Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Republicans haven’t been fiscally responsible since Eisenhower

According to recent polling, more people have confidence in Republicans to solve our economic problems than Democrats. I can’t imagine why. For while there might be other reasons for voting Republican, all economic reasons , every single one of them, favor voting for Democrats.

Republicans crow constantly about the need for a balanced budget, but the truth is it’s all talk. They have never voted for one. Even when one of their own, then Senator John Kasich introduced legislation, not a single republican voted for it.

Not since Eisenhower has a Republican balanced a budget. He balanced budgets in 1956, 1957 and 1960. Johnson balanced the budget in 1969 and Clinton did so in 1998 through 2001. In fact, during the last 40 years there have been six budget surpluses , and all six were under Democratic Presidents: 1969, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2013. But the debt continues to rise because the surpluses are not applied against the outstanding balance.
Nothing speaks more to Republican economic incompetence than the fact that Republicans held the presidency at the onset of the last NINE (9) economic downturns, including the two greatest economic collapses in our history.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Did Trump really win? We’ll never really know.

Donald Trump as a presidential candidateTrump was at yet another rally when he announced that he was on his way to Michigan.  

Nothing about what he said struck me as bizarre, but someone asked, “who is he talking to?”  Someone else said, “I was wondering the same thing.”  

They made no sense to me, but later I would reflect on what they’d said when Trump continued to announce an endorsement, or staged a rally and his candidate eked out a win; just as he had eked out one.  After all, we don’t question close races….no recount, no reconciliation.  If someone could change votes, would we know?  Would they? Would they tell us?

I believe his tweets and maniacal rantings are clues that let us know where his head is.  Lately, he has been ranting about a little known senior justice department lawyer named Bruce Ohr.  Prior to his mention, the public had never heard the name, but I predict in due time we will.  And we will most probably learn that Mr. Ohr has information or a connection that Trump feels is threatening.  

I'm not one who believes his tweets and rants are just hallow protestations, but announcements or directives to whomever is monkeying with our elections?  I think the authorities know what happened: I think thy know when and where,  they just don't know who helped to make it happen.  So
would they tell us?

I don’t think so.  Look how long it took them to tell us how many voting machines had been hacked.  At first it was 2 or 3, much later more than 20.  According to them, the hackers didn’t do anything but look around.  Really?  They say the hackers didn’t alter any votes, but would they know?  Who can say a vote for Hillary didn’t register as a vote for Trump?

Anyone who has ever sent a text has experienced how words are automatically changed, misspelled or altered, and often without being noticed.  Why couldn’t a voting machine be programed in the same way…to change every one thousandth vote? It could and I’m certain they wouldn’t tell us if it did.

Imagine the chaos.  What would we do?  That would be the mother of a Constitutional crisis.  

Maybe that’s why Republicans are against paper ballots.  Maybe that’s why they voted against measures to secure voting systems.  A flawed system works to their advantage.  So we’ve got strict voter’s identification, voter machine shortages, voter suppression, purging, caging, and gerrymandering.  Add to that …hacking.  That’s how we conduct a democratic election.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

America’s mass incarceration addiction

This is the season for inmate protests. Prisoner strikes are underway throughout the nation and in Canada to call attention to prison conditions and the exploitation of prison labor.

The strikes began on August 21 to mark the date in 1971 when Black Panther organizer George Jackson was killed by guards at San Quentin State Prison and will continue through September 9, the date on which the Attica prison riot started in upstate New York.  The actions will include work stoppages, boycotts of companies that exploit prison labor, sit-ins, and hunger strikes.

Mass incarceration is weighing on our beleaguered state budgets and devastating our civic health. We are able to admit we have a problem, but old habits seem impossible to break.

Friday, August 24, 2018

We need some Batshit Crazy Democrats

Democrats are just too cool.  Rational.  Civilized.  I know there’s pride in being thoughtful and pragmatic, but honestly, it’s time to get over it.  Democrats need to get a radio station and promote conspiracy theories too.  I mean why isn’t there someone like Sean Hannity on the Left?  Somewhere there has to be a fat, disgusting, arrogant, impotent, drug addict who’s not afraid to make any ignorant proclamation that enters his head.  It’s time to step up to the plate and fight fire with fire. 

Republicans advance conspiracy theories, while Democrats are wedded to research.  Republicans lie and lie and lie, while Democrats attempt to advance sound, sensible facts, that Republicans call fake.  Get over your sanctimonious selves and get with the program.  Thank the Obamas but that, “they go low, we go high” crap is for the birds.  It’s time to get down and dirty.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

When anti-immigrant rhetoric turned deadly

Between 1882 and 1968, nearly 5,000 vigilante murders that included shootings, hangings and other forms of mob “justice” were recorded in the United States. Most of their victims were African-American men. But on March 14, 1891 the target wasn’t Black people. 

Italians, considered “not quite white”, because of their dark skin, were often treated with the same contempt as Black people. The fate of Italian Americans was no different than that of Blacks targeted by lynch mobs. The most infamous lynching of Italians occurred in New Orleans.

In late 19th-century America, Italians were recruited to satisfy the demand for cheap labor. Sugar planters, in particular, who sought workers who were more compliant than former slaves, hired immigrant recruiters to bring Italians to southern Louisiana.

In the 1890s, thousands of Italians were arriving in New Orleans each year to fill the shortage of cheap labor created by the end of slavery. Many settled in the French Quarter, which by the early 20th century became known as “Little Sicily.” 

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Is America Great, yet?

Earlier in the week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, “We’re not going to make America great again — it was never that great.”

Of course he was widely condemned and mocked for what many considered a callous and politically unwise statement.  I, on the other hand found myself trying to come to terms with when and why  people might have thought America great.

Was it great when it subjected Native Americans to warfare, removals and one-sided treaties?  Or maybe it was when diseases were deliberately spread among Native Americans as a form of biological warfare.  That was when America had its own holocaust.  Or maybe it was when shiploads of stolen Africans helped build the new nation into an economic powerhouse through the production of lucrative crops like tobacco and cotton.

Just think, America is a nation built on stolen land by stolen people.  Is  that what made America great?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Department of Defense, The Great American Swindle

Pentagon being cut in half

Military leaders, administration officials and fiscal hawks claim the country's debt is a threat to national security, especially since other countries own nearly half of U.S. public debt. China and Japan lead the list of creditors.

While both parties agree the debt is a national security problem, they disagree about the role defense spending can play in debt reduction.  This should come as no surprise, since the needs of the defense department are always wrapped in the flag and measured by degrees of patriotism.  And there’s the clever trick of substituting “the military” (manpower) for the DoD.

I’m a patriot.  But I believe the defense department is America’s greatest swindle.  Congress is the bagman and the Department of Defense is the bag.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Why the Hell are White People Angry?

I  try to steer clear of racial generalizations because as writer Tom Cordle so aptly pointed out, 
“posting about race is a bit like pulling the pin on a hand grenade, and then finding it stuck to your hand.”
The idea that whites feel neglected and forgotten is ridiculous.  Clearly, were that the case, they would have voted every incumbent Republican out of office.  After all, they sat on their hands for eight years and blocked legislation that would have helped them; healthcare, infrastructure, broadband, education and every job bill introduced during the Obama administration.  So the idea that white people are economically frustrated and feel abandoned is nonsense.  Moreover, the economy didn’t suddenly experience a great resurgence, but in fact is on the same trajectory it has been on for the last nine years.

I wrote the following post in 2012...I could have written it yesterday. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Once Upon a Time, Republicans Supported Gun Control


Once upon a time the Republican party was a sane and serious faction that believed in compromise, fair taxation, and gun control.  The modern day Republican Party does not even believe in governing or government, indeed expressing so much disdain for the legislature, I marvel at the purpose of their existence. One would think they’d rather sell used cars than be a part of Congress. But then again, hypocrisy seems to be their lifeblood and so it is, when it comes to gun control.
Looking back: 

Friday, August 10, 2018

GOP Tax-Cut Mythology, from the Great Depression to Trump

For decades, the Republican Party has pursued corporate tax cuts and the elimination of regulations that governed banks and corporations.

No one thing brought about the Great Depression, but many of the elements that caused the catastrophic economic downfall exist in every financial setback…income inequality and massive tax cuts.

In 1929, multi-millionaire banker and oilman Andrew Mellon, U.S. Treasury Secretary dramatically reduced taxes on the wealthy to the point where many paid no tax at all. Mellon was the original “trickle-down” theorist.  

The Great Depression started after a major fall in stock prices and became worldwide news with the stock market crash of October 29, 1929 (known as Black Tuesday).  Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Approximately one out of every four American workers was unemployed.

An inquiry uncovered a wide range of abusive practices, including a variety of conflicts of interest and the underwriting of unsound securities in order to pay off bad bank loans.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The Glorification of Ignorance in America

America has degenerated into a society where marketing, corporate influence and anti-intellectualism are the rulers of the day. Intelligence has become synonymous with elite, haughty, Harvard, and who wants to have a beer with that?  Admittedly, an intelligent person might become elite, may behave haughtily and could well have gone to Harvard, but the truth is, intelligence has little to do with any of these.  It is a property of the mind, not education.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

America’s Terrorists - Hate-mongers, Nativists and Anti-government Zealots

Extremists in the U.S. come in a myriad of forms; neo-Nazis, Klansmen, white nationalists, anti-gay zealots, neo-Confederates, racist skinheads, black separatists, border vigilantes and others. And their numbers are growing. 

According to The Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry, the number of hate groups operating in America last year had risen to 1,002. The number of nativist vigilante groups grew to 319, while the antigovernment "Patriot" movement skyrocketed 61% to 824 groups just last year.

When Italy, Poland and Greece were Shithole Countries

Eugenicists, who believed there was a gene pool that  led to the deterioration of the human race, were able to influence the passage of the Immigration Act of 1924.

The Act identified undesirables banned from entering the country:

Monday, August 6, 2018

When whites fear losing their privilege

“Black success was an intolerable affront to the social order of white supremacy, so ta king their possessions not only stripped Blacks of their material status, but also tipped the social scales back to their proper alignment.”~ Historian James S. Hirsch
The Reconstruction period that followed America’s Civil War was one of the most violent eras in American history. During that time, thousands of African-Americans were killed by domestic terrorists like the Ku Klux Klan who tried to reinforce policies of white supremacy.

Bitter over the Confederacy’s loss, many white Southern Democrats tried to continue disenfranchising and restricting the rights of former slaves. Then as now, m
any impoverished whites faced increased economic hardship and wealthier whites exploited their fears and blamed freed Blacks and immigrants as the cause of their ills.  While, newspapers were full of radicalized propaganda.  Dangerous rhetoric turned lethal and in 1919 alone more than a dozen Black soldiers were lynched, some while still in uniform and eleven live African Americans were burned at the stake by white mobs. 

The following are cautionary tales about the explosive and violent potential of whites who feel on the verge of losing their privilege.

Republicans sacrificed national security just to undermine Obama

I cringe each time I hear Republican criticism of the Iran nuclear deal, knowing what the Republicans did when President Obama was newly elected with a commitment to nuclear proliferation. Suffice it to say, they showed no concern for nuclear proliferation then.  

The bipartisan 9/11 Commission had warned that,
“The greatest danger of another catastrophic attack in the United States will materialize if the world’s most dangerous terrorists acquire the world’s most dangerous weapons.”

Sunday, August 5, 2018

A Nation of stolen children


What is currently happening at the southern border is nothing new, indeed it is American history repeating itself. Americans are descendants of stolen children.

This is the result of our desire to whitewash America and everyone in it. It is the consequence of mass denial. Understandably. Denial is far easier than owning the barbaric brutality God-loving christians imposed on other human beings.

The Obama administration already renegotiated NAFTA


Throughout his run for the Presidency, Trump promised to get rid of TPP and soon after his inauguration he followed through, trashing the renegotiation of NAFTA with it.  You read that right.  Obama had already renegotiated 
the North American Free Trade Agreement, the 1994 agreement better known as NAFTA.  Gone were the trade barriers and tariffs that Trump promises to destroy. He's like a brood parasite that dumps his eggs into another species’ nest to avoid wasting time and energy. 

When Trump withdrew the United States from the Trans Pacific Partnership, he extinguished the opportunity, not only economically but geopolitically, to put China in check.  He threw away the chance to embed the United States in the future of Asia.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Donald Trump is just another Great White Hope

On November 23, 1887, when a mob of whites in Thibodaux,  Louisiana killed as many as 300 men, women and children because Black farmers dared to seek fair prices for their crops. The white press cheered along with the murderers:

“….this will settle the question of who is to rule, the nigger or the white man.…” 

Uncle Sam was an Abortionist

The government has a history of taking over people’s reproductive future.  In the first half of the twentieth century, the United States promoted efforts to “breed better human beings”. The pseudoscience,  called eugenics included forced abortions, sterilization, and other methods of family planning.

When the Nazis went on trial after World War II, for war crimes in Nuremberg, they justified their mass sterilizations by citing the United States as their inspiration.  And just as the rich and powerful promoted the Nazi Holocaust, in the United States, eugenics was driven by the elite. 

Friday, August 3, 2018

Political Propaganda Defines Republican Patriotism

             "What good fortune for those in power that the people do not think."~ Adolph Hitler

Immediately after the Nazi’s took power, the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda was established. It was responsible for controlling the press and public opinion. Goebbels exerted control over the media and information in Germany.

He openly acknowledged that he exploited the lowest instincts of people – anger, fear, racism, xenophobia, and class envy. Aided by the effects of the Depression and with sober psychological calculation, he led the masses wherever he wanted them to go. He was a master propagandist.
"The most brilliant propagandist technique… must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over and over. “

The “N” Words

At a U.N. press conference, Ambassador to the United Nations, Nimrata “Nikki” Haley said:

“…. we’ve never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on race or religion.” 

It’s hard to know if that is just reckless political rhetoric or ignorance, but following are the facts.

Throughout history, race has been the motivation for immigration policy. Until 1952, except for two years in the 1870s, Congress allowed only white persons to become naturalized as citizens. Consequently, it is not possible to have a serious discussion about the merits of immigration without also discussing the "n" words: nationalism, nativism and naturalization.

Following is a compilation of the laws and policies that have influenced and defined immigration and naturalization in America since 1790.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

The Great Giveaway - Farm Subsidies

Both houses of Congress are working on farm bills that will make the biggest cuts to welfare since President Clinton’s 1996 legislation that dismantled Aid to Families with Dependent Children. In 2012, Congress allocated $74.6 billion to SNAP (the food stamp program), an amount the US military spent every 9 days. 
The 2013 farm bill called The Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 includes almost $21 billion in cuts over the next ten years. Those lucky enough to remain on the rolls will see an average loss of $25 in benefits for a family of four. Due to economic conditions, long-term unemployment and natural disasters, a staggering 15 percent of the US population receives food stamp benefits, nearly double the rate of 1975. The average monthly benefit per person receiving SNAP benefits was only $133 last year; a household’s income cannot be more than $23,800 for a family of three to qualify for a meager $300 per month. 

It's time for a new farm bill and even deeper cuts.

America’s endangered species, white babies


In 1905, just as women were beginning to understand conception well enough to attempt to avoid  it, pregnancy became a symbol of patriotism and national pride.

President Theodore Roosevelt summoned 

“all healthy women to bear at least four children, preferably six.”

He felt that to use birth control or fail to keep up with the birth rate of ethnic minorities was to risk suicide. In March, 1905, he attacked birth control and condemned the tendency towards smaller families as decadent, a sign of moral disease.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Truth about the NATO defense commitments

Credit: NATO

On September 5, 2014 the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Wales issued a declaration that among other things stated the following:

Taking current commitments into account, we are guided by the following considerations:

Memo to Republican Men: Get Knocked up or STFU

In 2011, Supreme Court Justice Antonin "Broccoli" Scalia argued that 

“women do not have equal protection under the 14th amendment as "people" because men's rights are guaranteed by specific language in the Constitution, but women's rights are not mentioned.”

Republicans have been spewing hateful, ignorant nonsense for a long time, but they ramped up their tourette’s after the 2010 election and despite the most racist, anti-homosexual, anti-women, anti-worker and frankly anti-American rhetoric, they’ve been excused with a wink and a nod, and childish postulations that “both sides do it”.  So the idea that another Republican said something inflammatory should come as no surprise.