Thursday, August 16, 2012

“Bewitched, bothered and bewildered” ******************************************* We’re bewitched by the POTUS campaign, every 4 years. But for the 95% of the voters that have already decided, it is media Sturm und Drang , signifiying very little..a lot of smoke and mirrors. To the more cynical, the POTUS campaign is a “political carnival staged by the private corporations”, the not-so-hidden hand, deep politics of this electoral season. We’re bothered by the strident chorus of the 15-30 sec. media ads., concocted in the fertile brains of the well-paid “nattering nabobs of negativism”. And we are bewildered by the GOP clamor to voucherize Medicare. The vast majority of the population like Medicare…those on it and those looking to be on it. The GOP, and Paul Ryan, have been bought by the vast private insurance corporations. They don’t like the single-payer model of Medicare. They want those under 55 to have the “freedom” to shop for health insurance when they turn 65, using a voucher to search for an affordable policy. And the majority of the new 65ers could not afford the insurance premium. The attack being used now by the GOP is that Obama will cut $716 billion from Medicare, over ten years. That is misleading…a pants on fire,Pinocchio-type lie. Under Obamacare, the rise in Medicare costs over 10 years will be reduced, SAVING $50-70 billion yearly. And the savings will not be a cut from the Medicare trust fund.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Paul Ryan and women’s reproductive rights *************** “…on abortion and women’s health care, there isn’t much daylight between Ryan and, say, Michele Bachmann. Any Republican vice presidential candidate is going to be broadly anti-abortion, but Ryan goes much further. He believes ending a pregnancy should be illegal even when it results from rape or incest, or endangers a woman’s health. He was a cosponsor of the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a federal bill defining fertilized eggs as human beings, which, if passed, would criminalize some forms of birth control and in vitro fertilization. The National Right to Life Committee has scored his voting record 100 percent every year since he entered the House in 1999. “I’m as pro-life as a person gets,” he told the Weekly Standard’s John McCormack in 2010. “You’re not going to have a truce.” ****************** “NEW YORK (AP) — A vibrator giveaway that attracted long lines in New York City came to an abrupt end when the city told the promoters to pack it up. The Trojan condom company set up “Pleasure Carts” on Wednesday in two Manhattan neighborhoods, and were set to give away 10,000 vibrating sex toys. Nearly 300 people had lined up at each of the hot-dog-style carts.According to the New York Post the giveaway was interrupted when a city representative told the promoters to shut down because of crowds.”Times Union ************************* What does Mr. Paul’s extreme position on abortion rights and the Trojan free vibrator giveaway have to do with each other? Well, dear readers, I was just thinking that Paul should support the free giveaways as a safe method of birth control.This giveaway could, if it takes hold , reduce abortions and poverty. The latter because poverty and single mothers are directly linked. I’m going to send a tweet to PR, seeking a response. Could Biden ask PR about this at their Oct. debate?
The Romney-Ryan mantra on lower taxes on the wealthy. ***************** Romney-Ryan (R-R) want to lower the fed. income tax rate for the top earners. But this segment already has it very good. R-R use the “nominal” top rate of 35%, and argue it is so high it de-incentivizes the job creators. But the 35% is not the real rate. The “effective” rate, the real rate, is about 15%…the lowest in 30 years. Tax lawyers and CPAs work full time reducing the “nominal” rate to the lowest rate legally allowed. K Street lobbyists work full time to obtain tax credits, excemptions etc. (what wonkish budgeteers like Ryan call “tax expenditures”), which now total over $1 trillion ,with a T, yearly. Ryan wants to lower the “nominal” rate by eliminating many expenditures. What would, or could politically, be eliminated? The $75 billion home mortgage deduction? Would the Ryans,Romneys, and Obamas agree to that on their mansions? That’s a clown question, bro.! The $120 billion employer deduction for health care? That’s another clown question, bro.! Employers would drop health insurance for millions. The $38 billion deduction for charitable giving? There you go again…another clown question, bro.! And how about eliminating the $150 billion that is saved by using off-shore tax havens? Now that’s a clown question, on steroids! Like Jack Benny traveling over alligator-infested moats to visit his vault, Mitt like to make occasional visits to the Caymens and Bermuda to carass his stash. Lowering “nominal” tax rates by eliminating expenditures will not happen.
The WSJ’s chief editor , and VP, Paul Gigot, and the WSJ/NY Post op.ed. writer Peggy Noonan appeared on George Steph. Sunday Morning and ,in essence, said that picking Mr. Paul as VP will guarantee the ” rootinest, tootinest, fallootinest, shootinest” Fall campaign. They rhapsodized how PR is the ideal person to engage the economic issue; that PR in so many ways is the conservative’s political wet dream becoming reality. Howard Dean, also on the panel, responded that this was fiddle-faddle; fuddle duddle; and that the right-wing should dream on. Dean summed up the real enchilada, the cosmic issue, that will cost the R-R team in Florida, Pa. Ohio, NH etc.. It is Medicare. People like Medicare…the elderly and the young. It works, and with savings and tweaking, it will survive financially. PR wants to voucherize Medicare. Dean proclaimed that PR can call it a preimum, but it is a voucher. The PR plan is to have Medicare-eligibles receive a voucher, and then go into the private insurance market and get a policy. And with the GOP, fed. and state levels, generally opposing a health insurance exchange, the voucher holders couldn’t compare policies. PR, and his supply-side, Jack Kemp, Aynd Rand, Alan Greenspan group really support the privitization of just about everything that governments now provide..including education, health care, highways, ad infinitum.
We now know why Ryan accepted the VP invitation!! ****************** It’s because Wisconsin electoral law allows him to continue running for Congress, which he apparently is going to do. If a Wisconsin House rep. runs for VP or POTUS, s(he) can also run for Congress. So Mr. Paul has the safety of knowing he likely can keep his House seat, if the R-R national ticket loses. This is similar to LBJ’s manipulation of the Texas law, that allowed him to run for the Senate while running as VP in 1960. I just got the e-mail below from Ryan’s Dem. Congressional opponent, and only when I read this did I know that Ryan can run for both offices. Has the msm mentioned this at all? “gordon… Hi, I’m Rob Zerban. Along with President Obama and Vice President Biden, I have the unique privilege of being the other candidate who gets to defeat Paul Ryan this year. That’s because despite running for Vice President, Paul Ryan is still running for Congress in Wisconsin. And I’m his progressive opponent. I’ve been preparing for over a year now. I have a great team and raised over a million dollars in grassroots donations — more than all of Ryan’s opponents in the last 10 years combined. But to finish the job, I need your help. Paul Ryan supports ending Medicare. I support Medicare for All. Paul Ryan supports lowering taxes on the rich. I want the rich to finally pay their fair share. Paul Ryan thinks the way to create jobs is tax giveaways for Big Oil, Wall Street, and other big corporations. I’m a small businessman who fights for the little guy. Paul Ryan is pro-life. I am pro-choice. Tell me when to stop… The point is — Wisconsin voters finally have a competitive Democrat running against Paul Ryan. A bold progressive. And with Ryan now ignoring local voters, 2012 is the perfect moment to defeat him for good. It’s been exciting to work with Progressive Change Campaign Committee members over the past year — standing up for the 99% and fighting back for Medicare. In Congress, I look forward to being your partner as we fight for progressive change. Thanks for your support. Rob Zerban”
Today is primary day in Connecticut. Talk about voter suppression! The state’s political elite schedule a primary in mid-AUgust, when 5% of the eligible voters will participate (and that’s an optimistic prediction.) ******************* Living in Connecticut can be the “best of times, and the worst of times. This writer spent 5 years in this wonderful state, going to school and living in poverty. And the memories are positive. It’s a state that can juxtapose the beautiful UConn campus in Storrs, with the Appalachian-type dead city of Willimatic 10 miles away. This state of contradictions has the Gold Coast, the Danburys, the exurbia for wealthy Manhattanites, as well as Hartford, one of the poorest cities in America. This state of contrasts has New England small towns where Main Street and small d, democracy, flourish, tucked between cities where international corporations fly their company flags. Politically, it remains a blue state. But the traditional liberalism of labor union and New Deal coalitions is long gone. The former Dem. now independent, Sen. Joe Lieberman is retiring. As he has said, there is no path for him to run and win re-election. While it’s difficult to define Mr. Joe, it’s clear he never was a New Deal/Great Society Hubert Humphrey. The activist Dem. base saw him as a corporate liberal; a strong supporter of the submarine base in Groton; the military-industrial complex; and the Hartford insurance giants. The Ct. GOP has moved far to the right, and the far right Linda McMahon will win the Senate primary today. This wealthy woman was the long-time owner of the WWF, which she transposed into a quasi- pornographic S & M spectacle that had grown men throwing each other out of a ring…a popular extravaganza that really doesn’t elevate our culture. McMahon will win today, but I’m convinced she will lose again in Nov. I know she will lose because I have confidence in the good sense of the Nutmeggers.