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Posted by on Nov 5, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 8 comments

Is President Obama Really a Socialist? — I Wish!

 president-obama-socialism

 

Right-wing wackos love to call President Obama a “socialist” — as though that’s a bad thing.

Frightened flag-waving bigots tend to use interchangeable buzz words — socialist, communist, marxist — without having the slightest understanding of what these terms really mean.

So, let’s take a closer look, shall we?  Let’s examine state of modern socialism in the world, circa 2012.

Where to begin?

Too bad there aren’t nations we could look to as prime examples.  Too bad there aren’t nations with the kinds of policies we American progressives are fighting for — like universal health coverage, higher taxes on the wealthy and big corporations, increased spending on infrastructure including mass transit, deeper cuts in military and defense, increased government regulation of businesses, and protection for the environment.  It sure would be nice to see where nations that have those kinds of policies rank in all kinds of different categories.

Oh wait.

There are nations like that in the world?

So, where do these socialist-leaning nations rank?  More important, where do we rank?

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Posted by on Nov 5, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 0 comments

2012 Election Day — Nolan Dalla Endorsements

republicans-democrats, election endorsements

 

Tuesday is Election Day.

For those of you who didn’t vote early — Tuesday, November 6th becomes your last chance to vote in this year’s election.

I live and vote in Nevada, which is considered a “swing state.”  This year Nevada residents have the added motivation of casting ballots that could actually make a difference in the presidential election.  But even those who reside in less-competitive states should vote, as the ballots cast in other races (especially House and Senate races) will go a long way towards determining the direction of our country.

Here are my endorsements:

 

U.S. PRESIDENT:  BARACK OBAMA / U.S. VICE PRESIDENT:  JOSEPH BIDEN

During his first term, President Obama governed from the political center — much to the chagrin of (we) progressives who hoped for a transformational leader.  At key moments — particularly when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress during his first two years — the President pretty much abandoned the fight for real change — including pushing for nationalized health care, disengagement from foreign conflicts, increased federal oversight of Wall Street, expanding environmental protections, and a determination to champion causes that require a political street fight.  To his credit, the stimulous stopped the bleeding and turned what might have been a catastrophie around after years of gross negligence on virtually every federal matter, reversing the steps which led to the economic meltdown of 2008 (though he still hasn’t gone nearly far enough).  But frankly, I still don’t trust the Obama Administration to advance the liberal agenda.  He’s clearly enjoying he perks of the office and governs as a moderate — and anyone who thinks otherwise is simply a fool who has not looked at the record.  But the alternative to a second Obama term is far worse than the current gridlock.

Conversely, a possible Romney Administration would likely be a replay of the period of decline during the later Bush years, when government totally abandoned its responsibilities and let major corporations and financial institutions trample roughshod over the working class, generating a false bubble boom, thus revealing the utter failure of “trickle-down economics.”  There’s nothing to indicate a President Romney would “create jobs” as he so claims, unless he’s talking about continuing to incentivize outsourcing to other nations, while our nation’s middle and lower classes struggle.  Romney’s positions on foreign policy are not only grossly naive, but utterly frightening — as was revealed in his meandering deer-in-the-headlights flop during the third presidential debate.  Then, there’s his 1950-era social policies and the prospects of a Romney Administration picking perhaps two Supreme Court justices, which would be heavily influenced by the far-right, led by the neanderthal types like Focus on the Family.  Romney is not necessarily an evil man, but those who would lead his Administration are very much bad people — from the neo-conservative chicken-hawk war-mongers who bang the drums of conflict abroad so their buddies in the killing business can get wealthy, to the super-rich on Wall Street who want to self-regulate and let “market forces police themselves.”  Romney’s vision of America is terrifying prospect, unless you happen to be a well-connected White male making in excess of $250,000-a-year with no conscious.

All things considered, President Obama gets my mixed endorsement and vote.

 

NEVADA — U.S. SENATE:  NO ENDORSEMENT

The race between incumbent Sen. Dean Heller (R) and Rep. Shelley Berkley (D) poses a tough dilemma.  On one hand as a proud liberal — purely by the issues — I prefer that the U.S. Senate remain in Democratic control.  Trouble is, Democrat leadership in the Senate has been ATROCIOUS.  From the downright awful Harry Reid to Barbara Boxer to Diane Feinstein to the multitude of milquetoast phony liberals who hold leadership positions in the Senate, they are all an embarrassment to real progressive politics.  These Democrats are little more than “Republican Lite” when it comes to economic and foreign policy.  I would prefer to see 100 Bernie Sanders (I-VT) occupy the U.S. Senate, but that’s not going to happen.  There’s nothing compelling about Rep. Berkley that would indicate she’d be any different than any of those horrible legislators who desperately need to be replaced in the U.S. Senate.  Then, there are Rep. Berkley’s ethics violations currently being investigated which are a concern (question — did she really take a trip to Italy on the taxpayer dime and charge $55,000 to the treasury?).  It also troubles me that Rep. Berkley has been making a lot money these past few years buying up foreclosed homes in Nevada.  There’s nothing wrong with making money for good old-fashioned hard work, but it strikes me as bad form to be profiting from the misery of a lot of her fellow Nevadans.  As for a few litmus-test issues — to her credit, she’s been a staunch proponent of legalizing online gambling and poker.  But then, so has her opponent in this race — Sen. Dean Heller.  One litmus tipping point that keeps me off the “Berkley for Senate” bandwagon is her rabidly one-sided views in the Middle East, for which she’s been given a 100 score by AIPAC.  There’s no way I can support such a candidate.  I prefer to see a more open dialogue with all parties (the Senate has a powerful role in foreign policy) and the prospect of a Sen. Berkley sitting on the Foreign Relations Committee is troublesome.  Even thought I’ve met him and very much like him personally, I can’t pull the lever for Sen. Heller for obvious reasons.  So, with some regret — I hereby withhold my endorsement of either major candidate in this race.

 

NEVADA — 4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT:  JOHN OCEGUERA (DEMOCRAT)

This is a new congressional seat.  But the same area of representation has been filled with incompetent leadership for years, in large part because neither party seems to be able to hold it from one election to the next, thus stripping away any possibility of accumulating much-needed seniority when it comes to gaining powerful committee assignments.  Jon Porter (R) was an horrific congressman (he was violently anti-online poker and gambling, until the casino industry kicked him in the ass and he did an about-face).  Next, the utterly repulsive do-nothing Democrat Dina Titus, a Georgia transplant, essentially stunk up the office for two years before she was booted out in the predictable electoral backlash of 2010, when Republicans enjoyed a landslide victory in many House races.  Now, Rep. Joe Heck seems to enjoy the advantage of being a relatively popular incumbent, especially for what’s considered as a swing district.  I’ve seen much worse within the Republican Party than Heck, so I’m not strongly opposed to his candidacy.  However, John Oceguera is the Speaker of the Nevada Assembly and certainly has the pedigree to be an effective leader in Congress.  He appears to be one of the more progressive candidates running anywhere in Nevada (which despite its reputation is actually a pretty conservative, libertarian-leaning state), which is perhaps one reason he’s down in the polls by ten points.  I admire candidates who stick to their principles and don’t head for the political center during the election cycle, and this display of courage wins Oceaguera my endorsement in this election.  He’s unlikely to win anything other than a respectable finish, which might lead to a repeat run in the future.

 

OTHER RACES:  NO ENDORSEMENTS

There are dozens of other races listed on the ballot — for state assembly, state senate, the courts, and other races.  I tend to pass on these races because I do not know the candidates (or in many cases) the specific issues relevant to the race.  I’m appalled that many of these races are partisan contests (where officials must designate themselves as Republicans or Democrats, even though the position has little to do with partisanship), and many voters simply vote a “straight-party” ticket.  That strikes me as a lazy, almost criminal abdication of civic responsibility.  Just as I encourage citizens who do not follow politics to STAY HOME and DO NOT VOTE — by the same measure of consistency, I apply those same standards to my own voting.  If I know nothing about a race, I will not pull a lever for any of the candidates.  I encourage you to do the same and pass on these elections, which are too often decided by partisanship or the ethnicity of last names. [SEE FOOTNOTE BELOW]

 

Nolan Dalla

November 5, 2012

 

FOOTNOTE:  In past elections, I have voted for many third-party candidates purely as a protest to the two-party system.  I have done so in races when I knew little about the candidates or the race.  As a matter of principle, voting “third party” does serve a noble purpose, which is to erode the lock of corruption that the two major parties have on the political process  Hence, I encourage third-party voting if you have that opportunity and agree that more voices and points of view need to be represented in positions of leadership.

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Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 1 comment

Mitt Romney’s “Captain Queeg” Moment

the-caine-mutiny-photo

 

There was a moment in last night’s debate when Mitt Romney’s aspirations of becoming the 45th President of the United States came to a shattering end.

Perhaps the worst was a rambling, waffling, embarrassing, and thoroughly revealing two-minute soliloquy towards the end of the duel when Romney was utterly exposed — not just as a pretty little deer caught in the headlights– but as what will mercifully become political road kill come November 6th.

Unable to lay a glove on the chin of a heavyweght champion with a stellar foreign policy record (thanks in large part to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s masterful stewardship), Romney increasingly found himself in agreement with many of the President’s policies, as the night wore on.

It became apparent to millions of Americans watching that the Republican nominee is so thoroughly inept when it comes to international affairs, that he would essentially outsource his entire foreign policy to the same group of neo-conservative zealots (those who make up his current crop of advisors) who slapped us with two unnessary wars costing our nation a terrible loss of lives and treasure, while enriching their buddies like Blackwater who are entrenched in the ultra-lucrative killing business.

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Posted by on Oct 22, 2012 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 9 comments

Masters of Hate — The Conservative Disinformation Campaign

Stupid Tea Baggers

 

Conservatives love to hate President Obama.

They’re willing to resort to any means necessary to defeat the incumbent President.

They will lie.  They will cheat.  They will steal.  And, then when that’s not enough to produce a voting majority, they’ll lie even more.

Consider the wacko disinformation campaign that’s been blasted from one inbox to another over the Internet ever since the name “Barack Obama” surfaced as a serious Presidential candidate, some five years ago.  Since then, we’ve witnessed a toxic assembly line of lies almost always consisting of fabricated junk meant to create confusion and hatred for the President — about his intentions, about his character, even about his patriotism and nationality.  I suspect that most of you reading today’s column have received these same emails occasionally, which are essentially nothing more than political garbage.

Invariably, they are easily debunked as completely false.  Most of the time, a ten-second Google search reveals most of this stuff is quite simply made up.  Yet, just as it’s difficult to scrub the ring out of a toilet bowl, the filthy concoction of lies continues to get passed from one scared little person to another, circling around in the right wing’s sewer pipes, pumped from one fanatic to the next.

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Posted by on Oct 17, 2012 in Blog, Politics | 1 comment

Binders Full of Women?

Binders Full of Women

 

It was priceless.

A comedian’s dream.

A pundits paradise.

And quite possilby the single four-word phrase that might torpdeo Mitt Romney’s last chance to win the U.S. Presidency.

In case you missed it, in last night’s presidential debate, Romney was asked in a town hall format about how his presumptive adminstration might provide and protect equal opportuities and pay for women.

For veteran politicians, these are pretty standard run-of-the-mill questions that have been asked numerous times by the public and media alike, which are easy to address.  They are political softballs, tailor made to be smacked out to the park by any savvy candidate.

In his rambling two-minute answer, Romney alluded to his first few days as Governor of Massachusetts, when he was eager to staff several key executive vacancies in his new adminstration.  No doubt, Romney intended to demonstrate a commitment to equal opportunity and pay for women.  Instead, he pulled back a symbolic curtain of sorts, unmasking himself to be anything other than an equal opportunity “Oz” in the increasingly bubble-prone Mitt Fantasyland.

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