The Long Version

Retired broadcast journalist. Blogging helps scratch the itch. Recovering exRepublican – Sober and still Conservative.

Posts Tagged ‘Harry Reid

Americans with No Abilities Act: See the Future – Be the Future

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President Barack Obama and the Democratic Senate are considering sweeping legislation that will provide new benefits for many more Americans. The Americans With No Abilities Legislation is being hailed as a major legislative goal by advocates of the millions of Americans who lack any real skills or ambition.

mediocrity“Roughly 50 percent of Americans do not possess the competence and drive necessary to carve out a meaningful role for themselves in society,” said California Sen. Barbara Boxer. “We can no longer stand by and allow People of Inability (POI) to be ridiculed and passed over. With this legislation, employers will no longer be able to grant special favors to a small group of workers, simply because they have some idea of what they are doing.”

In a Capitol Hill press conference, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pointed to the success of the U.S. Postal Service, which has a long-standing policy of providing opportunity without regard to performance.  At the state government level, the Department of Motor Vehicles also has an excellent record of hiring Persons with No Ability (63 percent).

Under the Americans With No Abilities Act, more than 25 million mid-level positions will be created, with important-sounding titles but little real responsibility, thus providing an illusory sense of purpose and performance.  Mandatory non-performance-based raises and promotions will be given to guarantee upward mobility for even the most unremarkable employees. The legislation provides substantial tax breaks to corporations that promote a significant number of Persons of Inability (POI) into middle-management positions, and give a tax credit to small and medium-sized businesses that agree to hire one clueless worker for every two talented hires.

Finally, the Americans With No Abilities Act contains tough new measures to make it more difficult to discriminate against the non-abled, banning, for example, discriminatory interview questions such as, “Do you have any skills or experience that relate to this job?”  “As a non-abled person, I can’t be expected to keep up with people who have something going for them,” said Mary Lou Gertz, who lost her position as a lug-nut twister at the GM plant in Flint, Mich., due to her inability to remember righty tighty, lefty loosey. “This new law should be real good for people like me. I’ll finally have job security.” With the passage of this bill, Gertz and millions of other untalented citizens will finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Said Sen. Dick Durbin, “As a senator with no abilities, I believe the same privileges that elected officials enjoy ought to be extended to every American with no abilities. It is our duty as lawmakers to provide each and every American citizen, regardless of his or her inadequacy, with some sort of space to take up in this great nation and a good salary for doing so.”

This message was approved by Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama.

*A similar article appeared in TheOnion.com in 1998 but appears to be even more relevant today than it was back then.

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Roll Back Thursday – The Filibuster

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Today, Thursday, November 21, 2013 the United States Senate voted to change a centuries old parliamentary procedure in the Senate chamber and invoked the so-called “nuclear option” making it possible to confirm presidential nominees by a simple majority vote rather than the 60 votes necessary to override any filibuster attempt by the minority party.

Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Democrats claim Republicans have become career obstructionists holding up judicial and executive nominees from an up or down vote for too long.  So with that in mind Harry Reid said, “It’s time to change the Senate, before this institution becomes obsolete.”  (Now remember this quote when you watch the videos below)

Of course there is fantastic irony at play here that simply can’t be ignored, nor should it be.

A little background.

In the 2005 Senate, Republicans held 55 seats and the Democrats held 45 including Jim Jeffords, an independent from Vermont who caucused with the Democrats. Confirmation requires a plurality of votes, and the Republicans could easily confirm their nominees if brought to the floor. Earlier in 2005, Democrats had blocked the nomination of 10 of George W. Bush’s nominees, saying they were too conservative and that Republicans had blocked many of their nominees back in the 1990s. The old tit for tat response.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist then threatened to enact the nuclear option.

This is how then Senator Barack Obama, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, and Senator Hillary Clinton reacted to that threat, and their staunch defense of the rules of the Senate and the filibuster.

So what changed folks?

What happened to “as long as I’m the leader, the answer is no!” eh Senator Reid?

Tsk tsk tsk…the lengths we will go to get what we want. Even if it means a complete reversal of ourselves at any moment in time.  Look up the word integrity. You won’t find this behavior exemplified anywhere in its definition. This rebuke isn’t reserved exclusively for Democrats either. Republicans are just as stained when it comes to this kind of gerrymandering to get their way.

Shame on this governing body.  Shame.

The Party of NO

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Words mean things but actions confirm them.

If you’ve read or watched any news at all over the past 4 days you’re aware of the government shutdown. You may even be aware of the reason for the shutdown. But are you aware of what’s actually being shutdown? Furthermore, are you aware of what appears to be a campaign by the federal government to shut down things that are not even funded by the federal government?

That last question is the one I want to focus on. The answer to that question exposes what I believe is motivating the Liberal Progressives in DC including our President to make the shutdown as painful as possible for as long as possible.

The reasoning for such motivation? Their understanding of the media, their control of the mainstream channels, and knowing the media will run with their narrative. A narrative that says it’s all Republican’s fault and the result of the Tea Party take-over of that party.

The hope is a majority of Americans will buy into that premise and turn against the Tea Party.

Ironically a similar strategy was implemented with the sequester, which by all measures didn’t work. The sequester, it turns out, wasn’t the apocalypse Liberals told us it would be.

But back to the desire by some in our federal government to inflict pain and frustration to get their way.

World War II Govnt ShutdownTake for example the more publicized World War II memorial which was barricaded on Tuesday to keep people from walking through the open air monument. Why?

The Atlantic’s Garance Franke-Ruta points to a theory for why the WWII memorial, along with every other open-air monument in Washington’s Mall, has been closed to the public:

It’s called Washington Monument Syndrome. Here’s Wikipedia’s definition:

The Washington Monument syndrome, also known as the Mount Rushmore Syndrome, or the firemen first principle, is a political tactic used in the United States by government agencies when faced with budget cuts or a government shutdown. The tactic entails cutting the most visible or appreciated service provided by the government, from popular services such as national parks and libraries to valued public employees such as teachers and firefighters…. The name derives from the National Park Service’s alleged habit of saying that any cuts would lead to an immediate closure of the wildly popular Washington Monument. [Wikipedia]

Political brinksmanship. Period.

I’m still waiting for the names of whoever gave the order to barricade the memorial knowing daily tours of the last remaining WWII vets would be coming to THEIR memorial and knowing the pain not being able to enter it would bring. All to muster political leverage against their conservative opponents.

Next there’s Wisconsin. The National Parks Service told Wisconsin to shut down its state parks even though they were not directly funded by the federal government.

Why?

Mount Vernon BarricadesThe National Park Service erected barricades to shut down parking lots surrounding Mount Vernon despite the fact that the tourist destination is privately owned and has been for 150 years, another example of how the feds are deliberately worsening the government shut down.

To make a point and make the shutdown bigger and more painful.

These actions speak loud and clear to the political games being played by an administration that cares more about its power and control over everything in this country than it does the general welfare of the people who live in it.

To be sure both parties in the two-party system share the blame for this shutdown, but while the Liberal side is using brinksmanship and propaganda to forward a political goal, their conservative counterparts are passing bills to fund as much of the government as they can hoping to bring the naysayers to the negotiation table for a serious discussion about the Affordable Care Act.

So far Harry Reid has pretty much given the finger to anyone who even mentions Obamacare and our president has made it clear he lives in a no negotiation zone.

Link the actions with the words and see who the real obstructionists and party of NO is right now.

The Party of NO - Democrats

 

Written by DCL

October 4, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Letter to Washington Post Ombudsman

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What has happened to the 4th estate?  As a retired member of the electronic press, broadcast journalist, and former news director, I hardly recognize the profession I was trained in.

I watch as ABC’s Brian Ross suggests on national TV after a Google search, that a man by the name of James Holmes in Aurora Colorado, who recently “joined the Tea Party” “might” be the killer who butchered 12 people and wounded 70+ others in a Colorado movie theater…  He failed to mention that the same Google search will bring up James Holmes OWS participant or any number of other men named James Holmes.  No, he chose the Tea Party guy, because those Tea Party people have been going on so many killing rampages lately (sarcasm intended).
Harry Reid accuses Mitt Romney of Tax evasion.I watch as Harry Reid slanders Mitt Romney on the Senate floor by insinuating that Romney has evaded taxation for 10 years, a felony, simply because he got a phone call from someone who says so.
Then the Washington Post’s, Ed O’Keefe jumps on it and through your newspaper perpetuates a rumor without a shred of evidence simply because in Mr. O’Keefe’s mind it “resonates” with people.  Mr. O’Keefe is listed as a political reporter, not a pundit, or editorial contributor.  Reporters report facts backed with multiple sources and preferably both sides of the story.  When did those rules of reporting, objectivity, and responsibility to “seek truth and report it.” change into what we see all too often today.  http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
What makes Mr. O’Keefes work even more disturbing is the fact that he reported on a similar story but with a 180 degree shift.  The headline should refresh your memory.
“McCain defends Clinton aide accused by 5 in GOP: Senator decries letter linking Abedin to Muslim Brotherhood.”
In that piece O’Keefe gave a scathing rebuttal to those “fringe voices” on the right spreading “conspiracy theories” without any evidence.  Please Mr. Pexton, help me understand the difference in overall context between these two “reports” and I use that term loosely.
In both cases unproven accusations were made.  In one case O’Keefe called out the accusers, in the other he supported him.  In both cases the parties being scolded or held up for ridicule are conservatives.
I’m sure neither you nor your colleagues see what I and millions of Americans see in the daily press, where 85% of reports on Mitt Romney are negative while the opposite is true for the President, and rumor is reported as fact or at the very least reported with a caveat at the end of “we not sure yet”.  But Americans are starting to see the mainstream media for what they are, clueless, biased, and elitist.  So much so that even some of those who’ve spent careers in the news industry with admitted liberal political ideologies are getting fed up.
A former Network TV News Producer after seeing Andrea Mitchell’s poorly edited Mitt Romney remarks blogged:
“Forget it. I’m done.  You deserve what they’re saying about you.  It’s earned.  You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you.   You have successfully eroded any confidence, dispelled any trust, and driven your audience into the arms of the Internet and the blogosphere, where biases are affirmed and like-minded people can tell each other what they hold to be true, since nobody believes in objective reality any more.  You have done a superlative job of diminishing what was once a great profession and undermining one of the vital underpinnings of democracy, a free press”
I must echo his sentiments and it pains me to see my former profession sink so low.
The only news in the Reid vs Romney story is either Reid is a liar and slanderer or Romney is a felon.  Perhaps Mr. O’Keefe could do some actual journalistic research, interviews, and reporting to tell us which is true.  Only one can be, so it shouldn’t be all that hard.
Sincerely,
Doug Long
UPDATE:  On August 6th I received the following email from Patrick Pexton, Washington Post Ombudsman concerning the Ed O’Keefe article discussed in my letter.  Here is his response.
“Thanks Doug, I am disturbed by this too, I’ll have to look into it a bit more before I write, but my initial reaction is that this should never have been printed, no substantiation at all.”
_________________________
Patrick B. Pexton
Washington Post Ombudsman
ombudsman@washpost.com
202-334-7582

Written by DCL

August 3, 2012 at 8:33 pm