I’m playing in a band. I think we were on hiatus, if that’s what you want to call it, for 3 years. I say hiatus just because no one was doing anything else music-wise. We just had jobs and kids and stopped playing for a while. So there wasn’t a big break up or anything. We just stopped playing.

Anyway, we had like 3 regular fans not counting family. One of those has a daughter who is getting married in September and she asked if we could play the wedding. We’re not getting paid, but hey, why not? One last hurrah for me before I have a birthday that I’m not looking forward to.

We ran through all of the sets at our last practice on Saturday. We do a lot of classic rock and wedding-type songs, but also some fun songs for the band to play. And what do you think was the one song that gave me chills when I sang it? Freebird. Go figure.

Advertisements

It’s not that Democrats are perfect.  Politicians with a (D) after their names get involved in sex scandals (ah, John Edwards).  They’re also sometimes corrupt (see, Louisiana, freezer full of cash).  But the same can be said for Republican politicians.  Maybe if there was a little more moderate middle in the political parties, I might choose to go with the person, rather than the party.  But politicians at the federal level rarely go against the public platform of their respective parties and I just can’t vote for anyone that has to toe the line with the GOP platform.  First case in point is right here.  The title of the piece kind of says it all – “No Room for Gays in the Republican Party.”  And here’s the bottom line.  Maybe Romney really doesn’t care whether his spokesman is gay or not.  But the people in his party do.  And Romney’s got to go with what the folks in his party want.  Therefore, the gay foreign-policy spokesman is forced to resign.  There is a clear difference between the parties on the issue of gay rights.  All things being equal, I’m going to vote for the guy or gal from the party where they’re in favor of gay rights.

Here’s the President’s quote – “The goal that I set, to defeat Al Qaeda and deny it the chance to rebuild, is now within our reach.”

So I’m former military, but I’m hardly an expert of the differences in military strategy.  Heck, when it came to Air Command and Staff College (the professional military education course you need to take as a major) I did just the minimum to pass the required sections.  I also don’t have any inside knowledge of what the focus in the last year or so has been in Afghanistan.  As I understood it, at least, after 9/11 we were there in a counter-terrorism role (CT) to get after al-Qaeda.  That later morphed into counter-insurgency (COIN) as we adjusted to being there long term and making sure we didn’t “lose” like we did in Vietnam.  I think many figure a COIN strategy keeps us there looooong term, while a CT strategy can give us the “win” we’re looking for while still allowing us to get the heck out of that country.  So when I see the President’s quote above, that sounds to me like we’re fully on board with changing (if we haven’t already) to a CT course.  We took out al-Qaeda, we win!

And just for the record, I support whatever gets us out of Afghanistan sooner, so I say, go CT!

…Going on in the intersecting world of consumer financial reform and help for servicemembers.  This is the area that I’m hoping to stay in for the rest of my working career and the CFPB is right at the center of this intersection. 

Today, Holly Petraeus (one of the reasons I came to the CFPB is because she was here) is joining the President and Mrs. Obama (you know I support them too) at Fort Stewart for the signing of an Executive Order “directing the Departments of Education, Defense, and Veterans Affairs, in consultation with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), to take steps to ensure that servicemembers, veterans and their families can get the information they need about the schools where they spend their education benefits.”  As Mrs. Petraeus says, “It’s in everyone’s interest to see that military education dollars are well-spent. If they are, they will provide our country with educated veterans and family members who, like the World War II generation before them, can become the engine that drives our economy forward.”

I’ll probably also be watching this at 12:30.

http://www.c-span.org/Events/Pres-Obama-to-Speak-to-Troops-at-Ft-Stewart/10737430229/

I’ve long advocated that Dems should adopt the same “take no prisoners” style of politics that the GOP has practiced the last 20 or so years.  So, I’ll just say that I don’t want to hear any nonsense from the other side if, on November 7, 2012 or so, I start saying the Dems should put together their strategy for how to stop President-elect Romney’s severely conservative agenda.  I mean, that’s what the conservatives did on inauguration day in 2009.

I’ll use this article as the preface to my mini-rant about the GOP and deficits.  Kevin Drum talks about an article by Charles Krauthammer.  As Drum says, Mr. K is the type of small-government conservative  who’s only interested in keeping government small on the things he doesn’t like.  He’s plenty OK with government that he “gets a kick out of.”  Krauthammer’s focus is the end of the Space Shuttle program.  I’m generally with him – I think it’s something we shouldn’t be giving up on.  But then again, I’m not one who pretends that shrinking the deficit should be our number one priority as a country.  I think Drum’s question to Krauthammer should be asked of many a supposed small government conservative – would you “agree to raise taxes on the wealthy in order to do it?” 

This leads me to my rant, which I’ve mentioned in other places on-line.  If you think the deficit is the number one problem and should get the lion’s share of our policy focus, you should support increasing revenue in the country.  If you don’t support raising taxes, then you are like Mr. Krauthammer (and GWB) only interested in shrinking the parts of the government you don’t like.  If you’re not willing to take some pain in the form of higher taxes that will be necessary for more revenues or even to advocate cuts to programs that you actually support, then you’re not a deficit hawk.  You’re just a conservative, partisan or ideologue.