One thing we know for sure, Ron Paul hates the government, according to him it can’t do anything right, which is why he has spent so many years in government… err I think. He’s been in congress since 1976! And he says government doesn’t work, well maybe that is because he participated in making sure government is dysfunctional and by defunding everything he can, he will continue to assure its dysfunction. How many guys in congress are just like him, and how does he get away with saying this stuff.
So Ron definitely doesn’t want anyone to pay any taxes at all, and of course all government spending is eventually a tax, and all the Republicans in the audience clap, clap, clap. He is okay with state taxes I guess, because he truly believes that each state can have better solutions on their own and that there is no case that can be made for a federal centralized government. Ron Paul doesn’t want to go back to 1850 as many people have suggested, Ron Paul wants to return to pre-1791! He wants to return to the time when America was governed by the Articles of Confederation. He is a pretty interesting fellow, and a little bit silly, but okay let’s listen to him some more.
He is going to cut one trillion dollars in one year by cutting all the taxes I think, he isn’t really clear about this, but I know one thing for sure, he is cutting everything.
Health Care, we have too much! People are living longer and healthier, but we have too much health care. And there should be no government medicine, nothing, and doctors should be paid directly and torte reform! ObamaCare! He made the false claim that insurance premiums have gone up since ACA, but that simply isn’t the case.
He doesn’t want to fund the government but he does want to bring all the troops home to put on the border. I wonder how he will fund this? Should be interesting. Will he just give back the bases we hold all over the world or will he sell the land on the free market before withdrawing all those troops from all over the world and bringing them home. Will they will all be moving to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California?
He wants to cut all foreign aid, and even though he doesn’t believe in government programs he makes the absurd claim that money could be going to America’s poor. Can Ron Paul answer that question, would he really use the refund from no-foreign aid to feed and cloth and house poor people? Really? What government programs would he use to deliver? Unanswerable and no Paul follower can answer that question either.
Oh Ron Paul, you are so awesome, because my favorite part of the evening was when he did pwn them all when he told them straight to their faces that St. Ronald Reagan negotiated with terrorists! Oh no he didn’t, the look on their faces the rest of the debaters were stunned, silent, scared, you could see it, how would they refute him. It was spectacular.
Herb Cain has a 9-9-9 plan and he became target numero uno at the GOP debate, Cowboy Style. You knew the group would be all in on going after Herb’s 9-9-9 plan. Cain’s plan has been all the rage as of late with the punditry crowd and the blogging world. These are the people, (yes like me) who keep Herb in the spotlight. Although his 15 minutes may be up quickly or maybe not.
The debate begins with a weird commercial about the legendary western United States. It was cool, but it was pretty, well, um, weird. From there we sing the national anthem and then move right to introductions, where the debaters seemed to be running to their podiums as though they were the quarterbacks of our favorite football teams, I half expected them to raise both their arms in the sky and scream “Team” “Woo”. And so began debate IX – Cowboy edition.
Herb did get some time in the first 33 minutes of the debate, not a good deal of time, but he did get some time. At the 33 minute mark we get our first sponsored by ad… sponsored by Coal.
Let me draw your attention to my video, before we go into the 9-9-9 apples and oranges montage, we have to talk about Lawrence O’Donnell, the other evening he did a short montage to what Herb Cain knows about his 9-9-9 plan, it was so brilliant I did happen to record it, so I have spliced it together with the highlights of Herb Cain’s debate performance last night. It plays very well with his act, which I now believe is and act to sell his new book, and nothing more. I applaud him for using these debates to enrich himself even more, it is a Republicans dream scenario to become even wealthier doing little or no work something we all know as the “Limbaugh Economic Model or self Aggrandizement=$$$$$$$”, it works too, so I don’t blame him for doing it if it is his goal. So here we are, we are on to Apples and Oranges this becomes Cain’s response to the criticism of his plan.. apples and oranges, apples and oranges. He is an applies and oranges kind of guy. As Lawrence pointed out so well, Herman Cain aka Herb Cain has no idea how his tax plan will work and it isn’t as if he cares if it works. He only cares for the attention he grabs while he gets his 15 minute in the spotlight.
Even though he doesn’t know really how his own program works, he wants to throw out the current tax code and start with his plan, 9-9-9. His plan will liberate American workers and businesses and he definitely wants people to do the math on their own, even though he doesn’t offer any metrics to do so, because he doesn’t know, he just won’t say he doesn’t know.
He loves mixing apples and oranges, no wait, he doesn’t like mixing apples and oranges. According to Cain there are 5 invisible taxes on all products, he doesn’t say what they are, and his tax will replace those invisible taxes. It is a sales tax, but not a VAT tax.
But then Herb turns to Health Care and it sounds like he supports the President’s plan, even though he says he doesn’t. So here is the video of what good old Herman says about Health Care for American’s and as Herb points out some of those things included in ACA were propose by Republicans, yes but they cannot say they support ACA they just support what is in ACA up to and including having to purchase your own insurance.
There comes a time in the life of a nation when it is time to make choices, how are we going to institute effective change and reform our badly broken government. We now have a Legislative Branch filled with spoiled schoolyard children, who would prefer to see the country slip past the point of no-return, where they would prefer their citizens to be destitute and desperate in order to gain more and more power.
We certainly cannot rely on our legislative branch to put aside their ideological differences in order to do something for the country. They refuse; we’ve seen them, over and over and over again. We could never get them to reform the gerrymandering of congressional districts; we will never get them to put money into the country, hell that money that they throw around in Iraq and Afghanistan and they give away to oil companies, is our money, why can’t we use it to stimulate our economy here, at home. And why do those bozos constantly get away with enriching billionaires and corporations even more, as if they don’t have enough, which has been to the detriment of the entire nation! What the hell, it is outrageous! They don’t even care, they flaunt it, they laugh in our faces and say cut taxes on the wealthy and corporations but and they say on the floor of the US Senate, the poor simply don’t pay enough. What????? What civilized nation has representatives like this? Oh, I don’t think they do. In a civilized nation those people would be laughed out of public office, not here though, they win another term in congress.
Well protestors nationwide, we have an opportunity to effect change ourselves, it is time we used the very document these folks go on and on about every day, we must make our state legislature call for a Constitutional Convention and we will amend our constitution without them, we have an opportunity, you’ve started something, let’s direct it toward fundamental change in our government.
The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments. These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions. This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in political science circles about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.
Suggestions for Amendments:
1. Amendment 28: The Public funding of elections, 30 days to campaign, advertising can only be through the public funding, no outside groups can run advertisements for or against candidates, you see what I am getting at, no outside money, nothing, zero zip. Oh so yeah, add somewhere in this Amendment this is explicitly to repeal the citizen united ruling as well. So they can’t find some way around the amendment.
2. Term Limits for Legislators: 3 terms for H.o.R. 2 terms for Senators. They don’t need any more time than that.
3. Can we throw in the outlawing of the filibuster too? Cause these folks have simply abused the privilege to use this parliamentary tactic of obstruction.
4. We need to consider term limits for members of the Supreme Court. 20 years. No more. No one is grandfathered out.
What are we going to do since the cost of education is skyrocketing? Students these days graduate with enormous debt or they don’t get the opportunity to attend post secondary training.
Long ago when I started college it was an inexpensive 1200.00 a year that included books. I didn’t really have debt when I graduated from college. That isn’t the case for students today, and with the cost of tuition rising as much as 20% in one year at some state colleges, soon enough the middle and lower classes will be unable to afford post-secondary education. And the thing is, we’d become a thriving first world nation in part because we expanded access to education to almost everyone.
Let’s look at some numbers:
So my numbers are personal numbers, and at the time, it was not difficult to afford a college education, I could even hold down a part-time job, go to school and not really worry tons about tuition, it just wasn’t that expensive. Let’s look at the rising cost of post secondary education with information obtained from the US Census bureau. The data I am going to share with you is also an example of the tiny policy things Democrats do in Office juxtaposed with how Republicans treat government function. First and foremost, the data I found spans the years 1991 – 2001, the 2001 data wasn’t published until 2006. This information is published in table form, as excel worksheets, but without an explanation of that data, that could be distributed to the general public. As usual, Republicans take the function of government for granted, but as you will see during the Clinton era, government produced much demographic information from years of data collection and comprehensive analysis. I digress, but if you follow my links you will see evidence of my statement.
It isn’t unknown to anyone that tuition at public universities, colleges and technical schools has been on the rise since the anti-pay for anything crowd solidified their choke hold on government functions. In the 1970’s prior to Prop 13, post-secondary education was free in California and in doing that they created one of the best post secondary systems in the country at that time from Riverside CC to UC Berkeley.
I digress, since 1990 college tuition has had steep increases according to the census studies.
In 1991, the total average tuition cost for a student was $2653.00 per year. At the same time students receiving financial assistance were receiving on average $2919.00. The cost of education has obviously risen, however, it is still affordable for students and there is still ample financial aid to cover the cost of education. These numbers will be used as a baseline for comparison.
In the 1993 -94 years, on average students were paying $3905.00 per year. In just two years the cost of education had risen 47%. At the same time students were receiving on average $4,486.00 in financial aid, which was up 43% from just the two years prior. A 47% increase is pretty big, and one has to wonder how many students at this time are beginning to be priced out of education. Well times began to boom even more, and people forgot about funding post-secondary education, and all over the country Tax-cutting fever began to hit every county in America. The result of course was less state funding for post-secondary education, and more burdens on students and their families. Well they were voting for that stuff, so I guess they couldn’t see plainly what could be the unintended consequences of the republican meme of “we don’t need to pay no stinkin’ taxes”.
Well the results from the 1996-97 study are even more stunning; by 1996-97 the average cost of post-secondary education had risen to a stunning $8,667.00 on average per year. In less than 10 years tuition had risen 292%, and in 3 year tuition had risen 122%, these numbers are stunning. And you begin to see a pattern developing, one that will eventually price lower and middle class kids from ever obtaining a college education, it will simply be too expensive. Well that aside, the average financial aid package was worth about 6,022.00, and as you can see it failed to cover the entire educational needs of the student, and I believe this began a rise in private lenders who would take advantage of unsuspecting college students, in order to meet the rising cost of their education.
The 2001-2002 years are even more shocking. On average students tuition is $10,560.00 per year on post secondary education. This represents an increase of 398% from 90-91, of 170% from 93-94, and 21.8% from 96-97, which the financial aid package on average rose to $6,291.00 per year.
As you observe the stark differences in how the two administrations presented the data they gathered from Universities around the county, be reminded, this is the difference in how Republicans and Democrats view government. Demographic information is important; we use it to justify funding programs around the country. We make better decisions when analysts present the data in an understandable way, with a narrative attached as opposed to just throwing a bunch of spread sheets. It is an example of how little Republicans care about government in general; they don’t see it as useful to the nation.
It is now real news in every state in the nation that tuition costs are rising yet again, in my own state tuition costs have risen 20% this year, that is huge, and in many cases it is becoming unaffordable for many students to obtain post-secondary education. As a society we are supposed to be more conscious of funding education from k-16, because it is education that will help us prepare for our next steps economically. If we do not find a way to help students get educated without being buried in debt when they graduate, our society will be worse off for it, and we will create a permanent underclass, which will grow. As a nation, we have to ask ourselves if this is the direction we really want to take.
For years the idea haunted me, if a Republican became a Democrat in the deep North what adjustments would she have to make?
And that is how it began, that fateful day in 1984 was the day I decided to infiltrate the Democratic party and turn them all into Liberal Republicans! I knew I could do it if I could just find a way to fit in first, to blend in, so I went to the doctor’s office for some help.
“Hey Doc”, I said to him after he forced me on that scale again, why do they always want to know how much I weigh? “Hey T”, he replied, we were old friends since the heady days of Watergate. “Doc, I want to attempt to infiltrate the Democratic Party and turn them into a corporatist Republican lite party. I think I can do it, if I try very, very hard. How can I do this?”
He laughed and then smirked at me, he said, “Well first of all you need to quit shopping at Brooks Brothers, cause that totally doesn’t fit for a Democrat, I think you need to shop at vintage stores from now on, and find some bell bottom jeans with embroidery on them, preferably flowers and sunshine and stuff, it will make you seem whimsical and egalitarian.”
I was kind of happy that I had to shop for my newest endeavor, although I wasn’t totally into this Vintage Store BS but if I had to buy some crappy hippy clothes then I would, it is easier to punch them if you look like them.
So I thought I should find out about the party I was infiltrating so I decided I would study hard at the virtual knee of one James “Corporal Cueball” Carville. I saw him one night on CNN, and thought he would be the perfect teacher for me. So I studied Carville, and knew I was about to become a superstar in the Democratic Party, superstardom leads to apparatchikdom too and that was my ultimate goal, become an apparatchik, it would make me feel like I had more control over all things Democratic and I could lead them myself to Republicanism, which ultimately was my goal, to make sure Democrats were just Republicans without the backbone.
My first effort was to make them, the Democrats, think that I took my new party seriously, when really I was just a shill for my corporate, tribal overlords. This fact was discovered by the arch nemesis to all corporate shills like myself, one Glenn Greenwald. He is a superstar this Greenwald guy, he has absolutely no connection to corporate overlords. His CATO membership is just a ruse, and his white papers for them, just a job, but he isn’t affected at all by these things, as he isn’t a sell out in anyway shape or form, and he never ever lets the corporate will beat him down, he fights it all the time. He has no professional connection to corporate overlords and he is merely out for America the Beautiful. Greenwald is awesome in his ability ferret out those of us who have sold out America to the highest bidder. Working with the Koch is like waving an American flag, working with the Democrats is like working for Satan.
So my plan has worked, the health care bill we have currently, was my plan from the beginning, to sell out America by forcing them to have access to health insurance. It will evolve into nothing that can benefit anyone really. States will not take the matter into their own hands to search for the best answer for their citizens either. Certainly places like Minnesota (status of the Act), California, ( LWV, support of California OneCare), Illinois, Pennsylvania, Montana, (more Montanaanalysis) Massachusetts and Vermont have not taken the new law and tried to make it beneficial for their own citizens. They have succumbed to the dead-end health reform, the one that only supports insurance companies and is terrible for the people!
My mission is complete and soon I am sure I will be promoted head apparatchik, instead of just being referred to as the Greatest Living Democrat.
It all began with a Michael Moore visit to the View. It was nothing short of appalling. So we will call it Exhibit 1:
For the longest time I just didn’t know what to say about that clip, I’d certainly read all of the criticism of Moore after this episode. I’ve been formulating what I want to say since then, and reading as much as possible about onslaught of commentary that followed his outburst of what can only be called blatant racism. And in a sense I think Professor Harris Perry (ProfHP), was really responding to this, after being exposed to much of the diva outbursts that attempt to denigrate the Presidency of Barack Obama, in the so-called progressive blogsophere. I am going to introduce this clip as the penultimate example of racism in the so-called progressive community, and I am using Moore’s gaff first because it is a blatant example of employing a stereotype to describe ones disappointment in the President. Does Moore really believe this? Moore definitely caused an avalanche virtual debate. I did read much of it. However as a white person, I still believe I have much to learn about racism and how it manifests in the most blatant and subtle ways. Ultimately in order to bridge our racial divide white people have to listen. But in a deeper sense first and foremost ProfHP does have some real hard evidence of racism in the so-called progressive community and that begins with Michael Moore’s statement on The View. That does constitute evidence, it really does. Why would you stoop to a stereotype to register your already well-known disappointment in the President? So we have one significant piece of evidence or outright racism, because unlike what Joan Walsh writes, evidence that is not in the form of a poll can also be relevant and serve as examples of racism at work, because most progressives don’t believe they are racist! They would never admit to it to a pollster, and that means we have to have other means of gathering data, come on, this isn’t that hard.
Exhibit 2: So after ProfHP’s original piece appeared in The Nation, Joan Walsh weighed in, with an okay blog, but it didn’t tell the entire story, and her blog required proof of racism via poll data. Poll responses about subtle racism cannot be supported without actual working evidence, which is often the things people say and write. Joan Walsh used the conservative talking point, there is no evidence to conclude such things, when in fact there is evidence, first and foremost Michael Moore.
Exhibit 3: The leader of the group New Progressive Alliance, Anthony Noel, told an African-American blogger to get over being black and to start debating like a human. What? OMG, I don’t know how to respond to that kind of racism and I can’t believe this is actually happening and this does constitute evidence, cold hard factual evidence of racism among the so-called progressive blogosphere.
Exhibit 4: David Sirota’s response to ProfHP: Boy that guy is one mad upper middle class employed talk show radio host isn’t he, I had never read him prior to this, so I delved into his stream of consciousness, and that is what it was a stream of consciousness wrapped in white-hot anger. So let’s get to Sirota’s criticism, to which he claims not one person has taken on his so-called facts to challenge him, people have just called him a racist. Well Dave if the shoe fits buddy, I guess you will have to wear it. Sirota wrote this:
By seeing this record and then explaining away declining liberal support for President Obama as a product of bigotry, Harris-Perry exhibits the ultimate form of both denialism and elitism.
But does she really exhibit the “ultimate” form of both denialism (which is not a word for the record) and elitism, (hello pot, meet kettle). Because there is ample evidence of her thesis. Sirota doesn’t want to acknowledge it, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t evidence. First of course this elitism crap is being carried too far, Sirota by definition is a liberal elitist, he should quit pulling the faux populism card. But what does account for the declining support of so-called progressives? Hell according to politifact.com the President has accomplished many of his campaign promises, in fact he has accomplished 147 of his campaign promises. Why are his accomplishments never acknowledged or if they are they are written off as tiny and not worthwhile and doesn’t make him progressive etc and so on. The list of his accomplishments are here: Politifact.com. Was Clinton a surrender monkey when his health care bill failed and he never talked about universal health care again? Health Care was huge, and because of it more people are covered.
Let’s go over more examples of racism in the Progressive community and these do constitute proof, the proof folks like Walsh, Sirota and Lyons are demanding.
The problem is less Obama’s failure to target black unemployment per se than his weakness on the jobs issue generally. Race comes into the equation because of an almost pathological aversion to conflict on Obama’s part, which has been widely attributed to his wish to bridge racial and ideological gaps.
What? It is as though Kuttner doesn’t realize that the President through policy implementation has successfully “strengthened Small Business Administration programs that provide capital to minority-owned businesses, support outreach programs that help minority business owners apply for loans, and work to encourage the growth and capacity of minority firms.” So actually the President is working to help minority communities by supporting the growth of business, which can only serve to help any given community by providing more jobs. So that makes Kuttner’s analysis not just wrong, but weird. Is it direct racism? Maybe not, but it is subtle, if Kuttner had done his homework he would see the President is implementing the same kind of policies the Clinton Admin for minority owned business. These were programs that were immediately ended when Bush took office. No doubt African-Americans have suffered a great deal during this terrible recession, greatly. However, this is a statistic that never changes, it doesn’t matter who is in office or what his color might be. African-Americans have always suffered more during economic downturns and as a people we should attempt to address and make corrections. It is all our responsibility, and we should start by getting Republicans out of congress. So when I read this particular line made me feel uncomfortable; is it subtle racism? It makes me think Kuttner believes the President is just looking for approval of white, protestant men, otherwise, why is up with the sloppy statement based on some sort of ESP?
Race comes into the equation because of an almost pathological aversion to conflict on Obama’s part, which has been widely attributed to his wish to bridge racial and ideological gaps.
No one is going to tell me this isn’t evidence of racism amongst so-called progressives. Was it necessary to head directly to plantation talk? Was it? How can anyone write that there is no evidence of some divisive racial language used by some people on the left?
Exhibit 7: Now let’s get to Gene Lyons, who perhaps responded like a bully and then pulled his own race card. Lyons in retaliation asserted that ProfHP was a fool, and that was bad enough, but then came the most troubling paragraph:
Furthermore, unless you’re black, you can’t possibly understand. Yada, yada, yada. This unfortunate obsession increasingly resembles a photo negative of KKK racial thought. It’s useful for intimidating tenure committees staffed by Ph.D.s trained to find racist symbols in the passing clouds. Otherwise, Harris-Perry’s becoming a left-wing Michele Bachmann, an attractive woman seeking fame and fortune by saying silly things on cable TV.
If I didn’t know better, I would have figured this was written by one Rush Limbaugh, not just denigrating the Professors expertise but making a claim that she used her blackness to intimidate tenure committees, OMG, and yet there is no racism in the so-called white progressive community. This type of commentary makes me nearly speechless. I said nearly. When the President was elected I was naive enough to believe that so-called progressives would never ever stoop to racially insensitive speech. I.Was.Wrong.