As I’ve stated in the past, I’m a pragmatic liberal. Some of that pragmatism comes from my experiences in various situations, while the rest of it comes from my background in science. Get involved in enough projects that end up being of the “up to your ass in alligators” type, finding out that the plans you were given won’t work or don’t do what they were supposed to, and you become a fan of “what works.” From the sciences, it was the times spent coming up with a great hypothesis, only to have the actual experimental data totally destroy it. The result is that I tend to be not quite cynical, but definitely willing to question things. I want to see the data, and I want to see if or how something works. If the data doesn’t back it up, or it’s not working, I’m willing to chuck it and go with something else. The opposite to that is … faith.
There was an op-ed this weekend from the authors of the GOP’s “Growth and Opportunity Project” which amounted to a large amount of text patting themselves (and the Party) over it after a year. “It’s going so well!” is the general gist.
While the report provided recommendations on what the party at large needed to do, we’re pleased to see that the RNC has made tremendous progress on many of our recommendations in the course of the past year. Likewise, many of the other party committees and outside groups have also embraced aspects of the report and should be commended for their progress.
Which would be nice, except for a little problem. None of the policy recommendations in that report have been acted upon, in fact, mostly put into the dumpster.
I’ve been interested in history for a good part of my life. Besides taking history courses in school and reading on my own, there were also history lessons imbedded in many of my other classes. That’s why I understand that regulations are necessary. There were reasons we have antitrust acts. There were reasons why we regulate food, drugs, and cosmetics. There were reasons we have banking and financial regulations. There were reasons why we have environmental regulations. There were reasons we have building codes, fire regulations, occupational safety regulations, and a host of others. The reasons? Large numbers of very painful lessons that were taught before those regulations came to be.
Over the past few months, federal and state courts have been finding that state bans on marriage equality or recognizing LGBT marriages are unconstitutional. Utah was the first, and it’s since been followed by Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, Kentucky, and New Mexico. While most of these are being appealed, Virginia’s is not, and in Kentucky, the Attorney General has refused to appeal, so an outside counsel will be used. In reaction, several states are attempting “religious freedom” bills to allow people to refuse LGBT’s on the basis of “religious objections.” Arizona, Kansas, and Indiana have all attempted it, with … poor results. Arizona’s governor vetoed the bill after massive backlash, while Kansas and Indiana allowed their bills to die in the legislatures. It’s not unexpected that there is going to be this sort of reaction, particularly in the “Red States,” where Republicans hold control and are acting on their base’s demands.
Recently, the Defense Department announced its plan to reduce military forces, due to the coming end of our involvement in Afghanistan, and reductions in budgets.
“It’s the first budget that’s not a budget based on war footing. We’ve been at war for 13 years constantly, two wars,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “Not unlike after every war the United States has been in, you reset your posture. You reset your assets. You reset your whole enterprise based on the new realities and based on preparing that institution for the challenges of the future. “
Hagel also placed part of the blame for the proposed shifts in spending on Congress.
Quite predictably, the Republicans started to scream about the cuts in forces.