Political Gum Hockey

Political Commentary and Humor

Republican Platform Denies Rights to Virtually All Americans – Abe Lincoln Cries

The Republican platform was finalized in Tampa this week and includes the infamous “Akin Amendment” that denies a woman’s legal right to abortions even in the case of rape or incest. And that’s just the beginning. The platform goes much further in rolling back the legal rights not only of women but the legal rights of virtually every group of Americans. For example,

It denies the rights of same-sex couples to marry.

It denies the rights of women by pushing the Akin Amendment cosponsored by Paul Ryan.

It suppresses the rights of legal voters to vote.

It adopts the fossil fuel energy plan of “Drill Baby Drill” written by the fossil fuel lobbyists, bumper stickered by Sarah Palin, and lobbied by Newt Gingrich’s lobbying firm.

It eliminates Medicare as we know it and replaces it with a voucher program that will cost future seniors thousands of dollars.

It forces the states to deal with Medicaid, which will bankrupt many states and increase the costs of current seniors by thousands of dollars.

It virtually eliminates public schooling and adopts Mitt Romney’s believe that students should “get the best education they or their parents can afford,” thereby eliminating higher education for most of the populace.

It takes all of the money not spent on programs that help the middle class and the working poor and gives it to the 1% super-rich and to the Defense industry.

It effectively is the anti-American (unless you’re “the right kind of American,” i.e., the richest 1% or a megacorporation who sends jobs overseas and hides income from taxation in offshore tax avoidance accounts) platform.

Abraham Lincoln would be aghast at the bigotry and intolerance that his party now supports.

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August 29, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

The Republican dishonesty about Cap-and-Trade (and everything else)

Cap-and-Trade was actually a Republican idea. Democrats wanted a carbon tax, but no, no, no, cried the GOP. A carbon tax is a tax. Can’t have that.

So the Republicans pushed for a market-based mechanism. They pushed for Cap-and-Trade. The costs of carbon pollution would be captured and companies that were more efficient could make money selling their credits to those who were having trouble meeting basic standards. Those latter companies would have incentive to become more efficient and improve their profits.

Then the Democrats said, okay, let’s try it your way. Let’s agree on a Cap-and-Trade bill instead of a carbon tax bill.

To which the Republicans immediately relabeled their own idea “cap-and-tax,” called it a socialist takeover, and otherwise blatantly and dishonestly railed against their own idea in order to block passage.

The Republican party, especially now that the Koch-owned fake-tea party has taken it hostage along with 99% of the American people, has become a poster child for the most egregiously dishonest elements of corporatehood.

Which one party being blatantly dishonest about everything (remember that the “individual mandate” in the health care law was also a Republican idea), they absolutely cannot be trusted to be in charge of America. The Republican party put us into this economic mess and have worked against Americans and American recovery since Obama walked into office.

It would be utterly insane to put the dishonest wolves back in charge of the chicken coop.

[The above was a comment to a post by Chris Wiegard that you can read here.]

August 15, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Romney Goes All-In Against the Middle Class by Picking Paul Ryan as VP Running Mate

Mitt Romney has decided to go all-in against the middle class by selecting Congressman Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan is the author of the infamous budget plan that decimates the middle class, turns Medicare into a voucher program, and yet increases spending on Defense contractors and other corporate giveaways.

Not surprisingly, Paul Ryan has been bankrolled by the billionaire Koch brothers, whose lobbying arms fund and organize the tea party. So it’s no big surprise that the Romney Ryan plan increases middle class taxes in order to pay for more tax breaks for the super-rich and increases the debt.

Perfect. Democrats will love it.

At least Romney has made clear that he thinks giving more chances for the 1% to hide their money offshore and allowing more loopholes for the supercorporations to ship jobs and money overseas will somehow, despite history and logic, create the jobs that they haven’t created during all this time to date.

What does the Ryan pick mean for the campaigns?

Ezra Klein at the Washington Post captures this nicely…

This is an admission of fear from the Romney campaign.

Let the games begin.

August 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Book Review: We Can All Do Better by Bill Bradley

Former Senator, New York Knick basketball player, and Olympic athlete Bill Bradley offers his substantial insights into the workings of government and how, by focusing on cooperation and the good of the country instead of party, we can all do better. And by “we” he means all of us – the politicians, the media, and the American people. We are all in this together and only by working together can we find resolutions to all of the challenges that face us here in America.

But accomplishing this won’t be easy. Bradley begins by reminding us that even though politicians all love this country, it is easy for the “members of the club” to become absorbed into the cynicism that dominates Washington DC today. The “duopoly” of the two parties cater to the extremes and the media play along because it is easier – and more profitable – to turn gossip into news than to report honest policy discussions. And the people – you and me – force politicians into playing the game at either end of the spectrum where compromise is seen as treachery, and then turn around and voice our perpetual dissatisfaction because politicians are dancing in the corners in which we have painted them.

Still, Bradley notes that “the sad irony is that many members of the club may be idealists underneath,” and like most Americans living their daily lives, continue to believe in the country’s fundamental health and promise for the future. In the chapter, “Breaking the Logjam,” Bradley offers some concrete proposals to encourage economic growth and job creation in the immediate, the proximate, and the long-term. He dispels some of the common myths (e.g., that the wealthy are “job creators”) and offers solutions that will improve the employment picture now while positioning us to lead the world in the future. His ideas are too numerous to list here, but well worth the time spent reading the book. One quote, though perhaps oversimplified, summarizes his philosophy:

“I cannot emphasize enough the requirement of balance: asking something from everyone. Democrats want the rich to bear the burden; Republicans want primarily the poor to sacrifice. Both political parties champion the middle class and neither asks anything significant of it in this crisis. A true solution cannot give the middle class a pass.”

In short, politicians need to put country ahead of re-election. They need to be honest with us as citizens. And we need to be honest with them – and with ourselves.

In “Celebrating Selflessness,” Bradley provides the most emotionally inspirational chapter of the book. In it he relates stories that contradict the assumption by both parties that human beings are basically selfish. Instead, he says, most people may actually prefer to be unselfish if given the chance by politicians and the media. In “Raising All Boats,” Bradley discusses the major source of disheartenment – that the system is rigged to give all the benefits to the very wealthy while the middle class bears the brunt of the burden. “The elevator is no longer working,” he quotes, meaning that the middle class and the working poor can no longer count on getting ahead by working hard and being honest. This dissatisfaction becomes fertile ground for demagoguery from both parties.

In the remaining chapters Bradley cites such disparate leaders as Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Wilson, FDR, and Eisenhower as recognizing the critical role of government and how “free markets” dominated during times of robber-barons, monopolies, and “too big to fail.” Further, he addresses our long-standing ambivalence about our role in foreign affairs and how our forthcoming challenges with China stem not from military prowess but from economic domination. In short, while America bickers amongst itself and accomplishes little, China moves its own future forward, which more and more intertwines with the future of the world.

Bradley argues that we need both “collective caring” and “personal responsibility” to move forward. In his final chapter, “The Path to Renewal,” he proposes that solutions should include taxing labor less and things more, adoption of a massive infrastructure program, investments in research, embracing talented immigrants while educating our own citizens for a lifetime in a world of constant change, reduction of our structural budget deficit, and leading the world “by example.”

There is so much more in this relatively short book and I strongly encourage anyone interested in the future of America to read it.

For a full discussion of the book please review the comments and links here.

August 4, 2012 Posted by | Barack Obama, Book review, Mitt Romney, Republican | , , , , | Leave a comment