Saturday, April 23, 2011

All About Me

You know, it's nice that we're now going to town hall meetings to confront our leaders about their votes to turn Medicare into a voucher program -- read, yet more profit for the insurance industry and good luck trying to find a company that will insure you, grandma.  But this is what's wrong with that:

It's all about "me".  These seniors or near seniors have woken up and begun fighting because the threat is to their government programs.  Some of these fine people were screaming bloody murder about health care reform not two years ago, because they liked what they had, and, excuse me, fuck everybody else.

We could control this debate if we were concerned about the welfare of all of us.

I'm tired of hearing interviews of people who are now angry because they've lost their home, or their job, or their health care.  The hard working people who are trying to earn a living out of the Gulf waters complain about BP not paying them enough, or fast enough, make me snarl at the TV:  "... and who did you vote for before the oil spill?"  I have no doubt these independent minded small business people voted for the party of no taxes, not realizing that they were prey for the big corporations, like BP.

The reason the majority of Americans are powerless is because the powerful tiny minority understands about "divide and conquer".

If we get angry at the teachers who have the summers off and all those benefits, we are not paying attention to the Wall Street wheelers and dealers who are gambling our country -- and the world -- into devastation for the price of the deal.

We are torn apart when some of us are led to believe that the enemy is abortion and not poverty and inadequate education, and lack of proper health care.  We empower the greedy when they threaten to take away our jobs if we don't give them yet another tax break.

We need to stop being afraid of what we stand to lose if we stand up.  And we need to stand up for those alongside us, and those with less.

Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Call Me a Cynic...

Before President Obama's speech yesterday, the republican talking points warned us that he talks good, so don't trust him. We were all expecting nice rhetoric.  And he did not disappoint.

But since the tax cut fiasco last December, whenever Obama talks about helping the middle class, I check to see if my wallet's missing.  You remember, we all got to keep more of our payroll tax, while certain of us, specifically the working poor, got to see our federal tax deduction increase.

So when our President talks about protecting social security for the middle class, I feel like Dorothy telling the wizard, "Oh, I don't think there's anything in that black bag for me."

Notice how he almost forgetfully mentions Medicaid when talking about health care entitlements, for example.  He, as do most democrats, sees the working poor as an embarrassed afterthought.  It's not that he believes we aren't important; he just doesn't see us.

Yet there are an awful lot of people who work for Wal-Mart, and the republicans speak to them.  They lie, but they speak to them.

And until we democrats learn to acknowledge the existence, and importance, of the working poor, they will continue to vote for those who look them in the eyes and lie to them. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Why Educate?

A Talking Points Memo article reports that a March CNN poll found that the median guess as to how much of the federal budget goes to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is 5%. Median, if you are rusty on your math or more recently educated in the U.S., means 1/2 above and 1/2 below.  And 5% of the federal budget being 424 times larger than what actually went to CPB.

So, with that kind of misinformation floating around, what possible benefit is there for those in power to better educate the children of this country?  It obviously works in the favor of the rich and powerful when we have little grasp of facts, and less understanding of logical thinking, and no resources with which to learn to do research.  We have this great internet available, but no education in critical thinking.

And that's just the way our right-wing power brokers plan on keeping things.

It's not a conspiracy, just a plan.  If I can afford to send my kids to the private school of my choice, making them better prepared to run the country after I'm gone (having left them every penny I've ever hoarded), why on earth would I want them to have to compete with children who might have a different view of who should have wealth and power?

So those who don't have the time or energy to try to understand the complexities of the budget will continue to tune in to whoever shouts loudest, and scares them the most.

Friday, April 1, 2011

In the News -- April 1, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency reports that amounts of radiation found in the water on the East and West Coasts of the U.S. coming from Japan could actually be beneficial.  Unfortunately, since budget cuts have reduced the staff of the EPA to three graduate students and a retired tobacco CEO, this is merely a "best guess" scenario.  On their recommendation, however, President Obama vows to redouble efforts to increase the number of nuclear power plants under construction.  Asked for comment, John Boehner responded, "Jobs, jobs, jobs."

The Central Intelligence Agency is searching for some sleazoid to put in power in Libya after Gaddafi goes into exile.  While there are no apparent hard and fast requirements, the candidate should pretend to like the United States, and if not an all-out supporter of capitalism, at least be willing to accept large amounts of  cash.

Representative Eric Cantor admits to failing his required college government course repeatedly.  "I don't know what it was about U.S. Government," he confided, "probably all those complicated checks and balances."  He confirmed in a news conference yesterday that he has been using John Boehner's old cheatsheets as guidelines for determining House rules.

Also, in a remarkably cynical turn of events, President Barack Obama has announced that he will run in 2012 as a Republican.  "It seems that I only get respect from folk like Mitch McConnell and John Cornyn.  I try to explain to those people on the left that voted for me in '08 that it's all about compromise, well, let this just be proof of that.  There is no greater compromise than complete surrender," he said to new friend Bill O'Reilly.

In local South Carolina news on this April 1:

An audit of Governor Nikki Haley concluded that Governor Haley has in fact paid all federal taxes that were due.

And The Lord came to Senator Jim DeMint today, explaining that in fact, it is His will that those who have should help those with less.