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Tue Apr 28, 2015 at 01:43 PM PDT

Tired of Hillary Assumptions

by thumbunny

OK, let me be perfectly clear - I am really tired of the assumption that Hillary will be the 2016 democratic presidential candidate and that - because she's a woman - she will win!

Yes, I think it's long over due for a woman to be in the White House.  No, I don't think that alone is a reason to just bow down to Hillary.  Gender alone does not qualify anyone for anything - as evidenced by John McCain's running mate in 2008.  

While Hillary has shown herself to be very capable, she's also quite hawkish and too much of a corporatist for me.  I also expect that if elected, she will drag the old Clinton economic gang (e.g. Larry Sommers, etc.) right back to further destroy any chance of restoring hope for the majority of citizens to realize the American economic opportunities that our parents had open to them.

The very fact that the first thing Hillary did after announcing was to launch a trip to visit with the "everyday people" says it all.   She's so removed from the real world that most of us live in that she had to borrow a phrase from an old Sly & the Family Stone song to show how she's going to get in touch with us.

I want a candidate that will talk loud and strong about the economic and social impact of democratic vs. republican actions/policies/laws.  Point out specific examples that have already impacted peoples lives.

I want a candidate that will talk loud and strong about the environmental impact of democratic vs. republican actions/policies/laws.

I want a candidate that has the guts to clearly and consistently express his/her progressive values instead of twisting and wordsmithing every comment to best fit with the results of the latest polls.

I want a candidate that speaks to ISSUES that impact everyone - jobs, wages, healthcare, environment, fairness, compassion, etc.  Talk in such a way that every voter can see how the issues are impacting their own lives and why they need to vote democratic.

I want a candidate that is smart enough to know that messaging by special interest group (e.g. women, elderly, LGT, Christian, Hispanic, etc.) they are losing votes by causing people to vote against that one special interest topic with which they might not agree, instead of voting for the candidate that they agree with on the majority of issues that directly affect their lives.  (Perfect example = Mark Udall.  He spent all his campaign messaging on women's choice, said virtually nothing about the economic improvements that the Democrats had achieved since 2008.   He ran away from Obama instead of emphasizing what has been achieved.  He LOST the election to a person with extreme positions and actions that most people do not support!)

We absolutely can't afford for a republican to win the White House in 2016 or for them to hold majorities in Congress.  There are good progressive prospects out there - Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (though I'd hate to see them leave the Senate), Martin O'Malley,  Sharrod Brown, and probably some others I'm not aware of yet.

It's time to stop buying in to the spin being pushed our way and work to make sure that there is a real progressive candidate on the ticket in 2016

 

Poll

Who should be the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate?

2%3 votes
39%42 votes
14%16 votes
17%19 votes
15%17 votes
5%6 votes
3%4 votes

| 107 votes | Vote | Results

Discuss

Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:49 PM PDT

Paul Tudor Jones is no Robin Hood

by thumbunny

On April 20, CBS 60 Minutes re-aired a story on Paul Tudor Jones work with his Robin Hood Foundation.  In 1 evening of fund raising, he collected over $57 million that would be 100% allocated to the organizations that his foundation supports.

No doubt, the people at that event went home feeling very good about spending the evening with their friends and dropping a few bucks to help those less fortunate.

The problem is, that in their real lives, I suspect that many of these people are, just like Paul Tudor Jones, supporting politicians and policies that are increasing, not decreasing the need for such fund raisers.  So, it seems that their generosity is less about really helping people than it is about making themselves feel good.  Undoubtedly, the people who directly benefit from the donations of the Robin Hood Foundation.  

Unfortunately, the numbers of beneficiaries are far smaller than the number of people who are hurt by the implementation of Republican policies that cut funding for early learning centers and public schools, support outsourcing of well paying jobs from the US to low wage countries, work to destroy unions so that worker wages and benefits can be cut, work to eliminate any assistance to the poor, elderly, and helpless, and last but not least constantly work to maintain subsidies and tax cuts for the wealthy by increasing taxes on the dwindling middle class and letting our infrastructure collapse.

$57 million sounds like a lot of money to most people, but for the Robin Hood crowd it's probably like an average person donating $1,000.00 to a cause - it's not that significant.

If Paul Tudor Jones wants to really fulfill the stated objective of the Robin Hood Foundation, then he should be working in support of political and economic policies that provide a more fair and level playing field for all.  That work would yield benefits to generations of people far beyond New York's borders and would have orders of magnitude more impact than a mere $57 million.

 

Discuss

The old adage "Be careful what you wish for" comes to my mind every time I hear someone with more money than they can ever spend whining about paying taxes.  

This morning, April 15, I got an email message from the White House showing how my tax dollars are being spent.  While I'd of course like to get defense spending down to a sane and necessary level and to eliminate all waste, fraud, and inefficiencies from all departments, I will still say that overall, there is more good than bad work being done by my government and I don't see any other country where I would rather live.  So, I'm more than happy to pay my share to maintain and improve Club USA.

For those who are so distraught that they haven't yet been able to squeeze or steal every last dollar out of the 99% pockets, I say let them have what they want - zero taxes.

Of course, there would be consequences for those electing to stop paying their membership dues in Club USA.  So, here's a first pass list of what they will have to surrender in exchange for zero taxes:

1.  Surrender your passport.  If you don't want to be in Club USA, you must surrender your membership card.
2.  Forget about your Club USA patents, trademarks, copyrights, etc.  Club USA has no reason to defend or protect the intellectual property of non-club members.
3.  Fire your lawyers.  Non-club members do not have access to Club USA courts.  Unless, of course, you want to pay Club USA the usage fees that we may, at our discretion, choose to grant you, on a cost +++ basis of course.  
4.  Add a lot of usage fees to your budget - any use of Club USA resources (e.g. roads, schools, law enforcement, parks, etc.) will of course again be available to you only on a cost +++ basis with rates adjusted annually.
5.  Deduct a lot of money from your estimated net profit.  If you're not paying taxes, then of course you can't expect any tax credits, incentives, or any other transfer of even a single $1 from Club USA to you.
6.  Add a whole bunch of money to your budget to defend your business interests overseas.  Club USA will no longer be providing you with free military or diplomatic services.
7.  Add more money to your R&D budget.  You will no longer have any access to NASA or any other Club USA research resources.  These resources will not be available to you at all as we will keep those R&D investments for Club USA members only.

There have always been varying degrees of privatizing profit and billing the public for losses, but the obscene gluttony of the past 15+ years has just gone too far.   You don't want to continue your membership in Club USA?  Great!  Because we can't afford your freeloading any longer - don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out.
 

Discuss

OK, this hasn't actually happened yet, but I'm thinking it's just a matter of time now that Maher has adopted the "blame people who worked all their life, paid their Social Security INSURANCE premiums and now want to collect on their policy for all the economic problems in this country" mantra.  Maybe someone needs to explain the "magic of compounding interest" to him.

He's sounding just like the right-wing zealots that he supposedly distains.

See this BruinKid's article for the details

We all know that 30 years or Reagonomics, 2 unfunded endless wars coupled with tax cuts for the wealthy, not allowing Medicare to negotiate volume discounts on drug purchases, and of course insider, immoral activities of the investment bankers, AIG, etc. are the real culprits.

By repeating the right-wing idiot talking points, he is their accomplice and their pawn.

In addition to looking like a grade "A" right-wing jerk on this, he also shows himself to be  ignorant, insensitive, and hateful.  Guess he doesn't know that most old people don't live in nursing homes or that Alzheimer's disease can cause people to display aggressive sexual behavior.   As for healthy old people, guess he doesn't buy the idea that they are entitled to privacy and the freedom to pursue their own interests - including sex.  What's he proposing?  Does he want old people to starve or freeze to death or would he be in favor of a quicker solution - maybe a firing squad at sunset?  

What a pompous, arrogant, hypocrite!  Maher seems to view the actions of the right-wing in this country as nothing more than a joke for him to exploit on his TV program.  I don't see anything funny about what the right-wing is doing, and I certainly don't intend to help them spread their propaganda by repeating it or to waste my time watching any of their little minions like Maher.  

Discuss

Sun Dec 22, 2013 at 09:49 AM PST

Claire Davis

by thumbunny

Words cannot express the depth of my sorrow to hear that you have now joined so many others who have died from a senseless shooting.

This morning, I heard a man say that maybe your death was for the best, given the likely extent of the injuries you suffered.

He’s wrong.

What would be for the best would be for you to be waking up on this sunny Colorado morning with your head full of thoughts on what you were going to be doing during Christmas break and whatever other important and interesting matters were currently going on in your life.

What would be for the best for your family, and the family of the boy who shot you, would be to have their children with them today.

What would be for the best would be for the outrage over these continued shootings to finally override the insane fervor to continue arguing for the “rights” of gun owners above the rights of everyone else.

What would be for the best would be for all of our politicians to pass rational legislation with the confidence that they won’t be recalled for doing what the majority of their constituents want them to do.

So far, my personal support of better gun controls and strong personal liability for gun owners who don’t secure their guns hasn’t done much good.  But, I promise that I will continue those efforts in the memory of you and others before you with the hope that one day we can listen to the evening news without hearing about yet another shooting.

Discuss

Fri Dec 20, 2013 at 12:14 PM PST

Must Ask Questions

by thumbunny

I just watched New Minas diary titled "Bill Moyers: The End of Democracy".  This should be a must watch for everyone in this country.  http://www.dailykos.com/...

In this video, Mr. Moyers calls out 3 questions that should always be asked and honestly answered whenever any change (local/national/personal/professional) is being proposed.

1.  Who will win and who will loose if this change is made?
2.  Who will profit from this change and who will pay for the change?
3.  Who will be listened to and who will be ignored when evaluating this change?

If we all start asking these questions, all the time, maybe we can increase the objective, critical thinking that is often lacking in current media reporting, political discourse, etc. and get more people to start thinking and acting in their own best interest.

I'm going to do my part, hope others will join me.

Discuss

Last night I saw first hand how the Heritage foundation and ALEC are waging their war on public education and our teachers.

In the November election, by very narrow margins, the majority of the membership of the board or education for the Thompson School District in Loveland/Fort Collins Colorado was taken over with the addition of 4 new members, all of whom received money from the Heritage Foundation to run their campaigns.

Upon hearing that the new majority was planning to hire their own lawyer (a firm from Colorado Springs - about 100 miles south of the school district) AND A LOBBYIST approximately 400 people showed up at the board meeting to protest their plan.

At the start of the meeting, the board chair said that the vote on the lawyer was being taken off the agenda, so if people wanted to leave the could.  But, since he had used the same technique at the previous meeting to dismiss the public before adding the plan for adding a lawyer, nobody left.

Over 20 people spoke in opposition to taking school funds to get a board lawyer.  Speakers included teachers, members of the community, parents of students in our schools, and students.  Their concerns included:  why is this needed?  where will the money come from?  why is this board trying to push the ALEC agenda, etc.

4 people spoke in support the boards actions.  Their reasons included:  1 person thought that all the people in opposition were teachers who were afraid of change (over half of those in opposition were not teachers as demonstrated when the non-teachers in the audience were asked to stand); one person was there as a proud member of liberty watch (sounds like a Koch funded group); one person was a parent who wanted change (no specifics given); and 1 person apparently thinks that the school district and board are adversaries that need separate representation.

After all public comments were made, one of the minority board members proposed that in light of overwhelming public opposition to the addition of a board lawyer and lobbist that he item be permanently deleted from the agenda.  The board chairman's response was simply to say that he must follow the process and it "will come back up".
His refusal to directly address the audience very clearly showed that he has no intent to consider the interests of the district claimed he wanted to represent - he intends to act as an agent for the people who have bought and paid for him.

In this mornings paper, I see a quote from one of these new board members who thinks the solution is that they "need to communicate better with the public".  Guess that's what they think they need the lobbyist for.

More to follow as I now plan to attend all school board meetings!

If you are not already watching your local school board and local politics, please start now!  This is not a joke or a conspiracy theory - there are strong forces at work to destroy public education in this country.

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On the week of 12/9/2013, NPR Morning Edition started a series of reports on the consequences of being discharged from the US military with a less than honorable discharge.   In the 12/11/2013 report, General Martin Dempsey, was asked about the fact that if vets get a less than honorable discharge they get no VA treatment for injuries they got in the military and they won't be able to get a job from any employer who checks their discharge status.  The generals response was "...we all make choices in life that we then live with for the rest of our life".  

This logic makes as much sense as hiring a person with 2 good feet, making them chop off one of their feet, then firing them for only having 1 foot AND telling them that they are going to have to live with the choice they made without medical help or the prospect of future employment for the rest of their life.

I don't know if the general was thinking that the vets made a bad choice in joining the military or (more likely) if he thinks that when a person's behavior changes for the worse after getting TBI or PTSD that they are choosing to behave that way.

The fact is, nobody would make a choice to get injured and be left with no medical help and no future ability to support themselves for the rest of their life.

When vets come home injured and have no access to good medical treatment, they are a threat to themselves and the rest of the community.  Drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and other self-destructive behaviors are the result of their injuries, not a choice they are making.

Here is one more issue related to our Vets that we should all be denouncing and demanding to be changed.

Poll

Will you call you congressperson to demand this injustice be corrected?

29%5 votes
70%12 votes

| 17 votes | Vote | Results

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