Defending Clint Eastwood

Who would have ever thought the day would come when someone would have to defend Dirty Harry? I mean, this is Clint Eastwood, he’s the man. Almost every character he’s ever played was a confident, strong and solid man on whom all could depend upon to do what’s right, and beat up the bad guys. Almost every movie Clint’s done I’ve enjoyed. Even as he’s gotten older, this guy knows his craft and comes up with the most endearing and cool characters imaginable. This Screen Actor’s Guild union member is good and will always be seen as a great actor, writer and director.

So what the hell happened last night?

When word broke that he would be speaking at the convention I wasn’t upset. It didn’t surprise or concerned me at all. Everybody knows that Clint Eastwood is a Republican. He’s clearly right of center. However, there are also those areas, those causes that he supports that also places him center and left of center. In other words, the man is an American. His views span the ideological spectrum. However people are expected to pick a side to which to belong, and he’s selected the Conservative right, via the GOP. God bless him. He’s not afraid to say what he believes. It’s interesting that this man took flack during his Super Bowl commercial from the right earlier this year. Well, he’s still a Republican and he’s still an American and he will say what he thinks and what he believes. No matter if it’s right or wrong in the views of those who hear it. The man is a straight shooter in more ways than one.

Now Clint wouldn’t want my support, or any man’s support for that matter. He wouldn’t want pity or anything because this man has and will always be able to defend himself. However I am going to say what I believe anyway because like Clint, I will say what I think no matter how it’s received.

Some have speculated that the way he fumbled through the lines on the teleprompter and appeared somewhat out of sorts that maybe, just maybe Clint at 82 is starting that decline that many of his age will experience. Then there was the whole routine with the empty chair and the imaginary President Obama.

Well, I would like to think that maybe Clint was pulling a fast one on the idiots who run the RNC with their dog whistles and fact-less accusations against the President. I’m sure that in reality, Clint does not support President Obama. That is his right as an American. However based on his work, his interviews and his statements over the years, I don’t believe this man is a racist, isn’t an idiot and doesn’t suffer fools. Though still a member of the Republican Party, he has to contend with a lot of fools in his party.

So what was that whole schtick with the imaginary Obama? I think he was pulling a subtle jab at the speakers at the convention. The Obama that the GOP have been complaining about is clearly imaginary. That Obama doesn’t exist. They have made up an imaginary Muslim, Kenyan, Socialist, Communist, Fascist, Angry, Black vindictive charlatan with no facts to back it up. Only speculation, racism and dog whistles. Dinesh DeSouza’s fantasy fiction of 2016 sums up this imaginary boogie man the GOP has created in order to justify their racism to the world.

Clint was merely talking to the imaginary Obama that the GOP created. He knows that man is imaginary and he was telling the GOP that they are fools to keep talking about a man who doesn’t exist. By making himself look foolish, he was demonstrating how the GOP looks today.

I could very well be wrong. But I honestly don’t care. I do like Clint Eastwood. I admire his work, just not his politics. He is an icon of this country and he doesn’t need my help.

Hope you’re doing well Clint. I will be seeing your next movie, I’m sure it’s great.

GOP are Arsonists, blaming the Fire-chief for the fire

The convention is over and listening to these people, including the two headliners, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, I’m left with the thought that is the title of this rant. We are still recovering from the worst economic calamity we’ve faced since the Great Depression. But how did we get here? Who lit the fire?

It began over thirty years ago with Ronald Reagan and Reaganomics. The economic theory that his own vice president, George Bush Sr. called “voodoo economics.”

After the Great Depression and World War II ended, as the only industrialized nation left unscathed by war, and with the banking regulations and social programs enacted by FDR and later by Truman (like the GI Bill), we built the strongest middle-class in history, even with a 95% tax rate for the 1% of the time (and that was under Republican Dwight Eisenhower). Our economy boomed and didn’t bubble at all thanks to the regulations. Thanks to Social Security the elderly didn’t slip into poverty at the rate they did prior to FDR. We had school lunch programs implemented that fed our children and made the population healthier because they were fed.

Eisenhower used government and tax revenue to build the Interstate Highway System that resulted in more infrastructure enhancements and an ever-growing economic base. Yes you built that via your tax dollars to the Federal System and both Democratic and Republican representatives worked to serve you by improving the nation. The power grid, education system, hospitals, the Veterans Administration, a lot of government spending, with sufficient tax revenues coming in to fund it. And yet, nobody was ever taxed into poverty, people actually got richer as the middle-class grew.

But then came Reagan. He thought that by slashing the tax revenues from those who were already so wealthy, the taxes they paid had zero impact on their ever growing standard of living, and eliminating the banking regulations that kept another bubble economy from forming, let alone a depression, things would improve for all. Make the rich richer and it would trickle down. Well, our deficits and national debt began to grow exponentially. And with the first Bush, we had our first major recession as a result and that resulted in Clinton becoming president.

Clinton, without any votes from the Republicans increased the taxes on the rich, and even though the GOP said it would destroy the economy, it didn’t. Not only was the budget balanced (something Reagan never achieved) we ended up with a surplus. But Clinton also did something very Reaganesque and destructive. He eliminated the last vestige of New Deal regulations of banking by signing the GOP repeal of Glass Steagel.

When he left office and Bush Jr took over, we had another bubble that impacted the economy and Bush followed Reagan’s lead and imposed the largest tax cuts for the wealthy in history, while at the same time increasing government spending to fight two wars. With the repeal of Glass Steagel, investment banks and regular banks started playing with each other money and then it happened. Due to all the deregulation of the banks and the new “derivative markets” the world economy crashed. It was in a full tail spin when President Obama took office. The GOP Arsonists with some help from Bill Clinton had lit the fire and the country was burning. It was a 5-Alarmer and Obama had his hands full trying to put it out.

He was able to build a fire break via the stimulus that everybody who’s looked at it has credited for avoiding another Great Depression. But it wasn’t enough. The stimulus was too small to effectively stop the still burning fire, it merely slowed it down.

The reason being, the Arsonists were still there in Congress. These little peckers were sabotaging all attempts to stop the fire and begin rebuilding the damage. On the day Obama took office, many of these arsonists met to plot strategy to make sure the fire continued to burn. They had a plan, they wanted things to get worse so they could blame the fire chief for the arson and take blame off their shoulders for starting the fire.

It would be bad enough if Fire Chief Obama only had one or two arsonist to contend with, but he is dealing with a gang of arsonists. Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Frank Luntz, Grover Norquist, Eric Cantor, and the young gun, Paul Ryan. These guys plotted to prevent allowing Obama the equipment and funding needed to put the fire out completely while they plotted new fires. Through filibusters in the Senate and wasted legislation in the House that focused on everything except putting out the fire and rebuilding, the economy is stalled.

Now we are at the end of the RNC Convention and the new arsonist gang leader Mitt Romney, with the help of little arson boy Paul Ryan are telling their victims that the fire chief is responsible for the fire and all the delays in getting work crews out, insurance claims paid to repair the damage and rebuild.

What’s worse, they say this while holding gasoline cans and matches called the Ryan Budget that they plan on using to start the blaze all over again. They want to remove the fire hoses in place to fight more fires known as Dodd Frank.

These guys are felons, arsonists and sociopathic liars. Anyone fool enough to support these arsonists deserve to lose what little they have. Problem is that with an arson fire, it spreads to those who tend to be very careful and takes them down too.

November is coming, do we vote to stop the fire, lock the arsonists out of Washington and begin repairing and rebuilding the nation or do we let the country burn to the ground. Fire Chief Obama needs your help. Only you can prevent GOP Arson Fires.

Dealing with “True the Vote” Brown Shirts on Election day

In this season of voter suppression, because the GOP knows that they have zero support from blacks and not much more support from other minorities and women, another insidious tool of suppression is afoot to try to steal the vote for Republicans and Mitt Romney. Hey, if you offer nothing a reasonable person who is aware can accept what other choice do you have but to steal the vote. George Bush did a fine job with Ken Blackwell stealing the vote in Ohio to give him the win in 2004 even though exit polling gave the election to Kerry.

Suppression via voter ID isn’t enough. Some of these pesky people actually do have proper IDs and also need to be stopped at the polling places. Thus “True the Vote”.

This is a right-wing, Tea Party, Koch brother affiliated group that began in Houston Texas. It’s stated goal is to make sure only the right people are voting. They have sponsored many of the voter ID laws across the country and have sponsored even more draconian laws to keep only the right people from voting. When I say right people, that is exactly what I mean. They target black and Hispanics, who tend to vote Democratic, to keep them from casting ballots.

Recently they began a million man drive to enlist like-minded brown shirts to organize and be present at as many polling places as they can to effectively intimidate black and minorities from voting. They want these people stopped, and forced to prove they are in fact citizens able to vote. If you are white in a right-wing district, you have nothing to fear. Otherwise, these thugs may be there to harass you on election day.

The above link tells the disgusting racist story of this group of thugs and I strongly encourage you click it and read to understand who these people are. They can be expected to be at polling places creating havoc to prevent lawful citizens from voting in a coordinated effort to steal the election for the Republicans. But again, what else is new.

My suggestion is simple. When you go to vote and you see people who fit these thugs description, and if you see them harassing others, demanding proof of citizenship, trying to disqualify them from being able to case a ballot or forcing them to submit a provisional ballot; well first thing, vote yourself. Then when finished, go to them and challenge their authority and make a citizen’s arrest for voter intimidation.

It is a federal offense. Let the poll workers call the police and keep these idiots occupied trying to save their own asses while others go on and vote. You may end up being detained yourself, but you will prevent these people from blocking the vote.

In reality, most racist are true cowards and when faced with possible legal actions against them, or police coming over to view their ID and run their records, they may just decide to leave. It’s fair in this circumstance to fight for the right of others to vote. This election is so very important considering the crap we are already hearing from the Romney/Ryan campaign. They cannot be given any chance to steal this election. So we need to fight back. Put the fear of God in these Godless hoodlums.

Bullies never expect people to challenge them and when challenged, they often fold very quickly.

The GOP’s War on the Impoverished

As the formal Klan rally in Tampa otherwise known as the Republican National Committee Conference is underway, I thought this would be a good time to get some facts out regarding poverty in this country. To listen to the GOP during the debates and stump speeches, as well as “True the Vote” rhetoric, the impoverished are the enemies of the country. They insinuate that those who are poor are all on welfare, draining the resources of the middle-class and all are minorities to, coincidently enough. Some are even quoted as saying that President Obama stole the 2008 elections with his “food stamp army”, a statement that I’m sure made Newt Gingrich proud. But as we all know, facts have a liberal bias, and here are some facts for you all regarding poverty and the impoverished in this nation.

More than 15% of our population (43.2 million American men, women and children) live in poverty per US Census Bureau, 2010). Research shows that it is very difficult for people born into poverty to achieve an education and earn a living wage.

One in four working households in America (10.6 million families) spend more than half their pre-tax income on housing. There is no community in America where minimum wage earners can reasonably afford to pay rent. In February 2012 the National Low Income Housing Coalition conducted a study of housing across the United States and found that no city had rentals priced low enough where a minimum wage earner could live comfortably. In 86% of the counties surveyed, even those who earned twice the minimum wage still did not earn enough to pay rent and other basic needs.

Nationally, the average welfare check for one parent and two children is $478.00 per month. Twenty years ago it was $408.00 per month. The national average for a baby born to a family already on welfare is $60.00. The average disability check is $600.00 a month. Less than 2% of the Federal Budget is allocated for welfare.

The rates for hunger in this country continue to be high for an industrialized nation. Many people think hunger doesn’t exist because of obesity. The fact is 46 million Americans suffer food insecurity and one-third of this group experience chronic hunger. A person on food stamps receives $3.00 per day. Healthy food is too expensive to be paid for by what’s allotted for with food stamps.

The impoverished do work hard. Despite how hard they work they are unable to get out of poverty. According to National Labor statistics, two-thirds of people living in poverty are working 1.7 jobs.

Youth living in poverty are the least likely to become educated in our nation. Many students living in poverty have low academic achievements and schools struggle to address their needs. Families living in poverty often experience education “stress” and see it as a place where they do not belong. A college education can help people break the barriers of poverty and escape its hardship; yet today, it is less likely a person in poverty will attain a college education than it was in the 1940’s.

Many people in poverty have internalized their poverty as a personal deficiency. They see no hope for anything but an insufficient welfare or disability check. Further, by law, no person can receive a welfare check unless they are employed and even then, for no more than five years period. After five years, they can never received another welfare check. These people often engage in activities that barely pay enough to keep food on the table and often result in incarceration. Nearly 80% of people in prison cannot read at an 8th grade level/ Poverty affects education success, health, relationships and most of all the ability for humans to develop to their full potential.

The overwhelming majority of people in poverty are whites, not minorities. Whites make up the majority of those collecting food stamps, unemployment, welfare, disability, any government assistance. And what’s more, most of these see themselves as Christian fundamentalists and tend to vote Republican, if able to get to the polls, let alone get a valid ID.

As mentioned earlier, 15% of the nation is impoverished yet only 2% of the Federal Budget is earmarked for their needs. And under current GOP plans, they want to slash all programs to assist these people even more. Slashing of food stamps, housing assistance, disability, welfare, education, and healthcare to make it even worse for those impoverished. This is the GOP’s war on the impoverished. They blame them for many of our problems, attack what little exists to assistance them and in doing so, increases their numbers. GOP budget cuts and refusal to address serious job creation measures continue to shrink the middle-class. When people leave the middle-class, it’s because they move down to the impoverished class.

Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society addressed his War on Poverty. Federal money and assistance was directed to end the generational poverty of American families. And guess what, it worked and poverty levels went down. Then came Ronald Reagan and the GOP propaganda of Welfare moms, pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, and slashing and even eliminating services to assist those who need assistance. What has the result been, an ever-increasing number of impoverished in this nation.

The GOP has declared war on the impoverished and because of that war, their numbers are increasing. Very few people have the ability to make it to the 1% unless they are already a part of a 1% family, or have been given government assistance of some type to supplement their initiative and drive to do better. It takes money to make money. Even then, the numbers are few. But guess what, even though very few will have the opportunity of being in the 1%, all of us, even the 1% can end up being impoverished for reasons beyond their control. A bad economy, a serious health condition, any number of reasons.

The United States once led the world in upward mobility, now we’re nowhere near the top. European nations are doing better in upward mobility than Americans. Maybe we should look at some European ways Reince Priebus.

The facts are undeniable unless you have your head so far up your ass you fail to recognize it. Poverty is a cancer that destroys nations. Our cancer is being left untreated and it’s growing with the help of the GOP. Time to eradicate this cancer by eradicating the GOP from office in November.

In Honor of Neil Armstrong

I was 8 years old when this man did something never tried before. He landed a vehicle that was never landed before on the moon. It had been simulated, but it was never tried. It was also live on television. He was able to land “The Eagle” nearly running out of fuel in the effort. The man was a calm, intelligent and very cool test pilot. Then he did what had never been done before, he got out and walked on the surface of the moon.

The entire country and world were transfixed at him and Buzz Aldrin. Again nobody had any idea about what they could expect. Were there “moon bacteria” micro organisms that could be brought back destroying life here. Nobody knew, yet we took the chance. Then he did something else never tried before, he left the moon. Nobody knew if the ascent engines of the Eagle would even ignite. But they did. He was able to rendezvous with Michael Collins in Apollo 11 and all three made it back to earth.

Once back, he did something unexpected then and unheard of today. He went back to work. He avoided the acclaim. He didn’t cash in on what he did. He was a test pilot, he was an astronaut, and he did the job he was paid to do and came back to earth and went back to work. He was brave, intelligent, and humble. What a combination of attributes. Again, hard to find among people in this country today. I think that’s why I’m tearing up more than anything at his loss today. He brought the country together and set a great standard that too few abide by today. Rest in peace Neil Armstrong, you deserve it.

Pro-Choice versus Pro-Life

This subject always comes up during each election cycle. However, I think we can all agree that after the GOP took over all those state legislatures and governorships across the nation along with the House in 2010, a year where most independents and many liberals stayed home, the issue has been given steroids. It has gotten absolutely bizarre. The Tea Party Republicans ran on jobs for the House, yet almost all of their legislation was regarding birth control, contraceptives and defunding planned parenthood.

The majority of this nation has clearly been pro-choice since Roe v Wade, yet the Tea Party Republicans pulled a switcheroo and placed this on the forefront. As we near November, it’s gotten worse and I doubt the people calling Rep Todd Akin out on his statements will have little impact on the GOP as a whole in this election. Their Party Platform has placed in it as a plank (yet again) on abortion, written by those wonderful folks that brought you transvaginal ultrasounds and personhood. Mind you, when these issues go up for popular votes, even in the reddest of red states, they are soundly defeated. It’s only when they are introduced in state legislatures do they pass.

Many have pointed out correctly, that the Republican Party has always used the issue of Roe v Wade as a source of support and funding from the Christian Right.  As such, they would never do anything to overturn it. They point out correctly that if they were ever serious in doing that, they would have during the six years the Republicans had absolute control over the White House, House, Senate AND Supreme Court. Interestingly enough, it was never brought up. It did not start to become an issue again until 2006 when the Democrats took the House back, and then even more in 2008 when they took the White House back. I don’t think this is coincidence.

But something happened that GOP leadership didn’t prepare for. When they funded the Tea Party movement with Koch brother’s money, in an attempt to stop the Affordable Care Act, they created a monster. These people, though easily swayed and conned politically, are still true to the evangelical right-wing Christian views about abortion. Forget that there is really nothing in the Bible supports their views. It certainly has nothing in it to support “personhood” or that Jesus, let alone God really gives a damn regarding what an individual woman does with her womb, this is important only to these cherubs. So, using the financial and organizational assistance of the mainstream Republican Party in an election year where nobody showed up except for them, they took over the country. Then they went off script and tried to change the one issue Republican Party Leadership wanted left alone, abortion rights. In doing so, they started making changes in laws and acts governing contraceptives, personhood and what is actually is rape.

So now the party is stuck with a messaging problem with the rest of the country, most of whom are actually logical and humane over this issue. Try to follow if you are of the right of things.

Life begins at conception: So as a result, anything that interferes with that process is killing that group of forming cells and should be deemed illegal, murder with severe sanctions imposed on the doctors and/or the mothers.

All abortions are murder: So to protect the zygote forming into a fetus and continuing to grow until it becomes viable, no abortions should be allowed. Due to Roe v Wade, laws have been introduced requiring transvaginal ultrasounds, demeaning lectures, grilling, mind control to shame any women desirous of the procedure from having it. And it doesn’t matter why they desire the procedure. Whether it is from Rape, Incest or to protect the life of the mother, all abortions must be banned and if not banned, made as difficult as possible.

To accomplish this beyond the shaming techniques listed above, the Republicans have made it illegal for any Federal Funds to be used in this process and have worked to defund Planned Parenthood that has .02% of their operations devoted to abortions. The other .98% goes to cancer screening and prenatal care to protect the fetus the Republicans want to protect also, just not pay for it.

And there is the rub. Not only is it the agenda of the Tea Party Republican Party to make sure that all abortions are illegal or impossible by regulations, they also withhold all funding, if possible, to protect that zygote/fetus. They also will not allow any funding via “socialized medicine” for prenatal care during the pregnancy that would also protect that zygote/fetus leaving it in danger of complications and death.

And of course, once the child is out of the womb, it is the position of the Tea Party Republican Party to deny any funding to the mother for healthcare, food, education, childcare, anything to mitigate the expense for the child that woman was forced to have.

As Randi Rhodes would say, “love the fetus, hate the child.”

Now I am not a woman. I really don’t have a full vested interest in this matter other than the fact I am born to a woman and I am married to a woman. I am a believer in the privacy rights cited in Roe v Wade for the woman to make her own choice in what to do with her body if confronted with being pregnant.

It is her body, it is her health, it is her ability to be able to care for and raise a child, it’s her choice. If given proper education and access to contraceptives this choice wouldn’t need to be made as frequently as it is now. But again, the Tea Party Republican Party are opposed to contraceptives for women resulting in them having to make this choice in the first place.

Where is it in the Constitution that government officials in Washington or State Capitals have the ability to determine how women can live and how they can make choices about their bodies. There is no simile involving the same power structure doing the same thing to a man and his body. This is unfair on all counts.

They preach making government smaller. Apparently small enough to fit inside the vagina of all the women in the country who they feel have no choice in their lives. And if they do choose, or are forced to choose in their way, will offer zero assistance to aid them in that responsibility.

If you are pro-life, then logically you must also be:

Against all death sentences.

You should also be for providing all basic and needed healthcare to preserve life regardless of ability to pay.

You must also be for providing equal access to opportunities for education and employment for that life to survive in the world regardless of ability to pay.

If you are not for any of the above, you are not pro-life, you are just pro-bullying of others for personal gain and gratitude. You are not Christian or humane, you are an ass.

Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?

That’s of course the classic line from Star Wars with Obiwan responding to Han Solo complaining about following that “foolish old man.” It’s an endearing line, but I’m using it today to explain the state of our politics, and in not so much of an endearing way.

I am middle-aged. I’ve voted in every presidential primary and election since 1980. In each election cycle, as mainstream media coverage became more commercialized, the internet has picked up the slack. So today, even though the media really isn’t presenting anything that can be considered to be an unbiased, presenting only facts of who is running for president; that information is none the less more available to the average voter now than at any other time in history. The internet and social media is a great tool for those willing to, and able to use in a fact gathering (and common sense) manner to determine who is trying to lead them and whether they deserve your support.

This year, in my humble and honest opinion, we have had from the Republican Party the most pathetic, clownish group of candidates in American history running for the position of President. Even with the obvious bias from the media in their coverage, they couldn’t put lipstick on these pigs. The debate format was a clown show and the questions and responses got more clownish with each airing. We have been dealing with fools running for President on the Republican side. And now we have the biggest fool of them all about to accept the nomination next week in Tampa. I don’t say this lightly, Mitt Romney is a fool. But to take you back to the title of this rant, “Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?”

None of these candidates would have never made it on stage were it not for the support and consent of the Tea Party who have taken over the Republican Party. Mitt Romney, who already was a proven and consonant liar, flipped flopped to pretend to be just as whacked out as the Tea Party to get the most delegates to take the nomination. The Tea Party are fools.

They do not understand what they pretend to represent. They do not understand how our country was founded, how the Constitution was created and modified over the years, they do not understand what it means to be a Christian, nor do they understand that there is nothing inherently evil with being a liberal, progressive, or worse yet, a socialist. As I mentioned in an earlier rant, they get these confused with communism and fascism, forgetting that this country was actually founded under liberal and socialist values, that were incorporated into a capitalistic society. But they are fools who only listen to what they are told by Fox, without doing their own true and diligent research into the facts.

That would be all were it not for the fact that although the Tea Party is today the “base” of the Republican Party, in reality they do not really represent the majority of the party. The GOP represents less than a third of the registered voters in this country and the Tea Party fools represent a minority of that minority. So, how did Mitt Romney, the lying fool he is proven to be, be the presumptive nominee? Because the rest of the Republican Party either stayed home during the primaries, or voted for the fools being presented to them out of peer pressure. So the rest of the Republican Party are as foolish as the Tea Party.

But it doesn’t end there. As I just mentioned, the Republicans only represent less than a third of the registered voters. Polling today shows that on specific issues and specific groups of registered voters, President Obama leads on just about every facit by comfortable margins. He leads on National Defense, he leads on Medicare and Medicaid, he leads on Healthcare, he leads on economics, he leads with women, minorities, LGBTS. And yet putting everything together, he is either just ahead or just behind Romney overall. The race is still too close despite everything that is easily searchable out there to educate people on who Mitt Romney is; what his lies are, his refusals to answer questions of concern to the people, and his history as a failed governor of Massachusetts and CEO of Bain, that did not create jobs here, but did a fine job destroying them here and creating jobs overseas. It’s out there, but people either aren’t availing themselves to that information, don’t understand that information, ignore the truth of that information. In short, too many Americans are fools. It’s the only explanation as to why this race is too close.

I do not support the President on everything he has done. I believe we should have pulled out of Afghanistan at the same time we pulled out of Iraq. I didn’t agree with extending the Bush tax cuts, I didn’t agree with some of his acts that he signed off on that the Bush administration began, I didn’t agree with him placing Napolitano as head of Homeland Security. That being said, he did prevent the nation from falling into another Great Depression, he tried to get some regulations back in play with banking, he got us a good start with the Affordable Care Act, he’s made cost-effective use of military and intelligent resources to kill Osama bin Laden and other leaders of Al Qaeda, he eliminated Don’t ask, Don’t Tell, he’s done some good too. He’s done more good than bad in my opinion.

I would think overall, if people look at the individual accomplishments as simply accomplishments, they would agree. But instead, many of them won’t accept the accomplishments because they are attached to the name of Barack Hussein Obama, a black man in the White House. Yes, I believe the reason the race is still close is that we have far too many people in this country who think more on racial views than what’s best for the country. They are fools.

But I’m not finished. Though I don’t believe the majority of the country is racist, not enough of those who aren’t, are holding the racists accountable for their small-minded views. Whether it’s out of fear, conflict avoidance, no matter. Those who know better need to call out those who don’t. So, although the majority of the country aren’t Tea Party, aren’t GOP, aren’t racist, we are none the less foolish for not working to change for the better and supporting the best man for the job based on his accomplishments and ability.

We are foolish for allowing obstructionist idiots to be elected to Congress in 2010 due to not showing up to vote and letting the bigger fools send those fools to office. We are the fools. It’s time for us to get smart and help ourselves out.

A Forgotten Battle on GOP’s War on Women

Was listening to Mike Papantonio today when he was covering for Ed Schultz’ radio show and he reminded us of one of the more gruesome examples of the GOP’s War on Women in recent years. This one was serious and sickening and has yet to be resolved, but no one has talked about it since it was in the news back in 2009 and we need to discuss it now.

Her name is Jamie Leigh Jones. she began working for KBR as an administrative assistant when she was 19 and started working in Iraq on July 24, 2005.

According to Jones, on July 28, 2005, one of her fellow KBR employees offered her a drink containing a date rape drug, although a subsequent blood test did not detect anything. Jones says that while she was unconscious, several men engaged in unprotected anal and vaginal gang-rape on her. She says that “when she awoke the next morning still affected by the drug, she found her body naked and severely bruised, with lacerations to her vagina and anus, blood running down her leg, her breast implants ruptured, and her pectoral muscles torn – which would later require reconstructive surgery. Upon walking to the rest room, she passed out again.” The doctor who examined Jones gave the rape kit used to gather evidence from Jones to KBR/Halliburton security forces, and three hours later they turned the kit over to the U.S. government. According to Jones, in early 2007 a spokesperson at the State Department told her that photographs and doctor’s notes were missing from the kit.

Jones says that KBR officials locked her in a trailer after she informed them of the rape and would not permit her to call her family. After approximately one day, says Jones, a sympathetic guard gave her a cell phone and she called her father, who in turn contacted U.S. Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) who contacted the State Department. Agents were dispatched and removed Jones from KBR custody.  A 2006 EEOC investigation claimed that Jones was not locked in a trailer by KBR but placed in a “secure location” before being returned to Texas.

Because the crime occurred in a foreign country by contractors working for the US and laws were in place that essentially gave immunity to Halliburton for such acts, no criminal charges could be filed. The Bush Administration refused to take any criminal or civil action against Halliburton citing a clause in Jones’ contract with Halliburton stating that all “disputes” must be dealt with via arbitration. To the Bush Justice Department, all disputes include criminal allegations of gang rape and false imprisonment. Jones filed a lawsuit against the United States, Halliburton and a firefighter/contractor she alleged was involved in the rape. Despite a motion from Halliburton to have the civil case heard by corporate arbitration per the contract, the case did go to trial and Halliburton paid their attorneys well over $2 million dollars.

Their attorneys were good. Despite the injuries she endured, they painted the victim as a troublemaker who tried to get out of her contract and had “consensual” sex resulting in her injuries. Even though there was evidence consistent with rape, it was all turned all of it over to Halliburton’s security, who somehow lost it. The jury bought it and Jones’ case was dismissed. Then Halliburton went after Jones for compensation for their legal costs of $2 million.

Jump forward to 2009 and the Senate debating the Defense Appropriations Bill with an amendment from Senator Al Franken. It was a fairly straight forward and reasonable amendment. The amendment would prohibit the United States Government from giving funds to contractors, who include clauses in employment contracts that prohibit employees from bringing claims against the companies for sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination. The amendment was put forth after he learned of the case against Halliburton brought by Jaime Leigh Jones. The Amendment passed, but a remarkable 30 Republicans voted against it, instead siding with companies like Halliburton. All the votes against the amendment came from Republicans.

So what do we have here? First of all, it would seem that the Bush Justice Department, as well as Halliburton were then, as the GOP is now, stating that rape isn’t always rape. There appears to be caveats to it. Despite her injuries and subsequent reconstruction of those injuries, from their view, the sex act was consensual. They victimized the victim.

The reputation of Halliburton and her male employees are far more important than the reputation of a young women working for them in a foreign country. They belittled and demeaned a person that any reasonable person could see was clearly a rape victim and set up a system where those responsible would not be held to account and the victim would be victimized more as time went on.

Then when an amendment is introduced to protect potential victims of this sort of behavior, 30 Republican Senators voted to side with the Corporate Personhood over the reputation and well-being of any potential victim. Business is Business and Rape isn’t always Rape. Who were the 30 Senators who don’t give a damn about keeping and holding corporations accountable to protect the people who work for them?

They were:

Alexander (R-TN), Barrasso (R-WY), Bond (R-MO), Brownback (R-KS), Bunning (R-KY), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-NC), Ensign (R-NV), Enzi (R-WY), Graham (R-SC), Gregg (R-NH), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Johanns (R-NE), Kyl (R-AZ), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Risch (R-ID), Roberts (R-KS), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Thune (R-SD), Vitter (R-LA), Wicker (R-MS)

Some of them are already gone, Kyl is retiring, but many still remain and we shouldn’t forget their vote on this amendment that placed corporations over women’s rights. Many of them, as with most GOP continue with their war on women. Denying them the ability to control their own bodies, to have equal pay, healthcare at the same cost as men.

The facts are clearly out there, this group of GOP do not think women are of equal importance to men, nor to corporations. Our government is supposed to be of The People despite what the Supreme Court and GOP want to twist it into. If they can’t recognize that, they should all be voted out at our first opportunity.

Meet Todd Akin, Member of the House Medieval Science Committee

As the news broke regarding Mr. Akin’s comments about “legitimate” rape, the one thing people focused on is the fact he currently sits on the House Science Committee. Odd that a man so obviously out of touch with real science would have such a title. But people forget, this is the GOP Tea Party House. These are the people who don’t believe in science, think that climate change is a hoax and that man lived with dinosaurs ala “The Flintstones.” So it’s no wonder that he chairs this committee. In true keeping the Republican way however, it is now the Medieval Science Committee and Mr Todd’s recent comments are only the tip of the iceberg regarding his and his party’s ignorance.

His views on a women being able to prevent a pregnancy based on the trauma caused by rape are probably his most modern scientific belief. He of course is on record supporting personhood laws along with GOP cohorts Paul Ryan and Steve King (who incidentally has never heard of any pregnancy that resulted from rape or incest. He appears to be deaf to the 32,000 documented cases each year).

Todd Akin also believes that climate change science is a hoax. It has to be a hoax. Afterall, even though there is no real money in it for anyone who supports it, even though over 90% of climate scientists (including some who until recently worked for the Koch Brothers) agree it’s man-made, even though the lives of billions are negatively impacted, to address it can impact the revenue for a handful of oilmen like the Kochs. So to support climate change as man-made is a hoax because those who profit from allowing the seas to rise, droughts to run rampant, could lose a few billion a year in profit.

Todd Akin doesn’t see any problems with Fracking. I mean it’s only natural for there to be flammable water coming from well taps. And earthquakes near no known fault lines, but in vicinity of fracking operations? It’s all coincident and so what if well water becomes contaminated by chemicals nobody is allowed to know exist, there are again profits involved for people like the Kochs.

I’m sure if Todd Akin had the time, he would begin Congressional Investigations in the Medieval Science Committee on whether white men are more intelligent than any other race? (after recent events, I’m beginning to doubt that)

Is homosexuality caused by demon possession from the scion of Liberace?

Is Christine O’Donnell really a witch? Should they use new methods to find out or does the old method of seeing if she weighs the same as a duck work?

Should we go back to the moon to mine some of that good green cheese?

Did man cause the extinction of the dinosaurs by allowing them to co-mingle with unicorns and dragons?

To pay off the national debt, can we use alchemy to turn lead into gold? Or better yet, shit into Shinola?

Todd Akin is the man of the hour. However, I think he’s also a bit of a welcomed distraction in this race for the GOP. With all the coverage and the opportunity for GOP to openly distance themselves from his comments (while secretly thanking him for saying it out loud, to get the base out in support) few are paying attention to Mitt Romney right now. And another sad fact is that despite all of this, he still leads Claire McCaskill in the polls. He could still win in Missouri.

On the other hand, he could also be the RWNJ Canary in the mine to see how toxic his views are to the public to give them an idea for how to proceed in November. I think the weak condemnation from those who are clearly on record supporting his stance is evidence of that.

Romney’s Budget more Devasting than Paul Ryan’s Budget

Though Mitt has yet to give out the specifics, or as both he and Paul would say, they “haven’t run the numbers yet” his goals would be far worse than all the devastation we know the Ryan Budget would cause the nation. Based on what little he’s projected and some critical thinking (that aspect of learning that many Republican school boards want to eliminate from curriculums) gives us a picture that would destroy the fabric of this nation, or more specifically, the majority of the people who live here.

Romney has already made it clear that he and Paul have the same budget now; his. So what does that budget entail? As we all know, the basis of the Ryan Budget was to slash the Federal Income Tax rate of the wealthiest Americans (like Mitt Romney, Sheldon Adelson, the Koch Brothers) to less than 1%, while at the same time increasing spending on the military. This to be paid for by slashing all non-defense spending and increasing the effective tax rate of the middle, working and poor classes of the nation. Even at this, the budget isn’t balanced for 30 years.

Let us remember that currently, the United States is responsible for 40% of the total global spending on military, which is 6-7 times what China spends and is greater than the amount of the next 20 nations combined, many of them our allies. But neither Mitt nor Paul think our spending on military is enough. Does the term “Industrial Military Complex” come to mind yet?

The Ryan Budget calls for an increase of Military Spending from 2013 through 2022 in the amount of $5,700,000,000,000.00. That’s a lot of money. The Romney plan, which is now the Ryan plan, increases Military spending for that same time period to $7,900,000,000,000.00. It would increase military spending as compared to GDP to over 4%. The chart below is the current trend of total Federal Budget compared to GDP. The increases to Military Spending with no increased revenues would be significantly higher without massive cuts to non defense spending:

Studies show that it would actually be even higher. No matter, it would be higher than it was during the height of the Cold War. They Ryan plan calls for cuts of $504,000,000,000.00 to non defense spending while cutting revenues from the rich. The Romney plan would simply require more cuts to meet his goal of higher military spending, cuts in revenue from the wealthiest Americans and balancing in budget. However, keep in mind they won’t say how long it would take to balance the budget or what programs or by how much would be cut, or by how much everyone elses’ Federal Taxes would be increased to pay for this increase in military spending. However, based on analysis, this is essentially what we are looking at:

Now both Romney and Ryan, as well as the Republican talking heads would say that the cuts to the wealthiest would expand the economy. The same way the Reagan people said it would when we started “Trickle Down” economics over 30 years ago and the way Bush and his cronies said his tax cuts would also trickle down and expand the economy. Keep in mind that it has yet to do so. How can we now expect it to work? What was it Bush said? “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”

Now what exactly is non defense spending? The chart below is what Federal Spending was for 2011:

Non Defense Spending is: Social Security, Medicare, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Education, Environmental Protection Agency, US Marshals, Courts, Probation and Parole, Prison System, NASA, HIghway Funding, etc. All those things that a lot of Americans want to keep, and like Social Security and Medicare, need in order to survive and/or stay out of poverty.

So if those programs are significantly slashed, or turned over to private industries so they can place a profit margin on those services that only serve to increase cost to the public for fewer services, the majority of the people in the nation would be financially devastated to pay for massive and uncalled for cost in military spending. The generals themselves aren’t calling for these increases. So, if we do this, what exactly would this military, that we are paying more for, protecting?

To sum up (here’s the critical thinking part),

30 years of trickle down and deregulation have led to poorly managed banking system.

The Bush administration, with its tax cuts to the wealthiest and increased spending for two illegal wars and Medicare Part D, along with banking deregulation led to the economic crash of 2008,

This has led to more people in this country now in poverty since The Great Society.

The Romney plan would put the Bush economic plan on steroids

This would increase the financial destruction of the majority of people in the nation in order for the few of the wealthiest having even more money while we have the most expensive military in the world.

This military would be protecting the world’s largest and most devastated third world nation (which is what we’re becoming).

The fall of the world’s ancient societies took centuries. The Republican plan would accomplish the fall of the United States’ Society to less than a few generations. It’s already started.