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Monday, January 30, 2012

Chris Christie the Coward

It boggles my mind that the Republican establishment actually believes that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is viable and sought after Presidential material. Even the Governor himself knows he is not. It speaks to the weakness of the field but I would like to blog about the cowardice of the Governor. He has proclaimed his own opposition to gay marriage and although I disagree with his position, he certainly is not that far outside mainstream opinion. What I call cowardice, is his unwillingness to deal with the actual reality of having to veto or sign such a bill if it reaches his desk. Instead, he hides behind the bogus referendum argument...let the people decide. Unfortunately, as history has shown, people have prejudice and hate in their hearts which manifests itself in how they vote. If you vote hate, then you deny freedom and liberty to all. We cannot allow people to vote on civil rights. Imagine if we in 1953 asked citizens of the south to vote on school integration or public use of facilities by all citizens? Racist attitudes would have prevailed, delaying what was right then and right now for all groups seeking fair treatment. It is an act of cowardice and hopefully the NJ legislature can find a way to avoid such a situation from happening. Don't hide behind your own beliefs Governor. Let the legislative process and fairness and American values rule the day. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dismantling Mitt Romney

I get it. I really do. Throw red meat to the extremists, bash the President who they already hate, accept the work being done for you by the establishment and win the nomination. Mitt Romney, a man with less conviction than any other major political candidate that I can remember, will say absolutely anything to get elected. Such desperation makes me wonder a lot of things, but that is for future posts. Here is a man however, that will criticize the President on everything and anything without any reference to the truth. He blasts the President on immigration policy ignoring the facts, blasts him on job creation, ignoring the facts, blasts him as weak on defense, ignoring the facts, blasts him on making the economy worse, ignoring the facts, blasts him on growth in government, ignoring the facts, blasts him on the health insurance mandate, yeah thats a laugh and to expose this hypocrite even more, admits on talk radio that things are getting better. He will win the nomination and then, unless a stirring amount of misfortune hits our nation, Obama will proceed to kick the crap out of him in the national election. And, this is good. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, January 27, 2012

I Agree With Mitt

Finally, I agree with something I have heard from a Republican candidate for President. If someone approached me for a 100 billion dollar idea to put a Lunar Colony on the Moon and make it the 51st state, I'd fire him too. Newt...you're fired. Go Mitt. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Period One

As the middle of the school year approaches, as a teacher, I usually get the mid year blues. The self examination questions re-appear. Am I doing all I can?" "Am I making a difference?" "Are they learning?" "What am I doing wrong?", "Why aren't they listening?" etc. I teach important subjects. Economics and Government. One could argue that in our current times these subjects are amongst the most important for the future preparation of our youth. With an economic crisis and an upcoming Presidential election you would think that students would jump through hoops to learn. These are my annual thoughts at this time of year. They quickly dissipate, I re-energize and move ahead. Yesterday during my first period AP class, given at 7:40 AM my students were asked to be ready to discuss an assignment from the previous evening. They were to watch fully, the State of the Union address and answer some questions that related to the experience. Most had never seen one or knew the genesis or history of its existence. The bell rang and I immediately launched into the discussion. Lo and behold, they had watched, they had understood, they were willing to share their views, they gave high level analysis and reaction as good or better than the cable punditry that envelops the airwaves. They presented reactions that I myself had not thought of. They were wonderful. More than that, I think they enjoyed it. It's experiences like these that make it all worthwhile. Thanks kids. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

He Can and He Did

Last night the Republican response was given by Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana. To me it seemed as if there was a Republican tin ear, not bothering to listen to what the President said at all. Within moments, Daniels said that whereas Mr. Obama did not cause the recession, he cannot claim that it is anything other than worse now. Well Governor, he can, and he did. To suggest that things are worse today than during the times of irresponsible lending, one of the deepest recessions and reckless spending on a war we never should have fought, is ridiculous partisanship at its worst. I would also like to remind my followers that Mr. Daniels was the Budget director under President Bush. A recent study has found that if you add the costs incurred solely on the policies of Bush, they increased the debt by 5 trillion vs. the 2 trillion dollar costs of Obama's policies. All while the Governor was at the helm of Executive branch finance. Looks like the pomp and circumstance of the evening was just that, pomp and circumstance. No substantive improvements will come from these Republicans. To the streets Mr. President, to the streets. Where are you Americans for reason and truth

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's Nice To Be Rich.

Most of us, not all, envy the rich. Fantasies about owning yachts or beach homes in exclusive neighborhoods or never having to feel materially deprived are in our minds. In fact I am pretty confident that most of us don't begrudge the wealthy their wealth or mock the lives they live. Republicans have successfully built a narrative around the wealthy that just isn't right. They have half the country believing that the wealthy pay enough, that if we ask them to pay more it will stall economic growth, and cuts in government must come from programs that help everyone else. It boggles my mind how such an explanation has stuck to so many Americans that have bought the notion of a socialist President and actually will vote against their own interests without even realizing it. The issue is, that Mitt Romney as an example, has a tax rate of 35% but only paid 14%. If he contributed up to half of what he was supposed to pay, that would have been an additional million or so dollars, leaving him still wealthy and economically advantaged. It isn't that people are rich, it is that they are insulated from the real lives or real programs that help those who simply do not have the financial ability to make it to the 1%. A simple adjustment in the contributions from the wealthiest amongst us would solve most of the budgetary problems we face. I hope the President lays out this reality in his State of the Union Address tonight. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Nice Talk Mr. Speaker.

Tomorrow evening during the State of the Union Address, all the usual pomp and circumstance, tradition and scheduled applause will be in their usual glory. The Speaker of the House will talk about the esteemed honor and privilege it is for him to introduce the President of the United States. On Fox news yesterday, however, Speaker Boehner was not so charitable with his words. He called the Presidents'communication to the nation in the upcoming speech, based on what he has heard in advance, "pathetic". Now people can respectfully disagree on policy, they can openly debate the pros and cons of various economic theories, legal doctrines and the value of passed or projected legislation, but going on TV to call the President's words pathetic, just seem to me not only disrespectful but out of bounds. The narrative that the Republicans continue to use is how bad the economy has been under Obama, all the while with a recovery in front of their noses. This debate will rage on until election day and then we the people will decide. I just don't understand this kind of hostile, vindictive and out of bounds language, particularly coming from the Speaker of the House. Seeing the performance of John Boehner since he got the job, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. It is just plain pathetic. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Great News

The Republican fight for the nomination was dealt a stunningly good bit of fortune for Democrats last night, when Newt Gingrich won the South Carolina Primary. The longer it goes, the more exposed this incredibly failed and disappointing field continues to get, and by the time the bruising is over, even the one left standing with all the accolades that will coalesce around him, will be more vulnerable and much less of a challenge to President Obama. I wish it were November already. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Party of the Rich.

This whole Republican battle over wealth is hilarious. It is difficult to argue that Republican party ideology is clearly different than Democratic ideology, at least on paper. Smaller Government vs. Government involvement. Low taxes and trickle down, vs. shared sacrifice and on and on. Here we have one of the richest people ever to run for President, a man who represents the capitalist engine at its most aggressive, a man whose wealth is the envy of bankers, Wall streeters and the common envy of the common man. Wealth is the American dream and Republicans have successfully managed to protect it and convince half of us that one percent of American can help the rest of us. It is therefore hilarious that the remaining candidates are sniping at Mitt's wealth. No matter what happens, this hypocrisy will sway the national electorate Obama's way....unless there is another economic collapse. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Cayman Islands

I have been to the Cayman Islands. It is a lovely place. The waters are crystal clear, the afternoon rains are beautifully refreshing and Seven Mile Beach is one of the nicest on Earth. We vacationed there about 20 years ago. For those in America who have benefited financially from the capitalist engine, much of the wealth is subject to tax. Due to the bipartisan effort over the years to protect wealth and provide tax loopholes in our tax code, parking money offshore to avoid tax is a commonplace thing to do. I do not argue against taking legal advantages of loopholes as long as they exist. The only reason to send money to Cayman banks is because of the preferential treatment and protection of these assets. Kudos to those who have such good fortune. BUT...the Romney campaign, knowing that such financial elitism may not sit well in a national campaign, is actually trying to say that this money was not sent there to avoid taxation. Give me a freakin break. What else will the charlatan in chief tell us? Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hostage Taking

During the ridiculous Congressional antics over the payroll tax cut extension, the Republicans packaged this with a requirement that the President rule on the Keystone Pipeline Project within 60 days. No President can ever let himself be held hostage by legislation crafted soley for political talking points. The pipeline has nothing to do with the tax cut extension and forcing a President to rule on an environmentally questionable project prematurely as part of another unrelated activity, is shameful. So, good for the President who may still allow it to go forward, but not attached to a tax bill or without appropriate environmental analysis. Typically, the candidates jumped all over the President as a man not serious about job creation. So Mr. Romney, you ass, were the Republicans not serious about job creation when they failed to approve requests for infrastructure jobs to repair bridges, tunnels, runways and roads? You cannot have your cake and eat it too. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Huntsmann Hypocrisy

When Jon Huntsmann began his campaign, he seemed the most genuine and most reasonable amongst those declared candidates from the Repbublican party. His experience and intellect certainly seemed up to the job, and if President Obama had to lose, at least the character and conviction of the man that would replace him, if Huntsmann, seemed somewhat tolerable. Or so I thought. At a debate last week, Romney criticized Huntsmann for serving the nation as Ambassador to China under the Obama administration. Huntsmann's reply, the best line so far, was that, and I paraphrase, [it was attitudes like that which has caused the bitter, relentless and poisonous atmosphere in Washington which has so embittered our nation.] What a great statement. How true, how patriotic, to put country first in an unapologetic manner. He really called Mitt out for what he is, a disingenous vote grabber without an ounce of principle and a perpetrator of the very attitudes that make Washington DC so ineffectual. I guess I was wrong about Huntsmann. I suppose that really isn't so important after all now that he is endorsing Mitt Romney. Another politician shows his true colors. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Unproductive President.

On this morning's Meet the Press, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called President Obama an unproductive President. Here are some examples, a partial list, of this lack of productivity:
-saved domestic auto industry
-killing of Bin Laden
-coordination of the elimination of Khadaffi with no loss of American life
-ending American War in Iraq
-22 consecutive months of private sector job growth with Republican opposition
-historic heath care legislation, yet to be tested, Romney style.
-Consecutive quarters of GDP and declared end of recession
-unemployment since its peak of 10.2 declining to 8.5
-consecutive months of rising consumer confidence
-the putting of entitlements on the table for negotiation
-restoration of world view of America being a beacon of freedom
-support of Israel through our objection of premature Palestinian state
-largest increase of border security in a decade
-legitimate deporations in three years higher than in previous 8.
-ended Don't Ask Don't Tell military policy
-Ledbetter equal pay act
-bipartisan agreement in an improved and effective FEMA for all recent weather disasters

What would a productive President do? Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's the Difference?

What's the difference if the likely candidate for President on the Republican ticket has lied about his long term commitment to being pro-life to get a few South Carolinian votes? What's the difference that he claims to have been near to being fired and worried just like the common man. What's the difference that Mitt Romney became rich off of other peoples' despair? What's the difference that he doesn't understand the Consititution and the intent of the Founders? What's the difference that all of a sudden Romney is a War Hawk criticizing the destroyer of Al Qeda as weak on securing the nation? No difference. If the economy doesn't recover fast enough, people will vote for even a bigger idiot than Mitt. So tells the story of American impatience, ignorance and gullability. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Big Win? Really?

Mitt Romney was the Governor of Massachusetts. Check your map. New Hampshire is the next state over. People in NH drive to work in Massachusetts with much frequency. Mitt Romney has a vacation home in New Hampshire. Mitt Romney is one of the most well known names in the state. Mitt Romney has been running for President longer than any of the candidates accept the unelectable Ron Paul. Last night, 60 perecent of the voters who went to the polls, voted against him. Now I am pretty sure that he is the next Republican nominee for President, but let's not get carried away. Mitt has still not passed the smell test. Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Professor Harold Hill

One of my favorite musicals is Meredith Wilson's "Music Man". Watching Robert Preston play Professor Harold Hill, certainly no professor at all, is a joy. Hill goes around the country trying to sell band uniforms and equipment to a willing and naive public that believes a marching band will make their kids stay out of pool halls and become the best musicians the world has ever seen. We know that Hill is a liar, a cheat, a salesman for sure, duping his unwitting customers into buying his shtick. Does the Hill character remind you of anyone? It should. Mitt Romney. Here is a man not selling band equipment but selling shtick nevertheless. He has crafted a narrative that makes Harlold Hill's lies seem like little fibs. Romney is trying to convince us he is one of us. He claims feeling the fear of getting a pink slip. Romney was born to privilege and has never known want so none of us should buy into that Mr. Main Street crap. Romney has not been a job creator at all. His record as governor was poor and his job at Bain was to consolidate and streamline companies costing jobs not creating them. I have no quarrel with his actions, only with his lying about it. Romney is saying he isn't a politician but an outsider. Well, last time I looked, being Governor of a state is a political job. Running for Senate and losing is an example of desiring politics. Running for President certainly isn't playing squash, so as they say in the South, "that dog won't hunt". Mitt Romney wants to be President and he is doing and saying anything to get the job. His own competition within his own party doesn't believe him and neither should we. The one hope I have is that unlike the Professor, Romney doesn't get the girl. Let us pray. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Iran

Americans hate Iran. It is obvious as to why. During the Carter Presidency when hostages were taken, with gasoline shortages and economic malaise, our nation felt low. We have not had an embassy in Iran since that time and we think its leaders are a bunch of Anti American nut cases looking to destroy Israel and the West. Today, we have a different crisis with Iran. As a sovereign nation, it is pursuing a nuclear program that is making the US and the world a little nervous. We hear their leaders sabre rattling and even today as they sentence a dual citizen Iranian/American to death for spying, Iran stays in our heads. It certainly will become a political talking point for the Republcans...I can hear it now...Obama weakness, American apologists, carry the big stick, military unpreparedness and blah blah blah. Rick Perry's declaration to send troops back to Iraq was met with much disagreement and Americans are not interested in another war. So what to do? Let the sanctions work. Soon, Iran will not be able to sell its oil on the free market. Iran is not a military power that can threaten America and Israel will act when it sees the need to do so militarily and Iran knows this. So, let's calm down, keep the noise to a minimum and see if the global strategy to stop Iran works. We can always destroy all 74 million of them if we really want to. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Listen Carefully

This is what was said last night....Send troops back to Iraq....Gay marriages will be voided when a marriage amendment passes....Roe v Wade must be overturned...President Obama has anti Christian policies....and Mitt Romney spoke with complete inaccuracy regarding privacy rights implied and reinforced by the Supreme Court in our Constitution...Keep listening. Where are you Americans for reason and truth.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Public Sector Beware

With an improving private sector job performance, the Republican onslaught against Obama may lose a little steam, but not if unemployment remains high and total job growth is restrained. With so many Republican controlled State Houses looking to help thwart an Obama re-election, their control over public employment may be their way of sticking it to the President. Watch....The public workforce may continue to decline...and check out which States....Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Obama Economy

The December jobs report was just released. 325,000 added. Think of how much better it could have been had Congress only been concerned enough about the people to pass portions of the jobs bill that would have improved our infrastructure. Perhaps the efforts to derail this President may actually be beholden to our growth and cause a need for new Republican spin. I am sure they will today suggest that this is all in spite of the Socialist President occupying the White House. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Republican Narrative

The narrative being used by the Republicans is simply to say that President Obama screwed up the economy, is not experienced enough and that every decision he has made was wrong. The economy they say is in a shambles because of him and a new leader must be elected to repair the damage he has done. This is raw meat for Obama haters and flies in the face of truth. Let's forget the 22 consecutive months of private sector job creation or the turnaround growth we are seeing, or a consumer confidence rating on the rise, or the small business survey released yesterday citing demand for small business loans at the highest rates in three years with banks lending. Let's forget the Republican House not accepting the job proposals for infrastructure repair as asked for by the President. Let's forget the intransigence the President has faced. Let's put all this aside for a moment and what you get is the Republican narrative of Fantasyland. Objective analysis is just not within the gene pool of these folks. Even my own friends with more conservative views won't accept these indisputable analyses. If you are one who believes that lending money to Chrysler and GM with taxpayer dollars in an effort to save the domestic auto industry was wrong, then stop reading. In fact, Mitt Romney said this was a bad decision. Today, however, car sales in the United States from GM, Ford and Chrysler outpaced estimates. They are the best in three years. All three are hiring workers and most of the bailout money has either been repaid or converted to common stock that by all accounts should begin to see price appreciation. The economic connections that reach other industries as related to cars are quite expansive and these businesses will benefit as well. Tens of thousands of manufacturing jobs were saved. The Republican spin about Presidential ineptitude continues to reach the ears of the unconvertable, but the ears of the nation....that's a different story. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Money in Iowa

I cringe at the fact that almost 13 millions dollars has been spent on advertising in a state that will account for less than 2 percent of the total popular vote in the Presidential election. In Iowa, this amounts to over one hundred dollars per likely voter in today's Caucuses. Most of this is funded by un-affiliated PACs, likely in support of Mitt Romney thanks to the support of the Supreme Court's Citizens United case. Still and all, this money and non stop campaigning as of this morning, still showed over forty percent of Iowans undecided. Is this money well spent? To be honest, as an Obama supporter, I also cringe over the unbelievable amount of money that will be raised and spent on his behalf as well. Our system of politics is broken for many reasons....inflexibility on partisan grounds, extremism on both sides of the aisle and a desire to win, rather to do what is right for the country. Iowa is simply an example of all that is wrong with our system. If Rick Santorum wins, on a shoestring budget, it is more a reflection of non mainstream religious based voters from that part of the country who do not reflect the spirit of our national electorate. In the end, the money, the negative campaigning,the lies and media obsession, will rule the day. Again. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

As 2012 begins, so too do the Presidential and Congressional election contests. I have one wish, that while this is happening, politicians can try and put their partisan divisiveness and hateful rhetoric aside and do what is good for the nation, for "We the People". I fear they won't. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?