Blog Archives

Watching Romney on 60 Minutes led me to remember the things he was lying about…

 

Post these on your websites if you want to be aware of what Romney-Ryan will do to Medicare… and what they will do to employment and tax income, etc.:

Gee, I’m lucky… being in the oldest category they only grab about 50% of my retirement payments from Social Security (or all of my pension each year for the next 8… then it’s gone.)

Did you hear Romney say he was going to cut taxes on Middle America? Go you remember ythe other day when he said the income rate of Middle America started at $200,000.00 a year in annual income… and averaged a quarter of a million dollars. All at once I was not part of Middle America any more. Neither were ALL of the people I know and deal with every day in West Virginia.

I hope most people realize the bullshit Romney is bubbling over with. We have the possibility of having the worst president in history. Let’s avoid that situation by not voting for him.

 

So Romney doesn’t care about half the country…

 

Mitt has been tripped up by an unplanned recording at a private and secret fundraiser among the very rich. This is what has caused attention in the press and has severely effected his ratings in the polls:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax….[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

According to the Washington Post, when you look at those Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes, 29% pay payroll taxes (of course, that is a direct tax on their income), and almost a quarter are elderly. For the most part they all work, and most are eligible for a federal tax credit for low-wage earners, a Republican idea created as an alternative to welfare. Perhaps Romney doesn’t know what his own party has created.

In the older population, the large quantity elderly white people and some of the white working class included in that 47 percent are the bedrock of the GOP base. When Romney rails against the “dependent,” Romney is talking about his older white base, which is dependent on Social Security and Medicare and doesn’t want either program touched. Both are his and Ryan’s major targets.

So once again, Romney has stepped in it and doesn’t even have a way to clean his foot off. If we get to the debates and he continues a similar performance, he will be kissing the election off.

 

Gee… Elly and I are no longer “Middle Income”

 

Well, we have to thank the Mittster for making the economic level of middle income clear. He told George Stephanopoulos:

Romney Interview: $250K is middle income

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Is $100,000 middle income?

MITT ROMNEY: No, middle income is $200,000 to $250,000 and less.

Even with Elly’s full time teaching job and my Social Security plus pension money, which used to make us think we were middle income, puts us in the ranks of the lower economic folks.

Does this mean that the rich folk Romney cultivates are going to avoid tax increases allowing Romney to claim he had served the middle class? I guess so. What a clever ruse.

If we elect Obama we can move back into the middle class and not feel so depleted in our economic situation. Not that I don’t wish we made $250,000.00, but we are not likely to. And, of course, we don ‘t make $100,000.00 either. I guess we are now poor.

 

Want to know what Medicare will cost you when you retire under the Romney Plan?

 

There is a great danger in electing Mitt Romney and letting him and Paul Ryan get their hands on Medicare. According to a report from Harvard economist David Cutler, an Obamacare architect, and the Center for American Progress the cost of health care at retirement will be obscenely expensive.

If Romney and Ryan are allowed to turn Medicare into a voucher system for Americans under 55 when they qualify for Medicare, 48-year-olds would have to pay $124,600 more for Medicare, 39-year-olds would have to pay $216,600 more during retirement, and 29-year-olds would have to pay $331,200 more in total. That’s because the vouchers would not keep up with rising health care costs. For those 29-year-olds, the extra costs would consume 62% of their lifetime Social Security benefits. And that’s as long as the Republicans don’t destroy Social Security altogether.

It’s up to you and who you vote for to preserve and continue to improve Medicare as Obama has done so far. It’s your choice… don’t forget it when you approach the voting booth.

 

It’s been our number one social program for 77 years…

 

… all it needs is one year of Republican control and you can kiss it goodbye.

 

FDR signed the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935, ensuring that all Americans—not just the privileged few—can retire with dignity. 77 years later, the Republican VP candidate, Paul Ryan, has proposed privatizing our promise to seniors. Pass on this image if you support protecting Social Security.

 

Why Social Security is doing fine… and how it can do better (Republicans take notes)

That’s the situation. The next time the Republicans accuse Social Security of adding to the deficit, play this for them (and tell them to put back the money Bush stole from it.)

Romney, btw, wants to cut a hunk out of Social Security – but he doesn’t need it.

Please think before you buy into the Conservative Right’s view on cutting Social Security

This article is from Just The Messenger:

Excerpts:

There Still Is No Social Security Crisis

By Richard (RJ) Eskow, April 23, 2012

“‘Medicare and Social Security’ don’t have a long-term problem: Medicare has a problem. No amount of spin or double-talk can change that. This year’s slight downturn in Medicare and Social Security finances was caused by the financial crisis of 2008, as lost jobs and wages led to lost revenue for the program. And that disaster was caused by the deregulation of Wall Street, which was carried out the same bipartisan crowd that’s now pushing cuts to these programs … Now they want ordinary Americans to take a hit to both their Social Security and Medicare benefits. A Social Security cut would be needless and counterproductive, and the nation would be better served with a benefit increase … What’s more, since Social Security is forbidden by law from contributing to the deficit, it’s absurd to connect its financing to discussions of the Federal debt. Medicare’s another story. Unless we address the runaway cost of providing health care to seniors, our Federal budget and are entire economy are in dire trouble. Notice, however, that we said ‘address the runaway cost’ and not ‘shift the runaway cost,’ as the Republican proposal would do.”

,…, “Social Security is essentially healthy, and its long-term issues can be fixed by lifting the payroll tax cap.  A “Grand Bargain” to cut Social Security and Medicare will only make things worse. What we really need an overhaul of our health system to remove the corrosive effects of the profit motive on our medical economy – but they don’t want to talk about that.”

,…, “The report released today by the Trustees of the Social Security Administration has already occasioned some of the usual nonsense from the wealthy and highly-funded insider group represented by Clinton and his peers in both parties”.

__________

Richard (RJ) Eskow is a well-known blogger and writer, a former Wall Street executive, an experienced consultant, and a former musician. He has experience in health insurance and economics, occupational health, benefits, risk management, finance, and information technology. He has a somewhat unique perspective on the current financial crisis, since he worked for AIG for a number of years (although not in its infamous Financial Products division).
Richard has consulting experience in the US and over 20 countries. Past clients include USAID, the World Bank, the State Department, the Harvard School of International Public Health, the Government of Hungary, as well as corporations and investors. He has experience in financial and data analysis, systems design, operations, and management.

Why I still like Ike…

All Hat, No Cattle posted this picture with quote (one I’ve used before and keep in my quote collection.) Makes you wonder what will happen to the current Repiglicans…

It is “they are stupid” that stands out.

The extra $40.00…

President Obama in a live speech today defended maintaining the tax deduction to the Middle Class to say that it is $40.00 a paycheck. What difference, the critics say, does $40.00 make?

Thinking about this as I went out for groceries in Martinsburg, I passed by gas stations where the price was now $3.85 a gallon for regular. Only two weeks ago it was 40¢ a gallon less. Given my regular driving record, that adds $40.00 to a biweekly part of my monthly Social Security payment.

In other words, $40.00 is a lot of money when you’re not sitting on a pile coming in from your low-taxed investments.

Since Republicans don’t mind cutting taxes on the wealthy, but don’t want to continue the payroll cuts on the other 90% of us, maybe our answer is not to drive ANYWHERE anymore. Of course, then, a lot of people won’t get to their jobs. Or get their kids to school. Or make doctors’ appointments.

The world changes and we get poorer.

And meanwhile our state, local and federal governments are doing nothing to bring the once regulated price of gas down to where we can afford it again.

The House of Representatives represents who?

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

- Mark Twain

One of the options you have when you’re retired like me is to spend time watching the members of Congress debate on C-Span. Indeed, watching them deal with legislation on Budget, Education, Health and other human services is an example of people speaking to each other but not listening to one word the other person says. You get what I mean?

Right now they are debating on “Rules for Changing the Federal Budget Process Bill.” No, they aren’t changing the budget. They are changing the RULES to change the budget as law.

Republicans are saying things like “tax cuts cause higher revenues.” Democrats are saying that “Inflation increases the amount of money needed to carry out necessary programs” like Social Security or Medicare.

At least one (Democrat, I guess) has quoted Grover Norquist‘s favorite statement that he doesn’t want to eliminate government… he just wants to shrink it…until it is small enough to drown in a bathtub. (btw, was Grover Norquist ever elected by anyone, anywhere to serve in Congress as they decide on things like this?)

In the long run, if you are a.) a Democrat proposing legislation or b.) presenting a proposal by President Obama… even if legislation being proposed was sought previously by Republicans… you can assume that the large majority of Republicans will make sure nothing passes. That has been the situation since the 2010 election that brought in all the Tea Party folks.

Do not expect anything to happen this season that will actually solve our very serious problems. Ain’t gonna happen.

Oh, the Holidays…

You know it’s the Christmas season when you notice in your spam mail that they are giving you a “holiday discount” on Viagra. I’m not sure whether it’s for me to use in my holiday celebrating, or if it’s a gift for one of my mail relatives who are having secret troubles “getting it up” (in which case, how would I know?).

It all boils down to this being purchasing season. We just passed Black Friday with a number of reports on fighting in stores (one shooting that was on the news) and crowds lining up before midnight on Thanksgiving to give thanks for early openings.

Stores, of course, make a large percent of their annual revenue this month, sales or none, and folks everywhere lower their bank totals or pay out most of their Social Security checks on things that the receivers will often never use. We hear that sales will be lower this year than last do to the Recession which “ended” last summer. People have less income and are counting on the 1% to keep up the Christmas shopping totals.

Perhaps they won’t let us down this time.

A quote for the evening…

Bernie Sanders in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN:

“If you look at the ideology of these right wing Republicans, more tax breaks for rich, cut Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, deregulate Wall Street after Wall Street caused this horrendous recession we’re in, more unfettered free trade so we can lose more jobs to China. Do you know how many people believe in that ideology? Maybe, 15, 20 percent max.

“The real issue is why Democrats aren’t winning by 30 or 40 percent.”

Yep. That’s the real issue. Looks like the media (as represented by Blitzer and buddies) are spending a lot of time pushing the Republican agenda.

Quote of the Day – Looks like the Occupy Movement will benefit Obama

“While people were pretty evenly split on whether the administration favors the middle class, the rich or the poor, they were all but unanimous about which class the Republicans favor; 69 percent said Republicans in Congress favor the rich, while just 9 percent said the middle class and 2 percent said the poor. That’s a significant perception problem for the GOP, and the Occupy Wall Street protesters — for whatever bad press they have created and will create due to the actions of some participants — are rallying support against the very class that the GOP is thought to favor.”

- Chris Cillizza, The Fix, Washington Post

I’m not sure the GOP cares… nothing else that has been said, polled, complained about or done has gotten them to listen to the Middle Class that they started to disable with Reagan. The day one of those turkeys comes out to Tax The Rich and gets the Republican Party behind him (or her) is the day the world will end.

Mr. President: Take the New Deal off the Table…

OK…Now go HERE and sign the petition. I did.

A serious quote for today… listen up:

Economist Paul Krugman

…compassion is out of fashion — indeed, lack of compassion has become a matter of principle, at least among the G.O.P.’s base.

“And what this means is that modern conservatism is actually a deeply radical movement, one that is hostile to the kind of society we’ve had for the past three generations — that is, a society that, acting through the government, tries to mitigate some of the “common hazards of life” through such programs as Social Security, unemployment insurance, Medicare and Medicaid.”

- Paul Krugman

Be aware…be very aware. Remember it was the tea party audience at the recent Republican debate who yelled “Let them die!” when Ron Paul (a “doctor”? Really?) said the poor could get their own health policies if they wanted coverage.

What is becoming of our country? To think there is a percentage of our citizens who would believe in such a thing. I don’t care what anyone thinks of the limitations of Barack Obama. I don’t remember him EVER hoping that children and seniors would die for lack of medical coverage.

This is more than a little depressing.

 

New Poll pulls Obama ahead of Perry by 11 Points

Perry is heading down!

Last week when Perry pulled ahead of Obama in the polls, the tea party folks were cheering.

Looks, though, like Perry’s “Ponzi Scheme” statement on Social Security and Obama’s active push for the American Jobs Act has switched things around. It’s now 52 to 41 and still spreading apart.

In Republican-only polling, Romney is ahead with moderates, but perry is ahead with conservatives… and conservatives seem to be controlling the Party.

Plenty to watch out for…

Which Candidate Sucks More? Bachmann or Perry?

It looks like the Republican Party has now given up decades of cross-country representation (remember when there were Moderate…even Liberal…Republicans?) and have taken on an identity from the far right, the religious right and the Tea Party.

They are not people of compromise. They are not people who respect (or even recognize) other religions or atheism as American beliefs. They are people who wish to destroy Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They want to privatize public schools and destroy teachers’ unions. They won’t create enough income to pay our worldwide debts… in fact many were willing to go into default.

And now they seem to have focused on three candidates: Romney, who changes his opinion and point of view daily depending on the audience… who rejects things he accomplished as Massachusetts Governor… and who, frankly, is living a lie; Bachmann who has taken on representation of the Tea Party… whose knowledge of American History is constantly displayed as, at the least, flawed… who also lies or miscommunicates her own history, both personally and in politics; and Perry, who throws out accusations like “treason” and “socialist” like they were confetti…who uses his religion to mold his constituency… and who also lies or creates illusions about his record and reputation.

So I come down to the question: Who sucks more? Bachmann or Perry? Let me know.

 

 

Tar and Feather the Politicians…

Ralph Nader signing books at Barnes & Noble Un...

Ralph Nader - "The Spoiler" - if it were not for him, Gore would have been President and we would probably not be in this position right now.

 

As we go through the weekend with both Democrats and Republicans more concerned with which side “wins” or “loses” than with the concerns and complaints of the general public, we rapidly approach the August 2nd Deadline.

So, perhaps they will give themselves a one week extension to figure out how to end this… perhaps even REALLY compromise on a solution. I tell you what would end this now… a consortium of the richest folks in America… called by a Warren Buffett or a Bill Gates perhaps… who INSIST on returning to the tax levels they were at under Bill Clinton (when they all made significant monetary advances anyway). Greed, however, is stronger than Good, so I don’t think anything like a voiced opinion by wealthy folks will ever happen.

We are also getting to the extremes… and that brings out people like Ralph Nader (the Spoiler) who is now pushing for a primary challenge to Obama to bring out progressives and liberals dissatisfied with the President’s concessions to the Right. And , of course, the unchangeable Tea-Party Congressfolk can still do plenty of damage before the 2012 elections… the first time Americans can repair the mess they made for themselves in 2010.

If there were a way to just keep the politicians, the corporations, the lobbyists and pigs like the Koch Brothers out of all this and have a national referendum on raising the debt ceiling  and sharing the tax burden mor equitably… a referendum that would stand as law…  we might see a different world. But that will never happen, either.

We are in a deep and slippery-sided pit and climbing out seems damn near impossible. If they cut my Social Security payment and I can’t afford to do this blog anymore, I’ll be heading to DC with my pup tent and sleeping bag, with signs and my megaphone, and I would ask everyone in the same situation to join me.

Beginning the last few days of July and waiting for this @#^&* Congress to do something about the debt ceiling…

Michael Parenti

Michael Parenti

We’re getting awfully close to that August 2d Deadline (1 week from tomorrow) and it doesn’t look like the House and the Senate AND the White House can get together on ANYTHING (especially without using whatever they do as a 2012 election strategy event.)

I’m beginning to hope none of these clowns ever get elected again and we return the country to King George the Third and let him raise the ceiling (what? He’s dead? Crap!)

Doing some history research, I came across the book “Democracy for the Few” by Michael Parenti which was published in 2008 and updated in 2010 (incidentally he gets into my personal peeve of Monsanto with it’s poisoned farmlands and manipulated seedlings in his section on the corporatization of the country.) Taking us back to the Founding Fathers and the Constitutional Convention, Parenti shows us that things are not so different now as they were then… the control of proceedings was held by the wealthy who responded with fear when demands were made by the masses, and gave in as little as possible:

… or, to put it more bluntly, the rich used politics to manipulate the people.

So the Republicans now want a plan which raises no taxes and which will be debated, without solving the problems, right up to the elections at the end of 2012, meanwhile ruining our credit and bond ratings with other countries (and with Social Security which it could conceivably wipe out since the surplus funding we are told over and over again will hold Social Security safe until 2035 in the same Federal Bonds which are being devalued.

Obama has done more than the Republicans, and much more than his Democratic allies, to move to the center and find concessions which would help all levels of our society. Democrats have tried negotiating from Biden’s committee on down only to be faced with opposite leadership walkouts (“I’m taking my bat and going home”) and regular upping of the agreeable compromises (btw, there are NO agreeable compromises here.) Republicans seem to have two needs to fill here: 1. Support their Corporate Funders, and 2. Make sure Obama is not reelected in 2012. In other words, to hell with the American society.

I don’t know what entertainment is forthcoming on C-Span 1&2 this week… I don’t know if I can watch any more of this.

I have to get ready for a middle-class uprising.

Signing the Pledge

We are pleased to add Grover Norquist to the Ranks of the Inverted

Republicans have signed so many pledges… not to raise taxes under any circumstance (like the government going totally out of business), not voting for any law that gives a woman control of her own body, making sure that marriage  and family raising is as good for African-Americans as it was under slavery… you know the drift.

Well, I think it is time that Democratic candidates had pledges to sign. My first one would be a pledge to arrest Grover Norquist for impersonating an elected official when he tells real elected officials what they can and can’t do. I’m sure if we look into it further, we’ll find that he has messed with our country’s economy primarily for his own benefit. Oh, and in that pledge, let him never be eligible for Medicare or Social Security.

Then maybe we can take a look at a pledge to go after Eric Cantor;)

It’s July Fools Day…

We’re getting ready to celebrate the 4th with Congressmen everywhere sucking down hotdogs and beer and telling us all how they love America and will get our budget balanced and get the evils out of government. Then they get into their Koch Brothers paid cars and head for the next community cookout so they can check it off on their itinerary.

Meanwhile, we decide not to spend too much this weekend. There’s a good chance these dipshits will let the government close down and my Social Security check won’t be there in August, so I have to save cash now (gosh, does this mean I’m helping to lower the economy further because I’m not buying anything?) for basics through the end of summer.

And while I know there’s no fool like a July fool, I’m afraid the fool is me because I didn’t prevent these guys from doing all this (but now you’ll never catch me buying a Bounty paper towel.) You didn’t either.

June is turning out to be a miserable month…

Do you know the feeling when you go in to your auto mechanic‘s operation to get a headlight replaced and walk out with an estimate for over $1,000.00 worth of work or your car is going to fall apart within the next 3000 miles?

Or how about having a computer with only two weeks left on the warranty that your local repair guy couldn’t handle and he sent you to another place 60 miles away and then this guy said it would have to be shipped to Apple to have them look at it… meanwhile you’re still waiting?

Or the little part-time job you were told you’d have in June when it was presented last April just never came through?

Or that your built in depressive personality is caught up in what seems like the destruction of government, especially relating to senior citizens like you who depend on Social Security and Medicare and you don’t feel like there is anything that can be done about it?

And don’t forget, you are five weeks away from the next Social Security check and this month’s problems have already eaten up the one you got last Wednesday…

Well, that’s where I am as the month ends… and, on top of that, I’m feeling more lost and alone than usual (Cymbalta or not) and, at many times during the day, these feelings keep me frozen in one place, unable to accomplish ANYTHING.

This morning I made one or two major screwups on the radio show… thankfully Ralph Petrie called in and corrected at least one… and I left having little or no confidence in my broadcast abilities. I’m not at all sure what will happen with tomorrow’s podcast… assuming the telephone connection doesn’t screw it up like last time…I still haven’t had one episode that sounded at all good or where I would listen to me given the choice.

I have to go do the dishes before Elly gets home and I don’t feel like getting out of my recliner (I also aid I’d make a pie… yeah, sure!).

I hope July is better… at least we’ll have the Contemporary American Theatre Festival to kick it off… and I can remember how my Theatre career fizzled in the seventies.

Why I love (and support) Bernie Sanders…

As the debate over deficits ramped up in Washington today, Sen. Bernie Sanders laid out the compelling case not to slash programs for working families. Any deficit reduction package must rely on new revenue for at least half the reduction in red ink, he added in a major address in the Senate. Sanders spoke at length about what caused deficits (wars, Wall Street bailouts, tax breaks for the rich) and how to shrink them (more revenue from the wealthiest Americans to match spending cuts). He urged fellow senators not to yield to Republican congressional leaders who “acted like schoolyard bullies” when they walked out of budget negotiations. And he urged President Obama not to accommodate them again on the backs of working Americans, the poor and the Elderly. He summed up the situation in a letter to the president that had been signed by more than 18,700 people by the time he completed his speech.

Sign the letter »

Will you help Bernie Sanders expose the Koch Echo Chamber?

Here’s a video from Robert Greenwald of Brave New Foundation:

The Koch brothers fund multiple think tanks and academic centers to promote their ideology and grow their profits, a Brave New Foundation investigation reveals. Let’s create an echo chamber of truth by using YouTube‘s SHARE tools above to protect Social Security and counter the Koch billions. http://KochBrothersExposed.com/socialsecurity.

Thoughts on turning 65…

So I have now outlived my father by a dozen years or so… something I never thought I would do. I am retired (actually, I had to retire early a year ago due to the crummy job situation for guys in their 60s) and I’m on Medicare (until the Republicans destroy it along with Social Security.)

I’m doing things now which make no money, but actually fulfill a whole bunch of internal needs. I do the radio show as John Case’s co-host on Friday mornings (and substitute for John on his other days when he is away), I do my Tuesday Podcast, I work on community theatre projects every now and then,,, and, of course, I maintain this blog, which I have done since 2004. I’m involved in the Community Garden (which my wife runs) here in Shepherdstown… and I did some work on the establishment of the Morgan’s Grove Market. So, all-in-all, I seem to have plenty to do (including housework, which, while Elly is the one working, falls mostly into my lap.)

I guess 65 isn’t so bad… and were it not for the lousy economy and the growing threat of conservative destruction of the things that made America great, life would be lovely.

I hope everyone has a nice day… like I do on most of my birthdays I’m going to drive around aimlessly for a while and look at the local scenery. Usually I bring a dog. This year I may bring two.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 319 other followers