Monday, August 23, 2010

What do Obama is a closet muslim, terrorist babies, social security broken and a mosque in Manhattan have in common?

Last Friday, a Republican National Committee woman, Kim Lehman, said about President Obama “… he personally told the muslims that he IS a muslim, read his lips."

Senator John Cornyn recently said the mosque issue would haunt Obama come November. Cornyn says "This is not about freedom of religion."

Texas legislator Debbie Riddle claimed in a CNN interview that there is a nefarious international conspiracy by immigrants to cross the border illegally, while pregnant, to give birth without insurance, to then cross the border back again, so that 21 years later they can send their child back again to do us harm.

Congressman Lamar Smith calls for privatization of Social Security claiming that it is broken even though the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office says that Social Security has a surplus of $2.5 Trillion that is estimated to grow to $3.8 Trillion in 2020.

What do all these “issues” have in common? They are pure and simple attempts to divert the public’s attention from the reality that the Republican Party has no solutions to the real problems of America especially the lack of job creation. They don’t have any new ideas and the old ones like tax breaks for millionaires have proven not to work during both the Reagan and Bush administrations. While some claim Texas has suffered less than other states that’s only partially true since we have a higher percentage of low and minimum wages jobs than just about anywhere else in the country. Remember that in November.

The debate over Social Security offers a clear choice between fear and reality

Here we are on the 75th Anniversary of Social Security with polls showing that there is considerable support for the program which most believe to be an American institution. The same polls show that most Americans would rather increase their contributions to ensure that benefits will not be cut now or for future generations. Americans overwhelmingly oppose cutting it to reduce the federal deficit; which only make sense because Social Security isn’t contributing to the deficit in the first place. The bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office says that Social Security has a surplus of $2.5 Trillion that is estimated to grow to $3.8 Trillion in 2020.

Our congressman, Lamar Smith, is a member of the Tea Party Caucus which is supporting HR 4529 which calls for privatization of Social Security. He wrote, "With this account, they will be able to build a "nest egg" for their retirement that cannot be taken away by the government and can be handed down to their children." The Employee Benefit Research Institute recently published a study showing that on average 401k’s lost about 37% in 2009. What if Lamar Smith was successful in his efforts to invest your Social Security savings this way, what would happen to your retirement when the next financial bubble bursts?

If you believe as do most Americans that Social Security is important to the people of this nation then the choice is clear Lainey Melnick should be our next representative to the United States Congress.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Even Reagan appointee Justice Sandra Day O'Connor thinks elections are tainted

Ronald Reagan’s appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court, retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor has joined the cause of reforming state judicial campaign and election systems. She writes in her introduction to a new report that the "crisis of confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary is real and growing" and if left unaddressed "the perception that justice is for sale will undermine the rule of law that courts are supposed to uphold." O’Connor continues “…elected judges in many states are compelled to solicit money for their election campaigns, sometimes from lawyers and parties appearing before them.” and “… three out of four Americans believe that campaign contributions affect courtroom decisions."

One of the most blatant examples of overly cozy relationships between judges and their campaign donors highlighted in the report involves Don Blankenship of Massey Energy who spent $3 million to elect a West Virginia justice. You’ll remember Massey Energy from the worst US mine disaster in 40 years which killed 29 miners in April this year.

How many disasters does it take to decide it’s time to fix our broken government? The BP oil spill, the explosion at the Massey Energy mine, the crash on Wall Street, there’s one common denominator—money—and there’s one common solution: end legalized bribery dressed up as campaign contributions from big business. Let the people of a state decide who they want to run for the judiciary with small contributions so we can have fair elections and government that works for a change.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Why doesn't the religious right support the First Amendment?

A religious group in a major U.S. city is being attacked for the location they’ve chosen to build a place of worship. Given that groups like the Texas Eagle Forum and the Texas affiliate of Focus on the Family known as the Liberty Institute complain so loudly about attacks on the First Amendment you’d think they’d be vociferously defending the right to build a house of worship in any properly zoned area.

It would seem that they don’t support the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) of 2000 which says in part: “No government shall impose or implement a land use regulation that discriminates against any assembly or institution on the basis of religion or religious denomination.”

Just earlier this week Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association demanded that the government bar the construction of “even one more mosque” in America. Apparently they only apply the First Amendment to Christian denominations and as such the Islamic congregation in New York doesn’t deserve their support. Unfortunately for the Texas Eagle Forum and its fellow travelers their lack of support shows that they don’t really have any interest in protecting the First Amendment.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Guess who really supports our troops? Hint - It isn't Republicans

According to Fox News rather than increase taxes to pay the nations bills some members of Debt Commission appointed by President Obama including Honeywell CEO David Cote and the commission's co-chair former senator from Wyoming Alan Simpson (R), are focusing instead on "freezing military pay, making military people pay for their health care."

So while we’re in the middle of two wars in which our soldiers and their families have been stretched to the breaking point and beyond as evidenced by the alarmingly high levels of suicide and divorce corporate types enabled by Republicans want to cut their pay and scale back their benefits. That’s right; make our troops pay for their own health care, all so that corporations like Blackwater and Honeywell can continue to profit off the taxpayer unabated.

You heard it; the deficit commissioners are seriously talking about creating an even larger burden on our troops so that the military contractors don't have to sacrifice their profits. That's betraying our uniformed men and women at the most fundamental level. They and their families are being treated as disposable by too many of the powers that be. The President needs to take that proposal from his commission off the table right now.
It’s time this country had a very serious discussion about what "supporting the troops" really means.