Saturday, August 8, 2009

SOME QUICK THOUGHTS

1. As my friend the artist Paul Harryn pointed out to me in conversation (and I had been thinking of myself), if those of us who were against many of the past administration’s policies showed up to protest them at one of Junior’s speeches we would have been prevented from entering.

2. Or if we did manage to get in and tried to protest we would have either been escorted out by security and/or called “traitors” for going against “our” president, or arrested (remember the couple who were arrested for wearing John Kerry tee shirts to a Bush Jr. speech?).

3. It’s interesting that the main rightwing troll on this blog started referring to our current president as “The Joker” as if this was his own thought, but then at these so-called grassroots town hall protests over healthcare there on the TV news we can see preprinted posters of Obama as The Joker. Hmmmm.

4. Here’s an interesting statistic. For all the rightwingers who are stirring their obviously ill-informed followers to scream about the growing deficit: the biggest deficit in our history to that time, bigger than all previous deficits combined, was created under their hero Reagan, partly because when he became president he slashed taxes: “the top federal marginal rate plummeted from 70% in 1980 to 28% in 1988. (It’s now 35%)” (according to a TIME magazine article.)

5. Of course they always leave out that under Reagan this country had the worst recession in modern history, until this one that was created under Bush Jr. In fact, if we go back over my lifetime, the worst recessions occurred under Republican administrations, and the greatest prosperity occurred under Democratic administrations. And if you look at the facts (see this article in today's NY Times) and not the rightwing media, Obama has already headed off what could have been another Great Depression with his policies (the so-called “stimulus” which has only been partially spent so far has already, according to several independent economic research groups, created 500,000 jobs and slowed unemployment and turned around the stock market, the auto industry and several other sectors of the economy).

6. One last thought: did you notice that the first screamers at town hall meetings were the ones who were insisting Obama was born in Kenya? But when that was debunked as a total hoax, they looked around for other faux causes to create havoc and the illusion of “grassroots” movements and found that by telling seniors the government will kill them (!) if healthcare reform goes through, etc. they finally hit a nerve.

PS: And by the way, to all my rightwing friends who continue to try and characterize the modest and moderate healthcare reform that has been proposed so far as some sort of “socialist” (or “fascist”—they can’t make up their minds and obviously have no knowledge of history, and what an insult that the people comparing Obama to Hitler look like Hitler’s followers and Obama like his victims) government takeover, if they have such a strong belief in keeping the government out of everything, let them refuse to accept Medicare, or Social Security, or support mining companies and logging companies that use federal lands for way under the open market price, and all other government programs that Western states, including Alaska, reap the benefits of (more of our federal tax dollars go to red state than blue states, but more of our federal taxes come from blue states than red states! Maybe it’s time we separated into two countries, one for the rightwingers where they can have a government that doesn’t offer any help to the poor or uninsured or regulations for corporations etc. and is in fact run by corporations etc. and one for the rest of us reasonable and well reasoning people who accept that government needs to take part in regulating the open-ended greed of corporate shortsightedness and help those in need, etc.).

7 comments:

harryn said...

part one:
first of all, i have to thank you michael for continuing to carry the torch by keeping your blog alive with insights of current events and politics - few of us have the gift to articulate, the experience of political activism, and the level-headed and fair delivery ...
times like today i rely on checking in to your thoughts to balance out my knee-jerk reactions to a much larger issue/disease ...
i woke up extremely irritated after pondering a lot of scenarios related to the behavior of rightwingers [or those payed to portray that position] - watched my daily dose of news last nite: cnn, local/national nbc, bbc, keith o and rachel m ...
the rightwingers scare me - their ignorance, self justified anger [albeit propaganda informed], linch mob mentality, redneck, hillbilly, out 'n out stupid excuse for sentient beings ... not to mention their avoidance of personal liability in their gang like antics - even their ringleader over the years [limbaugh] when he was put to task over irresponsible commentaries, cowardly used the excuse that he was only an entertainer/radio host espousing personal opinions to an audience of like-mindless listeners - now where's the courage of conviction there as he hides behind his golden phallus e.i.b. mic in his bullet proof bunker - take the show on the road rush and let anyone attend - like the liberals do ...
and how about bush over his eight years - how many public forums are recorded of him making appearances where the audience wasn't rigorously pre-sceened - but most everything we saw of jr. was with an audience of military people - to which he as commander in chief can definately control the outcome of response or retaliation for lack of support - and don't try to tell me it was for the benefit b.s. of showing support for our troops at a time of a bogus war - it was all about controlling the message - something that should be vividly etched in our minds from the brownshirts of only sixty years earlier ...
but no one dare speak of their opposition too loudly because the bush people cloaked themselves under the protection of the patriot act and any act of defiance or disagreement was met by accusations of domestic terrorism - and for anyone who would dare comment to the contrary, i personally know people who where intimidated in this manner ...
there were times over the past eight years of the bush regime [who was only a front for rightwing leadership] when i wanted to express my dissention about their policies and propaganda with a photomontage lithograph series using the public hanging of mussolini and his band of conspirators at a gas station in italy with the faces of bush, cheney, rumsfeld, limbaugh, hannity, beck, gonzalez, et al - but i thought the better of it for a few reasons:
1. history repeats but circumstances change and an act like that could be more incendiary than productive ...
2. my wife and son just immigrated from france and were awaiting their legal alien status and i dare not appear anything but obedient under bush doctrine ...
3. it would be irresponsible of me to incite anymore disdain among that faction of our population that doesn't think as rationally ...

harryn said...

part two:[because the blog limits the amount of words per comment]

okay - so what's up with this new rightwing campaign of the hecklers that don't even know what they're saying 'no' to or are portraying obama as hitler or morphing this ridiculus idea of healthcare policy into socialism and now fascism and metaphoring the obama administration as nazis ...
these people need to be held personally responsible for the outcome of their lies and manipulations [though i doubt that any of them can even have an informed conversation or debate about their positions] - but these people need to know they are a dangerous toxic cancer to freedom and democracy - if not only to civility ...
so as a sentient artist and humanitarian, i'm scared and saddened by the momentum of ignorance and lies of this rightwing faction of america who have assimilated reality tv and wrestlemania as a course of evolution for themselves and their children ...
there's a reason why bush condoned the 'no child left behind' system of education to lower standards of excellence and contribute to 'the dumbing of america' - it makes for great cannon fodder for our military and shriek, screaming hoards at town hall meetings that are otherwise designed to inform the public of policies that are under consideration - problem is - there's a tipping point at which the dumbers take on a life of their own ... and who takes responsibility for that ...
and i know that the jim, butch, and billy bobs that read this blog are likely to object with volumes of diatribe [if not immediately, at some point in the passive aggressive future - is that a tense?] - but i would ask them to try to find the source of their thoughts or echoes and the political motivations behind them - ie., coke industries - not the pop ...
and if anyone dares to go where few have gone - how about report the facts behind the notion of a 'right wing conspiracy' - there's a reason why people don't emphasize those findings ...
so once again michael - thanks for keeping it alive man ...

tp said...

Dear M:

Excellent reality-based summary of our political universe.

TP

JIm said...

In my email to the President, shown below, on his SNITCH LINE, please note that I addressed him as President though Joker and Socialist would be equally accurate. The people other, than Union and Acorn People at Pelosi’s gathering who showed up with professionally prepared signs and tee shirts, were just plain folks made up of liberals, conservatives and independents. The non professional organizers were mostly united in their opposition to government takeover of the health care system. There seemed to much more grass roots and little Astroturf as, Nancy described just plain folks opposing the Democrat party agenda. There also seemed to be much concern with the run away spending of the government. By the way, I hope the “Joker/Socialist” poster is soon available in tee shirts and buttons. I am more of button than a tee shirt guy. I think tee shirts are more for ACORN and union folks. Not surprising Mike got his history wrong. After all his, major was English literature. Reagan was handed a country that was in shambles that was cumulatively injured be LBJ, Nixon and Carter. Ford was not much help either. In 1980 when Reagan took over, interest rates for treasuries were approximately 18% and money markets reached 22%. The economy surged in August of 1981 and continued unabated until the 1987 crash. Reagan’s spending limits and caps were thwarted by the Democrats led by Tip O’Neil. Even so the 1980’s ended with America stronger and the USSR in shambles.

Medicare is another out of control spending program that according to the CBO will be broke in eight years. A possible good outcome of this August health care confrontation would be if the US faces its spending crises and reforms Medicare so that it is fiscally viable.

Obama still has not produced a long form birth certificate that should be a minimum requirement for proof of citizenship. I assume there is something that he considers embarrassing on the document.

JIm said...

Attention: President Obama

I would like to report myself for opposing the President's socialist health plan with a public option that will destroy the greatest health care system in the world. I also oppose your out of control government spending and war on the American free enterprise system. By imposing additional costs on American business and allowing the tax cuts of 2003 to expire, you are weakening American business/s job creating ability. American business is already at a competitive disadvantage with the second highest tax system in the world. You are making things worse.



There follows some logical and non crippling and non socialist reforms:
1-Open interstate competition for insurance companies
2-Do away with pre-existing conditions by making it easier to join large groups within a state.
3-Make health insurance mandatory like car insurance but also have high to very high deductibles available which are very inexpensive
4-Cap malpractice awards, possibly with $1-3 million maximum award for the most egregious injury. It is not unusual for doctors to spend $100-200,000 in yearly premiums.
5-Establish tax deductible savings account
6-Establish medical food stamps for the truly poor US citizens.
7- NO PUBLIC OPTION WHICH WOULD

JIm said...

Paul,
There seems to be uminamity ont the left to stifle dissent. You have cought the spirit of the so called liberals.

Pelosi/Hoyer op-ed in Monday USATODAY calls townhall protesters 'un-American'... Developing...

harryn said...

there are plenty of forums for dissent, strikes, rallies, etc. ...
and there is audible difference between discussion, debate, and screaming matches ...
i'm only on the side of intelligence and good conscience jim - so lets not pigeon-hole for convenience ...