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Sunday, November 28, 2010

True to principles.

It is amazing to me that after the election has passed, we have all these politicians staking out positions and saying "we must be true to our principles" Bull hockey. If these folks were true to their principles in the first place, we would have legislation that had already created jobs, expanded health care to the millions who remain uninsured and tax rates that reflect fairness and deficit reduction. These folks all ran away from their principles and now want us to believe they truly stand for something? Not going to happen. On this Thanksgiving weekend, I am thankful for a lot, but NOT for the leaders of my country and party who have failed to stick by their principles. They can promise all they want, but when it comes to politics in this country, our leaders quickly fail us. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Giving Thanks

There is so much to be thankful for. I can have this blog and express opinions that many are able to oppose and disagree with. This is the beauty of our system. I am thankful for that and so much more. Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The New Book

Yippee. Today Sarah Palin's new book is released. Well, not exactly, she didn't really write it. Now I am sure she gave some guidance to the ghost writers, not a new concept, but for anyone to view her as an author, that is a colossal joke. She is now going around the country selling her books in states that have impact on Presidential elections to test the waters for her 2012 campaign. She is also serving cookies at schools in an effort to object to the first lady's campaign against obesity. The government cannot require you to eat the school's food, but it certainly has the responsibility to try and improve our health, but Sarah is against universal health care too. Former first lady Barbara Bush made a tongue in cheek remark the other day about Mrs. Palin. She said, and I paraphrase, that Sarah loves Alaska and hopes she stays there. Not me. I want her out and about. She is a skillful marketer, but a lightweight in the gravitas and intellectual requirements of making responsible decisions. Look at North Korea today, when the new and inexperienced soon to be dictator made a reckless and dangerous decision. Mrs. Palin's lack of knowledge or understanding is scary in its own right and I am confident that the more she pedals her book, the more she picks issues and the more she speaks, the more divided and fractured will be the Republican party going into the Presidential election season. So go Sarah go. Get out there, speak, philosophize, misuse our language, show your ignorance. We will be better served learning just how unqualified you are.
I'd watch her weather report and take lessons on how to fish from her, but that's about it. Go Sarah Go. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pat Down

Ben Franklin was wrong. He who sacrifices a little liberty for a little security deserves both...not neither. I am a liberal Democrat but it is time to stop whining about a little inconvenience at the airport. It is the airline companies we should be griping about...delays, charges for baggage, food, cramped seats, reduced schedules and increased prices. I prefer to stay on the ground. No scanner and no pat down. However, when I fly again, I will gladly submit to a little indignity in the hopes of a safe flight. More important things to worry about. Where are you Americans for reason and truth.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Toxic President?

Yesterday at a meeting with Congressional Democrats, it got heated. So heated that one Senator called the President toxic. Toxic to the party and to the accuser's own personal chances for re election. The President, being the honorable and decent man that he is, listened and absorbed. In my judgement, the President should have pounced, pummelled and poked at these comments. How dare Democrats who forgot to run on the record of health reform, bank reform, economic recovery and tax breaks for the middle class criticize this President. Democrats who got scared, avoided campaigning for the truth, for the heart and soul of the Democratic party and for what is right are looking for a scapegoat and it is convenient to blame the President. As far as I am concerned, these people are Democrats in name only. Instead of blaming Obama, they ought to join forces with Republicans and for once and for all recognize the reality that they are not true Democrats. True Democrats would understand the President's agenda, run on the record of accomplishments and call Republicans to account for their lies and their responsibility. It is these so called Democrats that are Toxic. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Your wasted vote.

I always teach my students when we discuss the issue of citizen advocacy, that one's vote is never wasted. That it is your civic duty and responsibility to vote because apathy leads to the government only listening to those who express themselves at the polls. But, between you and me, this may be pure poppycock. If you believe your vote to reduce the deficit and to restore America counted by voting in Republicans two weeks ago, you were sadly mistaken and should get even more angry than you were then. Since that time, Republicans have called for tax breaks for the wealthiest among us which will raise the deficit by 700 billion and yesterday there were calls for an increase of 15 billion more to expand our nuclear arsenal. Today, President Obama was again derailed by another Republican, Senator Jon Kyl, who single handedly killed any chances of mutual reduction in nuclear arms between Russia and the US. You voted for increasing nuclear danger and tax breaks for the rich. There's a plan. Americans,,,,we blew it big time. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, November 15, 2010

McConnell

MINORITY Leader of the Senate Mitch McConnell has been a source of aggravation for me for quite some time. He is an arrogant man whose sole goal in life is to destroy our President. His preferred candidate for the Senate from his state lost to Rand Paul the newest tea party member of the Senate come January and his influence in Kentucky may not be as great as it once was, but he is a skilfull manipulator of truth and has carried the banner of obstructionism with success. He has also been one of the greatest abusers of the earmark process in all of the Senate and has fought against his own party to keep that which most Americans oppose ( as long as it is somewhere else ). Finally he relented and realized he was in an untenable position, so he expressed pride at his efforts in bringing waste to Kentucky but promises to do so no more. In his typical fashion, he then blamed the President for using stimulus money as earmarks. McConnell cannot go a day without taking a pot shot at Obama. I would like to remind the readers that Kentucky has been a beneficiary of stimulus money with jobs saved and needed projects begun. McConnell didn't cry then. It is people like Senator McConnell that make progress in our land impossible and attempts at real needed change unlikely. Thanks for nothing Senator. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Homeward Bound

President Obama will soon be home from his Asian trip. He will be criticized from the usual suspects for his wife's handshake, for his side conversations with leaders from other nations and for not finalizing a free trade agreement in Seoul. Notwithstanding the intensity of criticism in the campaign to defeat him in 2012, it is important to note the importance of his trip and his psyche. The President gets it. He gets that the United States will never again be the big successful bully and imperialist nation when it comes to economic clout. He recognizes that printing dollars and begging China not to stop buying our Treasuries is not good economic policy. He recognizes that other nations in their quest for economic opportunity sometimes clash with our ideas, but that this clash ultimately can lead to a more economically stable world. He understands that working with other nations can and will expand opportunities for American markets and American jobs. He gets it. It is sloppy work, tough to understand and fodder for the media and his enemies, but having an internationalist President who can speak with intellect about matters of economics and the future of our great nation is good for us all...whether you like him or not. We may be excited about Sarah's reality show and her new book written by others and her claims that she will do what the nation needs of her, but I would rather have a cool, calm, collected and smart man running the nation than an idiot. Welcome home Mr. President. A new battle begins. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Don't Bet on it.

In early 2009, President Obama called for an official bi partisan deficit reduction committee with some powers. Our Republican friends, keeping with their campaign of No, were against it. So, the President appointed a bipartisan commission with no binding legislative responsibilities to pursue the task of deficit reduction recommendations. What was released is already being condemned and fought over. Everyone is saying that we need to put our financial house in order, but nobody wants to do it. How will the realtor association feel about eliminating mortgage interest deductions? How will the wealthy feel about means testing for Social Security? How will the military feel about closing bases and not building weapons systems deemed unneeded? How will the people with kids feel when their schools are shuttered and teachers are without jobs and American continues on a path to ignorance? How will older people feel when Medicare benefits are reduced? How will Veterans feel when some VA benefits are reduced? How will people feel when broken roads and bridges remain woefully in disrepair? And on and on and on. Everyone wants to get our house in order, but no one want to give anything up. Republicans through it all continue to persist in their pursuit of an increase in our deficit by 700 billion through irresponsible and reckless tax breaks for the richest 2%. With these attitudes, don't bet on anything happening soon. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

THANK YOU

To all the marvelous veterans who have served and are serving here and abroad. THANK YOU.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Dirty Word

As a high school teacher, I hear enough profanity every day. Students often seem to forget that four letter words are disrespectful and in the long run will not be helpful for the pathway to success. Now I myself am not immune to such verbal garbage, having uttered inappropriately myself at times, but I apologize and manage to stay clean for most of my conscious time. There is a new word, however, that is being treated as profane. A word that is uttered at one's political peril and viewed as the bombshell of cussing. At a risk of being scolded or given detention, here goes...STIMULUS. There, I said it. It felt good. Again, Go STIMULUS yourself. Ok, enough. This word represents a 787 billion dollar expenditure by Congress which is being vilified by Republicans and they have done a wonderful job as evidenced by last week's results, making the use of the word, a losing issue. But, jobs have been saved, projects for improving infrastructure have begun, and taxes have gone down. Anyway, not to argue today, I simply wish to call for MORE STIMULUS. Why? Two reasons..I am not running for office and every governor facing a budget crisis is already calling for cuts to education, health care, infrastructure repair and layoffs. This is not the way to revive a still struggling economy. The way to revive a struggling economy is to build. Build bridges, and rails, and runways, and educational foundations that work, and health facilities with modern equipment, an energy grid that is 21st century, solar panels visible as far as the eye can see, wind turbines in every section of the country and on and on. The only entity, powerful enough to do this at a time of historic need, is yes, The Federal Government. The STIMULUS should include funds needed to help states balance their budgets and serve the long term interests of the people. Spend it now, or it may be too late. And, I know, it won't happen. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

So what is different?

I realize that the new Congress does not begin its work until after the new year, but it is always a time, during the lame duck period, for new agendas to be discussed, new politics to be entertained and new promises to me made. This is what we have from our Republiclan leaders so far...No compromise on tax breaks for the wealthiest, mocking of the President's trip to India, the largest democracy on Earth and a market for American goods, a promise by the Senate minority leader that the number one agenda item is the defeat of President Obama and promises of cuts in Government without one ounce of specifics. Nothing different. See you in the minority again in two years. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Marathon

Today, thousands of people will run the NYC Marathon. The training, stamina and sheer commitment from all these people is to be admired. It takes patience, diligence and good physical and mental health. These people are to be admired. They pace themselves and realize that finishing this race is about slow and steady planning. It is not a sprint. The finish line isn't visible from the start and at times it seems as if it will never be reached. However, it will be. I only wish the voters and members of our government would take a lesson from these wonderful runners. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, November 5, 2010

151,000

Two days after the election, the largest number of private sector jobs in several years were created, which means that perhaps cash possessed companies are beginning to recognize the importance of job creation. Additionally, many retailers have upgraded their performance estimates for the near future. Now, I am not saying things are magically better, nor am I calling the American voter selfish and unaware of reality, but the progress which began under this President, promised to be slow, is beginning to take hold in many parts of our economy. Mitch McConnell has made his number one priority as MINORITY leader, the demise of President Obama. Is this what the angry American voter really voted for on Tuesday? I think not. Now that the Republicans are in charge of the House, I will patiently wait for all of the things they are going to cut to restore "sanity" in the Federal budget. Their cuts will be symbolic at best and irresponsible at worst. Actually, Tuesday's results weren't so bad at all. Let us watch them govern. Let us see if they go back to their failed policies of 5 years ago, or, actually come up with something new. Let's just wait for some leadership. Wait and wait and wait and wait and after they fail, again, we can vote for some new people. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The day after

The sun came up today. The United States of America hasn't collapsed. The Founding Fathers got their wish....a check and balance against an overreaching government. Today's word is repudiation. I heard it in victory speeches yesterday at least 30 times, 8 of those times from our new Speaker Mr. Boehner. Remember, this is the word that Mrs. Palin got wrong..."refudiation" she said..oh well. By the way who lost yesterday?..the three extreme tea party buffoons she endorsed...anyhow, what did we repudiate yesterday? Did we repudiate the agenda we endorsed in huge numbers 21 months ago? If we did, no real elected official should even consider changing a course that is based on long term value and slow progress...but I don't think the President's agenda was repudiated. 63% of the people who voted yesterday said the President was not a factor in their decision and those who said he was made up a percentage that is less than those who do not support him at all...Did we repudiate big government? Maybe, but what things are we ready to give back?...entitlements?, Veterans' Benefits?, new home purchase government subsidies? I think not. So we expressed some anger, licked respective wounds and started a new day. In two years, we can be angry again as seems to be our recent trend and throw the bums out that we threw out two years ago and welcomed yesterday again. And so it goes...Politics, unfulfilled promises and pure BS. If I were the President, I wouldn't care about the next election, and in his heart I do not think President Obama does. I would stand by the principles that my countrymen elected me on, by wide margins. I would stay the course and allow the slow and steady progress to continue. I would let the results of my actions speak for themselves and I wouldn't relent or fold under the pressure of a lying bunch of do-nothings who gave us the problem and now promise us paradise. I would not give the rich a free ride. I would hold out to insure 98% of Americans receive their tax break. I would continue to expand incentives for small business and encourage job creation. By the way, this is what our President has been doing contrary to the successful Republican spin machine. Let's hold the Republicans in the House accountable for their promises and the upcoming failure to deliver....Bring it on. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

In the current issues of "New York Magazine" and "The Economist", the lead articles are all about the angry voter. So as I prepare to vote today, I am wondering why so many are so angry. Are they angry because 4 million additional chidren got health insurance? Are they angry because 30 million additional Americans can now as well be insured? Are they angry because no longer can a pre-existing condition keep you from being covered? Are they angry because legislation was passed that guarantees women, equal pay for equal work? Are they angry because the auto industry in America has been saved? Are they angry because their Federal taxes actually declined in the past two years? Are they angry because they are now protected from abusive credit card practices? Are they angry because the financial institutions of this country did not collapse? Are they angry because 4.2 million teachers, firefighters and police jobs were saved as a result of the stimulus bill that was passed? OR, are they angry because they are being told by simpleton politicians who want to undo the President are telling them to be angry? If you think of how much of the economic woes of this country began, they began because angry Americans made stupid decisions. We took out loans for homes we couldn't afford. We devalued education and didn't learn new skills to market ourselves for better jobs when the recession hit. We spent money we didn't have racking up enormous amounts of debt with no regard for common sense, and we invested in stocks and bonds without a clue as to the quality of the companies behind the investments. Our stupidity caused the anger. Blaming Democrats is silly and supporting Republicans is even sillier. Those who scream for smaller government out of anger, should repay their unemployment compensation, their home loan subsidies, their social security payments and their low interest loans. Be angry or be responsible. Go vote. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, November 1, 2010

1 to go

Ask an angry American what their vote will mean tomorrow, and often you will hear...."roll back Obamacare". Then you ask them what they would roll back and they stare back at you dumbfounded. They claim "we don't want government run healthcare", but the public option was never included in the bill. They don't want government run healthcare... but do not want Medicare shut down or prescription drugs for the elderly eliminated, both hugely expensive government programs. They want a job... but are voting to stop all Federal hiring, which means some good infrastructure projects and green jobs that could have been sponsored by Government will go away. They don't want high taxes..... They have already received a tax reduction under President Obama and he agrees to extend reduced tax rates for 98% of Americans. They want Wall street and greedy bankers controlled.... Tomorrow they may vote for the very party responsible for such greed in the first place and will conveniently forget that the Democrats have passed legislation to already stop what they want stopped. They want control of our borders....but Obama has deported more illegals than did his predecessor, has sent more border guards and penalized more companies for violating the hiring laws of this country. They want terrorism controlled....but more militants have been killed by drone attacks than were under George Bush......They want unemployment to go down....well so does the President, but they are voting for a party that voted against real job reform as proposed by the President. The anger is real. The promises are fake. The Republicans did not deliver, and won't deliver this time. Gridlock will continue, anger will persist, and again, our impatience will lead us to make a bad decision. The tea party movement wants you to believe that you can shrink government, but you cannot. If you believe what is being said, then you will be disappointed tomorrow. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?