Disenfranchised Citizen

Chicago, New Orleans and living a beautiful, angry life between the two…

Posts Tagged ‘Republicans

History’s telling me to not get excited about passage of the oil spill fine amendment…

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Very excited about not only the amendment, but Congress too...

A recent editorial in the New Orleans Times-Picayune celebrated House Passage of an amendment to the transportation bill which mandated 80% of Clean Water Act fines levied against British Petroleum for their catastraphuk be earmarked to the Gulf States who suffered the damages. The editorial called this first step important. It noted how this was the House of Representatives making a public commitment to the Gulf Coast and never shall it be torn asunder.

I would love to be so optimistic.

I really would, but I can’t. History just won’t allow it.

Back in April of 2010, very soon after the Deepwater Horizon exploded, we were greeted with congressional slogans and promises by so many members giving impassioned speeches from the floor or telling any media outlet they could find just how they would take immediate action to ensure something like this oil spill would never happen again.

We’ll make drilling safer! We’ll make it clean! As your elected Congress, we will not rest until we fix the problems that led to this horrible, ongoing disaster…

blah…blah…blah…

And what laws were passed?

Essentially, none…in fact, what happened was quite the opposite as new laws were voted on which would accelerate the rate of drilling and open up newer, more sensitive areas to oil exploration all the while listing the same safety precautions that failed in the Gulf as their rock-solid protection against any future spills. So, with that recent history, you’ll have to pardon my lack of enthusiasm when it comes to passage of this amendment, because I just ain’t buying it this time. I want it to, but I have my doubts it’ll happen like they say, uh-uh, too easy. Congress is way too distracted with their endless pursuit of politically winning nothing at the expense of the other party.

But wait a minute, to be fair, it did pass and that’s something…right right?

Right, even though the amendment doesn’t actually authorize any payments, it only requires that the money be placed into a special fund. It is the RESTORE act, yet to be passed, which will do the dirty work of allocating these funds to the states. That’s when the politics will really come into play I fear – How much money does each state get? What can the money be used for, and how much? What do the states, and then the counties and then the towns have to do to get this money? And when do they get it?

Republicans will probably want to earmark as much money as possible for commercial development purposes at the expense of the overall environment, while the Democrats will be focused more on actual coastal restoration, and that’s when this whole thing will get so complicated, and so politicized and overwrought we get delays, name-calling and other assorted grandstanding bullshit on various news channels, so much so the whole process will take so much longer than it needs to, playing games with time the Gulf Coast is running out of.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the amendment itself was attached to a bullshit transportation bill which would not give enough money to maintain highways and roads, wind up cutting funds to public transportation all while it opens environmentally sensitive areas for more oil drilling, not to mention the bill also authorizes the Keystone XL pipeline, which the President has already come out against…

In other words, this bill is terrible and shouldn’t pass. This isn’t a first step, this is a political ploy and a dodge by the House of Representatives.

Can’t you just hear it?

Gosh golly gee, Louisiana, we wanted to give you guys all that money, but the Democrats and that damned White House…well, they said no way and voted us down…but we tried.

Right, though another way of putting this would be how hopefully, the Democrats refuse the GOP’s blackmail tactics, the same shit they’ve been running for the past year with the whole government shutdown, deficit reduction and ceiling, super committee give us everything we want or you get nothing…well, until the payroll tax extension blew up in their face.

Even the author of the amendment, Steve Scalise, isn’t making a whole lot of sense:

“Now that the House is on record supporting the dedication of these fines to the Gulf Coast states and to fully restoring the ecosystems and communities of the region, we will continue pressing forward with our colleagues in the Senate to pass the entire RESTORE Act into law.”

Again…so what if the House is on record? Who’ll call them onto the carpet if they change their minds, or water the amendment down, make it 60% or maybe 55% because you know, we have a deficit and those are federal funds…and Louisiana? You’re America’s sewer anyway so you’re used to getting screwed…oh, and on those same lines, I would appreciate if Mr. Scalise could explain to me just why the hell I’m supposed to suddenly believe the GOP House is committed to restoring ecosystems?

Since when?

These are the same guys who are pushing forward the wholesale destruction of mountains in Appalachia, not to mention the poisoning of our nation’s water supplies through natural gas fracking. The destruction of ecosystems is kind of a GOP trademark. The Democrats aren’t innocent either, but at least they pretend to care and pass half-measures. Hell, the House GOP wasted how much time bringing back incandescent light bulbs?

Restore ecosystems…right.

And at what point does Eric Cantor finally find himself a microphone and demand spending cuts to offset this money because even though the cash’ll be coming from BP, it would normally go to the Federal treasury so in not doing so this time around, isn’t that really additional Federal spending, albeit indirectly? So we better cut Medicare, Social Security and oh, why not food stamps this time if you want your money. Why wouldn’t he try it? This is the same high-strung yuppie villain who initially demanded offsets for disaster funding going to tornado victims in his own state, and he’s in the House GOP leadership.

You really think he cares about states he doesn’t live in?

So yeah, the editorial board at the Times-Picayune calls this amendment an important step forward, and I want to believe it but I have to disagree. I think right now, I can’t consider this more than wishful thinking…because if there’s one thing we know to watch out for when it comes to the first steps of politicians, it’s to dodge immediately left so you don’t get run over when they take their two steps back.

Read the articles:

Oil spill fine amendment through House but much work remains

Congress takes a step forward on BP fines: An editorial

Have a nice day.

Romney: I like being able to fire people…

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Ever see that South Park episode where people defecate out of their mouths?

Mitt Romney, the presidential candidate one pundit described as the candidate who most looks like the guy who laid you off during the recession had this to say in New Hampshire today:

“I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.”

Granted, the line was taken out of context as he was discussing how people dissatisfied with the service they are getting should be able to take their business elsewhere…but seriously, this is politics so you can take your “out of context” and put it in the same fucking coal bin as your “it’s not a lie, it’s spin…” argument.

All of them…this charade…Republican and Democrats where these tools march around stages, smile insincerely and tell you whatever you want to hear, whatever they think we need to hear to make us feel better, more positive, as completely in the dark as possible…

Well, I like being able to fire people too…

And I’d like to fire the entire mainstream news media for participating in this bullshit charade, then heading off to the bar to pat each other on the back for the service they’ve done for nobody.

And speaking of bullshit disservice…

How about Chefs Emeril Lagasse and John Besh, doing their part to feed the BP Public Relations Machine…

Mitt!

There’s some firing to do…

But more on that for tomorrow…

Have a nice day.

Written by Drake Toulouse

January 9, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Republican coincidence and payroll tax holidays…

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"The finest day that I've ever had, was when I learned to cry on command..."

At the end of this month the payroll tax holiday will expire, and if allowed to lapse, it will come as a tax increase for working lower and middle class Americans. The Democrats, including Obama, are in favor of an extension while many Republicans are not. Many Republicans are demanding the extension be offset by spending cuts elsewhere or simply done away with altogether.

Why? Simple…

According to Macroeconomic Advisers, allowing it to lapse “would reduce GDP growth by 0.5 percent and cost the economy 400,000 jobs.” An analyst at Barclay’s estimated that letting the cut expire would knock 1.5 percent off of first quarter growth next year. Ameriprise Financial Services, meanwhile, estimated that extending the cut “is likely to add between 750,000 to 1 million jobs.” “Payroll tax cuts are very powerful,” added Allen Sinai, chief economist of Decision Economics. “They provide a boost to direct income and, in turn, spending, which is important to growth.”

Oh wait…forget that part…no, the reason some Republicans would be so willing to let it expire is our out of control deficit…fiscal prudence at its best, yes-sir, so fiscally responsible these Republicans, the cult of Norquist clan, they would allow a tax cut to expire. What an example of sacrifice? Imagine that, they finally agreed, not all tax cuts could be forever sacrosanct…oh, and the fact this party is oft accused of defending only the wealthy, and the fact this tax cut only benefits the working poor and middle class, not the wealthy…

I’m sure this is coincidence.

Has to be.

Just as I’m also sure it is only coincidence the Bush tax cuts, those gifts to the rich and a large part of our current deficit, weren’t required to be paid for while the payroll tax holiday, so many Republicans demand, must be offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget.

Yes, this Republican coincidence is but one of many these days…

Take a look at the job creators, for instance. Nick Hanauer, a successful venture capitalist recently wrote an op-ed, stating:

Consider, for example, that a puny 3 percent surtax on incomes above $1 million would be enough to maintain and expand the current payroll tax cut beyond December, preventing a $1,000 increase on the average worker’s taxes at the worst possible time for the economy. With a few more pennies on the dollar, we could invest in rebuilding schools and infrastructure. And even if we imposed a millionaires’ surtax and rolled back the Bush- era tax cuts for those at the top, the taxes on the richest Americans would still be historically low, and their incomes would still be astronomically high…Rich businesspeople like me don’t create jobs. Middle-class consumers do, and when they thrive, U.S. businesses grow and profit.

Yet, the Republicans would rather it be discovered they wet the bed than raise taxes on the wealthy, on those job creators…God save the job creators, even if they call bullshit on their actual ability to create jobs…and I suppose this only makes no sense at all, none…I mean, the Bush tax cuts have been in effect for what, 10 years or so, yet strangely enough we’ve had a recession, we’ve watched a looting of pension plans, a housing collapse and high sustained unemployment for years… And through it all, the fact those taxes on the wealthy, meant to create jobs have done everything but create jobs?

Coincidence.

But I digress, back to that tax break the Republicans are so sketchy about, the one that coincidentally doesn’t help the wealthiest of this country…when John Boehner was asked if letting the tax cut expire would hurt the economy, he replied, “I’m not an economist. I don’t know what kind of impact it’s going to have on the economy.”

Not an economist?

Yet he was sure the deficit didn’t matter when Bush was president, growing exponentially due to unfunded wars, tax breaks for the wealthy and that huge gift bag to pharmaceutical companies.

Just as he is now sure, that since Bush is no longer President, the deficit is destroying America as we know it, that if allowed to continue, not only will the deficit destroy our ability to manufacture American flags for the waving, but your mother’s apple pie? As a country, we will no longer be able to support the cost involved in using ovens, ever again. We will be one flag-less pie-less country, that much closer to gay marriage if we don’t do something about the deficit, like yesterday. He means…now. 

Oh, but that Boehner suddenly lost his economist credentials, that he devolved into financial confusion when it was time for this tax break that doesn’t expressly help the wealthy?

Another matter of simple coincidence.

However…to be fair…Boehner has come around the past day or so, the GOP is coming around and now say the payroll tax holiday should be passed. John himself has said, ““The fact is that Republicans are doing everything we can to allow American families and small businesses to keep more of what they earn.”

Course, that was Public John Boehner. And what did Private John have to say about the payroll tax holiday?

Well, behind closed doors, he told his membership they were pushing a package that not only included the extension, but also more environmental deregulation, more sales of broadband spectrum and a change in policy to help pass the Keystone XL pipeline so, you know, he could  turn “chicken shit into chicken salad.”

The ingredients of chicken salad of course being heavier pollution, sick kids, global warming, monopolies on spectrum leading to a lack of diversity on our airwaves, and a big fucking pipe to take oil all the way across our country from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, oil from tar sands development which is about as environmentally friendly as, well, as most Republican policy.  

Oh, and that John Boehner didn’t refer to this tax break, which doesn’t help the wealthy, as “chicken shit” in public?

Coincidence…you know it.

Yes…coincidence…of course this is what it is, what all of this is.

Cutting taxes on job creators so they continue to not create jobs, unfunded tax breaks for the wealthy while tax breaks for the working poor and middle class must be offset by spending cuts, spectrum sales and pollution, and Boehners ability to be an arch-economist who sometimes, economically speaking, is dumb as a stump…

All of it coincidence…surely.

What other explanation is there?

Have a nice day.

An open letter to the President, and both the Democratic and Republican Parties…

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Hell, even GW Bush is impressed with how far to the right you managed to push budget negotiations… you know, to help the people you uh, you promised to help?

Hello…

So, I might as well address this to the highest ranking of you, though I’m not so sure that’s something to be proud of these days…in fact, from where I sit it’s something to be rather ashamed of but nonetheless, this goes out to Obama, Pelosi, Boehner, Cantor, Reid, Geithner, Bernanke, McConnell…

Yeah, all of you public servants(?)

Okay, something is happening in this country that none of you really seem to understand…I mean, have you looked around yourselves lately? In the cities? Have you read the polls? Have you bothered for a moment to look past your office walls, your meeting rooms and political staffers and handlers and their gratuitous nods of the head?

I don’t think you have…

You see, I and a lot of other Americans read the news and I don’t know about you politicians, but what I’m reading lately simply doesn’t make sense.

Poll after poll shows that Americans want taxes raised on the wealthy and the safety net? They want it left alone. It’s almost universal, bipartisan…consider these headlines of late: 68% of Millionaires support raising taxes on millionaires and Poll: Tax the rich, corporations and Vast Majority Of Americans Favor Buffett Rule’s Millionaire Tax: Poll Also consider these: Washington Post/Bloomberg poll: Even GOP majorities say tax rich, protect Social Security, Medicare and New Poll shows Republicans have it all wrong with Social Security and Attacks on Social Security called “un-American” and Faith groups target ‘Super Committee’ on poverty

That all seems a pretty clear message.

Yet, then I read this bullshit: Boehner Dismisses Democratic Super Committee Proposal As Unserious

Now, I happen to agree with Boehner about this, but me and the majority of Americans? Our reasons are quite different from Boehner and the GOP’s reasons for disagreeing with the proposal. Boehner says the Dem proposal is unserious because it raises taxes on the wealthy whereas I disagree with the Democratic’s proposal because it proposes billions in dollars in cuts to Medicare, even more extensive cuts than the Catfood Commission’s proposal. The cuts however, Boehner is almost fine with except he wants them to go deeper than the Democrats have proposed…

Okay, so…in light of all this, what the hell is wrong with you politicians?

You’re not listening…or maybe you are. Maybe you are listening quite intently, you’re just not listening to the majority of Americans, instead keeping your focused ear intently on your campaign donors, the financial institutions, big money lobbyists…essentially anyone but the American people.

Seems fairly evident, but I suspect you all might disagree with this assessment. Yeah, two words to that…fuck you. I’m not stupid, please stop treating me as such.

So then, if you are there in DC to do the work of the people, why is it you choose to ignore the people completely? This is why you have a 9% approval rating, Congress. Oh, and Boehner, Cantor, McConnell and the rest of you GOP hacks, what the American public really wants are jobs. Jobs!!!! And jobs aren’t created by lower taxes on the wealthy. Stop your bullshit, they aren’t. Jobs are created by demand. Demand is created by people with money to spend, keeping the social safety net and unemployment benefits puts money in people’s pockets, which they then spend which creates demand, which creates jobs. Know what else creates jobs? Spending on infrastructure, which again puts money in people’s pockets…and so on and so forth. Austerity makes everybody broke, nobody spends, no demand…it ain’t that hard to figure out…are you all just fucking stupid? Now, I know you have said that you’re spending cuts thus far enacted have created jobs, but they haven’t. In fact, they have done the opposite: REPORT: House GOP’s ‘Job Creating’ Spending Cuts Destroyed 370,000 Jobs.

Oh, and Barack and Nancy? Let’s not get all full of righteous indignation on this one. Last week, the GOP decided to put you guys in the corner by agreeing to one part of your jobs agenda, while linking it with a budget cut item: House GOP Lays Trap For Obama On Jobs Plan. Yeah, the GOP agreed to end a three percent withholding tax on private contractors intended to keep corporations from cheating the government on taxes, and in return the GOP proposed to pay for this by limiting Medicaid eligibility for people who also receive social security benefits.

Wasn’t that nice of them?

Private contractors get the a-ok to cheat on their taxes, paid for by kicking grandma and the disabled off their health insurance.

Well, it would seem this GOP proposal was tailor-made for the Democrats to stand up, just say no, go to bat for those less fortunate and tell the GOP to blow while explaining to the American people what the GOP was trying to get away with…except the Democrats didn’t do this. Nope. Instead, they agreed.

More money for the wealthy, more costs for the poor.

I seem to be picking up on a pattern here…Barack, Nancy, Harry…who are you standing up for?

You agree to Medicare cuts on the poor and kicking some people off Medicaid, which runs counter to what the American people have said they wanted. And you…Eric, John, and Mitch…you are giving more and more money to the wealthy, at the expense of the poor, which again, is the opposite of what the American people have said they want to see happen…

Yes, a pattern.

And then you wonder why thousands of people are hitting the streets nationwide, fueling the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Oh wait, I forget, many of you have said you understand the people’s frustrations. Yeah, great…well I understand that you’re all a bunch of self-righteous assholes, but that don’t turn you into good people, now does it? Nope. And none of you are doing much about that frustration you claim to understand either, except presenting proposals that either do nothing to address income inequality, or will only serve to make it worse.

In these occupy demonstrations, in all of these different cities, stand Americans of every race, age, class and creed. And you know what else they are? They are the disenfranchised of this country. Do you think these people would be suffering the elements, the police brutality if they really felt that voting for one of you frauds would change anything? Doubtful. These protests, these people are the fruit of your labors, those who believe the system to be broken, or if it is working, it sure ain’t working for them…and not for me either. I’ve attended a few of these rallies in different cities and you know what I see? I see middle-aged couples, the elderly, the young, white, black, hispanic…and all these different members of society, they are uniting against you, against your bullshit ways, your bankrupting ways…your Republican power-grabs and your Democrat craven cavings to the financial industry and the banks…

And speaking of banks…

Hey Bernanke and Geithner, do you honestly think we haven’t been paying attention to what you’re currently letting Bank of America get away with?  And Barack, these assholes were appointed by you…so you’re on the hook as well. Right now, your crew, with GOP assent, is seeing fit to allow Bank of America to set up American tax-payers for another huge debt, all so this bank doesn’t have to pay for their own investment mistakes, again. Yes, Bank of America has moved 75 trillion dollars in potentially bad derivatives from its holding company, into Bank of America proper…want to know why?

Because unlike its holding company, Merrill Lynch, Bank of America is FDIC insured, so if these 75 trillion dollars in bad derivatives fail, the government (FDIC) will have to pay out, which of course means, the taxpayers have to pay out, bail out Bank of America for more bad investment decisions. Bernanke, Geithner and Obama are allowing this to happen. They are allowing this to happen to you… once again taking the money from the middle class and potentially giving it to the wealthy to compensate for their poor choices.

So back to that pattern:

The Democratic leadership, in the form of Pelosi, Reid and Obama have shown they are quite willing to cut the social safety net, to cut benefits to the poor and disabled, to the elderly so long as the Republicans are willing to allow some marginal taxes on the rich. The Republican leadership in the form of Cantor, Boehner and McConnell are of course unwilling to do this, no how, no way, and in return for their refusal, they want even deeper cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security than the Democrats are willing to offer. Meanwhile, the Fed is letting Bank of America off the hook for bad investments again, with American tax-payers potentially footing this bill if the derivatives go bad…again moving money from the poor and middle class to the wealthy.

Yes, a pattern.

These politicians, elected by the American people only agree on one thing, doing whatever it is the American public doesn’t want you to do while at the same time, doing very little about job creation.

Yet all of you feel you should be reelected.

Why is that?

Since the occupation protests have begun, thousands of protestors have been arrested across this country…but of the people working in the financial institutions who caused the recession that led to millions of lost jobs, of bankrupted pensions, savings, cities and states?

Nobody arrested. None. Zero.

Again, why is that?

Are you simply admitting in cold hard arrest statistics that the rule of law is dead, provided you are wealthy enough to have received a Bush tax cut, extended further by Obama? Is that the established line in the sand? If you qualify to receive a tax break due to wealth, the law no longer applies to you?

I’m thinking that rather than being reelected, what should really happen here is Obama, Reid, Pelosi and Bernanke, Cantor, Boehner, McConnell and Geithner, all of you need to wind up in a cell right next to the heads of the major banking institutions in this country. You all, who have taken it upon yourselves to damn your children’s futures for your own selfish gain.

Pathetic, all of you.

Off to jail, lock them in the Bastille…why not? What do we really have to lose anymore?  This way, the rest of us can try this again, we can have our country back, see if we can do better and I’m betting we can. After all, you pathetic politicians have lowered the bar so far…be pretty damned impossible to do worse.

Or better yet, get involved with the Occupy Protests in your city, what else you gonna do? Sit bitching on the sidelines? Vote? Yeah, good luck with that…the people currently in power, and the politicians too would like nothing better than for you to just stay home and vote at the appropriate time for one of the politicians they’ve hand-selected to serve (them) you…

Think about it.

And have a nice day, even the aforementioned politicians…right before you trip down your front steps and chip your tooth on the sidewalks our taxes paid for…and if you bloodied your nose, that’d be cool too. Okay…I’m sorry about that last part, not that I didn’t mean it…I’m just sorry about being petty sometimes, trying to work on that…kind-of.

Oh, and P.S. – To the mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan…resign, and take the members of the Oakland Police Department who caused the violence with you…you’re all one collective disgrace…and to San Francisco (interim) mayor, Ed Lee and Police Chief Greg Suhr, stop with the games already…you really want another Oakland on your hands? Seriously…let it go.

So the GOP response to economic inequality is…

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In his High School yearbook, Eric Cantor was voted most likely to soil his Armani underwear.

…running away?

…especially when they can’t control who will be in the audience?

…especially when many in that audience think Eric Cantor and the GOP response form a large part of the overall problem, championing many policies that cause much of the afore-mentioned economic inequality?

Okay then, glad we got that settled.

Eric Cantor and the GOP’s official response to issues raised by the Occupy Protests is as follows: gulp loudly, then don’t show up out of fear you won’t be able to control the crowd or the questions, with all of it on camera. Well played guys, and thanks for the update Eric…you complete and utter coward.

From the article in Firedoglake:

“Eric Cantor, staunch protector of the 1 percent and champion for that portion of the 99 percent duped into protecting the 1 Percent, but ever fearful of the mob, startled a disbelieving Beltway a few days ago by announcing that income and wealth inequality were real problems and that the GOP should do something about that.

In a moral universe, that epiphany should have been followed by lightning striking the man, as on the road to Damascus, but that didn’t happen.

Cantor promised to address those issues in a speech he planned to give today at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School. What would an unrepentant representative of the 1 Percent possibly have to say? Would he explain why the Senate members of his party unanimously opposed taxing the rich at one half of one percent on annual income over a million dollars so we could have 400,000 more teachers and thousands more first responders?

Well, we may never know. It seems Mr. Cantor has bugged out, after learning from his hosts that his speech might become the occasion for a mic check.

To continue reading about the credibility issues of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va), please…just click below:

Eric Cantor Skips Wharton Inequality Speech Out of Mic Check Fear

Have a good day, a better day than the House GOP leadership when they meet tomorrow in Boehner’s office, to discuss how this fiasco played out for their side, across all forms of media…

Oops…

At this point, on this labor day…

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Haymarket Martyrs

…it would seem perfectly reasonable, if most any national-level politicians were to show up at any labor event, nationwide…the only appropriate response would range from politely asking them to leave to forcibly throwing them out…

If Republican, they actively attempt to stamp out unions that built the middle class, and if Democrats, their expression of support only rises to a level of occasional, mutual self-interest. After all, who else remembers the stark difference between Campaign Obama’s strong, unreserved support of unions and President Obama’s utter disregard as governors in Ohio, Wisconsin and elsewhere launched their attacks on collective bargaining.

So Happy Labor Day everybody.

Everybody except the politicians who use, or lie to the unions…and Herb Johnson.

Yeah, screw Herb Johnson too.

Have a nice day.

Written by Drake Toulouse

September 5, 2011 at 11:42 AM

I’m not a child, Barack, but I do still work in the community, you?

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...abandon you, your ideas and ideals, your hopes and dreams and stuff...

On ABC’s This Week, White House Political Director David Plouffe said:

“This isn’t about playing on a Republican playing field. This country, our economy, has to reduce the deficit, we have to live within our means. And if you’re a progressive, there’s a powerful case for deficit reduction. Things like college loans, college scholarships, spending on things like roads and bridges that put construction workers to work, if we don’t reduce the deficit in the not too distant future, we’re not going to have room to do any of that. So we’re going to have to live within our means…”

David? Barack? All of you who would pump up your own credentials on the backs of the poor?

Those of us out here in this country who tend to believe we are all in this thing called the United States together are not children. We don’t need to be lectured. We understand what it looks like when politicians take compassion and bastardize it for their own benefit. We understand what it looks like when rich complain about private jet traffic jams getting their kids to summer camp in Maine, while a Democratic President allows Medicare cuts. We understand what an enormous tax break for the wealthy looks like, while the poor get screwed.

We do.

And so do the wealthier ones:

Why the Wealthy Are Afraid Of Violence From Below

We understand, Barack, that a cuts only budget deal with some half-baked promise of the potential for maybe…we’ll see, and think about later loophole closures, is good enough for you and your Republican friends.

Friends like Warren Buffet who said,

“There’s class warfare, all right,” Warren Buffett, the world’s third-richest man, said in 2006, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” Buffett had done the math and realized that he paid far less, as a fraction of his income, than the secretaries in his office.

We get it.

And we agree, this country does have to reduce its deficits. Many of us tend to read economists though, a whole lot of economists who almost as a rule say austerity cuts, especially in a recession are a bad idea. Shit, ask Britain how well their version of austerity (cuts only, no revenue) isn’t working.

It’s actually pretty simple…follow along:

Budget cuts lead to lost income for many, many people. When people lose income, they don’t spend. When other people see people lose income, they don’t spend either. If nobody spends, businesses don’t make money. If businesses don’t make money, the economy doesn’t grow. If there’s no growth, no new jobs are created. No new jobs leads to lost income for many.

And we’re back…

Want to know what else we read?

We read articles like this:

Poll Numbers Show Public Prefers Revenue Solutions To Cuts, But All of Them Have Been Abandoned

Why the Wealthiest Americans Are the Real ‘Job-Killers’

Top Reagan Advisors: Raise Taxes on the Wealthy

We also read:

If McCain Had Won

So, don’t lecture people who care about others, believing they don’t understand the deficit, how we got here, or that we don’t really understand what it means to the future. We do. We just think you either can’t read or don’t listen to economists or the American people…or maybe your self-interest outweighs your compassion and ability, your necessity, to fight for the people you made all those promises to, and now see fit to lecture.

Either way, the poor and middle class are getting screwed, again, by a Democratic President…on a Republican playing field.

So…fuck you.

Have a nice day.

GOP…if not the economy, the environment…

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Nice place for a family picnic...GOP style

Seriously?

“The House of Representatives, led by anti-environmental Republicans, are sharpening their knives to gut key health and wildlife protections that could benefit millions of Americans,” Marty Hayden, Vice President of Policy and Legislation at Earthjustice, said in a statement. “These are no small cuts; this is a complete butchering of environmental safeguards. Riders attached to the EPA spending bill decimate protections for air, water, lands and wildlife,” he continued. “Even before this bill reached the House floor for a full debate, Appropriations committee members attached 38 riders that shred our safety net for protecting against pollution in our air and water, saving imperiled wildlife, and protecting iconic places like the Grand Canyon from uranium mining.”

In its current form, the legislation would prevent the EPA from regulating a number of pollutants by gutting the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The bill would restrict EPA’s authority to regulate coal ash disposal, exempt the timber industry from pollutant discharge permit requirements, allows pesticide applicators to spray chemicals directly into waterways, cut off funding for EPA to implement limits on mercury and other air toxics from power plants, and restricts the scope of “Waters of the U.S.” protected by the Clean Water Act. The bill would also blocks EPA oversight of mountaintop removal mining.

Okay, so now reducing spending not only means defaulting the government, but destroying the environment and threatening the health of millions of Americans.

Creating certainty in the marketplace not only means holding the economy hostage, but ensuring each and every American gets an increase in pollutants.

Creating jobs not only means large tax breaks for the wealthy, but destroying governmental regulation so the wealthy can destroy your water supply.

The House of Representatives:

Cut – governmental regulations that help keep your air and water safe.

Cap – the average life expectancy of Americans by way of toxicity…old people are expensive.

Balance – the interests of corporate donors versus the interests of the financial industry…you know, so everybody wins.

Hmm, and with all this budget cutting and slashing stuff going on, wonder what that means for New Orleans levees and Louisiana coastal restoration?

Read the article:

House spending bill slashes environmental protections

Have a nice day.

The Most Irresponsible Post I’ll Ever Write…on the Debt Ceiling

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Remember: they did it to you, responsibly...so whatever you do, don't respond in an irresponsible way towards them, their institutions or the industries and high finance that props them up...

Responsibility and irresponsibility to whom, a people, a political party, a pledge…

As we’ve sat back, watching this debt ceiling debate rage on, I continue to be struck by what Democrats and Republicans deem to be okay, what they consider to be responsible.

It is responsible for both parties to give three trillion dollars in tax breaks to the richest people in this country, under the pretense this will create jobs…but it won’t. It didn’t when Bush first gave these hand-outs to our country’s wealthiest and since Obama renewed the tax cuts…nope, no jobs yet.

It is also responsible to call Social Security and Medicare “entitlements,” even though they aren’t. I’m paying for them now under the understanding I get them back later…how about you? But, it is responsible for both the GOP and the Democratic President to take this money away from you, to reduce a deficit the GOP created with those tax cuts for millionaires and a few odd wars. It is responsible to bail out banks who caused the recession that led to a drop in revenue, while at the same time leaving the middle class and poor to suffer even more by not helping them with their foreclosures, which are being done fraudulently by the same banks the government bailed out after causing the recession…and it is responsible for us, the American people to ignore this cycle.

Oh, and it is responsible to sign  pledges to help oneself get elected to office, despite the fact these pledges keep one from being free to exercise conscience when it is needed most.

Also, it is responsible to play politics and tricks while the economy inches closer to a crash, displaying loyalty not to your country, but to a political party. It is responsible to do a short debt ceiling deal so each party can take another crack at the narrative, all over again, and during an election year when politicians are always known to be at their most responsible. Why? Because it is responsible for everybody to distort and misrepresent facts (lie) for the party’s political gain.

It is responsible to preside, willingly and knowingly, without attempting any sort of change, over the greatest separation of wealth in any industrialized country, by far, just as it is responsible for both parties to allow the deregulation of commodities markets which drive the prices up on food and oil, thus allowing financial institutions to  make even more money on the extra money you pay and place it directly into their already burgeoning vaults.

And through this debt ceiling debate, it is responsible, as the people’s representatives to blatantly ignore what every poll of the American people has to say: make a deal built on balance: tax the rich and cut spending). Why? Because it is responsible to place more importance on a pledge to one man (Grover Norquist) than to the populace of your nation.

Essentially, the White House, Republicans and Democrats are deciding it is responsible to cut programs for the poor that help keep people from destitution, while at the same time keeping programs for the wealthy to help those with a great deal of money, get even more and most importantly…it is the responsiblity for us, the American citizens to sit back and accept what they decide is in our best interest, the politicians, the financial institutions, their lobbyists…all because we will have the chance to engage later in very responsible acts, such as voting.

Yes, it is the height of responsibility for us to accept our political representatives utter disregard for what we, the people of this country feel is most important.

Why is that?

Perhaps because truth in fact, Democrats and Republicans in the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court know little to nothing about responsibility and irresponsibility…to us.

A demonstration perhaps?

Simple, all one need do is take a look at what these elected leaders would consider irresponsible, should we, as Americans decide their responsibility is anything but…responsible.

They would consider it irresponsible for Americans to, on the same day, suddenly withdraw all funds, save the minimum at the following banks: Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Chase, because crashing the banks that crashed our economy would be the height of irresponsibility.

They would consider it irresponsible if we demanded these corporations, lending institutions and investment firms begin to at least pay the same tax rates we have to pay, because those same corporations, lending institutions and investment firms find it responsible to stop lending and to defraud investors, while the corporations cut the jobs they are supposed to be helping create.

They would consider it irresponsible to consider, there might be a better way to manage our affairs then a one party system that is equally corrupted by high finance, these same institutions that place profits over Americans well-being, confidence and security…

They would consider it irresponsible to take protests personal, to the homes of every CEO involved in causing the recession, and every politician who did nothing to prevent, stop or fix it.

They would consider it irresponsible to shut down Wall Street by demonstrably large protest…every day, after day, after day…

They would consider it irresponsible for Americans to be upset over the fact that if a debt ceiling deal is not reached, while Social Security checks, Veterans Benefits and the like may not go out, Congress will continue to receive their salaries.

They would consider it irresponsible if demands were made to actually take care of the elderly, the disabled and the sick.

They would consider it irresponsible for American citizens to start demanding justice, and stop being content with platitudes and condescension, especially if we demanded jobs programs through infrastructure repair, or that rather than defunding the EPA and Planned Parenthood, we demanded they defund the insurance industry and oil and natural gas companies.

They would consider it irresponsible to begin considering laws optional, much in the same way Wall Street and politicians do, everyday.

They would consider it irresponsible to imagine a Robin Hood scenario being played out in every town and every city across this country, just as they would consider it irresponsible to stop paying for food, and it would be especially irresponsible if people tried to align with the police to defend us against political and financial encroachment.

They would consider it irresponsible to engage in widespread, community meetings, and begin to have conversations about how everyone can help take care of each other, especially if your community organizations start linking up with other community organizations to the point we started to do it ourselves, for ourselves…and if successful, should any politician try to step in and take some sort of credit, it would be irresponsible to marginalize their presence the way they marginalize our hopes.

They would consider it irresponsible for American citizens, as a rule, to interrupt and sabotage any live remote news coverage by any major news channel, especially by pointing out that each of these news channels are owned by the same set of corporations that profited and continue to profit on your suffering, just as they would consider it irresponsible to start engaging in selective, but mass property damage on a nationwide scale…again targeting the institutions that made it possible for this country to default, for you to lose your job, for your pension to have suddenly been disappeared.

Why?

Because they would really consider it irresponsible if people watched less television, consumed less and had a lot more conversations about just how responsible politicians and their supporting industries were being, and also about what the people might do about that sense of responsibility.

They would consider it irresponsible if politicians were no longer able to go out-of-doors anymore without having to clean off the spit once they’ve returned back indoors, or for me as a social worker who works crisis lines to point out how many more calls I am getting from people who are unemployed, out of options, and the places they would normally go to for help, either are out of funds or no longer exist anymore because wealthy people didn’t have enough money to create the jobs they forgot to create.

A few politicians would also find it irresponsible to point out Ayn Rand was not an American icon, she was a parasite who fed off the government she claimed to both detest and find obstructive, and she deserved to be disappeared, just as quickly as the financial institutions disappeared your savings.

Oh yes, and one party would consider it the height of irresponsibility for their constituents to wake up and realize gay discrimination and God won’t keep their jobs from being outsourced, their health care rates from going up and their future options being undone, while another party would consider it equally irresponsible for their constituents to wake up and realize how they no longer represent the middle class and working people because they need the same campaign contributions the other party does, and how they have been coasting on legacy since the Carter administration…and financial institutions would consider it irresponsible for either parties constituents to wake up…

…Ever.

Especially if citizens should, when they wake up, consider their notions of irresponsibility and responsibility to have been in error, and consider that now is as good a time as any to make the institutional predators of this country very uncomfortable.

And some might wonder, would doing that be irresponsible, or responsible?

Hard to say for sure…

Have a nice day.

Obama’s problem…quickly becomes everybody’s problem….

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You're welcome...

So then, according to the President, the best way to lead is to give up from the start?

From David Dayden at Firedoglake:

“…but there’s also a difference between the person who views those procedural blockages for what they are, and sees opportunities for pressuring those blockages through the court of public opinion, for making it difficult on those holding up progress to sustain themselves, for using elections as a lever to enable progress, and even for changing the fundamental structures to bring our democracy up to date to meet the challenges of the 21st century, and… Barack Obama. Because here he doesn’t just acknowledge the need for compromise. He glories in it. He sees it as “part of the process of growing up.” It’s juvenile to act on your own beliefs, to draw bright lines that cannot be crossed, to express core convictions. “Don’t set up a situation where you’re guaranteed to be disappointed,” Obama says. That’s the worst thing that could ever happen. He makes an enemy out of disappointment, when it can just as easily be a rallying point, an opportunity to show a better path next time.”

Man, life could have been so much easier if I’d only been different in two very important ways: if I believed in God, and if I also believed in giving the shaft to the disabled, the mentally ill, the elderly and the homeless…if only I felt more comfortable telling these people, well, you apparently needed to plan better, needed to just get over your issues, or find a job…if only I felt it really was that simple, that a Church and a bumper sticker slogan could solve every problem in this world. Then I could be a self-congratulating Republican beating the crap out of (someone else’s) Grandma with the heirloom family bible…sure, I might be an utter bastard, but I’d at least be content and going to heaven.

Who knew this president would be the powerful’s new BFF…and proclaim giving up on your beliefs is the new American way? Many kind of hoped he might change that…curses, foiled again!

Read the article:

Obama’s Last Lecture

And two more interesting pieces read recently:

Here’s what Matt Taibbi had to say about the very real possibility Obama never wanted a progressive budget at all, and the damage that has done to his bargaining position or lack there-of:

Taibbi: Obama’s not pretending. He doesn’t want a Progressive budget deal.

And one more, now that we know Obama has not ever really been about the middle and lower class, how could a McCain victory actually been to the benefit of all the people Obama was supposed to help, and didn’t:

If McCain Had Won – Fred Branfman

You might think if you’re a Democrat, having a Democratic president would mean he is on your side, but it appears increasingly clear, this president is on the side of himself, first and foremost, that, and getting re-elected.

Have a nice day.

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