Saturday, December 29, 2012

Suggestions to improve Congress.

As time goes by complacency sets in. We think change is impossible. If enough people become aware, if they become upset, they can change things. Here is a list of things to remove elitism from the US Congress and in so doing help the flow of legislation. Not all need to be done, but all will help. We do have the Internet and social media now. American Spring!

1. Make all members participate in Social Security and Medicare. Do away with any other retirement programs.
2. Take  away the rule that says any person retiring can keep their last campaign chest.
3. Invoke term limits. One term for senators. Three for the house of representatives.
4. Reduce all congressional pay for members by 50%. Reduce staff expenses.
5. Limit campaign spending to some reasonable amount.
6. Block the techniques of gerrymandering. Fix the districts to a standard geometric shape.
7. Suggest a federal template for early voting and get it adopted in each state.
8. Empower the federal government to supply a plan to standardize voting across the US.

Please make corrections or suggestions in the comments section below.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Does Social Security Add to the Deficit?

Progressives say Yea! Tea Party says Nay!

1. Center for Economic Policy and Research
2. The American Prospect
3. The Daily KOS
4. Social Security Trustees Report

The truth is I found as much material suggesting Nay as I found for the Yea side. But the Yea side has a more clear explanation. It also exposes a truth. Tea Party folks want those funds designated for Social Security to be redesignated for DOD and spent in the republican war machine. You know the one that Eisenhower warned us about. Middle class funds, Mr. President. Not Tea Party funds!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CEO’s are the Albatross of the American People.

The Albatross was a sign of good fortune to sailors on the high seas.  Those becalmed and adrift with no wind to move the ship would look for signs of wind.  With a seven foot wingspan an Albatross doesn’t fly far without a lot of wind, very much a good sign for sailors.  But in the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner the albatross is killed, and becomes a symbol of dashed hope, as though killing the bird killed the wind. 

Likewise the overpaid leaders, some of whom lobby congress for cuts out of someone else’s pocket, were once looked to for hope to lead the country but have instead become a dead weight around our necks.
Corporate CEO’s and leaders of large institutions are today's Albatross.  The American People look for second and third jobs to get a little wind under their sails before retirement.  In the past the middle class would look to rich CEO’s, especially the ‘came from nothing’ as the great hope for the future.  But the modern version of that idyllic concept suck up millions of dollars in salary's, return little to the investors in the institutions they work for  and pull millions (if not billions) away from the economy.

It’s fair to say that we can now see why the middle class is losing ground.  Taxation increases while state government pay increases astronomically in the most bankrupt states.
  Tuition jumps 9.7% for students while University presidents make over a million at public school.  Employee wages are stagnating while CEO compensation skyrocketsCompensation is apparently a zero sum game, those at the top take it, and those at the bottom give it up.  The balance sheet of the U.S. has been tilted towards those in power.

When will we learn that these people do not bring us hope?  They hoover up vast amounts of resources and tie them into single balance sheets.  Pay for performance is a scam of those already in power, to hold hostage those who aren’t.  How can you allow a CEO to make 580 times more money than their average employee and keep supporting that company?  Stop eating at Mc Donalds.  Think twice before attending Ohio State University.

This posting written by Ezra McDuffee

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mother Jones Article

This teaser is from Mother Jones No Fiscal Cliff!
"[S]pending is not out of control. Entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare are rising gently as the baby-boom generation retires. All other spending, including that for the military and domestic discretionary programs, falls—with the notable exception of interest on the debt. Interest rises sharply as the deficit rises, principally because the G.A.O. assumes that revenue will not be permitted to rise above its historical average—as Republicans continually insist." Bruce Bartlett Economist, Conservative

Friday, December 14, 2012

Susan Rice: Winners and Losers !

It's clear a couple of aging good old boy's won one for the Tea Party. McCain positions himself to be on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after being "term limited" out of ranking member of Senate Armed Services. He traded the good of the country for self gratification. Makes sense. No one else will mention it because he's a hero but he has grown much smaller and craftier of late thus forgetting about loyalty to the Navy and thereby the country. Not a hero, just a self gratifying old man. Lindsey Graham was always a jerk, we can expect no more from him now, save that he is now labeled a McCain follower.
The President gets a push with me. I am waiting for him to reward Rice's loyalty with something else. Where can a great woman have the most effect. There is a new member on the banking committee. Maybe some way here to test "too big too fail" now that the election is over.
Scott Brown might be considered a winner and thereby the Senate Republicans, if he can win a special election. Pundits from inside the beltway say there is no real competition. Lawrence @msnbc says Ed Markey has $4M and SB has $400k. Republicans can fix that though quickly. Another shoe to drop?
On his Sunday Show Brian Williams asked Susan Rice why she was picked to talk about Benghazi when others might have had more direct responsibility. Rice took the high road defending Hillary but I think she protests too much. Was that damning with faint praise? Did Hillary use her aircraft to bounce all over the world to hide too well during the last days of the election and thereby display a weakness. Is wanting the job too much a weakness? Is being too old a weakness? When did Reagan fall apart?
So another Rhodes Scholar with a steady quick mind bites the dust. Women are losers here. The country is a loser here. It's just politics, except that someone I thought well of in the past has once again displayed his weaker constitution.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Shale Oil Map of the US

Here is Wikipedia's Map of the lower 48 shale oil deposits in the US. (map of US shale oil deposits). Lot's of information is available now about fracking and it's potential negative impact. God knows the oil companies understand the positive impact, profits. I also sense the republicans understand the impact of too much regulation by government. The map causes me to think about money and it follows, fewer regulations, more profits and middle Americans getting left out. I have no idea if fracking will ever be safe. But since those drilling rights belong to the country, therefore to all Americans, why not use some of that money as a bribe to the American people by the oil companies (they are used to that kind of talk) to educate all our college kids. Thus helping to solve two of our growing problems. A better education for young folks will pump health into our economy through people, creating an economic pump.The college folks won't carry as much debt. (a financial crisis growing daily).
I believe that ultimately fracking in some form will be carried forward. I'd like to see it done safely and with Government supervision. The lions share of any potential benefits should go to solving problems for our country and for a change,not introducing new unpaid for calamities that the US taxpayer needs to clean up later.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

FCC should stop media consolidation efforts

Bernie Sanders and Bill Moyers FCC stop it!

Edshow theme: Pressure! On the cliff!

At three AM I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. It happens some nights. No particular reason just "wide awake". Edshow on MSNBC Cable TV News was on. Ed was using the show to make a point. Me, being an acute observer of the obvious, think I got it. He led with Emanuel Cleaver. A Methodist Pastor from Kansas City, Mo and the current leader of "The Black Caucus" (44 members) in the House. Pastor Cleaver said, when the Bush tax cuts expire that's 950B toward the deficit over 10 years. We have already set aside 1.2T and if "'Means Testing" of the most wealthy is applied to Medicare only then we have enough. He further reiterated, Social Security is not available for discussion. The "Black Caucus" leader supported the position of Nancy Pelosi the Minority Leader in the House. She wants to kick ass and take names. (excuse me Rev, I was paraphrasing) He seemed to be speaking to both participants in the negotiation but added more pressure to President Obama's plate.
Ed trotted out Sen Bernie Sanders of Vermont who is always willing to review his position. No on SS, No on medicaid and not much on Medicare. Sen Sanders is an independent and one of the best voices in Congress for the Democrats. I thought his pressure was heaped on both Boehner and Obama.
Then Ed had a crazy union leader from Michigan rail against the Republican Governor for forcing through a right to work law in spite of stiff opposition. This section didn't deal with the cliff negotiation but it does serve to remind voters of the election that voted in Obama and so many senators.
I wanted to say thanks Ed for the pressure. You are using your time wisely and reminding all parties of what is at stake and what needs to be done. President Obama won the election, Speaker Boehner you are probably going to loose your gavel anyway, here's a chance for you to gather credibility with many Americans, just not the Tea party. Let's "Get to work!"


Wednesday, December 5, 2012


In my life time the State of NH has had a "sesesh" movement more than once. During one term of Gov. Mildrin Thompson, I think we were supposed to align with Quebec and do something. He's the one that promoted "Live Free or Die" on our number plates. I would encourage all active military to find a way to "live" and not to die. We need you all.
Now on the current "sesesh" movement, I'd like to address all those folks in states that are promoting these unthinkable ideas. Please go here   Please examine in detail the corpses of Gettysburg. They were some of the first and most moving photos ever taken of the aftermath of war. Take close notice of the massive amount of death.  Bear in mind that these folks, some of whom, may have been your great grand parents friends, died because we once tried to dissolve the Union and then seriously fought over it. George Santayana said, "Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it."
During my time in basic training I roomed with two guys both from Alabama. Carl is black. The other guy had been a freshman playing for Bear Bryant and just wasn't good enough. He was big as a house and a white guy. Both Carl and football player understood each other. When it came to me, neither of them could understand me, nor could I understand words they would say. We learned to speak together just fine in a few months. Basic in the USAF wasn't all that tough back then. I still remember them and think of them as friends.
You can believe in States Rights. You can sing songs about the old south and even wish it to rise again if you must. But don't come to me with any other flag, but ours! No more talk of secession! Tell me how you'll make the Union better, stronger! This country doesn't just belong to the current generation, it belongs to a whole lot of families and people and tribes that have fought over it for a long time. No jokes about secession, there will be hell to pay!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Get it together!

Dear GOP,
  1. On your watch you started two wars that added to the deficit.
  2. Your answer was to reduce taxes that added to the deficit.
  3. The group that takes advantage of your tax reductions the most is now the top 2% of those with wealth.
  4. To ensure their continued success you gave the deductions that brought their percentage below 15% tax rate.
  5. You employ huge sums of money gathered from those most wealthy to favor laws on your behalf.
  6. You precipitated the most recent financial crisis in the US by creating valueless instruments to distribute credit and sold them as valuable. Later you “shorted” them and made money on their inevitable downfall. You subverted any efforts, which were few, by the US government to restrict financial activity. Finally, you relied on the FED Government to bail you out. Most recently the bailed out banks have considered legal action to disput their interest rate.
  7. You lost an election that would have put your man in charge. You have few women in congress, few blacks in congress and no respect at all for hispanics or gay people.
  8. Beyond that, you haven't produced a decent candidate in primary or general election in years.
  9. Now I am telling you; protect social security, improve the efficiency of medicare, and save medicaid for your own good. You are “killing the golden goose”. You don't have to like us. You just have to listen to the ever growing majority and get in line.
  10. Truth be told, I'd love to see your party healthy and producing resonable conservative ideas presented by rational candidates. Make it hard for the middle folks to choose. Do that or disappear.

Monday, December 3, 2012

What is fair is fair!

Let's review:
1. We have endured the "financial crisis" using public funds to save banks and autoworkers. The banks used the money to pay bonuses while ignoring any significant mortgage relief. Ultimately we found the banks caused the FC with credit swaps designed to make them some real money even as they were protected by us.
2. During the election we voted for the guy least likely to screw us and more capable of leading the country than any other contenders. He won!
3. Now Boehner says destroy social security even though it's funded through 2033. BTW the baby boom bubble will be receding then. And for God sake don't unfairly tax the wealthy.
4. Let's work on the definition of fair. Fair to me means leaving social security, medicare and medicaid alone. Fair means getting more revenue for the government by taxing the top 2%. I would suggest removing all deductions for those earning over $275k per year just to make the plan simple.
5. Since dividends from long term capital gains are really discretionary income let's put those rates back at 90% like during the Eisenhower time period.
6. Eliot Spitzer is pushing a good idea let's levy a tax on Wall Street transactions of 1 or 2% to penalize all those who contributed to the financial crisis!
7. #my2k, #AARP @berniesanders @maddowblog @thefix @thelastword
8. There will be no peace for GOP members of congress if SS or medicare are deminished.