations this puts the Congress on a step forward for the year.  Sad to say that it was achieved because they were not in Washington.

One closing comment.  The Congress has criticised the Iraq parliament for taking a month off during the summer—-thinking—but what are they doing now—basically taking a month off during the summer.  They have accomplished little all year, but yet they belittle others for doing the same thing.  This is your typical BS in governmental politics–“do as we say, not as we do”.

What A Difference 3 Years Makes

Three years ago, on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the US Gulf Coast. The storm devastated nearly 100,000 square miles and displaced over a million people. New Orleans, Louisiana, bore the brunt of this disaster, after the levee system failed and nearly 80 percent of the city was submerged.

Overwhelmingly those most deeply affected by Katrina were among the poorest layers of the working class in a long-impoverished and neglected region of the United States. In the days following the hurricane’s landfall, the initial tragedy in New Orleans was compounded by official neglect, incompetence, and military repression.

However, reflecting the fact that no substantive improvements in safety procedures were implemented after Katrina, no emergency shelters are scheduled to open in New Orleans—nor are there any even designated. In fact, city officials have described the decision as a deliberate attempt to discourage residents from staying.

As of Friday, press reports indicate only 150 of 700 promised buses have been secured for the anticipated evacuation of 30,000 city residents. No shelter arrangements have been made for the nearly 7,000 families still consigned to living in flimsy, storm-vulnerable federal trailers within the New Orleans metro area.

Federal emergency planning has been no better. In an editorial Friday, the New York Times noted that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had not fulfilled promises of having an emergency housing plan in place for the inevitable further hurricane damage along the Gulf Coast.

The lack of preparation at all levels of government represents yet another invitation for disaster. This negligence further testifies to the fraudulent, profiteering character of the Gulf Coast reconstruction over the past several years and to its utter disregard for the plight of the working class.

They Are Back!  Gustav is barreling down on the area and the hurricane prep work may not be adequate to handle the destruction.  Gustav may hit the Gulf Coast as a cat 4 or 5 storm.  We will see if the confidence that was placed in elected officials was worth the effort or not.

Gustav To Crap On Repub Convention

As Republican officials watch the Weather Channel to monitor Hurricane Gustav, Sen. John McCain is considering whether to curtail or suspend the GOP Convention in Minnesota.

“It just wouldn’t be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster, so we’re monitoring it from day to day, and I’m saying a few prayers too,” McCain told Fox News Sunday in an interview taped Saturday with Chris Wallace.

In large part, the concern about Gustav results from memories of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which was a personal disaster for the people of Louisiana and Alabama and a political disaster for President Bush and his administration.

A staple of McCain’s stump speech during the primaries was to declare “never again” will incompetence greet a natural or man-made disaster in the U.S. “Never again will we send ice to Maine,” he often says.

“What they don’t want is a split screen showing smiling, cheering Republicans on one side and death and devastation on the other,” said John J. Pitney Jr., a government professor at Claremont McKenna College in California. “I don’t know if it’s practical to cancel or postpone it, but they could very well dispense with some of the more festive aspects.”

I would say that last statement is the more accurate……hard to get any bump coming out of a massive party when Americans are dying and suffering.  It will be a political decision not a humanitarian one.

Palin’s First Poll Numbers

The first national polls on John McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin yesterday came out today from Rasmussen and Gallup — and contrary to what the GOP probably hoped, she scored less well with women than men.

Here’s a big finding from Gallup: Among Democratic women — including those who may be disappointed that Hillary Clinton did not win the Democratic nomination — 9% say Palin makes them more likely to support McCain, 15% less likely.

From Rasmussen: Some 38% of men said they were more likely to vote for McCain now, but only 32% of women. By a narrow 41% to 35% margin, men said she was not ready to be president — but women soundly rejected her, 48% to 25%.

Only 9% of Obama supporters said they might be more likely to vote for McCain.

Overall, voters expressed a favorable impression of her by a 53/26 margin, but there was a severe gender gap on this: Men embraced her at 58% to 23%, while for women it was 48/30.

And by a 29/44 margin, men and women together, they do not believe that she is ready to be President.

As for voters not affiliated with either major party, 37% are more likely to vote for McCain and 28% less likely to do so.

The Truth Of The Obama Promises

THis is from the Chicago Tribune section called “Truth Squad”.

On energy

“In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.”—Sen. Barack Obama

The facts: U.S. oil imports from the Middle East amount to about 22 percent of the 13.5 million barrels of oil imported daily, according to the Energy Information Administration. The nation’s biggest suppliers outside the Middle East are Canada, Mexico and Venezuela, accounting for 40 percent of U.S. oil imports.

On budget surpluses

The Bush administration “took us from record surpluses to an exploding national debt; from over 22 million new jobs down to 5 million; from an increase in working family incomes of $7,500 to a decline of more than $2,000; from almost 8 million Americans moving out of poverty to more than 51/2 million falling into poverty—and millions more losing their health insurance.” — former President Bill Clinton

The facts: Clinton, helped by a decade-long economic expansion, recorded four straight years of budget surpluses. They ended in 2001, whittled away by a recession and the cost of fighting terrorism after 9/11 and President George W. Bush‘s tax cuts. Bush has recorded some of the highest deficits in history in dollar terms.

On health care

Barack Obama will bring down health-care costs by $2,500 for the typical family and, at long last, deliver affordable, accessible health care for all Americans.” — Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware

The facts: Obama’s health-care plan does not provide for universal health-care coverage. He promises to make it affordable and would require children to be covered, but not adults. Estimates of how many would remain without insurance vary.

The facts: Obama did none of this single-handedly, but as a member of the Illinois Senate. He helped expand an existing children’s health insurance program. He also helped pass legislation to raise the income threshold for eligibility and make the temporary program permanent.

Rebuilding Pink Parts

This is a reposted from a wordpress blog I found called, “Exploring Intimacy”.

Vulva reconstruction, vaginaplasty, vulvaplasty, vaginal rejuvenation, labia plumping, hymen repair, even g-spot enhancement…

A horde of plastic surgeons stand ready with needles and scalpels aimed at women’s most intimate areas. Feminists across the globe continue to respond with burning vindication at yet another trend requiring impossible “perfection,” now in areas that many of us don’t even talk about in public. Is genital cosmetic surgery a low blow or is it an opportunity for some women to finally come to peace with new and “improved” bodies?

I’m all for plush palaces of pelvic pleasure where women learn the right way to do exercises that naturally tone intimate muscles and increase sexual sensations as well as the strength of orgasms. Heck, we even know that these wonderful exercises can ease childbirth and relieve many cases of stress incontinence (aka the dreaded sneeze and pee). Why must it be combined with cosmetic procedures? I want to trust a place that praises and teaches Kegels. They trust women who are insecure or unhappy with their genitals to pay for “enhancements.”

Today In Labor History

31 August

10,000 striking miners began a fight at Blair Mountain, W.Va., for recognition of their union, the UMWA.  Federal troops were sent in, and miners were forced to withdraw 5 days later, after 16 deaths – 1921

The Trade Union Unity League is founded as an alternative to the American Federation of Labor, with the goal of organizing along industrial rather than craft lines. An arm of the American Communist Party, the League claimed 125,000 members before it dissolved in the late 1930s – 1929

“Solidarity” workers movement founded as a strike coordination committee at Lenin Shipyards, Gdansk, Poland. The strike launched a wave of unrest in the Soviet Union that ultimately led to its dissolution in 1991 – 1980

325,000 unionists gathered in Washington, D.C. for a Solidarity Day march and rally for workplace fairness and healthcare reform. The event was the second Solidarity Day demonstration: the first took place 10 years before, following the PATCO firings – 1991