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Thursday, December 30, 2010

2010 YEAR-END MUSINGS:

It has indeed been a very full year. As I think about all that has transpired, I am overwhelmed by the speed at which political events seemingly turned on a dime. After the disastrous Bush economic policies steered the country very nearly into another Great Depression, the richest 1% of the country got an extension of their Bush-era tax cuts. This happened even after the President who campaigned all through 2007 and 2008 on a platform of promising to end those cuts was elected two years before. In January, 2009, it looked like the Republican Party was on the way out. It had seemingly lost all relevance and was only representative of the rich, some business owners, and that was that. But lo and behold, they resurrected themselves, at least temporarily, by manufacturing the astroturf Tea Party. By allying themselves with libertarians and other ultra-conservative fringe groups, they hijacked the tax issue by lying and scaring the public into thinking that EVERYBODY'S taxes would be raised if the top-tiered's taxes were raised. Consequently, they won back the House of Representatives and came within a whisker of taking the Senate as well. For a time, it looked like the President's agenda was dead. But as I look over this past year, in spite of those events, I realize that the 111th Congress was incredibly effective and passed a gigantic amount of far-reaching legislation. In spite of constant Republican Senate obstruction, it, with varying degrees of Presidential help, enacted the most legislation in many, many decades. Let's look at some of what has been accomplished:


Health Care Reform

I was not initially too happy with the failure of the President to push for and get a single-payer option for health care. And, while not completely universal in coverage, the plan he passed DOES extend coverage to 32 million more Americans while actually REDUCING the deficit by $1.3 billion over the next 20 years. It also makes it illegal for the health insurance industry to discriminate against people by denying them coverage. That in and of itself is a big accomplishment. It makes health care coverage a basic right for all Americans. The plan is still flawed in many other respects, but it is a starting point that can and will eventually be improved upon.

Successful Economic Stimulus

When Barack Obama began his Presidency, our economy was heading straight down the tubes due to the distrous policies of George W. Bush. The previous summer gasoline rose to over $4.00 per gallon due to reckless speculation. Obama signed the stimulus into law and it has helped to stem the job losses. and most economists say that over one million jobs have been either saved or added due to it.

The Repeal of DADT

I am still amazed at this. It appeared that the utterly ridiculous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy regarding gays in the military was dead in the water. But somehow, at the very end of this year's session, Congress overwhelmingly repealed this discriminatory policy and the President signed its repeal into law.


Supreme Court Vacancies filled

In spite of token Republican opposition, two new Supreme Court Justices were confirmed by the Senate. One became the very first Hispanic on the court, and both were women.

Credit Card Reform

The credit card reform bill that Obama signed in May of 2009 has helped to provide new protections for customers. It prevents credit card companies from raising interest rates on existing balances and restricts how much credit card companies can charge in penalty fees.

More Successful in Anti-Terrorism Than Bush

Early in the year, Liz Cheney and her father DICK both tag-teamed on President Obama, saying that our anti-terrorism efforts were weak and uncoordinated and put the country in danger. This turned out to be a bunch of deliberate Republican anti-Obama poppycock, as the President launched more attacks on terrorists in his first two years than did Bush in the last four years of his Presidency combined, with a much higher net yield, too.

START Treaty ratified

Adter a load of needless Republican grandstanding at the very end of the congressional term, the START Treaty with Russia was ratified by the Senate. It will provide for much-needed supervision over the status of Russia's nuclear arsenal.

Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Congress overturned a Supreme Court decision which had limited a female's right to sue over unfair pay discrimination. This should go a long way toward balancing out the difference in male vs. female pay rates, and its enactment was way overdue.

Wall Street reform

Just as in the case of health care, this bill was watered down and goes nowhere near far enough in actually regulating sordid Wall Street practices, but it is a starting point for future congresses to build on.

Student Loan Reform

Instead of private banks issuing loans guaranteed by the government, the government itself will now become the originator of the loan. It will essentially eliminate the banks as a middleman and allow students a more streamlined and easier process for getting loans.

Health Benefits for 9/11 responders

Congress also passed a much-needed law giving aid to the courageous 9/11 responders, many of whom had been denied health care aid from their private insurers.




As I look at all these accomplishments, I am grateful for them. My only bone of contention is that many have not gone far enough. But, as the Tea Party faction will soon learn starting January 3, 2011, politics is the art of compromise and change. I will meantime continue to press for additions and changes to what has been passed. But all in all, this was a pretty darn effective Congress and first two years of an administration, and I am anxious for more, especially in the area of the Dream Act and overall immigration reform. When we will get these things is anybody's guess. My own belief is that we'll see movement after the congressional and presidential elections in 2012, but we shall see. In the interim, it will be very interesting to see how the differences between the current Republican establishment and the newly-elected Tea Party faction will turn out...

Monday, December 27, 2010

LINK TV: TELEVISION WITHOUT BORDERS!

About 40 years ago, I became aware that we in the United States weren't necessarily the be-all and end-all of all countries on the globe. I noticed that Sweden, for one, did not approve of our Vietnam policy. I thus became less of an ethno-centrist and began to pay attention to what others were saying about us. I also became aware of the fact that our government can and does lie to us, and that just because they may issue a particular statement as fact does not automatically guarantee it will be so. This uncertainty led me to question our government and look for other more factual sources of information than, say, CBS News.

One of my earliest intriguing sources of information was a delightful little magazine called World Press Review. It featured articles written by those outside our borders about us. These articles came from Tass, the then-official Soviet news agency, as well as Izvestia, the London Times, and many, many other official and state-run press agencies from all across the globe. This same coverage is now provided by the website www.Worldpress.org, but in the late '70s and early '80s there was no internet to go to, so World Press Review was invaluable.

Little by little, our media has changed. Like the rest of the country, our television and radio has become slowly more corporate. Clear Channel has turned what was once a bunch of independent radio stations with their own unique format into a mass of BORING stations from one city across America to another. Playlists have narrowed from a format of top 40 a generation ago to a mere dozen or 15 songs today, and a whole host of mainly right wing, mindless and often hysterical talk radio stations has emerged as a result. On the television side, various corporate buyouts and mergers have narrowed the field of major players to include only six, and has led to a dummying-down of what is offered to the public. Whereas the History Channel, for one, used to provide us with near-scholarly documentaries 15-18 years ago, today we find shows like "Ice Road Truckers" and "Pawn Stars", or "Modern Marvels" as the main offerings, and very little has anything much to do with history. They, and many other channels which showed promise years ago, have taken to showing mainly little vignettes that are primarily entertainment, rather than topical or educational,-oriented. That, my friends, is what corporate America is doing to our airwaves. IS IT ANY WONDER OUR STUDENTS ARE STARTING TO SLIP SO BADLY?


As it stands today, there are six main players which own virtually everything we see on TV. The U.S. media is completely dominated by these huge corporations who have basically gobbled up everything we see and hear. They have managed this, through a history of mergers and acquisitions, to concentrate their control over what we see, hear and read. In a number of cases, these companies control everything from initial production to finalized distribution. In the process, we are being horribly shortchanged!

Below is a list of these 6 major U.S. media players and which networks they control:

1. GENERAL ELECTRIC
***2009 revenue: $157 BILLION. Owns NBC Networks; USA; Oxygen; The Weather Channel; Sci-Fi Channel; others.

2. WALT DISNEY COMPANY
***2009 revenue: $36.1 BILLION. Owns ABC; ESPN Networks; Lifetime; oA & E Networks (A & E, History Channel, Military Channel, Biography Channel, History International); others.

3. NEWSCORP
***2009 Revenue: $30.4 BILLION. Owns FOX "News"; Wall Street Journal.

4. TIME WARNER
***2009 Revenue: $25.8 BILLION. Owns CNN; Headline News; TNT; Cartoon Network; TBS; others.

5. VIACOM
***2009 Revenue: $13.6 BILLION. Owns MTV; BET; CMT; VH1; others.

6. CBS
***2009 Revenue: $13 BILLION. Owns CBS; Showtime; the Movie Channel; others.

Even PBS has been polluted by corporate influence over the past 10 years. But there is still one network that is still 100% viewer-supported and COMPLETELY FEEE FROM CORPORATE INFLUENCE. This network is called LINK TV!

Formed in 1999, Link Media owns and operates the broadcast channel Link TV and www.linktv.org. Link is the first nationwide television channel and website dedicated to providing global perspectives on news, events and culture. Link’s programs provide a unique perspective on international news, current events, and diverse cultures, presenting issues not often covered in the U.S. media. They connect viewers with people at the heart of breaking events, organizations in the forefront of social change and the cultures of an increasingly global community.

You will find documentaries and programs you'll NEVER see on mainstream media networks. Programs like Amy Goodman's DEMOCRACY NOW, English language broadcasts from AL JAZEERA and other Middle Eastern news agencies, as well as interesting films like THE CORPORATION, Howard Zinn's magnificent YOU CAN'T BE NEUTRAL ON A MOVING TRAIN, Greg Palast Investigates, Bill Moyers on Media and Democracy, American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finkelstein, as well as intriguing World Music and foreign music videos.

THIS IS INTELLIGENT TV, UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE EVER SEEN BEFORE!

You can see Link TV on the following satellite stations:

DIRECTV - channel 375

DISH NETWORK - channel 9410


It is also available on a number of cable stations. For a listing, go to their website at www.linktv.org and click on "About Link TV." But don't just stop there: peruse the site and you'll see what a valuable addition this channel can be to your viewing. Should you wish to contribute, just key in www.linktv/contribute, or phone in your TAX DEDUCTIBLE pledge at 1-866-485-8848!


Yes, Virginia, there is an alternative to BBC America! Urge others to watch LINK TV too, as a VERY welcome alternative to boring, uninformative mainstream programming---you will NOT be disappointed!!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SLEEP IN HEAVENLY PEACE

Politically motivated killings, repression and rights abuses have made a worrying return to Burundi where several opposition leaders have fled the country or gone into hiding, UN officials said Thursday...

The chairman of the Spiritual Board of Muslims of Kabardino-Balkaria, Anas Pshikhachev, was murdered on December 15 in the republic’s capital, Nalchik...

Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), speaking from the Senate floor Friday, said many of his Republican colleagues may vote against the New START nuclear treaty with Russia if Democrats move forward with a plan to vote on "don't ask, don't tell" repeal Saturday...

The Senate is in a spat over working through Christmas. Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl, the No. 2 Republican, complained Wednesday that Democrats are stacking up a nuclear-arms treaty with Russia, the budget, tax cuts and other weighty matters against the holiday. Keeping lawmakers in session that long is disrespectful to Christians, he said. Majority Leader Harry Reid, of Nevada, retorted that he doesn't need "sanctimonious lectures" about the meaning of Christmas. Reid said senators should be willing to work up to the holidays like millions of other Americans...

If notMmanny Pacquiao, Mayweather can fight cotto, Clottey and Margarito as a warm up to the fight of the decade. This may end the speculation...


Republicans Prepare for Looming Budget Battle Next Year
After derailing Senate Democrats' $1.2 trillion spending measure, Republicans' plan to cut spending next year...

North Korea has predicted "disaster" if South Korea goes ahead with a live-fire artillery exercise on a border island bombarded by the communist state last month. The North has threatened an even deadlier attack on the South if the one-day drill scheduled for between December 18 and 21 is staged on Yeonpyeong island near the disputed Yellow Sea border...

Two States Sue Bank of America Over Mortgages
Arizona and Nevada contend the bank misled customers about their eligibility for mortgage...

Pakistani journalist Karim Khan filed a police complaint Monday alleging that his brother and son were killed when a missile fired from a CIA drone hit their home in Nhe orth Waziristan in December 2009...

U,S. unemployment rate jumped to 9.8 percent in November from 9.6 percent, marking the highest jobless rate since April. The Labor Department reported that the economy created 39,000 jobs last month, falling short of analysts’ expectations...
The report shows that hunger is increasing at an alarming rate in the United States, and...


Violent crime increased last year, and many cities experienced double-digit or even triple-digit percentage increases in homicides...

The most effective and diabolical lie of the year - PolitiFact has now bestowed its much-coveted award for lie of the year on the idea that health reform constituted a "government takeover" of our health care system...

Bradley Manning has spent many months in military detention. He remains in a Marine brig in Quantico, Virginia. His case has not yet gone to military tribunal, and he has not yet been convicted of a crime. But we now know that for most of his months in detention, both in Virginia and in the military facility in Iraq, Manning has been held in solitary confinement...

With repeatedly extended projected withdrawal dates, the latest is 2014, although even that has been characterized by Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell as merely "aspirational," the campaign in Afghanistan and over the past two years in neighboring Pakistan has marked Asia as the center of U.S. global military strategy and operations...

But American democracy is not so corrupt or dysfunctional that a tiny portion of the population, driven purely by selfish greed, can capture so many elected officials and bamboozle so many voters...

Scientists still can't account for most of the four million barrels of oil that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP oil well. Samantha Joye from the University of Georgia says a lot of it ended up on the seafloor...

A leaked email has revealed a Fox News editor telling his staffers to refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed or cooled in any given period without immediately pointing out that such theories are based upon questionable data. Critics say such a directive mischaracterizes the issue of global warming as an even-sided scientific debate when in fact the concept is accepted by a vast majority of researchers...

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre suffered a concussion in Monday's home loss to Chicago at TCF Bank Stadium...

Associated Press (AP) reports today that “not a cent of the $1.15 billion the U.S. promised for rebuilding has arrived” to Haitians who badly the need the aid. This summer, both the House and the Senate passed a bill that would make $917 million available for Haiti reconstruction aid. Yet Congress must also pass an authorization bill that directs exactly how the money will be spent, and thus far, the U.S. Senate has failed to do. The AP conducted its own investigation of why the Senate has failed to pass the authorization bill, and it discovered that a single senator “pulled it for further study.” After calling dozens of senators’ offices, the AP discovered that the senator holding up the bill is Tom Coburn (R-OK). Coburn spokeswoman Becky Berhardt explained that the reason he is holding up the bill is because he objects to the creation of a senior Haiti coordinator — a position that would cost a paltry $5 million over five years — when the United States currently has an ambassador to the country...

Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas show no signs of budging. U.S. envoys George Mitchell and Dennis Ross have returned to the Middle East in a new attempt to break the deadlock but Netanyahu...

Coalition fatalities per month since the start of the war.[1]Coalition deaths in Afghanistan by country
USA: 1,361*
UK: 346
Canada: 152*
France: 52
Germany: 48
Denmark: 39
Italy: 34
Spain: 30*
Netherlands: 25
Poland: 22
Australia: 21
Romania: 17
Norway: 9
Estonia: 8
Georgia: 5
Sweden: 5
Hungary: 4
Czech Republic: 3
Latvia: 3
Portugal: 2
South Korea: 2
Turkey: 2
Belgium: 1
Finland: 1
Jordan: 1
Lithuania: 1
New Zealand: 1

TOTAL: 2,193...

Monday, December 20, 2010

MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL MADNESS!


The Minnesota Vikings will play the Chicago Bears tonight on Monday Night Football. The game will be played outdoors here in snowy, frigid temperatures for the first time in 21 years, due to the recent roof collapse of the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome caused by an unusually strong snowstorm a short time ago. Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe tweeted that the playing surface at nearby hurried-replacement field TCF Bank Stadium was "unplayable" and expressed fear about the safety of players from both teams due to the cold and unthawed nature of that field.

My, how short are people's memories!



Above is a picture of Metropolitan Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings from 1961-1981. Unlike modern outdoor stadiums of today, there were no heated coils beneath the playing surface to heat the playing field. NOBODY liked playing on that frozen tundra of a field, either, especially in subzero temperatures with a biting northerly wind. Yet play they did, week after week, and many times the Vikings also WON, against higher-ranked teams, because they learned to adapt and make the bitter cold their friend and the opponent's enemy. Those were the days of glorious outdoor football here in Minnesota, when tough and stoic Vikings coach Bud Grant refused to let his wide receivers wear gloves, just so they would be accustomed to catching passes with cold hands. In contrast, opponents like the Los Angeles Rams would come in and drop passes all over the place, allowing the Vikings to sneak an upset victory.

Kluwe's attitude is a prime example of just how pampered today's overly-paid pro athlete has become. I'll be the first to admit that in times past, say 30-35 years ago or so, before free agency changed the nature of pro sports, athletes were tremendously UNDERPAID. Yet today that's no longer the case. In addition to exorbitant salaries, pro athletes are also allowed GENEROUS per-diem food allowances while on the road. Come salary-negotiating time, they all demand huge increases in pay, as if the world truly owes them (and only them) a living. Well, it most certainly does NOT owe them a living. Nor, because they are the stars everyone comes to see should that entitle them to a salary far in excess of what the average American business owner makes. Nor, just because the average pro athlete's career lasts only 4 to perhaps 10 years or so should he or she be guaranteed fabulous riches, or a taxpayer-funded venue to play their games in.

So for Kluwe to complain about conditions being less than desired at a field on which he'll only play ONE STINKING GAME is ridiculous. My advice to him and all the other prima donnas out there making similar charges is simply this: suck it in and play your game without complaints. You and your overpaid, perennially-underachieving Vikings will just have to, for once, know what it was like to play under less than pampered and less than ideal conditions, just as your predecessors did routinely!

And, most importantly, just be glad you have a JOB that allows you to live comfortably, for millions of Americans do NOT have that luxury at the moment!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

SANTA'S BOZOS OF 2010





2008 WINNER: ROD BLAGOJEVICH
2009 WINNER: RICHARD HENNE
2010 WINNER: Keep reading...




Santa's been feeling a little queasy lately. With all the upheaval in American politics these days, it's left him kind of dumbfounded. First, the Wall Street bankers took the bailout money Santa had given them to shore up the economy and kept almost all of it for themselves. Then, the 2010 midterms have left him with a whole new flock of prospective Bozos and Bozettes to mull over. Still, the show must go on, so here is the list of THIS year's candidates for Santa's Bozo of the Year Award.

DISHONORABLE MENTION: The Wall Street bankers. As a result of the President's stimulus funding, many large Wall Street banks have piggishly added to their own bottom line rather than lending to smaller banks for the purpose of job creation. Bank of America, for one, has become 138% bigger almost overnight. No wonder they can now afford to bombard us with propagandistic TV ads about the credit card protection they offer or how they are supposedly helping small business get loans. Santa says "Bah, humbug!" to these lying morons. Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) also caught Santa's notice when he voted recently against the recent Wall Street reform bill, as did Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) when he decided to hold up the government from voting on the extension of unemployment benefits earlier. That made all of these entities suitable for this award.


FOURTH PLACE FINISH goes to the tag-team tandem of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, both of whom campaigned for Tea Party candidates and urged Americans to begin a new revolution, this time voting AGAINST duly-voted in government officials. Both of these Bozettes even encouraged people to converge on Washington out of protest, as if they weren't already being represented - by their own representatives!

THIRD PLACE also goes to a pair of Bozettes, namely unsuccessful Senate candidates Christine O'Donnell and Sharron Angle. Santa had absolutely no trouble adding them to the list: One came out with a television ad claiming "I am not a witch", while the other made a ridiculous statement about constituents being so angry they would be understood if they began to practice their "Second Amendment solutions." And BOTH of these idiots thought they could skate to high political office while ignoring the press and not taking any direct questions! (Guess constituents exercised their "voting rights solutions" against THEM)!



SECOND PLACE for this year's award goes to that nefarious group known as the Blue Dog Democrats. This band of wimps, instead of standing up to conservative Republicans and behaving and voting like real Democrats, caved in all over the place and abandoned their President on one issue after another. As a result, Santa has awarded most of them with retirement from Congress!


RUNNER UP for the award this year goes to the entire Republican Congressional caucus for their collusion and treachery in obstructing and opposing every single aspect of the President's agenda all year long. They have repeatedly voted en masse against everything the President has pushed for, and in the process have circumvented the Senate's rules of filibuster into a weapon of mass obstruction. They have repeatedly held out for unnecessary tax cuts for the rich which add greatly to our deficit and don't do a thing to create jobs. They have held hostage very needed unemployment benefits for the many millions of out of work Americans; Americans who are out of work primarily because of economic policies THEY promoted during the past 10 years! Santa can only shake his head at the thought of more of these people coming to Congress early next year!

Which now brings us to this year's winner, and Santa's BOZETTE of 2010:
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THE "COLON LADY!" We have all seen this moronic woman on as she gets off of the the people-mover at an airport saying confidently "diarrhea-constipation-gas-loading - that's me!" As if ANYBODY IN THE WORLD would ever call themselves "the colon lady" or proudly and publicly admit to such a thing! Now, mind you, I'm not the least bit squeamish about these matters, but this one takes the cake! Another ad features her surrounded by several women when one of them, a REAL nerdy-looking BIMBO in ugly horned-rimmed glasses, presses forward to say "I love your work!" Well, I certainly don't, and neither does Santa. In fact, he has given the "colon lady" a full set of Ex-Lax disguised as candy bars for her to enjoy over the holidays, and he sincerely hopes the ad campaign team for Phillips Colon Health will immediately stop polluting our airwaves with this absolute nonsense!

Online, one person named "dchristie" has even commented 'Instead of people who take drugs being criminalized, shouldn't there be a law against people who run ads for Philips Colon Health?

I mean, they even have a character in the ads called The Colon Lady who is a crusader for 'colon health' with a clarion call against 'bad gas, constipation, bloating and diarrhea'. Their motto is 'I'm good to go'.

They run this annoying garbage all day with particular emphasis on a blitzkrieg campaign schedule at dinner time on every fucking network.

This is bloody fascism.

I feel like getting a machine gun.'


dChristie, so do I, but after all, it IS almost Christmas, so we'll both have to suck it in and bear it, like we do with Republicans...





Have a very Merry Christmas, everybody! Be sure to pray for and help the needy any way you can! The Republicans have given us far too many of them!

Monday, December 13, 2010

TIME FOR A SENATE RULES OVERHAUL!


In our form of government, all one needs to do is get one more vote than one's opponent to win an election. Then, like it or not, the correct thing - the PATRIOTIC thing - is for us to accept the results of that election and ALLOW THE ONE ELECTED TO GOVERN! If we don't like a particular candidate's stance on an issue, we can try to make an issue of it and defeat him or her at the next election.

The Republicans, under the "leadership" of Mitch McConnell, are playing very dirty with this concept. With their insistence on filibustering every single piece of legislation brought up before the Senate, they have effectively made a mockery of our concept of majority-party rule. They have ground the Senate to a halt on a number of occasions, and this must stop. Twice this year, Senator Jim Bunning has has held captive unemployment extensions. Senator Richard Shelby has held numerous Obama administration judicial appointments up. Senator Tom Coburn has held up more than $1 BILLION in very-sorely needed Haiti earthquake relief aid because of a technicality.

This is NOT the way a responsible governmental body is supposed to work. But it is the way conservative Republicans are making it work. This shows how little regard that wretched party has for our system of government, its elections, and the will of the people. When a minority, or even ONE Senator, can hold up legislation or the implementation of government policy sought by a duly-elected majority, it is a travesty which MUST be overturned!

We know how much you hate our government, conservative Republicans, so why don't you just get the hell out altogether? Leave governing to those who actually care about the country and want to see it succeed!

Friday, December 10, 2010

A CHALLENGE TO THE NEW CONGRESS!


The President has been taking an unprecedented amount of grief from his own party for having abandoned his pledge to let his predecessor's generous corporate welfare plan for the rich expire at the end of the year, as it was supposed to.

The Republicans, the PARTY OF THE RICH, appear poised to start the new year with not only control of the House, but their dearest and fondest hope about to realized: continuation of the Bush tax cuts for the rich. They have told us all along that cutting taxes on the wealthy would end uncertainty and lead to the creation of new jobs. We here in the sane world know that this is absolute rubbish. Having had these cuts in place since 2001, the only real job growth we have seen has come under the Obama administration, and that was due to his controversial Stimulus Plan. Job growth rates for the entire Bush presidency ranked the LOWEST of any President since the Great Depression. Still, the Republican Party clings to the myth that tax cuts for millionaires = jobs. OK, Rrpublicans: I'm calling your bluff. Starting with my January 3, 2011 post, I will ask at the very top of the page, "WHERE ARE THE JOBS, MR. BOEHNER?" I will continue to ask this question until the national unemployment rate falls below 7%. I know this may not happen at all during the next 2 years, but here is the challenge nonetheless.


So consider yourselves forewarned, Republicans. You won't have the Democrats or anyone else to blame if these tax cuts do not produce the jobs you say they will. For now you've been granted the second chance you've been hoping for. No longer will you be able to hide behind or blame anyone else. Now it will be up to YOU to put ip or shut up. Will you be up to the challenge?






I doubt it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

ELIZABETH EDWARDS


Elizabeth Rdwards passed away today at the age of 61. She was a testament to undying love, and taught us all how a person can die with dignity. She endured a lot of hurt for the benefit of her children.

I would have been proud to have had her as my first lady. May the Lord keep and protect her always; she was simply too good for us to have had forever. It will not be a very happy Christmas at the Edwards' house this year. Let us remember all of them in our prayers!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

YULETIDE THOUGHTS

As yet another yuletide descends upon us, I am left with a very empty feeling. Perhaps my melancholy has been fueled by the results of the last election, whereby the hated Republicans swept back into de facto control of Washington, after I and many others had dismissed them as mere relics to be finally discarded after the elections of 2008.

I guess I was premature in my wish to see them go, for once and for all.

But as I take stock in all that I see around me now, I am smote with the realization that a huge number of people actually believe in the Republican way of life. They actually DO believe that Sarah Palin would be a good candidate for President. Or that nobody has the right to ever expect a helping hand from anyone. Or that the President is a socialist whose agenda is just a little too far out with his wish to see as many as possible be covered by health insurance.

As it stands at this writing, a good portion of our unemployed will soon be receiving no more unemployment, trapped as they are in the worst economic crisis this country has seen in more than 70 years. Yet no one seems to care. Instead, everyone has taken the "I don't care so long as it's not happening to me" line. What has happened to us as a people?

Thirty five years ago, a Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann would have been regarded as an extremist, far out of the mainstream. Today, one is contemplating a run for the Presidency while the other spouts off one crazy conspiracy theory after another, and yet both are taken seriously.

Whatever became of concern for the poor or the downtrodden? Has human kindness or sensibility been replaced by the "I've got mine, now you go get yours and don't bother me about it" mode of thinking?

Whatever became of the "Americans always fight fair" motif? How did it become replaced by "torture is ok if it's against the other guy" idea?

Have we become a nation so obsessed with winning that we will do whatever it takes just to succeed, no matter how sordid or unseemly our actions may be?

What has happened to our country? Have we abandoned ALL which once made us great, or is this just a simple anamoly that will soon pass?

We stand poised to give tax breaks to billionaires who don't need them, even as we are shutting off millions from the very sustenance they need to exist.


The America I see before me today is not the one I grew up in. This is not a place where I want to stay, where stock dividends for stockholders take precedence over the needs of the workers who produced the wealth to begin with. This is a nightmare!