Thursday, July 5, 2012

Friday, April 6, 2012

Mitt Romney and the State of the GOP

Romney is not only good at contradicting himself, he also contradicts Obama, perhaps he or his people should do a little homework?? Throughout the primary campaign, Mitt Romney has done nothing but make sweeping general statements about Barack Obama's lack of leadership, lied about his record over and over again, while offering absolutely no concrete or specific plan on what he would do to differently. I have listened to speech after excruciating speech. The most laughable new attack is that President Obama is "out of touch." Yes, out of touch! This coming from a man who is installing a car elevator in his  3600 square foot garage within his 11,000 square foot mansion of a beach house, not to mention his homes in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Last I checked the President owned one home in Chicago and one family vehicle. Anyway, go ahead and watch the video put together by the Obama campaign. It's rather entertaining.


While we're on the subject of being out of touch, in the last three years, President Obama has given the middle class more tax breaks than any Republican in the last 30 years. This is a fact. Middle class America, you have kept more of your paycheck in the last three years than you have in the rest of the last 30. Mitt Romney, if elected President, has promised to cut his own taxes, and those in his tax bracket, you know, the top 1% in HALF!!! Middle class America, do you know how he intends on paying for this extremely generous tax break for himself? YOU!!! Your taxes are going to go up! Not only that, he has embraced the Paul Ryan budget. And this is why people who are cynical about politics and government drive me absolutely mad! They don't pay attention when things like a Paul Ryan budget come along and just blindly say, "They're all crooked." WRONG!! The entire Republican party voted for the Ryan budget last year and this year's is just a carbon copy. If any sane middle class person would pay attention to this thing, he or she would run to the polls in November and vote against every Republican that voted for this budget. A vote for a Republican is a vote against you own best interest. So, what's in this budget. First, a big healthy tax cut for millionaires and billionaires like Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney. They like this budget a lot already. Because the ultra wealthy are "job creators". This has worked so well over the last 30 years right? Right?!? It also increases military spending more than the generals ask for. So how do we pay for these tax cuts and spending increases? Oh yes, we cut billions in funding from Medicaid. It ends Medicare as we know it, turning it into a voucher system in which seniors will pay double what they are now paying for their healthcare. There are spending cuts to education - including Pell grants, food stamps, and infrastructure. His budget only helps the very wealthy and is a burden to women, children, the elderly, and the very poor. Once again, the very wealthy in this country are not called upon to sacrifice one nickel to the recovery effort since the devastating recession.

Here is the President's response to the Ryan budget and Romney's embracement thereof:

WAKE UP AMERICA! Open your eyes to your Republican party. They accept millions of dollars in contributions from the very wealthy and produce laws that benefit only the the very same very wealthy. I do not claim the Democrats are not guilty but for the most part, this Democratic party is fighting for policies which benefit the middle class, close tax loopholes on the very wealthy and large corporations, and this Democratic President, Barack Hussein Obama has fought more for the middle class than any President in the last 30 years. And I will say it unashamed, if it weren't for these obstructionist Republicans, especially these corporate-backed Tea Partiers, the recovery from the recession would have happened much quicker, the jobs would have returned much sooner, the unemployment rate would be low, our nation would be a much more prosperous place right now. But instead of focusing on ways to improve the situation, these Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor, who have made it their number one priority to defeat the President, by whatever means possible, and if that means ruining the economic recovery and preventing job growth, well in the infamous words of Mr. Boehner, "So be it." America, are we going to continue putting these people in office whose goal it is to score political victories, or will we put people in office who will find solutions to our problems and put the people first? We have a choice.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

In Memory of Trayvon Martin

Today my heart hurts for the family and friends of Trayvon Martin. I wish to express my deepest condolences to his mother and father and to all who knew and loved him. And as more and more information come out I am further saddened, and at the same time angered. 

I am saddened that we still live in a society, where in some circles it is seen as a crime to walk down a sidewalk while being black in America. George Zimmerman has a history of calling 911 and each time it was only for "black" or "African-American" males and their supposed "suspicious behavior". The most revealing moment in this call, I believe, is when Zimmerman proclaims, "These assholes, they always get away." And then after Zimmerman confirms that he is pursuing young Trayvon, and ordered by the police dispatcher to stand down, he continues to pursue him anyway. Moments later, as evidenced by other 911 calls from neighbors in the area, there was an argument, yelling, calls for help, and then a deafening gun shot. And then there were no more calls for help. George Zimmerman saw to it, that this "A and B student who majored in cheerfulness", armed only with a bag of Skittles and an iced tea, did not "get away." I am saddened that this young man, with aspirations of working in the aviation field like his uncle, will never realize his dreams. Most of all I am saddened that this young man's civil rights were taken from him with one shot. His rights to walk on a sidewalk in a Florida neighborhood, because a man with obvious racial bias took it upon himself to be prosecutor, judge, jury, and executor of young Trayvon for walking down the sidewalk while being black, were stripped in an instant. 

I am saddened that some in our society still think it is okay in 2012 to judge someone based on the color of his or her skin. It breaks my heart that this young man was shot just because he was crossing through the neighborhood to his father's house and was murdered because of the color of his skin. Of course his father says George is Hispanic and has black friends and he's not racist. To which I call bull crap! Not only does Zimmerman repeatedly comment on Trayvon's race during his call to the police, and not only does he declare that these assholes always get away, but in that same call you can seemingly hear him calling his "suspicious black male" a "f***ing coon". This one clip would be enough to convict Zimmerman of a hate crime against Trayvon Martin.

I am angered because the Sanford Police Department is hiding behind a NRA sponsored Florida law, the so called "Stand Your Ground" law in Florida, in not detaining, arresting, or charging Zimmerman with any crime whatsoever. This law basically says that if there are no witnesses, and you shoot and kill someone and claim it was in self-defense, well, you are basically free to go. And this is exactly what happened. Zimmerman was allowed to keep his gun, go home, and sleep in his own bed that night, while Trayvon went to the morgue. 

I'm angry because this 28 year old man, George Zimmerman, called police 46 times just since January 1, 2011, with reports of suspicious activity, mostly by "suspicious black males", outweighed Trayvon by 100 pounds, armed with a 9mm handgun, continued to aggressively pursues Trayvon after being ordered by the police dispatcher to stand down, obviously confronted the young man, and according to 911 evidence, shot and killed Trayvon as he was pleading for help. It is a lie that he was acting in self-defense. If he was acting in self-defense, Zimmerman would have stayed in his car, or returned to his car when the dispatcher ordered him to stand down. Martin was walking down a sidewalk minding his own business. And still, Zimmerman is at large, and the Sanford PD claims they cannot arrest him because they do not have enough evidence to disprove his claim of self-defense. Um, have you listened to his 911 call, or the 911 calls of the neighbors? That's enough evidence to call into question his testimony. Or how about Trayvon's girlfriend, who was on the phone with him at the time Zimmerman confronted him? Her account contradicts that of Zimmerman and seemingly corroborates some of the neighbors' 911 calls. I'm angry because the Sanford PD has a history of badly mishandled racially charged cases, involving their own officers, and it seemingly took a national outcry to get the Dept. of Justice and the FBI involved in this case. Otherwise, Zimmerman may have been allowed to go free forever. 

I am angered because we live in a society, where in some places the gun laws are so loose, that even though one has a history of battery and violence, he is still allowed a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I do not wish to infringe on anyone's second amendment rights, but I do believe in a certain amount of regulation thereof. The fact that this man was permitted to carry a concealed pistol, which he used, not to defend himself, but to pursue and kill young Trayvon Martin, is case in point for stricter gun regulations. I believe that when you break a law and demonstrate an inability to handle yourself, you also give up your rights, including and especially to bear arms. 

I am angry that this same police department has allowed Zimmerman to act as a policeman, although he A. is not one, B. is the self-appointed leader of his neighborhood watch, C. his neighborhood watch is not registered, and D. violated the neighborhood watch principle of not confronting any person who is suspicious and calling the police to let them handle it, and, at the risk of repeating myself, was told by the police dispatcher not to pursue Trayvon. Why is this man not incarcerated right now?

I am encouraged that as more facts and details have come to light, the right people have come out in support of Trayvon and his family. It has been announced that a grand jury will be convened to evaluate all the facts surrounding this case. The Department of Justice and the FBI are now involved with their own investigations. Even the Republican state legislators who sponsored the "stand your grounds" law in Florida have declared that Zimmerman should not be protected by this law, particularly since he did pursue Trayvon. They have called for Zimmerman's prosecution. And while I am encouraged that things are moving in the right direction, it should not have taken a national outcry to make it happen. I want everyone to go to and sign the petition started by Tracy Martin, Trayvon's mother, to prosecute and bring George Zimmerman to justice.

When will we as a nation stop this hate and bias and prejudice against one another only because of the color of one's skin? If you believe in God and the Bible, we all came from Adam and are the children of God who loves us and wants us to return to live with him after this life is over. That journey would be much better in this life if we embraced one another and lifted each other and joined hands as we made our way. And if you don't believe in God, if you're atheist, then we're all descendants from African heritage and have evolved and adapted over millions of years to different climates which accounts for the differences in our appearances and skin color, which means black, white, yellow, red, or whatever, we all have the same origin - from Africa - which means that no one race is any better than another, just better adjusted for a certain climate due to the process of natural selection, and we should all be respectful of one another and still embrace one another and lift each other up and try to make life better for our neighbors. 

Trayvon's death does not have to be in vain. Again, I send my love and thoughts to the Martin family. I grieve with you in your time of mourning. No parents should have to suffer as you are suffering now. Although I do not personally know you, I feel that Trayvon was my little brother, my nephew, my cousin. He was my family member and my heart hurts for his loss and my heart hurts for you. And I pray that you may find peace. And I pray that as a people we may put away our prejudices and begin to work together in cooperation and love and brotherhood.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Why Gas Prices Are So High

This is absolutely the most succinct and eloquent explanation of why gas prices are so high right now. I've been preaching this for years now, but no one can explain it quite like Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks. Anyone with a thinking brain can see that Barack Obama is obviously not the cause of the high gas prices. That was easy enough to understand since gas prices reached a high of $4.40 per gallon under President Bush, and that was his fault, and the fault of his party, for many of the same reasons listed by Cenk for the high prices today. History is repeating itself. Hopefully we can learn something this time and do something to change it. Please watch the full video, it's less than 10 minutes and share it with as many as you can so that more and more people will be better informed about the truth of today's high gas prices.

Friday, February 10, 2012

George W. Bush Bailed Out the Banks!!!!!

There comes a time in a man's life, especially one who is fairly well versed in recent history, when he just can't take the lies that are spewed out at him anymore. That's what happened to me when I listened to Rick Santorum, the Republican who wants to push his religious beliefs on you in your bedroom and running for President, giving his victory speech after he swept the primaries on Tuesday. He gave this ridiculous "Barack Obama thinks he's smarter than you" speech, and in it presented a lot of misleading and completely wrong information (which I'm used to hearing and just let that roll off my back), but he also perpetuated one of the biggest lies of the "conservatives", and I almost went into a rage. It's one thing for uneducated viewers of Fox "News" to think that Barack Obama was responsible for bailing out the banks. After all, a recent poll found that Fox News viewers were less informed about current events than people who watched no news at all.

No, my friends, Barack Obama unequivocally did NOT bail out the banks!! For the last time it was George W. Bush and his Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (former CEO of Goldman Sachs) that cooked up that idea, hastily sped the plan through Congress (most of which are bought off by Wall Street anyway), and signed into law. Yes, TARP, the Troubled Assest Relief Program, was signed into law on October 3, 2008, a full month before candidate Obama was even elected! When Paulson was pushing his plan, he wanted to give the banks the money with absolutely no strings attached as quickly as possible and with no oversight whatsoever! Thankfully we had a few good Democrats who had heads on their shoulders and didn't allow $750 billion of the taxpayers' money go to the banksters just like that. However, remember what did happen? Just a couple of months later and again a year later? With the taxpayers' bailout money? Multi-million dollar BONUSES!!!! That's right, huge bonuses for the very same executives who played Russian roulette with their customers' deposits and investments (which was only legal because of the repeal of Glass-Steagall). Instead of being fired or investigated or going to jail for their crimes, these scumbags stole even more of middle-class America's money and pocketed it, and it was government sanctioned. Once again, why do you think there's an Occupy Wall Street?

I'm not saying Barack Obama is innocent. After all, as a Senator, and did vote for the bill that created TARP. He did support it. But as President, I think he was more responsible with the use of the funds. He did take some of the funds and use them to help homeowners rework their mortgages so they could keep their homes through several programs. This has helped hundreds of thousands of Americans who were hurt by the Wall Street recession to stay in their homes. He also directed some of those funds to be used in jobs creation programs. And let us remember, that most of the funds doled out to the banks in the bailouts have been repaid to the Treasury. The taxpayers have been REPAID (mostly)!

George W. Bush, the wealthy oil baron, and Henry Paulson, the former bank executive, were quickly trying to push their agenda to rescue their wealthy friends (campaign contributors) in an effort to save the nation from financial collapse. Given that administration's record on saving the nation from potential catastrophes, I personally question their motives (WMDs anyone?). And for any Republican, conservative, Tea Partier, or any other misinformed Fox "News" viewer to say that Barack Obama was responsible for the bailouts, this is an outright LIE! It could not be further from the truth. And it's time the record is set straight and we push back on this ridiculous misleading of the blind.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Are Republicans redistributing massive amounts of money to the top 1%?

Are Republicans redistributing massive amounts of money to the top 1%?

Between all the debates, the interviews, and the campaign ads – doesn’t it seem like the Republicans candidates only care about helping rich people? That’s because that IS all they care about. According to a report by the Citizens for Tax Justice – which examined all the tax cut plans proposed by the candidates – the average tax cut for the 1% is 270 times greater than the tax cuts being proposed for the middle class. Not only that – by redistributing massive amounts of money to the very top – Republicans will add enormous amounts of money to our national debt – ranging between $6.6 trillion and $18 trillion over the next decade. In other words – the Republicans are proposing an economic plan that will bankrupt this nation just so millionaires and billionaires can get even wealthier.

-Thom Hartman