Headlock on the Body Politic

November 4, 2010 at 4:27 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

As I expected, the mainstream media is busily pushing absolutely wrong conclusions from Tuesday’s election massacre.

Coming from their topsy turvy universe in which economic depression is recovery & right-wing views are centrist, the corporate news analysts churn-out coverage such as this, which sagely blames voter disgust with Obama & Company upon his forcing rapid change upon America. Change that “was was too much, too soon.” Having apparently just returned from a two-year voyage into outer space, where she has been completely out of communication with Earth, this particular bloviator assures us that the American people wanted to send an “overriding message” to President Obama to “slow down.”

Slow down? Too much change too soon? I don’t know whether to laugh or throw-up! B.O. & the Democrats lost overwhelmingly because they promised us big, constructive, genuine change and for two years they have done nothing of benefit for ordinary citizens. As soon as they got control of Congress & the White House the Democrats promptly spun their supporters around & gave them a series of swift kicks in the ass. So when the next election came around their erstwhile boosters found better things to do than go to the polls. The next two years of increasing Democratic cravenness & further enabling of the Republican agenda will simply erode liberal support in 2012.

Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, & Harry Reid have likely done a reverse FDR. After 3 years of the Great

Depression caused people to turn to Democrats to save them in 1932, FDR’s courage, vision, & actions assured that Republicans were shut-out of the presidency for 20 years. Thanks to B.O. & his gang no Democrat is likely to be president for another 20 years.

When I voted on Tuesday morning here in Ohio, I cast my ballot for the Green Party candidate for governor & the Socialist Party candidate for senator. Those candidates garnered only 1 or 2% of the votes. It amazes me that even in the midst of the obvious theft & widespread ruination our nation is undergoing at the hands of the fat-cat criminals, an overwhelming majority of voters are still stuck voting for only Democrats or Republicans.

What will it take to break the Democrat-Republican headlock on the body politic?

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Spine

July 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

By Reverend Hothoneywater, Special Correspondent

The Bible many “Christians” spend time thumping but little time reading says:

“If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.” (Proverbs 21:13)
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Congressman Alan Grayson, of Florida’s 8th District (location of  DisneyWorld), has told it like it is about Republicans & their attitude toward the jobless victims of economic depression. It is the sort of thing President Obama & every Democrat should be saying in public every day, on every news program, in every newspaper, and all over the internet. It is the sort of think every church, synagogue, & mosque in the nation should be reminding their congregations every week. Watch the video here.

Now Mr. Grayson is no pauper himself. He is a millionaire. But he has not forgotten his upbringing as a poor boy in Bronx, New York. And he nails it when he paints his Republican colleagues as unable to relate to those without jobs facing financial hardship:

“They’re thinking why don’t they just sell some stock . If they’re in really dire straits, maybe they could take some of their art collection and send it off to the auctioneer. And if they’re in deep, deep trouble maybe these unemployed can sell one of their yachts.”

This is a speech that Franklin Roosevelt would have been proud to give.

This is by no means the first time Representative Grayson has blasted the reactionary right-wing. This photo from the so-called “healthcare debate” illustrates Grayson’s bravado. 

I got on Rep. Grayson’s website to email him my thanks. Its says due to the volume of email he gets, he only accepts mail from his Florida constituents. So I phoned his Wash DC office & spoke to a very courteous & happily surprised receptionist.
I encourage you to call with your support for this brave man. Phone 202-225-2176.
If you can, send him a contribution; he’s running for reelection & we need his kind in Congress.

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Outstanding in His Field

March 3, 2010 at 2:09 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

You’ve got to hand it to him. As our nation’s government descends further into madness, the #2 (pun intended) Republican in the Senate, Jon Kyl of Arizona is delusional-enough to stand-out in the crowd. He argues that paying unemployment benefits makes people want to not get jobs.

If I were more famous, I’d issue this public challenge to the Senator: “Show me these people of whom you speak. In other words, put up or shut up.” Of course any sensible person knows Senator Windbag, er, I mean Kyl was speaking anecdotally in much the same way Ronald Reagan would cite the legendary “Welfare Queen” or 1950″s Senator Joe McCarthy claimed to have the names of hundreds of Communist traitors in our government- but never produced one real example.

It’s a pity the present pack of birdbrains in the government & among the citizenry don’t know history (particularly the Great Depression/New Deal) nor do they understand economics. Their ignorance allows them to fall prey to right wing charlatanism and hatred toward victims of an economic system that has gone insane. Because of this ignorance they are making decisions that are dooming us to repeat some of the worst errors of pre-FDR society. There are good reasons why social safety nets were put in place by the developed nations of the world.

For instance, if they knew more about unemployment they would realize that payment of benefits is not only a help to the individual collecting the money. It also acts as a prop for the economy by allowing the jobless citizen to continue to pay bills. This prevents an economic downturn from cascading into catastrophe.

Another example is Social Security payments and pensions that allow workers to retire at age 65. Social Security was instituted for a number of good reasons.One of which was to raise the elderly from the depths of poverty. Did you know that 80 years ago, senior citizens were the poorest demographic of Americans? Social Security succeeded so well that elderly Americans are now the nation’s wealthiest demographic. Another reason for Social Security was to get the older workers out of the workforce so there would be jobs for the younger citizens during and after the Great Depression. Now, thanks to a concerted effort of shortsighted stupidity, we have many of our senior citizens hanging on in the workplace and younger Americans shut out of the job market. This is a recipe for disaster.

And speaking of getting older workers to retire so younger people can have jobs. Congressman Dennis Kucinich, whom I consider one of the few members of Congress who is worth an owl’s hoot*, recently proposed a good idea. For a cost of $15 billion (chicken feed nowadays), he wants to temporarily lower the Social Security age to 60 in order to open-up as many as 4 million existing jobs for younger citizens. I’m willing to bet that you never heard of his proposal in the mainstream media, so of course it will go nowhere. Too bad ideas like that are never heard at the President’s “jobs summit.”

* Disclaimer- I contributed money to Congressman Kucinich’s 2008 Presidential campaign.

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Unbought & Unafraid

January 18, 2010 at 5:12 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR), was first elected to the Presidency in 1932. He was elected in landslides to 4 terms as president and died in office during his 4th term, after leading the nation through World War II. If he hadn’t died he would likely still be president. The Republicans passed a constitutional amendment after his death limiting Presidents to 2 terms. The rich people hated him and the common people loved him. And why wouldn’t they? He saved them from the utter despair of the Great Depression that was brought-on by the greed & corruption of unfettered Capitalism. His “New Deal” saved Capitalism by tempering it with a strong-dose of regulation and a touch of Socialism. He was born rich but understood the regular people. He had compassion, possibly because polio crippled him as an adult (it usually struck children) and left him without the use of his legs. His wife, Eleanor, was a strong-willed, independent woman who vocally & visibly assisted him in his quest to re-make American society.

Democrat FDR took office after 12 years of 2 Republican presidential administrations. During the 1920’s the country enjoyed a free-wheeling, zooming economy that ended in the devastating crash of 1929. Republican economic ideology called for leaving business alone to do its thing and leaving the people on their own to take care of themselves no matter what. So the government did very little for 3 years as the economy spiraled into ruin.

You think Obama has it tough? When FDR took office unemployment was about 37% for non-farm workers (in some cities it reached 80%)and those who were still employed took one wage cut after another, the average income for families had gone down 40%, crop prices had fallen 60% and 1 million families had lost their farms, 17% of mortgages were foreclosed, international trade had dropped by 75%, industrial production had fallen 45%, severe drought killed the crops throughout the middle of the nation, 5,000 banks had failed, there were 2 million homeless wandering the nation. By the day of Roosevelt’s inauguration, every bank in the nation was closed because the economy was nearly at a halt.

FDR knew there was no time to waste. He immediately set-out to bring “Reform, Relief, and Recovery” to America. His inaugural speech pulled no punches as he said, “Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men. . . . The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization.”

On the very day he took office, he had his entire Cabinet sworn-in, ordered all banks closed for 4 more days while reform legislation was drafted (that was done 5 days later!), and called Congress back into emergency session in 5 days. After he got Congress back he wouldn’t let them go until he passed more reform: of government (he cut the pay of many government workers to balance the budget), of agriculture (to “restore vitality to the demoralized farmers”), of partying (Prohibition was repealed). FDR was determined to “provide…relief to as many people as soon as possible.” So the jobless were to be employed on government projects (that’s where a lot of the infrastructure came from that later caused the economy to boom). Legislation was passed to stop home foreclosures, bring electric power to the rural population, and help workers share in the coming prosperity through fair labor laws. Within his first 100 days, FDR passed 15 major laws and gave 15 speeches to Congress. So, unlike the present occupant of the White House, FDR was more than just talk.

The economy immediately began to revive, but it was a slow crawl back to the pre-Depression level. In 1936, FDR ran for re-election. Here’s an excerpt from one of his speeches. This is what a President who cares about Americans, is unbought, and unafraid sounds like

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