Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The People have spoken

From the moment the mid-term election results started coming in, Republicans have been repeating their new mantra that the people have spoken and the Democrats and their policies have been rejected.  With that in mind, the Democrats should stop trying to so hard to fix so many of the problems that are of the GOP's making.

First off, unemployment benefits.  My guess is that not everyone who is out of work today voted for Democrats in the recent mid-terms.  Perhaps it's time for them to learn what a Republican led Congress feels like.  Their unemployment benefits have expired and the GOP does not want to renew them without staggeringly irresponsible tax cuts for the ultra wealthy.  It's time for the Dems to stop protecting Americans from themselves and let them go into the new year with Speaker John Boehner and no more unemployment benefits.

Then there's the tax cuts.  To be more precise, a continuation of the tax cuts from 2001 and 2003.  Since the GOP rejected extending middle class tax cuts a few weeks ago, let the American people now see all their taxes go up because the Republicans want to give people like Bernie Madoff (before he was arrested) millions of savings on their tax bills.  Remember middle America, the Republicans didn't want middle class taxes to remain the same UNLESS the top three tenths of one percent of Americans could get a break on their estate taxes.  That's right, 99.7% of all Americans pay no estate taxes but the GOP is willing to put the economic well being of 98% of the country at risk in order to secure a lower tax rate for the top 0.3% of the population.

By rushing to the aid of the country that scorned them, the Democrats are merely setting the stage for things to improve under Speaker John Boehner.  If a majority of the country wants Republican leadership then let them have it.  Let them watch as the economy shrivels even more without the hardest hit receiving unemployment benefits.  Let them watch state governments are forced to lay off police officers, fire fighters, and teachers because of budget shortfalls.  Let them watch as China continues to fly past us in their super high speed trains carrying green manufacturing and the jobs that go with them.  Maybe by 2012 the American people will realize that they "made a huge mistake."  Or, maybe they'll just double down on their 2010 misjudgment and elect President Palin.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

President Obama: "This is the public option debate all over"

In his pathetic defense of caving in on the tax cuts issue President Obama brought up the criticism he faced from the left over his abandonment of the public option.  He was fielding a question about compromising too much and his defense was that while the health care bill did not include the public option it had so many other things that Democrats had been fighting for.  The problem with his memory or interpretation of those events is that the public option was not a holy grail for Democrats.  It was a watered down substitute for what we really wanted and that was a Single Payer Option.  But since the President and the Democrat super-majority Congress was too weak willed to push for that plan, the result was compromising on the compromise.

Now that the tax cut deal has been back-roomed to placate the GOP and their ultra-rich benefactors, similar criticisms are coming out that he did not negotiate tough enough and did not stick to his principles or his campaign promises.  The Republicans, meanwhile, get to hold up their banner of stubborn obstructionism and celebrate yet another capitulation by the spineless Democrats.

Again the fault for this travesty lies with the Blue Dogs in Congress who had threatened to vote against a tax cut for the middle class bill in the lead up to the elections, and to the Obama White House that did not push Congress to act before the midterms, and to the fickle electorate that somehow thought that putting people in Congress who care only for the rich would somehow help the country.

The next time you hear a Republican complain about losing their unemployment benefits, or about increasing deficits, remind them that 700-900 billion more dollars were just added to the deficit so that Sean Penn, Susan Sarandon, Michael Moore, and Keith Olbermann can save some money.

Where the hell is Joe the plumber?

Now that the Republicans have forced President Obama into doling out another giant wedge of American Pie, where is the anger one would expect from the Tea Partiers and Joe the plumbers everywhere? The GOP filibuster and the subsequent "deal" that was worked out to avoid raising taxes on the middle class will ultimately raise taxes on the lowest income earners in the country while giving massive tax break to millionaires and billionaires. The silence today from those pissed of "patriots" in their Benjamin Franklin costumes is so perfectly representative of the bullshit that the "deficit-hawks" spew. Apparently deficits only matter when Obama and the Democrats are trying to right so many of the systemic wrongs that have concentrated America's wealth in the hands of so few. It would seem that if deficits are incurred to give the Walton family a few extra billion dollars, or save the hedge fund managers who destroyed our economy from paying Uncle Sam what is owed then they don't mean shit.

Deal on Tax Cuts Will Aid Most, Especially Highest Earners - NYTimes.com

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

And yet many of America's poor continue to vote GOP

Matt Finkelstein: Top Conservatives Turned Off By Tax Deal's Inclusion Of Unemployment Benefits

Taylor Marsh: Yes We Cave

While I think that more money for lower income Americans through an extension of the current tax rates would be helpful to drive demand, I think that the GOP needs a "waterloo" of their own, to use Senator DeMint's words. For that reason I hope that Democrats DO NOT cave in on tax cuts for the wealthy no matter how much it pains them to let unemployment benefits expire. This is a problem of the Republicans making and the Democrats need to stop slashing their own wrists in their attempts to fix it. Every single progressive group out there should be taking the CSPAN footage of Republicans voting AGAINST an extension of middle class tax cuts and they should be blanketing the airwaves denouncing the GOP for standing against the American people with tax cuts for the extremely wealthy. Expose this rabid crusade mentality that is driving the opposition to vote against 70% of the people (CBS news poll) to extend tax cuts for the ultra rich. I am so sick and tired of hearing them on the news shows talking about how money to the top creates jobs. If the bottom 97% can't afford to buy anything, then the top 3% aren't going to be creating jobs.

From the Huffington Post:

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wishful thinking

Montreal gas prices jump overnight

"They are trying to bamboozle you (consumers)," McTeague said. "If you tried to pull this in the United States you would have every congressional member concerned and hauling these guys onto the carpet."

Apologies to the right honorable Mr. McTeague but it is not much different south of the border. Very little that should be investigated in the manner that you are suggesting ever does get that attention. Here's to hoping Mr. McTeague and the Canadian Parliament can get some answers on these gasoline price jumps.

GOP block Middle Class Tax Cuts

If you make less than $200,000 a year and you voted Republican, then you no longer have any right to complain about deficits or tax cuts for the middle class.

Senate blocks extension of Bush-era tax cuts

Friday, December 3, 2010

Can military handle a repeal of gay ban? - CSMonitor.com

If it can't, then what chance does it have in Iraq and Afghanistan? I think those conflicts are slightly more difficult than not firing people because of their sexual orientation.

'Don't ask, don't tell': Can military handle a repeal of gay ban? -

Still sneaking around like a thief in the night

Obama in Afghanistan: President Obama makes surprise trip to Afghanistan - latimes.com

Once again, President Obama has made a "surprise" visit to Afghanistan. Why the secrecy surrounding his trip? Because Afghanistan is still such a mess that it is too dangerous for him to announce a trip of that nature ahead of time. Whenever someone discusses winning or losing in Iraq and Afghanistan, I wish that those interviewing them would ask WHEN will an American President be able to safely announce a trip to either of those countries.

But the troops say they don't want it!

President: Go to Afghanistan.

Troops: Sir! Yes sir!

President: Go to Iraq.

Troops: Sir! Yes sir!

President: Now, allow your fellow soldiers to stop hiding who they are and allow gay Americans to serve openly alongside yo
u. I mean, c'mon, you probably already know who they are.

Troops: Sir...uh...sure thing sir. But a couple of us aren't totally on board...

Now that the Pentagon's study on repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell has been released, the Republicans have, predictably, attacked it and pointed out the branches of the armed forces where there is less than 50% acceptance of gays and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces. Well tough shit! After all, that's basically what the Republicans, and a lot of Democrats have been saying to those soldiers and veterans who were brave enough to speak out against the invasion of Iraq. It's the same thing that politicians of all shades said to the likes of John Kerry when he spoke out against the war in Vietnam. The fact is we as a nation have rarely asked our soldiers what they want to do. I'm sure many of them would rather not go to Afghanistan simply to pay for college, but Senator McCain doesn't care about those opinions. What the study shows, and what should have been the focus of the Senate hearings was that "70% of those surveyed felt that allowing gays to serve openly will have a positive, mixed or no effect on military readiness."

Why such a high number? Probably because the majority of the armed forces are young men and women who were not raised with the ignorance and prejudices that seem to have been John McCain's bread and butter. How dense is this man who's own wife and daughter have been strong advocates (though he managed to cajole his wife into backing him) for ending DADT and other LGBT issues? Well here's to things getting worserer for John McCain.

Canadians (sorry, The Comedy Network doesn't give embedding options):


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