Sunday, November 24, 2013


Several prominent Republicans, such as Ari Fleicher (president Bush's Bagdad Bob) and Sen. John Cornyn (TX) immediately presumed that Obama had practically given the Iranians a warhead when they learned a tentative peace deal had been reached in negotiations Iran had with Russia, China, GB, France, Germany and the US. Perhaps this was because Obama had caved so often to negotiations with Republicans, but was the most likely reason was they believe Obama is not quite a "true American" and it not looking out for our national interests. This extreme rhetoric is not borne from differing views of foreign policy and negotiations, but rather the true genesis of the birther movement. 

The perceived otherness of Obama by these Republicans vying for Tea Party approval is the same otherness these white conservatives see all around them: billboards, radio stations, and tv stations in Spanish, interracial and gay marriage, salsa outselling ketchup for a decade, and more. Soon, the will have to share their place in the sun with these others and this loss of privilege is frightening. And apparently maddening. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

It wasn't a ruse

As a follow up to a post I wrote this summer, it is mine to admit I was wrong. My theory that Obama was using Summers and Yellen was shot down by the Summers trial balloon being burst by Democratic Senators on the Finance Committee and Yellen's nomination shows that Larry was always their first choice and Janet was always their backup. 

Makes one wonder whether Susan Rice was their first choice for Secretary of State and John Kerry was their second choice also. And it also leads me to question other times a seemingly big loss was couched up to Obama's skills at 3-D chess. Sometimes I wonder if administration is playing the wrong game. 

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Grinch who stole Congress

To me, the ultra conservatives who are hell-bent on defunding and repealing Obamacare are akin to the Grinch who couldn't stand the thought of Christmas arriving. Both essentially said "I must find some way to keep this coming."

Except while the Grinch was worried about the noise you hear from all the children playing with their toys, Tea Partiers worry that the American people will actually like the Affordable Care Act and as a result the welfare state be irrevocably expanded. 

But just like in Dr. Suess's story, Sen. Cruz and his allies did not stop Obamacare from coming yesterday. It came without national parks or cancer research, or Headstart, any host of things that have been stooped or closed thanks to their intransigence.

Sadly I don't see the last part of the story being the same. I don't think the Tea Party's hearts will grow to size two sizes some day. 

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's a ruse

Part of me thinks all of this talk about Larry Summers versus Janet Yellen for Federal Reserve Chair is sham debate. The more Obama talks up Summers and liberal Congressional Democrats attack the former President of Harvard, the more I think some one else is Obama's real choice. <A href="">Maybe it is this guy</a>. 

A good example of what I am talking about is the nomination of Richard Cordray instead of Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Or how John Kerry was nominated for Secretary of State and Susan Rice was left to take the heat for Republican crazed attacks about Benghazi. Except this time, he hopes liberal Democrats, not Republicans are the targets for the bait and switch.  

But the constant theme has been that Obama has thrown Women to the wolves. This time, my theory is that a woman still won't get the job, but neither will Obama's alleged first choice. We will find out if I am right in September.

Thursday, July 11, 2013


How come Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid always seems to have missed the longer strategic view, and is out maneuvered by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell? Even back when Reid was running circles around Bill Frist, McConnell was happy because that made the day he was in charge come sooner. 

Now Reid is going to go "Nuclear" and the Senate Parliamentarian rule the fillibuster unconstituitonal. Too bad it is about four years too late for it to matter for dozens of important issues. And yet I cannot help but thinking this is exactly what McConnell wants him to do: get regular appointees in, but lose the war over judges. 

Not that President Obama has helped Reid much. The President has been so slow to nominate that even if the Senate were to confirm all his nominees tomorrow (and that won't happen), there would still be dozens of vacancies in his administration and the judiciary to fill. Obama has already been in office for four years, it is pretty inexcusable. Almost as if he were a little....behind. 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

One small step

When I finally got a chance to sit down and ready the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions, I was actually pretty underwhelmed. Justice Kennedy's Opinion in Lawrence was far more compelling than in Windsor. And reading Windsor with Perry, the Supreme Court has instructed Governors, Presidents, and AGs to enforce laws they believe to be unconstitutional so that they can maintain standing to enable the Supreme Court to reach the merits of the case.  

DOMA is not dead yet either. Article 3, which is equally unconstitutional, still enables one state to refuse to recognize a same sex marriage performed in another state, never-mind the privileges and immunities clause or the equal protection clause. 

We will have to wait a few more years for another model plaintiff with bottomless pockets to be found and then a few more years to wind their way through the trial and appeals courts before a state like Utah will have gay marriage. Although I still hope that I am proven wrong.  

There was a multiple day trial on Prop 8, and every single possible reason against gay marriage had its day in court and lost miserably. The evidence was overwhelming in favor of equality. Now perhaps the Prop 8 proponents did not have the best attorneys, unlike the plaintiffs, but what their real problem was they had the worst facts. 

Ask yourself if you are entitled to deny someone you know and respect love and happiness because what they do in the bedroom makes you feel icky. And then you realize the problem is not gay marriage, it is you. 

If you can make that realization, then we are one step closer to true equality. Then maybe it is not such a small step after all. 

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Subject lines matter

I, like millions of other people, got an email from Elizabeth Warren the other day. The subject of the email was "Just too big." At first, I thought it was porn spam. Perhaps that one focus-group tested well like the ones the Obama team sent out raise big bucks. I hope not though.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


What is going through Utah Attorney General John Swallow's head these days? Does he seriously think this will all blow over? Let's assume for a moment that his version of events are true and the FBI takes the unusual step and reports after their investigation that no federal crimes were coming by the state's now chief law enforcement official. The man has still revealed that he completely lacks a moral compass. That he even agreed to assist in the lobbying of a senator to make a federal investigation go away is bad.

When Enid Greene is giving you ethics advice, you know you are screwed. When no one in the Utah County GOP wants to sit at your table, you are done. When State Senators are asking how the impeachment process works, the end is neigh. When Mark Shurtleff, the guy who hand picked you to be the next AG and is now a lobbyist in DC is claiming credit for reporting you to the FBI, it is over.

If even the best case scenario looks bad and you are only two months into the job, what are you thinking in staying on? I guess he realizes that he is unemployable now and pretending everything is fine is better than quitting and being banished. But seriously, who would hire a guy whose name is mud NOW before we learn worse information? What happens when the Feds get ahold of his emails? And phone records? And the grand jury starts calling everyone to testify? What is they find other dirt during the investigation ? Swallow is either hanging on as long as he can, or has no clue and no plan.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Down in the muck

Today I had occasion to get out of the valley and up into the sunshine. The weather up there was glorious, especially compared to last week's sub arctic temperatures. Part of me did not want to back into that polluted mess, and dreamed of staying above the gunk forever. But the other part of me knew I played my part in making that filth, and I had to live with the consequences of my conspicuous consumption of energy. Either that or take myself off the grid and start some of the tons of carbon I put in the atmosphere over my lifetime. Since I lack the technical skills, I drove back into my sty.