Blog Archives

The Final Results of the Election…

If you haven’t seen where everything finally ended up after Florida was called (which took an awfully long time and right up to the very end the GOP said Romney had it… but he didn’t), then here it is:

This, to me, is a sure sign that Obama has a mandate to finish his agenda. To win by 126 electoral votes is not insignificant… it is a real rollover.

Now we will listen to Boehner claim that he is ready to cooperate, but will keep the House just a opposed to increasing taxes on the very rich and solving the rest of the economic problems. Will the House Republicans finally support Obama’s goal to increase jobs? Looks like they are going to stay just as opposed. Didn’t they learn anything from the election?

Mitch McConnell will probably keep the Republicans in the Senate from letting things go through, although they are still in the minority. McConnell is up for reelection in Kentucky in 2014, so maybe he will cooperate a little bit just to show that he’s not a schmuck. We’ll wait and see.

 

A day of celebration underscored by personal madness…

AT 4:30 this morning when I posted Obama‘s win I had had 2 1/2 hours of sleep and needed to be up by five to drive to Hagerstown for the first of five different scheduled lab visits, Doctor conferences, and tests based on the notion that I’d be in surgery with my little brain on Friday.

Then, in the middle of all this, as my wife and I went from office to office (I had fasted for close to 11 hours because of one of the tests… so tired AND hungry) trying to get our neurosurgeon on the telephone to find out the results of yesterday’s testing, we were told the surgery would be moved to Monday from Friday!

Well, you’ve never heard anyone yell as loudly into a cell phone as Elly did to one of the front desk ladies at the Doctors‘ office who informed us of this unannounced time change. You have to understand, she takes time off from her work at the College to take me to these appointments and she manages our schedules and expenses, and she expects that professionals follow professional guidelines and maintain their schedules. They don’t.

There is a chance that they may not be able to do the surgery Monday, either, or that my wife will insist that we find another doctor (my daughters, I think, agree with that, too… I’m to worn out and dizzy to even think about it now. I’ll do what they say.)

So, if there is no surgery Friday, we will probably be headed to Georgetown ( 2 hours away) to interview another neurological practice.  If that does happen, I’ll probably be able to do my Saturday morning radio show on WSHC.

There is Joy In Mudville, though… Mighty Mitty has struck out. If you heard that snivelling concession speech he made (gracefulness is not a Republican skill) at 1:30 in the morning, then you have an idea of what kind of president he would have made.

Now we still have the House of Representatives with a big margin for the Repubs and John Boehner  which will let them trample the legislation we need for the economy, for single payer healthcare, for rebuilding our country and for getting out of all this war. I’m afraid it will be a difficult 4 years. Our support for the president will help get things done.

It will be one of the functions of this blog as long as I can keep it going.

- Bill

 

 

Romney gets “browner” when he speaks to Mexicans…

 

 

Wonkette pointed out a change in Mitt yesterday in the article “Mitt Romney Dons Brownface For Forum With Mexicans:”

That is not Willard’s usual look, is it? It looks … browner.
As though Romney was doing Ace Ventura: “In order to win the Mexican … you must BE the Mexican!”.
Or as though Romney was still thinking “Sure would be easier if I were Mexican”.
Or maybe he just had a secret meeting with John Boehner and John is just rubbing off on him.
But I think this is just the pander-o-matic performing its usual function. Even Willard’s skin is inauthentic. The witty NegSpin dubs this “Tandering”, and I agree.

Of course, we all know Mitt will try anything to get past the gaffe-loaded problems with his campaign… and to get Latinos why not look like a Latino?

What happens if he speaks to the NAACP?

 

Boehner tells the press that he hopes blacks and latinos don’t vote…

The Speaker of the House told a luncheon hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in Tampa Monday that the Republican Party counted on apathy from the Latinos and blacks in choosing Democrats over Republicans… something that has become apparent by record margins in recent polls.

His actual words (in public, no less):

“This election is about economics… These groups have been hit the hardest. They may not show up and vote for our candidate but I’d suggest to you they won’t show up and vote for the president either.”

Combine this with the Republican campaign for voter ID laws, for limiting voting hours and for stalling registrations , and you get the clear fact that these laws were meant to keep blacks from voting.

As Doug Priesse, chair of the Franklin County, Ohio Republican Party, said about restrictive early voting hours and voter ID laws:

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine… Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

In Pennsylvania House Republican leader Mike Turzai conceeded the point of voter ID is to help Republicans win

  “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”

So it looks like Republican leadership from the top to the bottom will do their best to realize a publicly stated hope: Keep minorities away from the voting box… it’s the only way for them to have a 100% white male government.

So, according to John Boehner, voters need not love Mitt Romney:

From a longer article at Roll Call:

…at a June 30 fundraiser in Wheeling, W.Va., Speaker John Boehner offered a surprisingly frank assessment of the dynamic that surprised some in the audience.

Aside from Romney’s “friends, relatives and fellow Mormons,” Boehner said, most people will be motivated to vote for him in opposition to Obama.

The Ohio Republican made the remarks when an unidentified woman asked during a question-and-answer session: “Can you make me love Mitt Romney?”

“No,” Boehner said. “Listen, we’re just politicians. I wasn’t elected to play God. The American people probably aren’t going to fall in love with Mitt Romney. I’ll tell you this: 95 percent of the people that show up to vote in November are going to show up in that voting booth, and they are going to vote for or against Barack Obama

So Republicans have a candidate they are not particularly fond of (and neither, for that matter are Democrats), but they are expected to vote for. One would think Boehner’s motivation in speaking for his party would be to get everyone to admire Romney and not stress that he appeals only to “friends, relatives and fellow Mormons.”

Combine that with what Bill Kristol said the other day and the puncturing of Romney’s lies about his business and gubernatorial background vis-a-vis job creation and cutting out unemployment (he succeeded at neither) and it’s not really clear if Republicans will work up the energy to come out to the polls.

A Quote for the Day… Republicans in conflict: Jeb Bush vs. Grover Norquist

How did Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush get legislation passed?

“Ronald Reagan would have, based on his record of finding accommodation, finding some degree of common ground, as would my dad – they would have a hard time if you define the Republican party – and I don’t – as having an orthodoxy that doesn’t allow for disagreement, doesn’t allow for finding some common ground.

“Back to my dad’s time and Ronald Reagan’s time – they go a lot of stuff done with a lot of bipartisan support.”

- Gov. Jeb Bush (R)

This didn’t make Grover Norquist (no elected office – R) very happy:

“That’s foolish, it’s sup-it’s bizarre.

There’s a guy (Jeb) who watched his father throw away his presidency on a 2:1 [ratio of

Grover Norquist

spending cuts to tax increases] promise. And he thinks he’s sophisticated by saying that he’d take a 10:1 promise. He doesn’t understand – he’s just agreed to walk down the same alley his dad did with the same gang. And he thinks he’s smart. You walk down that alley, you don’t come out. You certainly don’t come out with 2:1 or 10:1.”

 – Grover Norquist, Enemy of Americans (R)

As you know, Norquist crafted a pledge to never increase taxes for any reason that current-day Republicans sign or else have trouble getting support from national Republicans.

The Bush comments are part of a small, but growing schism of Republicans who are starting to break with Norquist’s hard-line orthodoxy on taxes. Whether more Republicans start to break, or Norquist’s anti-tax increase orthodoxy continues to rule the Republican Party is yet to be determined.

- CBS News

So, if you are wondering why we don’t get anywhere on Jobs, or battling this depression (see Krugman‘s new book “End This Depression Now”), or getting some kind of focus on improving our overall economy, you need wonder no more. Between McConnell and Boehner‘s refusal to to compromise on anything with Obama and the Democrats, and the insistence of Republicans that they are waiting until after the election, assuming any cooperation now is working against Mitt, I don’t expect anything will happen any time soon.

Remembering when Republicans were admired by ALL Americans…

 Read Robert G. Ingersol’s piece on Abraham Lincoln written in 1894. This gives a clear perspective on a Republican leader who served the WHOLE country:

http://www.archive.org/stream/abrahamlincolnle00inge#page/n3/mode/2up

(ever wonder what Lincoln would have thought of Mitch McConnell and John Boehner?)

Watching Romney, Boehner, Ryan and the rest of them on Television, I realize that Republicans lie.

And not just a couple of mistaken notions here and there, but outright lies…some of them so far out that I couldn’t have imagined them if I tried.

Why is it, then, that we let them keep doing it? Why do the news shows repeat these gems in their speeches without pointing out the basic lack of truth? Perhaps there is influence being peddled here.

For instance, Mitt is always saying that Obama has made the recession worse…without mentioning, of course, that the Dow hit its 4-year high and NASDAQ hit its 11-year high under the President’s time in office. Or Chrysler posted its first profit in more than a decade  and  expects those profits to continue growing. The industry has hired enough workers to make up for all those laid off during the recession, and American and foreign automakers plan to add 167,000 jobs at American plants this year. So how has he made the recession worse?

Romney, Ryan and others have said that taxes are skyrocketing under Obama.
In reality, the U.S. tax burden is not only hovering around a historical low — it’s also low compared to other advanced industrialized nations.

Boehner has said that the President has accomplished NOTHING in his first term, ignoring everything from wiping out Osama Bin Laden, saving the auto industry and getting his health care plan PASSED.

According to Romney: President Obama “went around the world and apologized for America.”  Obama, however, has never used the word ‘apologize’ in a speech about U.S. policy or history. Any assertion that he has apologized for U.S. actions rests on an intentionally misleading interpretation of the President’s words.

The Republicans lie about everything. They deny the reality of global warming and the carbon emissions crisis. They deny the responsibility of Reagan and Bush for the deficits that they caused and that Obama inherited (along with a recession). They deny Clinton the credit for the vast economic growth that took place in 1990s as a result of his economic policies and for the fiscal sanity that his policies accomplished. They blame everything on the “liberal” academia and give credit for everything to Republicans, never mind that academic science is behind everything that business sells, and without it capitalism would be nothing more than exchange of basic commodities.

And they repeat this stuff over and over… a trick that Goering used in Nazi Germany when they had control of the media: repeat a lie often enough and people start thinking it is true.

Then there are the two big ones that Republicans try hard not to deny, but continue to perpetuate: that Obama was born in another country and that Obama is a socialist/communist trying to nationalize America’s industries (evidenced in the editorial page press by cartoonists like Glenn McCoy:

…if you see what I mean.)

So dealing with Republican lies now through November’s election is going to be an ongoing headache. I’ll just have to make sure that I point them out with some regularity and hope it keeps a few people from buying into this crap.

John Boehner Quote of the Day

Responding to a question about funding of the Federal Government, Majority Leader Boehner made the following statement:

“blah blah blah blah blah. all right? so? yes.”

I find his knowledge and depth of perception stunning. Don’t you?

GOP Destruction Of Middle Class And Unions Rages On

btchakir:

http://doubledippolitics.com/2012/03/10/gop-destruction-of-middle-class-and-unions-rages-on/

GOP Destruction Of Middle Class And Unions Rages On | Double Dip Politics… btw, Ye Olde Soapbox has been added to the Blogroll.

Originally posted on Ye Olde Soapbox:

GOP Destruction Of Middle Class And Unions Rages On

 

BY ANNABEL LEE

 

“Big Labor Plots 2012 Revenge” screamed the headline on Politico.com. Naturally, the headline aroused my attention as I was reading. What were the labor unions planning? Was this some massive resistance movement or gathering being planning of which I was not aware? Was this some breaking story about a labor push back against the nonsensical collective bargaining stripping laws? Was it a new resurgence of union membership working to prevent harmful right-to-work state statutes? What could labor unions be planning that led the conservative Politico.com to post such a headline? 

The article begins by speaking about labor unions being weakened. The political muscles are still there, despite GOP attempts to break the unions. The author, Robin Bravender, listed Scott Walker’s recall election, political donations to the Democratic Party, and ballot fights removing power from the unions. None…

View original 267 more words

Listen to the noise!

Tea Partiers are complaining bitterly that Boehner and the Republicans gave in on the Payroll tax problem. Obama supporters are cheering because Barack finally stood up to the House. Boehner is apparently in tears while Eric Cantor fishes for his Speaker seat.

What a way to spend a Friday. I’m exhausted just watching Chris Matthews argue with guests.

As for me… it’s the weekend, Christmas Eve is tomorrow night… and politics will be gone for at least two days.

Boehner Caves!

We enter the evening with Speaker John Boehner caving in to a growing chorus of criticism from both within and outside his Republican party. He has agreed to The Senate’s short-term deal to extend a payroll tax cut for 160 million Americans.

In a major reversal that appeared to end a standoff with Democrats, Boehner told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid he would set a vote in the House on a Senate-passed two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.

Boehner’s about-face contrasts with a year of Republican dominance in The House, in which a staunch opposition to higher taxes and spending yielded a string of political successes. Their backpedalling this time handed a rare victory to President Barack Obama and Democrats.

The vote to carry out the 60-day plan should take place tomorrow.

Has the Republican House Sealed its Fate?

“Based on the historical record we can confidently predict that if a large number of incumbents lose their seats next November, it will be because 2012 is a wave election and that almost all of the defeated incumbents will come from the party on the losing side of the wave.”

- Alan I. Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University

Boehner Leads the Ranks of the Inverted

So Boehner turned out the lights and sent the House home, even though Democrats were calling for a continuing discussion to get the interim Payroll bill of the Senate passed, giving 60 days to come up with the final compromise without attacking the economic lives of middle Americans.

Even the Wall Street Journal, not a left leaning publication, tried to get the Republican leader and his Tea Party Poopers to see the three reasons that made the House Majority the bad guys:

Reason #1: House Republicans allowed the Senate to break for the Christmas holiday without explicit orders it would need to come back. In fact, Politico notes that the silence from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is deafening. Reason #2: The Senate passed its legislation by a bipartisan 89-10 vote, raising the question whether a conference committee could produce a deal that could get 60-plus Senate votes. Reason #3: The House GOP didn’t allow an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill, suggesting that it could have passed if they did. Those three reasons will be hard for the House GOP to explain away if the tax cut expires after Dec. 31.”

We are left with no payroll tax cuts for 160 million workers and aid for several million long-term unemployed Americans expiring on Dec. 31. If the Republicans wanted to make Obama look good in this situation, they couldn’t have done it better.

The question now is what will the majority of Americans think when an extra cut comes out of their paychecks and they bring their anger into the public venue (think of the Occupy movement)? Too bad we can’t vote for House members tomorrow!

Obama stands up to Boehner on Payroll Tax vote…

From the White House:

Today, the President made separate calls to Speaker Boehner and Leader Reid. In his call to Speaker Boehner, the President reiterated the need and his commitment to work with Congress to extend the payroll tax cut for the entire year, and the fact that the short-term bipartisan compromise passed by almost the entire Senate is the only option to ensure that middle class families aren’t hit with a tax hike in 10 days and gives both sides the time needed to work out a full year solution. The President urged the Speaker to take up the bipartisan compromise passed in the Senate with overwhelming Democratic and Republican support that would prevent 160 million working Americans from being hit with a holiday tax hike on January 1st.

The President also spoke with Leader Reid and again applauded him for the work he conducted with Minority Leader McConnell to achieve a successful bipartisan compromise that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate on Saturday, and Senator Reid reaffirmed his commitment to secure a bipartisan year long tax cut after the House passes the two month extension. The President urged the Speaker to allow a vote on the one compromise that Democrats and Republicans passed together to give the American people the assurance they need during this holiday season that they won’t see a significant tax hike in just 10 days.

Boehner and the Tea Party folks are now getting the worst of the press, and they are even being criticized by other Republicans, none of whom would like the Middle Class on their tails come election time. Meanwhile, the Senate is on vacation and it doesn’t look like they are coming back to renegotiate before the short-term bill is passed.


Looks like the rest of the week will be interesting. Ho Ho Ho.

Looks like Boehner is ready to raise some taxes… What will Grover Norquist say?

Two quotes for the afternoon:

“I think there is room for revenues, but I think there clearly is a limit to the amount of revenues that are available.”

- John Boehner

 

“The comment was significant because Boehner and other Republican leaders have repeatedly insisted that tax increases are off the table, and most Republicans in the House and Senate have signed a “taxpayer protection pledge” vowing not to raise taxes.

Grover Norquist

“That pledge was devised by Americans for Tax Reform, an advocacy group run by Grover Norquist, whom Boehner dismissed as “some random person in

America” when he was asked about Norquist today. Later in the day, Boehner revised his comments.”

- Nancy Cordes, CBS News

 

Is there a split going on with the far right?

…from The Hill.

What makes Boehner an Asshole? – II

A comment from the Ranks of the Inverted

“The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration. We hope he gives serious consideration to our ideas as well. It’s my hope that we can work together to end the uncertainty facing families and small businesses, and create a better environment for long-term economic growth and private-sector job creation.

- John Boehner

Gee…in the speech I listened to, Obama consistently brought up ideas and proposals in his plan that originated with Republicans. This is consideration in my opinion. What Boehner and his gang consider about the President’s plan remains to be seen.

Of course, he sat there making unpleasant faces… didn’t smile once… during the speech. It was revealing to see the great orange face behind Obama during the whole speech.

How much do you want to bet that the only consideration they give Obama is on more tax cuts? That’s it.

Congress is back in session… don’t expect anything new.

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

- Mark Twain

So now there is a reason to find the day’s comedy on C-Span and C-Span2 once more. Unfortunately, this is no longer comedy, but the essence of our national tragedy.

Tragedies have tragic figures, of course, who fall into the inescapable fissure of their own inabilities. The tragic figures here are not Democrats, not Republicans, not the President,

Mitch McConnell LEADS the Ranks of the Inverted

not Mitch McConnell, not John Boehner, and for heaven’s same not the Tea Party.

We are the Tragic Figures: Americans. Americans who no longer vote because they have  been alienated by one party or the other with the marketing assistance of Corporations and that 1% of the population that controls 80% of the money. Americans who hear politicians say “Put America First” and “Put Americans Back To Work” – yet cancel each other out on their own votes in Congress. Americans who are bought off without even knowing it… have been since Reagan… and who attack their own state of well being while they think they are standing strong.

The major point of tragedies is that they prove their point, but don’t end well. The Tragic Figure dies, or has eyes pulled out, or loses everything necessary to maintain life.

In a recent  Truthout article called “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult”, Mike Lofgren shows the strategy that Republicans use to carry us further into unending misery:

Far from being a rarity, virtually every bill, every nominee for Senate confirmation and every routine procedural motion is now subject to a Republican filibuster. Under the circumstances, it is no wonder that Washington is gridlocked: legislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.

John P. Judis sums up the modern GOP this way:

“Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority. It is the party of Watergate and Iran-Contra, but also of the government shutdown in 1995 and the impeachment trial of 1999. If there is an earlier American precedent for today’s Republican Party, it is the antebellum Southern Democrats of John Calhoun who threatened to nullify, or disregard, federal legislation they objected to and who later led the fight to secede from the union over slavery.”

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. 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.

A deeply cynical tactic, to be sure, but a psychologically insightful one that plays on the weaknesses both of the voting public and the news media. There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.”

…and, of course, the resulting action is that65% of Americans at a minimum no longer vote.

And that’s the real tragedy.

It was a long night… hopefully today ends it all…

They decided last night and the Senate took a late vote… now it’s up to the House. The new Debt bill is not very strong on Democratic points and overburdened with Republican points (although it is House Republicans who can possibly kill it today) and we are hearing comments from all sides:

“Real spending cuts. No tax hike. Gang of Six said it could not be done. 1982, 1990 are now bad memories we learned from. Onward.”

- Grover Norquist

“The compromise we have agreed to is remarkable for a number of reasons, not only because of what it does, but because of what it prevents.”

- Harry Reid

“This is an important moment for our country. I can say with a high degree of confidence that there is a framework in place to assure a significant degree of cuts to Washington spending.

- Mitch McConnell

“Is this the deal I would have preferred? No. But this compromise does make a serious down payment on the deficit reduction we need.”

- Barack Obama

“Now listen, this isn’t the greatest deal in the world. But it shows how much we’ve changed the terms of the debate in this town.”

- John Boehner

So now we wait for the vote.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Dancing on the (Debt) Ceiling

Going to focus today on some great cartoons summing up the fruitless “debates” that this polarized Congress go through as the GOP tries to end Obama‘s Presidency…

Mr. Fish in Truthdig:

… and when we’re done, we’ll decide how to spend what we have left…

- and -

John Deering in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:


Waiting to see who wins as we all go over the falls…

- and -

Dan Wasserman in the Boston Globe:

Notice how well they listen to each other…

- and -

Dick Locher of Tribune Media Services:

… if we would all get with it….

- and -

Joel Pett in the Lexington Herald:

…and it l0oks like they are getting it.

The Idiots are “debating” all day…

… but are they coming up with anything? The Senate has  kept the Boehner Bill from getting voted on…. the House has voted down the Reid Bill (which he Senate hasn’t even voted on and which they can’t agree on an up-and-down vote… in which it would pass… or a 60 person vote…which it would fail.)

The Senate is coming to a decision at 1:00 AM… I don’t know if I want to stay up this late and find that nothing takes place.

I wonder if this Congress has any idea how stupid they appear to the rest of us in America? If they did, this would probably not be happening.

Congress pledges to work all weekend to solve Deficit Problem. I pledge to stop laughing as soon as I get off the floor.

We know for, what is now, a fact that the children in control of the House are going to pound their hands and feet on the floor to avoid compromise and the Democrats in the Senate, without seeing what the House may pass, has already vowed to vote against it.

John Boehner seems more concerned with shifting control of the Tea-Party loaded House back to his office… this, of course, he does by promoting Tea-Party principles… and Harry Reid and friends are working hrd to make sure Republicans are responsible for the Economic cesspool we are in.

President Obama seems to be staying on top of the fray… but that doesn’t mean anything is being accomplished. Then, there’s the possibility of the 14th Amendment brou-ha-ha to come into play… although Obama is indicating it won’t.

Rich and Greedy folks like the Koch Brothers are sitting on their money piles and holding off any attempts to get them to pay their fair share. Control freaks like Grover Norquist are waving signed copies of the no-tax pledges that have gotten Republicans to sign over their heads and yelling “small government” (as we continue to pursue our role as World Policeman at a cost of Billions of Bucks a day.)

And now they have indicated they will work the weekend in Congress to solve the problem… something they have not been able to do in their string of regular 3-day weeks (gee… they have to travel on Mondays and Fridays.).

I no longer wish to pay congressional salaries unless they actually come to a positive compromise. Nor do I think we should support their staffs. And if they don’t come up with this compromise.. and protect the lower and middle classes… in time for the August 2 collapse, they should be ejected from their offices as well. Let them sit out in the rain predicted for Saturday and figure out how they are going to justify their jobs.

As June ends we see the economy getting worse…

Unemployment looks like it’s starting to go up again, even here in Shepherdstown where we were doing pretty well – something which I think is pretty common in small University towns not based on industry or international trade – and I’m getting more and more pissed off at our Congressfolk who would rather battle for control of the government than the salvation of the citizenry.

Take, for instance, the walkout of Cantor and Kyl from the deficit talks – blaming it n the Democrats seeking tax increases for the rich (after they had already given up three trillion dollars in concessions according to the news on television). Now it seems the walkout was pre-planned and this  was a strategy to throw the Republican position into Boehner‘s lap, keeping the House from any kind of agreement on returning the upper 1% of rich folks from going back to the tax levels that Bush had brought them “temporarily” down to. As they pulled this off, the ability to fund the basics of Medicare and Medicaid seem strained and folks like Max Baucus, one of the few Democrats that I have the least trust in, announced he was ready to look at more cuts in the health care agenda.

If the deficit ceiling is not raised by the end of the next three or four weeks we will have plenty of opportunity to hear both parties blaming the other… both of them claiming that the majority of Americans agree with them. But since the rest of us are all part of that majority of Americans it seems strange that no one really feels the politicians are really speaking for us.

Perhaps it is time for us all to find ways to show that we could work together to solve problems, and send the politicians, lobbyists, Koch Brothers, Fox Newscasters, and all the rest who are making their big bucks on this conflict out into the night.

Maybe we can do it. Maybe.

Where did the American united national character go?

A long time ago, in my youth in Connecticut, I remember a really different country than we have now. I didn’t learn about the Federal Government through C-Span, which, of course, didn’t exist back then, but through the Bristol Press and the Hartford Courant (and, occasionally, the Waterbury Republican.) These were the newspapers that came to our house, either by paper boy or by my father bringing them home at night from the Bristol Pharmacy after the 10 PM close.

My parents were moderate Republicans (a concept which doesn’t seem to exist any more), but some of my family were Democrats (My Uncle Pete, my Grandfather, my Aunt Helen… etc.) They all got along together. And they were part of a middle class that spent my first thirty years on this globe (I’m 65 next Tuesday) increasing their social and financial strength in a growing economy that was available to most of the population…not just the top 1%.

I tripped over a quote from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a two term Republican and hero of WWII… Republicans and Democrats respected the man… that relates to our latest political conflict.

Ike said this on November 8, 1954:

“Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

Now it seems that those of negligible number or obvious stupidity are no longer a tiny splinter group, but a small control force with names like Koch Brothers, or Rupert Murdoch, or Grover Norquist, who are adamantly against the country solving it’s economic problems by fair taxation of all economic levels. Nor do they want the remaining middle class, or the even poorer classes that much of that middle class is joining, to have access to adequate Social Security (if they have access to it at all) or Medicare or Medicaid or Food Stamps… you pick out any of the civil advancements we’ve made over the decades and it seems that this small control force is guiding the Republican Congress members into national devastation.

Part of their secret weapon in defying Ike’s prediction is in the creation of the Tea Party… getting a group of middle class or lower people to commit crippling torments on themselves… and then blaming progressives, and, indeed, our President for them. How did the rich get the not rich to carry out their self mutilation?

One way was to spend lots of money on Republican politicians, on political lies during elections and on encouraging racial and social segregation feelings among folks with a history of the same and a minimum of intellectual dexterity. You can tie this to a previous administration (Read Bush II) that decimated the money kept aside for Social Security, leaving filing cabinets loaded with IOUs that were never intended to be paid while they cut the settled tax rates for the very rich… tax rates that never stopped them either being rich or getting richer … leaving no more expected income for the needs of government.

And the Tea Party folks BELIEVED all this crap. What must the laughs have been like at the Koch Brothers family cocktail gatherings? What was John Boehner‘s thoughts of getting progressive legislation stopped as he played at his golf outings? Those of us entering the world of Social Security/Medicare supported retirement have much different thoughts. Those who will retire ten years from now have even less positive expectations to think about.

I am frustrated with much of what is happening… and aside from making statements in my blog, or on my podcast or on the Friday Morning radio show where I am a co-host… don’t see what I can really do about it. I continue to vote and never miss an election, but my level of winning, the level of any progressives winning, is well below 50%… I live in the midst of conservatives and small thinkers, and of Democrats who might as well be Republicans.

We have Corporations that are treated by our Supreme Court’s conservative majority as individual citizens, with no control of the money spent by such private power. We have oil companies that make billions in profits, but receive billions from our government as subsidies.

There is another President, even earlier than Eisenhower, who also had a vision of what could happen in our society:

“The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. ”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Be afraid, my friends. Be very afraid.

2 Quotes for the Morning – both about the Unreality of John Boehner’s economic views.

The Orange Cryer has Flipped!

If you heard the Speaker make hos speech the other day then you know he is insisting on spending cuts before the debt ceiling can be raised. He is also pushing the classic Republican point of view on cutting taxes on the rich because they will invest in American jobs. Of course they haven’t in the last couple of years as their taxes were slashed.

Perhaps Boehner is not aware that the “trickle-down theory” didn’t work for Reagan or either one of the Bushes. Republicans have limited historic vision… primarily because it is the multimillionaires that provide their funds.

As James Rowley and Mike Dorning said on Bloomberg this morning:

“Boehner’s statement in his Wall Street speech that government spending ‘is crowding out private investment and threatening the availability of capital’ runs counter to the behavior of credit markets… Boehner also said the 2009 stimulus program ‘hampered job creation in our country,’ a view at odds with the Congressional Budget Office‘s findings last August. The stimulus package increased the number of people employed by between 1.4 million and 3.3 million and cut unemployment by between 0.7 percentage point and 1.8 percentage point, according to CBO.”

And Ruth Marcus in the Washington Post said:

“Even more alarming, because it has consequences beyond the debt-ceiling debate, is the incoherent, impervious-to-facts economic philosophy undergirding Boehner’s remarks.”

I suppose this means that, as long as we have Boehner sitting with his historical misinformation, we will have one hell of a time straightening out our economy.

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