Selling a house and/or selling a national budget

I’ve been looking over President Obama’s budget, and am still surprised at how progressive it is. There is a lot more requested there than I would’ve imagined he would ask for. And that made me stop for a second and consider why he asked for such a huge budget.

And then I remembered how we listed our price when we sold our house. We figured out how much we really wanted to walk away with, and then added $25k more to the price. We knew that we wouldn’t get the inflated price, but figured that, after all of the haggling was done, we would end up with what we really wanted. And that is pretty much exactly what happened.

So now I can’t help but think that is what President Obama is doing. I think he learned his lesson when trying to negotiate with the House Republicans on the Stimulus Bill, and has inflated what he asks for, assuming that the compromise will end up being the amount of money he actually needed.

If that is so, then I must say: “Well played, Mr. President.”

Biden deflects a right-wing ambush


Leave it to Joe Biden to not just deflect an ambush by a right-wing leaning reporter, but to turn things around and make the reporter look foolish. The interviewer almost immediately attacks, trying to bring up some of the latest round of McCain campaign Obama smears (the ACORN issue, accusing Obama of being a Marxist or Socialist). Biden doesn’t even flinch, as he answers the charges and ridicules the questions, all at the same time.

My respect and admiration for Joe Biden increases on a daily basis.

No more Mr. Nice Guy – Obama and foreign language education

Barack Obama is already showing that he is not going to ignore unfounded attacks. Apparently he learned well from John Kerry’s mistakes in 2004. So when the rabid right wingers took one of Obama’s comments and twisted it to say that Obama wanted to force Americans to learn Spanish, Obama fired right back:

This is an example of some of the problems we get into when somebody attacks you for saying the truth, which is: We should want our children with more knowledge. We should want our children to have more skills. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s a good thing. I know, because I don’t speak a foreign language. It’s embarrassing. (via Yahoo News)

Bravo for Mr. Obama! Everything in his campaign is going right. There’s absolutely no reason to lay down and take these attacks. And Barack obviously understands that.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Musings on the election from a Linux user’s group email list…

One thing that libertarians, moderates, liberals and progressives seem to agree about is that the current administration has made a mess of things. The nation is much worse off now than it was eight years ago. Aside from the 25% or so of staunch neo-conservatives/Bush devotees, everyone is happy that the Bush years are coming to an end. I think that, no matter which way the election goes, things are going to get better starting in January.

Of course, as one of our groups two progressives, I have to say that I am looking forward to an Obama presidency. Obama is poised to do for the country what Bill Ritter is doing for the state of Colorado: break us out of the rut that politics has been stalled in for decades, and move us onto a better, brighter future. We are seeing this in Colorado, as renewable energy corporations are starting to invest heavily in our state under Ritter’s natural energy initiatives. Obama’s policies are on a much larger scale, and the impact will be that much larger.

Of course, I am making the assumption that Obama will be the winner in November. Based on the current economy, the momentum that Obama is building, and the general feeling that the American people are sick of Republican leadership, I am pretty positive about that assumption. Add to this the fact that John McCain’s main strength is national defense, which is not going to be a factor in the upcoming election (unless there is a major economic recovery in the next six months), and I become even more positive about my assumption. It’ll be Obama in ’08. And 2012, for that matter. 🙂

TalkLeft – a total and complete loss

I have been more and more bemused by how rabid TalkLeft has become in their support of Hillary Clinton. They are to the point where any credibility they had built is now completely and totally gone. TalkLeft has become nothing but a Hillary Clinton propoganda machine. Anyone who dares question anything about Hillary clinton are immediately labelled as haters or Hillary bashers. This brings to mind the 2004 Carl Rove tactic of labelling anyone who disagreed with the Iraq war as unpatriotic.

To TalkLeft, anyone who points out that Hillary made a mistake is actually slandering Clinton. For example, Jeralyn had this to say about the reaction to Clinton’s reference to Robert Kennedy’s assassination:

The media and blog commenters are engaging in character assassination. She was making a historical statement on why she needn’t drop out of the race by early June. Democratic nominations have gone past that before. Her emphasis was on the word “June.”

The leap that is required to think that her reference to the RFK assassination was in any way a statement or subliminal wish that it might happen to Obama is mind-boggling.

Jeralyn is stating that anyone who views Clinton’s remarks as offensive and reports that are assassinating Clinton’s character. As opposed to simply stating their displeasure with those remarks. This is totally and completely baffling to me. And apparently TalkLeft is no longer willing to engage in any type of conversation on the issue. From Jeralyn:

This will be the final TalkLeft thread on the matter. I’m not going to spend the weekend on this. And I’m going to have a low threshold for accusatory comments. If you want a place to further your attacks on Hillary, go somewhere else.

So, to sum up TalkLeft’s new philosophy: If you are anything less than a rabid Hillary supporter, you are not welcome at TalkLeft, and don’t you even think about posting anything in their comments. Interesting to find out that the Republicans don’t have a monopoly on trying to silence dissention within their ranks.

Governor Ritter’s running with the ball

When now-Governor Bill Ritter was running for office, he promised to make a number of changes in Colorado, centering around education, health care and renewable fuels. We’re about four months into Ritter’s first term, and we are already seeing a couple of major initiatives on Ritter’s part, including:

College scholarships funded by the oil and gas industry: This is a very interesting initiative: basically this would recoup the tax credits given to oil and gas companies, and use that money for a few specific purposes. 60% of this money (or around $120 million a year) would be used to fund scholarships. This has to be approved by voters, but it sounds damned good to me.

The state budget for 2008-2009: Ritter’s first budget has some very interesting and promising allocations. The most encouraging of which is an increase of alomst 10% for higher education, increases in both the Chidlren’s Health Plan (enough to cover an extra 11,000 children) and programs for the developmentally challenged.

All in all, I am loving the way that Ritter is already trying to implement his campaign promises here in Colorado. Things are going to be very different – and a whole lot better – in just a few years.

Cleaning up Bill Owens’s messes…

I often feel sorry for Bill Ritter. As wonderful as it is that he is now the Governor of Colorad, he inherited a few major messes from the Bill Owens administration. One of the major messes regards the state’s computer systems. These projects cost state taxpayers millions of dollars and ended up being scrapped:

Gov. Bill Ritter has ordered sweeping changes in an effort to halt Colorado’s dismal record of buying expensive computer systems that don’t work.He issued an executive order seven weeks ago that begins to centralize control over the state’s scattered computer systems and gives unprecedented authority to a single technology executive, State Chief Information Officer Mike Locatis.

Under the previous Owens administration, the state contracted to spend $325 million on five new computer systems that were unable to: pay welfare benefits on time, pay road crews overtime, track voters or unemployment benefits, or issue license plates.

Bill Owens had no problem allowing contracts to a variety of vendors, spending taxpayer money with little-to-no regard to whether the projects were needed, whether they would actually work. No nods were given towards due diligence. Owens simply believed that giving tax dollars to private corporations would automatically yield good results. It seems to be a classic oversite by the whole neocon movement, and Owens embraced it, hook, line and sinker.

Fortunately, Bill Ritter is much more level-headed about this. He allows that many of the projects are needed, but should be done right. He has hired Mike Locatis – a man with a great resume and a lot of experience in consolidating computer systems for major entities. In the end, we’ll end up with a good system that’ll save us money. And Ritter will prove again that government cannot just feed money to private enterprise, but must hold private enterprise responsible.

Ritter signs bill to protect gays from discrimination

Huzzah! Here’s yet another reason to rejoice over Bill Ritter being elected governor last year. The Colorado governor signed a bill to protect gays from discriminatio (via 9NEWS.com):

Gay people would be protected from being fired based on their sexual orientation under a bill signed into law Friday by Governor Bill Ritter.

This is the same type of bill that former governor Bill Owens vetoed. Twice! Ritter has been a breath of fresh air as Governor. I am proud to stand up and say that I voted for him. Sure, he’s made a couple of questionable moves (vetoing the union bill, for example). But even then, it appeared that Ritter acted because of what he believes to be right, not due to external pressures.

I love living in a blue state!

No funding delays for developmentally delayed kids

So what happens when a state has both a Democratic congress and Governor? Turns out, really, really good things. Including a bill signed by Governor Ritter earlier this week guaranteeing no funding delays for developmentally delayed kids (via 9News.com):

Gov. Bill Ritter (D-Colorado) signed Senate Bill 4 into law Tuesday at the annual lunch to benefit the Autism Society of Colorado. The measure would streamline the funding process for early medical intervention for families like the Efirds.

There are roughly 4,000 Colorado children, two percent of the state’s kids, with significant developmental delays.

Good things, man. Good things.