Wednesday, September 30, 2009

GOP Outrage Over Dem's Speech: The Kettle Calling The Pot Black

The Congressional GOP is outraged that Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), in a speech to the House stated, “The Republican heath care plan: "don't get sick" -- and if you do, "die quickly.”

The GOP wants Grayson to apologize to the House and the House to punish Grayson.  It's hard to believe that the GOP could be outraged after they spent the summer name-calling in Congress and in townhall meetings across the country and warning that the Democrats would establish a Death Panel.

Does the GOP think that the American people are so stupid that they won't be immediately reminded of all the GOP death talk???  No voter with common sense, Democrat, Republican or Independent, could re-elect this bunch of self-serving obstructionists.

The following are some of the statements made by the GOP in Congress:
  • Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.): "You lie!"
  • Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.): "Last week, Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America's seniors: drop dead."
  • Rep. Paul Broun, MD (R-Ga.): Reviewed the Democrats public health insurance option stated that it is "gonna kill people."
  • Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.): Suggested on the House floor that Congress "make sure we bring down the cost of health care for all Americans and that ensures affordable access for all Americans and is pro-life because it will not put seniors in a position of being put to death by their government."
  • Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas): "One in five people have to die because they went to socialized medicine...I would hate to think that among five women, one of 'em is gonna die because we go to socialized care."
  • Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa): “They're going to save money by rationing care, getting you in a long line. Places like Canada, United Kingdom, and Europe. People die when they're in line."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The American Way: Take What You Need From The Weak Guy

A 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll asked the following:

California and New York City now require calorie-counts to be printed on fast food menus. Which of the following other things would you most like to see happen to reduce obesity?
  • A Fast Food tax
  • A Soft Drink tax
  • A ban on using food stamps to buy high-fat food
  • Scales at restaurant entrances
  • A tax credit for liposuction
  • None of the above
Question Results:

  • 38.86% - A ban on using food stamps to buy high-fat food
  • 33.89% - None of the above
  • 14.16% - A fast food tax
  • 10.04% - A soft drink tax
  • 1.70% - Scales at restaurant entrances
  • 1.35% - A tax credit for liposuction
This is not a scientific poll but I still think the results reflect the American attitude.  "The poor people are the problem.  They want the government to take care of them and they are getting fat in the process."

"Stop Obesity: Put Poor People On A Diet"

The good result is that one-third of the respondents probably realize that you can't legislate a proper diet.  Sin tax is not a way to correct behavior; it is a way of collecting more tax from people who won't refuse to pay it.

How did you answer the question?

If You Were The President Of The United States...

If you were the president of the United States you would be the most powerful person in the world.  That seems like a great position to be in!  What would your life be like while you are the president?

Your job description is:
  • You are the Commander-in-Chief of all US military forces
  • You are the Chief of the Executive Branch of the government
  • You are the Head of State
  • You are the Head of Foreign Policy
  • You are the leader of your political party
  • You are responsible for the US Economy
  • You are the Legislative leader and can approve or veto all legislation
On a typical day you would:
  • 6:30 AM: wake, shower, dress, watch TV news and scan morning newspapers
  • 7:30 AM: receive Congressional Record for prior day, receive briefing on schedule
  • 7:50 AM: breakfast
  • 8:15 AM: arrive at office, call budget director to discuss an issue
  • 8:35 AM: Sign documents, read and dictate reply to selected letters from secretary
  • 8:55 AM: Meet with four leaders of Congress to discuss strategy for passing a bill
  • 9:20 AM: receive award from an conservationist society
  • 9:35 AM: call a sick congressman; call the leader of a striking labor union; call the OMB director
  • 10 AM: meet with two defeated party members who are looking for a job
  • 10:20 AM: meet with US ambassador to Sweden and convey your instructions
  • 10:45 AM: present Purple Heart award to families of 5 soldiers killed in action
  • 11:15 AM: receive national security department briefing on four crises
  • 11:50 AM: lunch, personal time
  • 2 PM: sign new legislation
  • 2:40 PM: meet with Council of Economic Advisors
  • 3:15 PM: meet a White House tour
  • 3:25 PM: meet with White House reporters
  • 3:45 PM: receive top-secret CIA report on developing crisis, call CIA director to discuss
  • 4:15 PM: meet with foreign minister of Asian country
  • 4:45 PM: meet with congressman requesting the reopening of a military base in his district
  • 5 PM: prepares for a dinner meeting at a DC hotel, review speech
  • 6:30 PM: meet, eat and speak at hotel
  • 10 PM: exercise for 45 minutes
  • 10:45 PM: retire to bedroom with reports to read
  • 11:45 PM: go to sleep
  • (by Howard D. Mehlinger, Hot Topics Publications Inc.)
Nearly half of all Americans disagree with your objectives and methods.  At least half of the news media complains daily about you.

You are responsible for the prosecution of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  You are responsible for the strategy being employed by the military.  You are responsible for maintaining allied support.  You are responsible for funding these wars with money you do not have.  You will write letters to each of the families of soldiers killed in action in your wars.

You will make an average of 200 flights each year on Air Force One.  Its a great plane with very good service but even you will get tired of flying around the world in Air Force One.

If you were President GW Bush you would be accused of war crimes by both Americans and several other nations.  Half of all Americans will think that you stole the election in 2000 and lied about your opponent to win in 2004.  Your party will avoid you and your name while campaigning for the 2008 elections.

If you are President Barack Obama you will be accused of not being a native born American.  You will be accused of being a secret Muslim who plans to convert the US to Islamic rule.  You will be accused of supporting domestic terrorists.  You will be accused of trying to nationalize American businesses.  You will be accused of replacing our democracy with socialism.  You will be accused of selling out to all foreign countries.  You will be accused of promoting abortion, alternative lifestyles, same-sex marriage and the eradication of Christian influence and icons in the public sector.  You will be accused of racism.  You will be likened to a chimpanzee, a gorilla, Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini.

Half the country demands that you deliver on your promises of Change.  The other half of the country threatens to impeach you if you deliever on your promises of Change.

Historians will give you an approval rating between 40% and 60%.  You have a 10% chance of being remembered as a great president.

You can expect two attempts to assassinate you.  You have a 14% chance of being shot by an assassin.  You have a 9% chance of being assassinated.  You will be surrounded constantly by the Secret Service for the rest of you life.

You will receive a salary of $400,000 per year and a $50,000 expense allowance.  Your salary will be less than one-half of 1% of the average salary of the top 20 CEO's in America.

Last week you lead the United Nations to issue a resolution demanding that Iran accept inspections to ensure that it is not developing nuclear weapons or weapon grade nuclear material.  This week you must decide how to respond to Iran's test firing of missiles to demonstrate that it will not agree to inspections and nuclear disarmament.

When you take vacation, at least half of Americans will think that you are screwing off and spending too much money!

Do you want to be the President of the United States?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Did Glenn Beck Actually Throw A Frog Into Boiling Water?

Watch the video and tell me if you think Glenn Beck actually throws a live frog into boiling water.  I think Beck went to great lengths to make the viewer think that he throws the frog into the boiling water but I can't believe that Glenn Beck, in spite of everything else I believe about him, would do it.  Good trick or vicious act?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

2009 Value Voters Summit - Know and Beware Of The Participants

The 2009 Value Voters Summit is underway through Sunday, Sept. 20th.  Several leaders of the Republican Party and various organizations with socially conservative agenda attended and spoke.  Whether you are conservative, liberal or moderate, you should know the people attending this summit and what they are promoting because they intend to retake the White House and Congress and legislate their social doctrine.  Get informed and take a position.  You might be voting for or against one or more of these people in 2010 and 2012.

The following are the titles of several of the sessions at the summit:
  • THE NEW MASCULINITY (an anti-Feminist movement)
I collected some background information on only a few of the speakers.  Know what they have said and done so that you will know where they would lead you.

Gary Bauer, President of American Values (ran for U.S. President in 2000 as a Republican)
  • More $ for defense & police; less $ for welfare & arts.
  • Spend surplus on defense, debt, & Medicare; not education.
  • End funding of NEA.
  • End affirmative action
  • If not prayer, recite Declaration.
  • The law recognizes and encourages heterosexuality.
  • Posting Ten Commandments will reduce crime.
  • No same-sex marriages.
  • Ban gay hiring.
  • Miranda rights not as important as victim rights.
  • Allow Ten Commandments in schools & disallow Nazi salutes.
  • Vouchers for home-schooling as well as private schools.
  • Africa: Needs better governments, not bailouts.
  • Restrain and reverse liberal judicial activism.
  • No campaign contributions from Hollywood.
  • Legislating morality ok, if it’s our best values.
  • Require teen moms to live with parents.
  • "I don't see why Christians should censor themselves out of any forum in which our perspectives can be heard. I disagree with the theology of many groups that I address; Jews, for example, who do not accept Jesus, or atheists."
  • Nine members of Bauer's 2000 campaign staff quit in a month’s time, including Charles Jarvis, Bauer's campaign manager, and Tim McDonald, former chief of advance operations. Jarvis and McDonald said publicly that they resigned in protest of Gary Bauer's "inappropriate" behavior in travelling alone and spending time behind closed doors with a 26-year-old deputy campaign manager. The boards of two religious groups long connected with Bauer, the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, have warned him to not travel alone with her or meet behind closed doors for extended periods.
Kris Mineau, Massachusetts Family Institute
  • “Many citizens who oppose gay marriage also oppose civil unions. The coalition believes it is confusing and unethical to restrict citizens to one vote on two opposing issues, which this amendment would have done.”
Representative Mike Pence (R-Ind.)
  • Mike Pence is a member of House committee called Operation Offset. They proposed a $543 billion military spending-cut to offset the cost of the Hurricane Katrina "relief and reconstruction effort" of the Gulf Coast. They are, for instance, asking troops to 'accept reduced health care benefits for their families.' Additionally, 'the stateside system of elementary and secondary schools for military family members could be closed.'
  • Wants to enact legislation that will prohibit any president from appointing so-called Czars. Has called for a background investigation of Obama’s czars. Czar is a term coined by the news media. It is not an official title. The first czar was appointed by Roosevelt during WWII; he was responsible for finding enough rubber for the military. GW Bush had 46 czars.
Governor Mike Huckabee, 2008 Republican Presidential candidate
  • Won the straw poll at the Values Voter Summit as the favorite Republican Presidential candidate for 2012. Tied for 2nd place in the poll are: Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney and Mike Pence. Top issues identified by the straw poll voters are: abortion, protection of religious liberties, same-sex marriage and tax cuts.
  • As governor of Arkansas, Huckabee used his influence to prevent an investigation of his son’s killing of a dog by hanging while working as a camp counselor. Huckabee’s son was fired. The local prosecutor asked the state police to investigate. Huckabee’s chief of staff and personal lawyer asked the director of the state police to deny the request for an investigation. The director refused. Seven months later Huckabee fired the director because “I couldn’t get you to help me with my son when I had that problem.”
Senator Jim DeMint (R-S.C.)
  • Has repeatedly boasted that he will “break” Obama by defeating health care reform.
  • Has made a habit of comparing government under Obama to fascism.
  • Favors eliminating the Internal Revenue Service and Federal income tax.
  • Openly gay people should not be allowed to teach in public schools.
  • Single mothers who live with their boyfriends should not be allowed to teach in public schools.
Representative Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.)
  • Accuses Congress of being un-American and calls for an investigation of its members.
  • "We're running out of rich people in this country."
  • “The recovery package is part of a Democratic conspiracy to "direct" funding away from Republican districts, so Democratic districts can "suck up" all federal funds.“
  • Thinks that President Obama is possibly trying to control the nation's food supply.
  • Calls on Americans to "make a covenant, slit our wrists, be blood brothers” against health care reform.
  • In a speech to the House, connected the 1970s swine flu outbreak to Democrat Jimmy Carter being president, even though it was actually Gerald Ford in office at the time.
  • “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us, “Having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.””
  • Argued in the House that the threat of manmade global warming doesn’t make any sense because “Carbon dioxide, Mister Speaker, is a natural byproduct of nature. Carbon dioxide is natural. It occurs in Earth. It is a part of the regular lifecycle of Earth. In fact, life on planet Earth can’t even exist without carbon dioxide. So necessary is it to human life, to animal life, to plant life, to the oceans, to the vegetation that’s on the Earth, to the, to the fowl that — that flies in the air, we need to have carbon dioxide as part of the fundamental lifecycle of Earth.”
Kelly Shackelford, Chief Counsel, Liberty Legal Institute
  • Opposes same-sex marriage.
  • “I think the idea that Texas is going to somehow suffer because it's not becoming like Massachusetts is silly. Texas is attractive for many people for the reason that it is not like Northeastern states. Those kind of traditional moral beliefs that provide children with both a mom and a dad are the reason that people are attracted to Texas.
  • Warns that President Obama and the Democrats in Congress are going to destroy religious freedom by passing the Freedom of Choice Act, repealing DOMA, reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, passing hate crimes legislation and, most ominously, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Carrie Prejean, Former Miss California

  • “I am disgusted at the way that some people can be so intolerant. It disgusts me.”
Stephen Baldwin
  • Baldwin’s organization, Operation Straight Up (OSU), distributed “Freedom Packages” to soldiers serving in Iraq. The package included the video game “Left Behind” whose players wage a violent war against United Nations-like peacekeepers who represent the armies of the Antichrist.
Rev. Dr. Ken Hutcherson, Senior Pastor, Antioch Bible Church, Kirkland, WA
  • Urged Christians to buy up Microsoft stock then dump the stock at the same time to drive the stock price down to punish Microsoft management for supporting gay-rights legislation.
Representative Roy Blunt (R-Mo.)
  • Blunt told the following story at the Values Voters Summit to explain the state of pandemonium in Washington. “A long time ago in India, Blunt said, a group of British occupiers set about building a golf course from what was formerly a stretch of wilderness. Much to their surprise, as soon as the first balls were played, monkeys would run out and play with them. The monkeys might throw a ball from fairway to sand, from sand to fairway -- or even back at the golfer. Eventually, the golfers had to agree to a new rule, never before used in the game. "You have to play the ball where the monkey throws it. And that is the rule in Washington all the time."
  • Voted NO on allowing stockholder voting on executive compensation.
  • Voted NO on additional $10.2B for federal education & HHS projects.
  • Voted NO on allowing Courts to decide on "God" in Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Voted YES on allowing school prayer during the War on Terror.
  • Voted NO on giving mental health full equity with physical health.
  • Voted NO on adding 2 to 4 million children to SCHIP eligibility.
  • Voted YES on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay.
  • Voted YES on limited prescription drug benefit for Medicare recipients.
  • Voted YES on subsidizing private insurance for Medicare Rx drug coverage.
  • Voted NO on requiring FISA warrants for wiretaps in US.
  • Voted NO on restricting no-bid defense contracts.
  • Opposes the reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Bill O'Reilly Supports A Public Option For Working Americans

I applaud Bill O'Reilly's support of a Public Option within Health Care Reform.

The Huffington Post  9/17/09:  Bombastic Fox News host Bill O'Reilly made a rather notable policy pronouncement on Wednesday's show: he supports the creation of a government-managed health care plan if it provides working Americans with an affordable option to other private insurance plans.

In other words, he supports the public option now being hotly debated in Congress.

As noted by DailyKos' Jed Lewison, O'Reilly had the following exchange with the Heritage Foundation's Nina Owcharenko:

O'REILLY: The public option now is done. We discussed this, it's not going to happen. But you say that this little marketplace that they're going to set up, whereby the federal government would subsidize insurance for some Americans, that is, in your opinion, a public option?

OWCHARENKO: Well, it has massive new federal regulation. So you don't necessarily need a public option if the federal government is going to control and regulate the type of health insurance that Americans can buy.

O'REILLY: But you know, I want that, Ms. Owcharenko. I want that. I want, not for personally for me, but for working Americans, to have a option, that if they don't like their health insurance, if it's too expensive, they can't afford it, if the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.
Indeed, supporters of the public option do so for the very reasons O'Reilly notes. A study by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund found that "a public coverage program similar to Medicare would reduce projected health care costs by about $2 trillion over 11 years, and reduce premiums by about 20% on average. Within about a decade, 105 million people would be enrolled in the public plan, and about 107 million would have private insurance, according to the Commonwealth Fund."

See Video and full post.
Read more at:

Will The Extreme Rhetoric Of Anti-Obama Demonstrators Lead To Violence?

For the second time since Obama's innaguration the GOP and the Democrats are at odds over whether anti-Obama sentiment and rhetoric could result in violence.

In April, the Homeland Security Department issued a report that warned that Obama's presidency could give rise to an increase in right-wing extremist group membership and activities.  The GOP demanded and received a retraction and an apology from Napolitano of Homeland Security.  However, future events proved that the warning was valid and the GOP's response was wrong.  Membership in extremists groups has increased, right-wing demonstrations are increasing in number and the demonstrators are becoming more angry and threatening.  Some demonstrators have brought firearms to townhall meetings and political demonstrations.  Right-wing violence has also increased with the murder of a security guard at the Halocaust Museum in Washington, DC and the assasination of a prominent abortion doctor.

This week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed a concern that the rhetoric of right-wing demonstrators could incite violence.  Pelosi said that similar rhetoric in San Francisco in the 1970's preceded the assisinations of the mayor and a council member.

In response, Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, stated, "the Speaker is now likening genuine opposition to assassination. Such insulting rhetoric not only undermines the credibility of her office, but it underscores the desperate attempt by her party to divert attention away from a failing agenda."

The GOP was wrong when they opposed the first warning and they are wrong now.  The intensity of the demonstrations is continually increasing and demonstrators and GOP politicians are using increasingly threatening rhetoric - many are calling for secession and armed revolution.  The GOP wants Americans to believe that these demonstrators represent the majority of Americans and as such have a constitutional right to resist acts of oppression by the Left-wing and the Obama administration.  The GOP is only using the extremists to advance their agenda to defeat all efforts by the Democratic lead Congress and Obama.  The GOP is only serving the interests of the corporations and industries that support them financially.  For that the GOP is willing to accept the violence that will ultimately result from the extremists that they are inciting.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Carrying Firearms Near The President

One of Chris Matthews guests on Hardball, today, is a university professor. The subject was the recent public statement by President Jimmy Carter that some of the extreme protesters at rallies and townhall meetings oppose President Obama because they do not accept an African-American as their president. The GOP and conservative pundits are calling the statement outrageous. The Democrats, including the White House, are politely disagreeing and as usual prefer to avoid a serious discussion of racism in the US.

Joe Scarborough, on Morning Joe, said that President Carter is wrong. To support his opinion he pointed out that Obama won the election and early on had an approval rating of 70%. If only one-third of the 30% that disapproved of Obama did so because he is Black, I think that is a significant population. One that could easily account for many of the extreme political demonstrators. To further make his point against President Carter, Joe Scarborough asked Pat Buchanan for his opinion. What a joke. Pat has personally spewed racist remarks on Scarborough's show about both President Obama and Justice Sotomayor. Why didn't Scarborough ask David Dukes if the demonstrators are racists or just fervent patriots opposed to health care reform.

I agree with President Carter. I think that many of the protesters are opposed to a Black as president rather than just health care reform. If I was Obama, I would probably rather see the issue dropped rather than to have it debated since getting health care reform legislation passed is far more important and may be jeopardized by accusations of racism from the White House. Nothing will get the Whites that are on the fence to join the racist element more than to have a Black president accuse White Americans of racism.

I know a racist when I hear one. I'm not saying that every person prejudice person is a skinhead, but I do think that a lot of the anger and distrust is fueled in part by the protester's prejudice.

Chris Matthews' guests, the university professor and a past-president of the NAACP both agreed with President Carter and both, especially the professor, thought that it was a mistake for the Democrats to pretend that racism isn't a factor. They also thought that the GOP was making a very bad mistake by not calling on the demonstrators to stop the racist demonstrations before violence occurs. The GOP has instead attended these demonstrations without urging the demonstrators to be civil and even used the same rhetoric as the demonstrators.

The university professor on Hardball was especially concerned that the demonstrations would turn violent or inspire others to violence. He said that bringing firearms to a townhall meeting was unacceptable. He said the government should enact legislation that makes it illegal to carry a firearm within one mile of the president. In fact, the professor thought that 80% of Americans would support such a law. From what planet is the professor visiting our Earth?

You couldn't get 80% of Americans to support that law even if the president was a White Republican and you don't have a snowball's chance in Hell of getting half of America to approve of such a law if it is being promoted by a Black president that is accused by so many of masterminding a Socialist-Communist-Fascist-Nazi-Muslim Terrorist take over of the United States.

Acorn - A Frenzy To Condemn

A major issue within Acorn was recently revealed by a conservative sting that Acorn and some liberals call entrapment. The sting consisted of a young man and a young woman portraying a pimp and a prostitute looking for a loan to purchase a house to be used for prostitution. The couple asked for and received advise from some of the several offices that they visited. The couple was advised on how to borrow the money for an illegal business without being caught. Some of the Acorn offices either refused to talk to the couple or called the police to report them. But, a few offices gave them the advice they sought.

No matter how you look at this the Acorn employees/volunteers that advised the couple were very wrong to do so. I find it hard to believe that an honest person of average intelligence could be lulled like innocents into committing this wrong. The Acorn staff that advised the couple were either stupid, dishonest or a combination of both. If this is entrapment, then it was well deserved.

This doesn't prove that Acorn management promotes or condones such acts but it does strongly suggest that Acorn is not adequately managing their organization down to the local staffs. How are these people hired, trained and supervised? The size of an organization is no excuse for allowing it to get out of control to the extent that it is abusing, if not violating the law.

The government agencies that employ Acorn are also at fault for not ensuring that Acorn management had the systems in place to properly hire, train and supervise their employees/volunteers. Acorn has been working for the government for 15 years. The Federal government has paid them about $53 million during that time period. The government agencies using Acorn should cease doing business with Acorn while they evaluate its management systems to determine whether to continue using Acorn in any capacity.

You can find violators of policy and the law in every large organization. During my 30+ years with a large corporation, there were several instances of illegal activity. Each of the violations was committed by one or a few mid-management personnel. The offenders were punished by the company and/or law enforcement and policies adjusted as necessary. The corporation did not deserve to be dissolved because of these violations, which were neither widespread nor frequent. The same might be true of Acorn.

On the other hand, investigators might also find that Acorn is thoroughly corrupt as was Arthur Andersen, which was the accounting firm for Enron. In which case, Acorn deserves the same end that Arthur Andersen met. Arthur Andersen voluntarily surrendered its licenses to perform accounting in the US after having become one of the largest accountants in the world.

Some of the politicians that had not taken action to adequately investigate Acorn when there were already suggestions of misconduct, are now in a frenzy to be seen and heard condemning Acorn. Typical. One of them is U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), who was a guest this week on Joe Scarborough's show on MSNBC. Shelby stated that he has been following Acorn for a long time. Shelby believes that the government should permanently cease doing business with Acorn and that Acorn should be investigated. Shelby stated that Acorn is thoroughly corrupt. Scarborough asked Shelby what departments of the government actually use Acorn. Shelby didn't know. Scarborough asked Shelby for specifics about the corruption but Shelby said he only knew that the corruption was widespread. Scarborough asked him how many organizations like Acorn are providing similar services for the government and how much the government has spent on them. Again, Shelby didn't know.

If Shelby has been following Acorn for a long time and knows that the corruption in Acorn is widespread such that they should be disqualified as a government contractor, why doesn't Shelby know everything about how Acorn is used, how much they have been paid and the other instances of corruption?

Could it be that Shelby is just blowing off his big mouth for political purposes?

If Acorn has been working for the federal government for 15 years for a total compensation of $53 million, the the agencies of the federal government that employed Acorn deserve to be investigated if corruption within Acorn is actually widespread as "reported but not substantiated" by Richard Shelby, Big Mouth Political Opportunist.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Employee Free Choice Act: Card Check

Unions and most Democrats want to replace the current National Labor Relations Board process by which employees of a company can unionize with Card Check.

The current method for workers to form a union in a particular workplace in the United States is a sign-up then an election process. In that, a petition or an authorization card with the signatures of at least 30% of the employees requesting a union is submitted to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), who then verifies and orders a secret ballot election. If over 50% of the employees based on the secret ballot elect to form a union then the NLRB will order the employer to recognize the union. Two exceptions exist. If over 50% of the employees sign an authorization card requesting a union, the employer can voluntarily choose to waive the secret ballot election process and just recognize the union. The other exception is a last resort, which allows the NLRB to order an employer to recognize a union if over 50% have signed cards if the employer has engaged in unfair labor practices that make a fair election unlikely.

Under the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), if the NLRB verifies that over 50% of the employees signed authorization cards, the secret ballot election is bypassed and a union is automatically formed without requiring a secret ballot election. Under The EFCA, if over 30% and fewer than 50% of employees sign a petition or authorization cards, the NLRB would still order a secret ballot election for union representation. In other words, the current threshold to have a secret ballot election is signatures from 30% of employees. The EFCA would keep that threshold, but make a new threshold of signatures from 50% + 1 of employees to bypass the secret ballot election and automatically be unionized. Therefore a petition signature would have the same weight as a "yes" vote in a secret ballot election.

I personally believe that employee bargaining through unionization is often necessary to ensure that employees are treated fairly. I also believe that some unions abuse their power almost as much as the employers did prior to unionization and employee protection laws. Card Check would eliminate the need for a secret ballot if more than 50% of the employees sign a public petition or authorization cards.

I used to belong to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. I had no reason to believe that the IBEW was a corrupt organization that bargained unfairly. However, I did witness and was often affected by abuses by the local union leadership of both employees and union members. Local unions leaders and members alike use intimidation to contol how their membership votes. A union member that does not agree with the politics of the union leadership can find himself unemployed or working on jobs with the least hours and the worst conditions.

Later, I worked 30 years for a Fortune 100 company that owned dozens of manufacturing facilities and roughly half of those facilities are unionized. I saw abused by both the local union members and some of the plant managers. I was never aware of abuses originating within the senior management of the corporation. I was aware of intimidation of employees by employees when union certification or decertification was to be voted on.

Therefore, removing the requirement for a secret ballot, except when the NLRB has proof of unfair employer practices that could impact a secret ballot, puts too much power in the hands of the unionizers and the employees, who favor unionization, who can and, in my opinion, often will intimidate employees who oppose unionzation or are undecided about unionization. The secret ballot is fair to both the employees and the employer. It protects the employees from harassment by either the unionizers or the employer.

What is your opinion?

Family-Values Legislator Resigns Over Sex Scandal

By JULIET WILLIAMS, Associated Press Writer Juliet Williams, Associated Press Writer – Thu Sep 10, 7:47 pm ET

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – A scandal involving a family-values legislator caught boasting about his sexual escapades with his lobbyist mistresses created an embarrassing distraction for lawmakers Thursday, further diverting attention from California's major policy issues in the crucial final days of their session.

Republican Mike Duvall resigned Wednesday after a videotape surfaced in which he described to a colleague in lurid detail his sexual conquests, including a spanking fetish, the skimpy underwear of one mistress and his carrying on two affairs simultaneously. He sought to deny the affairs on Thursday.

The fallout from the scandal began to emerge, with calls for an outside investigation in addition to the internal ethics probe to determine whether the alleged affairs might have influenced his votes.

California lawmakers, who face growing public distrust and few accomplishments for the year, were hoping for a flourish of activity on major issues such as water and prison reform as their regular session drew to a close this week.

But the scandal filled the Capitol with gossip and distracted many legislative staffers from the more important business at hand, while further tarnishing the image of an institution that is seen as increasingly ineffective.

"This is a real black eye," said Derek Cressman, regional director for the government watchdog group Common Cause. "I think it's imperative that the leadership of both parties take this very seriously and address it in a fast and strong way."

The videotape shows Duvall during a break from a July 8 committee hearing detailing his extramarital exploits to fellow Republican Assemblyman Jeff Miller of Corona. He is overheard on an open microphone bragging that he slept with an energy industry lobbyist who wore "eye-patch underwear" and that he enjoyed spanking her when they hooked up. He told Miller, a longtime friend, that he also was sleeping with another lobbyist.

"Oh, she is hot!" Duvall said about the second woman.

The 54-year-old married father of two issued a statement denying he had affairs and saying his only offense "was engaging in inappropriate storytelling."

The lobbyist Duvall refers to in his comments reportedly works for Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based energy services company. The allegation that Duvall slept with a lobbyist who does business before his chief committee prompted calls for an outside investigation and tougher rules of conduct for lobbyists.

Duvall was the vice chairman and ranking Republican member of the Assembly Utilities Committee. Duvall, a Farmers Insurance agent in Yorba Linda, also was a member of the Assembly Rules Committee, whose responsibilities include overseeing lawmaker ethics and ensuring sexual harassment laws are followed within the Legislature.

Former Interrogator Rebukes Cheney For Torture Speech

Former Interrogator Rebukes Cheney For Torture Speech

Cheney, said Matthew Alexander, a 14-year US military interrogator, fundamentally misunderstands the way America is viewed around the world. The American principles of freedom and democracy are cherished in the Muslim world and the idea, at least, of America is still a seductive one. But it is the behavior of the Bush administration at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and secret prisons around the globe that undercuts that image, allowing Al Qaeda to make the argument that America isn't what it stands for.

"Remember," said Alexander, "one of Al Qaeda's goals, it's not just to attack the United States, it's to prove that we're hypocrites, that we don't live up to American principles. So when we use torture and abuse, we're playing directly into one of their stated goals."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Plutocracy That Pretends To Be A Democracy

We don't have government of the people, by the people and for the people as our founders intended. The US was designed to be a republic but it has long been evolving into a plutocracy. The wealthy have a disproportionate influence over the government. As our political system evolves economic inequality increases giving ever increasing control to large corporations/industries. Large corporations are controlled by an elite class whose objectives are to protect and grow the corporation and increase their. The elite control the corporations from their positions as corporate executives and Board directors. Appointments to the Board and the compensation of the Board members are determined by the Board not the shareholders of the corporation. I believe the GOP only represents the corporate plutocrats although it claims to represent fiscal conservatives, social conservatives (Christian conservatives) and Nationalists. While the professional politicians of Democratic party are not above being influenced by the plutocrats, its base of liberals wants to replace our plutocracy with democratic socialism to ensure Social Justice for all.

How long has it been since we had a fiscally responsible Republican leadership? They talk small government but in the last 30 years they've outspent the Democrats. They preach Nationalism while supporting their corporate sponsors who have moved much of our manufacturing offshore and driven up immigration limits to hold down domestic labor costs. Nationalism is just an excuse to spend taxpayer money on the Military-Industrial Complex, which as Iraq has taught us, only increases Corporate profits. The Corporations are even supplying a Mercenary Army whose soldiers we seem unable to control and who make 10 times as much as our Enlisted Soldiers. They call for increased border security but refuse to control illegal immigration through which we have a low income labor force.

They claim to be our moral leadership but care nothing for Social Justice. How Christ-like is that? They oppose all social programs. They opposed the creation of SCHIP and its refunding. They oppose Health Care Reform because reform will reduce Corporate profits - not because they want to protect Grandma from the Death Panel. Starting with Reagan the maximum income to qualify for social assistance was decreased and thus the Near Poor class was created - too poor to enjoy a minimum standard of living but not poor enough to qualify for assistance. It forced some borderline Poor-Near Poor families to choose between "working and having less" versus "not working and having more." Marie Antoinette is supposed to have said, "let them eat cake" when she was told that the peasants had no bread to eat. Ronald Reagan showed the same lack of compassion when his administration declared ketchup to be a vegetable so that they could reduce the cost of Head Start school meals. Yes, indeed, a true American Hero!

The Republicans demonize the poor in the eyes of the middle-class so that the middle-class blames all taxation on the poor. They Republicans leverage this Class hate to generate the votes to maintain their power in the government. When they enact tax cuts, its only the rich that see the direct benefit, the middle-class and the poor will benefit from "trickle down." Has anybody seen any of that action?

Obama and the Party of Change want to reduce if not eliminate Social Injustice. To stimulate the economy, which the Corporate Plutocrats had raped, Obama spent money on infrastructure projects to create jobs and immediate spending. He subsidized local and state governments whose tax revenues had shrunk, threatening to close schools and layoff firemen and policemen. The Republicans solution would have been another tax cut for the rich. Why they cried should the middle-class allow Obama to spend its hard earned money on extended unemployment benefits and road and bridge repair. Their argument has been very successful. They have convinced half of America that Obama's stimulus spending is doing nothing but putting the middle-class in deeper debt. Does the middle-class think that tax cuts for the rich would have been less costly and stimulated the economy more quickly?

The rich and the Republican Party that serves them is laughing all the way to the bank.

Why Gun Rights Advocates Scare Me

I don't have a problem with guns and gun owners as long as the guns are reasonable (no assault rifles) and the gun owners are rational and use their weapons reasonably.

But, I know that the above is not true. Why?
  • Some of the guns that owners want to possess and carry are assault rifles. I see absolutely no justification for owning an assault rifle or any automatic weapon. Such weapons are not needed for hunting or personal protection. Anybody that feels that an automatic or assault weapon is needed for their protection is, in my opinion, not rational and shouldn't own a firearm of any type.
  • Many demonstrators showed up at townhall meetings with a weapon and at least one of them was an assault rifle. These people brought a open carry firearm into a large crowd which was already angry and demonstrative. This was an exceptionally irresponsible act. This is the act of a person whom I do not want to own a firearm.
  • While flying on business a few neatly dressed men in business suits and cowboy hats boarded the plane and one of them sat next to me. He was in his mid-fifties. He told me that he would prefer to be carrying his .45. He then added, "I would feel safer if everybody on this plane was carrying." I assure you that I felt much safer "knowing" that he was not carrying a firearm. If the gun advocates could have their way, they would carry all the time and every place. There is nothing about this man's attitude that is, in my opinion, mature and rational. I don't want anybody with such an attitude to own any firearm.

I'm not opposed to firearms because I think they kill people. Rather, I think people kill people. Firearms in the hands of a responsible person who uses the firearm reasonably is not an issue for me. However, I think that the people who are most interested in protecting their gun rights and who will not tolerate any regulations on gun sales and type of gun are neither adequately mature nor responsible enough to own a firearm.

The United States does not own more firearms per capita than all other developed countries but the percentage of our population that is killed each year with firearms is much higher than in any other developed country. It isn't because we own firearms, it is because of the people who own the firearms. As long as immature and irresponsible people can possess a firearm then I am in favor of enacting strict regulations on the type of firearms that may be owned, how it is sold, who may own it and for what purpose.

Let's grow up. We no longer need guns to defend ourselves from the British, French, Spanish or Mexican invaders or marauding American Indians. Even Wyatt Earp knew that if you let everybody carry a gun in Dodge City some of them will be killing each other for no good reason. In my opinion, anybody that still needs to bear arms for the purpose that our Founding Fathers intended is least qualified to own one.

Words Of "Wisdom" From Glenn Beck

Here is a short list of Glenn Beck statements that confirm that he is a racist whose words are dangerous.

  • “Every night I get down on my knees and pray that Dennis Kucinich will burst into flames.” (2003)
  • "I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it." (2005)
  • "When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I'm just like, 'Oh shut up' I'm so sick of them because they're always complaining." (2005)
  • “The only [Katrina victims] we’re seeing on television are the scumbags.” (2005)
  • “Let me tell you something, there ain’t [nothing] better than looking at a hot, naked chick.” (2006)

Please add other Beck gems in your comments.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Birther Will Deliver GOP Response To Obama's Address To Congress

Louisiana Rep. Charles Boustany has been selected by the GOP to deliver their response to President Obama's address to Congress on health care reform. Relatively unknown, Boustany may have been selected because he is a medical doctor. The GOP is obviously unconcerned that Boustany was a cosponsor of "The Life Sustaining Treatment Preferences Act of 2009" that would require Medicare to pay doctors for providing end-of-life counseling, which the GOP has labeled the "death panel" in its argument against health care reform. The GOP must also be unconcerned that Boustany is one of several Congressional Republicans who do not accept that President Obama was born in the United States and thus qualified to be the president.

The GOP's choice to respond to Obama's first address to the nation was Bobby Jindal who, prior to his speech, was a 2012 GOP Presidential hopeful. Jindals's disappointing speech, among other things, quickly ended his presidential aspirations. But, this selection seems to be an even poorer choice than their first. The majority of Americans are smart enough to believe that Obama is a natural citizen of the United States. How many of them will question Boustany's qualifications because he is a Birther?

Why does the GOP feel that Boustany is the best choice? Will Boustany testify that reform legislation does provide for a "death panel" because HE proposed it? Will Boustany also deny Obama's citizenship?

Is the GOP a piece of "work" or what? This fine group of quasi-racist, bible-quoting, corruption-riddled obstructors of all Democratic legislation is hell bent on doing anything to restore their majority position in Congress in 2010 and defeat Obama in 2012 as soon as they identify who in the RNC is the best choice to be their Great White Hope, to quote Republican congresswoman Lynn Jenkins of Kansas. And while they accomplish these self-serving goals they MUST also defeat health care reform for the health care industry that so generously contributes to many GOP members of our Congress. What will they be doing for the American people? Nothing!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Fighting In Sporting Events

The Oregon football player that Sunday punched an opppnent on the field has been suspended from play for the rest of the season. I agree with the suspension and I think most people do. However, I soon realized that punishing this player is inconsistent with the on-field conduct of professional athletes who are role models for amateur athletes.

Fighting among professional athletes is not only tolerated, it is expected in some sports, especially hockey and baseball. Hockey teams have their enforcers. Pitchers intentionally "brush back" the batter by throwing the ball at the batter who is often struck. Then the dugouts empty as both teams entertain the fans with a brawl in the infield.

I have always thought that fighting on the field should be dealt with like fighting off the field. Both, in my opinion, are criminal conduct.

As long as we accept fighting in professional sports we should expect our amateurs to do the same.

What do you think? Should we continue to condone fighting in professional sports? If so, should amateurs be allowed to do the same?

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Ann Coulter vs Al Franken - Which Historical Figure Do You Admire The Most?

In 2007 Ann Coulter and Al Franken appeared on the CT Forum. They were asked,
  • who in history do you admire the most and think had the most fun?
  • who in history would you be and what would you do as that person?

Ann Coulter's response is no surprise. Franken's sense of humor makes Coulter look like the ass she is.

Enjoy the video. I certainly did!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Palin Invited To Testify Before NY State Senate

New York State Senator Reverend Ruben Diaz, a conservative Democrat, has invited Sarah Palin to testify before the Senate Aging Committee as they determine the impact that Obama's proposed health care reform will have on senior citizens of New York. Several officials from the fields of medicine, politics and insurance will also testify.

Senator Diaz invited Palin after reading a tweet she posted on her Twitter page regarding the "death panel" which she says will be created by Obama's health care reform.

Senator Diaz is as much an idiot as Sarah Palin.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Michele Bachmann Wants Us to Slit Our Wrists

In a speech at a Denver fundraiser on Monday, Michele Bachmann, congresswoman from Minnesota's 6th District, said in regard to the effort to defeat health care reform,

"What we have to do today is make a covenant, to slit our wrists, be blood brothers on this thing. This will not pass. We will do whatever it takes to make sure this doesn't pass. Right now, we are looking at reaching down the throat and ripping the guts out of freedom and we may never be able to restore it if we don't man up and take this one on."

I guess that the praying and fasting that Michele called for last week didn't pay off as soon as she expected. Did she only lose her patience with God or did she lose her faith?

Bachmann is indeed the Queen of the Wingnuts. It's hard to believe that anybody not in a straight jacket would believe anything that Bachmann says, anymore, but it appears that as long as Bachmann has a spot for fishing along the shallow end of the gene pool, she'll be able to hook plenty of supporters.