Archives For Republicans

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budgetI know the current version of the Republican party is supposed to be all about fiscal austerity but I have trouble actually seeing them live out that concept. When it comes to the safety net and so-called “entitlement” issues they scream about needing to cut back or at least for total accountability. But when it comes to the bloated military expenses, homeland security and tax breaks for the rich they appear to throw that concept out the window. Of course that means that their austerity programs, if they are implemented as they suggest, will end up being done on the backs of the poor as almost everything else is “off the table”.

We spend more than the other 96% of the world combines on our supposed security. Our military budgets eat up so much of our prosperity as to force future looking programs off the stove.  Education, our R&D forces, and our colleges suffer as a result of our insistence that to be safe we must spend so much on our war machine. In fact we throw so much money into the military that they don’t even bother to try to determine if it is going to the best place. For that matter they really don’t even try to categorize where it is even spent.  But that doesn’t seem to phase the Republican senators and congressmen in Washington. They continue to demand more and more of our precious resource for this bloated machine.

For that reason I have little confidence that my budgeted minded friends are really serious about budgets but are really more concerned in reducing or even eliminating the very function of government or at least making sure that 47% don’t get things they supposedly haven’t earned.  If they were really serious about our current deficits they would be looking at  our war machine first not last.  When you throw trillions of dollars into a black hole you dictate that much of it will be spent unwisely or even fraudulently.  They demand total accountability for agencies supporting our safety net and nothing for our industrial/ military complex. How strange is that???

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Source: http://rjscorner.net/2012/02/27/where-are-you-john-sherman-when-we-need-you/

PrintIt seems literally impossible for another Republican to take charge of these types of matters (controlling fraud and abuse). Most of those folks are just too beholding to big business to ever try to reign them in. So, currently that leaves the Democratic party to take up the mantel. I don’t see that as much of a possibility either. Where all this “too big to fail” will end I just don’t know.

I don’t find myself quoting myself very often but when I re-read this post from almost a year ago about how Republicans have been the party of big business in Will Rogers day and are even more so today it got me to thinking.  Republicans seem to believe in the innate goodness of our corporations. I don’t know how else you can explain their deregulation fever of the last three decades.

When Ronald Reagan came into office the first thing he did besides firing everyone who belonged to the Air Traffic Controllers Union was to finish up removing almost all regulations from the savings and loan industry. Here is what Wikipedia says about that:

The deregulation of S&Ls in 1980 gave them many of the capabilities of banks, without the same regulations as banks. Savings and loan associations could choose to be under either a state or a federal charter. Immediately after deregulation of the federally chartered thrifts, state-chartered thrifts rushed to become federally chartered, because of the advantages associated with a federal charter. In response, states such as California and Texas changed their regulations to be similar to federal regulations.

Of course we also know that within ten years the S&L industry almost disintegrated with fraud and abuse and it cost us taxpayers billions to bail them out. But that would not be the last time our friends in government showed their belief in the innate goodness of business. Soon after we recovered from the S&L fiasco they went about  you guessed it, de-regulating the entire banking sector. Again within a short period of time the banks “too big to fail” cost us about a trillion dollars to clean up their abuse of the mortgage business. After these two meltdowns the Democrats put back a few of the necessary regulation via Dodd/Frank bill  but the Republicans fought it tooth and nail. That I just don’t understand. Why do that seem to be totally ignore history, even recent history?

How can these guys in Washington continue to put their total faith in the innate goodness of an unbridled business sector. Profits are approaching all time highs while wages have remained stagnant for the last three decades! Given that fact, how else can you explain how they never seem to see a regulation that they don’t want to eliminate. It seems like they would eventually learn that capitalism depends on brisk and stringent regulations to contain the innate greed, not goodness,  that is built into the system.

Before my conservative friends attack me here I want to declare that I believe capitalism is the best system in the world but it only works when it is adequately regulated.  To my friends that think I am too critical at times I am really questioning the idea of almost total de-regulation mantra of Republicans. Do they really believe that regulations have no place in our business world? I would really like to know? Their two failed attempts at de-regulating our financial sector seem to say something. Or is that just me?

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I sympathize with my conservative friends. 2012 was just not a very good year for you in the political realm. So, in the spirit of cooperation I want to give you a very serious (well sort of serious) New Years Resolution.

Quit Being The Party Of The Rich

RichThat one thing alone probably cost you the presidency and several other of your recent political defeats. Let’s face it Paul Ryan’s drastic budget cuts to the nation’s safety net in order to give millionaires bigger tax breaks was the death knell of your hopes for the White House.  Mr. Romney’s 47% remark certainly didn’t help any either. You have got to realize that as the disparity between the rich and the poor widens as it surely will you are in a no-win situation.

I know distancing yourselves from your rich donors will be difficult to do. After all you have depended on them for at least a century now. Let’s just look at a few of the quotes that my hero Will Rogers said about that about some eighty years ago: Continue Reading…

Banner - Aside 2Source:  Conservatives urge GOP leaders to be bold, prepare to go over cliff – The Hill’s On The Money.

Scrooge“I think Obama is very mindful of his legacy and is horrified of going over the cliff,” said Andy Roth of the Club for Growth. “Going over the cliff might be a signal that needs to be sent to the president, that he needs to play ball.”

He argued that President Clinton was forced to become a less liberal president after Speaker Newt Gingrich shut down the government in 1995.

“Clinton would not play ball with Newt until Newt shut the government down,” Roth said.

We all know the story “The Christmas Carol” about Scrooge who was a greedy money-mindful person who after being visited by the ghosts of Christmas past and Christmas to come turned around his life and started treating people, not his money, with love. Continue Reading…

Those Words….

November 29, 2012

Source: Sojourner Mail November 16, 2012

Hearts & Minds by Jim Wallis

The day after the election, Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler said, “I think this was an evangelical disaster.” 

Not really. But it was a disaster for the religious right, which had again tied its faith to the partisan political agenda of the Republican Party — which did lose the election. But Nov. 6 was an even deeper disaster for the religious right’s leaders, because they will no longer be able to control or easily co-opt the meaning of the term “evangelical.” 

During this election, much of the media continued to use the word as a political term — as a key constituency of the Republican conservative base. But what the media really means when they use term “evangelical” is “conservative white evangelical.” All other kinds of evangelicals are just never counted.

Just as the 2012 electoral results finally revealed the demographic transformation of America — which has been occurring for quite some time — it also dramatically demonstrated how the meaning of the word “evangelical” is being transformed.  Continue Reading…

Here we are twelve days away from the election! I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It seems that each election, especially when a president is on the ballot, gets uglier and uglier. There just seems to be so much hate in our country now and that is truly scares me at times.

Twelve days and we will finally be finished with all these negative ads costing billions of dollars telling us why we should be against someone but little about why we should vote for the other guy on the ballot. I just saw some yard signs like the picture here in several yards in my neighborhood.  The Republican party’s mascot is the elephant and of course we all know that an elephant never forgets (all of us believe in all those clichés don’t we).  As I am getting older in years I definitely am forgetting things but I don’t forget who caused so much of our current problems. Continue Reading…

source: Rice: World is ‘chaotic and dangerous’ with a weak USA – USATODAY.com.

Although Rice, who served under President George W. Bush, praised the Republican ticket of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, she offered the delegates no political red meat. Unlike virtually every other speaker of the night, she did not mention President Obama or his office….

However, she was regarded by most observers as too moderate. She’s called herself “mildly pro-choice” — anathema to many in the Republican Party’s conservative base who still suspect the sincerity of Romney’s stated opposition to abortion.

Rice also is out of step with many Republicans on immigration; she has called the failure of President George W. Bush’s plan for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants one of her biggest regrets.

Continue Reading…

My Word….

September 20, 2012

It used to be that a man’s word was the primary definition of his character. If you didn’t keep your word how could you be trusted with anything else? A man’s word was his word. But it seems that somehow this idea has been lost in America or at least in the Republican party.

When the super-committee, one of whose members is the current GOP vice-presidential candidate, was formed everyone in congress gave their word that if they could not reach a compromise on how to reign in the deficit then all of discretionary spending budgets would take a 10% hit. Every member of congress put his word on the line by passing this compromise resolution.

Now it seems that almost all Republicans and even some Democrats want to renege  on that promise and go back on their word. They say that our military can’t possibly take a 10% cut without threatening our security. Of course if you have read much of anything on the blog you know I think that is hogwash. We, five percent of the world’s population, currently spend more on our war machine than the rest of the world combined. If we only quit being the policemen of the world and left part of that task to the people of the affected region then we could reduce our military budgets by many more times that the ten percent promise.

So here we are with a building full of the people’s representatives who can not be trusted. What should we do about this situation? In my mind we should remove all those who can’t be trusted to keep their word. If you agree then watch in the coming months how your representatives in congress address this issue. If they go against their word then toss them out. We can only bring back integrity to our political institutions when we can trust our representatives and yes they should answer to us and not their political leadership. They speak for us while they are in Washington.

But what do I know…..

Source: Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them | Alternet.


Ayn Rand was not only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well.

Her books provided wide-ranging parables of “parasites,” “looters” and “moochers” using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes’ labor. In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O’Connor (her husband was Frank O’Connor).

As Michael Ford of Xavier University’s Center for the Study of the American Dream wrote, “In the end, Miss Rand was a hypocrite but she could never be faulted for failing to act in her own self-interest.”

This is an ongoing study of the new vice presidential candidate in the Republican party. It is well-known that Mr. Ryan, like several others in his party, is a huge fan of Ayn Rand. He says when his loses his focus he picks up her books to rejuvenate his path in life.  So, I wanted to learn a little more about his hero. I knew from hearing about her in college in the 60′s that she was a radical and an enthusiastic McCarthy supporter. But what I have learned about her since is even more telling.

One of her most famous quotes is:

Until and unless you discover that money is the root of all good, you ask for your own destruction. – Ayn Rand

I don’t know if, being an avowed atheist, she was mocking Christ who basically said the opposite or just what were the circumstances of this quote but I just can’t put a benevolent spin on it in any circumstance .

A final quote I want to present of Ms. Rand is her beliefs about altruism. For those of you who might not know what an altruist is the definition is  person unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others. Here is the quote:

If any civilization is to survive, it is the morality of altruism that men have to reject.

I know Ayn Rand is also a hero of an elder in the Lutheran church where I was a member a few years ago.  He prided himself in his beliefs that he got from her that there are two types of people in this world  “makers” and “takers”. The makers produce things and the takers are just a drain our society. He included everyone in government service as a “taker”. His philosophy, which seemed to be agreed upon by several others there, was one of the reasons I decided to not challenge my expulsion from that congregation due to theological differences (I think the earth is more than six thousand years old and  the Bible contains stories that are not always literal and without error).

Ayn Rand seems to almost be the anti-thesis of Jesus Christ who she loathed so much. It seems totally ironic to now see Ms. Rand as a hero of the political party who deems themselves to be so Christian. How can this be?

So, here I am looking for reasons why a very good clergy friend of mine from the past has such a high regard to Mr. Ryan. Could my friend be one of those one-issue voters? Paul Ryan is very consistent in his opposition to abortion even in the case of rape and incest. Could that be the sole reason for my friend’s endorsement?  I hope not….

A Crack in the Armor???

July 19, 2012

Source: Boehner joins criticism of Bachmann over Clinton aide comments | World news | guardian.co.uk

John Boehner, the leading Republican in Congress, has chastised his colleague Michele Bachmann over allegations she made linking a key aide of Hillary Clinton to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Boehner said on Thursday that the comments – made in a letter from Bachmann to the state department and Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison – about the family of Huma Abedin were “pretty dangerous”.

He joins John McCain in rebuking Bachmann over claims that Abedin’s father, mother and brother were connected to the Islamist group.

I know I am on vacation and have sworn off politics to a certain degree but going head-to-head with my conservative friend on FaceBook in the last day or so has already tarnished an otherwise great vacation so I thought what the heck when I saw this article.

Is this the long-awaited crack in the armor for the Republican party. Up until this point there seems to be nothing no matter how nasty or untrue any Republican could say about any Democrat that would raise a rebuke from a fellow Republican. No matter how absurd the words fellow Republicans just didn’t do that.  So, it came as a total surprise that two congressmen are chastising another over comments made.

I would love to think that this is the beginning of some sanity in our political processes but dare I even think that especially during the beginnings of this mud-slinging season.  Is civility an archaic word now or can it be resurrected? We can only hope that this is finally a crack in the armor….

But what do I know