Tuesday, November 27, 2012

There They Go Again

I see where our own Lindsay Graham and his BFF John McCain are trying to bully poor Susan Rice presumably over comments she made on Meet the Press.  If you have ever watched any of those Sunday talk shows, you will know that they basically display more tap dancing around issues than you'll see on Dancing with the Stars.

Rachel Maddow pointed out yesterday that John McCain's hobby is appearing on Sunday talk shows, no doubt because it eases the loneliness of Sundays without dinner invitations.  And if you've seen John McCain on any Sunday talk show, you will know that the standard he sets is somewhere between lies and crazy.

So can we all agree that the issue is not what Susan Rice said on Meet the Press?  The issue is the same one that we were observing a few months ago when House maniac Darrell Issa led the charge against Attorney General Eric Holder for the made-up conspiracy regarding Fast and Furious.  You remember, the more questions he answered, the more he complied with requests for files, the angrier they got.

Also reminiscent of the witch hunts against Bill and Hillary in the 90's, when the only thing they could turn up for sure was a dress with semen on it.

On the other hand, the more they can toss around the excrement, the more they are hoping to distract us from, oh, raising taxes on the 1 percent (in other words, members of this very governing body).  If we get riled up enough about some Obama conspiracy, maybe we won't notice them trying to raise the social security retirement age.

Unfortunately, the excrement they are tossing around is their own, and they have plenty more where that came from.

The tragedy of course, is that yet another good member of the Obama team is getting dragged through Congress, this time the Senate.  And although I am hearing the hopeful say that Obama is in this for the duration, there are a lot of bodies of strewn nominees that have been laid to waste over the last four years, by a Congress that has no respect for the President or the institution of the Presidency.

I am thinking that it would be good if Obama was ready to stand up to these idiots, and give us four years that we can be proud of.  Signs say this could happen, so stay tuned.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Everybody Panic!

As go Skinnerian rats, so go the corporate CEO's and Wall Street honchos.

Everybody's in a panic over the impending sequestration/disappearing tax cuts.

I'm frankly tired of hearing about how big business (or, as the right wing calls them, small business) and the stock market are reacting to the potential loss of pennies on their billions of dollars.  

We plain old people have been called whiny, lazy, greedy and unimportant for quite long enough.  Since 2008, many of us have lost homes and jobs; since long  before that, we have not been able to afford health care.  Creepy Mitt Romney, who some still believe is a nice guy, figures that Obama won the presidency by offering us unwashed masses goodies like health care and affordable student loans.  His prediction for liberals winning the White House in 2016 is free dental care.


Really.  It's hard to frame a serious rebuttal to a man who builds elevators for his cars, while for years a growing number of Americans have had to choose between the mortgage and medication, car repairs versus clothing.

Mormon or Christian, there is no religion that I know of that scorns people for wanting to be safe and healthy.  And while our friends and neighbors helplessly lost their health and security, we have had to listen to politicians and the media whine about fearful, insecure multi-millionaires.

How could we even conceive of denying bonuses to the Wall Street geniuses that plunged us into recession???  How can we expect corporations to hire people and pay taxes at the same time???


When times are bad, we have been told to suck it up.  Pull your kid out of college, skip those dental appointments, patch up that old car yet again.

I believe it is time for the wealthy to stop the hell whining.  If you want your business to prosper, invest in research and pay a living wage.  If you want the stock market to succeed, then sell stocks that are worth the investment, and not mere quick and dirty trades.  Stop screwing around with the power you hold.

And our politicians need to stop feeding the power machine. Because it is broken.

As for me, I've given up so much financial security over the years as these criminals have continued to plunder our democracy, that raising my taxes doesn't scare me.  I can't afford the dentist or the car repair as it is.  You really can't take that much away from me.

So sequester the hell out of yourselves.  And end those tax cuts.  Lets see how long the cowardly bullies who hold all the cards last when the cards become worthless.

In this country, there have been times when things got so bad that Americans stood up and said, "I am willing to risk my life to make things better."  It's time to do that again, folks.  For ourselves and for our children.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

"Playing" with Words

I would like to thank Chris Hayes for pointing out that the phrase du jour, "fiscal cliff" is not at all a "fiscal cliff."  It is another republican word-fuck, pardon my peevishness.

He pointed out that, in fact, if Congress continues to refuse to act on tax cuts and spending bills, what will actually happen will be a combination of increased taxes, a lowering of the deficit, and what we have, up until the republican party got its hands on it, referred to as "austerity."

How will it affect us plain old people?  Our taxes will go up, but not so much that we will fall into despair and bankruptcy.

The rich guys, however, will see a drastic reduction in the income that they stuff in their Cayman Island mattresses.  So much so that they may not be able to buy that new jet; no, actually, it won't be that much.  These gazillionaires will actually be required to increase their tax rates on earnings from today's 35% to the Clinton era's 39.6%.  And don't forget the non-earned income, all that money they use to play with the stock market, and only have to contribute a measly 15% of the profit to taxes.  That would go up to an ungodly 20% for a hard day of not working.

The effect of these tax increases will immediately begin to slow the deficit.

And then there will be the austerity budget.  If that goes on for too long, that could actually hurt us plain old people.  We will lose some programs that we rely on, while the military might actually, if they really wanted to, reduce some of the wasteful spending from their budget.

That's when all that good government bullshit will hit the fan.

Because once those tax cuts go, and the austerity spending cuts happen, there will actually be real pressure on Congress by 98 percent of us, and not just the usual fat-cat lobbying groups, to reinstate the tax cuts for the middle class as well as needed programs.

Won't we be surprised by how much power we actually have in Washington when that happens! 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Using Our Veterans

Tim Scott and Jim DeMint are like your grown-up children who take your money and ignore your advice; you don't hear from them all year and then send you a flowery birthday card telling you all the ways they love you.

It came as no surprise today to find emails from both proclaiming their devotion to our veterans.  I'll admit, I did not read them, because to be honest, whatever they say reeks of hypocrisy; the words never change, and it infuriates me.  So I'll spend my time sharing my thoughts with you rather than reading theirs.

These are two arrogant men who believe they have a special relationship with God.  They use their religion much the way they use our veterans.  Even Jesus had his differences with His Father, but DeMint and Scott have never had an opinion that God did not wholeheartedly endorse.

They both propound that they are fighting for "life" but resoundingly vote "no" to health care for all.  And they are against gun control of any kind; you have as much right to that assault rifle as to that 12-gauge you hunt deer with.

And they both hold two exceptions to how essential it is to reduce our debt.  The first is that no one with wealth should have to contribute a penny more than those without.  The second is that we should pay whatever the cost to arm ourselves.

Which brings me back to our soldiers.  These hypocrites have voted against jobs and training bills for veterans, health care bills for them and their families, help with housing.  They don't give a damn that soldiers who signed on have been sent over and over and over again, while their spouses have struggled alone to raise a family.  They speak of our need for military strength in terms of weapons, while ignoring a country fighting hunger, homelessness, poor education, inadequate health care.  That country, of course, being ours.

Yet they routinely send out the pretentious emails claiming their love of country and of the soldiers and veterans who have defended it.  And those who are fortunate enough to not have to endure the results of their cold-hearted congressional acts will wipe away tears and thank God for Jim DeMint and Tim Scott.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

South Carolina's Idiot of the Month

I found election night depressing.  I thought everybody in the country would be depressed, until I watched the national news the next day.  It seems I had forgotten that I now live in South Carolina.

Here in South Carolina, we are proud that our relationship with God means that we can be ignorant.  And the poster child for that philosophy is re-elected US Representative Jeff Duncan.

He is a proud Tea Party member and fondly helped along by the ever-so-radical FreedomWorks, so right-wing he arm-wrestles Jim DeMint for the title of biggest right-wing-nut in Congress.

His claim to fame nationally was just about a year ago, when he asserted that allowing "illegals" to stay in this country was like letting vagrants and animals into your house, maybe looking for food, or maybe just wanting to do your dishes.

Closer to home, in 2007 Duncan sponsored a bill to allow guns to be carried concealed into any public school.  This was his empathic, God-directed response to the mass killing at Virginia Tech.  His logic of course was that had there been  some good ole' boy carryin' his weapon, that shooter would have been taken down, pronto.  Even in South Carolina, that bill was quietly put to sleep.

Jeff doesn't think up things like that all on his own.  He will tell you ad nauseum that he does pray for God's help in making decisions in Congress.  Amazingly, God has never disagreed with Duncan's view on any proposed legislation.

Jeff Duncan was disappointed in the presidential election outcome.  I doubt that Mitt would have tickled his fancy either -- far too left-wing for our Jeff.

So Congressman Duncan has decided that it's going to just be up to the House of Representatives to carry on the fight for democracy.  That means things like drilling closer to shore, a national sales tax, ridding us of that "job killing and socialistic" Obamacare, and of course getting those nasty illegals out of this great Christian land of ours.

It was with some pleasure, then, that I found five minutes from Duncan on You-Tube from last November:

Our representative was horrified, just horrified, that our President had failed to give thanks to God during his Thanksgiving address to the nation.

The thing that most tickled me about this, and reminded me that South Carolina does not a country make, is that there were about four times as many "dislike" ratings than "likes."  Having lived here for some thirteen years now, I sometimes lose my perspective.  So thank you, the rest of the country, for reaffirming that Jeff Duncan is a jackass.

Also, though, keep an eye on him this month, because November seems to be when his stupidity and arrogance busts out all over, kind of like a reverse spring.  I guarantee he will have lots more to say about what's wrong with everybody but him and those other crazies in Congress, and I for one, will not want to miss it.

So, Jeff Duncan, congratulations on being November's South Carolina's Idiot of the Month

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Boehner's Illogic

I just heard Speaker of the House (sigh) John Boehner address the country.  Here is a picture:

Boehner propositions the President

If it sounds familiar, that's because it is.  When he says we must cut entitlements, folks, he's not talking about entitlements to ExxonMobile or ConAgra.  He's talking about our social security retirement age.

The thing he made clear in the midst of his usual obfuscation is that tax cuts for the wealthy 2% will never be on the table under his watch.

How can he do this?  Because he thinks Congress got a mandate along with the President.

I beg to differ.  I know it's confusing, but I think I understand how this bizarre situation with the Republican House happened.

Voters are pretty much stupid.  I'm talking statistically, since that's what we are doing these days.  If you were to do a study, you would find that most of your family, neighbors and co-workers don't know who their representatives are.  They might be able to give you a senator, especially if he just won or lost.  Today they could tell you the vice president's name, but probably not so much a month from now.  They certainly don't have a clue who Antonin Scalia is.

Because they have been accosted with signs and mailings and phone calls for the past month or more, they might be able to tell you the name of their representative in the US House.  Or maybe not.

Regardless, most voters would tell you they like their representative.  Their representative has been telling them that he is voting to cut their taxes and improve government services, and that sounds like a good deal.  He surely wouldn't lie to them.  So you have name recognition and slogans, and then you have people voting for the guy they remember, that seems to like them.

But most voters hate Congress.  Statistically, most voters approve of the Black Plague more than they approve of the job the 112th US Congress has done.  They hear that the debt is getting higher, and that their congressman is going to cut the debt so their children won't have to pay for it which is nice.  But when it comes down to who is preventing them from getting a better job, well, it's the government, and over the past two years, it seems that it's been "Congress."

So John Boehner, with a head for abstract concepts not much better than Paul Ryan's has turned out to be, has decided that, since there continues to be a republican House, the American people have given them the infamous "mandate," or, "I trust you guys, go for it."  Which means he is going to be continuing to do just what he has been doing, but in a more conciliatory tone of voice and with those sincere sad-dog eyes, and telling us that is what the American people want.

Of course, he adds, they really want Congress to work with President Obama since they gave him a mandate too.

And in Boehner's little head, what that comes down to is that it's time for Obama to agree to give the US House of Representatives what they want.

And so, folks, it's deja vu all over again, for another two years.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Changing the Schools by Changing the School Board

It's never been hard for me to figure out who to vote for when it comes to national or state races.  I figure that's probably true for most of us.  They are the candidates that get the most media and political attention.  But I always felt like an idiot when I got to the part of the ballot for local offices, especially the ones that don't have D's and R's in front of them.

I'm mostly talking about the school board.  And yet the people who hold these positions are critical when it comes down to the welfare of our children.

So I took it seriously this year.  I did some online research, and learned that there wasn't much.  I asked friends who are more politically in the know that I am, and I got some recommendations.  Based on my "research" I had enough to vote, but not enough to make recommendations to others.

I was delighted then to see the article in Wednesday's City Paper. Not only did the article reflect the appropriate Halloween mood, it also spoke volumes about what is at stake, based on the school board of today and of the past.  The editorial staff asks the all-important question:

The analysis of the various possible combinations making up our next school board wasn't just entertaining (much appreciated at the end of a long and tiring election season), but really informative.

Do we want a board where nothing will get done due to infighting?  Or perhaps a board where the things that get done are too terrifying to imagine?

Or do we want the board that is smart, experienced and fearless?

That's what I'm on board for -- the Ghostbusters.

So here is the team recommended by the editorial staff of our City Paper:

Louis Weinstein (Downtown)
John Barter (West Ashley)
Michael Miller (West Ashley)
Tom Ducker (North Charleston)
Mattese Miller Lecque (North Charleston)

Not only does it explain the why's and why-nots, the editors answer all those other questions like, "Who can I vote for?" and "Really?  I can vote for board members in other school districts?" and "But how do I do that?"

You can get a sample ballot at : 


Then all you need to do is get out and vote!  And bring your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers, and that person you know that was planning on voting but decided at the last minute that her vote wasn't really that important.

It is JUST that important.