31 October 2010

Please Mr. Obama, No Compromise

Democrats are facing a disaster in the November mid-term elections. But even in the best case, even if things don't end-up as bad as the could, Congress will be different in the remaining two years of President Obama's term. Republicans will hold far more power and they will use it to advance their own goals. John Boehner, the presumed Speaker of the House, has promised no compromise with the President unless the President does what Boehner wants him to do. Mitch McConnell, the presumed Senate minority leader, has promised his Republicans would work only for the President's defeat in the 2012 election.

So what's Obama going to do?

According to this article he may follow President Bill Clinton's lead and try to work with Congress anyway. Quoted in the article, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson says "The divided government result, if it happens, is good for the president, because he now has some potential enemies but he also has some potential partners to get things done where he didn't have them before."

My question to Gov. Richardson, or anyone willing to answer it, is: "Why would we want anything we could get from a Congress run by Republicans, even if we have Democratic President?" Clinton's administration, the presumed model for Obama's, was hardly a golden age for the American people. With Clinton's trade policies, welfare reform and banking reform, the Republicans got what they wanted and the American People got the seeds of the bitter harvest we have today.

Please Mr. Obama, no compromise. America can't afford any more compromise with Republicans.

30 October 2010

A Perspective on Unfavorable Results

If the November elections go as predicted, the Democrats will lose control of the House and their control of the Senate will be imperiled. This will be a dark time for Americans of good will.

As bad as it will be, though, we should be be aware of the reason for the results. The Republicans will have won not because of the strength of their ideas but because of the depth of their depravity. They had no ideas but they were willing to distort and misrepresent the Democrats' ideas. Where the Democrats put forth honest attempts to move American forward, they obstructed and deceived. They put their party's interests above America's. The Democrats can take comfort in knowing their cause was just but the power of evil was just too great.

10 July 2010

DOMA Must Stand

This week a federal judge ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, in part on Tenth Amendment grounds. Conservatives believe the Tenth Amendment imparts to each State a sovereignty equal to, or even superior to, that of the United States. They believe state sovereignty allows the states to make whatever law they wish regardless of the will and morality of the American People. This idea, known as "states rights," was the basis for slavery, disenfranchisement of minorities and segregation. Over the course of a hundred years, from the Civil War through the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, it was killed-off. Should this ruling be allowed to stand, that sovereignty principle, states rights, would gain new life.

That's a dangerous principle. Believe me. I know.

I live in Missouri. The Missouri General Assembly is a sewer teeming with vermin and pestilence. The last thing in the world I want to see is state sovereignty. Allowing the reprobates and miscreants of the Missouri General Assembly any control of the lives of any human beings is an extremely bad idea. Allowing them to rule without federal oversight is an insult to the very idea of civilization. I'm sure many other states are the same way.

Should the recent ruling be allowed to stand, state legislatures across the country would regard the resulting anarchy as an open season on progressive legislation. Along with civil rights, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security would be imperiled. All the struggles of decent Americans would evaporate in an orgy of repeals which would leave America a patchwork of civilized society and barbaric jungle.

For my sake and for the sake of the American People, Obama must use every means available to reverse the recent ruling.

04 July 2010

DeMint's Disgrace

I was particularly disgusted by Senator Jim DeMint's appearance on Fox News Sunday today. Admittedly, it's Fox so expecting honest answers to honest questions is asking a lot. Nevertheless, DeMint is a Senator speaking to a national audience. Even conservative "values" should demand respect for the citizenry.

No such luck.

DeMint used every question to deliver right-wing talking points and to spin right-wing mythology. It was disgraceful.

Let the Boomers Go

June job creation numbers were disappointing. Once again, the American economy failed to create enough jobs for everyone who wanted one. Considering the burden of institutional incompetence the economy must overcome, that's not surprising. Almost 30 years of conservative economic policy has sucked the vitality out of the economy. Extraordinary measures may be the only thing to save us from an economic catastrophe rivaling the Great Depression.

The American economy is powered by consumer spending. Somewhere between 65 and 70% of GDP reflects everyday citizens buying the things of everyday life. Now, that buying is threatened by the lack of buying power. Americans don't have the income to continue the buying which drove the economy to its former heights because good American jobs have been exported to foreign countries. Technology has destroyed others. We're left with only a fraction of the jobs we once had. Where will we find the new jobs we need?

Don't depend on capitalists to create them. They were responsible for destroying the ones we had. We have to find another solution to our national problem. One solution is right before our eyes and would be easy to implement.

Since the end of WWII, much of American life has been affected significantly by the Baby Boom. The huge generation born in the years between 1946 and 1964 have skewed the American economy toward their needs. As children, they caused their parents to build houses and schools. As the Baby Boomers grew, they demand cars and their own homes. Baby Boomers' children echoed their parents and extended their economic effect.

Now the Boomers are retiring. A few at first and then, as always, in huge, statistic-skewing numbers. Congress can take advantage of this distortion of demographics by encouraging Boomers to retire early. Early retirement would free-up jobs for the millions of young American families who need a start.

One way to encourage early retirement would be to eliminate or offset the Social Security early retirement penalty. Right now, depending on the birth year of a prospective retiree, the SS benefit is reduced from 20 to 30% for anyone who wishes to retire before the normal retirement date. Congress should eliminate this penalty or appropriate funds to provide an offsetting subsidy. Considering the size of the Baby Boom, an increase in retirement funding, relatively small though it would be, would encourage enough Boomer retirements to make a difference in the employment statistics.

Let the Boomers go.

28 June 2010

Another Outrage from the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, June 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 Monday that state and municipal laws banning handguns for self-protection in the home are unconstitutional.

Another outrage committed by a dim-witted and extreme conspiracy of judicial activists. To say America is dying would be more than a metaphor. In this case, her death will come in a hail of gunfire which will end with her writhing in agony in a pool of her own blood.

When Antonin "Fat Tony" Scalia created a personal gun right with his ludicrous Heller opinion, we entered a new era of jurisprudence. No longer are we bound to the actual text of a law. Now we can invent things such as "prefatory clauses" to dismiss parts of laws we don't like. In that vein, I encourage all officials charged with maintaining law and order to declare this latest outrage of out-of-contol judicial activism from the Supreme Court merely a "recommendatory opinion" carrying no burden of compliance.

16 June 2010

More Nonsense by Patrick J. Buchanan

In Bailing Out Politicians Now?, Buchanan takes a shot at the President's attempts to maintain government services by sending some money to the states.  Set aside the fact that he's wrong.  Buchanan says, "Obama, with his $800 billion stimulus, bet it all on the public sector. It appears not to have worked."  Sorry Pat, it just ain't so.The stimulus was the only thing that kept us out of a full depression.

No, he's also wrong in the implication the past stimulus and any future stimulus are too costly.  The cost of government is irrelevant if we have the services we want. The question is, what services do we want? The answer to that question, if history is to be a guide is, all of them.

Americans love big government. The bigger, the better. From the earliest days of the Republic, we've demanded more and more from government and real Americans have objected only when government left some need unmet. Buchanan and the rest of the shills and hacks of the AmeriCorporate media who protest the cost of government without considering the object of government serve only the narrow special interests of the monied classes and the ideological extremists of the extreme right with their ranting and railing.

11 June 2010

Worse Than a Bail-out

John Boehner (R-OH) said US taxpayers should help BP pay for cleaning-up BP's oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.  Eventually, he took-back his comment but the bell can't be unrung.  Presumably, Boehner and the rest of the usually highly regimented Republicans want to bail-out BP.

I thought we weren't doing bail-outs anymore.  They caused such a stir last time I thought we swore off.  Now we find the Republicans were just kidding.   Big rich BP, a company which earns $20 billion dollars a year, BP Bailout? , is facing a cost of about one years's profits to clean-up the mess it's made. 

Is that too much to ask? 

Apparently, the Republicans, ever-faithful defenders of capitalist profits, think it is.  They didn't mind when GM, a major employer of everyday Americans, was facing liquidation.  "Let it fail" they screamed.  Apparently, jobs for Americans mean nothing to the Republicans but profits for foreign capitalists are a different thing.  Even if the profits are just a bump in the road, profits for capitalists are sacred to Republicans.

This is despicable.  It's an outrage approaching treason.

05 June 2010


When the Israelis attacked the relief mission to Gaza, Conservative pundits naturally lept to their defense.  Among them was David Limbaugh who wrote:

In reviewing the available facts about the Israeli storming of the Gaza-bound Turkish flotilla, two conclusions emerge: 1) The Israelis were justified in their actions, and 2) the Israelis will continue to be unjustly condemned by the world community.


Israeli is surrounded by nations and entities either dedicated to its destruction or decidedly hostile to it. In the past five years, Hamas has fired some 10,000 missiles into Israel from Gaza.

With that background and pursuant to its existential right to self-defense, Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza to prevent the delivery of weapons into the area that could and probably would be used by Islamic terrorists in more attacks against Israel.

World Press Rushes To Condemn Israel -- as Usual

Set aside, for a moment, Limbaugh's rationalizations of the Israeli assault on the aid ships and ask yourself how you would feel about a
similar situation in the American southwest.

Suppose Mexicans had crossed the border of, say, Arizona, and had established a community in definance of American law. Suppose, further, they eventually gained the support of the international community, declared themselves independent and made the native born occupants of the new country, Mexisrael, second class citizens.

Would you feel the interlopers were justified in killing Arizonans who tried to aid their former countrymen now living within the borders of Mexisrael?

20 April 2010

The Constitotem

I just listened to one of Glenn Beck's frequent rants on the Constitution.  He does it a quite a lot so I've gotten to the point where I don't pay much attention.  To be honest, I didn't really listen this time, at least not more than enough to know that Beck doesn't really know that much about the Constitution.  His rants are directed more toward reinforcing the idea of the Constitution as a totem for the misfits, malcontents and miscreants of what passes for Conservatism these days.

I guess that's a bit of progress.  For a long time we had to put-up with veneration of St. Ronald Reagan.  He was the great spirit who watched-over Conservatives.  Now it's the Constitution.  The Constitution protects them from having to deal with the real world.

Maybe it's an improvement but I'm not sure.

23 January 2010

What Would Harry Say?

The Democrats have reacted to their loss in the recent Massachusetts special election.  As is typical for them, they have caved-in to the Republicans.  Health care is imperiled by the Democrats refusal to fight for what they profess to believe, or anything else for that matter.

Harry Truman, one of the most famous of Democrats, was known  for his rough language.  What would he say if he knew what the Democrats were doing?