As virtually everyone knows by now, there are significant threats of a government shutdown in the US. The basic guts around it is that the US government will run out of funds for daily operations as no appropriations bill has been passed (as of yet). The reason there is no appropriations bill passed is because the GOP wants to defund the Affordable Care Act, and therefore makes defunding it one of the strings it has attached to get what it wants. And there is also the debt ceiling on the way.
Do I agree that the above is irresponsible, petty, partisan, reckless, and obstructionist? Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. But guess what, it is perfectly legal. Article 1, Section 5 of the United States Constitution says (in part) the following:
Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a member.
In other words, filibusters, refusing to fund the government, and so on, are all allowed by the rules the two Houses of the United.
Therefore, this means that another takeaway from the (likely) US Government shutdown and debt ceiling crisis is that the rules of operation should be amended to prevent the above obstructionism and hostage-taking from being allowed to occur.
A certain American reactionary suggests or implies that, according to him, women have no right to contraception.
This is probably the best reason to vote for Obama in the 2012 US Presidential election. Although he has been disastrous in other respects, when it comes to his Supreme Court nominees Obama has been fantastic. If the Republican nominee wins more reactionaries will be appointed, and they will be sure to roll back the rights of women and others.
Barack Obama has officially come out in favour of marriage equality.
Credit’s due where credit’s due, but frankly, this is no surprise to me. There was no doubt in my mind that he supported same–sex marriage the whole time. He just didn’t say so in a hopeless attempt at hair–splitting, meet–in–the–middleism in a pathetic try at compromising with unreachable wingnuts.
Near the beginning of April, my mother accidentally broke the network card on my computer (don’t ask; it’s a long story), and I was cut off from the internet for a month. But now, I’m reconnected. Here’s a month’s worth of posts, all rolled into one:
- Canada’s general election was yesterday and the Harpercons and Reformatories won a majority. Fuck. I feel like my country just died, its beating heart ripped out by the grimy hands of a reactionary. Women will suffer under the new regime. I’d like to be wrong about that and hope I am.
- If it’s any consolation, the Bloc–headed separatists were basically blown away by an orange wave in Quebec. Good.
- The Green Party has now entered the club of “serious” political parties as it won a seat.
- Premier Christy Clark is running in a by–election in Vancouver–Point Grey. I predict that she will crush the NDP candidate and gain a seat in the legislature. Various governing parties’ by–election losing streak will finally come to an end.
- An Epic FAIL for wingnut economics.
- O RLY? Barack Obama released the long form of his birth certificate. To the surprise of no rational person, the birthers were wrong. He really was born in Hawaii. Of course, to conspiracy freaks, all evidence is created by the New World Order™, so this won’t really sway them. I wonder why such a conspiracy theory ever managed to gain hold. There are plenty of legitimate criticisms of Obama, and therefore conspiracy theories ought to be beneath the dignity of everyone.
- The same reasoning as above applies to Parentism involving Trig Palin.
- Team USA won the 2011 Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships. Congratulations to them. This is their third consecutive title and fourth overall. Just like in every other final, they faced Canada. Just like in every previous tournament, Finland played in the bronze medal game. They won, beating Russia who had their best showing since 2001. My prediction from last May was correct. Despite beating Finland, Switzerland didn’t medal.
- In the Division I tournament, China was relegated. For a team that played in the last Olympics and at one time was a medal contender, it truly is the Great Fall.
- Osama bin Laden was killed by an American special forces team. Good fucking riddance.
- I wonder if my absence has caused a frequent commentator here to finally leave. Part of me kind of hopes so, as he commented semi–on topic on virtually every post, resulting in threadsurrections and endless discussions, sometimes with dozens of comments. Real people have a life outside of commenting and blogging. If you are still here (you know who you are), please, shut up a little.
- I really like this picture (hat tip: Blag Hag).
- Many people here in BC are boycotting Carrie Underwood. This is because her husband, Mike Fisher, plays hockey for the Predators. Seriously, folks? Ms. Underwood has minimal control over which team her husband plays for. She is in no way responsible for the fact that our local team is playing her husband’s team, and as a matter of fact has nothing to do with it. I’d like to think that we live in a civilized society where a woman is not seen as subordinate or lesser than her husband.
- Just before I was cut off, I downloaded music composition software called MuseScore and since then have been loads of fun with it.
- Also a note to this guy. MuseScore is free, so there’s no need to shell out hundreds to get the next version of Sibelius or Finale.
Straight from the socialists themselves, CNN has a report/interview about what actual socialists think of Obama. The gist of it: Obama’s no socialist. Indeed, it seems to me that Obama is a centrist at his most left–wing, and a moderate conservative at his most right–wing. But a socialist? No.
Words mean things, and by calling everyone “socialist”, “communist”, of “fascist”, the meanings of those words change. They become nearly meaningless insults that say more about the person applying them than about who they are applied to. If anything, they mean “I don’t like you” or “I disagree with your policies”. They have become impossible to characterize any further. The modern teabag movement almost begs for a new version of Godwin’s law:
“In any discussion of American politics, someone calling their opponent a socialist, communist, or fascist, will eventually occur.”
In his speech to the Human Rights Campaign, President Obama has promised to “[E]nd ’don’t ask-don’t tell.’” It’s good that he wants to end it. But he has said this before and has not followed through. It’s been enough talk now; it is time to act. If words were money, then everybody would be rich, but since words aren’t money, actions are needed.
As I have covered here before, DADT needs to be repealed because the policy it hinders the US military. As a matter of fact, I’ll make a statement here: if you support dismissing well-qualified and needed LGBT people (like interpreters) just for being an LGBT person, then you don’t support the troops. It’s that simple.
As virtually everyone knows by now, Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Personally, I think that this premature and is partly because he is not Bush. And this award is obviously controversial. But that is in the nature of the prize. Some, like those to the Red Cross and Red Crescent or that to Martin Luther King, went to those clearly deserving and with lots of work and dedication to humanitarian causes. Others, such as that of Yasser Arafat, questionable in hindsight. I don’t know and cannot predict which way this award will go; if I could, I’d be a television pundit. Just like everyone else, I hope that it goes in the first direct. The main problem with hope, of course, is that it is often unfulfilled.