Archive for obama

Cleavage on Senate Reform

Posted in fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2013 by cliffmichaels

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Because of inclement weather I did not get the liberal talking points yesterday. If the following comments are not in step with current liberal doctrine I will profusely apologize, delete this post (replacing it with a hagiographic review of Joe Biden’s Vice-Presidency), and report to the nearest re-education camp with only my Streisand CDs, little red book of Paul Krugman’s sayings, and  my ragged biodegradable burlap bag of Arugula (and other green plant like material).

Many progressives are distraught Harry Reid bailed on real filibuster reform this week. The Senate will only make modest changes agreeable to the Republicans. In other words, it will be business as usual in the upper chamber of Congress for the next two years.

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Is the lack of real Senate reform a bad thing? Maybe, but I’m not so sure…

The Senate is – has always been – resistant to majority rule; it was crafted to be that way. North and South Dakota, Alaska,Wyoming, and Vermont – with a combined population of only 3.5 million, have the same combined representation – power – as New York, Illinois, Florida, Texas and California with a total of 115 million. Again, it was planned that way (the Constitution would surely never have been adopted otherwise). Senators representing a score plus one of lightly populated states can (and often have) thwart the legislative goals of those representing a vast majority of the population. The power of individual senators and the rules of the body also limit a majority’s ability to get its way, or at least get its way in anything like a hurry.

Of course, a Senate with “correct representation” and run like the House where a bare majority can do basically whatever it wants, might be a good thing; it would make America a parliamentary system. On an abstract level I support such a reform. State sovereignty is an anachronism. Any proposal to radically alter, or abolish, the Senate has no chance of happening. It would require a Constitutional amendment to make changes and none of the smaller states would ever agree.

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But, but, but… The sword cuts both ways. Better the devil you know. Look before you leap. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread. 

Tampering with the Senate filibuster rules is a dangerous business for Democrats. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. This year the Republicans are frustrating the Democratic majority. In four years, however, there may be a Republican president, House of Representatives and Senate. Without the filibuster (and other nondemocratic measures (think holds), Democrats would then be powerless to prevent a disciplined conservative majority, even if it were only by a single vote, reforming erasing almost every progressive program.

If Democrats were to employ the nuclear option now and end the filibuster in whole or in serious part, should the Republicans capture the Senate they would surely retaliate in kind. In 2015 or 2017 Republicans, citing the reform of this year as justification, could strip power from minority Democrats. 

The Filibuster may limit saintly Democrats from enacting noble legislation, but it also prevents wicked Republicans from enacting devilish laws, too.

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There is one area, however, where reform would be all for the good – confirmation of presidential appointments, and particularly judicial appointments. For the past decade or so each party has attempted to torpedo the judicial nominees of a president of the opposite party. This has resulted in a depleted federal judiciary and a reluctance of potential nominees to undergo the prolonged and rocky road to confirmation. It’s worst, of course, with Supreme Court nominees. Presidents increasingly name young  “stealth” candidates with little or no legal record to attack or bland middle oft the road lower judges with only their good confirmation prospects to commend them. Nominees have grown skillful at dodging questions about controversial legal matters.

Increasingly executive branch nominees are resisted by the opposing party simply because they share the President’s political views or are deemed too partisan (and, of course, Congress keeps expanding the number of executive branch officials subject to Senate confirmation). Carried to its logical extreme, this practice would literally prevent a President from controlling the highest level of government.

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All original photos by JACREWS7 and subject to this creative commons license (all photos adapted)

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Law & Sausage

Posted in erotic, FLICKR, memoir, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, religion, Sexy, tennessee, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Thousands Hundreds Dozens Two of my ardent fans have written in concern, fearing my absence from Visions for the past two weeks  may mean I am unwell. I can happily report those concerns are unfounded. While not perhaps fit as a fiddle, I remain as zestful as a Zampogna.

A major media outlet, Mother Jones, has named the Tennessee legislature the worst in the nation. That’s quite an accomplishment, given we were competing with Oklahoma, Mississippi, and South Carolina. I feel so proud…!

I traveled to Nashville this week to attend a two day continuing legal education seminar. There is nothing quite as soul deadening as being stuck in a cavernous conference room for eight hours a day with hundreds of other lawyers and listening to droning lectures on such fascinating subjects as bankruptcy, insurance and estate law. Thank God they have legal liquor in Davidson county. I’ve been attending this same seminar for about thirty-five years and have watched the presenters age from semi-youth to late middle age before my eyes.

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Listening a recitation of the new laws the legislature has churned out over the past year was disheartening. There was a decidedly conservative bent in much of the legislation. Individual rights have been weakened and corporate and business interests strengthened. Since they won legislative majorities in both houses, Republicans have been busy imposing their radical agenda on the state.

We (liberals) are of course pleased Obama and Senate Democrats won. On the state level, however, Republicans maintained their death grip on too many state legislatures and state houses. The result will be more idiot laws (like mandatory vaginal ultrasound for women seeking an abortion). The flood of really sour sausage will continue unabated for at least another four years.

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For photo credit, click on image – all photos subject to this creative 0ommons license

All photos tagged girl and Tennessee

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The Shocking Truth: Why Obama Won

Posted in erotic, FLICKR, religion, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 10, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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As always, post election analysis has swamped the media and blogosphere since Tuesday night’s election shocker. Every pundit has a theory why her candidate won or lost. Obama won because of the Hispanic vote; Romney lost because so many white voters sat on their hands. The women’s vote was crucial. No, it was the professional class. You’re both wrong, it was Asians under twenty-eight. Romney was too passive. He was too aggressive. He lied too much. He told too much truth. Karl Rove blew it. He saved it from being much worse. Obama’s awesome ground game tipped the election. He should have lost. He should have won bigger. He was too liberal. He was too moderate.  The American people were too smart to go for Romney. They were too stupid to go for Romeny. Too greedy to go for Romeny. God will smile on America. He’ll smite America. No, He could care less. I’m right and you’re wrong. No, I’M right and YOU’RE wrong!

And on and on and on and on and on and on…

But perhaps the most penetrating pundits hang out at the Christian Men’s Defense Network.  Bskillet81, head of  the group, has uncovered the real reason Obama won and Romney lost. Only he has discovered the crucial demographic that swung the election toward America’s first Kenyan born, Muslim, Fascist, Socialist, illegitimate, nappy headed and uppity President.

The Slut Vote!

…. (T)his election cycle shows that the Slut Vote is real, and Republicans lose because they discount the existence of original sin in women.  Abortion is often called the “third rail of American politics,” but in truth, the third rail is a woman’s right to slut (with cash and prizes).

One thing one has to remember about women, especially slutty ones:  They usually don’t make decisions based on reason.  So all the Obama administration had to do was scare them that Mitt Romney was going to take away their birth control and their access to abortion.  The fear for them is that, without birth control and abortion, they might actually get pregnant and have to give birth.  That is scary not simply because of the economic burden of having a child (since, hey, they can get all kinds of cash and prizes if that happens), but because if that happened then everyone would know they’re sluts, and their image as daddy’s pure little snowflake princess goes out the window.

 

How on God’s green earth can anyone possibly dispute this kind of savvy political brilliance?  Bskillet8 should lobby for his own show on Fox – maybe replacing the finally discredited Dick Morris. I see a book in his future and a lucrative lecture tour. Then he should consider a run for congress (maybe even the Senate).

Not only did Skilly figure out why single white women vote for the Democrats, but he unravelled the riddle of why Blacks are in Obama’s pocket. You probably thought it had something to do with the Democrat’s allegiance to civil rights – you’re an idiot! BSkill has the lowdown:

Contrary to common belief, the primary reason the Democrats own the black vote has nothing to do with civil rights…Rather, Democrats have won the black vote because the black community is dominated by illegitimacy, and the Democrats are willing to subsidize and support that illegitimacy (as well as provide access to cheap abortions) so as to take away from sluts the consequences of their actions. 

Think this great Christian seer is wrong? Think he’s just some no nothin’ religious mysogynist? You must be a political tyro, my Fabianista friend. Just check out this web site, Virginia…

Oddly, The CMDN’s site has vanished. Guess, like a lot of geniuses, BKillet8 is more than a little shy. Such a shame; we need his kind of amazing insight… But maybe if we beg he’ll answer our call and save God’s Great City on the Hill…

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Four more votes for sin and promiscuity!

FLICKR GROUPS: Sluts with Sleaze Appeal – Sluts International (X)

Original photo by  Alexandre Borges, remixed by me, both images subject to this

creative commons license

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Tits & Twaddle

Posted in FLICKR, history, pinup, politics, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Is Visions unique? Where else, I ask proudly, will you find the perfect mix of cheesy smut and puerile political punditry? Pinups and politics! Babes and baloney! Tits and Twaddle…

Politics has just gotten too disgusting. The hope and change guy is reduced to a string of attack ads and the other guy just makes stuff up and hurls it back at the incumbent. And, of course, there’s the tale of gynecologist Todd Aiken. [Insert you own joke here].

Romney put a dog on the roof of his limousine  – Obama ate one in Indonesia (where he was secretly indoctrinated in radical Islam). Paul Ryan is really a fictional character made up by Tom Clancy and Joe Biden is a manic robot with a mouth straight from Mars. And we voters are so fat, dumb and lazy we swallow all this bullshit and beg for more. Please, please, cable news, tell us all about Mitt’s secret underwear and Obama’s diabolical plan to turn America over the the UN!!

A county judge in Texas (where else) justifies a request for a tax increase by opining an Obama re-election could lead to civil war and, hence, a need for additional local moolah to keep the peace. A candidate for Sheriff  in some unfortunate locale in New Hampshire says he’ll sanction deadly force against abortionists. Democratic pols, with an eye to the loonier segment of  their base, want to insure Chick-Fil-A doesn’t discriminate against gay roosters and sapphic hens (I may not have that last one quite right…) 

The late great senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan from New York once said, sorta, everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts. Not anymore. Stephen Colbert’s  truthiness reigns supreme. Now you can have a position, then find or manufacture the facts to back it up. Aiken and his ideological predecessors make up the fact victims of “legitimate rape” won’t get pregnant to justify their insistence on a ban of abortion with no rape exception. The Donald and many, many others take as a matter of fact that Obama wasn’t born in America, is actually a Muslim and is so stupid he  has to use a teleprompter to justify their belief he really isn’t the President.  Not to be outdone, those on the loony left take as bedrock truth the existence of a vast right-wing conspiracy, firearms are inherently evil, that sure death will result from eating genetically modified foods, trees flowers have feelings, too, and that every white child needs Ritalin and multicultural sensitivity training to back up their belief our nation is a bloody, barbaric  land. Hundreds of books come out each year proving the Twin Towers were destroyed by the government, Kennedy was killed by a cabal of Jesuits in the CIA, Thomas Jefferson was really against the separation of church and state, that Lincoln was gay or a monster, that Bill Clinton, or Hillary, killed dozens  of people, and that fracking (or gluten, or sugar, or liberalism) will surely kill us all. Believe Teddy Roosevelt was really a Commie? There’s an app for that!

Why can’t we all just get along? We are all Americans, after all. We are all, at least in our own estimation, people of good will. We all are dedicated to making our proud nation, the best country that has ever, ever been in the entire whole wide world, a better place. And we all of us believe we could accomplish our noble goal if only those unlike us weren’t as dumb and venal as shit & are only bent on destroying America, our precious freedoms, the government, corporations, the fur trade, the social  safety net, reproductive rights, Christianity, Jews, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Gays, the handicapped, geezers, and stay at home moms,not to mention our beloved canine or feline pets.

Of course if you were a real American you would agree with me! My truth is self  evident;  since you refuse to acknowledge it, you must be party to whatever fiendish conspiracy I know is hellbent on the destruction of all I rightly hold sacred and dear.

Oh, well… That’s just my opinion and I could be wrong.

For photo credits, click on each image above. Each image was modified by me, and is subject to to a creative commons license.

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On Wisconsin!

Posted in fetish, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, politics, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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The results from Wisconsin were not good. Swamped by an avalanche of Republican money and an electorate that vaguely disapproved of the recall effort, progressives took it on the chin. Unions took another body blow and in one of the most liberal states in the nation an unpopular right wing Republican won by seven points.

A chilly prediction for this Fall? Combined with the gathering economic storms over Europe and China, the obstructionist havoc wrought by the Republicans in congress, and the tsunami of cash pouring into conservative coffers, it is beginning to look ominous for Obasma and Democrats.

Andrew Sullivan (one of Vision’s favorite bloggers), and other pundits, decry what they see as a suicidal dash to the far right by the GOP.  They predict the GOP will wither into a rump party of aging southern whites. So far these predictions have proved laughably false. Not only is the GOP not dying, it now controls a majority of the states and the House. If the economy continues to worsen, and given the Citizens United flood of Republican campaign money, Republicans could well capture both the White House and the Senate.

If the above prospect comes to pass, do you think the Democratic minority in the Senate will use the filibuster in the same effective way as the current Republicans? Don’t count on it. First, the Democrats are far less cohesive; it will be easier for the Republican majority to pick up defectors. Second, I have no doubt if the minority does attempt the same sort of tactics now used by the Republicans, the GOP will quickly curtail the minority’s right to stonewall legislation.

With the GOP in control of every branch of the federal government, Congress will mirror the right wing controlled state legislatures. If that happens, Obamacare and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell are doomed. Social Security and Medicare will be gutted. More funds will be thrown into the Military maw. Taxes will be slashed on the well to d (and raised on the middle class). We’ll see an avalanche of legislation aimed at devastating abortion rights, and unions, and the Democratic party itself.  Legislation to prevent voter fraud will place high hurdles minority voters will need to jump over to register or vote (for a preview check out the efforts of Florida Republicans to reform voting).

Then, if the GOP gets lucky, the next few years will see the economy rebound (despite Republican mismanagement) and the Grand Old Party, rather than withering away, will remain in control for the foreseeable future.

Oh, well, we progressives (the politically correct term for us unabashed liberals these days) will be able to console ourselves by drinking our over-priced  lattes, devouring our chilled arugula, reading the News York Times, and watching Rachel and Ed (and Olbermann reruns), at least until the Republicans reform cable television…

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A Wisconsin couple, honest…

FLICKER GROUP

Wisconsin Barns WisconsinWisconsin WildflowersWisconsin Wildlife – Wisconsin Models 

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Photos (top to bottom) by sdharwadker, Bryan Thompson, both subject to this creative commons license

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My Foolish Heart…?

Posted in erotic, FLICKR, photographers, PHOTOGRAPHY, Sexy, women with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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Gratuitous Nude of the Day

Photo by sw8i, subject to this creative commons license

Oh, Barrack, For a long time now I’ve been so mad at you! You broke my heart and I swore we were done; our relationship was over. Swore I’d just sit home alone election day in my pajamas and eat Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and watch Sleepless in Seattle half a dozen time.

But I miss you (even if I sometimes hate myself for that). God! How much fun we had in ’08. I was mad about you then, jus head over heels! Oh, those wonderful, inspiring speeches that sent shivers down my spine! Those heady chants of yes we can! that made me swoon. Those huge, adoring crowds! The thrill of our primary victories! You even spoke in complete sentences that made good sense! You made me believe in a presidential candidate for the first time since 1968 and rekindled my faith in America, a faith which had been killed by the assassins’ bullets that year.

OK, I knew it couldn’t last. I was aware governing would be much less passionate than the lyrical campaign. I thought I was ready to tolerate the compromises a President must make – the change from poetry to prose. Still, I wasn’t ready for the magic to end.

Then you did so much that disappointed me: the torture thing, the half assed health care thing, the willingness to cut Medicare and Medicare thing, and that killing citizens thing… Oh, Barry…I felt abused and betrayed. I tore up that signed photo of you and ripped the ’08 bumper sticker off my high milage car. I trashed you to all my friends and wrote you those harsh e-mails. Now I feel a little foolish about the nasty things I said about you; I just did it because of the heartache you caused; I wanted to hurt you back….

 And I cried. I was sure we were done.  

Then, when I though I was finally over you, you flashed me that big happy grin of yours (the one that’s so hard to resist) and talked about basketball like a regular guy… You called that poor law student Limbaugh called a slut. You gave that stemwinder speech to the UAW… You began giving it to the Republicans at last. Barry, you came back…

Can I forgive you? My unthinking heart wants to say yes. It wants to believe you are still that wonderful guy who gave that impassioned speech about race in America. Still that cool dude who came from nowhere to beat the Clinton machine and McCain. Still the harbinger of a better America and not just another lying politician. Still the leader who could make a real change in America.

Will I forgive you? Will you sing to me again of hope? Stir my soul? Speak truth and compassion? Make me believe politics is not all money and hypocrisy? My heart wants to believe you can and, now, maybe I will forgive.

I’m beginning to feel that flutter again, that old excitement. I’m beginning to hope again. Part of me knows you may break my heart again by staying timid in a second term. Right now I’m starting not to care. I’ll take the risk; I crave the feel of that magical intoxication we had four years ago. I’m growing eager to be entranced by your poetry again. I want you so much! Please take me back…

I just can’t quit you, Barry.

Photo by Ken Fager, subject to this creative commons license

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I’M MAD AS HELL…

Posted in FLICKR with tags , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by cliffmichaels

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…AND I WON’T TAKE IT ANY MORE

Make no mistake, I am not an Obama Fanboy. I think his War on Terror policies are a disaster, not much better than Bush’s. The cobbled together health care reform was weak beer. His deference to “bi-partisanship” in the face of Republican stonewalling has been painful to watch. Somewhere in the White House (or the FBI –  CIA?) there’s a modest stack of emails from me blasting Obama’s policies.

I knew he wasn’t really a liberal. For one thing, liberals don’t get elected President. Even FDR was only pushed into liberal territory by the deepening crisis of world depression (he ran in 1932 on a pledge to balance the budget) .  Like Clinton before him, Obama is a cautious centrist who only rarely moves to the left (when he’s not running for election).

OTOH…

Obama’s the best we’ve got. Compared to the dimness of Romney, Santorum, Gingritch, et al., he’s a towering beacon of light. Faced with frightening financial chaos in the beginning, and the resulting severe recession, he’s done moderately well. His judicial nominations have been reasonable, his respect for (domestic) civil rights has been commendable. Despite its many flaws, Obamacare has improved health care.

So its a no brainer I’ll vote for him again. Sadly, as a liberal resident in an increasingly red state, my vote will count for naught.

In the past, in this religious “tea party” Republican enclave I live in, I tended to keep a low profile. I’d ignore the ridiculous comments folks made about Obama. You think he’s a socialist Muslim born in Kenya and he has a secret agenda to take away your guns and freedoms? OK, I’m not going to comment…

Not any more…

Friday I stopped into my favorite sub shop, intent on consuming a wonderfully sinful sandwhich. So, I’m second in line at the cash register waiting to order when I hear the following:

Woman behind Counter to man in front of me: You hear about the reason for the delay in us getting tax refunds?

Man: No. What about it?

WbC: It was just on the TV. It was Obama. He’s the reason the refunds were delayed. 

Man: Yeah?

In the past I would have just ignored this colloquy.  Not anymore. As the man in front of me moved off to wait for his food, I stepped up, gave the woman what I hoped was a withering, “Steve Jobs” glare, and snarled: “let me see if I have this straight, you actually believe that Obama called up the IRS and told them to delay sending out refund checks?”  I paused, then continued, “are you really that stupid?” I flipped the small, paper menu I had been reviewing toward her, and then concluded, in perhaps a louder voice than I intended, “I’m out of here!….” I turned my back on her, then briskly strode toward the door, feeling righteously indignant, or perhaps indignantly righteous. I’m really not sure. Whichever it was, I felt great, if still rather hungry.

A day or two before the above confrontation, I was waiting patiently at my pharmacy for one of my many medications when I heard the following exchange between a pharmacy tech and a customer who had just been told he couldn’t get some medicine or other as cheaply as he had in the past. In answer to his lack of understanding, the tech told him in a matter of fact voice: “it’s Obama; that’s why you can’t do it anymore.”

I sat there seething. Finally, when the pharmacist herself handed me my medicine, I told her I didn’t think it was the tech’s place to opine on who’s fault it was. “I’m a Democrat,” I told her, “and I don’t appreciate that kind of comment. I really doubt she knows what she’s talking about.” The pharmacist, an attractive young soft spoken blonde, just looked at me and mumbled something.

I feel so much better… My new policy is to confront anyone who makes ignorant, derogatory comments about Obama in my presence. I’m going to get right up in his  face and call him on his ridiculously stupid bullshit.

I’ll really do it. I will!

Unless, of course, he’s a potential client with a fat wallet, a cop or judge or anyone else with power to affect my legal practice, or he’s considerably younger and bigger than I am….

Photo by  Barick Obama, subject to this creative commons license 

FLICKR GROUP: Barack Obama Photos

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