Another important message from @Liberalease. “If You Like Having Sex”
No sane, rational and intelligent person can argue with her logic and truth in this matter.
Early voting has already begun across the nation, and as I posted a while back, “True the Vote” are already out to intimidate likely Democratic leaning voters from exercising their right to vote. This is the Houston based, Tea Party and Koch brothers affiliated Right Wing group that works under the facade that they are keeping those “illegal” voters from throwing the election. They are trying to mobilize one million “poll watchers” for November 6th. However, let’s look at their agenda:
They will target polling places in districts that lean more Democratic.
They will target minority voters.
They will insinuate that not having the “proper identification” or “not being properly registered” etc is a criminal offense and those who in fact try to vote will be arrested and imprisoned.
They leave out the fact that many of the laws they have cited have in-fact been either ruled unconstitutional in Federal Court already, or have been stayed pending further court action.
They are known to simply be there, all white, angry and stern towards those who couldn’t possibly be willing to vote for their people in the Republican Tea Party.
People are already fighting back at Early Voting Polling places. Now for the biggest joke I’ve heard from these cherubs. They are now reporting that the voters are “intimidating” them. That’s like the Nazis complaining that the Jews were harassing and intimidating them.
I stand by that analogy. Considering the hard right-wing agenda shared by this group and the Nazis are both based on race and intimidation, it couldn’t be more apt.
As I posted earlier, we need to confront these people if we spot them at polling places. Maybe from their complaints to the media, it’s already started. Good for you. Remember, make sure you have already voted before confronting anyone you see intimidating any voters. I for one have already voted and plan to patrol various polling places in Phoenix and Scottsdale to see if they are present. Here’s how to arm yourself:
Have you cell-phones and/or cameras ready and start filming. Let them see you film them. Have this little bit of information handy:
Federal Statute 18 USC § 594 – Intimidation of voters:
Whoever intimidates, threatens, coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other person for the purpose of interfering with the right of such other person to vote or to vote as he may choose, or of causing such other person to vote for, or not to vote for, any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, at any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing such candidate, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
This actually is the law. Call the police and demand they be charged. Get your eye-witness accounts ready and show your pictures and movie clips. Most likely they’ll back down and leave. But they’ll come back. Stay on them. It could get ugly and it’s conceivable that due to the nature of where you live, you may find yourself detained too. It’s a sacrifice, but it is worth it. Besides, while the cops are there dealing with the situation, others can then vote without being intimidated by these idiots.
This election is important. This is where those who honor those, who gave their lives so all Americans can vote regardless of race, gender, religion or political affiliation can do so, will stand up to right-wing tyranny. Bullies hate being confronted and usually fold very quickly. We are on the right side of history. Not only is fighting back correct, it’s necessary.
Good luck on November 6th!
Voter Suppression by True the Vote:
Are True the Vote Activities Illegal?:
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to man. It is a dimension as vacuous as space and as endless as eternity. It is the far right ground between truth and lies, between science and religious ideology, and it lies to the right between the pit of man’s fear and the summit of his knowledge. This is a dimension of dire consequences. It is an area which we call “The Romney Zone.”
Submitted for your consideration, despite the long history of documented and verified flip flopping on the key issues of the day, despite the obvious pandering for support while lacking any true core convictions to anything outside his egocentric view of reality, the people of the United States elected Willard Mitt Romney President of the United States on November 6, 2012, as well as a Republican Senate and House, despite key Tea Party support for misogynistic policies, and unraveling of generations of the social safety net. What was the result of this choice?
Mitt was frustrated on the first day of his administration. Despite telling the people what he would do, he came to realize that everything actually took legislative acts from Congress first before he could actually do anything of significance. No one explained to him that he couldn’t repeal anything on his own as president. Though he was fortunate to have both a Republican House and Senate, the Democrats tried to block their signature legislations to repeal the Affordable Health Act, Dodd-Frank, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. But with the new rules Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell implemented eliminating the filibuster; all of these acts were passed within weeks and were signed by President Romney.
The one thing he was able to do on “day one” was to declare China a “Currency Manipulator” which resulted in China suing the United States in the World Trade Organization for violations of regulations imposed for all members. The WTO ruled in favor of China and sanctioned the United States. However, it didn’t matter. Per the declaration, a 40% tariff was placed on Chinese goods coming to the United States. As a result, Wal-Mart had to increase the prices of almost everything they sold by 10 to 15 percent. The Chinese retaliated by placing a 40% tariff on U.S. goods being exported there. As a result, they stopped purchasing the cars Detroit was manufacturing and the Auto Industry began to go bankrupt.
Since the automobile sensors built by Sensata were now manufactured in China, as well as other key parts, the cost of vehicles assembled in the United States sky-rocketed. People purchased from Japanese, Korean and German automobile manufacturers. Millions of jobs in the mid-west were lost as the result of the complete failure and bankruptcy of our domestic automobile industry. Banks did not offer funding for a structured bankruptcy because their resources were frozen due to the risky trade deals that would have been prevented by Dodd-Frank. The government wouldn’t bail the industry out either. As Mitt demanded earlier, Detroit finally did go bankrupt. Not only the auto industry, but the City, State and region that were all depended on the auto industry.
Social Security was finally privatized and the $3 trillion in the trust fund went to Wall Street speculators, who quickly gambled most of it away (again thanks to repeal of Dodd-Frank). When the depression hit, following the collapse of the banking and automobile industry, the safety net for seniors to keep them from falling into poverty was gone. Sure enough, the seniors and disabled went into poverty. There was no government assistance available to aid them and their families were too financially strapped to support even themselves. Further, the vouchers provided for the elderly under the Ryan plan were insufficient to cover medical costs. With the elimination of Medicaid funding, senior nursing homes all went under. Many seniors ended up living with their children or on the streets. They didn’t have to live on the streets for long; because their mortality rate sky-rocketed due to lack of access to healthcare.
Wounded veterans returning from the Syrian and Iranian wars came home to find that again, under the Ryan plan, the Veteran’s Administration had been privatized and they could no longer afford healthcare that was once guaranteed by the government. Further, the veteran’s job bills had all been repealed and signed by President Romney so he could remind everyone of his famous boast at the end of the third debate “Government doesn’t create jobs.”
He went further by cutting all federal government subsidies to fund teachers and first responders around the country. States, bound by balanced budget amendments and unwillingness in their Republican Control Legislatures to raise taxes to fund these positions resulted in them all being terminated. With the loss of public sector employment and the depression brought on by the failure of the Auto Industry and banking failure, unemployment in the country rose to well over 40%, as it was during the Great Depression. However this time, the federal government was not going to borrow to fund recovery acts. Besides, China stopped buying our bonds after we declared them a “currency manipulator.”
To balance the budget while raising military spending and giving the upper 5% a 20% tax cut, on top of what they already had from the now permanent Bush tax cuts, the middle-class (what was left of them) and the working poor lost all of their tax deductions. Personal and family member deductions, charitable contributions and mortgages were eliminated. Capital Gains were slashed to zero as Romney promised and the upper 5% ended up with average federal income taxes of less than 10% while everyone else had their effective tax rates rise to over 50% to cover them. Further, programs like unemployment, food stamps, free health clinics, road maintenance, and infrastructure were all cut, along with the jobs they funded.
The birth rate skyrocketed under the Romney Administration. This occurred because abortion was outlawed following the installation of two more Supreme Court Justices selected by Romney upon advice from Robert Bork, and the subsequent overturning of Roe v Wade. Access to birth control was also eliminated. As the birth rate sky-rocketed, so did infant mortality. Problem was with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and defunding of Planned Parenthood no one could afford prenatal and postnatal care. Infant mortality not seen in this country since the 19th century came back.
The illegal immigration problem was finally resolved. Undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central and South America stopped crossing the border looking for jobs. Because there weren’t any. However, Canada and Mexico beefed up their border security to keep undocumented Americans from flooding their countries looking for jobs, healthcare and food.
The Keystone Pipeline was finally built. However, due to the elimination of the Environmental Protection Agency and federal safety inspectors at the demand of the Koch Brothers, the pipeline constantly leaked the oil meant for China and India from Canada, into the Ogallala Aquifer, which watered almost the entirety of the plain states and our crops.
With the drought conditions brought on by the hoax of climate change and now lack of water from the aquifer, our crops failed and for the first time we became dependant on other nations for grain. We approached Russia, but as our most notorious geo-political foe, they were unwilling to sell grain without major concessions to them. India and China sued the United States for not delivering the oil promised them and Canada sued us for not properly maintaining their oil pipeline, using provisions in NAFTA.
With the crop failure due to drought and poisoned water in the Ogallala Aquifer, cattle began to die off too. Starvation and famine unheard of hit the North American continent. President Romney did make a request for foreign aid disaster relief. However, he requests were rejected becasue he maintained a military presence in Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and Iraq. He placed troops back there on demand of his PNAC advisers. Further, upon leaving the United Nations and NATO, again on advice of the PNAC advisers, the United States had few international options available to them. We were also removed from the World Trade Organization for failure to abide by their rules.
Although Mitt Romney agreed with President Obama on almost every topic of foreign policy during that third debate, the fact remained that he always intended to leave foreign policy up to the NeoCon and PNAC folks who advised Bush during his administration and he did. As a result, the United States was isolated from the rest of the world. However, the world was also in the midst of the new Great Depression following the collapse of the U.S. economy and international trade wars that ensued following Romney’s failure to recognize that it was a global economy, not an America rules economy.
Because voter suppression laws were enacted and given force of federal laws, Romney actually won a second term as president. Only certain people were allowed to cast ballots and Romney and the Republicans had control over those people. So in the end, democracy died in the United States, and war loomed ever nearer because Mitt and the Republicans wouldn’t work in the international arena. Meanwhile, our people starved and died due to lack of the social safety net every ethical and Christian society requires.
However, there was a silver lining in Mitt’s administration, wealth disparity grew exponentially. The upper 5% went from controlling 40% of the national wealth to over 60% while their contribution in federal taxes went from 40% to less than 20%. For the few corporations that survived the Depression, profit margins increased with the elimination of minimum wage laws, repeal of Lilly Ledbetter, deregulation of workplace safety, elimination of OSHA, FDA and the EPA, and tort reform that eliminated victims of these corporations from being able to sue for damages. It was an Ayn Rand Oligarch paradise. Income redistribution upwards was never better. The $3 trillion taken from the Social Security Trust Fund was thoroughly enjoyed by those in the 1% who never had it better. Not only was it proven that corporations are people, deserving of equal rights, they became the only people and some were far more equal than others.
It was a majority of middle and working class people who elected Mitt Romney President on November 6th, 2012 because they thought the richest deserved the most and it would all trickle down to them. It hadn’t worked in over 30 years so it was due to happen. Sadly, it was those who voted against their better interests for Mitt Romney and the Republicans that suffered the most. They created heaven for the wealthiest that in turn, created hell for them. This is Republican Utopia in…. “The Romney Zone.”
This was of course an exaggerated story of a Romney Presidency. However, much of what is portrayed here follows what Mitt is on record wanting to do. Some of this could very well happen if he were to be elected. A check of his history, his taped statements, his failure as governor of Massachusetts with his 800 vetoes (over 740 overridden) his dependence on the most extreme right elements of his party and the billionaires who fund him makes him a very dangerous man to be allowed to sit in the oval office.
Mitt is a panderer to low information voters while being weak willed and beholden to his financial supporters and fellow 1 percenters. The moderate centrist man he portrayed himself to be during the debates was a lie, as all the fact checkers have verified. As noted above, one has only to read up on his governorship to see what kind of president he would be.
Since Bush left office and the mess he created, every key indicator has shown than the country has been on the right path. It is moving slow, but what can you expect after four years of blatant Republican obstruction. Common sense applies. Mitt will bring back the Bush policies with a vengeance. 2008 would be looked back as just a bump in the road if Mitt Romney is allowed to not only control our government and economics, but our foreign policy too. The recovery is fragile; don’t let a maniacal candidate and party destroy what progress has been done.
Mitt Romney’s true positions about what he wants to do as President that will harm the nation:
Most of the buz from the debate last night was Mitt’s “Gerald Ford” moment when he said that “Syria is Iran’s only ally in the Arab world. It’s their route to the sea.” It was a humorous gaffe, and it’s not the first time he has made this gaffe. He made this same claim multiple times in February and March of this year and despite being corrected, continued to make it last night. For those who don’t understand, Syria and Iran do not share a border and both countries have their own access to the seas. Remember how Iran threatened to cut off Iraq’s and Kuwait’s access to the sea? However, that is not the most serious blunder of the Romney presentation at the debate.
I was waiting to hear his previous talking points from his NeoCon and PNAC foreign policy advisors calling Russia our most serious “geo-political threat” and/or initiating more “nation building” by bombing Syria, Iran, as John Bolton would advise. Trillions of dollars more by committing U.S. troops in the region, but instead Mitt simply agreed with almost everything the President has already done in and for the region. He threw in his lies about the “apology tour” and not being a friend to Israel (all of which is easily disproven by a 5-minute search on the internet). But for the most part, Mitt debated Obama by agreeing and mimicking Obama current foreign policy.
He should have continued to mimic the Obama foreign policy and not disagree or place his own enhancements on it. Instead, he brought up his intention to “on day one” to declare China a “Currency Manipulator” to deal with those who also happen to be holding a lot of our debt, (thanks to the previous Republican Administration) by placing two wars, Medicare Part D, and Bush Tax Cuts on the Chinese Credit Card.
First of all, what is “Currency Manipulation”?
Currency Manipulation is when a country artificially keeps the value of their currency low, allowing it to move freely in foreign exchange markets and thus cheapening the price of that country’s exports.
In November, 2010 before the G-20 gathering in Seoul, there was speculation that the United States was going to declare China a Currency Manipulator under the Omnibus Trade and Competiveness Act of 1988. We had accused China of keeping its currency, the Yuan, artificially low by hoarding foreign reserves (including ours) in order to give Chinese exports an advantage over all competitors.
We have been “accusing” China of Currency Manipulation for years. Bush did it and so did President Obama. In February 2009, U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner indicated that President Obama “believes that China is manipulating its currency.” There was speculation that Obama would make the formal declaration per U.S. Law on the April 15, 2009 report to Congress. However, after due consideration, the declaration was not made.
What a Trade War with China Would Look Like (Forbes 2-2-2009)
The reason the Obama administration did not make the declaration in 2009 as pointed out by former Congressman and trade negotiator for the U.S., James Bacchus in the Forbes article above was that doing so would merely trigger a requirement for negotiations. If the negotiations failed, since both the U.S. and China are members of the World Trade Organization, under its treaty, China could sue the U.S. within the WTO alleging U.S. laws were inconsistent with WTO obligations. Had they sued and we had lost, it would have resulted in expensive economic sanctions harmful to U.S. exports to China. It could have cost us billions of dollars annually in lost trade concessions from China and thousands of American jobs. The potential unintended consequences of such an act could have created such a powerful economic backlash against us, at a time of a fragile economic recovery; we and the world could have slipped into another Great Depression. These are things intelligent and thoughtful Chief Executives of great nations must consider before taking any acts. Diplomacy and worldwide economics are much more complicated and nuanced than people realize.
So Obama took a different approach. He negotiated with the Chinese and since that time, though problems still exist, the trade balance has improved between the two nations and they haven’t called in the note for the money we owe them.
In May 2012, the U.S. Treasury declared that China currently does not meet the currency manipulator definition, but that they would continue to monitor the pace of appreciation of the Chinese Yuan. Their conclusion is based on the fact of the Yuan’s appreciation against the U.S. Dollar since June 2010 (when Obama was considering making the declaration and didn’t) and the decline in China’s current account surplus. China has committed itself to moving rapidly to a more market-determined exchange rate system.
Mitt Romney and Sensata:
Mitt Romney and Chinese Slave Laoor:
Now it is interesting that the man who pioneered job outsourcing to China, the man who marveled about the slave labor conditions in China, the man who personally netted over $15 million in Bain’s shipping of Sensata to China would now declare that he would be tough on China and declare them a currency manipulator on day one of his administration. He would spark a trade war with China as president instead of working within the State Department, WTO to curb the slave labor conditions in China and go after U.S. companies like Bain who get rich outsourcing jobs to China. Even those in his party are opposed to this action.
On October 21, 2012 Senator Marco Rubio on Face the Nation said he feared this would lead to a trade war. “I agree with Mitt Romney that China’s a currency manipulator, I believe that a trade war is not the right way to approach it and I think that if you label them a currency manipulator, that’s what it may result in. It would hurt American businesses.”
China is our third largest export market. Our exports to China have surged 542% from 2000 to 2011 and Obama’s goal is to double it by 2014. Per Business Insider citing Stephen Roach, (Yale professor and former chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia) if Romney were to be President:
If Romney were to take office and dub China a currency manipulator, the charge would necessarily under the Omnibus Trade and Competiveness Act of 1988, kick off “immediate high-level negotiations between U.S. Treasury officials and their Chinese counterparts at the Ministry of Finance. Not surprisingly, the negotiations stall and both parties blame the other in vitriolic press releases.
In early February after the first State of the Union address, The Defend America Act of 2013 (DATA) will be signed into law on President’s Day. The act will be “modeled after the currency manipulation “remedies” of countervailing tariffs first proposed by Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham in 2005” and China will be seen in violation of the new statute.
Negotiations between President Romney and Chinese president Xi Jinping and premiere Li Keqiang will fail and the U.S. will impose a 20% tariff on all Chinese exports to the U.S.
This would cause plant shutdowns in China and Beijing would declare this “to be and act of economic war” and would file a complaint with the WTO.
China would in turn impose 20% tariffs on U.S. exports to China, which would “hit growth starved America right between the eyes”. And Wal-Mart would increase average price increases of 5% and attribute that price hike to increase in tariffs on imports, other retailers would do the same and the American consumer would “hunker down further in response”.
“The stock market is hit by trifecta of a perfect storm—pressures on profit margins and expectations of lower growth and higher inflation. The bond market is clobbered by the sharp deterioration in inflationary expectations and by the realization that the Federal Reserve, with its zero interest rate policy, is seriously behind the curve.”
In response Washington “passes an amendment to DATA – upping the just-imposed countervailing tariffs on China by another 10%”.
China, the biggest holder of U.S. debt, retaliates by not buying any more U.S. debt. “Long-term interest rates spike, and within two weeks yields on 10-year Treasuries pierce the 7% threshold. At the same time, the dollar plunges and the U.S. stock market, which had already corrected by 20% in the first half of 2013, falls another 10% by the end of August.”
China also says it might consider selling U.S. treasuries if it has to.
The U.S. turns to foreign producers that are more expensive than China, delivering a blow to the country’s middle-class and by the fall of 2013 there is “little doubt of the severity of renewed recession”. Meanwhile, Chinese economic growth slips to below 6% and the country prepares for another massive stimulus.
This scenario would make 2008 look like a minor bump in the road. Further, this is very conceivable. This is why Obama hasn’t declared China a monetary manipulator and no one in the Treasury, no economist, and no one who sees and understands the numbers and potential consequences support such an act. They know this could happen.
One would think that Romney would understand this too. After all, he’s an international businessman. Problem is, he’s also a politician who’s playing to the lowest instincts of the low-information voters who make up his base in the Tea Party. Is what he is saying pure bluster for just the low-information voters? I doubt it considering that almost his entire foreign policy team is made up of PNAC, the same people who advise George W. Bush. They are famous for reckless foreign policy and Mitt is famous for doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons. He tried to show people last night that he was able, as governor of Massachusetts to work across the aisle. What he failed to mention was that as governor for four years, he vetoed over 800 pieces of legislation, over 740 of which were overridden by the Massachusetts legislature. Mitt didn’t work across the aisle; he was an ideological impediment to governance taking his cues from his social and political class. He would bring the same weakness to the White House.
This is 2012, Iran is contained, Russia is our trading partner (and nuclear power), China is a problem, but our hand in dealing with them is compromised due to years of borrowing from them and sending them our jobs via Bain. The worst problem is that of allowing them to continue to use slave labor. That should be the focus of our trade negotiations.
Mitt must be a lousy poker player. He plays bad hands and is incapable of effectively bluffing. He wants to play poker with our foreign policy with a pair of deuces and is betting the house. This country cannot afford this risk.
In anticipation of the much awaited final presidential debate I thought I would throw this out for Mitt Romney because I’m a helper. Also for the others who may not be fully aware of what is at stake regarding which man takes the reigns of Foreign Policy for this country for the next four years.
The United States Constitution divides the foreign policy powers between the President and Congress so that both share in the making of foreign policy. They both play important roles that overlap.
There are 12 basic ways to make U.S. foreign policy. The Executive branch via the President and State Department can make policy through:
1) Response to foreign events.
2) Proposals for Legislation.
3) Negotiation of International Agreements.
4) Policy Statements.
5) Policy Implementation
6) Independent Action.
In nearly all of these circumstances, Congress can either support the President’s approach or seek to change it. For instance, all legislative policies and foreign treaties must pass Congress before implementation. Congress can make foreign policy through:
1) Resolutions and Policy Statements.
2) Legislative directives.
3) Legislative pressure.
4) Legislative restrictions/funding denials.
5) Informal advice.
6) Congressional Oversight.
According to Edward S. Corwin, “What the Constitution does, and all that is does is to confer on the President certain powers capable of affecting our foreign relations, and certain other powers of the same general kind on the Senate, and still other such powers on Congress; but which of these organs shall have the decisive and final voice in determining the course of the American nation is left for events to resolve.”
“…actual practice under the Constitution has shown that, while the President is usually in a position to propose, the Senate and the Congress are often in a technical position at least to dispose. The verdict of history, in short, is that the power to determine the substantive content of American foreign policy is a divided power, with the lion’s share falling usually, though by no means always, to the President.”
So even though the President selects a person to become Secretary of State, it’s up to the Senate to affirm that appointment. Even if the Secretary of State and the President negotiates a trade agreement or treaty with a foreign power, it’s up to the Senate to affirm that treaty or trade agreement.
If the Senate is of the mind to block or filibuster the policies of the President and/or Congress refuses to fund the requests of the State Department to enhance the security of Embassies or Consulates on foreign soil, there is very little the President can do about it.
From “The Hill”:
A partisan House and Senate hell-bent to make sure a President is limited to only one term can certainly do things to block or sabotage foreign policy to make that President seem inept. But what kind of American would even contemplate saying or doing that? (Insert your own sarcastic tone here)
From The Ed Show 2010:
Currently, there are 195 Independent States (to include Vatican City and Kosovo) in the World. Of them we have diplomatic relations with 191 (Cuba, Iran, and North Korea excluded). There are 193 member states of the United Nations (Vatican City and Kosovo excluded).
As a common sense point of sociology and psychology. Most of the people in these nations have the same pride of their nation states as we do with ours. All have a sense of national sovereignty. None of them are in any way required to look upon the United States with awe and allegiance, nor should they.
With 195 separate Independent States, it’s important to understand that diplomacy, in order to keep the peace, has a high priority for all concerned. That diplomacy can translate to:
1) Financial and material aid or threat of withholding that aid
2) Military alliances or threats.
3) Or simply talking.
Citizens of the United States supposedly have sovereignty over ourselves, but not the world. We can be concerned about our own national security, as the other countries are with theirs, but to impose any undue intrusion into their national borders or influence their self-determination is by definition of international law, an act of War.
The United States is one of 195 Independent States;
Our population represents 4.52% of the World’s Population.
We are the third largest country (behind Russia and China), making up 6.15% of the world’s total land mass (Visualizing maps and globes can be deceptive).
We consume 30% of the World’s resources.
We consume 24% of the World’s energy supplies.
Despite the current recession, this country remains one of the wealthiest nations in history. The only problem is that most of that wealth is held by the 1% and corporations and banks.
You can understand why the remaining 95% of the World’s population might have issues with our country controlling and using most of the world’s resources and energy while only having a fraction of the population and land mass.
We also have the most expensive and deadliest military in the World. We have the largest nuclear arsenal in the World. However, we are not alone in military might and nuclear deterrent. We are one of nine nations who have nuclear weapons and only one of five who have ICBM capabilities (United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China). India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel round off the remaining “known” nuclear states.
So in this kind of world, what makes the best kind of diplomat?
According to Sir Harold Nicholson, Diplomacy “is not the art of amicable conversation but the technique of exchanging documents in ratifiable form…an agreement which is committed to writing is likely to prove more dependable in future than any agreement which rests upon the variable interpretation of spoken assent.” Breaking down its definition, a diplomat represents the state while harmonizing relations with other nations through effective, clear and persuasive communication. However the ability to communicate effectively must be married with diplomats acute sense of analysis and observation, which can make a difference between success and failure or even life and death in hostile environments. Diplomacy is a process therefore those who negotiate cannot expect to control every element of the process. Flexibility is crucial and when Plan A fails, the diplomat must have already prepared Plan B, C and D in the nature of failure within a given framework.
Another way to look at this is to simply look at our own nation. We are composed of 50 States. It remains true that people in each of those states have their own pride and their own sense of entitlement to resources, especially when dealing with the federal government. I’m a fourth generation native-born citizen of the State of Arizona, a “Zonie,” and despite our state’s leadership (most of whom are not native Zonies) I’m very proud of my state and her people. I think our state is better than most. Arizona is battling California, Nevada and Colorado for water rights from the Colorado River. State governments actually do have to deal with each other on a diplomatic sense.
Now multiply that situation exponentially and add in the factors of generational hostilities between ethnic groups, religions, rights to resources, politics, racism and religion and then try to figure out what a professional diplomat, or leader of a nation has to convey to effectively deal with foreign policy on the world stage.
In the 20th Century, we had three Presidents almost universally praised as the most effective “Foreign Policy” presidents.
The best was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He helped create and maintain the largest coalition of nations to deal with the threat of the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy and Japan) during World War II and helped draw the post war world.
Then there is Dwight David Eisenhower who using his experience as Supreme Allied Commander during World War II knew already how to effectively work with other nations and nationalities.
Finally, and this may be a surprise to many of you, is George Herbert Walker Bush. He was a former ambassador to China and had an excellent understanding of foreign affairs and did build a coalition of nations to deal with Saddam Hussein in the first Iraq War.
Sadly, his son did not start the 21st Century for U.S. Diplomacy in a good way. Despite having the sympathy and anger of nearly the entire world after 9-11, he squandered it because he allowed NeoCons, who through Project for A New American Century (PNAC) convinced him to push for American superiority around the world and not to give a damn what other nations may think. They pushed for military interventions to secure resources for our nation with little regard for those who live there. They pushed for nation building.
They see the planet as ours, and all other nations must pay homage to us because we deserve it. Well, that’s when American popularity around the world began to seriously wane and lo and behold, we started to have problems with other nations, long time allies, being willing to work with us for our national interests. European favorability for the United States hit an all time low, as it did elsewhere in the world.
Now President Obama has been working on repairing that relationship and rebuild the trust generations of previous presidents helped create prior to Bush Jr. With Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, our credibility has been significantly improving. People are more willing to work with us as opposed to being forced to work for us as PNAC would have.
Mitt Romney’s foreign policy advisers come from the Bush administration. Many of them are from the same PNAC group who destroyed our reputation and ability to work with other nations for everyone’s best interests. Further, Mitt Romney has shown himself not to be so adept with others when he’s out of the country:
Mitt Romney European Misadventure:
Mitt Romney National Lampoon’s European Vacation:
Europe Does Not Want Mitt to Win:
Mitt Romney Insults Russia:
Mitt Romney on Iran and Israel at secret fundraiser:
Mitt Romney and Benghazi at the Debate:
Being President of the most powerful nation in the world requires tact, intelligence, empathy and understanding of how anything said at any time can impact others thousands of miles away. Every word counts. Gaffes can balloon to international incidents. It’s a job for diplomats, not CEOs who expect to have everything their way.
Psychiatrist: A physician who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. All psychiatrists are trained in diagnostic evaluation and in psychopharmacological treatment.
On Sunday, following the trouncing Joe Biden laid upon Paul Ryan by having the audacity of calling him out on his lies, FOX news had to bring out the “Medical A-Team” and their hired gun, Keith Ablow to give Fox a televised blow job by doing an on-air “Differential Diagnoses.”
Now Keith is a board certified psychiatrist and what he terms to be a forensic psychiatrist. He’s been used in Court. Of course, expert witnesses in Court will be experts for whoever is willing to pay them to testify. Usually these people arrive with their resumes and little else, to put on a show for Judges and Juries that belie the actual facts. You will note that on nearly all high-profile cases, you have experts on both sides with equally impressive resumes, providing diametrically opposing viewpoints upon examination of the same facts. Expert witnesses always need to be taken with a grain of salt.
Keith Ablow is something else. He’s adept at completing psychoanalysis on people he’s never met, never interviewed nor ever reviewed any in-depth history on who they are or what they have experienced. Then he goes on air and “projects” his opinions with authority and knowledge to back up the narrative of the people on FOX who pay him. He’s gone after LGBT in general and Chaz Bono in particular, he’s gone after President Obama (of course) and anyone that FOX wants to vilify.
As a Board Certified Psychiatrist, are Ablow’s on-air differentials ethical? Do they even correspond with the Hippocratic Oath?
Now in reality, doctors are not held legally to the Hippocratic Oath (I’ll discuss Ethics later on). It’s merely a long guideline for those in the medical field dating back to the fifth century BC. However, there is one passage of the Oath I found interesting for this rant:
“What I may see or hear in the course of the treatment or even outside of the treatment in regard to the life of men, which on no account one must spread abroad, I will keep to myself holding such things shameful to be spoken about.”
This boils down to patient’s confidentiality. Now Ablow’s loophole to this is that the people he vilifies on behalf of FOX are not, nor ever will be his patients. So he’s allowed to make unsubstantiated claims about them based on the weakest of supporting evidence to sell a narrative to the lemmings that watch and believe in FOX.
I’m not a doctor or psychiatrist, but I will be playing one for this rant as I analyze “Mr.” Ablow and those who use him and those who give him any credence of professionalism.
Mr. Ablow graduated from Brown University in 1983 magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in neurosciences. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from John Hopkins Medical School in 1987 and completed his psychiatry residency at the Tufts-New England Medical Center. As a medical student, he worked as a reporter for Newsweek, Washington Post and Baltimore Sun. Since 1996 he has had a private practice in forensic, adult and adolescent psychiatry. As mentioned above, he’s also a hired gun, excuse me, “expert witness” having testified in numerous high-profile cases to include Dr. Richard Sharpe, Clark Rockefeller, Richard Rosenthal, Mary Winkler and Joseph Druce.
Of interest is that on January 6, 2010, Mr. Ablow was physically assaulted and kicked in the head by white supremacist and alleged murderer Keith Luke while visiting him in jail. He had been hired to assist in his “insanity defense.” It was after this attack that Mr. Ablow became more notorious in his “psychiatric opinions” on air.
In April 2011 he criticized designer Jenna Lyons for publishing an advertisement in the J. Crew catalogue in which she was depicted painting her young son’s toenails hot pink. Mr. Ablow stated that by doing this one act would result in the child having long-term issues with “gender identity” and stated that gender distinctions are “part of the magnificent synergy that creates and sustains the human race.”
During the 2012 GOP primary, Mr. Ablow wrote a column arguing that Newt Gingrich’s three marriages actually made him more qualified to be president: “When three women want to sign on for life with a man who is now running for president, I worry more about whether we’ll be clamoring for a third Gingrich term, not whether we’ll want to let him go after one.” Even Rod Dreher of “The American Conservative” stated that Ablow’s argument represented “shamelessness crossing the line from character defect to psychopathology.”
In February 2012, Mr. Ablow with Steve Doocy decided to go after Media Matters chief David Brock because Mr. Brock has the ability to show FOX for the hypocritical nut jobs that they are by playing their statements in full context. Brock makes FOX look bad so they used hired gun Ablow to go after him.
In September, 2011, Mr. Ablow decided to go after Chaz Bono who was in the spot light at the time due to his involvement with “Dancing with the Stars.”
Mr. Ablow was on FOX and authored opinion pieces using his role as a psychiatrist warning kids to not watch Chaz. His verbal assault on Chaz Bono and transgendered people prompted Cristan Williams, the Executive Director of the Transgender Foundation to author an open letter to Beverly Sheehan, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society:
I found this letter interesting and it prompted me to pull American Psychiatric Association’s “Principles of Medical Ethics” With Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry.
Section 1 refers to “A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.”
“On occasion psychiatrists are asked for an opinion about an individual who is in the light of public attention or who has disclosed information about himself/herself through public media. In such circumstances, a psychiatrist may share with the public his or her expertise about psychiatric issues in general. However, it is unethical for a psychiatrist to offer a professional opinion unless he or she has conducted an examination and has been granted proper authorization for such a statement.”
And now to the reason I decided to rant about Mr. Ablow, his analysis of Joe Biden’s performance at the Vice Presidential Debate. Note he made no mention of the truth of the matter’s discussed, but his analysis of a man he never met, never interviewed, never researched, and was never asked by either himself or family to involve himself in the Vice President’s conduct. If family or friends retain a psychiatrist to evaluate an individual, it’s because they are concerned for behavior that places that person at risk to themselves or others. When FOX retains a psychiatrist, it’s to fulfill a disinformation campaign and character assault because this person just humiliated someone they support. This just doesn’t sound ethical to me:
So Mr. Ablow diagnosed Joe Biden as possibly alcoholic, demented, etc simply because he confronted Paul Ryan on easily disprovable lies and didn’t let him get away with those lies. His behavior wasn’t indicative of someone suffering from any disorder, quite the contrary; he owned the room and dealt with a liar. No other rational explanation is plausible. Mr. Ablow’s conduct hasn’t gone over well with peers in his profession.
From John M. Grohol, PSYD of PsychCentral:
Dr. Grohol asks a very poignant question, “Should a psychiatrist be discussing differential diagnoses of the Vice President of the United States especially if they’ve never even met the man?”
I’ve never met or interviewed Keith Ablow and I am not a board certified psychiatrist. So based on the standards established by FOX and Ablow, I’m going to make a diagnosis on this blog.
Keith Ablow exhibits Freudian Psychological Projection based on a need to be heard and to get attention. He misses the attention he received as a child from his parents who spent long nights with him cleaning up the wet spots on his mattress from bedwetting. The kick to his head from the White Supremacist has created additional feelings of inadequacy and need for validation. This has also led to his addiction to psychotropic medications and skittles. Or maybe he’s just an asshole.
This differential diagnoses is just as valid as Ablow’s and should be given as much validation as his.
I’m sorry I’m late to this party. However I’ve been involved in other things over the past several days and I know much of this has already been blogged about, tweeted about and it’s even starting to get coverage in mainstream media. So slash my pay for being late on this rant and for the lousy pun in the title, but here goes.
Sensata Technologies ( http://www.sensata.com/ ) is a company that works on electronic sensors and controls. They are international, with some manufacturing plants in the United States. One of their plants is in Illinois and works on Automobile parts. This plant is controlled by Bain Capital. Even though the decision to move their jobs overseas was made after Mitt Romney “left the company” he stands to gain financially over the decision to ship 170 American Jobs to China effective November 5, 2012 (one day prior to the election).
According to The New York Times, Romney stands to profit off of the Sensata outsourcing:
“In addition, Mr. Romney’s generous retirement agreement ensures that he continues to profit from the deals and decisions that Bain makes. He owns about $8 million worth of Bain funds that hold 51 percent of Sensata’s shares. If Sensata saves money by closing the Freeport plant, that could add money to Mr. Romney’s trust accounts, now or after the election.”
Now what is interesting about this situation is Mitt Romney’s Foreign Policy Talking point that the Obama administration has been too weak on China and that he’s going to be tough on them. However, how then does he explain saying and doing nothing about Bain’s decision to move the Sensata Jobs from Freeport to China?
Obviously Mitt would still have some pull with Bain considering the stock he owns and his influence over those who “make the decisions.” Further, if Mitt agrees that we need to build jobs in this country, he would work to keep jobs here. Bain will be using the same tax write off regarding sending jobs overseas that Mitt denied any knowledge of during his debate. You would think he knows about it now.
Maybe Mitt is upset that Sensata is doing well due to Obama’s Auto Bail Out that saved the auto industry. But then again, according the Mitt, Obama was doing what he himself advocated, so that couldn’t be the answer.
Jobs going overseas has been supported and advocated by members of Congress ever since corporations starting sending their lobbyists to Congress to get these laws enacted. Labor costs in this country does tend to be higher than countries like China and India. So for international corporations to make the most profit they can, it make sense to ship the jobs overseas.
Now on the other side of the equation, these same lobbyists have a plan from those who pay them to keep jobs here. It’s simple, elimination of minimum wage and employee benefits created over generations since The Great Depression. Pay slave wages here, wages even lower than they do in China and India, you can bring the jobs back here and still have ballooning profits. Only problem is you won’t have a middle-class here to buy the products being created by the slave labor here. But that’s not really a problem since the multi-national corporations are actually gearing their sales to the new middle-class being developed elsewhere in the world because those workers are now getting paid more as they unionize and have more money to spend. The pendulum swings, but the rich continue to get richer.
The coverage of Sensata has been almost non-existent in this country. It’s been mostly a thing of YouTube and social media. Daily Kos has been covering it fairly well.
What I like about this final entry is that they acknowledge that the story floating around about the American Flag being taken down was not quite accurate.
It’s good to see people correcting themselves and apologizing for it. It tells me they can be trusted to monitor themselves unlike those on the Right. I had heard the Flag Story over the weekend and was incensed, though it did seem rather melodramatic. But that has been cleared up and the basics of the story remain unchallenged. American workers, in order to assist Bain’s profit margin for Sensata, are training their replacements in China and will lose their jobs when finished. Bain and Mitt Romney come out financially ahead and the American workers suffer. All the while, Mitt complains about China and promises to be tough on them.
Our national economy cannot improve its way out of this deep, Republican created recession unless we start building our middle-class back up to where it was prior to the Bush Administration, even prior to the Reagan Administration when the battle against them truly started. We need to hire back the public service jobs (teachers, first responders, etc) that Mitt Romney said we had too many of. We need not only to force companies to bring manufacturing and other jobs back to this country by overturning the laws that allow them tax credits (that has been blocked by GOP House members), we need to increase the minimum wage across the country. The more money the more people have, the better the overall economy. Henry Ford knew this and he was no bleeding heart liberal. Further, those areas with the higher minimum wages are doing economically better than the rest of the country.
Raising the Minimum Wage:
Our economy moved from manufacturing to consumer based because we had a strong middle-class consumer base that had the financial ability to buy the things not only manufactured here, but elsewhere. 30 years of Reaganomics, Supply Side, Trickle-Down, Voodoo Economics has destroyed that middle-class base. With the shipping of manufacturing jobs overseas the problem has grown exponentially. Without good paying jobs, we have no economy, no recovery. It takes more than tough talk against those you sleep with Mitt Romney. It takes actual plans to bring back jobs, including public sector jobs to rebuild our economy. It worked for FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, and even Ronald Reagan. All these presidents did this, and three of them were Republicans, even that Reagan guy.
Sensata is the tipping point and the represents the truth about Mitt Romney’s economic plans for this country. He is in it only for himself and his cronies. He wants to increase his wealth and influence and gives little about the Americans he says he wants to help. Video of him and the 47% comments as well as saying “Corporations are People my friends” demonstrates exactly who this man is. He doesn’t care for the American Worker, he just wants their votes. Don’t let him have them.
Thom Hartmann talks about Sensata:
Romney’s Bain Selling Out American Workers to China:
Mitt Romney and what he truly feels about the 47%:
When Ronald Reagan was running for president in 1980 and during the GOP primary debate, he spoke of the concept of massive tax cuts to all Americans, but especially those at the top to give them more money so that they would invest and create jobs. One of his opponents in the primaries was a senior statesman who was formerly a Congressman and was the Ambassador to China by the name of George H. W. Bush who called the plan “Voodoo Economics.”
Well, Reagan won the nomination and selected George H. W. Bush as his running mate who later embraced “Voodoo Economics” only it was being presented to the voting public as “Trickle-Down” Economics because the increased wealth of the wealthiest of the nation would trickle down to all the people.
John F. Kennedy had once remarked that a “rising tide raises all ships” implying that as the middle-class grew in economic wealth and prosperity, the entire nation, including the wealthy would do better. Trickle-Down was designed to skip a step. Instead of policies that helped the middle-class to raise the tide, policies would be put in place that were geared towards the richest Americans (as well as the corporations and banks) and out of the goodness of their hearts; the rest of the economy would grow. Essentially, raise the ships, and the tide would follow.
As president, Ronald Reagan eliminated regulations on business and banks and sure enough, he slashed tax rates. He also eliminated tax loopholes in an attempt to maintain some revenues. Problem was, he didn’t slash the loopholes used by the wealthiest of Americans, instead he cut the loopholes used by middle and working class Americans. For instance, Americans were once able to write off the interest charges of credit cards and loans from their taxes. It encouraged them to borrow money to buy things and promote the economy. Well, it was eliminated and their taxes essentially went up and further, they borrowed less and the economy began to stagnate a bit.
Now even though Reagan took over as the economy was suffering from double-digit inflation and interest rates; this was the result of the bill coming due from the monies borrowed by Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon to pay for the Vietnam War. It was actually the policies of the Federal Reserve and the lowering of their interests rates that improved the overall economy in the nation. The Reagan Tax cuts actually ballooned our deficit and national debt. As a result, Reagan began to raise taxes again, but mostly on the middle-class, not the upper classes. When George Bush ran for President he famously said “Read my lips, no new taxes” in response to his party being upset with both Reagan and him for raising taxes. However, due to the fragile status of the economy and debt from Reagan/Bush, George H. W. Bush ended up raising taxes to put a Band-Aid on a growing problem.
However, trickle-down economics remained through the Clinton administration, who nearly finished the job started by Reagan/Bush by signing NAFTA and repealing some New Deal Banking regulations like Glass-Steagall. Clinton did significantly raised taxes on the wealthiest of Americans, a move that all Republicans said would “destroy the economy.” Well it didn’t and instead, the economy boomed under Clinton. However, the underlying problems with deregulation were not fixed.
When George W. Bush took office, he placed “trickle-down” economics on steroids and pushed and received the largest tax cuts in history that again, favored the wealthiest. Problem was, he also started two wars without providing funds to wage them, he implemented Medicare Part D without paying for it or even allowing government to negotiate prescription drug prices with pharmaceutical companies, and he removed the last vestiges of New Deal Banking Regulations. As a result, the deficit ballooned even worse than under Reagan, the housing market collapsed due to banks being allowed to gamble with investor savings and guaranteed mortgages for overly inflated home loans. Did I mention that because Bush wanted to increase economic spending, he had Alan Greenspan tell people to use their homes as “ATMs” to borrow money on the equity to spend and still write that off. That is what overpriced the housing market. Then came 2008.
Its four years later and again, the concept of “Trickle-Down” is being presented by Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. Well, for those who don’t get it, Trickle-Down has never created jobs and will never create jobs, by giving more money to corporations or to the wealthiest Americans they end up keeping it for themselves and will not put it back in the overall economy unless they have to. It’s very simple sociology, human nature and economics.
The goal of “For Profit” Business is to make profit. Can’t get any simpler than that. One of the highest budget item on an expense column is payroll. The more people you employ, the more it costs the company. If you can maintain production with fewer employees, paying them just enough and provide just enough benefits where they stay with you, the higher your profit margin. Businesses rarely hire people just because they have the money; they hire them because they need them to maintain production. If they can automate to increase production at a lower cost, they will and will lay off employees. If they can crush “collective bargaining” so as to remove pay and benefits to reduce labor costs and increase profits, they will crush the unions. If they can get more out of an employee so they don’t need as many in order to increase profits, they will. The goal is increased profits. Hiring people eat into the profit margins.
So, just because they have more money on their accounts due to lower taxes doesn’t mean they go out and higher people they don’t need to maintain production, if they don’t need those people and that expense. Some tax breaks were imposed to give companies incentive to hire more people. If they hire them, then they get a tax break they wouldn’t have otherwise. However, those were eliminated. Instead, tax breaks were given to companies to ship jobs overseas. Its good business for them, wages are lower overseas and they get a credit for doing it. Did this idea come from government? Well, it came from business lobbyists who end up paying for the campaign of those in government who play ball with them. Even though Mitt Romney said during his first debate with President Obama that he was unaware of such tax credits, he in fact has used them in his dealings with Bain. It’s a fact.
So, companies have more money from tax breaks and don’t use it to hire people they don’t need. In the mean time, due to the recession and fewer people working, there is lower demand for goods and services from businesses. So they don’t need the people they already have to maintain production that isn’t necessary and they lay more people off. But don’t you worry about them, thanks to the tax cuts and grants; they still have money coming in to make up for the loss of business revenues. Where do they get this money from? Well, social safety net programs designed to help the people who are out of work are slashed at the request of business lobbyists. People’s “welfare” is then diverted to “corporate/business welfare.” And what make matters worse, with no one paying taxes to fund this because the wealthy have had their taxes slashed and the people don’t earn any money to pay taxes on, the debt rises to keep businesses safe and secure. That is what is important to today’s Republican Party. Survival for the businesses that pay government legislators, officials and executives to keep them in business at the cost of the well-being of the people.
Mitt Romney is a businessman who has a businessman mentality. He has no concern for people or jobs. He wouldn’t have been as successful in business as he has been if he did. People eat into corporate profits. Mitt wants more “Trickle-Down” telling you all the same lie that the more money in the hands of the few people and corporations means they will create jobs. They never had and never will. They want government assistance that is geared more to keeping the few rich people safe and secure than the “47%.”
Their ships are still rising while the tide is out. It’s very expensive and ultimately destructive to the nation. Trickle Down only works for the richest among us, and then again, only for the short term. This economy is reaching critical mass. If government doesn’t start increasing tax revenue from those who have been prospering from 30 years of tax breaks to start repairing and growing the middle-class again, as the New Deal and post war programs of FDR, Harry Truman and Republican Dwight David Eisenhower implemented in the first place, that made us an economic giant, the ships will fall and our society is doomed.
We cannot trust anyone who still advocates and supports the failed and disastrous policies of trickle down. Time to focus on the middle class.
@RATM 47% reminded me in a tweet about the “Two Santa Claus Theory” that many use to explain the “Trickle-Down” Insanity. Thom Hartmann does the best job explaining this theory:
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