1. Wikileaks; as a liberal, what is the party line I am supposed to follow here?
It seems there is one thing Americans of all political stripes have found something they can agree on; Julian Assange. Politicians and pundits hate him. My personal views are more nuanced. Few ideas reside closer to my heart than freedom of the press. I may not like that these documents were published but Mr. Assange is not the bad guy here. Neither is the New York Times. There is a villain here and that’s the guy who pretended to be downloading Lady Gaga and was really trolling for secrets to share with world. A secondary villain is the piss poor security that let this guy access all these cables in the first place.
Mr. Assange seems to be a bit of a douchebag; arrogant and possibly delusional. I do not share his worldview but that does not invalidate his right to have it. US politicians have no business calling an Australian citizen that he is a traitor for leaking anti-US documents. I also find it ironic that some people who fear the coming of a ‘one world government’ are under the impression that non-US citizens who don’t live in this country can possibly commit treason against us. I have no idea if he is guilty of the crimes Sweeden has charged him with but see no reason for him not to face them. It would not make sense for any court on the planet to send him to this country. It is pretty clear that he would never receive anything close to a fair hearing here. We are just pissed off that we are embarrassed.
The New York Times also seems to have tried to be as responsible as possible when it came to what documents they released and what information was redacted. Our system of government relies on the ability of the press to print the information they receive. Again, it is not their job to keep US government secrets hidden away. That’s the government’s job.
I read today that someone leaked tons of credit cards as a protest against any action against Mr. Assange. Again, I am all about the freedom of the press but leave my personal credit information out of your protest, please. That’s identity theft and your outrage does not justify this.
2. Tax cuts for everyone!
I think President Obama is doing pretty good job. I feel like when he took office he faced what I like to call a Himalayan array of problems; each is gigantic when looked at independently but not so much when compared with each other.
My final verdict on the tax cut plan that the White House has worked out with some in Congress is both the best deal he was going to get and a little too far. Well, not too far but too far, too fast. I think the deal on the tax cuts for the uber-wealthy might have been a necessary evil but I would have liked him to publicly fight it. I think Joe Scarborough has been dead on about this. I would have liked to have heard him use the term hostage a week ago. Truthfully, I would like to have heard that before the election. Here’s the exact wording I would have liked to hear, “As a candidate for president, I said that I oppose the tax cuts for people making over $250,000 a year. I understand that the definition of wealthy differs in areas of the country where the cost of living is high. I have asked the Republicans to consider extending all the tax cuts but those on individuals making more than $1 million a year. They have refused to even discuss this and are threatening to hold tax cuts for the middle class hostage. We cannot let them.”
That would not have guaranteed anything but would have made the lefties among us feel like he remembers who elected him. It also may have made if this package was the best they could do, that the lefties in Congress could support this.
This is a minor point, really in the overall scheme of things. Even more minor is one problem I did have with President Obama’s press statement. He said “if they are (wondering) if I am itching for a fight I suspect they will find that I am.” You suspect. YOU don’t know if YOU are ready for a fight? Seriously. You should have a clearer idea of what is going on in own head.
3. Can we all agree that we all want the economy to create more jobs? Can we get our politicians to skip to the part where they tell us what they propose we DO to make that happen?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering running for president. Today he gave a speech in which he railed against Washington gridlock, partisan bickering and reiterated his desire to see the economy grow. He was short on specifics and long on rhetoric. It may not be fair to signal him out for something all candidates or would be candidates do but something about this speech got under my skin. I wish we could just stipulate that we all want the economy to improve, kittens are cute and all humans are mammals and just get on with our lives.