Friday, November 30, 2012

GOP has no more credibility

Once again, I have to write about the insanity of the GOP's position in regards to the fiscal cliff.

The GOP has no logical choice but to let the tax cuts for the top 2% of income distribution expire. It is as clear as day as if they do not then taxes go up for everybody and, in addition, they have to deal with sequestration.

If the GOP does nothing they lose 2 battles (spending cuts for the military will be enacted and the taxes for the top 2% will go up) while the Democrats lose only 1 (taxes for 98% of income earners). What are the GOP strategists thinking?

What are the reasons the GOP keeps fighting a losing battle? If they keep fighting for nothing will the  GOP continue to be considered a viable national political partner?

I would think not, but the GOP has an agenda that eludes me. Completely. 

Thinking of Romania on its National Day

It is somehow bizarre for me to write about Romania and its National Holiday, but here I am.

Romania celebrates its National Holiday on December 1st, to remember 1918 when it became geographically great. Actually the greatest it has ever been. 

After December 1st, 1918, Romania reached its largest borders in modern history after the reunification with Transylvania. However, after WW II Romania lost territories to the Soviets and Bulgarians but it has managed to remain within the current borders ever since, which is a miracle, given 1989.

Sometimes I am wondering if Romania will ever be as large as it was on December 1st, 1918.

Today -and not only now- Romania seems a lost cause. It appears that it has been -almost always- at the mercy of other nations and has not shown to be capable of adapting to the needs of modern societies but sporadically and inconsistently.

From what I know, Romanians crave a society that has attributes such as openness, good infrastructure, social mobility, tolerance, appetite for education, secularism, access to good healthcare, fair taxation, opportunities for all, economic freedom, and justice. All these are sore topics for almost all Romanians who care just a little bit about the grand ideals of the Great Romania of 1918.

Spiritually and linguistically speaking Romania has always been great. However, spirituality requires infrastructure and economic backbones which Romania has not managed to build and maintain with consistency and efficiency.

Many Romanians have left Romania to seek coalescing backbones able to support and sustain their spirituality. I am proud to be of Romanian descent and would love to be able to welcome Romania to the family of great nations of Europe.

Today I cannot say that I have many reasons be too proud of Romania's status in Europe but I am more hopeful than ever that Romania will somehow manage to pull itself up by the bootstraps and gain front door ascendance to the family of the great countries of Europe. One step at a time and one individual at a time, whether in Romania or abroad.

Happy National Day, Romania!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

GOP is unreasonable

Mr. Obama has a 'golden goose' in the fiscal cliff battle.

Today the Republicans in the House met with Mr. Obama's emissaries and Mr. Boehner (the House speaker) claimed that discussions 'got nowhere'.

Mr. Boehner and his acolytes forget that the Democrats have already explained that they have decided to let the tax cuts for households making over $250k (the top 2% of Americans) expire on Jan 1, 2013. Mr. Obama's plan will bring in more revenue than now.

Mr. Boehner claims that the President should also come up with spending cuts. Why is the GOP not coming up with the spending cuts if the additional revenue does not make them happy? It is 100% their responsibility as they are the ones calling (screaming, I should say) for it, no doubt.

Mr. Obama has nothing to lose by doing absolutely nothing. If I were in his shoes I would go on vacation until Dec 28th and if the GOP does not have a plan meeting his agenda then so be it.

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Leffe, blonde beer

Have you ever had a blonde Leffe beer? It is a Belgian beer that is very uplifting and refreshing.

Leffe blonde beer bubbles are small and they release an aroma that no other blonde beer has. It is a beer with a story and although it is a stock beer (not from a microbrewery)  I would highly recommend it with fish and cheese/creamy dishes.

As soon as you take a sip of Leffe, subtle and sunny aromas surround your tongue and dance in a harmonious ways to make you dream of crisp and windless mornings. I just love Leffe.

What's up, Mitch?

Mitch McConnell, a US senator from Kentucky, said in October 2010 that the "the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Well, Mitch, you and your party have failed.

You have failed not only on this ('most important') but also on any concept of reform.

Healthcare, tax code, immigration policy, energy, regulatory, and farm reforms are items that you and your party would not touch with a 10 yard pole. There is nothing wrong with the current state, you claim, but the reality is that each one of these public policies needs to be reformed.

Where do you stand on these, much more important topics, Mitch? Where is your party leadership on policies that truly matter?

Mitch, you are an itch on our political scene that we need to cure. You are full of backwardness and stubbornness. You are a disgrace and a farce who stands for nothing important in particular but only stands against progress. Any type of progress.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Very Unsettling To Watch Our March Towards the Cliff

It is very unsettling to sit back and watch without much power how, seemingly every fall and spring and at any time in between, the Congress is going to work to 'fix' a looming danger.

It is down right infuriating to see that the problems the Congress is trying to solve have, for the majority of the time, been created by the Congress proper. Case in point: the sequester and the tax rate increases doomed to being on Jan 1st 2013. We should have never reached this point, ever. And yet we have.

The Congress creates these problems by not solving them for the long run to begin with. By looking at the current expected 'fiscal cliff' it is hard not to imagine that it could have been entirely avoidable had it not been for the bitter partisanship shown last year by all our political parties.

Our Congress seems to care only about their own interests and I am not even sure what they are after. An ideology? A set of statements? Intents? None of these constructs help ordinary people.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Obama has had a landslide win: no ifs, ands, or buts

Obama has won the re-election campaign in a massive landslide. In the electoral college -EC- he has 336 votes while Romney has 206 (+130 votes difference in Obama's favor) .

The magnitude of his win has to be referred as amazing and unprecedented. Let me clarify that for you. The unemployment rate has been over 9% for months and the government debt has increased to never-seen-before levels. In this light, the election results appear counter-intuitive.

Had the economy done better during his first tenure and, say, the unemployment rate been at 5% what would have been the difference between Obama and Romney in the EC? 200 electoral votes?

The Republicans could not even take advantage of the poor economy to defeat Obama and, to top it all, showed very poor campaign management skills. This is utterly shocking to me, given their closeness to sound business practices. In addition, they showed pure inability to broaden their electoral base and relied on the same 'old religious farts' they have relied on for decades. To make the argument a full trifecta, the Republicans presented to us a candidate that, I believe, has never bought milk from a grocery store in his entire life.

Republicans have lost in a massive fashion and their credibility is at levels seemingly inversely related to the US national debt...

Obama could not have obtained better results, given the extremely difficult US economic conditions. I am elated for his well deserved win.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sore Losers...

The Republicans are some sore losers after Obama's reelection.

Some sore losers and their reactions are shown all over the blogo-sphere. Before the election, the Republicans were very poor at predicting the magnitude of their losses and appeared totally shocked that they lost the White House during this election cycle. Their shock transformed into anger very quickly.

Republicans now claim that Obama has no popular mandate to raise taxes on the rich since he was elected with a very 'slim' majority of the popular vote (3 million voters is not even close to slim). This argument falters in the face of the  fact that he has an over 60% edge in the Electoral College (332 vs. 206).

My reply to their argument is plain and simple.

Have a look at the election results when George W Bush was elected during his first mandate, in 2000. He lost the popular vote nationally and won the Electoral College by the slimmest of margins (2 votes). These facts have not stopped him to behave as if he had a direct mandate from the most conservatives of the Republicans and went into 2 unprovoked wars and -unnecessarily- lowered federal income taxes across the board while leaving the economy in total shambles at the end of his second term.

When W Bush was behaving like an escaped gorilla on a ripe corn field, even though he had no popular legitimacy to roam around, the Republicans claimed that 'he was the president elect' and right now that exact same argument appears obsolete and not applicable. I cannot stop being at least intrigued by Republican inconsistencies.

After this election Obama has earned total political legitimacy and should promote and enact laws that totally reflect the mandate that elected him for another 4 years. Advance health care for all, social justice, regulatory reform, energy independence, and fiscal soundness are at the top of his agenda. He cannot be derailed by Republican's shenanigans anymore.

One more remark: Mitch McConnell, please resign from your position immediately and return to your ranch.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Just like I thought

Obama won another 4 years and, given his competitor, this was fully expected. As soon as the Republicans picked Mitt Romney to be their presidential candidate the winner had already been elected.

Many commentators claim that Romney had a chance at beating Obama but he really did not. Obama has not been a great president but he has managed to extricate our nation from the throes of a very deep recession and people could not forget that.

When Obama first took office in 2008 fear was practically flowing like a wild river down our streets. With fierce Republican opposition Obama managed to stabilize the economy and has even passed health care reform. Kudos to him and his team.

I am pleased that the country has seen clearly through the fog and electoral promises and stuck with a proven presdient.