Politicalmonkey2010

The Truth Shall Set You Free…It might piss you off first, but it will set you free.

Archive for the ‘dirty politics’ Category

Twitter Battles

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on September 24, 2011

I’ve taken a few days off from cyberspace to reflect…

They say the political battle for 2012 is going to be fought in cyberspace and twitter, we have already seen the impact of the age of information and instant communication.  We have watched the Arab Spring unfold before our very eyes starting with a vegetable vendor in Tunisia lighting himself on fire out of frustration.  The world sat transfixed for 18 days and watched the now world famous Tahrir Square Revolution, and the demise of a tyrant.  Bahrain a tiny country still struggles, they have not given up.  Libyan freedom fighters with the help of NATO are taking back their country.  In Syria, a vicious battle rages, we rely on You Tube Videos and tweets to tell the story since no journalist are allowed.  Finally we watched as the Palestinians took their hopes for dignity, freedom and justice to the UN and asked for statehood.  We also watched Pres. Obama threaten a veto, and did nothing short of wrapping himself in the Israeli flag and dance the Hora.   The US threatened countries who supported the Palestinian bid with cutting off funds, as well as the Palestinians themselves.

What happened to the Barack Obama who was in Cairo a few years ago encouraging the Arabs to embrace democracy, self determination?  He was playing to the the domestic market, he was playing to AIPAC, he was playing to the powerful Jewish lobby and the mis-information that the right has sent out – claiming that Barack Obama didn’t support Israel.  Which was far from the truth.   Winston Churchill said “A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.”  We’ve seen that with the birther issue.

In the midst of the Arab Spring, the Arab Awakening and the shifting sands of diplomacy and power in the middle east, Barack Obama has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.

One of the dangers in not blindly supporting Israel is one is automatically labelled as anti – Semitic.  The truth is the narrative that most of us have heard regarding the Palestinian issue has largely been framed by the Israelis – with a background always touching the holocaust. In no way do I deny the Holocaust, we as human beings cannot forget the horrors that occurred.   We cannot remain silent when we see ethnic cleansing going on…and that includes when the victim becomes the victimizer.  The situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is at a tipping point.   Nothing short of a slow holocaust has been occurring.   It is no longer a back story in a newspaper as it was 10 years ago, the new information age has made sure we see it all.   9/11 brought the middle east to the forefront.  There is no excuse for us as Americans not to be educated on the entire issues, from the beginning, and here’s a surprise, that is before  1948.

I am absolutely disgusted with Pres. Obama on this issue, when I voted for him I was voting for a change, not the same Bush policies towards the Palestinian issue that did nothing but cause the US to lose credibility in the middle east.  We were making significant headway in restarting our relationships in the middle east until  now…we have just lose the battle at the most crucial time.

Does that mean I don’t support Pres. Obama for re-election?  No.  I support him for re-election, because the alternative is unthinkable.

When I watch a Tea Party audience cheer at an uninsured man dying, in no way can I support that type of mentality.

When I watch a Tea Party audience boo a gay soldier serving his country, and not one Presidential candidate called them on it at the time…in no way can I support that type of mentality.

When I listen to people like Michele Bachmann hype lies on cervical cancer vacines, in no way can I support that type of mentality.

The list goes on..I will support Barack Obama for re-election,  he is the lesser of two evils.  The other evil is so vile and vicious, the founding father’s must surely be turning in their graves.

But what you will hear me tweeting and blogging about more is the Palestinian issue, and it is not anti Semitic to tell the truth.  It is a long complicated history, and there is enough blood on everybody’s hands.  Nobody is innocent,   as one of my favorite people in the twitterverse @ilikewoods in  says in her bio .. I believe the truth is out there, and I am going to spread it like mustard!   That is exactly what I intend to do.  I know I am going to make some people uncomfortable, I know I am going to lose some followers, and I’m ok  with that.  If the truth makes you uncomfortable, then don’t read my blog, don’t follow me on twitter.  If you want to understand, engage in productive dialogue, challenge the  false narrative that has been pounded into you with the truth and facts, then welcome.

Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.  ~Emily Dickinson

(http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/09/23/Palestinians-US-bullied-to-get-its-way/UPI-34431316763000/)

Posted in aipac, anti semitic, dirty politics, holocaust, israel, obama, palestinian conflict, twitter, US Politics, World News | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Herman Cain – Why Him? Why Now?

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on May 22, 2011

Conservative Choice - Tea Party Endorsed?

On May 21, 2011, the rapture did not occur, but something else did, Herman Cain announced he is running for President of the US.   While  the news in itself is nothing spectacular, and the GOP field of candidates is marginal at best the issue that keeps twitching in the back of my mind is why him? and why now?

First, who is Herman Cain?

His bio shows he is a man who has pulled himself up and done it very well.  He came from  a humble background, his mother was a cleaner and his father was a chauffeur. He was raised in Georgia,  graduated from Morehouse College in 1967 with a BA in mathematics ,  received a  MS degree in computer science from Purdue University in 1971.

His career has included the Department of the Navy, Coca-Cola, VP at Pillsbury, Burger King– managing 400 stores in the Philadelphia area. Under Cain’s leadership, his region went from the least profitable for Burger King to the most profitable in three years. This prompted Pillsbury to appoint him president and CEO of  Godfather’s Pizza one of  their then-subsidiaries. Within 14 months, Cain had returned Godfather’s to profitability. In 1988, Cain and a group of investors bought Godfather’s from Pillsbury. Cain continued as CEO until 1996, when he resigned to become CEO of the National Restaurant Association.  Cain was on the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas Cityin 1992 and served as its chairman from January 1995 to August 1996.

His first taste of the limelight of politics came when he publicly opposed President Bill Clinton’s health care bill.  He credits himself, rightly or wrongly with taking down the health care reform in ’94/’95.  In In 2004, Cain ran for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, running as a conservative and opposing the legality of abortion even in cases of rape and incest – he lost.

He has kept himself in the limelight with The Herman Cain Show on Atlanta talk radio station until February 2011 and had served as a commentator for Fox Business and as a syndicated columnist distributed by the North Star Writers Group.

I am not going to say that Cain is not a good businessman, he is, his record shows it.  Much like a teacher who excels in the classroom and then is moved into administration the talent, the calling is lost.  The impact the teacher made may be  washed away in a new career, not all transitions are successful.  The key is being able to recognize where your real talent lies.  A hard, objective assessment of your skills.  The danger comes when you start to believe your own press, whether you are a teacher or a political figure or want to be a political figure.  To listen to Cain talk about his encounter with Pres. Clinton is disconcerting…

As he recalls the moment, Cain is clearly proud. “I almost didn’t go to that town hall meeting that day, but I think it was meant to be,” he says. “The next day, I was on every TV morning news show. I’ll never forget Ted Koppel that night: ‘The pizza man from Omaha stumped the president last night over his health care bill.’ This was surreal.”

The fire had been lit, the ego had been stroked, and so he begins his foray into the political field, and the public field with his radio talk show, and Fox commentator spot.

From a purely human nature view point one can clearly see how Cain has moved to the position he is in today, if for no other reason than ego.

But the real question still is unanswered.  Why Cain?  And why now?  If you look at social media such as twitter are there those Tea Party and “Conservative” supporters who will blindly defend Cain, refusing to acknowledge that he is not the right wing answer to the social agenda they would like to see implemented, and sorely lacks geo-political nuances to the point where he would put the U.S. in harm’s way with his populist rhetoric.

You can already see the Tea Party cannibalism at play, challenging the fact that Cain worked for the evil “big government Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City.   Those on Tea Party enthusiast who remind their fellow patriots that Cain supported the TARP bailout are met with a sound rebuke. Cain himself has said:

Admittedly, these Wall Street bailouts and “special loan arrangements” by the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve seem inappropriate and excessive to the typical citizen, but if the Bush Administration had done nothing, Mike and Mary Mainstreet would have been outraged once the ripple effect knocked on their door.

That sounds dangerously close to President Obama, doesn’t it?  TARP has long been an issue for the right, who pretend to have amnesia that this was a program initiated by Bush.

So why would the Tea Party support Cain after by his own admission he fully supported TARP?  This is the part where it gets uncomfortable.  We have all seen the signs of Tea Party supporters that by any stretch of the imagination are nothing but racists.  We  have seen the former Tea Party Express spokesperson Mark Williams racist letter to the NAACP.  Look a little further on social media (www.viletweets.com ) some of these folks make the KKK look mainstream.  But now they stand behind Herman Cain.  A self-made black man. Why? Is this the Tea Party’s attempt to say “see we aren’t racists, we support a black man!”

The sad fact is Cain is not qualified, while he is great at one-liners and zingers, he has absolutely no understanding of geo-politics.  As President Obama pointed out in his speech on the Arab Spring and to AIPAC, the world is changing at an unprecedented pace.  Cain’s response to the Palestinian – Israeli conflict?…

“I was shocked at the president’s position, and I was equally shocked that he would unilaterally suggest that Israel would move the borders back which they acquired 44 years ago. This president threw Israel under the bus, there is no way around it. It demonstrates once again the arrogant disregard of this president for the opinion of the American people who like the relationship we have with Israel, and for Israel having the right to make its own decisions.”

One has to wonder if Cain listened to any of the speech?  If he did listen to it and this is what he came away with, one has to question his ability to comprehend.  He obviously does not know the history of the region, he does not understand that until this conflict is resolved, the U.S. and the rest of the world is at danger.  Gen. Petraus has confirmed that the resolution of this conflict is in our national interest.   The the Arab Spring, foreign diplomats all over the world are coming to the very frightening conclusion, that the landscape is changing at a rate that nobody ever anticipated.  With that change, at some point the influence of the U.S. and E.U. in the middle east is going to wane.  This is the time to push, while there is still influence to be had.  Cain’s response was a child’s response to a parent who is telling the hard truth.

His economic policies are even more frightening, in 2010 he advocated a return to the gold standard.  There are at least three reasons why this is not feasible.  First, the world supply of gold is too small to support a global economy with an annual output of 50tn a year.  Second, the global economy is a lot more diverse than it was in the 19th century, when the scene was dominated by a handful of European nations plus America. Third, pegging currencies to gold would almost certainly prove to be deflationary. Take a lesson from Britain in 1925  Churchill decided to return to the gold standard at the pre-war parity following pressure from the Bank of England governor Montagu Norman, it proved to be one of the great economic blunders of the 20th century. Within six years, deflationary pressure had forced Britain to abandon gold.

The argument that a gold standard would make the economy more stable is a non sequitur, economists say you can’t force currency to be stable—at least not for long.  Economic uncertainty is a fact of life, says J.D. Foster, an economist at the Heritage Foundation.  Advocates of the gold standard want to “legislate certainty,” he says. “It’s like you have a town of declining morals, so you legislate churches. It’s not going to work.”

Without a doubt Cain has business savvy, but the economics of a business compared to the economics of a country, and a global economy are different animals.  The frightening thing is, this is a man who was on the Federal Reserve Board, he of all people should be aware of the dangers and mechanics, yet he offers a populist point of view?  In essence discrediting himself? Why?

What about big government, and the Federal Reserve Board…Cain doesn’t believe that they need to be audited…this is in direct opposition to conservatives who not only believe they should be audited, but probably abolished.

And yet the right continues to endorse him.  He is not qualified, and this is not a time for amateur hour at this critical stage in history.

It is painfully evident that the Tea Party is going to support him, knowing full well he is not going to be a viable candidate.  They are exploiting him as their “black candidate so you can’t say we are racist” campaign.

Perhaps it is because I am a woman,  I have been in the corporate environment and did quite well, as I was acutely aware that my performance had to be 110%, because I was a woman.  It makes me angry that Cain is being used.  He is not a stupid man, so I am going to have to assume he is agreeable to prostituting himself out for the limelight, for the ability to say I ran for President of the United States of America.  Maybe it is just one huge ego stroke.  Or maybe he finds it economically desirable to put himself in this position.  Perhaps there is somebody, some “corporation” like the Koch brother’s bank rolling this ego trip.  Willing to forgo a viable candidate to try to re-brand the Tea Party and their agenda with less racial overtones.  It is fascinating is to watch the people who are pimping Cain out on social media, a bunch of old white guys who like to collect minority friends so they can exploit them and use them as a shield that says…see I’m not racist.

When I was a child, my mother made me believe that I could do anything I set my mind to, and I believed her.  I also learned there are situations where the best thing you can do is admit you are not qualified, as hard of a blow as that is to the ego, it is called the gift of discernment.    It is human nature to seek those people and situations that validate who we are, what we stand for.  It takes a great deal of internal fortitude and honesty to seek out the truth, to objectively look at why we do what we do.  We all have a price –  Mr. Cain what ever the financial or ego payoff is I hope you negotiated a good deal, because you are turning your hard earned legacy into a side show complete with unsustainable right wing rhetoric that does nothing but divide and discredit.

UPDATE May 24

Right on cue emerges Bryan Fischer.  A brief bio of Mr. Fischer:  Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, (AFA), host of the talk radio program Focal Point: on American Family Radio, and a contributor to the AFA-run blog Rightly Concerned.  For the record the AFA in 2010 was designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Mr. Fischer a  Tea Party supporter gave an interview 9/16/2010 where he explained his vision of the Tea Party and their role in politics:

INSKEEP: Well, let me bring Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association into our discussion here from Mississippi. And Mr. Fischer, what issues have you pressed when you became involved in the Tea Party movement?

Mr. BRYAN FISCHER (Public Policy, American Family Association): Well, the American Family Association, part of why we got involved in this is we believe the country needs not only to be called back to constitutional government, not only back to physical responsibility, but also to the same cultural and social values that were embraced by the founders.

INSKEEP: What cultural and social values are you thinking of that were embraced by the founders, as you put it?

Mr. FISCHER: They said that the first of the inalienable rights that was granted to us by the creator is the right to life. So we believe sanctity of life has got to be central to any genuinely conservative movement, belief in a creator and to defending natural marriage and resisting homosexual agenda.

Mr. Fischer has advocated for the forced removal of all Muslims from the United States,  and that the First Amendment applies only to Christian Americans, and not to practitioners of other religions such as Islam and Judaism.  His positions on homosexuals?  That deserves a posting of its own, suffice to say they are going to burn in hell according to Mr. Fischer.

On May 18, he posted a piece to the AFA blog site where he expressed his opinions with regards to the Republican presidential candidates…

So the 2012 GOP presidential nomination shootout is already turning into a classic battle between ruling class Republicans who want Romney or Daniels and citizen class Republicans who want a Herman Cain or a Michele Bachmann (anybody besides me fascinated by the thought of a Cain-Bachmann ticket?) and could settle for a Pawlenty. I’m betting on the citizen class on this one.

Sounds like he really likes Herman Cain.

Fast forward a few days to President Obama’s trip to Ireland, discovering his Irish roots…this is what Mr. Fischer had to say:

He can’t talk enough about how white he is and how white his heritage is. And you compare that to, say, Herman Cain – you know, Herman Cain was just joking around about being the real Black man in the presidential race and President Obama kind of helping reinforce what Herman Cain has said in jest.

President Obama is half-white, and half-black; Herman Cain is all black; he’s authentically black; he is the real black man in the race.

So we’ll see how all of that plays out. I mean, President Obama celebrating his Irish heritage, I mean there is just something about that I just find, I just find that comical, frankly.

Now somebody tell me I am wrong, I want to be wrong.  What we clearly have here is a Tea Party supporter, a Herman Cain supporter, a “Constitutionalist”  who wrote the following:

You’d think that the Democrats, with all their bloviation about how the Constitution is a living and breathing document that must change with the times, would be ecstatic at Republican recognition of legitimate changes to our founding document.

But no. The grievance industry, represented by Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and other plantation politicians, is royally hacked off that the original part of the Constitution that dealt with representation in the slave-holding states wasn’t read. News flash for Rep. Jackson: the Civil War ended 146 years ago. Wake up and smell the freedom! Get over yourself and get on up into the 21st century while you’re at it.

So the grievance industry, still stuck woefully in the past, desperately wanted the Republicans to read the “three-fifths” clause. The Republicans didn’t, for one simple reason. It’s no longer part of the Constitution.

And here’s the kicker: while the Democrats wanted that read because they erroneously believe that it says that slaves were three-fifths of a person, the Constitution itself says exactly the opposite. The “three-fifths” clause clearly affirms the personhood of slaves.

Check it out. Here is the relevant portion, with emphasis added:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

Bottom line: the three-fifths clause is not a pro-slavery clause, it is an anti-slavery clause.

And the same clause affirms the personhood of all slaves. You could look it up.

…and he just did exactly what I said was being done….he paraded Herman Cain out there for his “blackness”.

It is despicable.

Sources

http://new.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=172858

http://www.npr.org/2011/05/07/135768988/herman-cain-a-political-outsider-and-proud-of-it

http://004eeb5.netsolhost.com/hc129.htm

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2010/nov/08/gold-standard-strong-reasons-against-it

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129901232

http://www.afa.net/Blogs/BlogPost.aspx?id=2147506345

http://www.politicususa.com/en/bryan-fischer-says-unlike-obama-herman-cain-is-authentically-black

http://www.afa.net/Blogs/BlogPost.aspx?id=2147501809

Posted in dirty politics, koch brothers, racism, Tea Party, twitter, US Politics | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Koch Brothers – Death of the American Dream

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on April 4, 2011

I took the liberty of taking this from Alternet – good verifiable source links.

Vote for 5 Worst Things the Koch Brothers Have Done: Brave New Films Unveils New Documentary Series

The billionaire Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to gain political influence and change America. Their work and spending is driven by the goal of increasing their own profit through decreasing regulations. The expansive and diverse nature of their efforts makes it overwhelming to keep tabs of all they’ve done that has caused harm. And that’s why Brave New Foundation is going to keep connecting the dots and telling the full story of what they’ve done to our country.

Our work at Brave New Films has always focused on the best way to tell the full story, to connect all the moving pieces and to highlight how one example of a problem in our democracy is always representative of a larger problem. Our producers did this with Outfoxed, where they exposed the unbalanced propaganda that is Fox News. And they did this with Wal-Mart, where they uncovered the damage done to our country by the high cost of low prices. In Iraq For Sale, they exposed the war profiteering and they were on the front line of questioning the reasons for war in Rethink Afghanistan. With Sick for Profit, they fought against insurance company greed in the battle for health care. And they worked to stop the History Channel from hosting fiction and smearing President Kennedy.

And now we aim our focus at the Koch brothers. 
With a net worth of $43 billion the Kochs have already spent decades of their lives and over $324 million of their wealth exerting their influence.

The Kochs accomplish their goals by funding a massive array of right wing front groups, think tanks and tea party efforts. They largely operate outside of the public eye, and target their funding to infiltrate public opinion, the media, judicial decisions and legislation. Over three dozen organizations are funded by the brothers, and they spend additional money lobbying and backing political candidates.

Everything the Kochs do is to fight for a country free from protections and any degree of a social safety net for working Americans. The Kochs are not the only uber-wealthy in America who are using their money to buy political power that will increase their profits, but they are a key example through which to tell this story.

As a starting place of exposing the Kochs, we thought it would be useful to compile a video outlining the top five worst things the Koch brothers have done.

As the video outlines, there are a lot of “worst of” moments the Koch brothers have already created. Here is a rundown of the top five covered within the video.

Oil Spills

Koch Industries have made much of their money in the oil business. In 2000 they were fined the largest amount yet imposed upon a company under federal law. The $30 million fine was paid to resolve claims related to more than 300 oil spills in over six states, and an additional $5 million was ordered to be spent on environmental projects.

As the EPA reports, most of the spills occurred in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. One incident involved 100,000 gallons of oil spilled in Texas, which caused a 12-mile oil slick on Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay.

Anti-Worker

The Koch brothers have spent more that $34 million on groups and organizations that work against workers rights. Koch organizations have targeted key union efforts, such as fighting against public sector union pay raises, and arguing against unions having any political or organizing power.

The Koch brothers also gave money to political candidates to achieve their goals. Mother Jones’s summarizes this diverse giving well:

According to Wisconsin campaign finance filings, Walker’s gubernatorial campaign received $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC during the 2010 election. That donation was his campaign’s second-highest, behind $43,125 in contributions from housing and realtor groups in Wisconsin. The Koch’s PAC also helped Walker via a familiar and much-used political maneuver designed to allow donors to skirt campaign finance limits. The PAC gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which in turn spent $65,000 on independent expenditures to support Walker. The RGA also spent a whopping $3.4 million on TV ads and mailers attacking Walker’s opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Walker ended up beating Barrett by 5 points. The Koch money, no doubt, helped greatly.

Additionally, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, a tea party group, led the Stand With Walker campaign, which led support of the Governor’s efforts to bust unions and fight against workers rights.

Anti-Healthcare

The Kochs financed the tea party’s fight against health care reform through their tea party group, Americans for Prosperity.

Anti-Immigration

The Koch Brothers have funded anti-immigration legislation through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a conservative group that writes policies and offers them to state legislatures throughout the country for use. ALEC has been involved in a wide range of anti-immigration work, including Arizona’s SB1070, which requires anyone thought to be an immigrant to produce paperwork.

Foreclosures

The Kochs fund think tanks that push for foreclosures on working people’s houses. The Koch funded Reason Foundation has produced numerous reports saying that foreclosures should not be stopped. And the Koch funded Mercatus Center also presented congressional testimony stating that the foreclosures should not be stopped, and that there is no harm done to homeowners when their houses are foreclosed on.

Untold Millions

The Koch brothers’ spending is structured, such that it is difficult for the public to know the full range of their political influence. With the Koch-supported Citizens United, and other attempts to fight against campaign finance reform, this trend of lack of transparency is only to get worse. The spending numbers that we do know are only the tip of the iceberg.

As if that list isn’t frightening and offensive enough, there’s even more that could be added to it! Visit our Koch Brothers Exposed site and Koch Brothers Exposed Facebook page to vote on the options and suggestion you own thoughts on what the worst thing is that the Koch brothers have done.

Brave New Foundation is just getting started on our work to expose the Koch Brothers. Please join us to follow our upcoming videos. (Watch the first one below.) You can also donate to become a producer and receive a limited edition Shepard Fairey Koch Brothers Exposed t-shirt.



Posted in dirty politics, koch brothers, US Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Birth of Democracy…Destruction of Democracy

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 2, 2011

The irony has not been lost on me that while I am humbled to witness the birth of what we all hope to be a new democracy in Egypt, I am also dismayed that I am witnessing an attempted hijacking of a democracy in the USA.

Without a doubt a new paradigm is being ushered into the world, it started with a humble vegetable vendor in Tunisia, Bouazizi Mohamed, frustrated by his inability to make a living, to have a bit of dignity set himself on fire.   As the world watched Tunisia’s dictator crumble, something stirred deep inside the belly of the middle east.  Egyptians broke the fear barrier, and brought down their tyrant…it is spreading…Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, protests are schedule for Saudi on March 11,  and of course Libya.  After being ruled by outsiders for a 1,000 years, and then conquered by insiders who raped the country and the spirit of the people, the Arab world has found their voice, and they are crying for freedom, for dignity, for universal human rights.   The important factor here being, this is a movement from within, it was not brought on by the US kicking in the door of democracy as we did in Iraq.  Not to mention the fact that the US imposed, demanded elections in Palestine, which were conducted, and Hamas was elected, then we decided that we didn’t like who won the democratic elections.

When I think of the word democracy, I think of the US.  We may not be the biggest democracy – that honor goes to India, and we may not be the oldest democracy – that belongs to Greece,  but I always thought of us as a forward moving democracy.  A democracy that has survived and prospered because we embraced change.  We have had Constitutional Amendments to reflect new paradigms -the abolition of  slavery, the removal of the notion that a slave was counted as three-fifths of a person, women given the right to vote are a few examples of how we have morphed to be a more fully inclusive democracy.

One of the signs of a successful democracy is a degree of  civilized disagreement.   The US has continually has extremists on both sides of the aisle,  and ultimately some where in the middle is a good place to rest, but finding middle ground has been increasingly difficult.  Movement to compromise is thwarted continually and forward movement is being hijacked, most notably from a populist movement called the Tea Party, with inflammatory rhetoric and a hard no compromising approach it threatens the very foundation of this democracy.

It also bears mentioning that the people who are bankrolling this movement have their own agenda.  Much of which can be viewed on  Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Programs.  There is also another group,  who have been given the luxury of operating in the shadows for the most part, that is until recently – The Koch brothers.

The billionaire  Koch Brothers have given tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates. Millions more of their dollars have been given to think tanks such as the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation, and lobbying organisations like the US Chamber of Commerce. They have also helped bankroll dozens of cleverly-named pressure groups, including Americans for Prosperity and the Institute for Justice.  Most organisations which benefit from the Kochs’ largesse have one thing in common: they help advance an unflinching brand of libertarian conservatism. Some lobby against environmental regulation, or seek to undermine public perception of the threat of climate change, others battle taxes, trade unions and Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms.  Laughing all the way to the bank with the millions of dollars they have made at the expense of America and Americans. Their ecology destroying business has benefited from the political people the Koch’s have bedded including Bob Dole (Source) Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is no stranger to the Koch Brothers, they heavily bankrolled his campaign, as they did other Republican governors.  (Sources  1 2 3 4 5 )

When a Governor or any other political leader feels the need to “lock down” a capitol, that is a big clue that something very, very wrong is happening.    Gov. Walker, just like every dictator and tyrant in the world has taken a hard line approach, he isn’t negotiating.  Why?  Is it power?  Is it money? Or a combination.  The prank call from a “Koch” brother to Gov. Walker revealed his belief system, and his priorities.

 

 

 

Nobody likes to be given an ultimatum, and the union has come to the table, but Gov. Walker has one agenda in mind, to bust the union.  Unions have been a part of America’s working class.  Unions have brought us weekends, an eight hour work day, OSHA – safety in the workplace, eliminated child labor, vacations, minimum wage to name a few.  Yet, Gov. Walker and the right wing political machine is determined to throw working people back into shackles and sweat shops, owned by the company store.  It is the extremism, the tyrant like behavior that is so disturbing.   Walker has drawn the line in the sand, and in fact may be the best thing anybody has done for the Democratic Party in a long time.  It has united people.  An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose taking away some of the collective bargaining rights that public employee unions now have and almost as many oppose cutting the pay or benefits of those workers, according to a nationwide New York Times/CBS News poll conducted Feb. 24-27.

A few months ago I had a conversation with a man who identified himself as an “Independent” – although I am more inclined to think that was just a way to avoid admitting he is a Republican, but I digress.  The point of the conversation was that the Republican party needed to “rebrand” itself into the working man’s party.  That isn’t going to happen any time soon given recent events.

The real question is :  is busting the unions the only way to eliminate Wisconsin’s  $137 million budget deficit?  The answer is no.  There are at least three other ways to close the gap.

  1. Close Special Interest Property Tax Loopholes – The current exemptions on potential property taxes amount to $700 million per year.
  2. Close The Internet Sales Tax Loophole – A University of Tennessee study estimates that “in 2011 alone, Wisconsin will lose an estimated $127 million in uncollected sales tax on purchases made online.
  3. Crack Down On Corporate Income Tax Dodgers – this would close $113 million dollar a year.

(source)

It all begs the question, why target the unions?  This isn’t about unions, it is about power, it is about money.  It is about the right vs. the left.  It is about shutting down the money that has traditionally funded the Democrats.  The party that has always represented the working class person, the party that has at its core values compassion.  With the emergence of the Tea Party all of a sudden if you have compassion, you are called a socialist, a Marxist, a communist.  I consider myself a centrist, but I am the first to admit with each push, with each unreasonable action from the right I move farther and farther to the left.  It is evident that compromise is not in their vocabulary, which leaves no other choice but to push, and push hard.  I refuse to remain silent and watch my country slide into an abyss where the only people who have dignity are those that have vast sums of money.  I believe if given a some what even playing field, if given the opportunity and environment to succeed Americans will rise to the challenge.  Keeping silent while democracy is hijacked by right wing nut jobs is not an option.

In order for a democracy to survive, in order for capitalism to survive, people must be empowered, economically and socially.  I can’t help but wonder if the US is going where Egypt was, we are moving backwards.  We are stripping workers of their rights, creating future ghettos for the short term benefit of people like the Koch brothers who have managed to find the prostitute in politicians.  They have capitalized on the fear of the Tea Party – racism and Islamaphobia.  The biggest threat to America and the core values of our democracy, will not come from Al Qaeda,  it will come from within.  It is already here.  I can’t help but believe that in 10 years some of these rabid wing nuts will say “oh my God what did we do?”  It will be too late then, but maybe we will remember how Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya fought to take back their countries.  Walk like an Egyptian but fight like a Libyan ….

 

 

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An Open Letter to the 112th Congress Regarding Repealing Health Care

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on January 16, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen of the 112th Congress:

As you prepare to symbolically repeal health care, and you enter into political rhetoric to fulfill campaign promises, let me assure you, health care is a very personal issue, it is not symbolic for me and millions of other people, it is real, it is tangible, it has consequences and impact.

I come from a family who has always embraced the idea of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, not asking for a government handout.  I remember shortly after I graduated from college…I lost my job because the company closed, it never occurred to me to apply for unemployment.  I was raised to be not too proud to work, I took what job I could get, until I found a better job.  My  family has always believed in service to country, we have  a rich military history, ranging from enlisted people to graduates from West Point,  all proudly serving the United States of America, past and current.  We  can trace our family roots back to the American Revolution.  I am an educated woman, self employed, with a strong work ethic.  My “pedigree” is as noble as any one of yours.  But here is where we differ…you have health insurance, I am in essence forced to live outside my country because of a pre-existing health condition and unaffordable insurance.   So instead of contributing to my country’s economy, I contribute to another country’s economy.  My talents, my knowledge, my abilities are being hijacked because of health insurance costs and conditions.  I am the person you talk about being the driving engine of the economy, the small business owner.   I could return to the US, and given current health insurance costs, I would have a choice of either paying for health insurance or having a roof over my head.  Either way it  puts me in an unsustainable position, it would force me into seeking government assistance.  I do not want government assistance, I want to be able to provide for myself, I want to contribute to the betterment of society.  Without health care reform, you force me and others into sucking off the government “teat”.  I wasn’t raised that way, and I am not going to start now.

As you prepare to  throw sand in the gears, try to cut off funding, launching time consuming and fruitless investigations, choose to selectively ignore the CBO figures, choose not to apply the “rules” you promised, twist, spin and incite with rhetoric like “Repealing the Job Killing Health Care Act”.  I wait.  I do not believe that I am alone in my wait.

The past two years  of  politicizing  the people’s business has created gridlock, sound bites that incite, and a general lack of credibility and confidence in government.  And now we start again?  Instead of symbolic actions, we need tangible, honest actions.  The health care bill and most of its benefits and cost reductions will not fully be implemented until 2014.  It is time to stop the spinning and half truths, it is time to put the needs of the people first – that means telling the people the truth.  This is not a “Job Killing Health Care Act”.  This is not a government take over of health care, this is not “death panels” – what this health care act does is give affordable health care to the public.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see this Congress put aside the rhetoric, put aside the partisan politics, roll up their sleeves and get down to work, honest work, the people’s work?  We have lots of problems to solve, real problems.  In today’s information age, we the people have the ability to source, evaluate, verify, and transmit data, and ideas within minutes.   We the people are watching, even those of us outside the US still vote.  My vote counts, my voice counts.  I am simply asking you to do the right thing, be truthful, be factual, solve problems, don’t create artificial ones.

Sign me….

An American in Exile due to Health Insurance

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Rep. Mantra of 2011 – No More Earmarks or Welcome to Fantasy Land

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on January 2, 2011

2011 will usher in a Republican lead house who has vowed “No more earmarks” .  A noble cause to be sure after funding a “Bridge to Nowhere” and a variety of other pure wasteful spending bills.   Earmarks are part of the legislative process, like it or not.  So how does one get around that pesky little problem once you have campaigned on a “no more earmarks!” election?

We can take a lesson from Michele Bachmann, leader of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, wants to “redefine” earmarks.  Mmmm redefine…is that like when you are pregnant you say you have a “bun in the oven”?  .. like when somebody dies they are pushing up daisies?… you get my point the end result is the same, I don’t care what you call it Michelle, earmarks are earmarks.  But if you want to play spin the earmark, go ahead.   Here is a partial list of earmarks in 2008 Michele has requested (Source)  She did not request earmarks during the campaigning of 2009 a notable event.

  • $94,000 for Sheriffs Youth Program of MN
  • $335,000 for Equipment Acquisition for Northland Medical Center
  • $803,000 for Replacement Small Buses, St. Cloud Metro Bus

While the good people of MN were experiencing less federal government in their lives while  Michele was campaigning and ranting about socialized government,  her family was more than happy to receive funds from the federal government.   On her 2008 Financial Disclosure Statement she lists among her assets an interest in the Independence, Wisc., farm worth between $100,001 and $250,000.  This same farm received federal farm subsidies  to the tune of $259,332 paid to a family farm between 1995 and 2008.  (Source)This  is sorta like I was for it, then I was against it, and if this Munky were to look into the crystal ball of the future I bet she will be for some other “redefined” federal spending.

Here’s a preview of how Michele is going to re-define earmarks… Congress should exempt “roads, bridges and interchanges” and recommends that if a town, city, county or state approves a project, a lawmaker in Washington should be able to submit a request — a practice she says she has followed. Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, says Congress should earn back the public’s trust before considering a new definition but concedes the earmark ban will bring about “unintended consequences.”  (Source)  Oh, OK!  But wait a minute,  isn’t that what Pres. Obama’s stimulus package included – infrastructure?  So the truth is those stimulus projects are really ok, but the right side of the US certainly could not admit that could they?

The fact of the matter is earmarks have a place in our country.  Case in point? The $400,000 earmark that funds the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, which helps connect military service members and their families with private-practice physicians. That’s necessary because Fort Drum, in upstate New York, is the only Army base in the country without its own hospital.   (Source)

I wonder how a Tea Party electee could deny funding basic health care for the military?  Oh wait, these are the same people who want to deny health care to EVERYBODY.

Hate to burst the bubble of hopeful, because here is the reality of who is making headlines in the GOP

  • Representative Hal “Prince of Pork” Rogers to chair the House Appropriations Committee, who pushed through 135 earmarks at a cost of $246 million in the past two years alone.
  • Representative Dave Camp, someone best known for protecting tax loopholes that reward big corporations for shipping American jobs overseas, to Chair the Ways and Means Committee.
  • Representative Spencer Bachus, chief Republican negotiator of the tea-party hated TARP bailout to lead the House Financial Services Committee.
  • Those new Tea Party electees?  Well 9 of them have already hired  K Street lobbyists as their top aides.

What we have allowed to be elected into office with these right wing nut jobs, is a group of people who have no intention of conducting the business of the people.  Should be an interesting year folks…stay tuned.

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The Dumbing of Americans – Brought to you by Fox News

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on December 18, 2010

If  for some reason you have been operating under the assumption that just because we have one of the finest education systems in the world, and therefore we cannot be as dumb as we are, we now have proof, yes we are as dumb as we appear.  What is more, is that we can lay that squarely on the doorstep of one Fox News.

A new survey by the University of Maryland (http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/dec10/Misinformation_Dec10_quaire.pdf ) show that people who had the most exposure to Fox News were more likely to believe falsehoods and rumors about national and world affairs when compared to those who paid attention to other news outlets.

The following falsehoods were most relayed by Fox News viewers:

91 percent believed the stimulus legislation lost jobs;

 

72 percent believed the health reform law will increase the deficit;

72 percent believed the economy is getting worse;

60 percent believed climate change is not occurring;

49 percent believed income taxes have gone up;

63 percent believed the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts;

56 percent believed Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout;

38 percent believed that most Republicans opposed TARP;

63 percent believed Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear).

This information seems to back up an NBC poll conducted during the health care debates as well. (http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/i/MSNBC/Sections/NEWS/NBC-WSJ_Poll.pdf )

Bill Sammon  of Fox News as refined in the art of spinning,  as the health care debate was reaching a high point last year, a leaked e-mail shows he asked his news department to refer to the public option as the “government run option.”  Which of course it is not.  But they managed to condition the American public, specifically the conservatives like Pavlov’s dogs.

Here is a partial email leak:

Text of Sammon’s leaked e-mail follows

###

From: Sammon, Bill
Sent: Tuesday, October 27, 2009 8:23 AM
To: 054 -FNSunday; 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 069 -Politics; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com); 036 -FOX.WHU; 050 -Senior Producers; 051 -Producers
Subject: friendly reminder: let’s not slip back into calling it the “public option”

1) Please use the term “government-run health insurance” or, when brevity is a concern, “government option,” whenever possible.

2) When it is necessary to use the term “public option” (which is, after all, firmly ensconced in the nation’s lexicon), use the qualifier “so-called,” as in “the so-called public option.”

3) Here’s another way to phrase it: “The public option, which is the government-run plan.”

4) When newsmakers and sources use the term “public option” in our stories, there’s not a lot we can do about it, since quotes are of course sacrosanct.

###

(Source)

Other deliberate  “mis-information” and conditioning of the American public is the climate change, here is a copy of another email from Fox News

From: Sammon, Bill
To: 169 -SPECIAL REPORT; 036 -FOX.WHU; 054 -FNSunday; 030 -Root (FoxNews.Com); 050 -Senior Producers; 051 -Producers; 069 -Politics; 005 -Washington
Cc: Clemente, Michael; Stack, John; Wallace, Jay; Smith, Sean
Sent: Tue Dec 08 12:49:51 2009
Subject: Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data…

…we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.

(source)

The real question is:  what is it going to take for those Fox News devotees to wake up?  Yes, it will be embarrassing to admit you were duped, but what would be even more embarrassing and shameful is not to admit it and continue to be deliberately mis-informed.

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A Preview of What Is to Come with Republicans at the Helm – or Republicans Fiddle While Rome Burns

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on December 4, 2010

Just when you thought gridlock couldn’t get any worse in Washington, it has.  Within hours of Democrats and Republicans agreeing to bargain on tax cuts,  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, along with   42 Republicans signed the following letter, in essence saying unless you give us what we want, we will not pass any further legislation, specifically DADT, unemployment insurance and the DREAM Act.

Here is a copy of the letter…some things you just need to see to believe.

Does it sound like the Republicans have heard what the American people have said?  Is this getting on with the people’s business?  Are they willing to risk the judicial system forcing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and not giving the military the time to implement and effective, fair policy?  Are these the same patriots who wildly claims how proud they are of the American men and women fighting for freedom, that they would stop the process that top military leaders have endorsed?  The American public is being held hostage by the Republican party, make no mistakes their constituents are not you and I, it is millionaires, so unless you are knocking down some serious dollars, or have your own lobbying group, you are up the proverbial creek.  Ain’t nobody in this crew going to throw you a lifeline.

Truly why don’t they all just go home now and stay home, since it is quite evident that nothing is going to get done.  Or better yet, why don’t we all send them fiddles so as the economy goes down in flames, the military is dismantled via the judicial branch, and the hope and dream of a better tomorrow for people trapped by circumstances not of their own creation lose hope again..all while waiting for those folks we elect to take care of the people’s business fiddle while Rome burns…

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Sharron Angle – Pathological Right Wing Liar

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on September 30, 2010

In today’s world of fact checking in a moment’s notice, and all those things that one has said are some where immortalized on video and internet  it is a dangerous time for politicians to lie.  Given Sharron Angle’s extremist comments for years, I am in utter disbelief that she thinks that there is no record of these things.

Posted in dirty politics, right wing nut jobs, US Politics | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Another Right Wing Nut Job – Daniel Webster

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on September 25, 2010

Daniel Webster Endorsed by the Tea Party “Today, The Central Florida Tea Party Council is pleased to announce our endorsement of Daniel Webster and his candidacy. Mr. Webster has a distinguished reputation as a strong conservative. He has proven that he believes in a limited role of the Federal government in our lives; and, he has shown a committment to fiscal responsibility. It is because of these shared principals, values, and policy positions that we line up in support of Daniel Webster in the campaign ahead.

“Daniel Webster is the ideal conservative candidate to run against Alan Grayson, because the contrasts could not be more striking”, says WOTP Founder Ron McCoy. “We are honored to endorse Mr. Webster and will do all that we can to help him defeat Alan Grayson in November.” If that alone isn’t enough to scare you this should:

This is the guy you need to be voting for:  Alan Grayson

****UPDATE******Bummer Alan Grayson, in today’s world of fact checking, while your ad was awesome, it was only half true in some spots and false in others, what is such a shame is that you evidently thought nobody would check.  What is even more of a shame is that you are not using legitimate points against Daniel Webster…I mean really don’t you have a research staff?

Why didn’t you play it honestly and discuss his extreme views on marriage, here’s what he proposed. Men and women would have the option on their application for a marriage license to elect a covenant marriage. Under terms of the covenant marriage agreement, the husband- and wife-to-be would have to have their parents’ permission and attend premarital counseling by a member of the clergy or a marriage counselor before proceeding. As part of their marriage license, the husband and wife would then have to sign notarized documents declaring:

“I, (insert name), do hereby declare my intent to enter in Covenant Marriage. I do so with the full understanding that a Covenant Marriage may not be dissolved except by reason of adultery. I have attended premarital counseling in good faith and understand my responsibilities to the marriage. I promise to seek counsel in times of trouble. I believe that I have chosen my life-mate wisely and have disclosed to him or her all facts that may adversely affect his or her decision to enter in this covenant with me.”

The covenant marriage agreement “may not be dissolved except by reason of adultery,” according to the bill Webster filed.

There  is plenty of legitimate ammo in that.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2010/sep/28/fact-checking-alan-graysons-taliban-dan-webster-ad/

 

*****UPDATE*****

Evidently he read my complaint and nasty twitter…here is his latest, much more accurate..kudos Grayson!

 

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