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Saturday, August 30, 2008

JOHN McCAIN HAS SOME EXPLAINING TO DO!

"At every crossroads on the path that leads to the future, tradition has placed 10,000 men to guard the past."
- Belgian poet, playwright, and essayist Maurice Maeterlinck

John McCain has some explaining to do. He claims to be an independent maverick, yet he has voted with George W. Bush well over 90% of the time. He wants to continue Bush's foreign and economic policies. Steve Schmidt, who was a top communications aide in the Bush-Cheney '04 campaign, now runs the McCain campaign's day to day operations. Phil Gramm, the architect of the "Enron loophole" lifting restrictions on energy speculators which has over-inflated the selling price of oil and led to $4.00 per gallon gasoline, and whose deregulation efforts for the banking/mortgage industry have contributed directly to millions of foreclosures on American homes, was McCain's chief economic advisor, then resigned, and now is back again. With a voting record like that and reliance on key Bush neoconservatives, McCain is hardly being independent, original, OR a maverick.

John McCain has some explaining to do. He has named his campaign the "straight talk express", but it has apparently become mired in a double talk ditch. He has had to backtrack and retract a number of campaign claims and distortions over the past few months, and www.factcheck.org/ has cited his campaign for a much larger number of campaign exaggerations, misrepresentations, and distortions than the Obama campaign.

John McCain has some explaining to do. He has portrayed Barack Obama as an elitist who is out of touch with the average American, yet McCain himself owns 7 homes, a private jet, married into a $100 million fortune many years ago, and has been a Washington insider for more than 25 years. In contrast, Obama owns one house, forsook what could have been a huge law practice salary to live among and organize lower-income Chicago south side residents whose jobs had been displaced, as well as teach law in college before being elected to the US Senate. So who's an elitist? And who's out of touch?

John McCain has some explaining to do. He has said he is not well-versed on economic matters, then has said the economy is strong and has prospered during the Bush years, even as foreclosures accelerate to record levels, middle class and poor wages and buying power have declined over the past 8 years, and millions of good-paying American jobs have been exported overseas, being replaced by lesser-paying ones.

John McCain has some explaining to do. He claims Barack Obama will raise everybody's taxes, but Obama's tax plan clearly shows that 95% of all Americans' taxes will DROP under that plan, and the only rise will be on incomes over $250,000. In fact, Obama's plan CUTS taxes by 5.5% on the vulnerable below-$18,900 income level (whereas McCain's plan cuts them by only a measley 0.2% there). In the $18,900-$37,600 range, Obama's plan CUTS taxes 3.6% (whereas McCain's only cuts them there by a tiny 0.5%). In the $37,600-$66,300 range, Obama's plan CUTS taxes by 2.4% (and McCain's by only 0.7%), and in the $66,300-$111,600 range, Obama's plan gives 1.8% tax relief (while McCain's gives only 1.4%). It is interesting to note, however, that McCain will cut taxes by 3.4% on incomes between $603,000 and $2.87 million, a level at which Obama raises them. And, on incomes over $2.87 MILLION PER YEAR, McCain proposes cutting taxes by a whopping 4.4%, while Obama would raise them there by more than 11%. It is easy to see whose plan is best suited for the vast majority of cash-strapped Amnericans, and that tax plan is NOT McCain's, which, like Bush's, blatantly favors the wealthiest 1% who don't need any help.

John McCain has some explaining to do. He supports more "free trade", a policy which has allowed millions of American jobs to go to cheap foreign slave-labor markets outside our country. He is also opposed to closing tax loopholes for companies which export American jobs but turn around and sell their cheaply produced goods back over here.

John McCain has some explaining to do. He claims he'll give us a tax credit with which to buy health insurance, but will then turn around and tax this "benefit." He doesn't say how these tax credits will enable all citizens to be fully covered, and they won't be. The net increase of his plan will not be more covered people, but only increased sales and profits for insurance and pharmaceutical companies with the taxpayer footing the bill.

John McCain has some explkaining to do. For much of the past 2 years, he has repeatedly said Barack Obama has neither the experience, judgment, nor the temperament to become Commander In Chief. Then what does McCain do? He selects for his running mate a half-term Alaska Governor with ZERO foreign affairs experience, who, prior to becoming Governor had been mayor of a town with a population just over 9,000, and who has never met with foreign leaders or served on a Senate Foreign Relations committee! This stands in stark contrast to himself, Joe Biden, AND Obama, all of whom have done so. And, should McCain, the oldest Presidential candidate in history (and one who has twice had cancer), die in office, we are supposed to entrust the defense of our country and the control of our military to THIS person? Not only that, but he has previously met his prospective running mate only TWICE! What type of foresight or judgment is THAT? And, unlike Obama, who has a well-developed strategy of diplomacy, for attacking terrorists where they're AT, and for using our military solely as a last-option resort, McCain is far more bellicose in his approach to foreign affairs. He favors continuing the now-discredited Bush neoconservative practice of using pre-emptive military strikes and unilateralism rather than diplomacy and consensus-building, as even George H. W. Bush had previously done. McCain favors military intervention in Iran even though they, like Iraq before them, have never attacked us. Rather than using the prudent and time-tested technique of speaking softly and carrying a big stick, McCain prefers to use a big stick first and then MAYBE speak afterward. What kind of temperament is THAT?

Yes, John McCain has some explaining to do. His policy positions appear dangerously impulsive, confused, and are often contradictory. He makes very frequent false accusations and inaccurate statements. He has a LOT of explaining to do before his comprehension, reasoning, and judgment can be deemed suitable for the presidency!

REMEMBER TO VISIT www.factcheck.org/ REGULARLY TO VERIFY THE VALIDITY OF THE POLITICAL ADS YOU SEE AND HEAR!

NEXT WEEK: JESUS WOULD BE ASHAMED!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

THE MOST HATED MAN IN AMERICA

DON'T FORGET TO VISIT www.factcheck.org/ REGULARLY TO CHECK ON THE ACCURACY OF POLITICAL CAMPAIGN ADS YOU SEE AND HEAR!


He'll be just like Zell Miller was in 2004: A former Democrat who crosses party lines to actively support and publicly endorse the Republican candidate for President at the Republican National Convention. That's right: On the evening of Monday, September 1, 2008, LABOR DAY evening, he will abandon labor altogether and take active part in the convention of the political party that is opposed to labor and labor unions, has fervently supported union busting, and has even favored shipping American jobs overseas. By doing this, he will be compromising long held political principles on a large scale. And, just like Zell Miller, he will be doing so out of cowardice and fear.

It obviously doesn't matter that the candidate he'll endorse supports a continuation and expansion of Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy. It doesn't matter that his candidate favors continuing tax subsidies for big business and an oil industry that has been binging on record high profits for years at our expense. It doesn't matter that his candidate favors the adoption of more unrestricted "free trade" policies, the likes of which have exported millions of good paying American jobs to foreign slave labor markets overseas. It doesn't matter that his candidate will appoint more "strict constructionist" justices to the Supreme Court, a move that will cement the Executive Branch of our government into an all-powerful entity no longer subject to oversight by the Legislative or Judicial Branches, effectively turning us into a monarchy or mild dictatorship. It doesn't matter that the First and Fourth Amendments to our Constitution will, in essence, become null and void. It doesn't matter that the current corruptly executed practice of privatizing the military, begun by President Bush, will continue unabated and will likely grow in scope and influence, moving us from democracy to oligarchy. It doesn't matter that his candidate has joked that we should "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" and supports continuing the Bush aggressor policy of employing pre-emptive military strikes against countries with whom we differ in opinion or view as a threat.

It defies logic that this former Democrat would support John McCain for President as he does, flying all over the country and world with him and even propping him up when necessary. McCain's new ultra-conservative stances do not represent his economic or philosophical views. So why then is he supporting McCain as he is? He claims close friendship, but evidence strongly suggests a different REAL reason.

This former Democrat is Jewish and has been Israel's staunchest supporter in the Senate during his tenure there. Not to suggest that our important Middle East ally is not deserving of our support, but this man has carried it to an extreme. Even as Israelis abuse native-born Palestinians and further fan the flames of that geographical tinderbox, he proclaims that Israel can do no wrong. He is convinced Bush was right to invade Iraq no matter what, and he, like McCain, has bought into every Bush aggressor military move. He has supported all of Bush's domestic security measures, constitutional or otherwise. He, like McCain and all the other neoconservative Republicans, has been deluded into believing these excessive Bush security measures have prevented us from receiving another 9/11 style attack on our soil. He and McCain steadfastly believe this, even though Bush has left our ports and borders wide open and leaky as sieves EVER SINCE 9/11! His irrational fear of the Jewish homeland being imminently destroyed by surrounding hostile Arab or Muslim states is what has led him to support the Bush administration in all of its illegal and unconstitutional domestic spying, detention, and foreign policy initiatives. Last election, his own state party dumped him for this collusion with Bush.However, with big Republican fundraising money behind him and 70% of the Republican vote, he won re-election with 50% of the total. He declared himself an Independent but stated he would caucus with the Democrats, a calculated move which would give him the Chairmanship of the powerful Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. That was self-serving and aggravating enough, but now has come the final straw. He has decided to officially turn Benedict Arnold and support a man for President who compromises nearly all of his other principles. He will proudly speak on the same night from the same stage as the most arrogant, corrupt, and destructive to our Constitution Vice President ever, Dick Cheney. All under the guise of "friendship" for John McCain and concern for the "lack of experience" of Barack Obama, even though Obama's superb choice of an advisory running mate, Joe Biden, has foreign policy experience even dwarfing that of McCain. Irrational fear does such things to small, weak, deluded and petrified people of this nature.

So watch Senator Joe Lieberman abandon all of his long held principles as he caves in to fear and publicly endorses militaristic, pro-wealthy John McCain at the Republican National Convention on Monday night, September 1. Watch this pathetically timid and wimpy old man cower before the military-industrial complex to spinelessly support their man McCain. Watch him abandon and stab his old colleagues like Joe Biden in the back by endorsing the McCain ticket over his former party's own. Yes, that night you will see Joe Lieberman's turncoat behavior cause him to briefly, and instantly, replace George W. Bush as the most hated man in America!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

AN END TO BUSHONOMICS!!!

REMEMBER TO VISIT www.factcheck.org/ REGULARLY TO CHECK ON THE ACCURACY OF THE POLITICAL ADS YOU SEE AND HEAR!

Huge multinational corporations and wealthy individuals have profited very nicely as a result of Bush administration economic policy between 2001-2008. Under these "Bushonomics" the uppermost 1% of American households saw their annual AFTER TAX earnings rise from $722,000 to $868.000 (an astonishing 20%!) in 2006, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The same cannot be said for the remaining 99% of the country, comprised of the poor, working, middle, and upper middle classes.

Noted economists Emmanuel Saez, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies at Stanford University, and Thomas Piketty, a professor at London's Centre for Economic Policy Research, have reviewed income taxes for all economic groups dating back to 1917. They found that, in 2005, the richest 1% of Americans received their largest share of net income since 1928! The gap in income between America's wealthiest and poorest has tremendously widened since 2001, and this trend has no end in sight under current conditions. Economist John Wells has stated that this increased income inequity is largely due to a less progressive tax structure and a severe weakening of labor unions, which has given more bargaining clout to concentrated capital and less to ordinary workers.

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2001, the Federal Government had a $128 billion budget surplus, according to U.S. Treasury and Bureau of Economic Analysis figures. A combination of massive tax cuts pushed for by the Bush administration and passed by the neoconservative Republican-controlled Congress in succeeding years, coupled with giant increases in expenditures for the Iraq War, turned that comfortable budget surplus into a $168 billion DEFICIT by 2007. And that is just the FEDERAL deficit. Many states and local governments are operating in the red now, too. George W. Bush was the first President in the nation's entire history to run an expensive overseas war and simultaneously push for and pass tax cuts. The most alarming thing of all is that, as a result of these misguided Bushonomics, our national debt has been increased by a staggering $1.7 TRILLION! That's right, folks: Our government is in debt to its people, and to foreign countries like China, Saudi Arabia, Japan, and others, an unbelievable and unsustainable $9.6 TRILLION AND RISING!!! In numbers easier to relate to, that is roughly $11,500 FOR EVERY CITIZEN OF THIS COUNTRY! As you can see, our apparent and seeming prosperity is resting on a VERY WEAK foundation! In fact, we're in debt way over our heads! It is long past time to do some thinking here. The time has come to REVERSE these disastrous economic policies! But there's even more...

Bush and his pro-business, anti-labor neoconservative Republican allies (and even some Democrats) have also long promoted "free trade" economic policies. "Free Trade" means business between countries should be conducted with no government control or regulation, no tariffs and no quotas (or greatly, greatly reduced ones), and basically no interference at all. It is policies like these (NAFTA, CAFTA, and many others passed during Bill Clinton's and George W. Bush's terms in office), which have led to thousands and thousands of good paying American jobs being shipped overseas to cheap foreign slave labor markets in China, India, Mexico, and elsewhere. It has also led to the establishment of giant new plants and factories in foreign countries, and gigantic increases in pollution in China and Mexico. China has now become a major producer, exporter, and economic giant. In 2006, for every dollar China spent on one pf OUR products, we spent $6 on THEIRS. This trend has been going on for many years and is continuing. According to long time Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, we shelled out $700 BILLION to Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Russia, and other countries last year for foreign oil. This oil went into our cars, trucks, buses, and planes, and was burned up. The money is gone forever, out of OUR pockets and now in THEIR pocketbokks! It is no wonder the Chinese economy is growing at a very healthy rate of 8% while ours struggles to grow between 1 and 2%. WE are fueling THEIR, and the oil producing nations', economies OURSELVES through short-sighted stupidity!

Bush's tax cuts DID stimulate our economy. Gross Domestic Product posted gains, and American workers' productivity rose by a whopping 19% during the Bush years. But American workers did not reap the benefits of this increased productivity. Instead, their wage rates stagnated or even fell, and their buying power shrunk tremendously, even with the influx of cheaper imports which the free traders assurred us would increase our standard of living. THINK ABOUT IT: In the past 8 years, has YOUR income and YOUR buying power gone up to the point where you can say you're better off today than you were 8 years ago? I seriously doubt it. I fyou can honestly answer "yes" to that question, you are most definitely in the minority of the population!

At a time where wage rates are staying the same or falling, where large numbers of high paying new jobs are NOT being created in this country, where high paying jobs and even entire plants are STILL being shipped overseas, where uneven tax and wage policies have realistically transferred wealth to the rich from the poor and middle class, and where one-sided trade policies are transferring wealth from our country overseas at a record rate, there are still large numbers of Bushonomics proponents in today's Republican Party. John McCain himself has stated repeatedly he will extend and expand Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy if he is elected. He is also dedicated to pursuing more free trade deals. In fact, one of his major economic advisors is former Senator Phil Gramm of Texas, a huge proponent of deregulation, free trade, and tax cuts. Gramm was the one responsible for the "Enron loophole" which ended regulation on energy speculators and enabled them to drive the price of gasoline up to all-time highs well over $3 and $4 per gallon. Gramm was also responsible for bank deregulation which caused the subprime mortgage crisis and brought about the bankruptcies and forecllosures of millions of Americans. This would strongly suggest that, unless John McCain does a massive revision of his proposed economic policies, a defacto continuation of Bushonomics, he is a DANGEROUS and UNSUITABLE man to elect as President!

It is abundantly clear to this writer that Bushonomics must come to a screeching halt and be replaced by something FAR more fair and beneficial to the vast majority of this country! We cannot afford any more reckless one-sided trade deals or uneven tax breaks for the wealthy! Bushonomics must END JANUARY 20, 2009!!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

JOHN EDWARDS

Like everybody else, I was flabbergasted beyond belief to learn of John Edwards' extramarital affair in 2006. It was as shocking and stunning as JFK's, RFK's, and John Lennon's assassinations. It boggles the mind to think someone could carry on like that after his wife had recently fought breast cancer and was then in remission, and who still has relatively young children. For a man who had come from very humble beginnings and had successfully amassed great wealth by dilligently and benevolently working on behalf of countless victims and the less fortunate people, it is unfathomable that he could show such short-sighted selfishness and thoughtlessness.

John and Elizabeth Edwards have both worked very hard all their professional careers to aid the needy. They have both been very selfless in this regard and have poured a lot of their just reward and compensation into help for the poor. Now all of their work, or at least John Edwards' effectiveness and credibility in pursuing it, has been shattered. It is a terrible tragedy, for the entire Edwards family, for the people they strive to help, and even for the country as a whole. The last thing Elizabeth needs at this time, as she battles courageously for her causes AND her life after being diagnosed with a recurrence of her now-incurable cancer, is this added stress and public humiliation. We can only hope the media will extend a rare cortesy to her and allow the Edwards family the privacy they seek and truly need at this time.

We can only wonder what goes through the minds of people like Bill Clinton, Idaho Senator Larry Craig, and John Edwards when, as successful public figures, they engage in such indiscretions which result in shame and public outrage. Is it ego-deficiency, or a hormonal imbalance which leads them to such destructive behavior? Are these people otwardly wise but inwardly stupid? We can only wonder, as behavior like theirs seems to defy logic.

One can only hope that John Edwards will fully and truly realize the devastation his silly and unnecessary tryst has wrought, and that he will rededicate himself with increased vigor and reckless abandon to the causes he has worked for and championed. His political effectiveness may be over for good, but there is still much beneficial work he can accomplish. Let us hope that he does just that!

REMEMBER TO GO TO www.factcheck.org/ FOR TRUE FACTS IN POLITICAL ADVERTISING!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

DISGUSTING POLITICAL ADS: AN ANTIDOTE

Already getting sick of disgusting and negative political ads? Today's post will provide you with an antidote for this wicked poison!

As of today's writing, neither major Presidential candidate has been officially endorsed by his political party. Even so, both have already spent millions of dollars on TV and radio ads. These ads often misrepresent their own or their opponent's record or position. There are lots of disgustingly negative insinuations and lies being presented and not much solid fact. How, then, can one make an intelligent choice and voting decision based on honest FACT? It may interest you to know there is in existence a truly fact-driven, fully non-partisan site you can use as a reliable reference: http://www.factcheck.org/. This is a consumer advocacy site dedicated to truth in political advertising and is funded by the Annenberg Foundation. The Annenbergs were the founders of TV Guide, and they have traditionally been California Republicans. But you will not find an iota of Republican or Democratic bias or spin at this fabulous site. Instead, it dispels rumors, distortions, misstatements, and insinuations, and does so with solid factual background information. If we seek truth and clarity in our political information, as each of us SHOULD, this site will prove to be an invaluable tool for us all!

It is interesting and perhaps revealing to note that, in this past month of July, the McCain Campaign Committee, 527 Political Action Committees (PACs) supporting McCain, and the Republican National Committee (RNC) were cited for false, distorted, exaggerated, or misleading anti-Obama ads a whopping 11 times! However, the Obama camp haven't been pure angels, either. The Obama Campaign and 527 PACs supporting Obama were cited 4 times. Of these, only 3 misrepresented McCain (2 by the AFL-CIO and 1 by Planned Parenthood), and not by the Obama Campaign itself. We saw what the 2004 Bush Campaign, shady 527 PACs like the "Swift Boat Veterans" (aka LIARS), and the RNC did to Bush's opponent last time around. It would appear the same types of forces are active again in this election, in varying degrees in both political parties. This strongly suggests we should all ignore blatant political ads altogether and should, instead, visit www.factcheck.org/ at least once each week from now through the November elections. Doing so will prevent us from being misled or from becoming low information voters. History has proven that when it comes to political decision-making, garbage in = garbage out, the net result being garbage elected. With 76% of the country correctly believing that we are on the wrong track, we cannot afford another inept, overly-political administration like we have suffered with the last time around. That is why we MUST base our voting decisions this election on FACT rather than partisan spin or slick, misleading Hollywood production. That is why I strongly urge you to visit www.factcheck.org/ VERY frequently, and to PASS THIS INFORMATION ALONG TO EVERYONE YOU KNOW!!!