Democratic Talk Radio -“Heroes and Villains of 2009 Awards”

Disclosure:  I am a co-host of Democratic Talk Radio.

The cast of characters in American politics who could have received our Hero and Villain Awards for 2009 was huge. It was a very busy year in American politics. We have multiple winners in both categories but still were unable to recognize everyone who deserved to win.

One of the villains was an easy and obvious choice.  Fox News commentator and author Glenn Beck wins a Democratic Talk Radio Villain of 2009 Award for unashamedly spreading lies, myths and innuendos with no conscience.

The Editor of Buzzflash.com Mark Karlin wins a Democratic Talk Radio Hero of 2009 Award for unselfishly devoting all his time and energies to debunking them. The role the Internet played in counteracting the corporate dominance and bias in the realm of political news in 2009 cannot be overstated.

Paul Krugman wins a Hero Award for his role of speaking truth to power in his multiple roles as economist, New York Times columnist and Book author. Congress and the Obama Administration should be listening to him in dealing with the current economic crisis. Every American citizen should read his recent book The Conscience of a Liberal. It will help you understand the current economic crisis, healthcare reform and much more.

Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) wins a Villain Award for politicizing national security and putting every American flying on a commercial airline by placing a hold on the confirmation of the head of the TSA. His rationale for this action is nearly as outrageous as the action. He does not want TSA employees to have the right to unionize and bargain collectively for better pay, benefits and working conditions. DeMint claims that TSA would not be as effective with a unionized workforce. Exactly why having demoralized, underpaid workers doing security screening at airports will make us safer escapes all of us here at Democratic Talk Radio. Union haters abound in Republican Right circles but DeMint has taken his bias to dangerous extremes.

The entire Republican Party power structure and the few corporate Democrats undermining healthcare insurance reform in America collectively win a Democratic Talk Radio Villain of 2009 award for their outrageous public behavior, serving corporate interests instead of the public good and lying to the American public. Single-payer, government provided healthcare should have been seriously considered as a policy option but was not because of these villains. The final bills passed by both houses of Congress are much weaker than they should have been (although the House version does have a better funding mechanism and a weak public option provision). Americans will suffer and die as a result of the actions of these villains by the millions in coming decades! Jobs will be lost because American businesses will still be paying for health insurance while foreign competitors will not.

Former Vermont Governor and DNC Chair Howard Dean wins a Hero Award for publicly speaking the truth during the health care insurance debate. Unlike the Republican medical doctors serving in Congress, Dr. Dean understands and lives by the medical ethical slogan “do not harm.” This ethical standard should be applied in both the medical and political fields.

For more information, please contact Democratic Talk Radio at demlabor@aol.com or by phone at 443-907-2367.Our website is http://www.DemocraticTalkRadio… .  

Coming 2010…a new blog…

…by yours truly.

Yes, as I stated in an early diary, I’ve officially become a non-affiliated, non-party voter and coming soon to a blog hosting site near you, will be my first installment of my own blog.  

These days the hallmark of my views is, “I have never met or known someone or something that I couldn’t disagree with about something.”  This is not to say the new blog will be nothing but criticisms upon criticisms, because that is simply just annoying after a while and we’ve got plenty of that to read about in the daily editorials, talk radio programs, and other forums at the ready.  

I want to ask questions, I want to challenge thought, I want to shake things up, and hopefully not get too angry and steamed in my words in the process.  I don’t doubt there will be those, who at times may try to shout me down, belittle, or even try to deter me from my aims and purpose, but I shall not be dissuaded any longer.  I hope to focus on all levels of policy debate local, state, nation, and international.  I doubt any subject or discussion will be “off limits”.  So, don’t expect milquetoast or play it safe stuff as a general rule.  It is NOT that I want to per se stir up a lot of controversy, but to confront present controversies and deeper underlying issues, as I see them, and bring things to light, be a different voice sometimes, and inject some food for thought.  

I hope to have the blog ready for roll-out by February 1st, in time for Imbolc, the end of the darkest time of the year, solarly speaking, as a harbinger of increase the light in the darkness.

I have not settled on a blog title name, but when that happens, I’ll announce it.  While doing diaries here has been fun, engaging, and a way to reach out to others, I want my own stand alone presence freer from the inferred or implied influence of others.  However, I may still pen a diary here from time to time, if the mood suits me.

Evicting Rats From Harrisburg

I was standing in the Capitol Rotunda one day for an event I was covering, who knows which one, and found myself in a small group with Majority Leader Todd Eachus.  As usual I was wearing one o fmy blue and white blog shirts.  Eachus pretended for a minute he didn’t know who I was until we were introduced.  Then he said “I hope you never write about me.”  I replied he should make sure I never have to then…  This article is about Rep. Eachus.  Sorry, it’s your turn.

State Rep. Bryan Lentz came out last week and said Rep. Eachus should resign as Majority Leader due to his involvement in BonusGate.  I also assume because of his bad handling of the recent table games debate.  Lentz made a gutsy move calling out his own Majority Leader and some have rallied in support of his call.  It’s the right call.  Todd Eachus did a miserable job by holding state funding for Pitt, Penn State, Temple and Lincoln Universities hostage to the table games bill.  Though he adamantly insisted he wasn’t doing it he wasn’t fooling anyone.  Even sitting in the gallery one afternoon I was disgusted with his treatment of the issue.  How stupid does he think we are?

As a PSU alum I was disgusted with the methods House Democrats were using to try and force table gambling through the legislature.  The votes weren’t there and they remain lacking.  Meanwhile state funding, something which has steadily declined for decades, began becoming a major issue for the schools and their students.  Many thousands of undergraduates faced either sharply increased tuition this month or the decision to end their quest for degrees.

Pennsylvania’s funding of our state related universities has been a little addressed problem.  As a percentage of total funding the state has ignored the financial needs of these schools.  The result?  Penn State is now has the most expensive in state tuition (for in state students) of any state related university in the country.  A while back I did some volunteer work for the University.  Some of this involved working with State Reps and Senators about these budget items.  I recall how this was an important issue then.  Now, maybe twenty years later, things aren’t any better.  Holding the funding hostage to a completely unrelated bill was horrific.  At first I thought, gee, the money isn’t there until the budget is passed but then, well, why hold this funding hostage and nothing else?  The budget remains unbalanced while we near the next budget presentation coming late next month.  This, itself,is unbalanced leadership.  

Todd Eachus’ involvement in the Attorney General’s investigation into the use of taxpayer funds to run and manage political campaigns inside the people’s building should be sufficient to force his ouster and replacement.  Combine that with his horrible mismanagement of the university funding issue and Bryan Lentz is correct:  Democrats need a change in House leadership.  There have been too many rats discovered in the Capitol building this year, only some of which were in the cafe.  Let’s get rid of the remainder this year.