Obama Risks Alienating Republicans By Using Facts

After the speech, a furious Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, “It’s been a longstanding tradition in our politics not to use facts in a State of the Union Address, a tradition the President chose to ignore in an outrageous way tonight. I won’t stand for it and the American people won’t stand for it

Daily wisdom
Daily wisdom

After the speech, a furious Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, “It’s been a longstanding tradition in our politics not to use facts in a State of the Union Address, a tradition the President chose to ignore in an outrageous way tonight.  I won’t stand for it and the American people won’t stand for it.”  From The Borowitz Report http://www.borowitzreport.com/

I am more Conservative than you!

For the life in me, I cannot comprehend why that is a virtue, nor how being the “most conservative” benefits our country.
Why people accept this “argument” as valid coming from a group of candidates consisting of a multiple choice adulterer, a chronic flip-flopper , and a 17 century religious demagogue by the name of Rick Santorum is beyond my understanding.

 

Nate

Sometimes I force myself to listen to GOP presidential candidates and it looks as if each is trying to outdo the other on being the “most conservative”. For the life of me, I cannot comprehend why that is  a virtue, nor how being the “most conservative” benefits our country.

Moral Values!
Hypocrite.

Why people accept this “argument” as valid coming from  a group of candidates consisting of a multiple choice adulterer, a chronic flip-flopper and a 17th century religious demagogue by the name  of Rick Santorum is beyond my understanding.

Conservatism (Latin: conservare, “to preserve”) [1] is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports, at the most, minimal and gradual change in society.  Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others oppose modernism and seek a return to the way things were.

Lib·er·al [lib-er-uhl, lib-ruhl] Show IPA adjective

Favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.  Often initial capital letter noting or pertaining to a political party advocating measures of progressive political reform.  Of, pertaining to, based on, or advocating liberalism.  Favorable to or in accord with concepts of maximum individual freedom possible, especially as guaranteed by law and secured by governmental protection of civil liberties.  Favoring or permitting freedom of action, especially with respect to matters of personal belief or expression:  a liberal policy toward dissident artists and writers. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/liberal

How do we explain the phenomenon of the reactionary rise in the last 30 years?

By E. J. Dionne Jr.

Ignorant fools
New(t) GOP.

“The candidates appear much smaller than they are because the party’s primary voters and core interest groups insist upon cutting them down to size.  To win a Republican nomination, a candidate has to move right, recant absolutely any past position that violates the current conservative catechism and never dare to speak the truth that solving our deficit problem will require new revenue — a.k.a. taxes.”

“The reason Washington is paralyzed over the deficit is because most Republicans are petrified to admit that we will never get our budget close to balanced without some tax increases.  Both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush raised taxes when deficits got too high.  If Reagan were trying to do that now, his party would condemn him as a big-taxing liberal.”

One blogger response:  “The GOP (Republicans) are NOT the party of Abe Lincoln.  The Republican Party of today?  Racists, greedy hypocrites!  And I used to be one until I woke up.  Every Republican I know is a self-serving, greedy bastard…they should take their fortunes, buy an island somewhere, start their own Kingdom, raise their own flag – you know the one – it has a big hog on it !” http://www.craigsfire.com/?p=202

Tragically, the Grand Old Party, the party of Lincoln, is in self-distraction mode initiated by Big Money and the ignorant mob of Tea Baggers whose pain and anger is misplaced and goes against their own best interests.

Newt “GingRich” said he wants to go back to good old values.

Here is a short list of GOP accomplishments over the years: http://www.gop.com/index.php/issues/accomplishment/

Republicans Established the Transcontinental Railroad. The 1860 Republican National Convention in its platform called for building a railroad to the Pacific.  In 1862, the Republican-controlled 37th Congress passed the Pacific Railway Act, establishing the transcontinental railroad.

Republicans Freed the Slaves

Republicans Passed the 14th Amendment

Republicans Passed the 15th Amendment

Republicans Outlawed the Ku Klux Klan.  In 1871, the Republican-controlled 42nd Congress passed a Civil Rights Act aimed at the Ku Klux Klan.

Yellowstone National Park.  On March 1, 1872, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant signed into law a bill establishing Yellowstone National Park.  Yellowstone was the first national park in the world.

Republicans Passed the 1875 Civil Rights Act.  On his deathbed in 1874, Senator Charles Sumner (R-MA) told a Republican colleague:  “You must take care of the civil rights bill – my bill, the civil rights bill.”

A Republican Wrote the 19th Amendment.  In 1878, U.S. Senator Aaron Sargent (R-CA) introduced in Congress the proposed 19th Amendment, according women the right to vote.

The Republican Party First Called for Ending Racial Segregation in the Military.  In 1940, the Republican National Convention approved a plank in its platform calling for racial integration of the armed forces:

A Republican Wrote the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Read more: http://www.gop.com/index.php/issues/accomplishment/#ixzz1kCkDzlPB

Now to the 21st century…and it goes downhill from here.

Operation Enduring Freedom.  A week after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Congress authorized the Commander-in-Chief to use military force against those who “planned, authorized, committed….”

Invasion and occupation of Iraq.  Iraq: ‘The Greatest Strategic Disaster in American History.’ http://democracyinactionblog.com/2012/01/03/freedom-day-and-war-criminals/

Republican Tax Cuts.  In 2001, the Republican-controlled 107th Congress passed and Republican President George W. Bush signed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act.  It lowered individual income tax rates across the board.  This combined with a stupid war resulted in a 4 Trillion dollar debt.

So what are these “super-duper” conservatives bragging about?

That being conservative equals tax cuts for the rich and subsidies for corporations?

That being conservative equals the decimation of the middle class?

That being conservative equals homophobia and hatred for anyone who is “different?”

That being conservative equals religious intolerance?

That being conservative equals the rejection of science?

That being conservative equals being a puppet for the 1% ?

That being conservative means occupying other countries?

To summarize:

New conservatives
Support jobs creators!

Being conservative in today’s surreal political climate is, in my opinion, anti-American.  Why?

Because “neo-conservatism” goes against everything this country stands for.

Because this “conservative” mantra violates the fundamental ideals and accomplishments of American Republican Presidents from Lincoln until Reagan.

Because the “conservative” policies of Reagan and George W did great harm to our country.

“Republicans have adopted an economic plan that rejects economics and instead pays fealty to the fat-cats and corporations that sustain the party.  The GOP has become a party of no ideas because it is so invested in petty, for-the-rich politics that it has given up developing ideas that would move the status quo in any way.  Instead of ideas, it has become a party of meaningless, misleading slogans intended to disguise plans to make the rich even richer.”

“What this nation most needs right now is a Republican Party that believes again in its own best traditions.  It would be lovely if at least one of the party’s Presidential candidates stood up for them.” http://www.phillyburbs.com/blogs/politically_astute/the-republican-party-has-lost-its-way/article_93d3ce1e-2cb5-11e1-bf15-001a4bcf6878.html

Sadly, the American public is stuck watching  a spectacle of  “for sale” politics playing for an  ignorant and angry audience of the lost generation.

It’s Always Greener

The super-moneyed of this nation are just insecure. The oil baron Koch brothers are frightened. Billionaire casino owners, Wall Street manipulators, and those incredibly affluent CEO’s of the US Chamber of Commerce are terrified. That’s it. That’s why they spend their waking hours and hard earned millions on electing and influencing office holders. They are protecting their stuff. And their tactics seem to be working.

Several years ago I saw a film about two hotel maids.  In this film, whose name is beyond my recall and my googling ability, one young maid asks the other, “What are rich people afraid of?” Her friend, and fellow housekeeper responds, “Not being rich.”

Dancin' and Worryin'

Perhaps, that is the problem.  The super-moneyed of this nation are just insecure.  The oil baron Koch brothers are frightened.  Billionaire casino owners, Wall Street manipulators, and those incredibly affluent CEO’s of the US Chamber of Commerce are terrified.  That’s it.  That’s why they spend their waking hours and hard earned millions on electing and influencing office holders.  They are protecting their stuff.  And their tactics seem to be working.

GingRich blames the poor of this country.  Fraudulent mortgages, and concocted derivatives were not the culprits. The financial instruments that caused our country’s economic chaos were food stamps.  Ya see, it’s simple, there are just too many poor folk (aka Blacks) who love to get something for nothing.  That S.O.B. Obama is taking our money, giving it to those greedy bastards (his people), and they are using food stamps to buy cheese for their kids. That’s the problem; it’s those people of color using food stamps. It’s obvious and it’s intolerable!

Enviable?

Romney (did you ever notice that 83% of his name consists  of M-O-N-E-Y?) , a man with a net worth of hundreds of millions, who is building a twelve million dollar home so his grandkids can comfortably visit, pays an effective tax rate of 15% , yet audaciously accuses Obama of inciting  the “bitter politics’ of envy.”   My God, (Santorum’s advisor) that lying Obama has the chutzpah of making food stamp users envious of hard-working, job-making billionaires.  The envy should be in reverse.  Go ahead, name a billionaire CEO, who, given the opportunity, wouldn’t gladly give up his/her busy, mind draining day to live in the urban slum, have no worries and live off food stamps.

Those maids were so correct.  It is exhausting to unceasingly plot, bribe, cajole, influence and lobby day after day to protect your billions.  Guarding your wealth demands that you call for an end to the EPA and its regulations.  The compulsion to protect your bundle demands sacrificing the future health and safety of your children and grandchildren.  Your station in life demands this sacrifice. Jesus, (Rick Santorum, again) what a terrible drag.

And to top it off there are no guarantees.  It is core rattling to think that the Romanovs of Russia had it all, and then, lights out.  The Bourbons of France masterly had all working smoothly when, in a flash, they lost it all, including a couple of heads.  They labored and toiled.  They controlled the government, the courts, the religious leaders and whap, gone in an instant. Is there no security?

Only Hurts for A Minute

Romney’s, GingRich’s and Santorum’s puppeteers pull the strings; they own FOX and the Wall Street Journal. Yet, there is no guarantee of keeping the wealth. Add in the pesky Internet with its capacity to inform, and mobilize, and your really have tsouris.

The Koch’s of the world have choices.  (I know; last week, I said there was no free will, but I can’t help myself)  They can purchase armed guards, razor wire, and politicians while simultaneously despoiling  the world  and manipulating the people of few means to blame those of no means, or they can use their wealth and its concomitant power to make this a better and safer world; they can invest in the future, not plundering, but building.  If they do the latter, my guess is they will still have a pretty nice lifestyle; of course, they would still have to do without those food stamps.  Matt 1/19/2012

One Possibility

 

The way SOPA is written effectively promotes censorship and is rife with the potential for unintended consequences.

Daily wisdom
Daily wisdom

Keep Internet free!

“No cause is left but the most ancient of all, the one, in fact, that from the beginning of our history has determined the very existence of politics, the cause of freedom versus tyranny.” Quote from Hannah Arendt

Sooner or later you’ve got to stand your ground whether anybody else does or not. That is what liberty is all about.

The way SOPA is written effectively promotes censorship and is rife with the potential for unintended consequences.

Life and Death and Money

The true wisdom, I think, is the understanding of the beginning and the end and the knowing when the time comes to go. And to go with dignity. And even as the primal instinct of self preservation kicks in, I hope that wisdom will prevail and I will be able to make the right decision.

So now what?
Why am I here?

Why are we here?  What is the purpose of our lives?  Is it just to stay alive?  Why?  Is it just self preservation?

I noticed that for some older people life is 24/7 an effort to stay alive.   Visits to doctors.  Medications.  Daily assessments – where does it hurt today?  The search for a “miracle” diet.  Tests.  New or different medication.
And the same routine again.
I am not being judgmental here.  We are all trying to find answers.  I personally would not want this type of existence.  There has got to be some purpose in life…some satisfaction. 
One more point.  Because most of one’s money is spend on people in last 2 years of their lives, there are not enough resources to help the rest – the younger part of the country.  And that lack of health care affects people’s health so by the time they get old, Medicare and Medicaid have to pick up the tab.  This is the vicious circle that is bankrupting our country.
So what do we do?  Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly, spends nearly 30 percent of its budget on beneficiaries in their final year of life.  Slightly more than half of Medicare dollars are spent on patients who die within two months.  40 percent of Medicare dollars covers care for people in the last month.
http://www.wnet.org/bid/sb-howmuch.html
The end and new beginning.
A new one will grow.

“No one wants to die.  Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.  And yet death is the destination we all share.  No one has ever escaped it.  And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life.  It is Life’s change agent.  It clears out the old to make way for the new.  Right now the new is you, but someday, not too long from now, you will gradually become old and be cleared away.  Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.” – Steve Jobs

“Earlier this year, a pair of influential bioethicists argued in an essay in “The New Republic” that the amount of money the country spends on Medicare is unsustainable.  With senior citizens the fastest-growing age group in the country, they say, the only way to control the ballooning costs is to try to bring the entire population up to a life expectancy of 80 and stop using most expensive technologies and medicines to extend life beyond that, even if some people will die.” Chicago Tribune Health

Quality of life?
Ethical question

“If you want to save all lives, you’re in trouble,” said Callahan, co-founder of The Hastings Center, a bioethics research institute in New York, and a faculty member at Harvard Medical School, in an interview.  “And if you want to save all lives at any cost, you’re really in trouble.”

Medicare was signed into law in 1965, a time when life expectancy was 67 for men and 73 for women, and half of people 65 and older had no health insurance.  In 2007, life expectancy had grown to 75 for men and 80 for women, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“Doctors can keep you alive until you are 105, but that may not be a particularly good aim of the health care system,” Callahan said.  Senior citizens should receive good basic health care, but the main resources should go to children and the adult population”, he believes.

Is there a sensible solution?

There is no short term solution other than to educate the aging parents and their adult kids on how to make the sensible decision on when is it time to go. In the meantime we need to learn how to maintain a healthy life style so we can stay healthy and die gracefully.

“We get selfish families, and it’s often easier for doctors to pull out prescription pads.   Doctors need more often to say no, to say (if a patient is dying): ‘We will give you palliative care, but not give you chemotherapy.  We will not give you new expensive drugs because it will not make you better.'”

“More importantly, some ignore another reality for doctors who must make these difficult decisions:  the nearly unlimited liability exposure if the family members disagree with all members of the health care team, including hospital ethics panels.

Once again, because of special interest resistance to malpractice reform, centralized government control will become the default option.

And maybe, just maybe, we need to rethink our stand on direct-to-consumer advertising of expensive medications to the populace on the Nightly News.

By PETER SINGER

Published: July 15, 2009

 We were all born and we will all die.  It is the way of nature to assure the continuation and progress of the species.  And death is just as natural as birth and life and just as necessary for the success of species.  As we age we think about life and death and our quality of life as we near the end.  And it is scary.  After all this is a “once in a lifetime” experience.  

We all like to have healthy and happy lives.

Symbiosis of birth and death
Two sides of One.

The true wisdom, I think, is the understanding of the beginning and the end and the knowing when the time comes to go.  And to go with dignity.  And even as the primal instinct of self preservation kicks in, I hope that wisdom will prevail and I will be able to make the right decision.

One of the reasons I am writing on this subject is the lack of understanding of life and death and the medical establishment’s insistence on keeping terminally ill people alive artificially at any cost causing suffering to patients and their families and, due to limited resources, denying life-saving treatment to those who could be saved.  It is a complicated issue and we all should learn the wisdom of living and dying.

“Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live”. ~ Norman Cousins

So enjoy life and learn how to stay healthy naturally.

I don’t wanna, but I gotta

Opportunity is not opportunity unless people have had events and people in their lives to enable them to take advantage of opportunity. Open doors are not enough to assure social mobility. We gotta do more.

 
this coulda been me

I don’t want to be composing this blog, but I am.  If I was born in Utah, I’d probably be a Republican, a Mormon, and a Romney supporter.  Thank you, Mr. Silverman.  “Makers” please admit you were fortunate.

In response to a friend’s request, I just read the New York Times Article, “Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gain.” http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/education/big-study-links-good-teachers-to-lasting-gain.html?_r=1  The article summarizes a scientific investigation which concluded that kids who have had the luck to be taught by “good” teachers, have increased earning capacity, more college degrees and a lessened chance for teenage pregnancy.

Since I worked as a teacher in public schools for 20 years, and I brazenly consider myself a “good” teacher, this article made a great read. You ask, how do I know I was a good teacher?  Well, parents, administrators and lots of students have said I was, and I immodestly have decided to concur.  Note:  Accolades will be sent on request. 

Though, this article made me puff up a bit, obviously, I know that there is a lot more to becoming a successful, good human being than having a good 7th grade science teacher. Where you are born, who your parents are, your DNA, every life experience molds us into who we become.

If you were fortunate to have had the right genes, lived in the US and had a basketball coach for a dad, you might be Michael Jordan.  If you had had George Romney for a dad, you’d most likely be a Mormon and a Republican.  Personally, I’d prefer to be Michael than Willard (aka Mitt).

I don’t want to get into a discussion of self-determinism and free will, but since, I have no choice, I strongly concur with B.F. Skinner’s words as follows:

“In the traditional view, a person is free. He is autonomous in the sense that his behavior is uncaused. He can therefore be held responsible for what he does and justly punished if he offends. That view, together with its associated practices, must be re-examined when a scientific analysis reveals unsuspected controlling relations between behavior and environment”

I thank and blame my life experiences for making me who I am. Thanks Mom and Dad.   Likewise, a bit of the good stuff about me is due to my 7th grade science teacher.  Thank you, Mr. Silverman.

Apparently, many in this country sincerely believe that each person decides who he/she is  and what he/sh will become.  They believe that individuals are solely responsible for their success or failure.  If you are a billionaire, it is because you earned it.  If you are a panhandler on the mean streets of Dubuque, you earned that too.  Take the credit! You did it or you blew it.

It is the belief of this writer that if we are affixed to an immutable concept of self-determinism, we lose our empathy, our compassion and the impetus to help the less-fortunate.  Note; the word “fortunate” itself conflicts with the concept of self-determinism.

Recently, a well written comment was posted on Facebook in reference to my last blog, The-Makers-Takers-and-Fakers.  It read,

“We see Obama supporting equal outcomes and not equal opportunity.  That is a loser for everyone in the long run.”

To this I respond as follows:  Opportunity is not opportunity unless people have had events and people in their lives to enable them to take advantage of opportunity.  Open doors are not enough to assure social mobility.  We gotta do more.

Interactions between humans affect humans.  I wish there was a Mr. Silverman out there to help the “makers” of our society look into their being and credit all the people and events which enabled them to be “successful” and then see what they can do to enable others to a good life, or perhaps they just want to live in gated enclaves.

Ya Gotta Earn the Key

Posted By Matt 1/14/2012

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