Our boy wonder reflects on his first year in office and all he has accomplished.
When Jim Himes arrived in Washington as a freshman congressman from the 4th District nearly one year ago, the country was faced with the worst recession in generations, an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq and a high-decibel health care debate. But the Greenwich Democrat saw opportunity in the challenge, “because of the way a crisis aligns people and brings them together.” [He's right - Obama's popularity is now as low as Congress's: everybody hates the government].
For example, he said the Affordable Health Care for America Act, recently passed by the United States House of Representatives, [which he still hasn't read nor understood] was “endorsed by Americans representing all walks of life,” including Consumer Reports, the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the AARP, the non-partisan League of Women Voters and the American Cancer Society. [In fact, anyone who wanted anything in this bill got it - we bent over lower than Obama meeting he Emperor of Japan]
Himes said that although the bill is imperfect, it is a “critical step in the right direction, which will allow us to join every other civilized nation on the planet in offering each of our citizens decent, affordable health care [the fact that we spend twice as much as those other civilized nations now and plan to spend even more is irrelevant - finally, we can get some respect in Paris salons] . I’m proud of the House for passing it.”“It will be catastrophic if it’s not passed in the Senate,” he added [and worse if it is]. “But I am optimistic that it will be passed eventually.”
His historic election removed a 21-year incumbent Republican, Christopher Shays, and sent a Democrat to the House to represent the 4th District for the first time since 1966.Himes acknowledged that his district, which ranges from Bridgeport to Greenwich, may be one of the most “economically diverse” in the country. But he describes himself as a “moderate,” who is “business-friendly and less interested in parties and ideology than in solutions that work.”He said he has brought an independent voice to Washington.
For example, he opposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in July when he urged that the health care vote be delayed until after the August recess so “we could fully vet its implications with our constituents.” “Change involving 17 percent of our economy, life and death issues and the most complex policy challenges I’ve ever seen should not be rushed,” he said.[but I voted for it anyway and then went home and ignored my constituents' comments]
The former Goldman Sachs investment banker and Harvard-educated Rhodes Scholar said he is “not a career politician,” [not yet, anyway, and not if we can help it]adding that he challenged Shays because of his support for the Iraq war and Bush’s economic policies.[victory in Iraq, low taxes on business]
He said he is gratified to see President Barack Obama’s “responsible plan to bring an end to the war in Iraq, returning our heroic soldiers to their families and to the gratitude of their country.”
However, he added, “We must refocus America’s military resources on defeating al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and be clear in our mission there [by which I mean cut and run just as soon as we can decently accomplish it but no later than 2011 in any event] .”The economy “is starting to turn around,” he said, “but the question is, ‘At what point do families see more jobs and how do we work out the health care problem?’
”The financial industry needs stronger regulations to protect the economy from its free fall last year, he said, adding, “We must make sure banks and investment brokers never bring down the system again.” [which is why he is bringing back the Glass Steagall Act which no reputable economist thinks had anything to do with the crash brought on by Washington and Jimbo's former friends on Wall Street] [which is also why he and his party have given Fannie Mae an unlimited blank check to keep subsidizing uncreditworthy borrowers and bring back no-money-down mortgages]
He has also adopted the cause of regulating the cruise industry, a position advocated by Shays. A spotlight was cast on the unregulated $38-billion-a-year industry — in which cruise lines are registered in foreign countries — after George Smith of Greenwich went missing from his honeymoon cruise in 2005. Himes was co-sponsor of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act that passed in the House last month and is expected to be approved by the Senate.“Had the safety improvements and post-incident regulations mandated by the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act been in place in 2005, this horrible tragedy might have been prevented,” Himes said. [The proposed act will force foreign ships to report when drunks fall or are pushed off their ships, period. - how that would have prevented Smith's death remains as much a mystery to Himes as what's in the Health Care bill].
Himes said one politician he admired was Robert Kennedy “because of his personal journey [he took a limo through Harlem] in coming to understand the disenfranchised.[whatever the hell "disenfranchised" means - it sounds good, though, don't it? I think it means taking more from the middle class and giving it to bureaucrats while leaving the poor poor and the rich rich - a Kennedy specialty].
He would like to see a “more thoughtful debate” on the national level than some of the acrimonious and divisive political exchanges he said he has witnessed. Alluding to 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck, a New Canaan resident, he said, “If you don’t agree with them, you’re a Socialist. Let’s have a debate based on ideas and thoughtful deliberation instead.” [like, if you supported the war in Iraq you were a baby-killing Zionist tool of Cheney - that kind of thoughtful debate?]