How quickly things change. Less than two years ago we were ecstatic having definitively swept the stench and legacy of the Bush years from the White House…
With a progressive Democratic president and control of Congress so much was possible. A brilliant and inspiring leader, the first African American president made us proud to be Americans for the first time in a long while.
We might have seen the stage being set when Congressman Joe Wilson shouted out that President Obama was a liar at his first state of the union address. The Tea Party came out of the woodwork and quickly gained control of the Republican party which made its sole mission the failure and embarrassment of the President. Then the health care debate and debacle of the “town hall” meetings. Next the full brunt of the failed Bush economic policies and the havoc they wreaked on the U.S. and world economies. It’s been relentless. But for the most part, President Obama, while trying way too hard to make peace with the Republican hate machine and tending to compromise where they vowed they never would, managed to accomplish quite a bit and keep the progressive focus alive.
But the battle over the extension of the Bush tax cuts to millionaires is a signature issue that most Democrats see as a defining moment. Regardless of what was gotten in return, Obama made a significant strategic error and continues to compound it by venting his frustration at his supporters rather than the Republicans who are perfectly willing to hold hostage the fate of unemployed Americans desperately in need of a lifeline. This unfolding story is several days old by the time this issue hits the ether streets – the latest news is that Bernie Sanders (bless his heart) is filibustering against the bill and petitions are circulating on the web by Obama’s progressive base to express their frustration.
I’ve been supporting Democratic causes for as long as I can remember, but for me this was the straw that broke the progressives’ back. Tax cuts for millionaires is not a stimulus for the economy…It’s Time to Look in the Mirror and stick to the principles that got progressive Democrats elected.
I know how depressing this is (it is to me anyway) so if you’ve managed to stay with me so far, the rest of Issue 13 is a bit on the lighter side… we saw a creative and intelligent production of an old Noel Coward play/movie, Brief Encounter at the Roundabout Theater last week, which is highly recommended. While the story is of a tortuous illicit love affair it is fueled by an inventive and at times, hillarious production.
The Gadget Guru is back with a review of another often overlooked marvel of (previously) modern technology, focusing on (drum roll please) The Can Opener. Just as the wheel has undergone numerous reinventions, so too has the simple device in your kitchen junk drawer and I am proud to say I have acquired the very latest in can opening design and technology.
[What you are about to read relates to the format of the old Opinion8ed site] Some of you have commented that the ever-present menu tab on the left side of the screen was growing way out of control and was beginning to resemble a Grade B Japanese monster movie beast that lives in the sewer. So I considered what could be done about it and have come up with both long-term and short-term design template upgrade strategies. Since others of you (i.e., my son) suggested that the graphical design of Opinion8ed, well.. “sucks” is how it was conveyed, I’m looking into alternative web site hosts and software to rebuild from the ground up. That will be a rather large and time consuming project which may or may not get done sometime in the future.
So for the time being I decided to take the site to Earl Scheib for his $29.95 special paint job and makeover. You’ll notice that the list of 67 menu tabs has been shrunk to a much more manageable total of 22 tabs by grouping the back issues material by content. When you click on the Theater review tab for example, you’ll get a page that links you to all of the reviews in that category. Pretty sure you’ll be able to figure it out. I also kept the What’s New pages in tact so you can still find things in the “tradional” manner. I didn’t start publishing that summary page until Issue 6, so for earlier articles you’ll need to reach them via the the content tabs.
After sorting through the hundreds of entries in the Issue 12 Photo Caption Contest our judges have selected a winner (and runner up) – see below…
THIS JUST IN: Progressive Democratic Congressman (NY1) was officially declared the winner over Tea Party Republican Randy Altschuler. This is great news! It was incredibly close howerver: Bishop won by 593 votes out of more than 194,000 votes cast (0.3%). For more on Congressman Bishop see previously posted: Why Tim Bishop Needs Your Help
Contest Winner: Looks like the Gadget Guru opened too many bottles with his rabbit corkscrew and created a monster on the deck. My guess: it’s a picture of: The new Weber-Gorilla mag-lev SLR tripod-based camera, with a shutter button you can’t miss.- R. Backbonebelly
Runner-up: Coming or going? Chris T.