Mitt Romney Lies Again!

I realize that Mitt’s aversion to the truth will come as no surprise to anyone, except his most rabid supporters. Throughout the 2012 election cycle, the former governor had more positions on any given issue than the Kama Sutra. He also continually manipulated data to make President Obama look bad and himself look better.

Indeed, it seems the only time Romney was recorded telling the truth was at a gathering of billionaires in Florida when a bartender famously recorded Mitt’s off-the-cuff remarks. During that speech, Romney stated, “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right? There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That…that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them… These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect… And so my job is not to worry about those people—I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Those words were taken directly from the transcript. But that was then. This is now.

When the 2012 Republican presidential nominee was recently asked about his statement that 47 percent of Americans can’t be persuaded to take personal responsibility, Romney said, “Actually, I didn’t say that …That’s how it began to be perceived, and so I had to ultimately respond to the perception, because perception is reality.

Who are you going to believe? Romney or your lying eyes and ears? The Romney of 2012? Or the Romney of 2013? Or the Romney of 2011? Or the Romney of 2010? Or the Romney of…well, you get the idea.

Race Or Economics?

Following the acquittal of George Zimmerman and the ensuing discussion of race by President Obama, conservative race-baiters have gleefully blamed the victims. “It wasn’t Zimmerman’s fault. Trayvon Martin was a young, black thug high on marijuana who had it coming. There’s no race problem. The real problem is the black culture of dependency. Black people are violent…just look at black-on-black violence. Obama is playing the race card to distract people from his failures. Yadda, yadda, yadda…”

Yes, there has been a breakdown of the African-American family unit…just like the breakdown of the white family unit. More and more people are having children out of wedlock, and more married couples are getting divorced.

Still, the race-baiters have a point. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 73 percent of African-American babies are born out of wedlock as compared to 29 percent of non-Hispanic white babies. On the surface, those numbers would seem to support racist loudmouths like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. But if you delve deeper, you learn that 66 percent of Native American children and 53 percent of Hispanic children are born out of wedlock, while just 17 percent of Asian children are born outside of a traditional family.


That would seem to disprove the right wing talking point that the problem is a lack of Christian values. After all, Hispanics and African-Americans tend to be the most devout Christians of the lot, while Asians tend to represent other faiths, such as Buddhism and Hinduism.

So if the problem isn’t religion, what next?

Right wingers suggest that the issue is IQ. You may remember that Teapublicans recently seized upon a Heritage Foundation “study” that claimed Hispanics have lower IQ than whites. The “study” was the basis of a report that assimilating such low IQ people into the US would cost us trillions. Then some academics examined the “study” and found that its racist conclusions were completely fraudulent. Not only is there NOT a difference in IQ, the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) found that the Senate immigration bill would shrink the nation’s deficit by $897 billion over 20 years.

That leaves only one possible conclusion from the birth data…economics. The cultures with the highest percentage of single-parent households are the cultures that were systematically destroyed by the Euro-American concept of Manifest Destiny; that caucasians were destined to rule; that white people were superior to people of color; that people of color were incapable of taking care of themselves.

Using this despicable philosophy, whites enslaved blacks. Whites committed genocide on Native Americans, leaving them defeated, broken and poor. And whites have routinely discriminated against all other races, denying them the vote, good-paying jobs, safe neighborhoods, and respect. Such conditions have a negative impact on all races. For example, where there are large concentrations of impoverished white people, the percentage of white, unwed mothers dramatically increases, along with violence.

People of color didn’t choose to live in poverty. They didn’t choose to work at meaningless, minimum wage jobs. They didn’t choose to live in slums, poor barrios and on reservations. They didn’t choose to send their children to under-financed schools. They didn’t choose to have greedy gun dealers import weapons into their communities.

They didn’t choose these things anymore than Trayvon Martin chose to take on a gun-toting vigilante with nothing more than a bag of Skittles.

Growth Of The “Moocher” Class.

During the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney was famously caught on camera talking about the 47 percent he claimed pay no taxes. That led to the conservative media referring to the 47 percent as the  “moocher” class; those people whose votes could be bought with promises of free “stuff,” such as food stamps, unemployment insurance and access to healthcare.

According to a new survey exclusive to The Associated Press, Romney had the numbers wrong. The survey shows that 80 percent of adults in the US face near-poverty and unemployment at some point in their lives. You read that correctly…80 percent!

In addition, the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that 22 percent of Americans have been significantly affected by the sequester budget cuts. And those who earn less than $30,000 per year have been hardest hit. Moreover, 1 in 6 (50 million) Americans face food insecurity, including 17 million children.

The vast majority of these people work full-time jobs; some work two jobs or more and still can’t make ends meet. Yet conservatives call these people “moochers” and “takers.” Fox News Channel and conservative radio hosts vilify and ridicule the working poor. Instead of placing the blame where it belongs…on greedy corporations and an economy that no longer offers the majority of Americans an opportunity to realize the American Dream…Congressional Teapublicans blame the problem on labor unions, pensions, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. They have voted to cut food stamps and unemployment insurance benefits. They have voted 39 times to repeal Obamacare, denying access to healthcare for more than 50 million poor Americans. And, instead of voting to fund projects that would rebuild our infrastructure and create good-paying jobs, they vote to cut taxes for the wealthy.

In the two and a half years since regaining control of the House by promising to focus on jobs, Teapublicans continue to push for budget cuts and to place obstacles in the way of our economic recovery.

As a result of their indifference to the plight of ordinary Americans, our economy continues its slow recovery. We continue to see the loss of good-paying jobs to other countries. We continue to see the loss of pensions and income security for the elderly. And we continue to see a widening gap between the rich and the poor.

Teapublicans are right to talk about the “givers” and “takers” in our society. But they have things backwards. The “givers” are the working people who pay a disproportionate share of their income to taxes, including payroll deductions and sales taxes. And the “takers” are the very wealthy and large corporations who benefit from corporate welfare and record profits.

GOP: 1.6 Million Jobs Don’t Matter.

There was a story this week that was overshadowed by Anthony Weiner’s penis, San Diego Mayor Filner’s hands-on management style and Congressman Steve King’s idiotic statements on immigrants. It was news that the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) reported that sequestration cuts forced by the Republican-dominated House will prevent the creation of 1.6 million jobs over the next year.

The report came as an answer to Speaker John Boehner’s oft-asked question, “Where are the jobs under the Obama administration?”

Yet the CBO report was met with a resounding yawn by Republican leadership. They are far more interested in preparing for the next debt ceiling crisis and moving to repeal “Obamacare” a few more dozen times. Indeed, Washington insiders claim that jobs are no longer seen as an issue by Republicans because the economy is growing despite their obstruction.

The economy may be growing, but not nearly fast enough. More important, salaries have not grown at all, except for those at the top.

Nevertheless, the Republican majority continues to ignore jobs in favor of cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Since taking control of the House with the promise of creating jobs, Republicans have not presented a single bill that would create jobs or rebuild our failing infrastructure. They have refused to negotiate a budget deal with Democrats. They won’t even create a committee to resolve differences with the Senate budget bill.

Indeed, this Congress is on track to pass the fewest bills in history!

Think about that for a moment. Our population has grown dramatically. Our nation’s problems are far more complex than ever before. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our electric grid is cobbled together with antiquated technology. Climate change is claiming shoreline at an alarming rate. (Maryland’s Governor O’Malley recently stated that the state is losing 1.6 acres every day.) A large portion of our population doesn’t know where the next meal is coming from. And a growing number of our military veterans are struggling.

The problems are many. But Republican solutions are few and very far between.

Here We Go Again. Another Debt Crisis!

In 2011, Speaker John Boehner and his GOP cronies nearly sent the US economy into a death spiral by refusing to raise the debt ceiling unless President Obama agreed to severe budget cuts. When the president and other Democrats tried to negotiate a common sense agreement that would not lead to a double dip recession, there was a lengthy stand off. The markets were so shaken that US government bonds were downgraded for the first time in history and large parts of our economy came to a standstill.

The GOP tantrum and resulting hit to our economy was completely unnecessary. President Obama was already in the process of cutting the deficit at a faster rate than any previous president in US history! Indeed, in June, we had a monthly budget surplus for the first time in years. And for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, the deficit will be the lowest since the financial calamity of 2008 – nearly half the previous year’s deficit.

If President Obama is allowed to continue his policies, we will almost certainly see a full recovery of the US economy and the growth will lead to even less spending and more tax revenue as Middle Americans’ get better jobs and their salaries grow.

But that would expose the fraudulent economic policies of Boehner and his fellow Guardians Of Privilege. And they simply can’t allow that. So, once again, they’re threatening to take our economy hostage. Boehner says that he plans to adhere to the so-called Boehner Rule, demanding one dollar in spending cuts for every dollar increase in the debt ceiling.

This is nothing less than economic suicide for the United States!

The debt ceiling is an arbitrary limit that has no affect on the deficit. It merely limits the Secretary of Treasury’s ability to pay outstanding debts. Failing to raise the debt ceiling in order to pay our debts would turn the US into a nation of deadbeats. It would damage our reputation internationally, and it might well lead to an exodus of investments in US bonds, making it more difficult and costly to fund our national debt; a debt largely created by Republicans.

Even dragging out negotiations over the debt ceiling, as in 2011, will lead to serious consequences. It will make employers and investors nervous enough to hold onto their money. That will lead to a market sell-off and increased unemployment. That, in turn, will lead to increased federal spending and decreased revenues. And that will lead to increased deficits and increased debt…exactly the opposite of what Boehner and his fellow nitwits claim to want!

Similarly, the effect of President Obama agreeing to significant budget cuts on top of those already imposed by sequestration will also severely harm our economy. If you doubt that, just look at what has happened as the result of Europe’s austerity measures.

According to the GAO (Government Accounting Office), the 2011 debt ceiling crisis raised the borrowing costs for the government by $1.3 billion in 2011 and an estimated $18.9 billion over 10 years. And, in case you’ve already forgotten the pain it caused, the debt crisis also caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to fall 2,000 points in just two months. It damaged our economic recovery. Worse, it cost many people their jobs and negatively affected millions of lives.

By all means, Mr. Boehner, let’s do that again!

Oh Boy!

Each day, approximately 370,000 babies are born into our world. Some of them will become world-renowned scientists. Some will become democratically-elected leaders. Some will work to end disease and hunger. Some will work to end poverty. Most will simply work to survive.

Of all these babies, only one captured the attention of US and European media. Only one boy, with the incredible good fortune to be born into a life of extreme wealth and privilege, caused young women to swoon; aristocrats to break out their best bottles of bubbly; and ordinary adults to interrupt their own lives in order to await news of the delivery and the baby’s gender.

No single event could better demonstrate the problems we face.

This is not just a matter of ordinary citizens being captivated by celebrity. This baby, his parents and most of his ancestors have done nothing to earn celebrity status. They are not accomplished at music, acting, sports, science, medicine or politics. They have no lengthy list of accomplishments. They are merely expert at collecting and spending money, and living like royalty.

What lies at the heart of their celebrity is the romanticism of every young girl wanting to be a princess; of every adult wanting to know what it’s like to be King or Queen.

This, after all, is the real talent of the privileged: Making you believe that you somehow benefit from their wealth and power. Making you believe that if you continue to support them, they may eventually recognize you. Making you believe that you will eventually share in their good fortune.

Of course, it never happens.

This phenomenon is at the heart of all class warfare. It’s what keeps all of the wealthy and the privileged in power. Corporate CEOs convince shareholders that supporting their enormous salaries will lead to higher share prices. Multinational corporations convince voters that cutting regulations will lower prices and create jobs. Billionaires convince voters that offering them tax breaks will improve the economy.

The reasoning is as phony as the societal value of monarchs (the gem-infused bloodlines, not the butterflies). But naive voters accept it and continue to make the rich richer and themselves poorer.

It doesn’t have to be this way. We can level the playing field for all of the babies born into the world. We can vote to improve our own fortunes rather than those of the privileged. It begins by recognizing a “prince” for what he really is…just another baby.

GOP In A Hurry To Make Enemies.

A number of conservatives are calling for President Obama to call the removal of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi a military coup. Doing so would automatically trigger an end to foreign aid to Egypt and its military.

The fact that the Obama administration is approaching the situation in Egypt cautiously has left conservatives frustrated. They call the president weak. They say he is sending a message of weakness to all the world; that America is now afraid to take a stand; that our enemies will see this weakness as an opportunity to assert themselves and harm American interests.

Bull feces!

President Obama has been anything but weak when it comes to foreign policy. Not only did he order the killing of bin Laden, he put together a group of allies to end the reign of Muammar Khaddafi in Libya. He also has been relentless in his desire to end terrorism. By contrast, let’s look at the results of American threats and bullying by conservative presidents.

When Reagan deployed a large number of troops to Beirut in the eighties, terrorists detonated two truck bombs killing 299 US and French soldiers, leading to the withdrawal of UN peacekeepers from the country. In other words, the tough talkin’ TV cowboy turned tail and ran.

President George H.W. Bush sent mixed signals to Iraq leading to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing Desert Storm. That, in turn, resulted in our maintaining US bases in Saudi Arabia which infuriated extremist Muslims, leading to the creation of al Qaeda.

President George W. Bush invaded Afghanistan following 9/11 and trumped up a phony reason to invade Iraq. More than 10 years later, the war in Afghanistan still rages and Iraq has been turned into an ally of Iran.

All of that cowboy machismo turned out so well that conservatives now want President Obama to follow the same approach in Egypt? To what end? If we immediately cut off aid to Egypt’s military, not only might we lose an ally that has made peace with Israel. We might turn the Egyptian army against us. Acting rashly might further destabilize the Middle East and weaken US influence throughout the region.

So, please, President Obama, take your time. Think over the consequences before you act. Then make the decision that best serves Egyptians as well as Americans. That would be a refreshing change from the foreign policy of conservatives.

The New American Royalty?

Last week, Liz Cheney announced that she is running for US Senate from the State of Wyoming. If elected, she will likely walk the same dark path as her father, former Vice-President Richard “The Dick” Cheney. Liz has long been her father’s most outspoken defender and apologist. Like her father, virtually every word that escapes her mouth oozes with hatefulness and contempt for others.

At the same time, some Republicans are clamoring for Jeb Bush to run for President of the United States. If he does run, and wins, he will be the third Bush to be president. In addition, his grandfather Prescott Bush was a US Senator.

On the other side, the presumed presidential nominee of the Democratic Party is Hillary Clinton. Although I very much like Hillary and I think she would be a wonderful president, I’m troubled that she already spent eight years in the White House. Wouldn’t it be better if another popular candidate, especially a woman, stepped forward?

Is this the future of our nation? Are we so enamored with celebrity that we vote for the name instead of the person? Are we more interested in genetics than ideas? Were the last Bush and the last Cheney such great leaders we can’t wait to have another set in power?Politicians are not like software. As we learned from “W”, the succeeding generation is not necessarily version 2.0, 1.5 or even 1.0.

Nepotism is banned in most successful organizations, why not in government?

If this trend continues, how long before we simply proclaim a royal family or families and do away with elections altogether? Then we, too, could breathlessly await the birth of a new monarch.

I may not be an expert on history, but I seem to recall that we fought a war to get away from royalty.

Playing The Race Card!

On Friday, President Obama held an unannounced press conference during which he spoke personally and sensitively about race in hopes of generating an adult conversation about racism in the US. Of course, his remarks were met with derision and anger by many conservatives and their media mouthpieces. (I’m looking at you, Rush Limbaugh and anyone who has ever worked at Fox News Channel!)

Keep in mind that our nation just watched a white adult who had stalked and murdered an unarmed black teenager be acquitted of all charges. Despite the verdict, Trayvon Martin’s parents have handled themselves with class…much more class than the conservative pundits who have pilloried the young man who was murdered.

Not content with accepting the verdict and hoisting George Zimmerman onto their proverbial shoulders, the right wing nitwits have attacked those who took to the streets to protest the verdict. They have also seemed to delight in attacking Martin’s character. “He shouldn’t have been walking through the neighborhood at night. He shouldn’t have been wearing a hoodie. He was smoking pot earlier in the day. He called Zimmerman a cracker during his phone conversation with a friend. He shouldn’t have defended himself against Zimmerman. Etc., etc., etc.”

These are the very same people who have glorified the Tea Party parasites who carry signs with racist depictions of our president. The same people who have questioned the president’s birthplace and eligibility to be president. The same people who applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to eviscerate the Voting Rights Act that protected minority votes. The same people who applaud legislative bills that would suppress African-American and Latino votes then accuse those who object of “playing the race card.”

Following the Zimmerman verdict, the president was not only justified in raising the subject of race. He was obligated to do so.

Anyone with dark skin, or anyone with a friend or relative who has dark skin, understands the problems. And they absolutely must be addressed! I have personally seen black people unlawfully beaten by police. I have seen a white cop set fire to an apartment building then blame it on his black neighbors. I have seen a cop chain his dog in a black neighborhood, so that it could attack any unsuspecting man, woman or child who walked down the sidewalk. Every one of my black friends has been repeatedly pulled over by police for driving while black. A young, black male co-worker and close friend was stopped by police, guns drawn, just for walking down the street.

I have seen the statistics showing the disproportionate number of black men and women in prison. I’ve seen how differently black people who become addicted to crack cocaine are treated compared to white people who are addicted to powder cocaine. I’ve seen how the War on Drugs is used to harass and imprison minorities. I’ve listened to conservative politicians call Latinos dirty, stupid and disrespectful of our culture. And I’ve seen young white men parade through the streets with Confederate flags following President Obama’s election.

There are thousands of George Zimmermans out there, some in uniforms, who are armed and assume everyone with dark skin is a criminal or a welfare moocher, living off the hard work of others. That image is perpetuated by loudmouths like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others. And even though race wasn’t mentioned, it was most certainly implied by Mitt Romney in his off-the-record comments about the 47 percent.

Certainly, not every right winger is going to act on their misguided beliefs. But a few armed racists will undoubtedly be encouraged to act as vigilantes thanks to the insane Stand Your Ground law that the NRA and ALEC have pushed through legislatures throughout the country – especially in the South.

Yes, President Obama needed to talk about race. Race has been an issue in our country for 3 centuries. It’s long past time for us to learn how to live with each other, treating all of our neighbors with dignity and respect.

The issues facing our nation have never improved by refusing to discuss them.