August 2011

By Wink

The Libyan overthrow of Gadhafi is worth celebrating. Anytime a ruthless dictator is deposed the world has a chance to become a better place. A chance.

It is better when a country overthrows its own dictator, like Libya did, than when an outside country does this, like the U.S. did in Iraq.

Why is it better? Let us examine the partial cost to the U.S. of the Iraq War…

  • 4,477 U.S. Soldiers Killed
  • 32,130 U.S. Soldiers Seriously Wounded
  • $900 billion dollars (through November 2010)
  • Ten years of the two longest wars in U.S. history (including Afghanistan)
  • Iraq is no longer a balancing weight to long-time antagonist Iran
  • Iraq is being overrun by terrorists again

This war of choice also cost the U.S. much international credibility.

We did it right in Libya. We let the Libyans, with some international help, take control of their own country. Now they have a stake in their future. Our minor role assured there would be no American soldiers killed and very little cost.

It is far too soon to predict the end result. Libyans have no practice at normal governance, and the idea of a conventional democracy might be more ‘wish’ than reality.

War criminals must be dealt with, beginning with Gadhafi and his family. It would be a good sign if Libya sent their former tormentors off to international courts to be tried for their crimes. To have them tried and executed in Libya would feel good, but may not unify the country.

What Libya needs now are advisors, historian/political ones to teach the ins-and-outs of setting up a democracy, and economic advisors, so they don’t waste resources (specifically oil) that can help finance a fledgling democracy.

Most of all, what a new government needs is security. There is unprotected oil. There are unguarded weapons. These should not fall into the hands of anarchist/militants who would keep the country unstable…

Do what it takes to limit revenge killings, despite the temptations.

Establish the rule of law, and begin elections that allow all groups to be represented.

A healthy future is not impossible, but is not guaranteed. Some supremely dedicated leaders, and a little luck, are needed.

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By Wink

The GOP talking-points machine is always well-oiled. Every Republican gets a regular memo, and dutifully spits out the same sh**, to magnify the ‘seriousness’ of some alleged problem.

I call these YAPI – Yet Another Phony Issue.

And what is today’s YAPI, you may ask? Vacation. Too much vacation.

Barack Obama has been in office for 31 months. He has taken 61 vacation days. This equals 23.6 vacation days per year, and is more than Bill Clinton took in the same amount of time in office. Yep, more than Bill Clinton.

Maybe this is why Sarah Palin (among others) has decided to make an issue out of it. Anybody who is worse than Bill Clinton must be a pretty awful president.

Hey, the economy is in bad shape, and people are out of work. There is no way Obama should be taking vacation now…

I am sure when she ‘writes’ her next book she will also rip into …

– Ronald Reagan, who took 112 vacation days in his first 31 months (43.4 per year).

– George W. Bush, who took 180 vacation days in his first 31 months (69.7 per year).

“W” took 10 weeks of vacation per year! His term should be called the ‘Vacant Presidency.’

It was okay that he was gone so frequently though, because there were no pressing issues during W’s first 31 months, if you leave out that ‘9-11’ thing,

And Sarah has plenty of room to criticize others for their lack of dedication, since she resigned as governor of Alaska after two years of a four-year term.

————————

YAPI ‘issue’ number two, now flying back and forth around the conserve-o-sphere: The Bus!

President Obama is now travelling around the country in a $1 million bus.

Two important details about the bus:

– President Obama did not order the bus, the U.S. Secret Service did. They are very happy with the level of security it provides.
– There are actually two buses. The other bus is for the Republican presidential candidate, whenever that issue is settled. I am sure the GOP candidate will decline the use of this extravagant waste of taxpayer money.

————

This is all just more YAPI from Rush & Fox and all the others. Remember ‘Michele Obama is trying to indoctrinate our kids’ by suggesting they grow and eat more vegetables!! Horrors!

Keep flinging it GOP. Your poll-testers have shown you that this junk will chip-chip-chip away at the credibility of anyone you wish to destroy.

You care not whether the issue is true or relevant.

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By Wink

Is it cynical to think the GOP is happy about our ongoing recession?

Are their actions based on total cluelessness, or is this intentional?

What Americans need are jobs. The last thing the GOP seems to care about is jobs.

Putting people to work would …

  • Take them off unemployment (which saves money)
  • Fix failing infrastructure, like bridges and roads
  • Increase the tax base (income, after all, is taxable)
  • Create tumble-down jobs (remember, people who have money, spend money. And those at the lowest income levels tend to spend ALL their money, just to pay bills and buy necessities.)
  • The tumble-down jobs create additional jobs. And so on.

Oh, Republicans TALK about jobs, but their only ‘method’ is to give tax breaks to the wealthy. There is no historical scientific evidence that shows giving money to the rich will create jobs. (Yes, we know how much Republicans hate science.)

Do you think the Teabaggers have some really good ideas? Here is a quote from a Republican, Allan Sloan (an admitted moderate):

“Some policies and statements you hear from Tea Party types about the economy and the debt markets are utterly insane. Any competent economics instructor would give you an F if you asserted the same sort of nonsense on an exam.”

Do yourself a favor and read his whole article, which is from the September 5, 2011 issue of Fortune.

I forgive the Teabaggers. They genuinely have no idea what they are doing. Their credo, tax = bad, is mindless drivel, but at least they are stupid enough to believe it.

Republican leaders in Congress, on the other hand, know better. They are just trying to corral Teabagger votes to maintain a majority in the House. (Subtle warning to the GOP: If you allow one cockroach in your house, you will end up with a LOT of cockroaches in your house.)

Republicans must feel the only way they can beat Obama is if the economy gets even worse. They need unemployment to remain high, and are hoping to ride public anger/frustration into a takeover of the White House in 2012. A horribly unhappy America may just vote to oust the incumbent, even though it is the GOP that is causing this mess…

They cut benefits for the sick, the poor and the elderly, maintain tax cuts for the extremely wealthy, and do nothing to create jobs. This should stir even more public distrust of our government.

Since he is the head of that government, let’s blame Obama for the poor shape we are in!

You know what? They are partly right. Obama and the Dems are the minority in the House, but they should still have the courage to fight for what they know is right and what is good for America.

They don’t fight. No courage. How sad.

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By Wink

In our July 28 column we discussed GOP efforts to eliminate voters on a nationwide basis.

To pass laws restricting voters, they drummed up the following phony message: Fraud, fraud, fraud.

So where is the fraud?

Ohio is one of the states that passed a new, more restrictive law as to who can and who can’t vote.

The most recent survey in Ohio was for the years 2002-2004. Of the votes cast in Ohio, 9,078,728 in all, four turned out to be fraudulent.

Four. That is 44 one-millionths of one percent.

If Ohio voter fraud were so prevalent as to add up to one percent (1%), it would add up to 90,787 votes.

Again, the Ohio total was 4. Democracy under siege!

Wisconsin also seems to care about this massive fraud issue. They also surveyed the ballots in a recent election. Three votes were tossed out, two for bad ballots and one who voted at wrong precinct. Three total.

Due to the new ‘fraud’ laws, guess who won’t qualify in Wisconsin: College students (among others). You may no longer use a student ID as a form of identification. Therefore out of state students either have to travel back to their home state to vote on a Tuesday, during the school week, or they must somehow establish residence in Wisconsin enough to obtain a Wisconsin license.

These students are old enough and, presuming being in college means ANYTHING, they are probably more aware of government and current events.

Intelligent and aware voters are an anathema to the GOP, so they must be eliminated if possible.

Certainly it is better to turn away tens of thousands of voters rather than let seven people in two states get away with such shenanigans!

If you are hard-core GOP you can feel proud, Republicans are so much more coordinated at their slimy efforts than Dems.

Republicans are so effective that they now control the legislatures in most states, even in states with a majority of Democrats.

This is brilliant. Start by controlling state laws and abuse them to effect national elections.

Brilliant.

Do I wish the Dems were this brilliant/creative? I guess not. This level of manipulation is dishearteningly close to evil.

As weak as they are, I would rather the Dems tried to win the right way.

More voters is more democratic, with a lower-case ‘d’.  We need that.

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By Wink

 

Dinking around, delaying raising the debt ceiling, has cost us money. The U.S. taxpayer is now on the hook for $1.7 billion that we never would have owed had we simply acted more timely to do something we were going to do anyway….

I told you so. Economists told you so.  This was not a prediction, it was a fact.

Teabaggers turned a simple housekeeping maneuver into a civil war. I would say they didn’t care about the consequences, but ‘care’ is not accurate. ‘Care’ would imply they knew what they were doing.

Teabaggers don’t know what they are doing. They don’t know government, They don’t know economics. They don’t know history.

They are, by definition, morons.

They fuss about ‘taxpayer money’ because the one thing they DO know is that they hate paying tax.

I repeat….. one-point-seven-billion-dollars.  This should be called ‘Teabagger Tax.’

They could read the link attached to this article and STILL not get it.  Most of them don’t believe photo proof of the president’s birth certificate, so why would they believe this needless delay would cost the taxpayer $1.7 billion?

By leveraging the threat of the nation’s first-ever default, they crushed Obama into accepting trillions of dollars in spending cuts. This is no way to pull out of a recession. Obama knew it, but he caved anyway. Anything to avoid defaulting and REALLY screwing up the U.S. economy.

Teabaggers don’t seem to know this or care.

We are NOT overtaxed. This country is at a 50-year LOW for tax collected to GNP.

The lack of tax income is one reason we are horribly in debt.

Remember, when Clinton was the president the wealthy were paying two percent (2%) more, and we were running surpluses and paying down our debt. ‘W’ and a Republican congress gave all of that away to the wealthiest. They flushed the surplus and, ultimately, the economy.

So what now?

The new budget cuts will do nothing to help the economy. In fact, a second recession is likely. Unemployment, already high, may get worse. The unemployed/underemployed pay little to no tax, further exacerbating a poor economy. .

If you are unemployed or underemployed, expect to stay that way. Make sure to thank the GOP, and specifically the teabaggers. Their ignorance is costing you, and America.

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