(Excursi? Maybe? Eh? Any-takers?)
This week, my blogging PIC Abbigail and I have decided to do a top 5 and top ten. In honor of our President's highly, and inarguably, successful first State of the Union Address (followed by subsequent speaking engagements in which he outlined a high-speed rail funding program and then derailed ***pun*** much of the Congressional GOP political tatics) we are outlining our top 5 Acts of Congress to be legislated, passed and signed into law in 2010.
My five are:
1) A (SOME KIND OF) Health Care Reform Act that:
- ensures the availability of affordable care to all Americans with no regard to income or pre-existing conditions
- caps insurance costs through some Government regulated mechanism
- increases quality of care for all patients
3) An Act to End (or at least limit) the Filibuster in the Senate would diminish what has now become a counter-productive political tactic of the minority party. In fact, it has been utilized detrimentally by the Republicans since Obama has taken office. What was once a rule to prevent the majority party from ruling the policymaking business of the Senate has now become a deterrent of ANY party completing ANY policymaking business. In the 1950's filibusters were used once or twice, a practice and pattern that continued through the 1960's. In the 110th Congress, filibusters were projected to reach 153!!!
4) An American Energy Independence and Leadership Act because, well, our earth has been beat up enough by arcane energy sources and systems. The scientific evidence has shown that our current energy practices are environmentally unsustainable, and economic experts has asserted for well over a decade now (and mini energy crises, rolling blackouts, etc. have exhibited) that our practices are economically unsustainable. An act is needed that provides the President and agencies within the Federal government the resources and responsibility to increase our energy independence through establishing and bringing renewable energy sources to scale, while also establishing America as the global leader in efforts for climate change and advanced energy technology research. Our future as a global leader in every other capacity depends on this. (Check this article out: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/31/business/energy-environment/31renew.html?hp)
5) An Act to Establish A Consumer Financial Protection Agency (with an incorporation of a Glass-Steagall inspired provision that separates bank holding companies from financial investment driven subsidiaries or companies). The final piece of the overall discussion on how the U.S. American economy wound up in a position where the same politicos and businessmen that built local and national platforms on the dangers of a Leviathan-inspired Federal government had to go to said Leviathan and ask for a quick, payday style loan is a discussion on regulation and the unnecessary and unsafe gaps that have existed over the past 20 or so years. The CFPA would be a step in the right direction by establishing an agency that informs & educates financial consumers on financial planning, financial risks, and what the two together mean for their financial future.
So those are my top 5 Acts of Congress for 2010. I'm wishing and hoping and one hand, and saving my pennies and nickels in the other hand. It's hard out here for a pimp.
In honor of the beginning of the New Year and the New Decade, we're also doing a top 10 for this month past. Look for these at the end of each month as we re-indulge in the things, people, events, cupcakes, and micro-brews that make each month even better than the last.
Top 10 for the first month of '10
1) New Year's spent as a grown up with my friends at a grown-up party in a grown-up restaurant.
2) Brooklyn Chocolate Stout at Eatonville in Washington, DC. I love stouts, usually dry stouts though, like Guinness. Eatonville changed the game for my beer-buds though, and I'm afraid I'll never be the same again.
3) Anniversary of Obama's Inauguration. I've never loved the world on the whole as much as I did last year leading up to the Inaug. One year later and it still looks pretty damn good.
4) Stickfly. A play I went to see last weekend with a friend of mine. Here's some info on it from the Washington Post. It opened my eyes to a lot of my own internal struggles relating to class, race, education and isolation.
5) New Orlean's Saints vs. Minnesota Vikings. Brett Favre is a phenomenal quarterback, no doubt. He had it coming though. Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?
6) Learning that "Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints?" originated from a minstrel show during Vaudeville, but was a portion written by Paul Laurence Dunbar, one of my favorite poets. Dilemma? Oh, yeah.
7) Announcement of the Apple iPad. It's just so beautiful. I have a feeling that this is a tipping point for information and communication technology.
8) Ending the month with a great performance review at work, and getting to make a five-year career plan. This came with the realization that I have a career. A f*cking career?! When did that happen? When in the hell did I grow up...
9) DC Restaurant Week. Oya Restaurant. Great food, great date. Great sushi, great wine. Boss.
10) Obama's State of the Union speech, where he put the Republicans out to be seen for the misleading fear mongers they are, and also pledged a repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell". Both of those actions were long overdue.
Corinne Bailey Rae's "The Sea" including this track, a brilliant and beautiful cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing"