Share

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Blind Stupidity

Candidates will say anything whether true or not. Why? Because of the blind stupidity of "We the People". An example...51 percent of Americans recently expressed disapproval with the Health Care Reform Bill. The fact of the matter is that most of the provisions of this bill have not even taken root and aren't scheduled for implementation until 2014. What has taken affect is the protection of college graduate health care under a parent's plan and the elimination of denial of care for pre-existing conditions, both overwhelmingly popular. So we love what has happened but hate a bill for what hasn't happened. Crazy and it is because we blindly listen to politicians who care only about getting votes from the ignorant. Michelle Bachmann has held President Obama accountable for the deaths of 4400 Americans in Iraq. However, only 250 Americans have paid the harshest price under this President. 4200 were lost under Bush. Mitt Romney says anything he wants on any day of the week for whatever group he is addressing whether the truth or not. Herman Cain says his 999 plan won't raise taxes but it does for those who can afford it the least. Rick Perry says the science behind global warming is just an opinion. Rick Santorum says he supports the rights of Americans but declares gay marriage a sin to be corrected. Ron Paul says we should shut down 5 Cabinet departments with no plan for addressing the work that must be done for the people that eminates directly from these agencies. I can go on and on. There are websites such as factcheck.org that try and hold candidates accountable, but they are sought out by too few people to make a difference. Instead, candidates will continue to say anything, I mean anything for a vote because they realize we are too lazy, stupid or both to find out the truth. The greatest threat to our nation is blind stupidity, ignorance and apathy. If we don't correct this, nothing much else will ever matter. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mississippi

On election day, the state of Mississippi is likely to pass a state constitutional amendment declaring personhood at conception. Now I do not wish to disrespect anyone or any point of view, but the denial of science, of medical expertise of the rights and choices of women is not only scary, but quite surreal. If in the last minute, sense does not prevail, we will have entered an arena of such ludicrousness that we may not understand its serious ramifications. Perhaps Mississippi needs a sanity check. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Foreign Policy

Historically as James Carville said "It's the economy stupid". Yes, most of us focus on jobs, our bank accounts, our bills and our financial futures. Nothing wrong with that. I could very articulately cite significant economic successes of this President under the most horrendous of political and inherited economic conditions but I won't. Instead I will remind those who follow, that George W. Bush was re elected because America was looking for a safe, steady steward of our national security. I think we got neither, but what we have with Obama is a successful end to an immoral war, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the killing of the number two Al Qeda leader, consistent successful drone attacks and the end of Quadaffi. No matter how much you hate our President, no matter how badly you despise him, you must admit that his foreign policy successes in his time in office have outpaced his predecessor and has restored American leadership throughout the world. Republican senators and candidates are now bashing, yes bashing the President as a poor commander in chief. They say he has weakened America. How do these people live with themselves? Just when I think we have hit bottom, the floor opens again and we fall a little farther. Where are you Americans for reason for truth?

Monday, October 24, 2011

9 May Be The New 5

As we age, we have heard slogans like "50 is the new 40" or "40 is the new 30". Here's another one, "9 is the new 5". I don't mean age. I am talking about unemployment. In the past we have come to accept 4-5 percent unemployment as normal in a fuller employment environment. I believe these days are behind us and that accepting a higher normal, regrettably may be a new reality. Unless our government, business leaders, schools and politicians rise to the occasion and recognize the need to change this, we are doomed to this persistent and nagging number. When candidates such as Rick Perry tout their job growth expertise of creating thousands of minimum wage jobs, the focus we need will not be achieved. In our recent past, companies are rewarded by stockholders for downsizing. Huge layoffs are met with stock price increases and a bottom line approach to cost savings. Labor as an expendible commodity has become the way of corporate America. Business leaders disguise this reality by touting government regulation as the real problem with job creation but this is a canard. Robotics, automation and consolidation is the sought after strategy by companies. There are millions of unfilled jobs in this country that aren't being filled because there is a void in our population of the skills and education required. Instead of downsizing, we should be educating. Instead of automation, we should be training and instead of blaming the President who speaks eloquently to this issue, we ought to be changing the way we prepare for the future. If not, 9 percent will definitely be the new 5. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, October 21, 2011

"An Ethos of Social Responsibility"

Jeffrey Sachs, notable economist and hero of mine wrote in his most recent book "The Price of Civilization" that without a restoration of an "ethos of social responsibility, there can be no meaningful and sustained economic recovery" His simple eloquence in the opening pages of his book, are music to my ears, but I am powerless to make a difference. My government has lost its way and it is their responsibility to fix this "crisis of values" that Sachs continues to write about. " A society of markets, laws and elections is not enough if the rich and powerful fail to behave with respect, honesty and compassion toward the rest of society and toward the world". Such truths exist within our land, regrettably so. Mitch McConnell calls hiring teachers and cops a growth in government and again showed his true colors leading votes against the President's plan. The House refuses to take up the bill at all. Where is our ethos of social responsibility? Gone. The continuous dismantling of the middle class and continuous benefits derived by the wealthy on the backs of the poor when criticized, may sound like a page out of Marx. It is not. It is a page out of decency, fairness and Jeffrey Sachs. If only we could listen. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus

I never much cared for the circus. I was intimidated by the big tent, the smelly animals and the clown faces. Still, the circus remains an annual event when it comes to town each year thrilling children and adults alike. I can tolerate it and even enjoy the faces of kids who are entertained and who will cherish the great memories of the circus. That is, once a year. Unfortunately, I am being bombarded with a circus act of epic proportions....the Republican candidates for President. Their act gives Barnum and Bailey a run for their money...and its free. I could expand upon this, but there is no need. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Piece By Piece

It is easy to look at the President's bus tour down south as a political stunt. Once the season of campaigning begins, every move is pronounced as a campaign tactic by the opposition and the Republicans are right on cue. In trying to be objective, however, the truth is that the President came up with a jobs plan, estimated by bipartisan economists to create 1.9 million jobs, repair bridges, put teachers and policemen back to work and give tax breaks to businesses for hiring, to small businesses for expanding and further extends tax breaks through payroll tax reductions. All, I might add, have been acceptable positions taken by Republicans in the past. So what happened? In total unanimity the Senate Republicans rejected the plan in the Senate by filibustering and the House refused to take it up at all. Why? For one reason and we all know what it is. Now, there is an effort afoot to try and pass individual parts of it, piece by piece. What will happen? The same Republican opposition, only this time I really believe they will play this hand one time too many. We are angry and frustrated but one thing is certain, we hate those who would stop at anything to win at the expense of us all. Just watch. Keep the bus rolling along Mr. President. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Cain Mutiny

I suppose I need to post something about Herman Cain. The former CEO of Godfather Pizza is prancing around town with his 999 plan. He is surging in the polls of those individuals likely to vote in Republican primaries and is simply a reflection of the frustration and dismissiveness by the people of the field of candidates, all quite flawed. As his plan, ridiculous by any sensible evaluation gets the scrutiny it deserves, there will be a Cain mutiny. Here today, gone tomorrow, selling books and the Mittster left standing as an unloved and unexciting choice to go against Obama. Maybe things aint so bad after all. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

No to Jobs

This is what the Senate Republicans filibustered yesterday:

Jobs
Tax breaks for small business
Shared sacrifice from the wealthy
Road, bridge and school construction
Teacher jobs

Speaker Boehner called this bipartisan because two Democrats in name only, supported them because frankly, they are in states that are Red and they fear losing their jobs more than creating jobs for the rest of the country.
Speaker Boehner hasn't presented a single job creation plan and supports the McConnell plan for destroying the President. All, while the country waits, waits and waits.

Where are you Americans for reason and truth. Keep plugging Mr. President. You will win the war.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

No To Jobs

REPUBLICAN PARTY AND TWO DEMOCRATS IN NAME ONLY, VOTE NO FOR JOBS.

WHERE ARE YOU AMERICANS FOR REASON AND TRUTH?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Today's Quiz

Here are today's questions:

1- Would the US be better off if the auto industry were left to bankcruptcy? Y or N
2- Would our economy be better off if we were losing jobs as opposed to growing jobs? Y or N
3- Would we be better off if there were no regulations to keep water and air clean? Y or N
4- Would we be better off if the large banks failed and the government did not help? Y or N
5- Would we be better off if an additional 3 million people were unemployed? Y or N
6- Would we be better off if there were no Federal involvement at all, in education? Y or N
7- Would we be better off with a President who denied science and fails to accept it? Y or N
8- Would we be better off if Osama Bin Laden were alive? Y or N
9- Would we be better off if student loans for college were reduced in availability? Y or N
10 Would we be better off if you understood the above questions? YES YES YES

Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Atonement

Today I asked for forgiveness. Although my sins were many, they did not reach the level of seriousness that would cause a higher power to necessarily take note of, but nevertheless, I asked. During our ceremony in Temple, we also engage in a prayer for our nation and its leaders. As I read out loud with the Rabbi, it dawned on me that our leaders really needed our prayers today. I prayed that they stopped being self serving idiots who care more about winning or defeating and would begin to put the country first. I prayed that the candidates running to defeat our President take an honest look at what is going right and stop finding fault just for the sake of finding fault. I prayed that greed, selfishness and disparity of equality would stop and lastly, I prayed FOR the re-election of Barack Obama, a severely under appreciated President. I wish peace and good fortune upon us all. Almost all. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, October 7, 2011

2 Ways to Say Something

August job creation numbers have been revised upward. 57,000 jobs were created as opposed to the initial report of none. September saw an unexpectedly higher number of jobs created at 103,000 which continues an unbroken streak of consecutive months of job creation since the several hundred thousand consistent declines under President Bush. Unemployment stayed level without any upward tick, partly because people are a bit more confident in finding a job, therefore not withdrawing from their search. Slow and steady progress.

OR

Another month of insufficient job growth to bring Unmemployment down. Obama policies continue to be a drag on our economy. God wants us to move forward, not backward and therefore we need to get rid of this President. Slow growth will not bring us back the America we long for.

YOU DECIDE. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Know The Enemy

"If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril." Sun Tzu

The quote above came to mind when watching the growing protests on Wall Street and throughout the country. A relatively articulate, seemingly bright, young recent college graduate was at the protests in New York when a news reporter and cameraman focused on him. He yelled "Where are the jobs Mr. President?" Now these protestors with energy and enthusiasm are railing against corporate wealth, the disparity between rich and poor and have a populist message antagonistic to Wall Street. Yet this man's comment was against the President? When I teach my Advanced Placement Government students in school, my message is consistent. I do not care what position they take, as long as they know why they are taking that position and that the basis is sound. Unfortunately, this one outburst as referenced above does not meet that standard. President Obama like him or not, has consistently asked for shared sacrifice, for a more regulatory environment on Wall street, for a Buffett tax, for giving the lower wage earners a shot, for building things and expanding loans for college, and additional commitment to training young people at community college etc. etc. etc. To be against corporate greed and also against the President, is nothing more than a lazy man's approach to this populist energy. Know the enemy as Sun Tzu says, because if you don't, your enemy will become your worst nightmare. The Republican party stands against taxing the rich, against any regulation and against reigning in the greed of the investment community. They want to cut the programs that would best support the populist theme and are passing laws in states to deter groups from voting. These are facts. Obama's policies did not get us into this mess, but have started to get us out of it. You have the right to support the Republican point of view, but if you do not know the positions of the people in power, then your protest is nothing more than a circus act. Daniel Patrick Moynahan once said "you are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts". Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Worse and Worse and Worse

It is as if our leaders are deaf, dumb and blind. All at once. Even these disabilities wouldn't stop truly passionate, excellent people. Helen Keller remains a star amongst the heroes of the past, but our Congress is not only disabled, but truly unable to do the peoples' work. A Republican leader in the House suggesting the President isnt willing to compromise, while the President loses support for compromising. A mean spirited Senate Minority leader more concerned with games, parliamentary procedure and calling bluffs, than legislating. A Majority leader in the Senate not forceful enough with the opposition and nuancing legislation to meet the needs of Lousiana's Democratic Senator who cannot accept any shared sacrifice from big oil. A minority leader who has lost her edge and is silent while her Republican opponents steal the show. A President who wants a vote on a bill that will help America but cannot seem to control his own party. I can go on and on and on. All the while, Americans get more angry, frustrated and economically depressed. All but the rich that is. Worse and Worse and Worse each day. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Brooks Editorial..NYT 10-4-11

David Brooks can be a most reasonable voice from the extinct moderate wing of the Repbulican party. Earlier in the year, he took a lot of flack from the extremists who chastised him for having the temerity to speak critically about Republican strategy. I must comment now, however, in my post about Mr. Brooks whose editorial today is very complimentary toward Mitt Romney as an organizer, a debater and as a manager. Perhaps Romney is a technocrat who lacks the bluster and plainspeak that Americans tend to like and Romney's skills should not be underestimated. There is one piece, however that Mr. Brooks does not address...and that is the absolute lack of conviction on the part of the candidate. Mr. Romney talks about jobs but worked to consolidate companies and downsize and strip them of human capital. His performance with jobs as Governor was dismal. Romney has a moderate social background and now nuances his positions to suck up to the extremists within his party. Romney has supported tax reform but is critical of Obama from every economic perspective, even those that he aggressively supported in the past. Romney viewed his health care success in Massachusetts with pride while in office, but now castigates it as socialized medicine when viewed from a national perspective. He hides his devotion through the safe lens of states' rights. Mitt Romney stands for nothing other than winning the primaries at the expense of any moral compass. So, Mr. Brooks, your compliments notwithstanding, Americans also value truth, honesty and genuineness, qualities that Mr. Romney quite frankly, lacks and lacks big. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Platform of Embarrassment

In general, I have always believed that the social issues during a political campaign should remain on the sidelines, that people should be allowed to internalize these very personal issues and not have them part of our decision making processes when we select a candidate. Let the fringe extremists on both ends of the spectrum treat these as important while the rest of us moderates look for answers on jobs, foreign policy, economic strategies, distribution of wealth etc. I am now changing my mind, because if you look at the candidates running for President for the Republicans, you get a scary and despicable unity of beliefs, or at least talking points, which I will call "A platform of embarrassment." These people stand for eliminating a woman's right to choose, for government sponsored capital punishment, for disallowing people to love who they want without discrimination, for denying the science of evolution and global warming, for bringing extremist religious principles into our schools and our daily lives, for denying children rights if they were born to illegal immigrants, for putting a gun in our pockets with no form of restriction whatsoever, for not allowing brave soldiers to serve openly regarding their sexuality and for all the non social issues that they are so adamant to destroy, from food stamps, to public broadcasting. I can go on and on, but I will stop here. This is a pretty grim, disgusting and backward set of principles. Whereas a moderate and fair person can have a non-liberal or non-conservative approach to one or two of these issues, it is frightening that this platform is supported aggressively by the Party of Lincoln. Were he alive today, our 16th President would certainly switch and so should any moderate, fair and common sense thinking American. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey

All this hooplah about Chris Christie is annoying to say the least. Here is a man who prides himself on telling the truth. A man who believes in principles of honesty and telling it like it is. Therefore, all the pundits must be wrong. Right? Christie said six billion times that he is not running for President. I guess a man like him, a man of his word, therefore cannot be running. Now, there are others who love to play coy with the people and with the media. Sarah Palin comes to mind...Rudy Giuliani...Mike Huckabee....Donald Trump...etc., but none of them have categorically ruled anything out...like Chris Christie has. So I guess his potential candidacy is a manifestation of Republican leaders desperate for a more winning candidate. They must see the pitfalls of a Romney, who swings with the wind, or a Perry, whose anti science and religious zealotry isn't comfortable with the mainstream or Bachmanngingrichcainhuntsmanpauletc who are, well, you know...out there. So here is Chris Christie, a governor who cost the state of NJ 400 million dollars in school aid due to a clerical error while demonizing teachers and cutting to shreds the local school budgets. Here is a man who likes to be direct and rail against budget deficits and taxes but neglected to use his veto power to stop a commuter cost increase affecting millions of hard working workers every single day. All this while he refused to even consider a modest tax on the wealthy, but they take limousines so what do they care. Here is a Governor who loves to give the impression of bipartisanship but refuses to speak to his Senators, both Democrats and actually ridicules the elder statesman Lautenberg with disrespect. Here is a man who chastises Obama as not being a leader all the while reluctantly giving him credit for handling Irene and ignoring all the other Presidential successes. Even Peter King has given Obama credit for something. Governor Christie may be direct and may be admired by a constituency that likes nasty, tough talk, but his bullying and arrogant approach to NJ would not be a style able to fix the nation's problems. Next time, Republicans need to give greater thought to their candidates so they can avoid a love fest for a man like Christie. But we don't have to worry, right? Because the Governor believes in telling the truth. Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth?