Follow-up 1: Tom Harkin
Something I think I haven't done enough of is doing follow-ups on some of the stuff I talk about. I'm going to try to do some more of that. So I'll kick off the idea with three follow-ups.
First, five weeks ago, I gave Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa a Hero Award, which is given around here as the occasion arises to someone who just does the right thing.
I gave it to him for being the only liberal or so-called "progressive" Senator to vote against that supposed budget deal, that dodge of the mythical "fiscal cliff." He accurately described the "fiscal cliff" as a manufactured crisis and the deal as benefiting the richest Americans at the expense of the poorest. He also mocked those who want to "redefine the middle class as those making $400,00 a year."
Tom Harkin, an old-style populist from a time when the term actually meant something worthwhile, has announced he will retire at the end of his current term in 2014 (actually, technically, January 2015). I can't say I agreed with Tom Harkin on everything or even on a lot of things, but he is an honorable and decent man at a time when such are in short supply in our national government. He will be missed.