Tag Archives: Congress

My Grown Up Christmas List

People tell me I am impossible to buy for at Christmas time, so I thought I would make it easier for them this year.

Here is my Grown Up Christmas List.  I don’t mean that smaltzy song about no more wars, no more people torn apart, etc.  I’m not that optimistic, so I’ll set my sights a little lower…

I have more than enough “stuff”, so here is what I really want….

If you can’t get it all now, I’m patient.

My Birthday is in October…

  1. That I win the Powerball lottery.  I’m not greedy, but it would be nice if the Jackpot was more than$50MM.
  2. For there to be a retro revival among today’s youth making Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Katharine Hepburn, Lena Horne, Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen Role Models again.
  3. For all religious Colleges and Universities to go out of business so their “students” would have to deal with the real world and a diversity of opinions and backgrounds while getting a real education.
  4. A return to the concepts of personal honor, responsibility and dignity.
  5. Manners.  Good manners…..
  6. The understanding that it is preferable to look and act like Ladies and Gentlemen rather than Goths, Pimps, Bigots, Braggards, Thugs, Slackards, Bikers and ‘Ho’s…
  7. That Occupy Wall Street comes roaring back to life in the Spring and is the major force in the 2012 elections.
  8. The abolition of all MBA programs and a renewed focus on Liberal Arts Educations that teach people to think, not manipulate numbers for personal gain.
  9. A decent nation-wide passenger train service so we can avoid our horrible airlines.
  10. That Virgin Atlantic airways takes over the entire US Airline industry and shows them how to do it right.
  11. The understanding that some countries do some things better than we do and that it’s okay to learn from that…
  12. The return of the Preppie Look that was so popular in my youth. We really did look cute….
  13. Laws mandating technology that Telephones and mobile devices will shut down while a motor vehicle engine is running or the person is in a Theatre or Concert Hall.
  14. For people to finally realize and accept that Marriage is, in actuality, only a legal contract between two people, regardless of their sex, that conveys certain public and private protections and obligations and that has nothing to do with religion.  Therefore, it’s not any one else’s goddamn business but those two people so contracted.
  15. If we can’t legalize Gay Marriage, let’s criminalize Straight Divorce.  I’m not above revenge….
  16. That people realize there is no longer any such thing as a Country Club, fiscally responsible, socially liberal Republican.
  17. That someone can logically explain to me why people who think they are such good Christians and moral arbitrators will vote for a  man who abandoned his first wife in the hospital for his mistress, then had an affair on wife number 2, said mistress,  with the latest Mrs Gingrich, but still claims to support a “no adultery” pledge.
  18. Someone to prove to me that Mitt Romney is real and isn’t just a big robotic Ken Doll- made in China, of course.
  19. For all the Crocs factories to go out of business and all existing crocs to spontaneously combust.
  20. Public funding of all US Elections and the abolition of private and corporate donations to political candidates.
  21. A Constitutional amendment that Corporations are not People and that Money is not Free Speech.
  22. The instant revocation of the tax exempt status of any religious institution of any kind that dabbles in politics by telling people how to vote.
  23. For people to realize, once and for all that it was deregulation and primarily the policies of the George W Bush Administration that ruined our economy and caused the deficit.
  24. That some of the Wall Street “leaders” who helped cause the economic crash actually be held accountable and go to jail.
  25. That people realize we have to invest in the future to grow out of the deficit.
  26. While we are at it, that people finally realize George W Bush and Dick Cheney are War Criminals and they are prosecuted as such.
  27. Fox News goes bankrupt and shuts down.
  28. Legislation that states “opinion” journalism must be so identified on TV with a border of flashing red lights and tap dancing pigs so people will know the difference between reporting and propaganda.
  29. Legislation that all company profits, over a certain percent,  must be reinvested in growing the company and creating jobs, not just sat upon or used for Executive Salaries.
  30. All Corporate lobbying expenditures must be matched equally with taxes -paid dollar to dollar, no loopholes.
  31. Legislation that no company employee may make  salary more than X percentage more than the lowest paid employee.
  32. Permanent incarceration, in solitary confinement, of anyone named Khardashian.
  33. The Cancellation of “Jersey Shore”.
  34. A committee, headed by and with veto power held by me, to be created to determine who is an actual “Star” and who is just trash after some cash.
  35. If the GOP wants people to pee in a cup for a check, then all politicians should do the same.
  36. An IQ test and threshold to run for Public Office.
  37. That all my friends from the past years, who meant so much to me, would join Facebook so I could find them and be in touch again.
  38. That people would exercise some control over how many silly pet pictures with captions they post on Facebook.  An occasional one is  cute, but too many, especially as we grow older,  makes one fear they are becoming pet hoarders or otherwise demented.
  39. That everyone had a full length mirror in their home and looked at it long, hard and critically before going out in public.
  40. Effective Mass transportation in all cities with more than 50,000 people.
  41. Renewed focus on planning, creating, saving and building for the future instead of shopping for useless crap to own now.
  42. Renewed focus on the concept of Quality over Quantity.
  43. Legislation prohibiting any more Broadway Musicals based on relatively recent movies.
  44. That television shows must be at least as long as the total air time of their commercials.
  45. Regular, heavily discounted airline fares between all US  airports and London and Paris.
  46. Requirements that all school districts fund Senior and Junior High School Cultural Exchange Learning trips abroad for all students.  You may raise my taxes for this….
  47. For people in the South to realize the Republican Party is using you and not working for your interests….
  48. For the Tea Party People to finally admit they are just bigots who hate President Obama because he is Black….
  49. That 2012 brings us an election resulting in a Democratic President, Senate and House.  At least, something positive might get done…
  50. That the Tea Party is dead and gone.
  51. For people not to argue about the “War on Christmas” or what holidays and traditions should be recognized, but to just shut up and enjoy a season of good will and sharing time-and cocktails- with friends.
  52. Respect that we share many Holidays and Traditions in December- and at other times-with many people who may not believe as we do- and that’s okay.

If you do celebrate Christmas, I ask you to take this time to think  not just about Jesus’s birth but about his life and what he stood for- helping the poor, feeding the hungry, loving your neighbor- and see how you can emulate these Christian behaviors throughout the coming year.

Let’s try to keep this in mind instead of judging and trying to force your beliefs on others throughout the year….

That’s my job.

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If Congress Left For 536 Days (Like Belgium), It Could Almost Eliminate The Deficit

This is probably the best we could hope for…

The Republicans are going to block anything positive….

But, at least the GOP couldn’t do any more damage….

From ThinkProgress.org:

 

While Republicans and Democrats continue to fight over how to reduce America’s debt and deficits — moving from near-government shutdowns to failed super committees and opposition to both spending cuts and tax increases — the government of Belgium may have inadvertently provided Congress with an example of how to fix the problem: do absolutely nothing.

After 536 days without a government, Belgian opposition parties struck a deal today to form a new coalition led by Socialist Elio Di Rupo. On this side of the pond, 563 days without any congressional action on fiscal or budgetary measures would go most of the way toward achieving the deficit reduction Congress is longing for. As Center for American Progress Director of Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden has pointed out, if Congress were do to nothing between now and January 2013 (just 397 days from now), the federal budget deficit would fall to just 1.6 percent of gross domestic product and continue dropping after that:

Similarly, debt as a share of GDP would fall to just 61 percent by 2021:

Such reductions would take place primarily due to the expiration of the budget-busting Bush tax cuts, which cost roughly $2.5 trillion over 10 years. The spending cuts triggered by the inability of the supercommittee to reach a deal would also take place, and multiple policies that Congress generally kicks down the road, like the alternative minimum tax, would also take effect.

Of course, there are policies Congress could enact to actually help unemployed Americans and the struggling economy, like passing laws that would create jobs and stimulate growth while addressing much-needed improvements in infrastructure and other areas. But if the goal is only to reduce debt and deficits, perhaps it’s better if members take their cue from the Belgians and just go home for a year or two.

via CHART: If Congress Left For 536 Days (Like Belgium), It Could Almost Eliminate The Deficit | ThinkProgress.

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House GOP Classifies Pizza As A Vegetable

Who wrote this law?  Herman Cain?

I think after this, we can safely classify the House GOP Caucus as a vegetable.

I’ve seen some idiotic bills come out of the GOP Caucus.  I’ve seen some blatant bills where it’s obvious payback to campaign contributors and lobbyists.

This is an excellent example of both.

From ThinkProgress.org:

Earlier this year, the USDA made an attempt to bolster the nutrition guidelines for the federal school lunch program. Under the new guidelines, for instance, school lunches would be limited to one cup of starchy vegetables a week and the ability of schools to count tomato sauce on pizza towards their fruit and vegetables requirement would be scaled back. But House Republicans, in a new spending plan unveiled yesterday, have done away with those changes:

The spending bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. The department’s proposed guidelines would have attempted to prevent that.

The changes had been requested by food companies that produce frozen pizzas, the salt industry and potato growers. Some conservatives in Congress have called the push for healthier foods an overreach, saying the government shouldn’t be telling children what to eat.

According to a bill summary released by Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee, these provisions are meant to “prevent overly burdensome and costly regulations.” What they will actually do is ensure that a steady flow of dollars continues toward certain favored food manufacturers, at the expense of children’s health.

“We are outraged that Congress is seriously considering language that would effectively categorize pizza as a vegetable in the school lunch program,” said Amy Dawson Taggart, the director of Mission: Readiness, a group advocating for healthier school lunches. “It doesn’t take an advanced degree in nutrition to call this a national disgrace.”

via House GOP Classifies Pizza As A Vegetable To ‘Prevent Overly Burdensome’ School Lunch Regulations | ThinkProgress.

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The Median Net Worth Of A Member Of Congress Is Five Times Higher Than The Median American Household

And we wonder why they just don’t get it?

They live in an alternate universe!

These guys and gals live in a little bubble called Washington, DC, sheltered by their wealth, and have no idea how the real world operates…

Nothing will change as long as the Congress is run by the rich for the rich….

 

Part of the reason the richest 1 percent of Americans have captured our politics is because they are able to finance political races, issue campaigns, and lobbyists. But the other reason some of the richest Americans have been able to control our politics is because they themselves have gotten elected to positions of power at a much higher rate than the rest of us.

As Roll Call points out today, the estimated median net worth for a member of Congress in 2010 was $513,000 (this is strictly an estimate as assets are reported in ranges). Meanwhile, the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s David Rosnick points out that the net worth of the median household in the United States that same year was closer to $100,000:

via The Median Net Worth Of A Member Of Congress Is Five Times Higher Than The Median American Household | ThinkProgress.

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Who’s Paying for the GOP’s Plan to Hijack the 2012 Election? | Mother Jones

Big money may well be the death of democracy in the U.S…..

Elections can be bought here just like in any third world banana republic…

Mainly thanks to the Roberts Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case, but there are other loopholes that need to be closed…..

And  I have decided it’s time to do away with the Electoral College.  It’s become just another tool for the GOP to manipulate.

Remember Al Gore got more popular votes than George W. Bush.  It was the Electoral College and the Supreme Court that gave us President George W. Bush.

I wonder if it’s not already too late to save popular Democracy in the U.S.A…..

From MotherJones.com:

Over the past six months, someone—or a group of someones—has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund an effort to change the rules of the 2012 presidential election to make it very difficult for President Barack Obama to win reelection. But the shadowy lobbying group mounting this campaign hasn’t disclosed its donors—and under current law, it doesn’t have to.

In two states, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, GOP legislators have introduced bills that would change how electoral votes—a candidate needs 270 of the 538 to win the presidency—are awarded in a presidential election. Under the current system, the winner of the statewide popular vote receives all of the electoral votes from that state.

If the Republican plan becomes law in either Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, those states would change how electoral votes are awarded. The new plan would allot electoral votes on the basis of vote totals within congressional districts. If a candidate wins a congressional district, he or she would receive one electoral college vote. Whoever does best in the statewide race would receive two electoral votes.

Because Republicans will draw the boundaries of the congressional districts in both states, the new rules would mean that Obama could win the states but still receive fewer electoral votes than his Republican opponent. Should a Republican split the states’ electoral votes with Obama (even if Obama draws more votes), that could provide the GOPer with the margin of victory in a close race. (Under the US Constitution, it is up to the states to allot electoral votes as they see fit.)

In Pennsylvania, a secretive nonprofit group called All Votes Matter has been pushing the electoral vote scheme since May. All Votes Matter has close ties to the Pennsylvania GOP—it hired a number of former top state Senate staffers-turned-lobbyists. “It was pretty much the Senate GOP All Star Lobbying Team and [former state House Democratic Counsel Bill] Sloane,” Peter DeCoursey, the bureau chief for Capitolwire, a newswire that’s read religiously by Harrisburg insiders*, explained in September.

Between April and June, the group spent $77,700 to lobby state officials to support legislation to implement this scheme. By early September, GOP Gov. Tom Corbett and the state House and Senate leaders, Mike Turzai and Dominic Pileggi, both Republicans, had all expressed their support for the idea. It was “the best $77,700 anyone ever spent on potential legislation,” DeCoursey wrote. “The entire state governing wing [was] for a bill that [hadn’t] been introduced yet.”

A week later, though, the landscape had changed significantly. Mother Jones and other national media outlets drew widespread attention to the story, and the state GOP chairman and the vast majority of its congressional delegation came out against the plan.

via Who’s Paying for the GOP’s Plan to Hijack the 2012 Election? | Mother Jones.

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Why are Bikes and Walking Trails Being Targeted by Congress?

I can tell you!  It’s because they don’t use gas or oil!

Our current Congress Trolls think it’s Un-American to go more than 5 feet unless you are driving a gas guzzling American made hummer type monstrosity.

Remember their motto:  “What’s good for Exxon Mobil is what’s good for America.”

If you aren’t going to be riding around in the car, they prefer you lay on your sofa and watch Fox News while eating Frankenfoods….

And please note, Rand Paul, the Libertarian darling who fooled so many people in the last election cycle, is doing his bit here…..I thought he wanted the government to stay out of everything?  I’m all for more infrastructure spending.  All for it.  But it should be in addition to these expenditures for walking and bike trails.

From Jay Walljasper at Shareable.net:

 

How in the the world can biking and walking be controversial?

They’re good exercise, fun to do and—as an alternative to driving everywhere—help us save money and the environment.  Both biking and walking are increasingly popular for transportation and recreation today, thanks in large part to a recent flowering of federally-funded trails, bikeways and pathways that make getting around on two wheels and two feet safer and more convenient.

But in these antagonistic political times, bikers and walkers are now targets of controversy for some members of Congress.  In September, Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn proposed stripping all designated federal funding for bike and pedestrian projects from the pending Transportation Bill. After an outpouring of opposition from citizens coast-to-coast, Coburn withdrew his amendment.

Now bicyclists and pedestrians are under attack again, this time in an amendment from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul. He wants to redirect every last penny of money dedicated to bicycling and walking to bridge repair instead.

via Shareable: Why are Bikes Being Targeted by Congress?.

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Obama bypasses Congress to offer lower student loan payments for millions

This is a good start to addressing a big problem…

And “extra credit” to the President for getting around the insensitive, obstructionist Republican Congress

From DailyKos.com:

The Obama administration today announced some actions it can take to bypass Republican obstruction and reduce the burden of student loans for millions of current students and recent graduates, at no new cost to taxpayers.

Currently, an income-based repayment program lets people with student debt reduce their loan payments to 15 percent of their discretionary income; after 25 years, remaining debt is forgiven. Last year, Congress passed a law reducing that 15 percent to 10 percent and forgiving remaining debt after 20 years. That was set to go into effect in 2014, but President Obama is using regulatory authority to make it take effect in 2012. The administration estimates that this could reduce payments for 1.6 million people.

More:   Daily Kos: Obama bypasses Congress to offer lower student loan payments for millions.

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Elizabeth Warren and the Social Contract

The more I see of Elizabeth Warren, the more I love her….

She is one smart – brilliant- woman and I hope to God she gets elected to the Massachusetts Senate seat so she has a platform to run for President in 2016.

I also love that she talks about the Social Contract.  I was thinking I was the only one left who believed there was such a thing….

We desperately need more politicians like Elizabeth Warren…

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John Fleming, GOP Congressman, Blasts Obama Over Buffett Rule: I Can’t Afford A Tax Hike

Poor baby….

Just scraping by on $400k a year….

After deductions, I’m sure….

 

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) appeared on MSNBC Monday morning to express opposition to President Barack Obama’s deficit reduction plan, which includes a proposal to raise taxes on the wealthy.

Fleming charged that the plan is a terrible idea which kills jobs provided by wealthy “job creators” who pay personal income taxes. When asked about his business ventures — including his role in a number of Subway restaurants and UPS stores — from which he earned $6.3 million last year, Fleming told MSNBC host Chris Jansing that his business expenses left him with little to tax “by the time I feed my family.”

Fleming told Jansing that the $6.3 million is “before you pay 500 employees, you pay rent, you pay equipment and food.”

“The actual net income of that was a mere fraction of that amount.”

“By the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over,” Fleming said.

via John Fleming, GOP Congressman, Blasts Obama Over Buffett Rule: I Can’t Afford A Tax Hike.

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The Truth About Social Security

This is the best summation of the truth about Social Security and the Deficit that I’ve seen:

 

 

Hat Tip:  MoveOn.org

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