Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Month: April 2011 (page 2 of 3)

Palin, Election and the Tea Party

I guess I have had other things on my mind this past week, because I didn’t realize that Sarah Palin was going to speak in Madison yesterday.  Had I known, I would’ve gone there with a sign telling her to go home.  I’m really pretty tired of people from other states trying to influence what happens in mind (I’m talking to you, Koch Brothers, and the Tea Party Express).  Maybe, I’m angry because Prosser will still be one of our Supreme Court Justices.  Hell, I’m not that angry.  When we elected Walker, we proved that collectively, we aren’t a smart state.

What I am angry about is two-fold.  The first is the millions of dollars that the Tea Party Express – a group from California – was allowed to put into our election.  Why should a group in California be allowed to influence an election in Wisconsin?  I don’t think that’s free speech, I consider it crap, but I don’t make the election laws.

The second thing – and this is something about which we should all get angry – where were those 7,000 + votes hiding?  How do you certify an election and, then when the guy you like doesn’t win, you suddenly find 7,000 votes that puts him over the top.  Maybe, it was human error, but something just doesn’t feel right.  For the record, I’d be saying this if Prosser hadn’t won.  I want those votes checked and double-checked.  And, I think – since this is the second time this woman has messed on an election – she should be gone.

 

Tax Cuts Won’t Work

Let me start by saying that I like both Paul Ryan and President Obama.  I’m sure that both men are sincere in their beliefs that their budget plans are good for America.  I believe that Paul Ryan is being misled by the old thinking that raising the upper classes automatically raises the bottom classes.  Thirty years after Reagan’s trickle down theory began, we know this isn’t true.  And, yes, I can state many numbers and statistics to prove it.  President Obama doesn’t want to hurt the lower classes.  He knows that they have been hit the most by this recession.  He knows that the slow recovery is not helping.  He wants to put more money in their pocket.

Both men are wrong.

You cannot pay off debt by lowering your income.  It just doesn’t work.  You can cut costs, but if you don’t have the money to pay the bills, you’re just going to get into a deeper hole.

Ryan’s budget plan of substidizing insurance to cover medicare may save the government money, but it is only going to hurt the people who can ill afford that hurt.

Obama’s budget plan that makes cuts across the board is more reasonable.

But, if both plans insist on tax cuts, neither plan will work.

Even David Stockman, Ronald Reagan’s Budget Director, has agreed.  President Obama invoked Stockman’s name in his speech.  Stockman spoke with NPR’s Scott Simon (hear complete interview here) and stated the following:  “The problem with the Ryan plan is it is trying to balance the budget on the back of the poor and you can’t do that.  The President’s talking about reducing the deficit entirely on the top 2% of the population and that won’t work neither.  And, neither side is being honest with the middle class and that is that we’re going to have to have tax increases to pay for this huge amount of government we seem to want…”

You should really listen to the whole interview.  David Stockman is the man who said tax cuts without spending cuts would result in the debt we now have.  But, thirty years ago, nobody was listening.

Walking Human Debris

This morning, I got up, put the dog out and began writing an article about how Rush Limbaugh called Obama supporters “walking human debris”.  I wrote five or six paragraphs denouncing Limbaugh and his backward, uneducated followers and then I stopped and re-read what I had written.  I decided to delete the whole thing.

I’m not going to gain anything by publicly denouncing Limbaugh.  The only thing that can come from that is I lower myself to his standards and, quite frankly, I am too old to go that low anymore.  We have really lost something in this country.  We have allowed ourselves to be led around by the lowest common denominator and that has led us to not be able to rationally debate any subject anymore.

Oh, I’m not saying that we won’t survive.  We will.  We managed to pull ourselves back together after the Civil War, so I don’t think we’ll be imploding anytime soon.  But, we are slowly and surely heading for a very much divided country.

We’re, also, heading for a very uneducated country.  I saw a post on facebook where one person mentioned the weather in Vegas and another person stated that you have to love the south.  The south?  Vegas is in the Southwest.  The south would be Louisiana or Georgia.  I suck at geography and even I know that.  I don’t write this to hurt someone’s feelings or put them down, but just to point out that we’re truly missing something.

My whole life I received two conflicting statements from my father:  One was, you need to get your college education and the other was college boys don’t know anything.

Dad was right on both counts.

We need to be an educated society.  We need to take economics classes so we can understand how the economy works.  We need to take English classes so we can read and understand our language.  We need history classes so we know from where we’ve come and, hopefully, we don’t repeat the bad stuff.

We, also, need to have some common sense.  The college boys to which my father referred were those guys fresh out of college who had no common sense.  Most of these gentlemen were Naval Officers with whom my father served.  I totally get it, because I know a lot of college graduates who just don’t seem to understand people or the ways of the world.  It seems when someone handed them a degree, their common sense left them.

I have my degree and I worked my way through school to get it.  My parents paid for a grand total of four college classes.  I paid for the rest.  I had to keep my common sense in order to work in the real world.

Somewhere along the line, we stopped respecting those people who worked their way through school.  We started calling them the elites.  Now, there are exceptions to every rule – after all, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are both college dropouts – but by not making education a priority in this country, we’re setting ourselves up to fail on the International stage.  Sure, you might be able to sit in your garage and invent the next “Windows”, but chances are you’re not.  You need your college degree and we need people with math and science skills.  That’s why we’re getting our butts handed to us by China and India.

What we don’t need in this country is a man like Rush Limbaugh spouting off about people he doesn’t even know and comparing them to savages.

Rick Santorum – South Carolina’s Choice for President

There are days that I honestly believe that Lincoln was wrong and we should’ve let the South succede. When I hear that Rick Santorum won a straw poll as South Carolina’s choice for the Republican nominee for President, it only strengthens that belief. The South has to overcome the image that it is full of nothing but dumb rednecks and, when they choose a man like Santorum, well, they’re not helping their cause.

Rick Santorum is so screwed up that he actually believes that one out of every three pregnancies end in abortion. He couldn’t be farther from the truth. His actual comment was this:

The reason Social Security is in big trouble is we don’t have enough workers to support the retirees. Well, a third of all the young people in America are not in America today because of abortion, because one in three pregnancies end in abortion.

Here’s the thing, if Santorum had just ended his comment at the first sentence, I would be in agreement with him. We don’t have enough workers to support our retirees. When the unemployment rate is 9.2%, we don’t have enough people out there working. But, the reason we don’t have enough workers has absolutely NOTHING to do with abortion. We don’t have enough people employed.

Come to think of it, that still isn’t a very good argument, but it is better than his.

So, please, South Carolina, come to your senses. Don’t vote for this man. He’s missing the basic necessity for clear and logical thinking: a brain.

Betty

I was just sitting here and remembering the first time I met Betty. Betty and her husband, Mac, live in AZ. Once a year they make the long drive to Wisconsin to visit Betty’s son, Preston; his wife, Jerri, and their two kids, Jarred and Portia. Cheryl and I had never met Betty on any of her visits and when she was coming, Preston said for us to come over and meet his mom.

Anyhow, we went over met Betty and Mac. Well, let me tell you something, I fell for Betty from the first time I met her. She has a southern accent and she doesn’t take shit from nobody. And, she was bossing Preston around like the devil. It was a sight to be seen. We had a nice visit.

Near the end of the visit we were talking about Cheryl and I trying to have a baby. (This was back when there was still hope). And, Betty said to me, “When you having your baby?” And, I said, “Betty, I’m not pregnant. I’m just fat.” Well, her face turned about thirty shades of red. She was so embarrassed, but she laughed – we all laughed.

Now, years later, Betty bosses me around, too. I give her shit and she puts me in my place and it is a wonderful thing.

That’s why I’ve been posting all of the prayer requests and updates. I love that old lady. I know, as a Christian, that coming to the end of your life is a blessing. Betty’s been on a hard road and she’s blessed. She has a good family and good friends. She can meet our maker with her head up high, but I am selfish, because I just don’t want that lady to go. The doctor’s are giving her 6 months to a year, but that just isn’t enough time.

So, I’m going to keep asking that you all pray for a miracle. I’m going to keep bugging to pass on my updates and prayer requests. I’m sure that I am going to drive each and every one of you crazy. I truly believe in the power of prayer.

Please join me in saying a prayer for Betty.

The Tea Party and Condoms…

Too funny not to pass on:

‎”The Tea Party today announced that it’s changing it’s emblem to a CONDOM because it more accurately reflects their political stance. A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of dicks and gives you a sense of security while you are actually being screwed. It just doesn’t get any more accurate!”

Let’s talk about spending

I’m going to make this quick. The comments I’ve seen on facebook and here regarding my tax cuts blog basically say the samething. We need to cut spending. I agree. We do need to cut spending. I haven’t looked at all of the spending cuts in Paul Ryan’s plan. Although, changing medicare for those under 55 to a subsidized insurance plan will most likely make the insurance companies rich. If we cut spending to the Health care plan and we don’t make sure these companies offer some federally mandated minimums, I think Ryan’s plan will save the government money by shifting costs to the parts of society that can ill afford them.

I found figures that in 2008 we spent $12 billion per month in Iraq and, in 2006, we spent $6 billion per month in Afghanistan. If those figures hold for 2011, that’s a grand total of $216 billion we’re spending somewhere else. Perhaps we could put all of this “tax cutting” talk aside and bring our troops home.

Granted, the national debt grows by 4.07 billion per day, so at the end of the year, we’re at – roughly – $1.4 trillion dollars. $216 billion isn’t going to make that large of a dent, but it would be a start. There’s an old joke I’ve heard: a million here, a million there and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

Anyway…

Does it really make sense to borrow money to fight two wars? I’d, also, like the government to spend a million or two and investigate just where all that money is going. But, that’s taking us in the wrong direction.

Back to the tax cuts: we can’t afford them. We can’t make a law that will add to the burden. You can’t cut your income and expect to pay off debt. It just won’t happen. Quite frankly, at our current tax levels, we’re really hurting. We should make the Bush tax cuts, which were extended by Obama, go away. The little raise won’t hurt any of us.

That said, going back to pre-Bush levels shouldn’t mean new spending, that money should go to paying off the debt and balancing the budget. Republicans love to toot their own horn and erroneously claim that they’re for the working people, the middle class. They aren’t. All of these tax cuts throughout the years have done more harm than good for this country. Reagan’s tax cuts went too far and the tax cut Republicans that have followed him don’t understand that. There are government programs that people actually don’t want touched. Truth is, if you want to keep your Social Security and your medicare, you’re going to have to pay a little more in taxes. It’s just that simple. If you don’t want to keep these programs, then we can cut taxes.

If you want a smaller government, then the only thing we should have the government pay for is defense. No federal money for roads, health care, education, farm subsidies, bailouts, green energy research, bank bailouts, unemployment, NPR, etc. The list goes on and on. If you like these things, then we have to be willing to pay for them. If we, as a nation, decide that we’re not going to pay for them, then we can cut them all, put thousands of Americans out of work and everyone of us will scramble to pay for college without government loans and grants. We will have to find a way to put enough money aside to pay for our own retirement. When we lose a job, well, you better have 8 months of savings set aside because there will be no help coming. And, you can kiss public schools goodbye because the feds give 70% of the support to our local school systems.

But, you can have a hefty tax cut for the rich people who don’t have to worry about any one of those things. They have the cash to do it all. They earned that cash on our backs. It’s our labor that makes them that money.

It’s just something to thing about this morning.

Pray for Betty – UPDATE

Thanks everyone for your prayers.

Instead of brain surgery, the plan is now that they will biopsy Betty’s lungs. This will give them a better handle on the type of cancer that Betty has. If she has large cell cancer, it can be treated with radiation.

This is good news. The procedure is way less invasive than the brain surgery and means that Betty can go back home sooner.

Let’s keep those prayers coming!

Blessings!

Julie

Pray for Betty – Twitter Spam UPDATE

This morning, I twitter spammed every one of my followers to get them to pray for Betty today. I believe in the power of prayer! In other words, I sent all 88 of my 89 followers on Twitter asking them to “Please RT. Pray for Betty, she has stage 4 cancer & is having surgery today.” I asked one of my followers to do so yesterday and Barry (@planobarryb) did.  (By the way, Barry draws a terrific and funny webcomic called Don’t Feed The Geek and you should check it out.)

Anyway, getting back to this morning, only one follower retweeted:  @the_USO And, now, I know why I support the USO, because – not only do they serve our military men and women well, but they are nice people.

If you’re on Twitter, please ask your followers to “Please RT. Pray for Betty, she has stage 4 cancer & is having surgery today.”  If you’re not, please pass on that Betty needs prayers.

Let’s make a miracle happen.

Blessings,

Julie

UPDATE:  I’m wrong…I wasn’t looking in the right spot…There are a lot of Retweets… Here’s a list:

@SkyscapeInc

@KRBCanada1

@nojusticeband

@douglasi

@mochanya

@mousewax

Prayer Request

Just in case you didn’t see the articles from yesterday, here’s the short version: My friend, Betty, has stage four cancer. After 10:15 PST, she will be having surgery to remove two lesions from her brain. I’m asking that all of you who read this, please stop what you’re doing and say a prayer for Betty.

Blessings,

Julie

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