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.

McCain, Vietnam and houses

So, while talking with Jay Leno, John McCain decided to answer the house question with this little nugget:

“Could I just mention to you Jay, that in a moment of seriousness, I spent five and a half years in a prison cell, I didn’t have a house, I didn’t have a kitchen table, I didn’t have a table, I didn’t have a chair,” said McCain, citing his history as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. “I spent those five and half years not because I wanted to get a house when I got back home.” (via

Have y’all seen The Big Lebowski? You know John Goodman’s character, Walter, who always tries to equate everything to Vietnam? John McCain is that guy. He has turned into Walter. I keep expecting Jeff Bridges to show up, yelling “Everything’s a fuckin’ travesty with you, man! And what was all that shit about Vietnam? What the FUCK, has anything got to do with Vietnam? What the fuck are you talking about?”

Seriously, though, what does being a POW have to do with owning a bunch of houses?

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If you don’t like the facts, change ’em!

Leave it to that dastardly Dick Cheney to leave out facts because they don’t jive with the admnistration’s policies:

Seeking to play down the effects of global warming, Vice President Dick Cheney’s office pushed to delete from congressional testimony references about the consequences of climate change on public health, a former senior EPA official claimed Tuesday.

The official, Jason K. Burnett, said the White House was concerned that the proposed testimony last October by the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention might make it tougher to avoid regulating greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. (via Yahoo News)

Yeah, who cares about the truth, anyway! Ignore whatever doesn’t work for us!

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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.

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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. 🙂

Yes, we can. Yes, we can change.

“We know the battle ahead will be long. But always remember that, no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change…

“We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics. And they will only grow louder and more dissonant in the weeks and months to come…

“Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future….

“And, together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story, with three words that will ring from coast to coast, from sea to shining sea: Yes, we can.”

Vote Obama

Dick Cheney is not Darth Vader….

As much as I hate to disagree with Randi Rhodes (mainly because she almost always ends up being proven right), I think she is completely wrong when she refers to Dick Cheney as Darth Vader. Vader was the active hand of the government; he was a visible sign of the Empire’s power. Cheney is more like Palpatine from the prequels, sitting behind the scenes, guiding everything that happens but doing a good job of not being seen. This is apparent from the the four-article series on Dick Cheney. As stated in Part Three:

it was Cheney who served as the guardian of conservative orthodoxy on budget and tax matters. He shaped and pushed through Bushs tax cuts, blunting the influence of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, a longtime friend, and of Cabinet rivals he had played a principal role in selecting. He managed to overcome the presidents “compassionate conservative” resistance to multiple breaks for the wealthy. He even orchestrated a decision to let a GOP senator switch parties — giving control of the chamber to Democrats — rather than meet the senators demand for billions of dollars in new spending.On the home front, the vice president is well known for leading a secretive task force on energy policy. But in a town where politicians routinely scurry for credit, Cheney more often kept his role concealed, even from top Bush advisers.

“A lot of it was a black box, and I think designedly so,” said former Bush speechwriter David Frum. “It was like — you know that experiment where you pass a magnet under the table and you see the iron filings on the top of the table move? You know theres a magnet there because of what you see happening, but you never see the magnet.”

That is some seriously scary power. It’s an evil, corrupting influence. Cheney is a very scary man. The idea that he is controlling so much – including the President – and really doesn’t care what others think shows exactly what Cheney is made of. And that’s the scariest though of all.