Tag Archives: House of Representatives

Is Joe Wilson’s “You Lie” Worth a Reprimand?

Before this day is done, we’ll know if the House of Representatives cares as much about decorum as the US Tennis Association.

Rep. Joe Wilson’s “You lie!” during President Barack Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress is the issue at hand. Wilson apologized, just like Serena Williams did for her outburst at the US Open. Question is, are apologies good enough?

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House Democrats apparently don’t think so, at least not some of them. Despite Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s statement last Thursday that it was time to move on, there are those who think stronger action is needed. Wilson’s colleague from South Carolina, Rep. Jim Clyburn is one of them. He believes that Wilson’s outburst is part of a larger agenda. That is, to delegitimize Obama as President.

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The congressman has a point. After all, if you can shout at a president during a speech, doesn’t that legitimize the tea parties, the birthers, the people who call Obama a Nazi?

Wasn’t Joe Wilson speaking for them? In less than a week since Wilson’s outburst, “You Lie!” t-shirts are turning up. Right wing gasbags on television and radio have turned handstands trying to kiss up to this guy.

Why? Because, like the fake controversy over Obama’s speech to school kids, Joe Wilson is the wind beneath the right’s wings. Whether he apologizes on the house floor is irrelevant to them. He’s the poster boy for all they believe about this President. Most of them wouldn’t agree with Barack Obama if he was giving the Congressional Medal of Freedom to their mama. By way of nuance, I don’t agree with everything Barack Obama does or says. Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s recent trip to New York City reminded me that his position on health care reform is a lot closer to mine than the President’s is. Ramping up troop strength in Afghanistan isn’t what I’d do if I were in his shoes. I could go on, but here’s the important part. I respect the office of the President of the United States. I did when GW Bush held it, and I do now.

The Joe Wilsons of the world apparently do not. Not at least when someone they disagree with is the most powerful person in the world. Wilson himself says one apology is enough, and that he won’t apologize a second time on the House floor. For that, a resolution of disapproval is certainly in order.

Hey, congressman, you said it in front of your colleagues, now say sorry in front of the same group. As they say in the Bronx, “Act like ya got some respect!”

What do you think? Should the House pass a resolution of disapproval against Joe Wilson?

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Economy? Who cares…

You may have noticed, as I have, that our politicians seem to have stopped talking about the economy.

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Nope, what Nancy Pelosi knew and when she knew it…Dick Cheney’s trash talk…and whether US prisons can house terrorists …seems to have blown economic news right off the front pages.

The question is, did somebody fix things while the rest of us weren’t looking, or is our attention being diverted for a reason?

Cynic that I am, I choose the latter. Take a look around, America. While things may have bottomed out, they certainly haven’t gotten better. And here’s a telling statistic for you. Last year, there were about 1.7 applicants for every available job. Right now that number is 4.8 applicants. That means those who have been thrown out of work are facing daunting obstacles to finding a new job, even if they’re good at what they do.

Chances are, there are four other people just as good who have sent their resumes to that same HR department. And that’s a single stat. Expand that outward and what you see is a wholesale scramble to reinvent or reset job skills to fit a fast changing market.

But how much do we read or know about the struggles of the everyday working person, or person seeking work?

Hey, that’s not important, pal! Ridiculous arguments about who’s calling the CIA liars (which, by the way, GOP Pelosi stalker Pete Hoekstra actually did), now that’s important.

Barack Obama making the mistake of getting into a spitting match with Dick Cheney (Dick Cheney!!!) over national security is what we ought to spend our time contemplating this Memorial Day Weekend.

Oh, and by the way, our lawmakers don’t just take Monday off. They’re off the whole week! And the House calls it the Memorial Day District Work Period, and they do so with a straight face. The economy, health care, climate change, they’ll all keep until Congress returns. And when it does, we’ll hear more about Republicans wanting a full blown probe of Nancy Pelosi.

Houston, we have a problem. It’s called MISPLACED PRIORITIES. America has a long way to go before the major work that needs to be done to fix things is even halfway finished. When Congress returns, how about they grow a spine and tell Republicans we have a list of terrorists being held in US prisons as long as your arm already. They include everyone from shoe bomber Richard Reid to 20th hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui to American Taliban John Walker Lindh.

Keeping GITMO open or jobs for the American unemployed, which is the Republican priority? Providing health care to those who don’t have it, or trying to gut Nancy Pelosi?

There are choices, aren’t there?

Which topic do you think should be headline news?

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