Sunday, January 27, 2013

David Rove Gregory Taking Ayn Rand Ryan Seriously

Rep. Paul Ryan (Wis.) said today that if Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were president, the nation's fiscal crisis would have been averted. “Look, if we had a Hillary Clinton presidency, if we had Erskine Bowles as chief of staff of the White House or president of the United States, I think we would have fixed this fiscal mess by now," Ryan said to NBC's David Gregory on "Meet the Republicans. These guys are hilarious! A couple days ago they're blaming her for Benghazi, now they think she's a magician.

He went on to say, “We have to expand our appeal to more people and show how we'll take the country's founding principles and apply them to the problem of the day, solutions to fix our problems. We have to show our ideas are better at fighting poverty, better at solving health care, how our ideas are better at solving problems that people experience in their daily lives. And that's a challenge we have to rise to, and I think we're up for it."

Who is he kidding? The American people saw what he and the Republicans had to offer in November and soundly rejected it, except for those who actually believe Fox is real news. They want to appeal to more people? Really? By jamming a transvaginal ultrasound probe up a woman’s privates when she seeks a legal procedure. By trying to prevent minorities from voting? By passing laws where discriminating against gay people is ok. Republicans want to fight poverty? How, by putting more people in poverty so they can lower the threshold of what's called poverty? By crushing unions with right-to-work for less, thereby lower everyone’s standard of living. They want to solve healthcare? By repealing the Affordable Care Act, voucherizing Medicare, privatizing Social Security and raising the retirement age so you’ll be dead before you get to use any of those programs. He claims they’re better at problem solving. Considering he and 16 other Republicans met on the night of President Obama’s first inauguration night, to plan on how they would destroy his presidency, his words run shallow.

Here's the deal, if Hillary runs in 2016, I'm with her. However, if the Teathugs still have power in the House or Senate, we're still screwed. The right wing wants to destroy the New Deal, the Great Society and the ACA, widely known as Obamacare. They will not be satisfied until we have given every last dime that we’ve worked for to the billionaires who are pulling the strings in Washington. I do not see Hillary adopting Paul Ayn Rand Ryan's plan which will ensure America’s seniors are in poverty, die young, eat cat food and end up homeless.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Jindal Said What?!

Who is Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal kidding? Last night at the Republican National Committee he said, the GOP "must stop being the stupid party" This is a man concerned about how their positions are stated, not what they are stating. He complains about inartful words by candidates such as Todd Akin who said in regards to abortion, "If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down." Or Richard Murdoch and his, "I struggled with it myself for a long time but I came to realize that life is that gift from God and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." Here's the thing, Jindal agrees with them, he just hasn't said so as publicly. He signed bills to intimidate women seeking abortions and compared women who have gotten abortions to criminals! The GOP doesn't seem to get it. It's their messsage, not how they say it.

Here's some other things about Jindal to note considering he wants his party to stop being the stupid party: He permits Louisiana schools to teach creationism on the taxpayer's dime. While more and more Americans, including Republicans are getting comfortable with gay relationships, he allows state employees to be fired for being gay. Louisiana has the third highest uninsured rate in the country, yet he refuses to provide health care for Louisiana’s poorest. He seeks to dramatically cut taxes for the wealthy and increase taxes for everyone else. Under his plan, the bottom 80 percent of Louisianans in the income distribution would see a tax increase from repealing the personal and corporate income taxes and replacing them with a higher sales tax. The poorest 20 percent of taxpayers, those with an average income of $12,000, would see an average tax increase of $395, or 3.4 percent of their income while those in the top one percent would on average get a tax cut of $25,423. And Piyush Jindal is what passes for an intellectual in today's GOP. In case you are wondering, Piyush decided he wanted to be called "Bobby" after the youngest Brady Bunch boy. True story.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Frank Requesting To Fill Kerry's Seat Temporarily

Barney Frank has admitted he would like to fill John Kerry’s seat in Massachusetts until a special election takes place in late spring or early summer. Frank retired after a 32-year term in the House of Representatives on Thursday and doesn’t wish to run for election. He said on the MSNBC show “Morning Joe” that he had changed his mind about staying out of politics because of the upcoming votes about taxes, spending and the debt ceiling.  He's watching the Republicans already talking about taking the country hostage once again to force their austerity measures on us.  Frank's reliably liberal vote in the Senate would drive John McCain and Lindsay Graham absolutely crazy. In the House he championed the overhaul of financial institutions resulting in landmark legislation, the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act. He would join newly elected Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the fight for the regulation of banks. Warren is an advocate of pro-consumer banking regulations.  Gov. Deval Patrick will someone to fill the vacancy created by Kerry’s nomination to be Secretary of State. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III, 32, grandson of Robert F. Kennedy was elected to fill Frank’s seat in the House. Another name mentioned for the temporary position is Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Ted Kennedy. I like the idea of Frank. Not only would it drive Republicans up the wall, he knows his way around DC and will be a strong and vocal proponent of the Democratic agenda.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Elizabeth Warren Sworn in as Massachusetts First Female Senator

Today was a great day to be a liberal from Massachusetts!  Elizabeth Warren reclaimed the Liberal Lion's seat from placeholder Scott Brown on November 6 with an eight point cushion and we couldn't be happier.  At the Democratic National Convention, Ms. Warren accurately stated, "Wall Street C.E.O.’s — the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors and acting like we should thank them."  The new Senator from Massachusetts will get a seat on the Senate Banking Committee, much to the chagrin of Wall Street.  It must also be noted that that man she handily defeated was Wall Street's favorite son in his two year stint as Ted Kennedy's replacement.  Don't get me wrong, I think Brown is going to be the equivalent of having gum on your shoe, never going away.  There's not a doubt in my mind that he will run for future Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry's Senate seat and again, it will be a two year gig.  Here's the difference, this time national Democrats are paying attention.  So far, only Rep. Ed Markey has thrown his name into the ring, but the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) says they are ready to strongly defend this seat...a lesson learned from the inept campaign AG Martha Coakley ran against Brown in 2009.  And Brown has already started with the negative shots at Markey, so I'll take that as a sign he's running again.  On election night, once Warren had been declared the winner, my first thought was, "I wonder if the Republicans who were so opposed to her being appointed to lead the agency she started, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, were regretting their short-sighted decision."  At the end of the day, we have elected a warrior for the middle class and I couldn't be prouder of our state sending an unabashed liberal to Washington to fight the good fight for the people.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The GOP War on Women is Alive and Well

Did these guys not read the elction results?  After watching the GOP debacle with women over the past couple years, whether it be abortion, birth control or fair pay, it's pretty clear:  The GOP does not view women as capable of making their own decisions, but now what's even more clear, is they've taken steps to ensure women have no rights if they find themselves in a violent relationship.

The John Boehner led Republicans have let expire, the Violence Against Women Act, first introduced in 1994 and reinstated without fanfare until the teabagger coalition got to town.  What were their major complaints?  It actually covered gays, immigrants, and Native Americans.  Can you believe it?  Those sneaky Democrats actually think that those women need protection too.  Commie bastards!  In case you're curious as to what it did, the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), increased federal penalties for domestic violence and provided funding for groups and services that aid victims of domestic abuse. The bill was once a bipartisan sweet spot of being both tough on crime and oriented toward women's rights.  But that was then. 

In case the election blunders about legitimate rape and rape pregnancies being a gift from God, binders full of women, etc... didn’t clue you in to the GOP’s gender issues, this should.  Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the Democratic point person on VAWA, called the move “inexcusable” in a statement. “But this seems to be how House Republican leadership operates.”
Read more at MaddowBlog

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

No Cliff Hanger Afterall

I have to say, I'm not sure how to feel about the so-called "fiscal cliff" agreement. As someone pretty far to the left, I have to drag my pragmatic side out of the moth balls once in a while. Here's what's been rolling through my brain:

I'm not particularly concerned that the agreement went from income above $250K to $400K on individuals. Would I have preferred the $250K?. Sure. However, we got personal exemptions knocked back to those making above $250K. The estate tax was a joke. Republicans won. Their top rate went from 35% to 40%, after the first $5M. Big whoop. Capital gains and dividends went from 15% to 20%. Another GOP win. They were set to go back to 39.6% The alternative minimum tax was a Democratic win. The middle class is protected from getting jacked on it moving forward. It was originally designed to ensure that the wealthy did not avoid owing taxes by using loopholes. We do have a five year extension on expansions of the child tax credit, the earned income tax credit, and an up-to-$2,500 tax credit for college tuition. Also extended for one year is the accelerated "bonus" depreciation of business investments in new property and equipment, a tax credit for research and development costs and a tax credit for renewable energy such as wind-generated electricity. Long term unemployed got a one year extension, which was one I was concerned about. I guess it's a win for Democrats, but not a strong one as we'll still have a GOP led House a year from now. I'm not unemployed, however if you can't find a job, you end up on the street. The GOP thinks someone who lost a $75K per year job should just pick up a couple shifts at Walmart or McDonalds and all their problems will be solved. Well, not if you have a mortgage. The Social Security payroll tax cut is a short term loss for workers, but at the same time, if we're not paying in now, it won't be there when we retire. And no, I don't believe for a minite Social Security is in trouble. It's biggest problem is that's where most of our borrowing has come from and the DC politicians do not want to pay it back...excluding Bernie Sanders.

Here's what I really don't like. Democrats did not get the debt ceiling raised in this deal...for at least two years. We are going to be going through all this baloney again in 2 or 3 months. President Obama says he will not negotiate with the hostage takers again, but his track record says otherwise. We'll see soon enough. I was actually ok with going over the cliff as it was the only way to cut the damn over-bloated military budget. Now we're going to have to listen to Republicans, led by John McCain and Lindsay Graham insist that the military can not be touched , but we need to decimate Social security and Medicare. I'm worried about wobbly kneed Democrats buying into it.