Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gays to Die in Iraq While US Watches

Hello Readers! Another tragedy is about to unfold in Iraq! According to the UK Gay News group that, among other things, keeps a watch on gays and lesbians at risk of persecution in third-world countries, the latest gays to end up on death row come from our new ally IRAQ!

"More than 100 prisoners in Iraq are facing execution. Many of them, says an underground gay rights organization in the country, are believed to have been convicted of the 'crime' of being gay, the UK-based Iraqi-LGBT group revealed this afternoon.

According to Ali Hili of Iraqi-LGBT, the Iraqi authorities plan to start executing them in batches of 20 from this week. There is, said Hili, at least one member of Iraqi-LGBT who are among those to be put to death.

And the London-based group, which believes that a total of 128 executions are imminent, is calling on the UK Government, international human rights groups and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to intervene "with due speed" to prevent "this tragic miscarriage of justice" from going ahead."

I don't know about the rest of America, but this gets me extremely angry. I cannot believe that our young men and women died to free a country that is now supporting an elected government that is actively executing gays and lesbians.

Those Republicans who screamed about overthrowing Hussein due to his atrocities should join me and speak up about this pending Iraqi tragedy. Where is your anger? We need to do something about it, especially since we helped free their damn nation.

I hope you all agree that we should not permit them to commit these atrocities while we die to defend their freedom. We shouldn't allow it! President Obama and the US Government needs to act and STOP the killings. We have a right to interfere as long as we're helping them.

Please, get angry and help me. Join me in calling (202.224.3121 Capitol Switchboard) or writing to your representatives and ask them to get involved to save the lives of those people. I must admit, the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. We have the power and influence to save them. We need to try.

Tuesday's OUTRAGE - a VERY ANGRY Michael

Update: Senator Boxer's office responded requesting the source of the news. They said they intend to contact various critical parties to do whatever they can to help. Thank you Senator Boxer and staff! Michael

WAKE UP! Glenn Beck is Media Scum!

Good Morning Readers! This Keith Olbermann discovered quote should help Glenn Beck fans understand that even he knows he's full of it! Sadly, his fans probably don't realize it, and take his word as gospel.

WAKE UP PEOPLE! He's a greedy, ratings-craving, political entertainer just like Limbaugh. They TALK CRAP for a living! Please, conservative media watchers and listeners, especially the ones who defend people like him on this blog, PAY MORE ATTENTION to the facts!

"If you take what I say as gospel, you're an idiot," Glenn Beck

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Great American Echo Chambers

Good Morning Readers! As any regular visitor to my blog knows, every now and then I feel compelled to write about the Republican/conservative talking machine. Did you guys watch some of the political talk shows yesterday? I don't know about you, but the ones I looked at were filled with Republican hyperbole and obfuscation.

The "repetitive monkeys" as I like to call them - because they're "intellectually challenged" - are at full volume these days. They are constantly beating on us at the moment about spending, and none of the talk show hosts challenge them on the facts. Not one host asked for alternatives. Not one challenged the GOP's spending habits. Their lies and deceit went completely unchallenged yesterday. It was disgusting!

The fact that they spent tens of billions to successfully spend us out of a serious recession after 9/11 is never questioned. The fact they are responsible for 90% of ALL FEDERAL DEBT, much of it caused by their tax cuts, thus leaving future generations with few options, is never discussed. They get away with painting themselves as fiscal conservatives, which is maddening when you know the facts.

Most of the Republicans this weekend danced around the serious issues and never offered specifics. They were throwing around absurd, unsupportable accusations. The media did little to help with fairness, since they were too busy enjoying the foaming and the frothing. Right-wingers kept saying how they were "intellectually honest with the American people." What a joke! I only hope the American people know better, because the facts certainly don't support it.

Since we're on the subject, allow me to say the worst, of course, is FOX "News" and that triumvirate of media MORONS Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity. Listen to any one of them and you walk away with more crap than a public toilet. They are a boil on America's bottom. They would have been great working at Pravda during the worst years of the USSR. They are selfish, disgusting propagandists using issues like morality and patriotism to line their own greedy pockets. They are the truly UGLY side of America's modern media.

I hear their crap often during dinner party debates. Defending against them is like trying to get out of a brier patch. No matter what you do, you're going to get scratched up. They train their sheep to always change the subject when seriously challenged. In my opinion, after debating many of their flock, I've decided there must be some kind of brainwashing involved. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure out if the hosts are brainwashing, or if their flock is just more susceptible to being brainwashed. That is the question.

Btw, there is good news. It's true they attract millions every night, but what they never tell you about their ratings is how they rarely attract over 25% of the American audience. In other words, almost every conservative watches FOX "Noise," while the rest of us watch a multitude of other news sources. It's clear Republicans love to hear themselves talk. The rest of us, our ratings, are spread out across multiple media. If it cheers you up, the FOX "Nitwits" primarily talk to the same people every night. They are the special interest media, which goes a long way to limiting their power.

The other good news is beginning to unfold behind the scenes in back rooms, where serious Republicans are beginning to wonder whether they can continue being "helped" by FOX/Limbaugh-style echo-chambers. They are beginning to question whether stifling serious debate helps their party grow. They're starting to question their self-made Republican bubble.

What can they do though? The Republican sheep love their media. The conservative media love their sheep. Both love the biased reporting. They all seem to love the echo chamber. It's very sad. I've written about it before on this blog, we need to reinvigorate the great American political debate. We need to end the shouting matches. We need to shut down the propagandists. We need one set of facts. We need to care about this issue more.

Monday's Political Rant - Michael

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Some Good News for a Change

Good Morning Readers! I have a rare RAVE to offer this morning as I compliment the Democrats and President Obama on passing the largest expansion of the wilderness system in 15 years. It's the Ominbus Public Land Management Act of 2009, and it's FANTASTIC!

The new law, approved in both the House and Senate and soon to be signed by President Obama, bestows the HIGHEST levels of federal protection to over 2 million acres of federal - relatively unspoiled - land throughout nine western states. It's FANTASTIC news!

The Bush Administration and the Republicans loved to claim environmental credentials while secretly giving mineral/mining, logging and energy development rights to their friends on millions of acres of federal land. They did set land (and sea) aside during their tenure, but they also provided access that led to the destruction of more virgin federal land than any administration in history.

Most environmentalists viewed Bush and the Republicans as the 'slumlords" of federal land policy. They were a disgrace. The environment, like so many issues, is another reason not to trust Republicans with government. The Obama Administration has been quietly reversing some of that damage, or at least trying their best.

Unfortunately, the Bush Administration did a good job of committing the federal government to some pretty abusive long-term contracts. WE THE PEOPLE will be screwed by their Republican cronies for DECADES to come.

Anyway, the new bill is incredible! The bill, soon to be a law, will set aside - and SERIOUSLY PROTECT - more wilderness then George W. Bush set aside during his entire eight year nightmare.

The bill is excellent in the way it protects wilderness areas adjacent to urban areas like Los Angeles where I live and enjoy our mountain vistas. Cities should have green belts filled with wildlife within a short ride. It's good for natural balance, beauty, and to offer something to future generations. It also restores rivers devastated by logging throughout the West.

Of course, in predictable fashion, a few bought-and-paid-for Republicans fought the bill, siding with the miners, loggers and oil companies (not to mention they ignored the issue over the past eight years). I especially loved the way Senators like McCain, McConnell, and Chambliss all voted no. Can we guess who their allies are? McCain loves his country houses, but I guess he only cares about the beauty near his own properties.

As always, my favorite California Senators were instrumental in setting aside the largest chunk of land, totalling approximately 700,000 acres. Idaho set aside 517,000, while Colorado took third with 316,000.

Utah, which has some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the nation, fought the legislation. Their Republican delegation limited their exposure to 260,000, which is tiny compared to what should be protected there. Of course, it helped that oil and mineral companies lobbied heavily to keep pristine federal land there available for strip mines and drilling.

I guess I'm most excited because the bill protects lands that I hike and camp on regularly - yes, you've probably guessed I have a passion for wilderness. I've been exploring the wilderness areas outside of LA for almost 10 years now, and knew that most would be lost to developers if federal protections didn't arrive soon. So for me, this is a very happy day.

Thousands of acres filled with cougar, bear, coyote, and all varieties of natural things will be available for future generations. The new protections don't even allow them to build roads into most areas, which I think is the best part. Roads offer access to people who often abuse and destroy, and it's important to preserve as much as possible.

I realize that many of you will consider me a tree hugger or a hippie. No, I just believe that mankind is taking too much from this world. Why is it so wrong to want to preserve the best parts of our world? Why should I be ashamed because I want to preserve our purple mountains majesty? Trust me, in this day and age, they don't preserve themselves.

I'm very proud to want a better world. I would rather opt for less driving, less electricity, and less civilization, to preserve what is beautiful about this planet. The opposition needs to stop its quest to conquer the planet. Mankind cannot consume everything and survive. That is a recipe for disaster.

I'm proud of our elected Democratic leaders. They did a good thing, and deserve our thanks. They also set a good example, because we need to balance consumption with preservation before it's too late. Americans, especially wasteful Republicans, need to focus more on conservation and sustainability. We need more balance. I only hope our Republican friends realize it before it's too late.

Thursday's Political Rave - Michael

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Are You Sure About This Mr. President?

Good Morning Readers! I must admit that after reviewing the Obama Administration/US Treasury's new plan to buy up toxic assets clogging the financial system, I've decided to join with Paul Krugman and call the plan ill conceived and misguided.

I hope it works, but Krugman sounds wise when he questions President Obama's - the plan's - trust in the banks and the bankers. That could lead to billions more being wasted on Wall Street scam artists, and we cannot now afford the risk.

The "Public-Private Investment Program for Legacy Assets" will be funded with $75 to $100 billion dollars from the government, which officials say could lead to private investors generating "$500 billion dollars in [immediate] purchasing power." They also say the plan could expand to one trillion dollars of government investment if necessary. That sounds expensive and risky to me. How about you?

However, God forbid, I don't wish to say NO for the sake of it, like most Republicans these days. How about a friendly YELP! to signal serious worry and slight panic. There's no way around it, I - probably like most Americans - am worried about any plan that involves the banks right now.

Wow, I can't believe I'm questioning President Obama so soon after writing a piece just a few days ago suggesting how we should all support him during these dark days. I just hope you know what you're doing Mr. President, because it's too complicated for most of us.

The hitch in the giddy-up as a friend of mine likes to say (I call him Rumsfeld-like when he says it) is that we are being asked to TRUST WALL STREET again! It sounds insane! How many times do we have to risk getting burned by these greedy, low-life scumbags. I guess President Obama knows what he's doing, but the rest of us don't seem to have a clue.

Paul Krugman rightly points out how sick the banks are, and how they show no signs of improving their lending skills anytime soon. Without some kind of government institution forcing them to act, it seems unlikely that anything will change - at least to help average Americans. I guess Secretary Geithner knows something we don't know, but I doubt it.

Krugman's opinion in the New York Times gives me the feeling he sees President Obama's optimism about the market as a liability. I kind of do too. I guess we could be wrong, but he seems to trust the Wall Street brain trust too much. For God's sake, they got us into this mess! The whole thing is quite unnerving.

I'm sorry Mr. President, I support you and trust you, but this one scares me. I think you would be better off taking a more radical approach, perhaps one that sidesteps, or at least controls, Wall Street more. I just don't see the motive for the banks. With all due respect Mr. President, the plan doesn't sound like it goes far enough in terms of financial control and [middle-class targeted] impact, sir.

Krugman says it best. "The Geithner scheme would offer a one-way bet: if asset values go up, the investors profit, but if they go down, the investors can walk away from their debt. So this isn’t really about letting markets work. It’s just an indirect, disguised way to subsidize purchases of bad assets." That makes me VERY NERVOUS!

I trust the President, but I also want to go on record that I don't trust Wall Street and the American banker. Their reputation is ruined. They have proven themselves crooks and cowards, and I have no patience for any of them. I will support you Mr. President, but I think you may be risking a lot on this one.

Tuesday's Political Rant - Michael

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Republican's Trillion Dollar Debacle

Good Morning Readers! I must be brief today so I thought I would share some quick thoughts on the illustrious six year anniversary of the Republican-led Iraq war and our miserably long and expensive occupation.

It was so gratifying this morning to hear that thousands of Iraqis are celebrating by burning American flags across the nation in street demonstrations. It warmed my heart when I heard the interviews with dozens of Iraqis complaining about us as occupiers and murderers. It made you proud to be an American. For my Republican friends, that's called sarcasm, and I do hope they are listening.

Recent Iraqi Polls are depressing in the way they highlight how we aren't even seen as a helpful security force anymore. Both Sunnis and Shiites credit Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki and the IRAQI SECURITY FORCES with the peace and security they enjoy. Isn't that nice? We don't get any credit for risking our lives and spending billions we DESPERATELY NEED HERE AT HOME!

So, they don't give us any credit for the peace and they want us to go home. I say let's give them what they want and get the FREAK out of there. We should stop wasting our billions on those miserable, ungrateful people and haul ass home. WAKE UP President Obama! Stop listening to Secretary Gates and the Republican military machine. Get us out of that thankless country!

Our young men and women should not be risking their lives for such ungrateful people. We've paid our dues. We've made up for the miserable mistakes of George "the screw up" Bush and Dick "the dark lord" Cheney. The billions we've spent over past years to clean up their mistakes is enough. Let's get the HELL OUT NOW! SIX YEARS IS ENOUGH! We've wasted enough money!

I just finished watching another news report, this time on BBC News, featuring more Iraqis cursing America for their six years of misery. We spent over $1 TRILLION - of money that we now desperately need - on that miserable dust bowl of a country and all we get is cursed for trying to help. What a freaking nightmare!

The Republicans are great at spending our money on unappreciative foreigners, but scream bloody murder when we try to spend it on ourselves. Screw the GOP! I wish those Republicans who led us into the worst mess in American history would fly over there and face those Iraqi street demonstrators. They might just learn how INSANE and out-of-touch they've been over the past eight years.

The Iraq War was a Bush, Cheney, Oil Industry, macho, military-industrial-complex, arrogant, STUPID IDEA! We would be better off today if we had just let Hussein run that miserable country into the ground. They didn't deserve American lives, American money, or American help. America has suffered enough losses. I say SCREW THE REPUBLICANS AND THE IRAQIS!

I hope every Republican realizes just what a debacle their elected leaders created for the world. They've killed and wounded countless Iraqis, thousands of Americans, and practically bankrupted the U.S. all for nothing. Let's stop fooling ourselves, let's put an end to the ungrateful misery that is America's - or the Republicans - attempt to help Iraq. It's been six awful years, and all a horrible waste of lives and money.

Friday's Political Rant - Michael

Thursday, March 19, 2009

AIG is a Foolish, Republican Distraction

Good Morning Readers! The news lately has been filled with both Republicans and Democrats screaming bloody murder over the completely unjust bonuses being paid by AIG. I agree there have been lots of mistakes made and that everything should be done to stop those payments, however, I also believe the right wing is driving the scandal to distract from the more important reforms.

Republicans haven't had a lot to crow about lately, so they're thrilled the Democrats dropped the ball involving something as controversial as bonus payouts to failing Wall Street bankers. Sure, AIG under the Obama Administration should have seen this coming, but it's still a GOP distraction.

The GOP operatives pushing this scandal are only interested in political gain. It's a scandal within a scandal. They are conveniently ignoring the fact that Bush and Paulson paid the first installment without any congressional involvement and without excluding bonuses the same way, because they too were afraid of employee lawsuits. Subsequent Capitol Hill and Treasury negotiators were also concerned about employee lawsuits. They were worried about increasing liabilities, something lawmakers care a lot about these days. They all had bigger fish to fry.

That's at the heart of the matter, yet nobody seems to have the balls to talk about it. It's all about politics now, and the Republican spin machine is doing its best to strum the last Democratic nerve. The only thing the Republicans are concerned about is a "gotcha" moment, and the Democrats on Capitol Hill are falling for it all hook, line and sinker. Only President Obama has had the nerve to take responsibility while asking us to focus on the big picture. I agree with him. Let's do it!

The AIG Financial Products Corporation, which is now being dismantled by government appointed executives, is the real scandal. The bonuses are horrible, but the real story is why the financial products division of AIG ever came into existence. Let's not forget the regulatory changes led by Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, Newt Gingrich, and the rest of the Republican Congress during the waning days of the Clinton Administration started this national nightmare. They know it, but for some reason rank and file Republicans ignore it, and average Americans never talk about it.

Sure, Clinton signed it under extreme pressure, and he was wrong to do it, but the real culprits were the Republicans who destroyed the walls that stood between banks, speculative investment brokerage firms, insurance companies, and the rest. Those protections were put in place after things went horribly wrong during the last Republican depression. They were designed to manage greed, PROTECT the free market from its darker side, and in the end keep the wolves out of the hen house. It was the REPUBLICANS WHO DESTROYED IT!

Of course, their deregulation was made worse by the fact that regulators were undermined by the Bush Administration. Oversight was weak at best. The Bush Administration was without a doubt a REACTIVE regulator. They didn't believe in the protections. They didn't do their job. I don't care what my right wing readers say, the Bush Administration could have done more to prevent the crisis. They had the data, they knew about AIG and the $50 TRILLION plus DERIVATIVES market, and they knew about the risk to the whole economy. They did NOTHING! They were at least negligent, and at worst conspiratorial.

My dinner party debates always feature a Republican blaming Congressman Barney Frank, Senator Christopher Dodd, and the usual Democrats for not reigning in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. What they never admit is how the Bush Administration had the authority, through dozens of regulatory agencies, to reign in the risk across the board. Many economists feel that most administrations would have done so. It was the Bush Administration, along with the Republican belief in small and unobtrusive government, that failed the American people.

Therefore, let's be angry about the greed on Wall Street, but I think it's more important to keep our eyes on the prize. Let's make sure the Democrats and the Obama Administration do everything necessary to reverse the regulatory changes that allowed the Bush Administration to look the other way. Let's FORCE future Republicans to regulate the risk by creating strong and principled new laws.

Let's reform until we can't reform any more. AIG is the critical patient that needs to be isolated and treated, but it's the Republicans and their broken philosophies about government and the market that represent the deadly contagion. Let's find a vaccine and a cure! Let's make sure we never become victims of their greed and stupidity again.

Thursday's Political Rant - Michael

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's a Bad Time for a Trade War People

Good Morning Readers! I thought I might be a little less angry today - compared to yesterday's rant - by discussing a topic and taking a position that may shock some of you, at least those who consider me a radical, Republican-Bush-hating menace to society. Believe it or not, I plan to defend a program created by the Bush Administration, and one that unions despise. I know, it shocks me too.

It involves the right of Mexican trucks to enter the United States. The program started under the Bush Administration and was bitterly opposed by many Democratic lawmakers and by the Teamsters Union. Lawmakers are preparing to cut off the money for the one and a half year-old pilot program that opened the way for up to 500 Mexican trucks from 100 operators to drive deeper into the United States.

Originally the U.S. has allowed only a few Mexican trucks to drive beyond a southern border buffer zone, although it agreed under the Clinton Administration, under the North American Free Trade Agreement, to allow Mexican trucks full access to U.S. roadways beginning in 1995.

As far as I can tell from my research, Mexico allowed the same access for U. S. truckers. Fair is fair! President Clinton negotiated and signed the agreement, and unless they start to pick and choose NAFTA clauses too, it's up to us to keep it. Congress, especially Democrats, must give in on this one. Mexico can take retaliatory action by placing very expensive tariffs on U.S. goods.

Who knew, but after Congress announced its intention to kill the program last week, Mexico said it would increase tariffs on 90 industrial and agricultural goods, likely to include politically sensitive farm products. John Deere and the rest of agricultural America are already hanging by a thread. Congress can be so stupid some times.

You see, Mexico was smart and thought ahead by obtaining a judicial ruling in 2001 under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) allowing it to impose sanctions, so Congress is playing with fire - an especially hot fire during this horrible JOB KILLING recession. How can you weigh the Teamsters against the farm workers? It doesn't work that way. We have to find a better solution.

We cannot afford sanctions from one of our LARGEST TRADING PARTNERS at this time! It's too risky for rural America. Thousands of jobs are at risk. (Btw, screw you Republicans who accuse me of being a West Coast elitist. I do care about the red states too, even if they don't know how to vote properly.)

The sanctions, which Mexican officials say are set to be imposed later this week, will be one of the largest acts of retaliation against US exports. US goods exports to Mexico totalled $151.5 BILLION last year. On Monday, Gerardo Ruíz Mateos, Mexico’s economy minister, said: “We believe that the action taken by the US is wrong, protectionist and in clear violation of NAFTA.”

The White House and U.S. trade representatives are supposedly examining all possible options, but but that won't help keep American JOBS when the Mexicans decide to make good on their threat. The only option is for Democrats to tell the unions that farm jobs are important too, and that sometimes one union has to BACK DOWN and try to solve this problem in a more creative win-win fashion - such as help the Mexicans improve their trucking industry, or negotiate benefits for our truckers in Mexico. There must be a better solution.

The Senate is considering a $410 billion House-passed spending bill that halts funding for the Mexican truck program. Two years ago, the Senate voted 74-24 to cut off the program's funding. Voting with the majority at the time were Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Interestingly, now that George Bush is gone, Senate Republicans don't even plan to keep supporting the program. It makes you wonder whether they only supported the program to get the Hispanic vote in the first place - they could assume the Southern trucker vote was in the bag. That would be my guess. They're hard to figure out when it comes to this issue. They hate unions, yet they also don't like the idea of Mexican truckers taking American jobs.

They're sort of schizophrenic on this one. Border state Republican nut job Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, who tried to keep the money flowing in 2007 on behalf of George Bush, is now giving up and moving on. Oh let's face it, they really didn't care in the first place. For them, it was all about getting a few labor, or worker-bee, votes from people who they think can't even spell trucker, must less drive one properly.

The really weird open question for me involves the union claim that Mexican trucks are unsafe. The unions are claiming that most Mexican trucks entering the US are run by so-called “drayage” operations that use older vehicles more likely to fail inspection tests. Scary, especially on wet roads!

However, it's still an open, and political, question because a study funded by the US Department of Transportation - under George "he lies too easily" Bush found that when comparing like with like, Mexican trucks were often safer than their US counterparts. Can we trust that report? My gut tells me no, but who knows. US trucks are run ragged and can look pretty rough sometimes. Regardless, the issue of truck safety is important and should still be resolved.

The Mexicans have been extraordinarily patient on this issue, and I think we need to address it for the good of the economy, for the Mexican and American worker, for the safety of American roads, and to stop a ridiculous new trade war. President Obama and Democratic leaders should come up with a big picture solution fast, and stop this before it gets any worse. They are our neighbors, our friends, and they deserve a reasonable solution.

Tuesday's Political Rant - Michael

Monday, March 16, 2009

Truth, Justice and the New American Way

Hello Readers! I grew up like most kids in America, believing in truth, justice, and the American way! Therefore, I always considered my fellow Americans a fair bunch when it came to politics, usually giving our politicians time to get the job done.

Unfortunately, it would appear that Americans are becoming more and more like the media today: short-sighted, somewhat fickle and very impatient. It seems our fast paced world, coupled with worries about the economy, are eating away at our national intelligence, and - in my opinion - we risk national failure if we can't control it.

The country has less trust in its leaders, probably for good reason after the past eight years, but we need to trust President Obama for a while if we're to see any of the CHANGE we voted for. He needs more time. We need to rediscover our long-held trust and patience, or we could spiral down into Republican-generated turmoil that has dangerous consequences.

Isn't it obvious to you by now the GOP thrives on chaos? They love it. Conflict creates opportunities for the military-industrial complex, and other devious people that roam the back hallways of power. There are many books on the subject. They're the dark lords of chaos who hate the Democratic Party and it's clean-up efforts, and see the American people as puppets in their game. I wonder what will happen when we're no longer useful. Scary!

Look at your calendar people! President Obama has been in office for less than 2 MONTHS, and some of you (probably many independents) are already second-guessing him? You're already listening to the boobs on the right who DESTROYED this great nation, and a lot of the world with it? It seems to many of us you're already willing to give their old, stale and broken ideas a chance again. What is the matter with YOU?! WAKE UP! Stop listening to their old, busted ways!

I realize I'm being somewhat melodramatic, but I had hoped that Americans would give President Obama a high approval rating for most of the year. I had hoped that Americans would look to President Obama to rescue us from what the Republicans did, and are capable of DOING AGAIN! Unfortunately, for the less patient Americans, time is already running out.

President Obama is slipping a little in the polls. Last week a major Opinion Research Poll for CNN showed his ratings decline to 64 percent from 76 percent in February. That's OVER TEN POINTS! We need to stop that decline NOW! His disapproval rating edged up to 34 percent from 23 percent. That might not seem like a lot, but we need him to remain as popular as possible to tackle the huge problems facing this country. We need every American to stop listening to the Republican BS machine and support the President!

Republican operatives around the country are busy at work RIGHT NOW crafting grotesque and dishonest schemes to foment chaos. We need to respond! The two-thirds of Americans who say Obama will succeed need to talk to their friends, and try to discredit Republican attempts to create chaos. More Democrats need to discredit the 24/7 "news" channels, and talk about why we voted for President Obama in the first place. We have a small window to recapture the debate and shut the Republicans down again - like last year.

HOW? I have a simple idea, especially for us, over-complex-loving Democrats. We need to shut down their strategy by painting the Republicans RED with the deficit they CREATED and DESERVE. RED NEEDS TO BE THE NEW GOP COLOR! The color of debt, corruption and lies.

I've written about it many times. It's a fact that the Republicans are responsible for over 90% of this nation's post World War II debt (see my Feb 2009 post entitled The Lies and Debt of Republicanism). They should not get away with being seen as fiscally responsible! Truth be told, they should be tarred RED, feathered and thrown out of the country! Short of that, how about at least blaming them for the damage they caused? WAKE UP Democratic leaders! Do your jobs! Paint the GOP RED!

Republicans are thrilled by the fact they have lied their way into getting millions of Americans to - ONCE AGAIN, despite all evidence to the contrary - think the Democrats are the big spenders. They know it's a joke, but it doesn't matter to them. Truth is inconvenient to them. It's simply their latest fake controversy.

I'm speaking of course about the latest brilliant GOP ideas, freezing government spending and lowering taxes on the wealthiest Americans. (Oh yea, that's worked in the past.) Those ideas have no basis in history or fact. They are reckless and borderline stupid. Respected economists worldwide agree, along with the majority of the American people, that only domestic spending, health care, finance and other overarching government reforms will rescue the economy, the middle-class, and ultimately the whole nation - including the wealthy.

Instead of respecting the election and letting us have our chance to create policy, the Republicans are reacting like spoiled brats. They claim we're "spending their money" and they "want it stopped." It's a joke, a crock! What the hell did they do while they were in power? SPEND MONEY?! It's called winning elections and governing with your own ideas you morons! Unfortunately, their latest crisis seems to be gaining support, so we need to stop it!

What do we need to stop? How about the latest Republican orchestrated anti-bailout protests that started last month when that grandstanding fool Rick Santelli of CNBC complained about Obama's $75 billion mortgage-relief plan. Santelli accused the government of promoting bad behavior and sarcastically asked people at the Chicago Board of Trade whether they'd like to pay for their neighbor's mortgage. His rant was picked up on the Drudge Report and posted on YouTube.

His call for a Chicago Tea Party along Lake Michigan spread rapidly via the Web, and people started planning mini-versions of the Boston Tea Party, which - of course - was a protest against unfair taxation from England. I guess Santelli and the idiot Republicans see Democrats in power as some kind of "royalists" who spend their hard earned money foolishly. I have news for you simpletons, it's our money too! Get a life and shut the hell up!

It's obvious to most observers that Democrats need a better plan, or at least a better marketing and communications plan. They need to start labelling the Republicans. They need to start putting out simple messages - to our simple, pseudo-modern press - blaming the Republicans for all the damage they did, and encourage the media and the American people to discover the simple truth. Republicans aren't the good guys they say they are.

Republicans do not represent the best of America. Unlike the past (it's true that many decent people are slow to realize and get out), it's clear these days they represent the worst. They are a small, regional party that loves to use lies and deceit to create chaos, thus gaining power and stealing wealth. They exploit single-issue voters, feed like perverted demons on moral anxieties, joke about how scientific evidence and economic sustainability mean nothing, and laugh while the world deteriorates before their eyes. To outsiders, they must seem immoral.

It's now clear they don't seem to care about the nation or the planet, and therefore must be stopped before it's too late. Don't fool yourself. This is a war of survival. They only look out for the best of mankind. We the people need to look out for all of mankind. Whether it's debt or climate change, the Republicans play the dice, risking our lives and our futures, convinced they are right. Their arrogance and selfishness knows no bounds. I don't care if you consider me melodramatic, but we need to end their reign of risk.

The GOP rank and file need to stop acting like fools, and stop trusting the unscrupulous, unconscionable party leaders who continue to divide and conquer us. The last Republican administration was a disgrace to America and the world. Stop denying reality! WAKE UP, FACE THE TRUTH, and JOIN the rest of mankind! Help us save the country and the world. I only hope we all wake up before it's too late, for everyone's sake.

Monday's Political Rant - Michael

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Corporate/Republican Lies Target Labor Law

Good Morning Readers! As usual, I have to try and correct the record created by Republican lies. The latest, and most important in my opinion, involves the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) circulating around Congress these days. If you listen to the corporate media and most Republicans, you would think it calls for the destruction of America. Trust me, I've read it, it doesn't.

Most of today's corporate/Republican liars, along with the usual smattering of souls-sold-for-the-right-price, media-hungry talking heads, are out there trying to claim the EFCA would eliminate the "secret ballot" in union authorization elections, which has been a centerpiece in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce-funded anti-union PR campaign against the legislation. As usual with that bunch, it's a LIE!

There are other versions just as disgusting, yet funnier. I especially love the one being mentioned regularly on FOX "News" on how it's unAmerican (what else), and another indication how President Obama and the Democrats are turning the US into the next Soviet Union. Wow! It's obvious just how much homework FOX "News" professionals do. It's either laziness, or they really want the legislation to fail. I wonder, which is it? My guess is they're really not journalists and are full of BS!

Ignoring today's media scum, the truth is the legislation is brief and EASY TO READ and UNDERSTAND. It simply streamlines the union certification process. The text of the act (H.R. 800, 3/2/07) reveals it contains no language about eliminating the "secret ballot" enshrined in the National Labor Relations Act under Section 9 e.

This method of union sign-up, known as "majority sign-up" or "card check," is already recognized under current labor law, but only when the employer approves it. The CHANGE THAT PISSES OFF THE REPUBLICANS is that the EFCA would allow the employees to choose their own process, not the employer. I can't imagine that ordinary Americans, whether union supporters or not, would object to such a change.

The opposition to the bill, comprised mostly of unfair-minded business interests and deceitful, bought-and-paid-for Republicans, seem unconcerned about the plight of everyday, working Americans today. The way I see it, they view most Americans as pawns, useful only as a means to their own selfish ends.

Unions should not be allowed to destroy companies, but at the same time companies should not be allowed to turn American workers into third-world slaves. Unfair, unfettered global competition should not sacrifice the American middle-class at the alter of the free market. Americans have a right to organize if they so choose.

As I always say, the Democrats in Congress need to develop a backbone. They need to grow a pair. They should not allow the Blue-Dogs and the Republicans to derail or delay this critical legislation designed to aid the American worker. Unfortunately, there still aren't enough votes in the Senate to end debate. The Republicans - and their annoyingly obstinate 60-vote strategy - could derail this critical issue, and Americans may suffer even more for the result.

The American economy would only benefit from increased domestic wages, since it provides what's needed most - DOMESTIC BUYING POWER. Please write to your representatives in Washington and encourage them to support the EFCA. Feel free to read the legislation yourself here and make up your own mind.

Tuesday's "Republican Lies" Rant - Michael

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself

Hello Readers! I'm sorry that I've been out of touch, but like most Americans I've been forced to find extra work these days. I hope it gets better for all of us soon. In the meantime, I promise to write whenever possible, so please visit whenever possible.

These are dark times for many of us, created by very bad people, so let's stick together and hope we can find our way out. Let's not forget that we voted for change, and that time will deliver it - no matter what the Republicans are doing or saying today. Good luck to us all - we all need it! Thanks - Michael

Today's post is an article written by David Edwards and Rachel Oswald from Raw Story. I hope they don't mind that I reprinted it, but I thought it deserved the exposure. I think it's a fantastic example of what many reasonable Americans are feeling right now about the far right. I hope you enjoy it too. Enjoy! Michael

Ex-fundamentalist Castigates Republicans for Being a 'Fifth Column'
David Edwards and Rachel Oswald
Published on Raw Story: Monday March 9, 2009

A former leader of the Christian Right has issued a truly scathing and blistering critique to the Republican Party, calling them "anti-American" and a "fifth column" in the country for their efforts to "sabotage" national economic recovery.

Frank Schaeffer, whose evangelical parents were a driving force behind the formation of the Christian Right movement in the 1970s and 1980s, on Sunday burned whatever bridges he might have had left with the GOP after he left the party in 2000 with a blog posting on The Huffington Post and in an interview with CNN's D.L. Hughley.

Calling Republicans "arsonists" who are trying to burn down the country, Schaeffer, author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back, said conservatives have no right to criticize President Obama for trying to clean up the mess that their party has created.

"You do nothing constructive, just try to hinder the one person willing and able to fix the mess," Schaeffer wrote. "Today, no actual conservative can be a Republican. Reagan would despise today's wholly negative Republican Party. And can you picture the gentlemanly and always polite Ronald Reagan, endorsing a radio hate-jock slob who crudely mocked a man with Parkinson's and who now says he wants an American president to fail?!"

Schaeffer also criticizes the Religious Right, the very movement, that he helped to found, for being anti-American by hoping the country fails "in order to prove they were right about America's 'moral decline.'"In his interview with Hughley, Schaeffer added his voice to the din that has risen up in the last few weeks to criticize Rush Limbaugh.

"I think when you look at a guy like Rush Limbaugh today, what you're seeing is the lid off. This is the raw, naked true face of where Republicanism is. And be my guest, if people want to vote for that, fine," Schaeffer said. "We just had eight years of this that drove us over the cliff and you want to keep going over the clip, fine, But as far as I'm concerned, the greatest miracle, speaking of God because I'm still a religious person, that has happened in any lifetime, is the election of Barack Obama. "

Schaeffer told Hughley that the "educated class" has left the Republican Party. "Either the elected people fall into one of those two categories. Either they are pandering to the religious right -- I don't know what they believe, of course. I can't get into their head. They are pandering to the religion out right or they are pandering to the neocons to whom every war is a good war. And there is very little room in between."

"Today you have about 20 million people who buy all of Ann Coulter's books, watch Rush Limbaugh. Send money into the televangelists. It's all the same people," explained Schaeffer, adding, "It's not a big percentage. It's just a loud percentage. This is the drunk on the subway making trouble in the car for all of the people on the subway. There are 100 decent citizens on there, there is one ass in the front that's molesting women. That's the Republican Party now in terms of the loud car." CNN has the full transcript here.

I hope I speak for millions of Americans when I say THANK YOU Frank Schaeffer for speaking out against the extremism that exists on the right today. You are a blessing to all fair-minded Americans who believe that President Obama deserves the chance we gave him. He needs time - and support - to repair the damage caused by the party and the politics of destruction.

Monday's Rant Via Raw Story - Michael

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Canada Leads by Regulating Deadly Tasers

Hello Readers! Canada has taken a bold step to regulate the use of Tasers, so now America must investigate and do the same. Law enforcement safety is important, but so are people's lives.

In a recent shocking story - like many across North America - the Royal Canadian Mounted Police pinned down Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant, and stunned him several times at the Vancouver Airport. The officers claimed Mr. Dziekanski was trying to attack them with a "stapler."

He died from the Taser blast. His death led Canadian police to tighten up procedures NATIONWIDE for the use of Tasers on suspects resisting arrest. Canadians now consider Tasers a deadly weapon, and police use them only as a last resort.

Police officers are gambling with innocent lives every day now thanks to Tasers. It's a common occurrence on the streets of America. They are being adopted as standard crowd control weapons worldwide, and Taser deaths are considered "accidents" by most police forces - it borders on government criminality. The law enforcement community is obviously in denial. They need to regulate NOW! It's a BIG problem, and people should be more concerned about it.

People are not cattle! Our lives should not be gambled away at the hand's of some random thoughtless or rash police officer.

I will continue my crusade until more Americans wake up and acknowledge that our police are armed with DEADLY Tasers, which they use far too easily. They are killing innocent Americans - unarmed, innocent until proven guilty, Americans. Law enforcement needs to return to the heavy lifting, and secure suspects the old fashioned way.

Taser deaths should be highlighted in local press as examples of police abuse, and officers should pay a penalty for killing innocent, unarmed people. The police should not be above the law. Like firearms, Tasers should be considered a weapon of last resort.

Tuesday's Political Rant #1 - Michael

Monday, March 2, 2009

The GOP and the "Patriot Card"

Hello Readers! I would like to point out again just how blind Republicans are to their own hypocrisy. We all know how Republicans refuse to acknowledge their own guilt in government, especially when it comes to lies, war profiteering, debt spending and ignoring the rule of law, but they also refuse to acknowledge their own anti-Americanism.

Democrats have endured being called unpatriotic and unAmerican for years. I call it the "patriot card," since it's kind of like the "race card." Republicans play it all the time, and have adopted the tactic as a specialty within the party. It's one of their favorite blunt instruments used to pummel everyone who's not Republican, including independents and the politically neutral-by-nature, into seeing the left-wing [or any non-Republican] as bad for America. It sounds crazy, but it's true.

The real irony is that Republicans are openly threatening to our government all the time, especially lately, and their methods are often blatantly unpatriotic, if not worse. I'm shocked the way Democrats ignore it. Why don't we learn from the Republicans and start calling those REPUBLICANS UNAMERICAN, or ANTI-AMERICAN, since they are, and it's effective. Allow me to start by saying that RUSH LIMBAUGH IS ANTI-AMERICAN and UNPATRIOTIC!

Republican leaders have been casual with their remarks lately about how they want President Obama to fail. Limbaugh has been their torch bearer. The Republicans have not only been unpatriotic, they've been downright treasonous. Yes, there have been many Republicans in the media suggesting treason. Sean Hannity even posted a poll on his website offering his viewers the opportunity to choose how they would start a new revolution, and every option included a violent overthrow of some kind. So let's say it together: SEAN HANNITY IS TREASONOUS!

Would they allow Democrats to get away with the same kind of unAmerican speech? NEVER!! They would have been screaming bloody murder by now. They would have used the "patriot card" to CRUSH and discredit the Democrats - both the media and the leadership. WAKE UP DEMS, for this is what Americans care about! This is how they create impressions about OUR leaders. We need to point out their hypocrisy and their evil intent. The Republicans have been talking trash so we need to TAKE OUT THE TRASH!

What can we do to help? Let's point out - whenever possible - just how unAmerican and unpatriotic the Republicans are these days. Let's start calling them out when they try to undermine the government and our elected leaders. Let's use the "patriot card" to discredit THEM. You never know, it may ultimately lose some of it power, like the "race card," and fade away. That would be a great day.

Monday's Political Rant #1 - Michael