As he was running for President, the country had been under Republican rule for years. The economy was in shambles. Little had been done to effectively deal with the financial crisis that was resulting in continuous job losses with no end in sight. He ran on a platform of changing things in Washington and work with the Republicans. He had a contested primary for the Presidential Nomination. The feeling of the nation was turning against what the Republicans had created after years of deregulation and poor oversight of economic issues. People were complaining about the huge deficits being run up by the federal government. He won the presidency with a vast coalition of labor, blacks and other minorities. Prior to taking office he was the target of assassination plots from extremists who feared what he would bring to the White House.
During his first term, he had a full agenda of things he wanted to accomplish to make the country a more stable and better place for all. The economic collapse that begun under and due to Republicans that preceded him made his work difficult. Of course, the economic downturn was also world-wide. He wanted to govern under the principles of “relief, recovery and reform.” He regularly spoke to the American people and was ridiculed for it by the other side. They felt he was giving himself too much air time to feed his own vanity. He saw that Americans weren’t spending, placing money in the economy so he pushed for economic stimulus from the federal government to get things moving again. Initially Congress assisted, but later complained about how these government programs were increasing the national debt. Though there were signs of early success, things were not improving fast enough and the Republicans ran against him on a lackluster recovery in the following mid-terms. They also ran against him for the social programs and bank regulation programs he instituted with the help of the Democrats in Congress over the almost universal objections of the Republicans. Trying to work with the Republicans, he scaled back some of his stimulus requests in order to cut federal spending. As a result, some small gains were actually lost. However, recovery came back, but again at a slower pace than the country wanted to see. As he entered the end of his term, the Republicans felt they had him and ran against him on his “failed record” and increased deficit spending as it related to GDP.
The Republicans nominated a man who was a former Governor and who by all accounts was a “moderate” but to get the nomination presented himself as a conservative. He railed against the president about how his policies were hostile to business and a waste of tax payer dollars. The President was called a Socialist. The pundits all said it would be a close race. The country wasn’t satisfied with the President and what he failed to deliver from his first race.
I am of course talking about Franklin Delano Roosevelt who took office during the GOP depression created and perpetuated by policies of Herbert Hoover and his second run for the Presidency against Alf Landon. Despite the problems FDR faced and the “learned” opinion of the media of the time saying it would be a very close race and FDR could lose, Roosevelt ended up winning in one of the largest landslide in popular votes, states won and Electoral College votes. FDR took every state with the exception of Maine and Vermont. Further, there was a landslide of new Democrats being elected to Congress giving FDR a larger advantage than he had before in Congress.
After the election, it was determined that FDR, though seen as a socialist was still very popular in the country, especially over his opponent, Alf Landon. Further, Social Security was taking shape and hold and the people liked it and didn’t appreciate calls from the Republicans to repeal it. People saw that though the rate of recovery was slow, it was still a recovery and recognize that many of the problems in its success was obstruction from the GOP in Congress as well as the Supreme Court at the time. The American people were more aware than the media gave them credit for. FDR won in 1936. He won again in 1940 becoming the first President to win three terms. And he won in 1944. His economic policies, his handling of the War, his likability and populace leanings made him unbeatable. The country did so well under Democratic Rule; the GOP successfully changed the Constitution limiting a President to only two terms. Since FDR’s death, they continued to work to overturn or privatize Social Security. Though FDR was unable to get healthcare passed, his understudy in Congress Lyndon Johnson was able to get Medicare passed when he became President and the GOP has been working to eliminate that program too. When Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan say they want to strengthen both programs, you have to ask why they would want to do that when it’s been the policy of the Republican Party to this very day to repeal those programs.
ObamaCare is starting to take effect in much the same way Social Security took effect in 1936 and more and more people are seeing the benefits of it. Many insiders in the GOP are now acknowledging that it will not go away. Its popularity continues to increase as people learn more from it and experience its merits personally. What’s more, people are now seeing the open and unabashed obstructionism of the GOP in Congress. Not only is it likely President Obama will win re-election, he may be bringing back a Democratic House and a much more Democratic Senate as the centrists/independents of the country realize we cannot go back to the Republican policies that placed us in this mess in the first place.
Of course the key has been, and always will be voter turnout. People must register, ensure that they are registered, make sure they have the proper ID to thwart suppression efforts, and most important of all Vote. The higher the turn out, the more likely Obama and other Democratic Candidates will win. The GOP knows this and knows this is the only way they can hold on to any power in Washington. Don’t let them. Make sure you get your family and friends to also register, confirm, and get ID and vote. Give them all the assistance you can. What’s at stake?
Direction of the Supreme Court (populace centered or corporate centered?)
If you are for corporate control of Government and you, then do nothing. Otherwise get active and vote.
Many feel that the “War on Drugs” began in January 1971 when then President Nixon declared that “drug abuse is public enemy number one” and later in January 1972 when he coined the term “War on Drug Abuse.” The fact of the matter is, the actual United States War on Drugs actually began on December 14, 1914 with the Harrison Narcotic Tax Act and continues to this very day. The war is a campaign of prohibition, foreign military aid and military intervention undertaken by our government.
In June, 2011 the Global Commission on Drug Policy released a critical report on the “War on Drugs” declaring “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug policies are urgently needed.”
In 1937 the “Marijuana Transfer Tax Act” was passed. This was designed to destroy the Hemp Industry because Andrew Mellon, Randolph Hearst and the DuPont family saw hemp as a cheap substitute for the paper pulp they sold for the newspaper industry as well as other materials being developed by the DuPont’s. Many believe that this was the reason marijuana become illegal and classified as a drug. Hemp interfered with the business interests of the wealthy in the country, even though it was never documented to have created any problems prior to the 1937 act like more illicit drugs like Opium and Cocaine.
In 1988 the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) was established by the National Narcotics Leadership Act, which mandated a national anti-drug media campaign for youth. The director of the ONDCP is commonly known as the Drug Czar, was coined by President H. W. Bush in 1989. In 1993 the ONDCP Director gains Cabinet Level Status by President Bill Clinton.
In 2012 the director of ONDCP announces that their policy was to no longer wage a “War on Drugs” saying that United States had revised their policy to create a “third way” approach to drug control based on investments in research on the disease of substance abuse. They did not see drug legalization as a solution to drug control and that “it is not a policy where success is measured by the number of arrests made or prisons built.” However, since this decision, little has been done to curb the incarceration rates of those caught up on drug charges nor has very much been placed in drug treatment across the country with the possible exception of federal funding of Drug Courts.
Although it is now the policy of the United States Government that drug use/abuse is a disease, it remains the policy of the United States Government to treat this disease via the Criminal Justice System.
Since 1980, due significantly to the “War on Drugs” our prison population has exploded.
The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. (743 per 100,000 population). In 1994 it was reported that the “War on Drugs” resulted in the incarceration of one million Americans each year. Of these arrests, approximately 225,000 are for possession of marijuana, the fourth most common cause for arrest in the United States. In 2008, 1.5 million Americans were arrested for drug offenses of which 500,000 were imprisoned. During the 1980’s, the number of arrests for all crimes in the nation rose 28% while the arrests for just drug offenses rose 126%.
On January 1, 2008 more than 1 in 100 adults in the United States were in prison or jail. In 2008, 1 in every 31 adults (7.3 million) in the United States was behind bars or being monitored on probation or parole. Of this population: one out of 18 men, one in 89 women, one in 11 African-Americans (9.2%), one in 27 Latinos (3.7%), and one in 45 Caucasians. 70% of prisoners in the United States were non-whites. Prison populations have surged in recent years due to mandatory sentencing guidelines and the “War on Drugs.” However, during this same period of time, violent crimes and property crimes have declined since the early 1990s. Only 7.9% in federal prisons were in for violent crimes. And only 52.4% of those in state prisons are in for violent crimes.
It has been estimated that the greatest single force behind the growth of the prison population has been the “War on Drugs.” The number of incarcerated drug offenders has increased twelve-fold since 1980. Yet the percentile of illegal drug use across the country remains unchanged. Of those who end up being incarcerated, there is a 67.5% chance they will be rearrested within 3 years of their release with 51.8% of them going back to prison. Studies verify that going to prison and serving more time results in a higher probability of being returned to prison after release.
That percentile drops for those who get probation without incarceration, and even less for those who complete a drug diversion program instead of being placed on probation. So evidently the less government sanction imposed on a drug offender the better. But as a nation, we tend to throw the book at them. Especially if they are minority and/or not affluent.
In 1986, it was determined that the sentencing disparity of possession of crack cocaine to the possession of powder cocaine (minority use versus Caucasian use) was 100:1. In 2010 the Fair Sentencing Act cut that particular sentencing disparity to only 18:1(sigh). Crime statistics show that in 1999, African Americans were far more likely to be arrested for drug crimes and receive much stiffer sentences than non-minorities. Nationwide, African-Americans were sent to prison for drug offenses 13 times more often than other races even though they comprise only 13% of regular drug users.
So what do we know about drug use in this country?
We know it is considered a disease like alcoholism, we know that drug use is illegal though alcohol use isn’t and we know that there is often violence associated with the drug use, manufacturing and sale. So is using the criminal justice system the most effective and cost effective way to curb drug use in the country?
Currently, those convicted of a drug crime that do not end up being incarcerated still end up in the criminal justice system. Often they are placed on probation with conditions requiring attendance in substance abuse programs as well as some substantial fines. Rarely does government pay for this treatment, but requires it none-the-less for the offender to avoid further sanctions. So failure to attend treatment or pay the fines, or any continued use of drugs can result in arrest and imprisonment.
Many court jurisdictions have what are known as “Drug Courts.” Drug Courts are advertised as treatment orientated Courts where drug offenders, in addition to treatment and regular contact with their probation officers actually see the Judge on a regular basis. They are given immediate awards for good behavior as well as immediate punishment (to include incarceration) for non-compliant behavior. It’s behavioral modification based on the Pavlovian model. They say that “Drug Court Works,” that’s their motto. However, it is relative depending on what you are comparing it to. Even though it is treatment based, there is a cost of Court supervision attached to it. Many drug users, especially those who end up in the criminal justice system for lack of good attorneys, don’t have the means to pay for treatment, court costs or fines. So financially they end up deeper in the hole, adding to their stress and increasing the likelihood of relapse into drug use for an escape from an ever depressing reality.
What is the illegal drug use rate in this country?
In this country, an estimated 20.4 million people will use some kind of illicit drug during a 30-day period. About 8.3% of all persons age 12 and over are involved in use of illegal drugs or the nonmedical use of prescription drugs. These are conservative numbers.
14.8 million People or 6% of the population use marijuana.
2.4 million People use cocaine.
1 million people use hallucinogens including Ecstasy.
731,000 use Methamphetamine.
7 million use prescription drugs without a valid prescription.
The rate of illegal drug use has remained constant in this country since 2002, despite efforts to curb illegal drug use via the criminal justice system with the drug war. Billions spent and nothing to show for it.
What are the costs for drug treatment?
The costs of effective drug treatment vary according to the programs available, their location. However, it is estimated that the average cost of treatment is $1,433.00 per treatment program and course of treatment. Their effectiveness depends on the type of treatment and what kind of lapse-relapse prevention is offered. It is accepted in the field that once a substance abuser, always an abuser. A person is either in relapse or recovery for the rest of their lives. Many studies tend to bear this out.
So what are the costs to incarcerate drug users?
In 2007, $74 billion was spent on corrections. The total number of inmates in federal, state and local lockups was 2,419,241. That equates to $30,600.00 per inmate per year. The amount does vary depending on location. However these are costs to the tax payer. This is where your money goes.
With the advent of the private prison system, the costs actually do go up, while the security and treatment of the offenders goes down. And again, those costs go to the tax payers, while the profits go to the private prison industry. By the way, the private prison industry is a big advocate on the “War on Drugs.” ALEC sponsors anti-drug laws with mandatory incarceration to “aid” society in dealing with these people.
What are the costs of the “Drug War” compared to the cost of drug use?
So what has the “War on Drugs” brought us?
I agree that illegal drug use is a problem. It is a disease and should be treated as such. Alcoholism is also a disease. However, it is only when someone is “drunk and disorderly” or worse yet, driving a motor vehicle under the influence, do they face arrest and serious legal consequences. Simple possession or use of even a small amount of drugs is grounds for severe financial consequences as well as arrest and possible incarceration. Further, those so treated, will find it difficult to get good jobs and end up being more prone to needing assistance for housing, food and healthcare from tax payers because they are unable to get good work. All because we treated a human ailment as a felony with the entire stigma attached to convicted felons.
It is clear that it is more cost effective and we would have better outcomes to simply treat the drug user so they can take control of their disease. When we label them as criminals, sanction them with probation, incarceration, fines and a permanent record, we make their situation worse. They tend to go on and commit more serious crimes in order to survive. Crimes that do have a direct impact on the community and her safety and well-being.
The “War on Drugs” is a failure and has only served to make the matter worse, create more crime, and cost the tax payer more while enriching those in the private prison industry who simply love the business, by mistreating the offender.
I do not believe in the legalization of drug use; with the possible exception of Marijuana. That drug is proven by study after study, to be no more harmful than alcohol.
Other more serious drugs should remain illegal; however, decriminalized in order to treat the disease, not incarcerate the patient.
If someone commits a crime under the influence of a drug or in attempts to get a drug, then they should face severe criminal sanctions like we do with DUIs. But to continue to go after people who simply use and harm anyone but themselves and their immediate family, leave them to themselves and their family.
A truly conservative government wouldn’t be involved in telling people how to live, if their lifestyle doesn’t impact society in a dangerous way. The “War on Drugs” has failed and it’s time to call an end to it and clean up the mess.
Again, I’m not for legalization, but some level of decriminalization may be of benefit:
“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” – Henry David Thoreau
I know it’s become cliché each election cycle, but I’m going to say it anyway, this is the most critical election of our time. Rarely in the history of this country have the American people been confronted with two widely different views of how to proceed as a nation. One side is populace, advocating an altruistic society where all are entitled to a level playing field with the assistance of government by the people. The other side clearly advocates an Ayn Rand society ruled by the elites. When I say elites I mean the wealthiest people who have the means and the intention to ensure they have a government in place that allows them the freedom to do what they will despite the impact on the people. They say they hate government, yet want to have government around to ensure they will always be wealthy and quite frankly, won’t allow anyone else into their clubhouse (literally).
You would think these choices are obvious to the American people and that the populace side of the argument would be double digits ahead of the other with the people. But it’s not. The polling is still tight. Despite the information out there, many people support what is seen as issues and candidates not representing what’s in their best interests. Sad but true. I propose that the current situation is a culmination of years of careful manipulation, mainly from the right, to compel educators in our country to leave out “Critical Thinking” skills from curriculums across the country. Worse yet, a concerted effort to convince people in the country to not think critically via the mainstream media, both news and entertainment.
As John Dean points out, the right-wing mentally is one who “follows orders” without question. They believe it and do what they are told to do. If people have developed critical thinking skills, they would question what they are told, demand explanations as to why things are the way they are and then question the explanations. It is often amusing to hear a child ask “why” and when told ask “why” again. As we have matured, we’ve been given answers and are told to accept those answers for what they are. The chants of the 1960’s “Question Authority” had a purpose. You rarely hear that anymore because to question authority place authority in a bad place, they can’t rule without explaining what they are doing to everyone’s satisfaction.
So to begin, what is Critical Thinking?
“Critical thinking…the awakening of the intellect to the study of itself”
The concept of critical thinking has been developing throughout the last 2500 years. However, the term has it’s roots in the mid to late 20th Century. Per http://www.criticalthinking.org:
Critical thinking is the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observations, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. In its exemplary form, it is based on universal intellectual values that transcend subject matter divisions: clarity, accuracy, precision, consistency, relevance, sound evidence, good reasons, depth, breadth, and fairness.
It entails the examination of those structures or elements of thought implicit in all reasoning: purpose, problem, or question-at-issue; assumptions; concepts; empirical grounding; reasoning leading to conclusions; implications and consequences; objections from alternative viewpoints; and frame of reference. Critical thinking – in being responsive to variable subject matter, issues, and purposes – is incorporated in a family of interwoven modes of thinking, among them: scientific thinking, mathematical thinking, historical thinking, anthropological thinking, economic thinking, moral thinking, and philosophical thinking.
Critical thinking can be seen as having two components: 1) a set of information and belief generating and processing skills, and 2) the habit, based on intellectual commitment, of using those skills to guide behavior. It is thus to be contrasted with: 1) the mere acquisition and retention of information alone, because it involves a particular way in which information is sought and treated; 2) the mere possession of a set of skills, because it involves the continual use of them; and 3) the mere use of those skills (“as an exercise”) without acceptance of their results.
Why Critical Thinking?
The Problem: Everyone thinks it is our nature to do so. However, much of our thinking left to itself is biased, distorted, partial, uniformed or down-right prejudiced. Shoddy thinking is costly both in money and in quality of life.
A Definition: Critical thinking is that mode of thinking – about any subject, content, or problem – in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them.
The Result: A well cultivated critical thinker raises vital questions and problems, formulating them clearly and precisely and then gathers and assesses relevant information, using abstract ideas to interpret it effectively and comes to well-reasoned conclusion and solutions, testing them against relevant criteria and standards. They think open-mindedly and communicate effectively with others in figuring out solutions to complex problems.
It is the concept of critical thinking that led to the scientific method that resulted in the advancement of the human race in terms of controlling our environment and extending our lives by extending our knowledge of the world around us. The method takes nothing for granted or for face value. All things need to be explained, reasoned and then shown to be applicable. It is why we no longer see the world as being flat, or the center of the universe. It is why we no longer see disease as “bad humors” or demon possession resulting in medical treatments to cure or control affliction and extending life. It is why we no longer see monarchs as descendant from God Himself and entitled to unfettered obedience. It is why democracy was created; it is why we created government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is why we know that all people are equal and helps us to advance as a civilization. It involves continued progression forward, not staying put accepting things for how they are; for that is conservatism. This is why the concept of critical thinking has been purposefully eroded away whenever those of the conservative movement get the chance.
For example, in July 2012 the Texas Republicans sought to ban critical thinking in the public schools, the schools where the masses attend because they cannot afford the private and charter schools where the elites and entitled future leaders of the State and country attend.
From the position paper in the 2012 Texas Republican Party Platform:
“Knowledge Based Education – We oppose the teaching of Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) (values clarification), critical thinking skills and similar programs that are simply a re-labeling of Outcome-Based Education (OBE) (mastery learning) which focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”
This was a follow-up to Arizona’s HB2281 that banned the teaching of Chicano Studies in public schools and the fact that the numbers of minority students in Texas public schools have been increasing. Perhaps they fear that if these students are taught not to accept that they are anything other than “minority working class” people, and to not challenge the authority of the ruling classes, because they are always right, they may actually challenge that authority. Again, critical thinking allows, compels people to not accept things for as they are. It encourages change in a world that is supposed to be always changing as we learn and experience more.
In July 2010, Breanne Harris wrote about “Why Does Gen Y Lack Critical Thinking Skills?”
She notes that numerous studies are confirming that the new entrants into the workforce and recent graduates (Gen Y) rate below average on critical thinking. The blame is placed on the parents. She implies that Gen X people have been taught that no matter what, everybody wins, everybody gets a trophy. So they did the same with their children. There is no emphasis on studying, that life is a competition, that there are consequences to not putting in the effort. They empower the entitled views of those currently graduating and entering the work force. So the need for critical thinking is not nurtured. Why should it? If everything is fine, if you are already the best you can be, why aspire to more? Why question the ways things are and explore ways to make things better?
This cannot be blamed on Republicans. This is the result of frankly lazy parenting. Parents wanting to avoid conflicts with children or give them painful memories for not being the best every parent think their child is. I think this is a problem that spans all political views. However, if the schools will not instill critical thinking into their curriculums the problem is not resolved. Schools are indirectly forced to no spend time teaching critical thinking because of “high stakes testing” where they need to teach students “to the test” instead of how to find the answer themselves or question why that is the correct answer, or even if it is the correct answer. Teachers must do this or face getting bad reports from test results that could impact their pay. So it is a systemic problem in educating our children. So the major problem is that we have a growing number of people entering our workforce, entering the citizenry who lack critical thinking skills and are now prone to accept what they are told by the power elites without question.
So how does this play in the political process? Well though I think many of our leaders, especially on the right side of the aisle lack critical thinking skills (those who question climate change, those who think women can’t conceive after “legitimate rape,” those who think non-whites are inferior to whites, those who think cutting taxes will increase revenues) the problem is with the voting populace.
We have growing numbers of citizens who have not been raised with refined critical thinking skills, as they enter our society they are subject to mainstream media who create a narrative that political issues are closer than they actually are to get viewership. They confuse the populace with trivial matters that play to the more mundane and base emotions of the voters. They love to preface any inane, factually incorrect statement with the phrase “some people say” that cons the viewer into thinking that this is a legitimate issue with voters. They don’t question it because that isn’t how they were raised. The media leaves out important facts to the populace in presenting their stories and providing their explanation as to why something happened. The 2010 sweep of Republicans into Congress and State Houses and Governorships was presented as a complete repudiation of the Obama agenda. They didn’t mention that only 37% of registered voters casted ballots in 2010 and those who did vote tended to be more of the conservative bent. By leaving that out, those who thought differently began to think that if that was the case, maybe we are a more right-wing country than we actually are. That wasn’t the case. Even today, you poll people on individual issues, abortion, progressive tax codes, water and food safety, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid; specific provisions of “ObamaCare,” the vast majority of voters actually support the left-wing agenda. However, all they hear is that we are “centered right” without explaining why, over what specific agenda items, makes us center-right?
So mainstream media leaves us only a partial story and few people have the intellectual curiosity born from developed critical thinking skills to “question authority” and do their own research to determine is what they are hearing is in fact true.
This is our current political state. This is why someone so provably anti-populace candidate like Mitt Romney or the Republican slate that is financially supported by not the majority of people, but a handful of millionaire and billionaires, are still close enough in polling to actually win. The information is out there for people to get, but they don’t seek it out, they accept what they are told even if it doesn’t quite ring true. The way the GOP wants it. However, just to make sure, they’ll suppress the votes they can.
So what can be done about this? Well challenge the views of people who not only are opposed to your own, challenge your own views. Keep informed. One of my favorite radio personalities in Randi Rhodes. On her website, before each show she has her “homework” section. A list of stories, research papers etc for you to read to challenge the views being presented that day. Those who follow me on Twitter may notice I usually do an article dump during the day. These are the articles I get from Randi. Sometimes the articles support the right side of the aisle and are worth the read. It challenges me to confirm if my views are valid. You will notice that no one on the right will offer anything to support what they say on the air, only the preface “some people say.”
With issues pending regarding our national debt, stalled economic recovery, women’s health rights, healthcare availability for the average person in the first place, increasing levels of poverty due to decimation of the middle-class, ever-increasing income disparity between the classes, war with Iran, global climate change, we need to be thinking about these issues and how best to address them.
Here is where the lack of the Government and nation’s use of Critical Thinking really failed us all:
Knowledge is power, but you need to have the inclination to get that knowledge and carefully consider that knowledge. Question authority and accept we cannot progress unless we are willing to change long-held views for an ever-changing world. And by all means, be critical.
The fact of the matter is that the $1 billion Veterans Job Corp Act of 2012 was completely paid for. Certainly more paid for than the Wars this group sent our young men and women over to fight for them while they pretended to be all “pro-American and Pro-Military.” Forget the fact they sent them over without proper body armor and wasted billions handing out basic services to private contractors like Halliburton and Black Water, who ended up getting our military personnel injured and killed for their profits. Don’t buy into their excuses, the Act was paid for and those studying the Act agree it would create jobs for them returning here after risking their lives for us. Not only would they be employed, the fact that they would be working would also be an asset to getting us out of this recession. Currently, the unemployment rate for Veterans is over 11% compared to 8% for the rest of the nation.
So here’s our list of 21st Century Benedict Arnolds betraying our veterans for their personal glory to give our Commander-in-Chief another defeat for their political profit. They are shameless, they lie and have no honor or conscience. Four of these actually wrote part of the Act. If they are in your State and are up for relection, let them know. Even if they’re not, let them know how disgusting these traitors are.
As for me, Well Jon Kyl is retiring this year and I’m voting for Democrat Richard Carmona to take his place and John McCain is too busy telling kids to get off his lawn to pay any attention. Though I would think a former POW would have and demonstrate more honor than this.
After his convention speech, even FOX news commentators and other Republican talking heads took Representative Paul Ryan to task for not being completely (or even slightly) factual in his statements to the GOP delegates and the viewing audience. Paul Ryan lied. In subsequent interviews, he’s doubled down on his lies. He has lied about his lies.
FACT CHECK ON PAUL RYAN CONVENTION SPEECH:
I thought it was particularly humorous (yet pathetic) when he lied about his marathon time. He insinuated that he was a marathon runner, and that his best time was under three hours and he had only stopped due to having a back problem.
Then the truth came out, Mr. Ryan had only ran one marathon in his entire life, when he was twenty and his time was four hours one minute. Respectable for a one and only marathon for a twenty-year-old. Of course, forty-year-old Sarah Palin’s time kicked Paul’s ass. As I’ve posted before, as someone who actually trained to run marathons (yes plural) and being middle-aged, I took particular notice of this. But hell, Paul is a liar and in the grand schemes of things, this his harmless. Afterall, the issues involving his budget numbers (which he says he hasn’t really ran yet) and his Medicare plan’s impact on the elderly, and a whole host of other government related issues require more scrutiny and attention to honesty, than his ONE AND ONLY Marathon time.
But what is he saying now? He’s claiming that he is such a fitness buff, so athletic, he only has 6 percent body fat. Wow! That is interesting.
Now as it turns out, this came out in 2010 when he was being asked about his cult-like addiction to the P90X cult. Paul Ryan does appear susceptible to cults. The Ayn Rand cult to mention only one. Of course he now says he’s really not that “in to her” and it’s all been over-blown by the media. I mean, when the media plays audio of him speaking to people about how Ayn Rand convinced him to get into politics, or how he admits having his aides read Ayn Rand, etc: it’s hard to tell where the truth lies.
But back to this body fat issue. Just to be factual here so there is no mistake (yes the Romney/Ryan campaign won’t be bothered with Fact Checkers) Olympic Athletes, professional Marathon Runners, full-time athletes (not Nimrod’s who spend time at home with P90X and a bad back) average about 9.5 percent body fat. The average man averages about 17 to 24 percent body fat. Hell, Tony Horton, the founder and most avid user and preacher of P90X has 9 percent body fat.
Paul Ryan is skinny, he’s fit, but he’s no Olympian and clearly doesn’t do an Olympian workout. If he did, he wouldn’t have time to be in Congress, not voting on job bills, or not working legislation through that would aid America out of this recession, he wouldn’t even have the time to vote on misogynist legislations to legally define life at conception and force women to undergo transvaginal ultra-sounds for abortions.
Snark aside, yet again, Paul Ryan is lying.
His continued lying can only be psychological. Maybe there is no intent to deceive the American people about his bills and his budget. Maybe he can’t help himself but to lie about everything. The lies certainly don’t get him anywhere; especially when they are so easily disproven by even those on his side. He gains nothing materially or ideologically from these lies. They in fact detract from his ideological views.
Only pure idiots and intellectually lazy people would fall for this crap. Wait a minute, I forgot about the Tea Party. My bad.
Well, it will appear that Paul Ryan will continue to lie about everything. His politics, his personal life and anything else that happens to come his way. I posted a while back about Pathological Liars with an homage to Jon Lovitz’ Tommy Flanagan character. Maybe after Paul loses in November, both his Veep position and his House seat, he can get together with Jon and co-chair Pathological Liars Anonymous. Problem is, we all already know he is a pathological liar.
We all know the story of Al Qaeda, the still active extreme fundamentalist Islamic group, once headed by Osama bin Laden until Seal Team 6 “fired” him with extreme prejudice. We know they were active in our country for months prior to 9-11, planning, training and preparing the greatest terrorist attack in history.
We also know that prior to taking office, the Bush Administration was warned by the Clinton Administration of the threat bin Laden and Al Qaeda posed to Americans around the world. We know that although President Clinton had actionable intelligence to take bin Laden out with a Cruise Missile attack, he aborted the plan due to the possibility of civilian casualties in the area that could have erupted the Muslim World against us even more.
We know the Richard Clark was trying to warn Condi Rice of the growing threat, we now know that the August 6, 2011 Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) sent to President Bush while he was vacationing entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Attack Within the United States” was not the first PDB warning the Bush administration was given about the activities within our country, pointing to a major attack. We know that Dick Cheney, who was heading the counter terrorism task force since taking office in January 2011 had yet to convene any meetings.
In short, we know that due to lack of vigilance on the Bush Administration’s, possibly due to an obsession to finding an excuse to attack Iraq, nothing or near nothing was done to thwart the 9-11 attacks. The signs were there, but nobody would connect the dots. As a result, the country was changed forever.
Could this happen again? Are we endangered of another Fundamentalist Attack from an extreme religious group and are ignoring the signs?
Submitted for your consideration. There is another extreme group of religious zealots currently operating in the United States with little supervision of any law enforcement who only merit scant concern from others.
This group holds fast to an extreme and unrealistic interpretation of the teachings of their faith.
They have admitted misogynist views and edicts for women.
They are tribal by nature. They shun all outsiders of their faith.
They meet regularly and plan strategy.
They demand a government totally governed by the religious tenets of their faith and God.
They invite other religious zealots to inspire and speak to their following to rally more rage against the unbelievers.
They openly oppose the Government of the United States and work to recruit followers to aid them in that government’s demise.
They are listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a Hate Group. They are the Family ResearchCouncil, a group of extreme right-wing Christian Conservative Fundamentalists who support violence against those (mostly homosexual) who do not follow their teachings.
Founded by James Dobson in 1981 and incorporated in 1983, Tony Perkins (“Norman you’ve been a naughty boy”) is their president. The FRC promotes what it considers to be traditional family values, by advocating and lobbying for socially conservative policies. It opposes and lobbies against LGBT rights, abortion, divorce, embryonic stem-cell research, and pornography. The FRC is affiliated with a 501(c)(4) lobbying PAC known as FRC Action. In 2010, the nonprofit civil rights organization Southern Poverty Law Center classified the FRC as an anti-gay hate-group, a designation which has caused controversy and really makes the FRC so mad they just want to hurt somebody, preferably someone gay.
They support Federal Law to allow medical professionals permission to not dispense contraceptives if they feel morally outraged by it or dispense any needed medical care again based on their personal moral views.
They advocate teaching “creationism” instead of evolution in the public schools.
They lobby to have the FCC enact laws to take all pornography off of cable and the internet (good luck with that one guys).
They oppose any expansion of civil rights to homosexuals granting them equal rights to everyone else. They oppose gay marriage, civil unions, any legitimization of the gay lifestyle. They push for “pray the gay away” clinics.
They advocate for laws preventing divorce until couples attend at least one year of mandatory marriage counseling.
They oppose all gay adoption or adoption to single parents.
They oppose stem-cell research, gambling, and reject the concept of man-made global climate change. They have a religious view of the world and this country and demand their religious mores be codified into Federal and State law.
The Muslims have a version of this, it’s called Sharia’ Law and it actually closely mimics what the FRC stands for.
But these are minor examples of their views. They also supported and funded what is known as the Ugandan Resolution. Essentially gay laws in Uganda presented by those associated with the FRC, to make Homosexuality in Uganda punishable by death.
Like many extreme religious group, they tend to be paranoid and are known to have bouts of hyperbole regarding others. They think the ACLU and all Progressives are working covertly to turn us into a Marxist Country, in much the same way the John Birch Society knew that the actions of adding fluoride in the water was to make us Marxist too. They are known to mix Marxism and Fascism up as a combined political movement which demonstrates their stupidity.
They lack any foundation in reality. They are made up of birthers. At their Value Voters Conference, there was a fair share of those spouting how we were founded as a Christian Nation (we weren’t), that Liberals are turning us Marxist (or Fascist or both, hard to keep track) that President Obama successfully used a time machine to plant birth notices in Hawaiian Newspapers in 1961 and alter his birth certificate, because after all, he is an evil Time-Lord. He might be the Master and we may need the Doctor to come to the rescue.
The biggest fraud of the FRC is of course equating Christianity with Conservatism. Anyone with any sense knows the two do not go together. They have bastardize the teachings in the Bible, inserted their own passages/translations and have fooled many an opium addicted follower.
Wait a minute! Religion is the opium of the masses? Maybe the FRC are the real Marxists?
This rant is of course a lot of hyperbole. I make no attempts to hide this.
However, the hypocrisy of the FRC by citing “religious” grounds for their hatred of others is much closer to the extreme radicals who have bastardized Islam than they are to the true teachings of Christ.
These people are not Christians, they are frauds trying to gain control by fooling the less learned and/or easily fooled to drink the Kool-ade.
They have advocated the murder of Homosexuals. That is true.
I do fear that some of the more unstable followers of this extreme hate group, taking too much of their propaganda to heart, may be of a mind to do truly terrorist acts to innocent Americans, especially if they happen to be gay or work in the medical field. Religious brain washing, whether it be Islamic, Jewish or Christian always end the same way, innocents being killed for poorly justified “religious” reasons.
I just watched your fundraising pitch which I’m sure you never dreamed would get out there, in front of people willing to fork over 50,000 dollars a plate for your campaign . Quite honestly, I realize it is probably the best glimpse we will get into who you are at your core than any robotic and pandering stump speech you will give, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
I am grateful because this debacle just proves for the gazillionth time that youjust don’t get it and you never will. You just don’t get the average American’s experiences. You really are the guy born on third who thinks he hit a triple. No, dammit! It’s more like you were born on home plate and think you hit it out of the park! Your grand idea of “sacrifice” is having to sell the stocks daddy gave…
Mother Jones has presented us a tape of Mitt Romney at a fund-raiser where he says he’ll never get the support or votes of 47% of the country because they “depend” on government. Give a listen:
So according to the Mittster, forget the fact that you have been paying into Social Security, Medicare via FICA your entire life. If you collect a government check for assistance, whether that assistance be, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran’s Benefits, Housing assistance via Section 8, Food stamps, Pell Grants, anything that comes from government, you are a freeloader depended upon “entitlements.”
Now many of us understand that the “entitlements” that Mitt speaks of are the pay-outs to us for making payments to the Federal Government via FICA, that all of us are required to do from our paychecks. Of course, once you have earned over $106,000.00 a year, you are no longer require to pay any FICA.
So he sees them as entitlements. I suppose getting an insurance company pay-out after an accident or illness, after paying premiums into that insurance company is also an entitlement. It must be because Mitt believes that even though you have made those premium payments, insurance companies reserve the right to not pay you back if they think you had a pre-existing condition or were too sick, or reached your cap. You know, the things removed by ObamaCare that Mitt wants to repeal to favor insurance companies and allow them to just take your money. It seems he sees the same thing for FICA. Just pay the Federal Government and maybe or maybe not, you might get something back. We’ll get back to you.
Other assistance like food stamps to keep those of us who can’t earn enough to feed the family are another entitlement. Food stamps cover $1.00 per meal per day per individual. Some entitlement Mitt.
Section 8 Housing is another entitlement. Forget that you cannot have any criminal record to get it.
And of course Welfare. Forget that to collect Welfare you must be employed and you can only collect it for a grand total of no more than 5 years during your lifetime and that it only accounts for less than 4% of the total Federal Budget.
Lousy entitlement for lousy lazy people, all “47% of the electorate.”
Where does Mitt come up with that 47% number? Well that’s the percentage of the nation that doesn’t pay Federal Income Taxes. He leaves out the fact that all of them pay FICA taxes, pay state, county and city sales taxes, and earn so little, so close to the poverty level, that requiring them to also pay Federal Income Taxes would literally tax them into Poverty.
So Mitt Romney doesn’t want the votes from the majority of people who are on food stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc who the majority of, by the way, happen to be White Christians.
Oh, and let us not forget our Veterans, you know the people who were either drafted or volunteered to serve our nation and risk their lives, they collect government entitlement checks too via the Veteran’s Administration.
So a man who avoided the draft, keeps his money off shore to avoid paying taxes (and has yet to release his forms mind you) says that all of you who collect any form of government check or subsidy for any reason is a freeloader and will most likely vote for President Obama.
Well Mitt, by that reasoning it’s far more that 47% because it would also include people and corporations like you, who get government tax breaks and refunds based on those pesky little tax code loopholes you guys put in to avoid having to pay. It would include the Oil Companies and Farmers who get government subsidies. It would include the Banks, and it would include you because of your work at Bain.
Mitt, you are a freeloader and you will be voting for Obama.
First some numbers. I know some of you just love numbers.
According to the US Census Bureau in 2008 around 71% of eligible voters were registered to vote and of these, only 63.6% actually voted in that election.
69.1% of Men were registered of whom only 61.5% voted
72.8% of Women were registered of whom 65.7% voted
72% of Whites were registered of whom 64.4% voted
69.7% of Blacks were registered of whom 64.7% voted
55.3% of Asians were registered of whom 47.6% voted
59.4% of Hispanics were registered of whom 49.6% voted
Of those with less than 8 years of schooling 49.1% were registered of whom 38.1% voted
Of those with high school or GED education 64.1% were registered of whom 54.9% voted
Of those with some college 75.3% were registered of whom 68% voted
Of those with bachelors or above, 82.7% were registered of whom 78.9% voted
Of those employed 72.8% were registered of whom 65.7% voted
Of those unemployed 64.1% were registered of whom 54.7% voted
Of those not in the labor force, 68.3% were registered of whom 60.3% voted
As for those of voting age who are registered and vote in national elections for President and US Representatives:
Only 57.1% voted for President and only 53.3% voted for their US Representative in 2008.
In 2010, only 37% of voting age people voted for their US Representative.
What do these numbers indicate?
First thing that jumps off the page for me is the fact that the more educated you are, the more likely you are to register and vote. What I didn’t realize, and actually runs counter to what I have believed, if you are working, you ARE MORE LIKELY to register and vote. Whites and Women are more likely to register and vote than are males and minorities. What I didn’t show you; however, is that the numbers of minorities registering and voting has been increasing. The biggest number that came out from this investigation is that despite the percentile of people of whatever denomination voting in an election, only a portion of them actually vote for President, and even fewer vote for their US Representative.
That is fascinating. Anyone who understands basic US Civics knows that nothing can happen in this country in terms of domestic policy unless it starts in the House of Representatives. The current popularity of the House is at 9%. But what do you expect when only 37% of the people old enough to vote in 2010 voted for a House member. As a result, we ended up with one of the worst Congress in history. If you don’t vote, you get what you deserve.
Other studies and polls have shown that the more educated you are, the more likely you are to vote for progressive causes and candidates. As we see, the more educated you are the more likely you are to register and vote. So is it any wonder that the GOP representation in Congress would want to make higher education harder to come by slashing funding for Pell Grants, increasing interest rates for College loans, etc. We are graduating fewer and fewer people from College these days. This isn’t what the Founders intended. In fact, in keeping with the whole concept of a Government of and by the People, they knew that only a well-educated populace could govern. Early in our history most advanced college education was in fact free or nearly free of charge. Tax payers supplemented tuition costs for those who went to college. Over time, these programs were slashed from state budgets and we are where we are today.
Now the numbers for those employed actually registering and voting more often than those unemployed, but still trying to find work. Is this why Congress won’t lift a finger to promote job bills? Possibly, but I still wouldn’t discount the possibility that they stall on job creation in order to stagnate the economic growth of the country and blame the President for it.
Polling is showing that the President has more support from Women, Blacks, Hispanics and other minorities by ever-growing margins than Mitt Romney and the rest of the GOP have. This makes perfect sense considering the misogynist and anti-minority legislation coming from these people. Looking at the numbers of those who actually register too, it makes even more sense.
The saddest numbers in this presentation from my point of view isn’t that only 71% of our nation even bothers to register and vote in some of the elections in the land, but it’s that just 57% take the time to vote for their President and even fewer vote for the Representative in Congress. It shows an increasing apathy towards our government that our Founders wanted us to lead via the ballot box. People complain about Congress and the President of either party, yet less than two-thirds take the time to vote for their leadership. Is it voter apathy? Considering the increasing partisan tone of our elections that is a fair bet. Maybe it’s by design. A GOP strategist Paul Weyrich (who went on to create and lead ALEC) once said, “We don’t want everyone voting…”
Government of the People and by the People requires the People to get involved and at the very least study the issues and candidates and vote. When you don’t, you end up with the mess we have today with a Congress of whom only 37% of the nation voted for stalling the entire nation’s growth out of this recession. This is where we need to be more like Europe and other countries that make voting mandatory.
If you are not willing to take the time to vote, then don’t go crying about lack of democracy in this nation because you have already abdicated that and deserve control of an Oligarchy that many on the right are trying to install, possibly by design, via their policy and voter suppression. Get out and get active and for God’s sake, REGISTER AND VOTE FOR YOUR DEMOCRACY DEPENDS ON IT.