President Obama, in his press conference yesterday, took Congress to task over the fact that it doesn't work. In fact, he did so in both senses of the phrase "doesn't work." Obama lit into Congress for not doing much in the best of times, and also pointed out the glaring fact that Congress sure does take a lot of vacation time, don't they?
Archive of Articles for June, 2011
California has just concluded its first test of a radical concept: if legislators can't manage to do one of the most basic tasks they are hired to do in a timely manner, then cut their pay. No on-time budget? No paycheck. Period. And while there's not enough data to draw any hard-and-fast conclusions, the idea seemed to work exactly as it was designed: this time around, the politicians were very personally motivated to do their job.
Some poll numbers are starting to come in on President Obama's announced withdrawal plans for American troops in Afghanistan. Overall, the polling shows public support is about as high as could be expected, given the fact that the opposition to Obama's plan is split between "pull more out faster" and "pull the troops out slower."
Michele Bachmann's political fortunes are visibly on the rise. Mostly due to a well-received debate performance and a single good poll in Iowa, Bachmann is now the newest shining star to emerge on the stage of the Republican presidential nomination contest. Whether she later proves to be a flavor-of-the-week or whether she actually has staying power is still an open question, at this point. But what appears increasingly obvious is that Bachmann's rise is coming at the expense of another Republican woman's draw on the Republican primary electorate: Sarah Palin.
Well, it's certainly been an eventful couple of weeks, hasn't it?
We're back on our regular weekly schedule here after returning home from our second trip this month (this one to Netroots Nation), after which I can firmly conclude that flying, these days, sucks. Big time. Sigh.
Finally, I leave you with a secret, just in case you ever find yourself attending a Netroots Nation convention: if you want to guess which state will host Netroots Nation next year, look for a senator attending who is not from the state you're currently in.
Later today, President Obama is going to address the nation on the subject of the Afghanistan war. Specifically, he's going to make good on a promise made a year-and-a-half ago: to begin the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan next month. The big question everyone's been speculating about in the run-up to this announcement has been how big a reduction the president will announce.
It's always fun to get together with a lot of people who share your interests and/or opinions. Netroots Nation is a giant mix of people who blog from a Lefty perspective, politicians who value the opinion and share the views of such bloggers, and interest groups who want to influence what folks over on the left think and write about.
The Onion, of course, is satire. They were doing fake news long before Jon Stewart was even on the air. Being satirical, their campaign for a Pulitzer is heavily laced with humor. Humorous or not, though, they've got a serious point.
[Program Note: OK, since I've been away, and since June has been a (shall we say) "sub-par" month for us here in terms of posting things in a timely manner, I'm going to run a rare late-Sunday column for your edification. This is, in some ways, a mea culpa for the break in service last week. Also, it seemed appropriate, since I've been away so much this month that I pretty much completely missed commenting on the continuing saga of Anthony Weiner. So, while Weiner's case was a bit more unique (no hookers were even involved), I thought it time to dig this column out from three years ago, which I wrote in the wake of the Eliot Spitzer scandal. You may also wish to check out a follow-up column I wrote entitled "On Whores" in November of 2009. In any case, this column somehow seemed appropriate, given the mainstream media frenzy in the past few weeks....]