Reality – Best Served Cold?

Posted in Anger on September 17, 2011 by everlyhartland

The GOP is saying now the Super Congress/Super Committee/Justice League/Whatever to do nothing less than haul the IRS tax code to the nearest dumpster and whip out a new tax code. In 60 days or less. Right.

Well, that is the kind of idea that would normally really appeal to me, GOP-proposed or not. But 60 days, amigo?

This dovetails inextricably with the other GOP tough guy themes. Not to mention the Democrat 90-pound weakling themes. AThey are in no hurry. Why should they be? Their master plan calls for a total fascist revision and those take time, dear friend.

It strikes me that the GOP, corrupt though they are, are convinced this is what they are going to do. And, more to the point, the working man — check that — the unemployed man, can just get over it.

There is no relief coming. No reinforcements are on the way. You are on your own. And frankly, we don’t give a rat’s ass about you. You’re not in our club.

Whether America survives the surgery or not, it appears the middle class is truly a thing of the past. We will hereafter have a lower class and an upper lower class. And, of course, the Uber Rich and their GOP flying monkeys.

Get over it.

The GOP’s Stated Un-American Activities

Posted in Anger on September 7, 2011 by everlyhartland

In his book Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left The Cult —  Mike Lofgren, a respected veteran who served on the Republican staffs of both the House and Senate Budget Committee made this startling revelation:

“A couple of years ago, a Republican committee staff director told me candidly (and proudly) what the method was to all this obstruction and disruption,” he wrote. “Should Republicans succeed in obstructing the Senate from doing its job, it would further lower Congress’s generic favorability rating among the American people. By sabotaging the reputation of an institution of government, the party that is programmatically against government would come out the relative winner.”

Sabotage. So, according to that RNC director, the GOP isn’t just the party of Hell No, they are the party of un-American activities. Obstructing the Senate from doing its job: a stated goal of the GOP!

The House of Representatives is where legislation is normally first created before going to the Senate for debate and the President for signing.  Why would the Republicans slam the President’s jobs proposals before he has even presented them? Answer: obstruction and disruption.

(“I’m…certain that, taken as whole, they’ll represent more of the same failed approach that’s only made things worse over the past few years, and resulted in even fewer jobs than when he started,” Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell snarked of the President’s not-yet-released jobs plan, dismissing the economic consensus that Obama’s stimulus prevented a deeper recession than the one the country experienced.)
     “Obstruction, Disruption and Sabotage”
The Party Of No with their Bushy “Let The Market Police Itself” voodoo oversaw the decimation of our retirement plans when the Wall Street sociopaths gambled away our 401ks. Now, they want to shunt your Social Security. What the hell do they expect you to do when you get too old to work, shine shoes at the country club?
The GOP has presented NO JOBS Legislation, yet they have the unmitigated gall to try and suppress the President’s proposals before he has even announced his ideas! To begin with, the only reason the President is having to propose legislation is that the GOP-controlled House sure as hell isn’t!
Obstruct and disrupt.
The Republican party is all about the rich man and they don’t bother denying it, referring to the fat cats laughably as “jobs creators”. They give no damn for the worker or his middle class family or their children’s future. They don’t want the common man to have health care, they want to rescind the Dept of Education, abolish Social Security and de-fund the EPA. The average man doesn’t need clean air, pristine forests,healthy game reserves, fresh water streams and oceans! Drill baby drill –oops! Don’t eat the black seafood!
They could care less about the middle class. They’re too busy “obstructing and disrupting”.
If rich people created jobs we’d have no recession today because we sure have more well-coddled wealthy people than ever before. Out here in the real world its all about JOBS, real jobs not make-believe jobs, well-paying jobs with good benefits that give the middle class buying power, security and confidence to start living again. Those jobs and purchases would pump billions in taxes into the economy and America would shed its death pall and regain its rosy blush.
Republican policy makers, indeed the RNC itself, is so corrupt that it cannot reasonably present itself as “Representatives” of the American people. Obstruction and disruption is NOT the way forward.  Their stated objectives are simply un-American.

Another World War?

Posted in Anger, Forward Thinking on August 21, 2011 by everlyhartland

Riots, civil unrest, martial law, global governments shutdown as debt default and restructuring fails. The reinstatement of the Gold standard, food shortages. Rising sea levels and dwindling fresh water supplies causing forced population exoduses and climate change refugees. Entire industries vanishing nearly overnight while new communities spring up based on local sustainability, which then become magnets for the newly displaced coastal and desert populations that lost their homes, lands, jobs… everything. People killing each other over farmland, fresh water or simply a place to rest for a while.

Entire nations may be uprooted. Japan is in danger from its ongoing and worsening nuclear disaster. Places like Somalia and Bangladesh that have always been plagued with food shortages and varied calamities may find themselves inundated by rising seas. The land masses will shrink while climates flip-flop. Dry regions may become temperate while food-producing areas like the American Midwest may falter. Populations will continue to grow, tempered only by famine, disease and genocide.

Under this extreme but plausible scenario, will we NOT fight each other? IF we are shown to be capable of invading others for their oil, will others not invade us for our food and water? Will Europe digress to another thousand years of bitter infighting as entire Peoples flee, unwelcome, to neighboring countries?

Will we some day look back on these bucolic days and wonder why we were so damned stupid, so ignorant of the writing on the wall and so lame in our will to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT?

 

My Dear Watson…

Posted in Forward Thinking on August 16, 2011 by everlyhartland

Sherlock Holmes is on record as saying “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

The GOP would do well to ponder that. It seems that many in their ranks are living in a make believe world, promoting their wishes as policy proposals in the face of contradictory empirical evidence.

Taxes, for example. The Republicans seem hide-bound to the dogma that tax cuts for rich guys, indeed tax cuts period, are the key to economic expansion. But it ain’t so and has been proven repeatedly by them and the Democrats.

As William Gale, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center writes, “Every time we have tried to cut spending by restraining taxes, we have failed. In the 1980s under President Ronald Reagan and in the past decade under President George W. Bush, taxes fell, but spending rose. The only time in the past 30 years when spending fell was in the 1990s, under President Bill Clinton, when taxes were also raised.”

Warren Buffett is again the only adult in the room when he says we need to stop coddling the super rich and raise their taxes. The effect would be magnificent.

More importantly, it’s time for our so-called leaders to stop trying to wish the economy into submission and start implementing policies that are proven to work. Tax the rich, educate the young, help the poor, restore the middle class.

And then, if we really want to try some untried ideas, reform the tax code (move away from income tax to a consumption or federal sales tax), reform campaign finance (take the money out of politics) and tax idle money (that is not invested).

We Can Change Our Part Of The World, Here’s How

Posted in Forward Thinking on August 15, 2011 by everlyhartland

Cut my Social Security and  Medicare benefits some, I can handle it. But also cut Defense spending down to a trim, efficient military without redundant services or star wars weapons projects. Get out of the sand box, Japan and Germany and put those boys on our ports and borders and to work on domestic water and clean energy projects. Adventurism is too expensive, causes world-wide anti-American resentment and besides, who elected us the world’s policeman? Cutting Defense spending will go a long way toward balancing our books.

Don’t raise taxes on anyone, instead REFORM the tax code into a sales tax paradigm instead of income tax. No “incentives” or exceptions. If someone buys anything, it comes with a Federal sales tax. Period. Everyone pays. Reforming the tax code will eliminate much of the class warfare and resentment.

TAX idle money. If someone wants to squirrel away a few billion for a rainy day, then they will have to pay an idle money tax on anything over $500K. Doesn’t matter if it’s in a Swiss vault or a shoe box or a floor safe. If you are an American citizen and you have idle cash being held out of circulation and not working, not invested, you will pay the idle funds tax. Have banks withhold it from the interest payments on the accounts. This will pour gallons of money into the economy, fueling new development and jobs, resulting in a reduction of the income gap.

Take money OUT of politics. We have to go to a publicly financed campaign process. With the Internet why do candidates have to spend millions anyway? Let em tele-campaign. Everyone gets $100k, make it do. This will end the oligarchy or plutocracy that is today dominating the political process and feeding the sense of anger and resentment among so many Americans. It will also nullify the recent Supreme Court ruling that a corporation is a person and can give as much as it wants in campaign contributions. Only with campaign finance reform can America regain some semblance of democratic government.

High Federal political offices should be held by citizens, not career politicians. Congress and the President should make a modest salary, say $100,000-$150,000. They should not have a special health care plan or lifetime benefits. They should use the same Social Security and Medicare programs, or whatever, that their bosses The People have. When their term maxes out at eight years or such, they should go home. Holding office should be an honor and privilege, indeed a patriotic duty by those talented folks so inclined. It should not be a career path unto itself.

America is reeling with catastrophic problems threatening to wipe out everything our ancestors built with their hands and hearts. It is incumbent on us to take madly strong actions to prevent apocalypse. To paraphrase a recent Presidential candidate, we can Change the World. Yes, we can.

Twenty Things To Say To Your Blowhard Republican Friends

Posted in Anger on August 13, 2011 by everlyhartland
Twenty Things To Say To Your Blowhard Republican Friends

1. A Socialist wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. 
2. Jesus was history's foremost Liberal. Do you know what he said about how we should care for the sick, the poor, the outcast and imprisoned? Do you know what he did to the money men in the temple? What do you think he would say about cutting taxes for the rich man while cutting help for the less fortunate? That kinda flies in the face, don't you think?
3. You call the GOP the Party of Reagan. You hold him up as your preeminent conservative.  Ronald Reagan raised taxes eleven times as President. He also legalized abortion as Governor of California and supported gun control. He was damn near killed by a gun man and it caused him a change of heart. Bullets will do that to a man. The economy suffered greivously under his policies. The Dow Industrial average was under 1000 for much of his term. Under Democrat Bill Clinton it rocketed past 10,000.
4. Richard Nixon, another arch conservative, created the Environmental Protection Agency. He was also a criminal who trampled on the Constitution, was forced to resign or be impeached and was then pardoned without cause - by another Republican, Gerald Ford.
5. President Obama saved the American auto industry and tens of thousands of middle class jobs. This was part of the "failed stimulus" program Republicans like to crow about. Don't tell that to an auto worker. Or a highway or bridge construction worker. Or an FAA or airport construction worker 70,000 (!) of whom almost just had their jobs cut by arrogant Republicans cutting their funding before leaving town on "recess".
6. Republicans complain about immigrants taking American jobs, then freely give American jobs to foreigners overseas. They're doing it right now, in the pit of our worst recession. What do you think makes your job safe from those sociopaths?
7. Labor unions built this country. They won freedoms we all take for granted today, union or not. Little things like a five day work week, sick leave, vacation time, workplace safety regulations, child labor laws, fire safety, worker's compensation for workplace injuries, and such. Go back and read about working conditions in the early part of the twentieth century, it was barbaric.
8. Republicans spend MORE money than Democrats. Look it up. They can go through a budget surplus faster than Grant went through Richmond.
9. Clinton left Bush with the biggest budget SURPLUS in history. Bush gave the biggest tax cuts to the wealthy ever recorded and left Obama with the highest DEFICIT in history, THREE TIMES bigger than the second highest deficit right after WWII. Coincidence? There's no such thing as coincidence.
10. Fox News is a right-wing propaganda machine owned by an Australian tabloid king currently under investigation internationally for illegal hacking of dead soldiers' phones, among others. He also has a Saudi prince as an investor. And you thought it was real news?
11 & 12. The Federal Reserve was a Republican idea. So was Universal Healthcare. Yeah, like the kind Republican Mitt Romney ramrodded through in Massachusetts.
13. 9/11 happened on George W. Bush’s watch, therefore he did NOT keep America safe.
14. Barack Obama ordered and supervised the killing of Osama Bin Laden, an extraordinary accomplishment by some very brave men and women. It took just two and half years to do what Bush and Cheney couldn’t do in eight. 
15. Osama Bin Laden was so far as we know history's most effective non-state terrorist, personally repsonsible for the deaths of about 3,000 people. Timothy McVeigh was a terrorist who acted out his right-wing fantasies costing the brutal deaths of 168 men, women and children. Both men have a fanatical following among their respective extremist fringes and are hailed as heroes.
16. Separation of church and state is the law. In fact, it's the First Amendment to the Constitution. Churches should stay out of politics or be taxed, one or the other.
17. The Civil War was about slavery, NOT state’s rights. And Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee were traitors, in any sense of the word.
18. Getting out of a recession requires government spending. Always has, always will.
19. Republicans are against sex education and don’t want to pay for women's birth control but they're all about paying for Viagra, not even an issue. Then they  rant about unwanted pregnancies and women seeking abortions. How much of that problem don't you understand?
20. The current corporate tax rate is the lowest in 60 years, so stop whining about it being too high. Many of America's big corporations pay zero tax anyway, leaving you and I holding the bag. We pay our taxes, why can't they? The wealthiest Americans, some of the richest people in the world, are still living large on Bush's Government Wealthcare program, protected to the death by the GOP who sniff "Raising taxes is not an option". And yet, you keep voting Republican. Why is that?


Who Has What on Obama?

Posted in Anger on August 11, 2011 by everlyhartland

We all seem to be startled and dissapointed in the President’s inability to stand up to the damn Republican pols, despite all the promises he made. So, why?

Lots of theories abound. He’s gutless, he’s confused, he’s sold out. I wonder if it isn’t something else altogether.

I think someone might have something on him and he is compelled to pull his punches lest they let the cat out of the bag, to mix metaphors.

Everybody’s got something to hide, he’s no different, I’m sure. We all have things that we would not want plastered all over the national media. What is in his closet?

An “extra” child, ala Arnold Schwartzenegger? Some shady prior business dealings, ala White Water? Did he sell pot in college? Maybe had  some legal trouble back in the day? Who knows?

But if you think about the powerful force arrayed against him and their capabilities, if he has ANYTHING in there that could damage his credibility or destroy his office, they would know about it. Or maybe it’s something about Michelle.

We think of these people as near perfect, admirably so, but if they are as human as the rest of us, old Obama may be peeking out from behind the curtains wondering if and when some reporter pipes up and says, “Uh, Mr. President, we have just learned that you…”

I could never run for office, most folks couldn’t. Never mind the way the game is rigged against all but the best connected ,multi-millionaires. We all have dirt. We all have skeletons in our closets. And the Ruling Class won’t hesitate to destroy a man that crosses their self interests. You bet your ass.