Friday, December 17, 2010

The Tax Cuts

After reading the details of the recent tax cut bill negotiated by the President with the Republiicans, not including any House or Senate Democrat, passed by the Senate yesterday and awaiting a vote today in the House, I've come to the conclusion on the balance sheet of the bill.

For the weatlthy and corporatioins, millions. For the common citizen, you know you and me, a few dollars. For the future generations who will get the bill, priceless, not because its value can be calcuated, but the opposite, it's can't and will be billions upon billions compounded on itself with this year's budget deficit into the long term national debt, now approaching $15 Tillion and risng fast.

And no thanks to you Mr. President. When Democrats have historically shown to be the more fiscally conservate and financially smarter of the parties, you have become a Republican, spend more, give big tax cuts and put it on the government's credit card.

In short the President, while writing us checks for a few dollars, fucked us royally for decades to come when our children and grandchildren get the bill.

That's not what and who I voted for in 2008. He's not the President of the 2008 campaign. He's forgotten every promise for his own self-preservation and now for his own re-election in 2012. But little does he see outside Washington DC that the people are pissed.

Yes, he saw it with the Tea Party and he saw it recently, for the second time, whining at and about the progressives in the Democratic party. He did it after the passiage of the Healthcare Reform Act when he jettisoned the public option at the first hesitation by the Republicans. Despite all his words and promises, he never really believed in the public option.

Now he's done with the tax cuts, negotiating in secret with Republicans like they're the one you want to support. You gave them everything they wanted in exchange for the critical needs of families who are unemployed, are barely surviving financially, and need more help than the wealthy or corporations.

The President said the were concessions now for concessions the Republicans will give him later. Are you really that stupid? Do you really think they'll concede anything in the future, or will stand there as the party of no and demand more for the wealthy and corporations agian, like they did now and you gave them?

Now we've all come to see who and what you really are, a Republican. You're war hawk. You're fanatical over protecting the Defense Department against real and necessary budget and weapons systems cuts. And you'll end up giving the wealthy and corporations more tax cuts than ole' GW Bush himself, and do it quicker.

With the President's negotiation directly with the Republican leadership, not including Democrats let alone us, the public, you have lost my support and vote for 2012. I will not do either for you, period. I won't vote for a Republican, but I don't have to vote for you. I can and will give you my vote of no confidence.

Mr. President, you have the power of your office. I only have the power of the voting booth, and I can and will exercise that in 2012. So, after getting fucked by you, and would love to say, as the adage goes, go fuck yourself, I won't but I will walk away from you and everything you say anymore. You're a fraud worse than Bush himself.

He was transparent in his words and actions. That I'll give him. But you lied in 2008 and have decieved us since. We're wiser now to see who and what you really are. You shouldn't fear the Republicans now to 2012, but fear your own party and your own base. You may still have many who will forgive you for the few dollars in tax cuts, but enough will not stand for or with you then.

That is my promise to you, and I'm not running for my job so I don't have to lie.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Getting the Facts

Getting the facts, straight that is. Reading the story about the Portland man who tried to denoate a truck bomb near a downtown mall at a public event. The man, a Muslim, had expressed anger at America and wanted to killed Americans. This hate speech is not new, it's been with this country it's entire existence. But what's different under the Obama administration is the focus of the FBI on one group of people, Muslims.

This is not new to the FBI. They've historically focused on the most prominent group expressing hate and violence. In the 1960's it was the KKK and the blacks. In the 1980 and 1990's it was the gangs from Central and South America. Of late it's been Mexican cartels. But they've never been more agressive about seizing on the hate and recruiting individual(s) to commit "act of terrorism" than Muslims.

The case in Portland proves a point. If the young man was white, maybe even a christian, would the FBI have engaged in the acts to entrap him into the crime? After all, the FBI used an undercover agent (disguised as a radical Muslim) to communicate with him, then help him, then provide the resources, and then just waited knowing the bomb was a dud and they would catch a "terrorist" in the act.

It makes me wonder where they failed with the Times Square bomber, who was so inept that the bomb failed to denotate and he left the keys to the SUV with the registration in the glove box. If the bomb had detonated, where would the FBI be in identifying and catching him? Probably nowhere at worst and trying to get extradition of him from Yemen at best. He would have succeeded without the FBI's help.

And where were they then?

The FBI, with NSA's help intercepting communications in/out of this country and how they identified him, was able to build a terrorist. They've done this over and over with all the case of under Bush and now Obama. But all of those people were radical Muslims. And where, prey tell, is the FBI with other racial, ethnic or religious groups? We don't hear about those sting or entrapment cases.

Why is that?

Maybe because it's not news of terrorism or about terrorists? And maybe because the FBI only considers everyone who's not a Muslim just another extremist and not a terrorist? But aren't their goals and plans the same? And aren't they often better prepared, have the resources and have the plans? They don't need the FBI to build them into extremists and more so terrorists.

They already are and are just trying to stay under the radar, except they can't and aren't. The FBI already knows all about these groups, like the white racist militias during the 2008 election. They faded from the media because the FBI and Justice Dept. didn't make a big public spectacle of them. Why is that?

Because they don't relate to mainstream America's hate for Muslims over 9/11. Yet we're not mad at Saudi Arabia. After all most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi citizens and the rest from Yemen and other countries, but not Iraq or Afghanistan. But they were radical Muslims.

And so the FBI can use that fear of and hate for them as a media tool to show they're protecting America and Americans. They didn't do the same for the Oklahoma City bomber. Why? Because he was a white devout Catholic? And the FBI wouldn't and didn't want to antagonize Catholics to call them radicals and terrorists? Like the IRA maybe?

You can go through history and find every racial, ethnic and religious groups have had terrorists among them for periods of time. You can even call some actions of governments terrorism when they use overwhelming force against innocent civilians needlessly. Look at what Israel did in southern Lebanon after the kidnapping of two border guards by Hezbolah. Two border guards and Israel used new US-provided cluster bombs on innocent rural populations.

But that's wandering from the point here. We need to stop focusing our anger and hate in response to radical Muslims. And we need to get the FBI to conduct investigations against these people similar to other racial, ethnic or religious groups. Our FBI can't discriminate this way.

They could have simply kept this man under surveillence and then arrested him when he was about to commit a crime. They would have learned more about who else may be involved than just going after him. As it stands, they sent the message how they operate, who they target, and how much anger and hate they have against Muslims.

And now we've learned again they've infiltrated innocent Muslim groups suspecting them of inciting the anger and hate. Like radical Christian leader don't incite anger and hate about President Obama and our government? It's the same words and same intent. But we know the Muslim don't as most Christian leaders don't incite anger or hate.

So why assume all Muslims guilty and then go searching for proof? And if you can't find it, create it.

I have no misperceptions that extremist groups are engaged in acts of terrorism against Americans. But they didn't necessarily start this as many are angry at our government's international and global economic policies and practices. We invaded Iraq for no reason (only lies). We made the creation of Al Qaeda in Iraq possible (they weren't there before).

We help Israel in the suppression and oppression of people in the Gaza and the West Bank. We are allies with Saudi Arabia in most of the most repression governments in the middle East. Our history in the Middle East goes back to post-WW II with the British. We have occupied many of the countries in the Middle East, often supporting dictators (the Shah of Iran and even Saddham Hussein). for decades.

Our actions has caused them to have anger and hate towards us. So we're not necessarily entirely innocent victim here.

In other words they found reasons in our actions when those actions effected their lands and people. That isn't reason, however, for the FBI's actions. There are better and less public ways they could have used than make a public spectacle of a non-event (since they knew the bomb was fake) simply because he was a Muslim.

We need the FBI to be racially, ethnicly and religious neutral about threats to America and Americans and not presuppose one group guilty so far as create extremists and more so terrorist simply for media attention.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Let the Tax Cuts Expire

Here's a novel idea. Why not let all the tax cuts expire. Every single one of them. And then reduce the tax deductions in the corporate, business and personal income tax for everyone too. Maybe it's time we bit the bullet and paid our way into the future instead of the continual hope, and political promises, that we can and will grow our way out of the budget deficit and national debt.

As we've seen with Clinton we can keep taxes higher and grow the economy. And we've seen under Bush the exact opposite. We not we can't balance the budget with tax cuts, not with paying for the interest on the debt, two wars, entitlements, military operations and capitol investment, and discretionary spending. We can't balance the budget on the 15% of the discretionary spending.

We have to look at the two wars, our international military commitments, the Department of Defense (DOD) operations budget, the DOD weapons systems and equipment replacement programs and our DOD contracts. The DOD clearly has to reduce it's total budget by 15-20% as a goal over 3-5 years. And then do it again then. It's that's simple. We can't keep spending more on the DOD than all the other countries in the world combined.

And we have to look at increasing revenue to the Social Security Trust Fund Congress keeps raiding for money. We need to restore the Trust Fund and then get new money into it. Several ways come to mind initially. First, raise the income ceiling for all contributors by simply removing the ceiling. All income faces this tax.

Second, make all working undocmented workers and illegal immigrants citizens under an amensty program with optional contributions for past employment and credit. This will get rid of employers hiring them under false pretenses for cheap labor. It's makes them part of being Americans and American workers. And we get their income tax too.

Third, limit social security payments to rich people who have retirement anuities and post-retirement income above a threshold of say $75-100K. After all they don't need the extra income despite paying into it. It's their fair share to others during their working years. It's time the rich paid into it for everyone.

All of these, as some economists have noted, would make the Trust Fund solvent for quite a few decades and longer. And we don't have to reduce entitlements except maybe looking at the small percentage of fraud. Money not paid to one false claimant is money to one earned claimant.

I say this because as a federal retiree I can't get both without compensating my federal annuity. Even if I qualify for it (still short about a year-plus of credit) my annuity will be reduced the corresponding amount of the Social Security payment, meaning I can't get any more money over a ceiling despite paying into both systems. And if I can't, those wealthy shouldn't either.

We have to look at the discretionary spending but more with an eye for programs better down at the state or local level. I'm for the federal government doing the big and national work and support those programs benefitting the nation as a whole. There isn't much waste in the non-military discretionary programs, but there are some better served by corporations, businesses, states and local efforts.

It's clearly we have over-commited our federal government to too many programs, but I think if we tackle the former solutions (DOD, SSN, taxes, etc.) we can keep if not add to the discretionary programs to help everyone in the areas of healthcare (like adding a public option), education, environmental protection, agriculture, consumer protection, and so on down the list of work which clearly needs more money.

We have to look at healthcare costs. The Healthcare Reform Act didn't do this. It didn't and won't address costs which it handed to the for profit corporations in the healthcare and health insurance industry. They're still in control except for those states which have oversight commissions. We need to deal with and resolve costs to save Medicare, save families, and save taxpayers.

We have to look not at providing healthcare but look at where the extra money is going or wasted and then also look finding ways to control overall costs and all increases. If corporations can impose "managed care", we can impose "managed costs" to keep both sides on the same plane and minimize the problems and excessive costs.

We have to look at our international commitments both military aid and bases and aid programs. Sadly, maybe we need to tell the world, for a while anyway, we simply can't afford to help everyone. We've seen this in Afghanistan as billions are wasted to corruption and profiteering.

We have to look at getting corporations back to the US to put their taxes into our government. We should find ways to encourage them to return and discourage overseas headquarter to evade US taxes. If they want the US consumer, then they will pay the taxes appropriately. And if they don't move back, then restrict their access in the US as a "foreign" company. And then make them pay accordingly.

And as a demonstration to the American people, Congress need to rein in its own spending in several ways. Freeze the salaries and benefits for the same length of time they freeze the salaries of federal workers. Freeze their total funds for their office similarly to their salary freeze. And then freeze the White House funds too. Show solidarity with the rest of us.

In short as has been noted, we can't balance the budget with tax expiring tax cuts alone, with spending cuts alone, or with growing the economy alone. We need all and more. With a national debt of $50,000 per person and growing we can't afford not to seriously get us on the road to financial solvency with not only at least a balanced budget but also paying down the national debt.

It's our only hope and future. We've maxed out the government credit card. We can't just get a new one, but it's time we decided as a nation and a people to do this in the lifetime of our children and grandchildren. We're so far in debt we can't see the sky anymore, and it's time we stood on solid, level financial ground, and we need to start with the real sacrifices, not political ones or surficial ones.

So, not only let all the tax cuts expire, let's look at adding new taxes, cutting DOD spending and other measures any household would do to get solvent. We're the family and we've mortaging future generations farther than we can see anymore, and we know they won't be able to pay. Let's restore hope they can with our sacrifices now.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Lessre of Evils

The progressive and liberal Democrats have learned a few lessons this week with President Obama's negotiation with the Republicans over extending the Bush-era (2001 and 2003) tax cuts. They learned not to trust President Obama anymore. They kinda' knew this from the healthcare negotiations when he jettisoned the much needed and wanted public option and then he whined about the progressives and liberals for "not reading the detials" of the whole bill.

They learned the President will give away almost every good bargaining chip the Democrats have to get what he and not the Democrats think is a good deal. The deals turn out to be a very poison pill, giving key and important issues to the Republicans and getting lesser issues for the Republicans. They learned Obama would rather capitulate than fight. Apparently the President doesn't understand his one big chip, being President.

They learned he doesn't know how to be president and how to act to get effective and meaningful laws for America and the American people beyond what the Republicans will agree to. In short, Obama is intelligent but not smart. He is bright but not wise. And he lets others have more power and make decisions for him. Not a good president in my book.

And he is not loyal to his word. All the promises he made in the 2008 campaign are, as the song goes, "Dust in the Wind" and lost to political history on how to win a base and then forget them in office.

The Democrats also learned that with the President from now on, he is and will be the lesser of evils. He's not on the side of Democrats anymore. He's said as much as he's the President for America and Americans. Except he has conveniently forgotten where he came from and who got him elected. The progressive and liberal Democrats and independents. We've not only been swept out the door, but the President has yelled at us twice now in public from his podium.

They, and we, have learned he not going to stand up for us anymore beyond what the Republicans will agree to, which is nothing.

The President will learn the lesson, however, which he overlooked when he agreed to this bill with the Republicans. It will add $700 Billion to the budget deficit and national debt. On his watch. And the Republicans will surely hit him hard on this in 2012, despite being party to the the bill. They will argue the tax cuts didn't increase both but it was all the other costs.

The President doesn't seem to see, let alone understand, the Republicans don't see tax cuts and loss of income to the government and adding to any deficit and debt. They're intentionally bilnd and deaf to words tying tax cuts to debt. They see it as money earned by the people and stolen by the government.

It's why they called the tax bonuses to the rich as tax cuts for everyone. They see all of the tax cuts as one and not separate issues between all of us, remember we all earn under $250K, and the rich. The Republicans are all-inclusive when it comes to people, rich and poor alike. But that's not their goal, but the richest 2-3% of Americans earning more than $250K.

The Democrats learned the President also seems to see things this way. He would rather add $140 Billion to the national debt over the next 2 years than fight for protecting Americans from this debt. And he'll see the Republicans will bring this back in the 2012 campaign by calling him for raising the debt that same debt.

And he'll stand there and have to take it as that's exactly what he did, and then explain it to us, ordinary Americans who recite his own words. We have also learned, again, what the Democrats learned this week. President Obama lied. All politicians lie, but he was to bring "Hope and Change" to Washington. We learned those were empty words.

And so we saw another lesson in typical presidential politics, not what we were promised. We saw the emperor has no clothes made by the ordinary people, but by the rich. He's the very person he fought against in the campaign, and he now wears the clothes proudly and denounces the ordinary folks like us.

Maybe he should look at his campaign speeches again. We remember his words but apparently he's deliberately chosen them.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We're not the enemy

Mr. President, we, the Democrats - your base remember, aren't the political enemy. The Republicans are your political enemy. You negotiate with us, the progressive liberal base, and you argue with the Republicans. You don't do the reverse. You hate us for having ideals but not the Republicans for having their ideals. You didn't fight for and with us, but fought against us.

You sold us down the river for political compromise with the Republicans. Then you expressed your anger at us as you did before for nothing. The public option would have been good for everyone making health insurance competitive with the government's plan. Tax bonuses for the wealthy is wrong for America. More tax deductions and breaks for the wealthly and corporations aren't good for America and Americans.

And all these you said we're wrong because we won't compromise on our principles. Yet you will compromise your principles for the Republicans who hold their principles. We're not the enemy here and you keep treating us as is if were and are. And you expect us to support you in 2012? You're kidding, right?

The Republicans know that you will cave at the slightest sign of their obstinence over bills. They know that because you have caved every time while jettisoning the promises you gave us in 2008. And now you jettisoned us because we disagree with you and want to hold you accountable. What?

You have moved so far right, you're no longer a real Democrat. You're not even a centrists. You're a center-right President slowly becoming Republican with moments of Democrat-leaning ideas. You give us words while giving the Republicans results. And you expect us to be happy with you?

And it's easy to see, at least we see it, tax breaks and tax cuts won't solve the budget deficit and national debt. And it's easy to see you'll be hammered by the Republicans, Tea Party, the conservative PAC's, etal over both, increasing the same way they did in 2010 against the Democrats in the House and Senate. It's obvious to eveyone except you and your staff.

So why do you continue to say the Republicans will negotiate in good faith in the next Congress? Are you really that naive? I don't think so, but why do you keep proving you are? And why do you keep yelling at us and being nice to Republicans? Do you really think we won't equally be angry at you as you are with us?

We're not your enemy, and if you don't stop treating us as if we are, then we will make it clear to you what we can do in 2012. I hope you're ready for opposition. Or do you think we'll "read the details", as you say, and forgive you? If so, then you really are naive. And you'll be pushed from both sides, the Republicans you seem to love but hate you and us you seem to hate and will return the favor.

And all your words won't undo your past and your words spoken, especially at and about us. We have memories and will remind you. Loudly.

Dear Mr. Obama

I would call you Mr. President as you were elected, and I even voted for you, but then begrungingly since you were the lesser of evils despite some hope I had you might be a good president. We had hope, but as you have shown and done, you vanished that hope and you unmercilously beat your base into oblivion and to the far reaches of the political galaxy, leaving all the good Democrats in Congress holding an empty bag of promises.

So, my point here is that agreeing to extending the Bush-era tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, you bet the ranch, our ranch - you know the taxpayers' future, on your political re-election hopes in 2012. We're pissed to say the least and pissed not to support you in 2012 the most. Right now you were just at the former but this time you moved to the latter. It's clear now your promises then and even your words now are empty.

We noted then President Bush was the emperor with no clothes. That took him more than 4 years for it to become obvious. You, however, managed to achieve the same goal, and empty, naked President, in less than two. Congratulations for being so inept at being the president we expected, wanted and voted for. You lied and now we know. Kinda' drafty isn't it?

You bet our future but you didn't accomplish much beyond the much needed help for the unemployed. That you could have done independently of the tax cuts. You had a 58 vote majority in the Senate and it's now 53 for the 112th Congress. You had a majority in the House which you lost for the Democrats. The voters were pissed at you and took it out on them, and they and our party suffered defeat.

Because of you. And now you're struggling to stay alive and viable for 2012. At our expense and our future. Don't worry Mr. President, we'll remember all of this in 2012 too. And we will remind you. We don't have to vote for the Republicans, we just don't have to vote for you. We can say no just as well as the Republicans have and do. And we can stand there with our hand folded across our chest waiting for you to confront the reality, your reality.

If we were outside on the street, and I know you've heard this enough, you fucked us royal. You give us pennies while giving the rich and corporations dollars, millions of dollars. You promised to end two wars and we're still there, albeit badly in one and worse in the other. But you plan to "stay the course" as Bush said and did and Johnson said and did in Vietnam. You haven't learned anything and you're learning the history lesson about again.

At our expense too. These wars and our military and Defense Department is too expensive. But you don't want to be the president who faces the truth and reality, or more so the political backlash, if you try. But you should and you can, but then you don't have the balls for it because when it comes to political fights, you're a coward to even stand up for what you believe is right for Americans and America's future.

And now you'll be trying to put the best face on a bad deal. That's if you can convince the real Democrats in the Senate and then the whole lot of them in the House to go along with your deal, the one you stabbed them in the back with before they even tried to win one for the people. You sold them out too, just like you sold us out. And right now, I don't think they think much of you as President and a president.

I certainly don't. I know it's politics. We saw that with Clinton. You fucked the federal workers who are underpaid, overworked and not appreciated or liked by politicians, especially Republicans, until of course as Bush did, use them to redo the government against the people. But then you showed you don't like them either. And you expect them to help you now and expect them to vote for you in 2012?

I have to say Mr. President, you've managed to find a way to piss off everyone in your base who supported you, in one way or the other and many on everything. And in less than two years too. You're intelligent and bright, but you're not very smart. And your staff is worse because we don't know how they managed to get you to look so bad. You've shouldn't have hired ex-Clinton-era advisors.

What were you thinking? You prided yourself on self-confidence and then you opted to old political cronies to lead you into this? What didn't you understand? They weren't the solution, they weren't who and what you needed. We saw that to some degree and now we see it completely. And you haven't and don't?

Anyway, I'll close by saying I don't like being fucked by a president. Bush was enough, more than enough. And we expected and wanted change, but instead we got you and the continuation of the Bush era with some good measures but mostly half measures. You could have done better and should have done better with the majority in Congress and the majority and support of the people.

But you didn't and know you'll see the cost and face the price between now and 2012. Not from Congress, but from us, the people you fucked. We vote, something you forget but I'm certain will remind us in 2012. Except not for you next time. We learned and got burned. We won't make the mistake again. At least not until you can prove you're worth our vote.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

More of the Same War

I read about President Obama's sudden trip to Afghanistan and the speech he made to the troops that, "He's staying the course." Where and when have we heard those or similar words about a war? Like GW Bush about the war in Iraq? But we'll eventually phase out of there leaving the world's largest embassy in Baghdad.

We've been in Aghanistan since the winter of 2001 and we'll be there until after Obama's first term and more likely his second term. We're in an endless, no-win war there with one of the world's most corrupt government, all at our expense. They're getting rich with our money and the drug cartel's money. We're paying contrators paying the Taliban. Gee, pay your enemy to fight us.

No, I'm referring to President Johnson. Remember him about Vietnam in the mid 1960's and the buildup to half a million troops, before we had Mr. Cheney counting only "combat" troops and contracting war, logistics and other stuff to contractors for profit and fraud. We have somewhere around 300,000 personnel in Afghanistan of all types, government and civilian, with no end to these except promises about withdrawls if conditions on the ground are there.

Like that's going to happen. No, I'm referring to Johnson and his hell-bent strategy in 1965 to "stay the course" against communism, and the escalation to the peak in 1968 (they year I faced the draft). Obama is simply rehashing his words then only this time it's Al Qaeda, all of about 300 in Afghanistan and mostly Pakistan, and maybe a few thousand Taliban.

Obama is simply changing the tune and tone, but the song is the same, endless war with no victory realistically possible. So what happens when the public who already is tired of this war and want the troops home? Vietnam didn't have a 9/11, but the rhetoric using it to continue a war draining this country is unrealistic and unacceptable to the American public and voters.

Obama had better get wise or, and I hope, face a Democratic contender from the left who will argue for ending this war. All the experts say Al Qaeda won't re-establish in Afghanistan. The Taliban who will regain control with the current President who can't defeat them without us and will negotiate integration, and why he's not pushing for independence of us or NATO.

We're his meal ticket, just like the "elected" leaders in South Vietnam in the late 1960's. A propped government which won't last very long without us. Then the VC and NVA eventually overran the country and Saigon to hasten our exit. The VC had the NVA and China. The Taliban has some support from Pakistan but not military support. Just a safe haven and intelligence information.

In the end though, I wonder how long Obama can keep up the right wing hawkish rhetoric before his base decides he was and is a fraud. Moving right of center wasn't what we expected and voted for with him. While he's moving to capture the center-right, he's leaving his left base who can and will seek someone who will challenge him.

So who's going to be the Robert Kennedy (1968) or the George McGovern (1972) of 2012, someone to capture the hearts and minds, and votes, of the left who want the change they expected? I hope someone does if only to wake the President up we're angry at him and his policies.

What Don't You Understand

Dear Mr. President and the Democrats in the Sentate,

What don't you understand the American people, you know the vast majority who are middle, working-class or retired Americans and the almost all the lower income Americans, do not want tax bonuses for the rich. Period. It's that simple. And while all of you think inside the Beltway, it's time you thought of all of us outside the Beltway for a change and stand up for fairness.

Try as you want to bundle temporaray tax bonsues to the rich with the much needed unemployment benefits and other tax relief for the middle and working class along with real small business, it's time to not use us as political fodder for your own aganda in our name. Make the Republicans fess up to their lies, as they did yesterday (Saturday 12/4/10) to vote against the tax cut for every American, even the rich, up to $250K.

We've had 10 years of Bush tax cuts with only a recession and falling, or more so failing, middle class while the rich are getting richer faster than us and more so common sense, fairness and any measure of reasonbableness. Don't give them 2-3 more years of tax bonsuses because you know the Republicans will demand it again in 2012 during the election campaign.

Don't give them that opportunity. They don't deserve it. They didn't earn it. And certainly don't need more of it. Don't add to the deficit and debt with our children and grandchildren'sfinancial future. It's time all of you, and especially you Mr. President, to do what the Republicans have done now for two years, just say, "No! Hell, no!"

Because if you do and call it a victory, you can bet we'll remember in 2012, you know when you are up for re-election as President and many Senators are up for a new six-year term. We'll remember and we'll remind you of your arrogance toward us, your promise to be fiscally responsible, and your promise to bring down the deficit and debt

Yeah, we'll be there, but more importantly we'll be in the voting booth. You know we don't have to vote for the Republican opponent, we only need not to cast a vote for you. We can also say no too. And we know all your 2008 promises Mr. President didn't happen. In truth, you abandoned them just after breakfast the day after you were inaugurated. We remember that and we will remind you again.

You lied then and you're lying now. That's politics but we're tired of politics. The Republicans in this year's campaign have made it so toxic we don't even want to hear it anymore, and we don't want to hear it from you. We're not Beltway residents and we don't want it outside the Beltway. So stand up and do the right thing for all Americans now and in the future.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

What I Expect

Ok, for the 112th Congress, and the President, here's what I expect of ya'll from now to 2012, or face my anger in the voting booth then, like I can change anything. But I can and do vote. So what do I expect?

First, no tax bonuses for the rich, whether it's salaries over $250K or if necessary $1M, but I prefer the former. I don't want to pay for tax bonuses for the rich any more. After ten years and more years ahead, they've done nothing for the middle class and more so the poor. They've taken our money and run to the bank to get richer.

Second, I expect the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) to be passed and soldiers be soldiers, not hiding in the closet or discharged for suspicions from third parites. Almost all the discharges aren't from asking or telling but from other people outing someone them and the military accept that as evidence. The military broke the rules, not the soldiers.

Third, get us out of Afghanistan, the soon and quicker the better. It's an endless war draining taxpayers' wallets for nothing to make us more secure or safe. Find an exit and take it.

Fourth, fix the Healthcare Reform Act, adding the public option for everyone. You have two great models, Medicare and FEHB, to define a new program to compete openly with private health insurance companies.

Fifth, go after the Defense Department budget with an axe. I served my country during the Vietnam era but it's clear we're overcommited around the world and with our weapons systems. We have to stop chasing technology as the be end solution to fighting wars. We have to stop the endless costs and buying new systems which is draining our budget and deficit for little real security and safety.

Sixth, to the Senate, change the fucking rules to actually get some real work done for us. There are hundreds of bills passed by the House awaiting Senate work. Trash the cloture rule. Reduce the rule to overcome a filibuster. Stop being the roadblock to helping Americans from Republican bullshit and politics.

Seventh, to the President. Remember your promises. What don't you understand what we voted for? Abandon us at your peril.

That's it for now. I'll add as I read and get anger at you, the House under Republican rule and the Senate for being slow.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

God Help Us

Ok, religious of me to say that, and it's not meant to mean what you think. It's not about God help our country or God help the people, who really need the help, or more so it's not God help the Republicans in the upcoming 112th Session of Congress. It's God help us from the Republicans in the new Congress.

Yes, them and pray they don't misuse or worse abuse God and religion for their own political agenda, which is for the rich and corporations, for the misunderstanding and misinterpretation of God and science, and for the values we all hold common religion and politics aside. It's for us, God give of patience for their childishness of thought and words in the name of their agenda.

It's for those in the middle and lower income who face extraordinary and totally misplaced criticism for not being rich. It's for our government, not theirs, to do what is right and best for the country and people in the name of the people. It's for our freedoms, like freedom of all religions and the people of non-Christian religons who have come under attack from them.

It's for God trying to make some sense of them and let them know in no uncertain terms to follow what God teaches about others. But then God has problems too with closed minds and hearts. Even God will need help there and we can continue to raise our voices against the hate speech disguised as political rhetoric. We can fight against their intentions meant to do us harm. And we can work for a different Congress in 2012 to show them our anger against their transgressions.

In short, God help us to persevere through the next two years of the Republicans and see the good beyond their hate. And then kick their fucking asses out of Congress.

What We Know

Here's what we know about the budget deficit, here called the "deficit", and the national debt, here called the "debt", despite all the rhetoric to the contrary.

First, you can't reduce the deficit, and subsequently the national debt, with spending cuts, namely the budget of the non-discretionary and non-military agencies. The remaining federal budget after these is a less than 15% of the whole federal budget. You could totally eliminate it and still not touch both the deficit and debt.

Second, you can't reduce the deficit without significant changes in the non-discretionary programs, namely Social Security (SS), Medicare, and Medicaid to states. And you have to make significant cuts in the Defense Department budget for both operations, including both current wars and our international locations, and equipment programs, meaning all the new and replacement equipment of all the branches of the military.

The problem here is that the government has those obligations to the people of this country and to our international commitment in two wars and overseas bases. And the military has to replace current aging and damaged equipment from those two wars and normal use. The question, however, is if we really need new weapons programs, because we're clearly spending orders of magnitude (10x) more than our enemies and more than the rest of the world combined.

Third, you can't reduce the deficit with tax cuts or even tax increases. The debt this year is about $4,700 per person and the debt with this year's deficit is about $50,000 per person in this country. That's PER PERSON and 3 to 4 times for every family in this country. That's the reality of the depth of the problem we're facing. Cutting taxes, like extending the Bush and Obama tax cuts, clearly isn't the answer as it only adds to the problem.

This was a little simple math, and I'm astounded the politicians, from the President to Congress, haven't raised this point to show where we have put ourselves being deaf and blind to the reality of deficit spending over decades. And make no mistake here. it is the Republicans who have increased both several times more than the Democrats. The Democrats aren't the worst bad guys here, but Reagan and GW Bush's 8-year administrations that increased the debt the most.

We've been overspending on the government's credit to the point we can't dig our way out of the deficit and debt with going on a really big austerity program for a long time, generations in fact. Unfortunately the Debt Commission tried to address this issue and failed, putting the bulk on of burdent on middle class and income families, on the young and their future, and on the elderly on fixed incomes none of whom can afford it.

There is no question we have to resolve the deficit and work on the debt. The interest alone is almost as much as the whole non-discretionary spending excluding the Defense Department. This is the reality of the situation we're facing as a people and country, all of us. The question is what are the short-term and longterm solutions which is fair and just.

And that the Debt Commission did provide all-encompassing solution, but some of those are outside the scope of their direction and purview. They wandered and lost sight of the problem and then the solution. Cutting taxes aren't the answer. Cutting benefits doesn't help much and only hurts people. The questions we have to ask ourselves is how much we owe our government in these tough economic times.

Personally I don't have an answer. I too have used the Bush and Obama tax cuts to live. Like most Americans I have little choice in the matter but to pay the costs of living today in this country. Taking away over $100 per month if the tax cuts expired would hurt, not that I won't live, but that I won't improve my life and pay off my own debt.

What I do know is that near the end of my life, I can simply ignore it and push for keeping my tax cuts and leave the mess to the future generations, and say, "Thanks for all the fish." (Douglas Adams). But I can't and I won't. I would accept my tax increase if everyone else accepted theirs fairly and proporationately.

We are in a financial boat for the survival of our (stress our) government and our country. It's time everyone bite the bullet and commit to their fair share as we can relieve some of the burden of our youth and future generations. It's time we did and it's time the President, especially him, and Congress do likewise,including their own salary and staff costs.

We're all in the same boat no matter who says otherwise. We need corporations to return their tax headquarters to the US and pay their fair share, which would amount to a significant help. It's not something the people can do while corporations skip their obligations and escape with the profits hidden beyond our tax laws. They identify as American companies, it's time they paid like American companies.

That's what I think. It's time to be fair and just for all, people and corporations, and even consider non-profit organizations and established religions anteing up for all the years of tax-free living here at our expense. We know they're not poor and it's time they stopped hiding behind tax exclusions.

But in the end, I don't expect anything real to be done. The Republicans are out for themselves, the corporations and the rich, and the Democrats are too afraid to raise the reality and truth to their constituents. But they also know we can't keep punting this issue to the next Congress and the next and the next. It won't go away and only gets worse. They know that, so it's time they are honest too.

It's time the President above all of us, stand up and speak common sense and wisdom to face the issue and face the solutions. It's why he's the President. And I haven't heard that from him, plain, honest words describing the real mess and the real solutions, politics aside.

And until I do hear that I'll raise my own small voice expecting him to do likewise. And if he doesn't, consider someone else to be President who will.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dear Mr. Reid

Dear Senator Reid,

As the leader of the Senate and having watched hundreds of bills passed the the house stall and languish in the Senate due to Republican intransigence and obstructionism because you don't want to rankle feathers and want to negotiate and compromise, often dropping long-standing Democratic values and issues, I have only a few words of advice over the latest news the 42 senators will stop all legislation until they get what they want on the Bush tax cuts, and it is very simple.

Get some damn balls!

It's time you, as many in and around the Democratic party have been saying for the last two years now, hold the Republicans accountable and make it very public. Make them vote to deny tax cuts to every American. Make them vote against extending unemployment benefits. Make them vote against the START treaty. Make them vote against DADT. Make them vote against the Dream Act. Make them vote on every single bill not waiting a vote in the Senate from the House and every presidential appointment waiting Senate approval.

Cram the agenda with a long list of work, and then change the fucking rules to eliminate cloture voting for bills which should go to the floor for an up and down vote. Show you and the Democrats really represent the American people and want to get things done. Don't whimper in front of the media about cooperation, negotiation and compromise. The Republicans don't and won't compromise. They've proven that over and over again and again.

If they want to filibuster, fine, let them, but demand they stand there in the Senate and talk until they give up. Don't allow any Senator to hold a bill because they don't like it. Make it public and make that Senator declare their reasons public and in front of the media. If they don't, then you go before the media to tell everyone who and why. Make them visible, very visible.

You've cowtowed to them at every turn hurting working Americans, middle and low income Americans, Americans needing affordable healthcare, Americans needing jobs, mortage relief, and fair taxes. We're tired of you and the Democrats pandering and whining. We told you that in our votes (I didn't since I voted Democratic). So what don't you understand to get angry, get passionate and get LOUD!

In short, get a backbone and some balls. Or else face losing the Senate in 2012. It's that simple. We want noise and results. And if the Republicans won't, then force them to be and go public. Get up, stand up and be the Senate leader we, the American people, need and want. It's time you learned and did that for us and not yourself and your image.

Dear Mr. President

Dear President Obama,

I've been reading and listening to your comments in interviews and your statements. It's clear to me that what you said in 2008 wasn't what you truly and sincerely felt and thought, and more so believed. Those weren't necessarily lies, or at least in political jargon, but campaign rhetoric. To the many Americans who did believe your words, did vote for you and did believe you'd fulfill on your promises, those were in fact lies.

And now you're showing your willingness to sacrifice good, middle class Americans for your political victories. They, however, will be empty victories for all of us despite what you say afterward because we'll know you lied before not really believing your own words but selling a message. You're showing you're not a true Democrat in the traditional sense we expect one to be, to fight for public interest and public welfare issues, like the public healthcare option, and now like government employees and retirees.

It's been reported in studies since the Jimmy Carter administration federal government employees are unpaid by 20-22% compared with comparable private sector people of the top 100 corporations, near the middle with comparable state employees and near the top 500 corporations. It's only the retirement and health insurance benefits where government employees gain back some of those losses. That's not the hype but honest studies commissioned by Presidents, even George Bush.

All of them wanted to prove a point, that federal government employees are overpaid and overcompensated with benefits, but the studies proved the opposite, we were and are underpaid and undercompensated. Our benefit is our assured decent annuity and good health insurance, the same program enjoyed by those in Congress and their staffs, something they like to forget or not admit when they argued against the public option. Just lies to cover their poltical asses.

All the other studies, if you look at them closely, mismatch the comparison to inflate the values of federal government employees above the private sector people, using small or medium business who traditionally pay less in salary and benefits, with different job catagories, or combining groups of jobs into the same catagories. Those studies were all done to prove what they wanted, and wrongly.

My gross salary when I retired was $75,000, $50,000 net minus the various taxes and deductions and my contribution to my retirement fund, both government and personal, and my health insurance. My annuity was $50,000 gross and $36,000 net. That's not extreme as many Republicans and others have argued. It's middle class. And each year while the cost of living increases, by anuity does't keep pace. I, like many retirees, am slowly falling into a hole and could easily fall over a cliff in the face of a large unexpected expense.

And now you've decided federal government employees and retirees are political fodder for you and your future reelection. It's obvious and you can't hide it with words as deficit reduction. The cost of living of federal employees and retirees will increase 8-10% per year for each of the two years you're freezing their salary and our annuity. Our health insurance went up 12% last year and will go up 7% next year.

Is $5 Billion a year worth it? In a $1.4 Trillion deficit and a $14 Trillion national debt? Is our cents critical to our economic survival worth the political capitol to look good on cutting the size and cost of the federal government? Will those in Congress do the same for their salaries and for the salaries of their staffers? Will you freeze your salary too?

And still you haven't stood behind federal government employees for their hard work and service, but sacrificed them to the Republicans' agenda. Will you next freeze hiring while demanding more work of them? Will you freeze promotions and rewards for outstanding work? Do you expect to balance everything our their, and our (retirees), backs and wallet?

It's clear your word isn't worth the time it takes for your to express it. And we should trust you now and in the future? I've said you've lost my support for you, and now you've lost my confidence of ever gaining it back. I may not vote for your opponent but I certainly won't vote for you. I'll express my no on you and you alone, who has failed the American people and America I believe in.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

When Polls are Wrong

I've heard and read about the public approval of the full body scanners, somewhere between 66% and 85% of the public don't have a problem with the TSA's use of them. That sounds good as the TSA and HSA have reiterated over and over, "See, they may not like them but they think they're right and good." Except the poll is wrong because the question was, "Do you favor full body scanners to fight terrorism?"

See, they biased the question with the presumption that no body scanners invite terrorists through the check points where we know that's not true or going to happen. Remember all in-flight terrorists started their flight in Europe not in the US and therefore didn't go through our passenger screening process. And while TSA has caught suspicious terrorists, meaning now prosecuted and more so convicted, with the screening process, none were caught with the full body scanners, but the carry-on inspection devices.

When the question was changed to be neutral, it's a good bet people will not like the full body scanners, such as asking, "Would you be willing to go through a full body scan if we suspected you of carrying something illegal?" Or some such question, making it personal to the individual about TSA view of them as a threat than some generic terrorist.

The point is that the full body scanners and enhanced pat-downs aren't necessary and clearly intrusive into the privacy of individuals. There are better ways to minmally screen citizens without resorting to fear to sell technology as the answer when it's not and a waste of taxpayers' money.

Remember it was Secretary Chertoff who started the process to get the full body scanners and shortly after leaving office, but before the final decisions were made, he started working for a lobbyist representing the company making and now selling the full body scanners. It's was a fix from the start by Mr. Chertoff, and he more than likely made up the fear into evidence of a threat and the solution.

We've been duped as the polls are duping us even more. They're wrong and they lie about the truth and reality.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Mr. President

Well, I've listened to all your latest comments and responses to the new TSA rules and other things about our life you say you understand and are working hard to fix. Well, with all due respect of your office, we don't want your sympathy or empathy and we don't need or want your understanding. We want your results to resolve these issues and problems.

We want you to experience what we have had and will have for a long time, something you don't understand. You don't get humiliated at airport screenings with long lines, inspections, belongings checks, patdowns and now full body scan or "enhanced" pat downs. They're useless and meaningless and not really intended to deter terrorists or detect some types of dangerous or hazardous chemicals or explosives.

But you say you understand. And that's all you do, talk. We're tired of talk and we're tired of more and more fear of us, the citizens, as terrorists. We're not the guilty ones. We're not the threat. We're not terrorists. So why do you treat us as them? You don't understand that?

You could take all the full body scanners away, stop all the patdowns, stop with the shoes, stop with the restrictions for carry-on items, and nothing would change. Nothing. Except of course we would have part of our lives back and would travel easier, and ever safer. Any bets to tests this? Or are you afraid of us, the citizens?

What we want is our freedom, our civil rights and liberties, and our privacy from government intrusion and interference where and when it's not necessary, useful or helpful. That is what we know and understand and want you to understand and act on and for our behalf to give us.

Can you understand that? And more so, can and will you do something about it? That we understand.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

If All Else Fails

If all else fails, blame the Taliban. The US and NATO's handy excuse when thing go wrong. The Army is reporting that the British hostage killed in an attempt by US special forces to rescue her was killed not by a Taliban bomb near her but by a US gernade thrown into the room where she was being held. Oops doesn't begin to describe thngs.

And over 100 trucks, about 40 loaded with fuel, were destroyed waiting on the Pakistan side of the Khyber Pass while Pakisan negoitated with the US and NATO over their incurions of attack helicopters into the Pakistan Tribal areas, one attack killing two Pakistani soldiers. Exactly who are we fighting there? And why?

The sad reality is that there is no answer to Afghanistan and no easy exit leaving a stable country, ever. But we should stop calling everyone killed by US or NATO forces insurgents, many are innocent Afghan or Pakistani civilians, and then blaming the Taliban or Al Qaeda because it sounds good.

When will the military learn the American public learn about the BS in the military's PR from the Vietnam war, but they haven't changed their tone and tune, it's still "Just Blame the Enemy" song, over and over again? And when will the media keep playing it because it sells war, fear and hate to the American people?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Quick Update

Obviously I haven't posted here in awhile, like 4 months! Ok, tardiness is an nice excuse but not a good reason. The short answer is that while I'm still angry with the events, people and situations in the world, I'm not angry enough to rant or vent about it, especially here. I'm run short of the energy to translate thought into page. And the reason for the lack of sufficient anger is, as you might expect, health issues, life and work. Or the other way around in no particular order.

You see I've had a number of health issues which are critical or serious to cause hospitalization or some such medical intervention, but just a bunch of irritating and frustrating issues which have left me tired most of the time, physically and mentally. Irritating in that it's taken away my ability to travel unless planned day(s) in advance and frustating because it's defying the physicians and specialist who are going through the tests for the obvious.

You see they have to run down the list of obvious causes and go through the various tests to discover if it's the problem and cause, or not. And so far, it's a lot of nots, and one close one which didn't pass the tests, except it's something with the same symptoms. And it's likely there isn't a treatment to help and especially a cure. That's because it's probably something known but only by a few specialists or one who is trying to find it.

So,that's the story about why I haven't posted and probably won't for awhile more. The news still makes me mad as do stupid people, especially elected ones, even the President at times. What a SOB these days. But the Republicans are far worse, to the point they're not even hiding the fact they're lying about everything. They don't care anymore. The party of no to the people.

Anyway, that's all I have to say for now. I'll keep you posted if things change.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Politicians being stupid

I originally planned to call this post "Men being stupid", but I realized women are politicians too and likely voted from some of the bills mentioned in my rant against decent common sense. Common sense from this chair anyway. And the news stories?

Well, the state of Nebraska, which I thought was better than the Dakotas for their treatment of women, have one-upped them with a new bill doing two things. One it requires women planning an abortion be "screened" for mental health and other problems before be allowed to get an abortion. It's clearly meant to slow down the process and get pro-life counselors to talk to women seeking abortions as a screen for a mental health exam.

It's clearly inappropriate and only shows the narrow morality and mentality the Nebraska legisltature and Governor have for women's rights. It's just another sign they don't trust women, but it's hypocritical as we all know if men were faced with the same situation, they wouldn't hesitate to scream foul as an afront to their rights. Men, and some women, being stupid.

On top of that, the law bans abortions after 20 weeks, which is just near the end of the second trimester, not for health reasons often used, but because it says "fetus feel pain" and an abortion would inflict pain on the fetus. Except it's still tied to the mother and the procedure accomodates this issue. It's cow pasture material and apparently they dragged some of it into the Nebraska legistlature chamber as this bill and now law.

They're trying to take away the mother's right to choose and the protections with that choice. That's not good law, it's simply politicians being stupid.

Ok, next item. The news story saying Democrats may not pass the 2011 appropriations bills this fall until after the November elections. Not because of pottential problems with Republicans to pass the bills, but because they're afraid. Afraid of Republicans in the elections focusing on the deficit problem with the appropriations. This isn't just politicians being stupid but spineless or gutless, take you pick.

This is the annual problem with Congress, they rarely pass appropriations before the deadline of September 30th, to fund the federal government October 1st. It's both parties at fault, regardless of which is in power. They always pass continuing resolutions funding government at the previous year spending until they can pass the appropriations measures, that is except one, war funding.

But for some reason, they never seem to fail to pass the appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghaniston. Well, except once but then they fixed it with a quick fix bill before the final bill. That's because these funds are unique and separate funding measures and the wars are pay as you go or no war. And we all know Congress likes funding wars, it's sells votes.

But not to pass the appropriations bills because you're afraid the Republicans will hammer you in the election ads isn't not good politics. It's not good government. It's simply being stupid out of fear of an imaginary enemy, something that hasn't happened. The incumbents are going to get hammered in ads anyways, this just adds ammuntion to their ads.

So the Democrats are shooting themselves in the foot, er mouth, or more so their own political future, or so they fear. They're not thinking, just having no balls to actually represent the voters who put them there. Just politicians being stupid.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Thought in passing

Just some thoughts from the news this week, or more so later in the week.

First, executive salaries. The Washington Post reported the Boys and Girls Club of America lost $13 million in 2008 (no 2009 report filed yet). This while getting over $100 million in federal money and the CEO earning $1 million in salary, expenses, travel and retirement savings. And this while the club closed 24 offices and clubs and fired 10% of the staff.

Where is it acceptable to see CEO skimming the cream while the carton is leaking from the bottom? Where is it allowed that CEO can drive a company into the ground, or bankruptcy, or government takeover, and still make money? Aren't CEO supposed to earn how the company goes?

Yeah, we know it wasn't on Wall Street, they only lied, fudged the numbers and skimmed billions for false profits. But ordinary companies or organizations who are supposed to do good, like this one? How can a CEO say they're good when the results aren't there?

And we wonder what's wrong with CEO's? Or maybe that's the obvious they don't see? It's not about what's wrong but what's right about CEO's.

The recent Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate campaign financing. One person jumped ahead of the curve. Why buy a sitting or prospective Representative or Senator in Congress, when you can simply be a corporate one? Murray Hill, who owns his (self-named) company is running for Congress. He isn't holding back he's a corporate candidate.

While in innovative to say the least, it's scary it's the future. A lot of sitting representatives and senators better take notice that the next competitor in your next election won't be another person seeking office to represent the people, or more so represent corporate interests, but simply a corporate candidate.

This isn't new. Several CEO's and other corporate individuals have run for office, Senator Linda Cantwell for one (former software executive). Most do well for awhile but run into Washington politics and change. And it is a requirement that all elected people separate themselves legally and financially from their corporate ownership or holdings, usually put into a blind trust.

But now we will see blatant corporate candidates, following former Vice President Cheney's practice not to do that, despite the law. He, if you remember, when elected and told to follow the law to separate this financial interests, including salary, responded with a less than diplomatic, "Go fuck yourself."

Yes, he collected his annual dividend and interest from his Haliburton holdings and former job (CEO) while being VP. He also refused to recuse himself in the decisions to issue billions of dollars worth of contracts to Haliburton its subsidaries for the war in Iraq. Yes, he personally profited by the war.

He was the best war profitter in history. He was instrumental in starting it for that very reason. Not patriotism but greed. Pure and simple greed. Get our money, sacrifice American soldiers, and in 8 years smile all the way to the bank. And now we'll see more political savy candidates do this very thing.

All thanks to Cheney and the Supreme Court.

And lastly, lying Republicans. Yes, like they don't know how to do anything else. The senior Republican in the Senate yesterday again announced plans to defeat the healthcare reform bill, citing the lack of public support. Except every poll has shown the public wants healthcare reform and wants the public option.

It's that simple. We don't want the status quo which is causing 45 million people to be significantly underinsured or uninsured and causing another similar number to be less than fully insured, denied coverage for critical medical needs, or denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions.

But the truth has never stopped the Republicans on the healthcare debate. And some Democrats too, like Mr. Stupak and Nelson. They also lied whenever they spoke about it. It's not that they picked and choose what from the information or the polls, they simply lied or made things up. None of what they said was true.

But it's the Republicans in mass who are the biggest liars on this issue. Every time they stepped in front of the microphones or cameras. They're the answer to the often asked question, "How can you tell when someone it lying?" Their lips are moving.

And so goes the news in America. Not good but our ordinary lives continue.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Government is not Broken

"Congress is broken." Many people's favorite words. But oh so wrong when you don't say what, why, when, who, etc. So to that I respond with the following.

Please distinguish what you mean. Government is the many agencies under the Executive Branch which provide you and America the products and services which enrichen your life. They are following the mandates and work specificed by Congress and with the funding also specificied by Congress in Appropriation bills.

So when you talk about how "government is broken", please specify what part of government you're talking about. Politicians and pundits love to bash "the government" when it's really Congress or the President they're bashing. There are nearly 4 million government employees, not counting the military forces (only DOD civilian employees) and millions more contract employees working under contracts or directly for the agencies.

They're not broken. They're just doing their job. I spent nearly 28 years (additional 4 in the USAF) and I can tell you, we weren't broken and they're not broken. I know the government employees are dedicated and hardworking. So they don't deserve your criticism, or worse, you anger, when you won't be specific as to what you're talking about a broken government.

And I won't argue with you about Congress. It's long been broken and is the worst example of good government, only an example of a corrupt government. But we elected them. On promises for our votes, which they knew were lies and know won't be done because they're bought and paid for by corporations and tutored by their lobbyists.

And it's not about wasteful spending. Those agencies, excluding the DOD and military spending, are only about 5% of the annual government budget. The rest are interest on the debt, entitlement programs, military spending (personnel and operations) and equipment (ships, planes, weapons, vehicles, etc.) purchases and the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Five percent. That's all what the agencies have for the year, allocated and defined by Congress. The agencies don't get to use the money outside the programs specificed by Congress. They don't have that luxury. So, arguing they're misspending money isn't true, they're spending what Congress mandated in the agencies' requests or with earmarks.

And to those pundits and politicians who want to dissovle the IRS, It would help the argument if you offer an alternative that works, and not simply argue against the IRS. We need to have taxes to make goverment work for the people, and that requires enforcing tax laws, which by the way aren't written by the IRS, but again, Congress. They write the laws, the IRS only write the administrative code and enforces the laws.

They're not the problem with the tax system, so venting against them is erroneous and wrong. And yes, I've met and known many in the IRS, and they're just like any other dedicated and hardworking government employee, doing their best within the rules set by Congress. Congress did this, not the IRS.

And if you abolish the IRS what will you propose in its place to ensure tax are being collected? You will need a government agency, so what don't you understand? If you're angry at the income tax system, it's not the IRS, again, it's Congress. Blame them, not the IRS for enforcing the laws Congress writes and passes.

If you don't like the tax laws, and some in Congress don't, you should know better than anyone, the problem is you. Yes, you're your own problem and your own enemy. Not a pretty picture huh? So, when I hear it from elected representatives, I only need to tell them to look in the mirror for the problem and the solution.

So, don't bitch about government unless you tell us what you're angry at and why, with factual information, and not political rhetoric or simply bullshit. I didn't spend a career to hear that crap from anyone.

It is time

It's time the Democrats jettison the Republicans in the healthcare debate and pass the legislation the people ask them to pass. It's not their healthcare reform, it's the American people's healthcare reform and it's America's healthcare reform. It's that simple. And the Republicans have been and are being not only a roadblock, but simple deadend.

As a political analysist noted, the Republicans kept moving the compromise to the right, on the public option, on abortion, and on almost any issue in the healthcare legislation, to the right where the whole bill was to the right of center without a real public option or guarranteed coverage for every American. It's time this stopped.

The Democrats should politically say, diplomatically as possible, "Fuck the Republicans!"

Reconcilation has been used 22 times on healthcare legislation, 16 of those times by Republicans no less. They're now bitching about what they've used in the past and telling the Democrats they don't care about their view or vote. They pushed through what they wanted. They told the Democrats, "Go fuck yourself!"

The Republicans have used or threatened to use filibuster more times, several times more in fact, during this current Congressional session than any of the past sessions in the last 50 years, and it's the Republicans who have also used it far more times than the Democrats. The Republicans are the party of "No!"

No to the Democrats. No to Americans. And no to America. They simply don't care about the American people, or at least anyone not making a few hundred thousand dollar annual salary. They only care for corporations and the rich. The rest aren't worth anything beyond lying to get their vote, something they done very well.

They've sold themselves to us as the party to protect individual rights. Except it's not the rights of the poor and middle class they're protecting. It's the rich to be rich and become richer, leaving us standing in the line of losing, losing jobs, our family's healthcare, our homes, our savings and retirements, and our lives. But the rich are fine, thanks to the Republicans.

It's time the Democrats decided to stand up and do what they wanted in the first place. Fuck any compromise, it's not possible and whatever you could get from the Republicans will only allow them to stall the process and sell their political rhetoric, which is all lies. You know it and we know it.

So get on with the show and help the American people. Get some political balls and a backbone and get the work done. For the American people. Whatever it takes, we want it done.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Totally Inept Congress

Yes, we know they're not doing much beyond talking, blaming the other side for all the problems things aren't getting done in Congress, but two recent pieces of news really highlights the point that while it's been mostly the Republicans, it's really the Democrats who lack in conviction to do anything beyond pointing verbal fingers.

And this is true because? Well, on the Rachel Maddow, she listed the 290 bills in the Senate which have passed the House, many with strong Republican support, waiting for a vote. But because the Republicans are threatening to filibuster any, and really all, of the 290 bills, remember they're the party of no, the Democrats won't challenge them to filibuster, even those bills their own party in the House want passed.

The Democrats, under Harry Reid, are afraid. Pure and unadulterated fear. No backbone, no balls, no anything. They would rather show they're to blame than show who's really to blame. The answer is simple. Make the Republicans filibuster. Show the American people how ridiculus they really are and ask the American people, "Is this what you want?"

The Democrats are blowing the perfect 2010 campaign slogan, proving the incumbant Republicans are the party of "No!" and to elect the Democrat to get the work and business of this country's government done. It's what the American people want and deserve for all the money we're paying. And the Democrats are too afraid so they sit on their hands.

The Republicans have never stopped at showing the Democrats as fools when they controlled Congress. They always made the point who's to blame, not them but the Democrats. The Republicans have verbally bludgeoned the Democrats into submission under the Bush administration. And the Democrats never stood up, not even for themselves but to whimper.

And for that, they and Harry Reid deserves to lose in 2010. The Republicans only want to stop President Obama and the Democrats from doing anything, even things the Republicans want and would support, and have in the past proposed. They have proven and are showing we'll tolerate their bullshit rhetoric and their stall tactics. They're betting on it this fall. And they know the Democrats are too scared to challenge them, especially Harry Reid.

I hope the Democrats change, and maybe give Harry Reid some balls and a backbone. 290 bills are waiting his ok to go to the floor for a vote. And if the Republicans filibuster, so be it. We'll see it and understand, but until you do that Mr. Reid, we won't and we'll blame you and the Democrats for doing nothing.

On another note, the Republican healthcare plan. When you read it, or what's available, it's simple. It's more of the same and more promises to lower premiums, cover more people and reduce medical costs. All because the insurance companies will volunteer to do that. That's their plan and message. Trust the insurance companies.

Like we have been doing? Like we have 8-10% of American uninsured and another 8-10% underinsured? That's 30-40 million Americans. Like the cause of most personal or family bankruptcies for the last 10 years has been for medical bills? Like the Republicans had from 1994-2006 to fix it and they did nothing?

That's NOTHING. Except help the companies get richers, Americans get poorer, and all but the wealthy get worse health insurance at higher premiums. That's what they did. That's what got us here and all I hear and read from the Republicans is more of the same, help the companies get richer, we get poorer and get less insurance for higher premiums.

And that's healthcaare reform? Giving the insurance companies incentives, like tax cuts and exemptions, to promise to do better? They're some of the richest, most profitable companies in this country, and you think they'll really do what you ask them to promise?

Notice they're not promising anything. The Republicans are offering them incentives to promise.

In the end, it won't change anything beyond a few improvements, few for the American people, especially those 15-20% who can't afford insurance or can't afford decent insurance. The Republican plan won't guarrantee access to mandatory coverage (pre-existing conditions), won't guarrantee prohibitions for companies from cancelling coverage (excessive costs), and won't guarrantee minimium premium increases (anything, any amount).

That's their plan. And it's take it or leave it. They're selling it as the right of people to choice. What choice? What improved choices? What lower premiums? What? They won't spell it out. They won't guarrantee their plan will actually work. They won't promise solving the problem. They're only offering smoke and rhetoric.

Their answer is simple. Appear to do something but really do nothing. Just more of the same. And it's why they're threatening to filibuster any Democratic plan. And we get screwed. Tails they win, heads we lose. Tossing the coin doesn't matter. The Republicans control things and the Democrats won't challenge them.

So to Harry Reid, get some balls and a backbone or face the reality. The reality the American people really hate Democrats, and it will be your fault. Change the rules. It's doable and we want action and results. Nothing less anymore. We elected you, so do your damn job for us. For a change.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ok, enough with Tiger Woods

I'm am thoroughly fed up with all the news and mostly the hype around the news about Tiger Woods. There is no question the guy has issues of monogamy and about his choice of women, but it's his and not anyone else's issue or problem. So let's let him be and get back to his life and career.

Remember if we want to shine a light and even condemn him for his infedities, then let's not forget other famous people with equally the same issue, or problem if you're against him on this (I'm not). Say President Kennedy? Or more so any number of politicians, celebrities and other athletes. Let's get real here ok?

Real is meaning it's an issue between him and his wife and family. It's their life, and marriage, and no one else has the right to judge or say anything critical. Lest ye expect the spotlight to shine on you and your private life. Care for that? No? well, then shut up about Tiger Woods.

And please to all the news shows, especially ESPN, it's not news until it's news. They spent countless hours talking, and all speculation, with numerous news and sports analysists and pundits, talking about what Tiger Woods might say and what effect or impact it will have on his life and career.

To that I turned off ESPN and say, "Who cares?" All those hours isn't news, but pure speculation and mostly bullshit disguised and opinion. It's not worth listening to. Let's wait until he actually speaks and then talk about what he said, not around it or about what it means, but simply what he actually says.

In other words, focus on the news and nothing more. Or if not, you've lost one viewer, at least until you stop talking about the news and actually report it. Gee, that would be refreshing for a change.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Floating into Oblivion

After rereading the last post, "Uncertain Future", I have to say, that's still the view from here. I still read the newspapers, both on-line and print, still listen to my local NPR station and occasionally watch a few TV news shows, like the Rachel Maddow show, the PBS News Hour, etc., but a lot of my energy, and really anger, is fading away.

You see anger rules my interest to post opinions on the news. I still add a few columns on my photography column (in list of blogs on the right of this Web page - see the JMO prefix for "Just My Opinion"). But the my current health problems and the drugs I'm taking are dampening a lot of my spirit to write about the news. It takes a lot of energy just to exist right now, let alone doing anything and especially being angry at the world.

I'm still mentally angry, but it's becoming more and more disappointment why people just don't understand what it's about. Like Congress and especially the Republicans for being assholes with the most filibusters during President Obama's short administration than since the 1950's. It's assinine for them to think we think they're doing the right thing.

But that's another issue, the divisiveness in the country today. Everyone, from the far left to especially the far conservative and religious right. Humanness, understanding, deceny, negotiation, compromise, and so on down the list of being human has disappeared from the political discussion and landscape. Everyone is yelling and no one is listening.

Adding another angry voice isn't helping and only making me feel worse. And I'm tired of that. I'm working to find a way to get and feel better, and get back to doing what I love. And being angry only takes away from the focus and work. It still won't stop me from voicing my view and opinion, only less often.

And so, I still don't know where this blog will go. I have six other blogs, a Website, my photography, my Mt. Rainier NP photography and history projects, and my life to work on. Here is just a distraction I need to wander away from and only come back occasionally, probably monthly.

Until then, I'm still here, but you can visit less often and more with my other blogs (see my profile). Take care and practice being human being. Please.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Uncertain Future

I've found the vacation busy and kinda' nice from this blog (but not my other ones, just check my profile), because I didn't have to rant or vent about the news of the day. I did subscribe to the New York Times' daily reader service which delivers the daily paper to your computer. It's different than the other papers because this one is the complete daily with all the stores and images along with additional news updates, photos and videos. You can also go back 7 days if you miss an issue.

It requires both Adobe Air and their software application, but it's quick to install and use. And it's only $0.50 per day. That's a bargain considering the print edition is $2 for daily and $6 for the Sunday edition. I still buy some print editions to take places and I love the Sunday edition to spread out with breakfast. I wish the other papers had a similar product, because I see this as a future choice for readers.

The others require you to use their subscription Website for the electronic version. That's reasonable for now if you want to navigate through their Web pages. What some readers want, however, isn't going but getting and reading. They want their personal copy delivered in a simple, readable format, not unlike the print edition or better and easier.

The NY Times does this while all the others have very cluttered and distracting Web pages, even for subscribers. They do this to get your information under the guise of the "on-line" experience, except that subscription services, whether it's RSS or e-mail signups which delivers the links or stores, is only one way the future for now, but they don't give you the overall snapshot a daily paper does.

But I digress from the purpose of this post. It's namely that I don't see posting here except every now and then for awhile. I'm long behind on the Mt. Rainier photo guide and history projects and long behind on a number of other tasks, on the Website, with my photography and in my life. There simply isn't enough time anymore for all it, and much of the work is collected in corner and gathering dust.

I will, however pop in now and then just to add a post or two about some interesting stories in the news. In short, I won't disappear, just appearing somewhere else.