"Might've been the losing side, still not convinced it was the wrong one"-Capt. Mal Reynolds. To learn more about me and the blog, read here.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Obama vs. His Own: Biting The Hand

My last post I ended by saying "Next up: How not to get shot in the back" and I need to apologize for it. It's not quite what I was going for, I just wasn't being as articulate on it as I should've been. Really what this post needs to say is what happens when you bite the hand that feeds you.

I came up with the "shot in the back" analogy because I could have sworn I once heard a story where Capt. Hernando Cortes, a Spanish Conquistador had told his men, once they reached their destination, to burn their boats so there would be no retreat or escape. That part is true but I also recall, and I admit I don't know where I heard it, that his men then killed him. This is, in my mind, would almost be the ultimate instruction on what Barack Obama has been doing to his base. But even if it were true (and apparently it was not), the idea isn't quite accurate.

True enough when he did not invite Democratic Party leaders or Congresspersons in on the negotiations for the tax "compromise" he essentially did burn their boats and say "Here, take it or leave it" and most of them took it like hungry beggars just happy for scraps, while others like Bernie Sanders and the bulk of Dems in the House stood their ground and voted their conscience. Obama seems to be operating under the assumption that whatever he wants he'll get from Democratic Party leaders regardless of what he proposes. Sadly, for the most part, he does. But he's getting bad advice and seems to be playing for the other team.

The DLC types, Harry Reid,Rahm Emmanuell, David Axlerod, etc. have mislead him in his relationship to his base and it's only hurting him at the least and at worst will hurt the country.

In January 2010 the Wall Street Journal reported that during a private meeting with liberal groups and White House aides, Rahm Emanuel called liberals "fucking retards".

In August 2010 California's anti-Gay Marriage Prop. 8 was overturned and Politico asked the White House for a statement.

"He supports civil unions, doesn’t personally support gay marriage though he supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act, and has opposed divisive and discriminatory initiatives like Prop. 8 in other states,” said the official, who asked not to be named."

Just recently when he made his deal with the GOP (again, without consulting Dems) and got criticized for it, he said "It's the public option debate all over again". Which of course it isn't since he took all that off the table prematurely to get deals with Big Pharma and Hospitals so they wouldn't run ads against his healthcare reform bill, even though they turned around and supported Republicans in the November mid-term elections.

2008 was a huge majority win for Democrats. Let's remember that many were first time voters. They saw in Obama a chance for "change we can believe in". When it didn't come and the Obama White House was criticized, what did the Administration do? They didn't go after the Republicans hard at all. In fact a relatively very few rhetorical bombs were thrown the GOP's way. Instead Axlerod,Emmanuell, Gibbs and even the President himself chided the Dem voters for speaking out. This lead to the Republicans having cover for their obstruction and depressing the Dem base. All those new voters? They stayed at home in 2010 because they thought "Why should I vote for the party of people who call us f'n retards?"

It's a basic human thing. Call me names, tell me I'm just being whiny and don't address the substantial problems that are the cause of my complaint and why should I then support you?

Now Obama has made it clear he's breaking two of his campaign promises is spectacular fashion. Gitmo, according to Robert Gibss, will be open for the foreseeable future. And Obama has now taken the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and made them his own.

Tell me Mr. President, when you want us to vote for you or your party in 2012, how can we believe anything you'll say?

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Constitution Saturday! Articles VI & VII

Article. VI.

All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

Article. VII.

The Ratification of the Conventions of nine States, shall be sufficient for the Establishment of this Constitution between the States so ratifying the Same.

The Word, "the," being interlined between the seventh and eighth Lines of the first Page, The Word "Thirty" being partly written on an Erazure in the fifteenth Line of the first Page, The Words "is tried" being interlined between the thirty second and thirty third Lines of the first Page and the Word "the" being interlined between the forty third and forty fourth Lines of the second Page.

Attest William Jackson

done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States present the Seventeenth Day of September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven and of the Independence of the United States of America the Twelfth In witness whereof We have hereunto subscribed our Names,

Go. WASHINGTON — Presidt.
and deputy from Virginia

New Hampshire {
Massachusetts {
Connecticut {
New York . . . .
New Jersey {
Pennsylvania {
Delaware {
Maryland {
Virginia {
North Carolina {
South Carolina {
Georgia {

In Convention Monday, September 17th, 1787.


The States of

New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, MR. Hamilton from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.


That the preceeding Constitution be laid before the United States in Congress assembled, and that it is the Opinion of this Convention, that it should afterwards be submitted to a Convention of Delegates, chosen in each State by the People thereof, under the Recommendation of its Legislature, for their Assent and Ratification; and that each Convention assenting to, and ratifying the Same, should give Notice thereof to the United States in Congress assembled. Resolved, That it is the Opinion of this Convention, that as soon as the Conventions of nine States shall have ratified this Constitution, the United States in Congress assembled should fix a Day on which Electors should be appointed by the States which have ratified the same, and a Day on which the Electors should assemble to vote for the President, and the Time and Place for commencing Proceedings under this Constitution. That after such Publication the Electors should be appointed, and the Senators and Representatives elected: That the Electors should meet on the Day fixed for the Election of the President, and should transmit their Votes certified, signed, sealed and directed, as the Constitution requires, to the Secretary of the United States in Congress assembled, that the Senators and Representatives should convene at the Time and Place assigned; that the Senators should appoint a President of the Senate, for the sole purpose of receiving, opening and counting the Votes for President; and, that after he shall be chosen, the Congress, together with the President, should, without Delay, proceed to execute this Constitution.

By the Unanimous Order of the Convention

Go. WASHINGTON — Presidt.
W. JACKSON Secretary.

This does it for the body of the U.S. Constitution, next week we start Amendments!

:Follow me on Twitter @Colierrannd and email me mnorton1972@gmail.com

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Obama vs. His Own: Winning The Campaign

...and there was much rejoicing throughout the Kingdom. The End!

Wait wha...?

Well of course not. It wasn't the end. It wasn't the beginning either. For Democrats it might have been an ending or a beginning, but for conservatives? This was just another moment. Just one small campaign in a larger war. I use the term "war" very purposefully. That's how they see it. It is not how Democrats see it. It certainly is not how Barack Obama sees it. But for conservatives and for real lefty liberals like me, that's exactly what this is.

The modern conservative movement probably starts back in the 1950's with William Buckley, Jr. though obviously it didn't end there and morphed into something else. Buckley was a very libertarian conservative but for a time held very racist views. Then He changed his mind and apologized for it. For example he said he should not have opposed the Civil Rights acts of the '60s. Which is interesting because those same laws also have a bit to do with what I'm doing here so keep them in mind, we'll be returning to them.

At some point the modern conservative movement in the United States split apparently. On one side was the, what I would call, "common sense conservatives" and the radical ones. To differentiate the two think on Buckley's racist attitudes in the '60s. For example, this quote speaking in favor of Southern Segregation:

"the central question that emerges... is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race."

He later disowned this way of thinking but a lot conservatives did not. George Wallace for example. While the split did not rupture and destroy the conservative movement, it did show clear distinction. As Buckley and his brand of conservatism grew up and made slightly more sense, the other side of the conservative coin did not. Think Strom Thurmond.

Now, the other 2 parts of this history that are important to remember is that the "dixie-crats"(Democrats in favor of segregation, again typified by Strom Thurmond) switched sides in that era and became Republicans. The other thing to remember is that passing and signing those civil rights laws did indeed lose the Democrats the south for a generation and more.

Brown v. Board of Education and Roe v. Wade both played pivotal roles in the conservative movement as well. Brown, because of the civil rights acts losing the south for Dems, Roe because at some point some one figured out that you could get god fearing,Christian conservatives to vote for you if you paid lip service to overturning it.

As this all goes on, several members of the GOP start thinking that what they really would love is to control every part of government. One of these is Karl Rove. Rove decides he wants a "permanent Republican Majority" in the House and Senate and he gets to work. When does he start doing this? Immediately. The catch is though that Roves real genius lies in not his intellect but his patience. He understands, even today, that losing the White House sucks, but losing congress was worse. Losing Congress for a term or two though is acceptable. Rove and his brethren begin thinking long term.

One strategy they decided to use, quite effectively, is constant campaigning. Ah, now you see where I'm going right? On Jan. 20th, 1981 Ronald Regan is sworn in as the 40th President of the United States.

On Jan. 21, 1981 the Republicans start campaigning for the 1982 and 1984 elections. I can remember professional asshat Ralph Reed telling one interviewer that for the foreseeable future that the conservative movement would work to be permanent back in the 80's.

In 2006 though, something changed with the Republican party. They lost their majorities in the House and Senate but they also (and I'm not sure who came up with it) decided that they would start campaigning for 2010 starting on election day 2008. Now, the Republicans had learned from back during the 80's and Ralph Reed and Pat Robertson had shown them that you have to run on issues, preferably wedge issues and fear. So from Day 1 of the Obama administration they started taking cues from the wackier elements. And since they were already calling Obama a socialist and questioning his illegitimacy as a president, it was easy to "just say no".

Now, back to Jan. 20,2008. Obama comes in to office and gets to work picking his cabinet, passing bailouts yadda-yadda right? But one thing he does not do is campaign. He's the president, of course he shouldn't be campaigning, right? The Democrats who make up the 111th congress didn't campaign either but the GOP did. And you might be thinking they didn't but they did. How?

Everytime they said "no" to something the Dems wanted passed they then went out and said "See! We're working for you!!" and they were constantly on the attack. They were constantly using these wedge issues to wrangle the common folk into cheering them on. They told the rich that they would lower their taxes and the non-rich that they were protecting their freedom. It was constant.

Meanwhile the Democrats were passing things like the Health Care Reform act. But the versions of the bills they were passing had little resemblance to what they were promised to be or flat out things rejected by the Dem base and liberals. So to be clear, while the GOP,with every vote and action and word, has an eye on what it wants and on it's member's wishes, Dems...not so much.

This isn't always bad. For example if Lyndon Johnson had not bucked his party black people might still be riding the back of buses. But everything the GOP has done in the last 20+ years has screamed to their base "We are working for you!", even if they weren't. The Dem message to it's base has been more convoluted. At least up until 2008. That's when Obama decided he wanted to govern just like the other Democrat presidents had before him. Instead of worrying about the long term he hires Rahm Emmanuell,Peter Orzag,Ben Bernanke etc...While on the campaign trail he talked about wanting to make a difference. Once in office he decided it should be a difference without distinction.

Having been elected on a platform of change, he immediately kept Bush policies in place. Remember when he said he was gonna close Gitmo within a year of taking office? He said that it was immoral and that the United States had lost it's moral high ground. Torture, an unnecessary war in Iraq, and killing of innocents in the war zone.

Remember how the warrantless wiretaps were supposed to go away? That George W. Bush's strong arming of the American people was going away? That the president should NOT be able to classify American citizens as enemy combatants and have them held indefinitely without trial? These were central themes of his campaign to become president. These were central themes of Democratic Party campaigns from 2002 on. This is what got him elected.

But Obama even went a step further by not only classifying one American citizen an enemy combatant, but literally signing a death warrant for him. In letting go of his ideals and promises from the campaign trail and hewing closer to his predecessor's policies he came to be viewed as Bush term 3.

Just in this last year he flipped on off-shore drilling more than once. As Obama kept this up over two years he formed a picture in his base's mind that he was a Republican in Democrat clothes. As the Senate faltered due to a lack of leadership on Harry Reid's part and as Obama is seen as the head of the Democratic Party the base stayed home on Nov. 2,2010. Remember my movie box office analogy? If nothing you want to see is playing at the theater, you stay away. If Democratic party voters see a choice between a Republican and a Republican how can you expect them to come out to vote?

Why did it take until September for Obama to come out really swinging? You can't win elections with just the two months of campaigning. If you try to, you get what happened this year. You have to not just stay engaged, you have to give your base what they want. If 2010 proved anything, it proved that indeed the base does matter. Had Obama's base shown up and voted we would probably be looking at a super-majority for him in both houses of congress.

Campaigning for the next election no longer begins in the spring. It begins the day after the vote. Don't kid yourselves, this Obama Tax Cut For The Wealthy is part of the GOP campaign for 2012. It should have been part of Obama and the Democrats' campaign as well by standing against the GOP. People have to be reminded every second who is on their side.

No, Obama can't control the Senate but he can still campaign like he wants to. Let's hope he realizes his mistake sooner rather than later. Because he's not doing so hot so far in the campaign for his re-election and worse he's hurting Democrat chances in the next vote.

This is part 1 of a series of I don't know how many. I'm wanting to examine the rift between Obama and his base. Next up: avoiding getting shot in the back.

Email me at mnorton1972@gmail.com or follow on Twitter @Colierrannd

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

"Well I'm Not Licked!" Filibuster Reform Is Essential pt 3

I'm feeling like this is my least productive week in a long time. My sinuses and knee are in a constant struggle this week with my brain to see how much I can focus or not. Its a shame I guess with all the stuff going on in Washington and here in Texas, so real quickly let me apologize. I'm working on some articles but I wanted to post SOMETHING positive so here's this.

Sen. Tom Udall of New Mexico is on the filibuster reform bandwagon. I think you all should go check his site out, and call your senator to tell them you want filibuster reform, specifically that if a senator feels so strongly he wants to debate a bill he should have to stand up and plead his case much like Bernie Sanders did last Friday. Remember that while there may or may not be a Christmas break for the Senate, you certainly can still call, write or email then (contactingthecongress.org) and let them know you want this. I think even if you're a Republican you should want this because at some point you're gonna be in the majority again. Plus, how cowardly do you have to be to just hand your leader a note and walk away?

OK, more later on Thursday maybe. I'm working on an article on exactly why liberals are so pissed at the President. Here's a hint: It's not just the tax cut deal.

Follow me on Twitter @Colierrannd and email me mnorton1972@gmail.com

Monday, December 13, 2010

No Sir, It's The "Liberal Media" All Over Again

It took me a while to figure this one out but I think I have and it's a doozy. If you go back and look at several of President Barack Obama's speeches the last week or so, he's continuously said that he has spent the last 2 years getting beat up for being too liberal and not engaging the Republicans enough, and that the fight between him and the Democrats is "the public option all over again". Of course this is false. He invited the Republican leadership to the White House before he invited the Democratic leadership. He sided with the Republicans on off-shore drilling, lack of a public option and even whether there would be terror trials in civilian court. He's bowed to their every whim almost. I mean, has anyone noticed that the prison at Guantanamo Bay is still open? Certainly it seems like the media has forgotten it.

So why in the world is Barack Obama repeating a GOP talking point that he's not worked with them enough when it's clearly not true? Let me digress a bit.

I spent a good part of my time on Twitter this weekend arguing with people who claim that "government isn't the answer, free market is!". And I ran across a couple of interesting arguments from that side of the spectrum. One is "The free market can do better than the government." and (quoting one Tweep) "I'd rather having a private sector health inspector than a government one" (and yes, I pointed out to him the futility of letting a company contract it's own health inspectors). Then one of my Tweeps said this.

I can't let you or any other angry dem say that Obama's worked more w/ the GOP than his base. I KNOW that's bogus

Again, not true (on 2 fronts as I'm not a Democrat) but this person is a reasonable person and knows it's not true. And then one more thing happened this weekend and it all fell into place. Quoting from a Politico article on John Boehner's interview on CBS's 60 Minutes:

In an interview with Leslie Stahl of “60 Minutes” for broadcast Sunday night on CBS, Boehner said Obama showed him “disrespect” by calling him a hostage-taker.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46290.html#ixzz17yzVsLIY

And it triggered something in my brain and damn if I didn't catch it. The GOP has worked the refs again! The term comes from sports. A coach or an athlete will constantly complain to a referee about his unfairness in hopes of getting more favorable rulings. Supposedly the ref in question would think "Well, I don't want to appear biased so..." get it?

The conservative movement did this to great effect to convince the American public that there is a "liberal media bias" over the last 30 years or so. However, there isn't a liberal bias, in fact almost all studies of the subject find that the news media usually comes from center to right.

And so they've done it again! In fact they've been so successful in making Obama look like a raging liberal that even he's believing it now! Remember that little luncheon that Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eddie Haskell...er, I mean Eric Cantor, had with President Obama a couple weeks ago? And when the meeting ended and both sides were in front of cameras away from each other President Obama said how pleasant it was and how productive it was. In fact, again from Politico:

“This is the beginning of a new relationship with leaders in the House and the Senate,” Gibbs told reporters. “I think this is the beginning of a longer-term conversation. I do not expect that we’ll come out, after an hour or an hour and a half, and have full agreement on this. I think — I hope — there’s agreement on the notion of how important it is to get this done by the end of the year.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/45710.html#ixzz17z3XCAm0

But Eric Cantor sticks to the party line. At 3:19:

While he's quoting Obama he's clearly also re-enforcing the talking point that the GOP wants you to know, that Obama doesn't work with the Republicans in the Congress.

Two of the people I debated on Twitter who said they wanted private health inspectors have bought the GOP line that it's regulation that drove jobs out of the country and not tax breaks for companies that did so.

Here's what the GOP version of "working with Democrats" looks like:

Stop buying the conservative spin people. You're the ref. They are working you.

Follow me on Twitter @Colierrannd or email me mnorton1972@gmail.com

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Constitution Saturday! Articles IV & V

Article. IV.

Section. 1. Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

Section. 2. The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on Demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due [Modified by Amendment XIII].

Section. 3. New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Section. 4. The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened), against domestic Violence.

Article. V.

The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress; Provided that no Amendment which may be made prior to the Year One thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any Manner affect the first and fourth Clauses in the Ninth Section of the first Article; and that no State, without its Consent, shall be deprived of its equal Suffrage in the Senate [Possibly abrogated by Amendment XVII].

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thank You Sen. Collins

Senator Collins,
The other day I posted an open letter to you, asking you not to allow the wishes of your party to have their way on taxes to stand in way of doing the right thing as regards DADT repeal. While there may be bumps along the way to final passage, you were good enough to vote for cloture today, Thursday Dec. 9,2010, even though the tax package hasn't come up for a vote. I would like to think had the vote been taken that you would vote for repeal and so I am taking the time to say Thank You. Thanks for doing the right thing, I'm sure you're hearing about it from the GOP side. While I am a proud liberal and will probably have lots to disagree with you on in the future, I believe in recognizing when anyone does the right thing. So again, thanks.

Happy Holidays,
Michael J Norton

P.S. A small favor if you will...if you haven't yet, please try to convince your fellow Republicans that DADT repeal is not only the right thing to do but will help the jobs numbers.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reality = Perception, my latest on blogdog

I just posted to blogdog. Go have a look, it's called "Perception = Reality. Every. Single. Time"

Musical Guest Chuck Berry!

Sorry I'm late with this. Here's Chuck with "Maybelline"

Monday, December 6, 2010

Musical Guest Chuck Berry!

Kicking off a week of Chuck Berry tunes, here's Chuck playing his most famous number. You might recognize the guy he talks to. I think he used to be in a band...

And this is my personal favorite Chuck Berry tune, "Roll Over Beethoven".

Enjoy and follow me on Twitter @Colierrannd or email me mnorton1972@gmail.com

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Constitution Sunday! Article III

Apologies for this being a day late. Luckily Article III of the US Constitution isn't very long. That said, considering it deals with the Judicial branch it's still vital reading. Enjoy!

Article. III.

Section. 1. The judicial Power of the United States shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2. The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; — to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; — to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; — to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; — to Controversies between two or more States; — between a State and Citizens of another State [Modified by Amendment XI]; — between Citizens of different States; — between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

Section. 3. Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

The Congress shall have Power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Dear Senator Collins

The following is an open letter in response to Senator Susan Collins(R-Maine)'s press release concerning DADT repeal that can be found here.

Dear Senator,
I do hope this letter finds you and your family in the best of happy holidays and good health. I really do. Because there's an issue that needs addressing and I'm thinking you might be the absolute best person to address it. Having been a United States Senator since 1996 and the 15th woman voted to the US Senate in your own right (per your nifty website) I know you understand questions of equality.

In this time of economic uncertainty and with unemployment at such a high level, I know you are looking for ways of allowing US citizens to not only get jobs but keep them as well, right? I mean, that's a common goal whether you have a "D" or a "R" or an "I" by your name, right? So it is striking me as a tad odd that in your press release concerning your intention to vote for the repeal of the atrocious "Don't Ask,Don't Tell" law, that you appear to put partisan politics over a question of fair equality and job retention.

I was looking for a picture of you for this open letter, you know it spruces up a weblog post, and I found the one above. And I thought, "Ya know, Senator Collins is certainly a fair person, right? And she tries to be compassionate I'm sure....I don't think she'd be willing to tell the young man above that he can't be a cop because he's black, just so her political party could score points against the President." I hope I'm right on that.

Senator Collins you and this 111th Congress have a unique opportunity to overturn bigotry in this country. To push back on the unemployment rate (as after all if a gay person is kicked out of the military they are unemployed) and quite frankly just do the right thing, politics be damned.

Don't add caveats to your vote. Do it. Vote. Now. Make a positive difference, please.

Michael J. Norton, Houston,TX.

Sen. Collins or anyone else can email me at mnorton1972@gmail.com
and follow me on Twitter at @Colierrannd.

Hysteria Week!

Admittedly I have a love/hate thing with this song. After all, it's the biggest song from the album, it's the one song the album is known for. It's a great song but...it is kind of tiring when I mention the album is my favorite and this song gets pointed out. After all, it's not my favorite nor is it even the best song on the album (Gods of War anybody?) but it is what my friend Jerad calls "a pantydropper". Let's face it, aside from Motley Crue's "Girls,Girls,Girls" more strippers have danced to this song than probably any other. So for all those girls "going to college to become a physical therapist" LOL....

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hysteria Week!

The original video for the first US single off the album, this is the opening song "Women".

How Bobby Darin Can Save Our Democracy (or Filibuster Reform Is Essential pt.2)

One of my favorite films of the past decade was Kevin Spacey's Beyond The Sea. A biopic of the criminally under-appreciated, at least nowadays, Bobby Darin. Darin was primarily known for pop/jazz tunes. He is most famous for "Mack The Knife" and "Beyond The Sea". But as he got a bit older and more introspective he wanted to do something different. He started thinking there was a way to use his music to make a real change in the world. So in the film he starts off writing these protest songs and these really deep and frankly fantastic songs. He grew his hair out a bit and became something of a hippy, you might say. But audiences rejected him. They wanted the guy in the suit who sang "Mack The Knife" and made them feel good. And Darin comes to the conclusion that "people hear what they see". That essentially people need to see something in front of them that is sort of familiar and comforting. And so he developed "Simple Song of Freedom" into a more Vegas-like number and it became a hit. Here he is singing it on tv, it's one of my favorite songs.

Sooo...remember this from yesterday(Wednesday's Rachel Maddow)?

See the main reason Republicans have been getting away with their obstruction is because no one sees them do it. Even hearing "Well, the Republicans filibustered such-and-such bill" doesn't make it tangible enough. I've been really hard on Sen. Harry Reid and his willingness to back down whenever the GOP looks at him funny and I still think I'm justified for most of it. But if what Sen. Jeff Merkley is saying is true and that even if they are actually filibustering and no one is able to see them do it, well then I owe Sen. Reid an apology on that.

So let's start here. Let's make all Senators have to take their stand and make a point. Wanna filibuster? Be willing to stand up and make it happen.

Start at http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ find your Senator and tell them to support eitherJeff Merkley(D-Oregon)'s proposal or Tom Udall(D-NM)'s or both. This is our chance to take action. The new Senate rules will be adopted in January, we'll need to start pushing the members to vote for this now, so come Jan. 5th, the first day of the new Congress, they will vote for our Democracy. Let this be our next step!

I need to know how to set up a widget or something on here so you can more easily contact your Congresspersons from here. Also how best to put a petition together. If anyone can help, it'd be appreciated it.

Email me mnorton1972@gmail.com
Follow me on Twitter @Colierrannd

Filibuster Reform Is Essential

Watch this.

Want a more liberal United States? I do. This is essential. I need you to start blogging this video. If we're ever going to get past the 60 vote rule in the Senate we need to be able to make it so people can see who is blocking votes and why.

Want a more conservative United States? I don't but if you do, this is still essential. And it's fair. If you have the guts to withhold unemployment benefits or don't want to give children nutrition shouldn't you have to say why?

More to come.

Follow me on Twitter @Colierrannd
Email me mnorton1972@gmail.com

Hysteria Week!

OK so I found this and while I wouldn't have chosen Tomb Raider as a theme, I can't help but be impressed by the editing. "Don't Shoot Shotgun" was not a single, as I recall, but it is one of the upbeat tracks and frankly I kinda prefer it to "Love Bites" but then again I almost always will prefer upbeat over slow. Just my nature.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hysteria Week!

Continuing my favorite album ever, 2 vids! First up, the title track. It's gorgeous isn't it?

And a B-side cut, maybe my favorite Def Leppard song ever. This was the B-Side to the single "Women". It is called "Tear It Down". It was re-recorded for their "Adrenalize" cd but the first is my favorite version. Here they are at the 1989 Mtv VMAs performing it.

The 2010 Election Was Friday Night At The Movies

I keep hearing this line from the media and the President, Democrats and Republicans. It goes something like this:

"The American people spoke out loud and clear that they wish us, Democrat and Republican, to reach across the aisle and work together to solve the nation's problems."

It's become so pro forma that even though I'm not intending to quote anyone word for word I'd bet you could find that exact phrase spoken by at least one of each party somewhere word for word. It's like a script. And...it sounds fake. It sounds bland and it sounds like a conclusion that elected officials, especially with "D" by their name, came to well before the actual voting took place. But here's the thing. They're all wrong!

As long as I can remember, I have consistently heard the same question every election cycle. "This is it? This is our choice?" In fact you hear it as much as you hear "Would you like fries with that?".

A quick Google around the net shows that voting among most groups was down, but especially in the younger voters demographics. I propose that the reason for this is simple. Much like a Friday night where nothing playing at the local cinema appeals, they stayed home. Why would you go stand in line, pay for a ticket and overpriced popcorn just to see a movie you weren't very interested in to begin with? The same thing applies to elections.

In Texas, our two choices for Governor this year was one rich white guy and one rich white guy. Neither were distinguishable from the other except rich white guy wants us to secede and rich white guy didn't. In the Congressional elections we had group of conservatives who want to gut government verses group of moderates who want to allow conservatives to gut government. I mean, that's what we saw every day. Capitulate, capitulate, capitulate with a dash of capitulate.

The reason none of them appealed wasn't just the color of the candidates' skin or their sex (see how much Michael Steele and Sarah Palin helped the GOP win the Presidency huh?). It was because there was no choice for liberals. All we saw was a party who wanted to throw people out in the cold and a party that appeared to want to hand you a blanket as you were being kicked out.

So it begs the question, if you capitulated to your opponents again and again and again and again, and you lost your majority in the House, why would you keep capitulating after the election?

Email me mnorton1972@gmail.com
Follow me on Twitter @Colierrannd

Hysteria Week!

The second single off Hysteria and the Def Leppard's first UK # 1 single ever, "Animal" contains one of my very favorite solos by Phil Collen. Phil is without a doubt one of the best guitarists in rock that isn't called a Guitar God. I still have no idea why. Want proof? I present this live version of "Animal" from The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert.

And from the "In The Round, In Your Face" concert film. Phil's solo.