Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Answer this if the mainstream media is liberal

What mainstream news sources are reporting that there is not enough spending by the U.S. government and the rich are not paying enough taxes?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

There's Stupid, and Then There's Tea-Party Stupid

I am neither a Democrat or a Republican. Just to be clear, I usually vote for the Democrat as the lesser of two evils, but I'd rather not vote evil at all. Hence, I long for a decent third party. The Tea Party, however, makes a mockery of this longing and actually makes the other two parties look good. Well, it makes the Democratic Party look good anyway.

On February 19, 2009 CNBC on-air "Editor" Rick Santelli called for the Tea Party because he opposed upside-down home owners receiving any bailout money. It is important to note that Santelli and his ilk at the Chicago Board of Trade did not raise a fuss about the $700 billion dollar Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that gave money to bankers; it was only the possibility  homeowners he dubbed "losers" receiving money that raised their ire (these homeowners wound up receiving very little.) Santelli ranted to cheers from people he falsely claimed represented a "good statistical cross section" of America.

Big Tobacco and the Koch Brothers actually made the Tea Party a reality. And when the lemmings found out President Obama wanted sick people to be able to see a doctor, angry mobs of drooling-out-of-the-sides-of-their-mouths, knuckle-dragging Cro-Magnons turned out in droves.

And thus, the sequester became history.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Politics of "Terrorism"

Yesterday's bombings near the end of the Boston Marathon were a horrible tragedy that should make all Americans sad, regardless of our political inklings. At the time of this writing three people are dead and more than 100 people are injured. What a very, very sad tragedy.

I was watching the events unfold on CNN yesterday, and just before President Obama made his comments the (female) reporter on CNN said that President Obama had come under a lot of criticism for failing to use the word "terrorism" early enough regarding the Benghazi attacks, and should probably do so right away this time. Obama's calling Benghazi an "act of terror" was not enough even for factcheck.org. This is really ridiculous to me.

We don't know who set off the bombs yesterday. If it was a terrorist attack, what was their motivation and why isn't any group taking credit?  I think it is useless, if not counterproductive, to speculate. I have my hunches, but I will keep those to myself, my wife, and perhaps some close friends and family. We really don't even know if it was terrorism at this point. One alternative could be that it was just an sick, angry person behind it. We don't know yet.

So I am in no rush to judgment, and I am interested in hearing the facts that unfold. The facts may wind up be damning to someone, but I am willing to wait to let the facts do their job.

It is also to soon to try to be funny. My cousin pointed out that one way we know this is that comedians are not touching this yet. There will be a time for joking to help us deal with this tragedy, but once again, I will be patient for this time to come.

For those who lost their loved ones, only time will lessen the pain. It seems right to me for us to wait, so that we don't add to the pain to the world. What a sad, sad event.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The NRA was for Backqround Checks Before They Were Against Them

 It is difficult for me to be enthusiastic about the gun legislation that is still might be considered by Congress. If it doesn't contain a renewal of the assault weapon ban, another Newtown will probably happen again. Nevertheless, universal background checks on gun ownership would save some lives.

So, as I hoped the Affordable Care Act would pass despite of its lack of a public option, so I support universal background checks with or without an assault weapons ban.

90% of all Americans support background checks. The NRA used to support universal background checks for gun ownership, and 74% of NRA members still do. The GOP filibuster of background checks is downright despicable.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Dishonest Republicans on the Filibuster

Republicans say they are in favor of spending cuts, yet after passing the austerity cuts known as the "sequester" they doggedly try to blame President Obama for their draconian measures. Republicans have successfully changed the economic debate from full employment to reducing the deficit. They have successfully avoided raising enough taxes for sufficient government revenue in order to protect their donors from paying their fair share in taxes (such donors they euphemistically call "job creators.") And when those of us effected by the sequester complain about the problems the sequester is causing they have their cake and eat it to by passing the blame for the cuts onto the president.

Here are two indisputable ways we all can know the sequester was the Republicans' idea. Please tell these to anyone who says otherwise, and you need not cite my blog. They should just be common sense.

1. Republicans repeatedly say the sequester is not so bad.They do this because it is what they want. If it was what President Obama wanted they would be calling it Communist, Nazi, Muslim, etc.

2. The Republicans have tried to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act almost 40 times since it passed  in 2010. Yet the only ones trying to appeal the sequester are the Congressional Progressive Democrats. If the Republicans didn't like the sequester, surely they would join the progressive Democrats in repealing it.

So if you're among the 13% or so who approve of this Republican Congress, be proud of their sequester.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hey Sequester-supporting Congress, How About Our Sixth Amendment Rights?

If Congress would just read past the Second Amendment a little they would see the Sixth Amendment of the Bill of Rights in the Constitution of the United States of America reads as follows:
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
  The Sequester is a grave threat the U.S. legal system:
"Sequestration's almost $350 million cut will not be fully felt in one day, one month or even one year," Judge Hogan wrote last week. "Reductions of this magnitude strike at the heart of our entire system of justice and spread throughout the country. The longer the sequestration stays in place, the more severe will be its impact on the courts and those who use them." The federal judiciary is being held hostage, in other words, because of the failure or the refusal of Congress and the White House to make a responsible budget deal. 
While Congress has recently tried the blunt the blow with which sequestration is hammering our U.S. judicial system, if the sequestration is not repealed it's effects will continue to be pernicious.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The (Real) Huffington Post has great value after all

The Huffington Post's much-needed reporting on the adverse effects of the sequester [summary quote below, click preceding link and scroll down to see a list of 100 problems the sequester has caused] is making me rethink my attitude toward it as a news source:

Organizations and companies have begun laying off workers, while many more have decided not to staff vacant positions. Schools on military bases are contemplating four-day weekly schedules. Food pantries have closed, as have centers that provide health services. Farmers have been forced to go without milk production information, causing alarm in the dairy industry and the potential of higher milk prices. Workers at missile-testing fields are facing job losses. Federal courts have closed on Fridays. Public Broadcasting transmitters have been shut down. Even luxury cruises are feeling the pinch, with passengers forced to wait hours before debarking because of delays at Customs and Immigration. Yes, sequestration is creating the possibility of another poop cruise.
On the national level, sequestration may be defined by canceled White House tours and long lines at airports that never materialized. But on the local level, it is beginning to sting.
Perhaps it's time to get boiling mad again.