Archive for the 'Politics' Category


Paul Ryan- Republican Hero?

Paul Ryan- author of the Republican Kill Medicare proposal- has proven to be rather elitist in his attitude toward his constituents. He has held 17 town hall meetings with them, but charges $15 per person for the “privilege.” If these were political fundraisers, I could see charging the fee. But, charging for the right to speak to one’s Congressman? It almost guarantees that the only people who will be there are his supporters. Even worse, when some opponents of his draconian cuts in social services protested, he called the police! Perhaps some of those Democratic representatives who had their Town Halls disrupted by violent Tea Partiers in the summer of 2009 should have called the police! Now we see the REAL Republican mindset. Pay-to-play and crush opposition.


Rick Perry?

Rick Perry is probably going to be the Republican nominee for President. He is able to capture the hearts and minds of religious fundamentalists AND big money conservatives in a way many other candidates are unable to. Mitt Romney can’t compete with him for charisma. Michelle Bachman can’t compete with him for the money, and there is no other candidate in the second tier who can touch him. Americans should be scared to death because he just might be the next President of the United States.

For one thing, Perry isn’t very bright. He has demonstrated an incredible lack of knowledge when it comes to American history and foreign policy. His grades at Texas A&M University were even less impressive than George W’s were at Yale. The only course in which he earned an “A” was Animal Husbandry, and he nearly failed economics.

For another, his religious affiliations are frightening. The political prayer gathering in Houston that Perry held as the kick-off of his Presidential campaign was sponsored by several Pentecostal pastors who are Dominionists, members of the New Apostolic Reformation, a political/religious movement that began under the controversial 1960’s evangelist R. J. Rushdoony, a theocrat who advocated replacing secular law with religious Old Testament law, which would call for the death penalty for homosexuality, abortion, and apostasy. A frightening expose of Dominionism can be found in the Daily Beast at this link. No one this radical in his religious/political beliefs should be allowed even in the White House tour!

Rick Perry is also a hypocrite and a liar. He actively campaigned for Al Gore in the 1988 Democratic Primary for President. He happily accepts Federal aid for many programs in Texas, even as he flirts with the idea of secession and advocates for States Rights, and he claims to have created more jobs in Texas during his administration than any other state. What he fails to mention, however, is that 3/4 of those jobs were in state government and much of the rest were at minimum wage and that Texas is near the bottom of the list in child health and education.

Many conservatives in Texas oppose him because of a big spending, big government proposal to build four thousand miles of super-super-highways across the state that would have cost billions and was supported by Perry’s friends among the highway contractors who contribute so generously to his campaigns.

Rick Perry is not the savior the Republican Party is looking for and if Barack Obama is intelligent, there is much in Perry’s record to use against him. Of course, we’re talking about Barack Obama here. Will he use it? Will he have the backbone, or will he continue to pretend that he is too good to soil his hands with mere politics and sit above the fray? If Obama continues as he has since taking office, then this nation may just elect George W. Bush on steroids, a religious radical hell-bent on repealing Social Security and Medicare, as he advocated in his 2010 book Fed Up!

Rick Perry could be the next President of the United States. God help us.


Republican Recession

Republicans are quick to declare that President Obama “owns” this recession. However, were it not for three very crucial decisions by REPUBLICANS before Mr. Obama took office, this recession would never have happened and it has been prolonged by two actions taken by Republicans since the beginning of the President’s term.

The financial melt-down which peaked on September 16, 2008 was caused by the collapse of mortgage-backed securities traded by the banks which issued the mortgages and then sold them off in bundles to other financial institutions. With the deregulation of banking effected by the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999, banks issuing mortgages no longer had to worry about the risk in issuing the mortgage; they could just pass it on to someone else. Standard and Poor’s, who recently downgraded the Federal debt from AAA to AA+, as well as other ratings firms, inaccurately rated these investments much higher than they should have. The result was the collapse of the market for these instruments which, in turn, led to the financial meltdown of September 2008. This was the direct result of the passage of the Republicans’ Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in November 1999 which removed the firewall between commercial and investment banking and de-regulated the banking industry. None of the abuses in the mortgage-lending collapse of the 2000’s would have occurred if the Republican Congress hadn’t passed the repeal of Glass-Steagal in 1999.

The second Republican decision leading to the Great Republican Recession was the decision by President Bush and the Republican Congress in 2001 to blow the budget surplus that President Clinton had left them on the Bush Tax Cuts in the mistaken belief that lower taxes would result in an expanded economy and greater government revenue. The Reagan years should have shown them that lower taxes have less of an effect on the economy than low interest rates and low energy costs. Combined with the Republicans third decision, to fight two unfunded trillion-dollar wars, the options left to President Obama to fight the Republican Recession were limited. When he sought to stimulate the economy though large infusions of cash, the Republicans put limitations on how much and where he could do so.

Today, when jobs are obviously the most important short-term issue facing the country, the Republicans, through their politically-motivated and absolutely manufactured debt ceiling crisis, have completely tied the President’s hands to stimulate the economy. They have ignored the recession in favor of debt reduction, which is indeed a serious problem, but one which could be better fought with a stronger economy, which could come about if they would allow some short-term spending stimulus.

To be perfectly honest, I believe the leadership of the Congressional Republicans know this, though the dozens of Tea Party newbies have demonstrated their ignorance of basic economics time and again. I believe that Boehner and McConnell are willing to allow millions of Americans to lose their jobs or remain unemployed in order to defeat President Obama in 2012. Remember, Mitch McConnell declared in 2009 that the primary legislative goal of Congressional Republicans was to defeat President Obama, not his policies, but the man personally.

The Republicans created this recession and they are the prime impediments to recovery.


Credit Downgrade

Thank you, Tea Party! Thank you, Republicans! You’ve given America it’s first credit downgrade and I’m sure you’re proud.

In their explanation as to why the U.S. went from AAA to AA+, Standard and Poors  cites as factors in making their determination  the turmoil surrounding the debt ceiling debate (caused by the hostage-taking strategy of the Republicans) and the GOP refusal to consider revenue options in decreasing the debt and deficits. The Republicans, goaded by the Tea Party, were willing to risk a credit downgrade to pursue their political agenda and the result will be higher interest rates paid by the government to bond holders (China, Saudi Arabia, etc), which will ironically increase the deficit as well as increase the interest rates individuals pay on their home loans and credit cards.

Thank you, Tea Party! Thank you, Republicans! I hope the voters remember you in November 2012!  I hope those who lose their jobs over the next year because of the worsened economic downturn caused by higher interest rates remember you. I hope people who open their credit card bills and discover their interest rates went up remember you. Thank you.


Tea Party Terrorists

Defenders of the Tea Party and their tactics deny they are terrorists or using terrorist tactics. They criticize Vice-President Joe Biden for likening their behavior in the Republican-manufactured debt-ceiling crisis to terrorists. However, Biden is absolutely correct.

This crisis didn’t need to happen. The debt ceiling had been raised dozens of times, particularly during the Presidencies of Saint Ronald Reagan and Junior Bush. Republicans and their Tea Party radicals declared they would not increase the debt limit this time without their demands being met. By not increasing the limit, they would force the country into default and in doing so, force a downgrade in the country’s credit rating, and in doing so, force higher interests on the government debt and on personal and corporate debt, and in doing so, send the country and the world into a deeper recession.

In other words, “Give into our demands or we destroy the economy.” That’s not terrorism?


Republican Vacation

Forty thousand Federal construction workers have been furloughed because the Congress hasn’t acted on the FAA budget reauthorization. Instead, Speaker Boehner chose to put the House of Representatives on vacation for the rest of the month, forcing the Senate to, as well. As a result, ALL construction and renovation at airports and FAA facilities around the country has been halted and no Federal taxes on airline tickets are being collected (of course all airlines, except Delta, are pocketing the taxes instead of refunding them to their customers). The original reason for the delay is that Republicans want to make it more difficult for FAA employees to unionize. So, because of the Republican hatred of unions and because they place their month-long summer vacation ahead of doing the nation’s business, tens of thousands of FAA employees are doing nothing and getting paid nothing. Now, what was that you were saying about creating jobs, Speaker Boehner?



Hypocrisy and Corruption

The so-called “Debt Limit Increase Deal”  is the most dangerous act of hypocrisy and cowardice in recent American political history, and saying so is not hyperbole. A minority of the minority party took the American economy hostage and extorted budget cuts that will destroy the safety net for those of us who can’t afford the multi-million dollar donations to the Republican Party and the Tea Party hostage-takers. A party that took the budget surpluses of the prosperous Clinton years and turned them into deficits of hundreds of billions of dollars through tax-giveaways to the rich and handouts to the military-industrial complex through two unfunded and unnecessary wars now has the gall to demand that programs designed to help the poor and middle class be gutted so that the Republicans’ corporate masters can continue to amass even more wealth. And, then they call it “freedom.” They say they adore the Constitution, except for those parts they find inconvenient, and then create some extra-constitutional body to make decisions they don’t have the courage to make themselves. And, all the while, the right-wing media continues to lie to the country about what is being done and the rest of the media is afraid to call them out.

Keith Olbermann said it quite eloquently Monday night. 

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