Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

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Veteran’s Day

Every year, I pretty much post the same thing.  Today is Veteran’s Day – go out and thank a vet.  This year, I’d like to include yet another picture of my father and me with him in his uniform and one of Mom and me and tell you a story.

Let’s start with the story.

Last night, I was in Mo’s Irish Pub in downtown Milwaukee with my beautiful wife.  We had stopped for a drink while waiting for the doors to open to see Wanda Sykes at the Riverside.  When we walked in, I saw a Marine in his dress blues.  I tapped him on the arm and when he turned, I held out my hand and thanked him for his service.  He thanked me and actually kissed my hand.  Wow!  That was cool!

Then, after we were served at the bar, I saw a man in an Airbourne hat.  I excused myself from Cheryl (who is used to this) and thanked him for his service.  He said “If I knew I would be thanked by a beautiful woman, I’d do it all over again!”  He made me giggle and was rewarded by a kiss on the cheek.  It was a great night for me.

You don’t and you shouldn’t wait for Veteran’s Day to thank a Vet.  You should do it all year long.  And, let’s go further.  Let’s thank their families as well.  Quite honestly, I don’t remember much about my father’s service.  I have bits and pieces in my head.  I remember his absence more than anything.  How he missed out on a lot to serve his country.  It couldn’t have been easy for my mother to raise first me, and then my younger brother showed up, all by herself.  Military families serve as much as their service member does.  So, when you see a Vet, thank his wife or her husband.  They do a lot for our great country, too.

God Bless our Military for without them, we probably wouldn’t be speaking English.

I’ll have to ask my mother, but I think this is a picture of us dropping Pop off at his ship in 1968. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find one of Pop and me or Pop and all of us. I don’t know if we took it or not. I think that might be the Owens, but I’m not sure.

This is a picture of my mother, me and father in 1968.

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Draw the Line – Sign the Bill for Reproductive Rights

I just signed the bill – you should too. It’s time we take back our country from the cranks and the crazies. This is the 21st Century – this discussion should be over.

Sign the bill here.  I’ve posted a video on the video site.

What are you waiting for?  Go, go, go!

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A Little Truth Goes A Long Way.

Who tells the truth the most often?  Who gets it right?  Check out the image below.

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Ryan and Romney – We’re not telling

Paul Ryan announced that he and Mitt Romney will wait until they’re elected to tell us just what tax loopholes they plan on closing.  (See story here)  Really?

That’s like going to buy a car and having the dealer say, “This is a great car with a lot of features, but I’m not showing you any of them until you sign on the dotted line.”

Mitt Romney “was overheard telling supporters at a private fundraiser in Florida over the weekend that he might seek to limit tax deductions for mortgages”. (See story here)  Naturally, his campaign made him back away from this remark.

But, what exactly would Romney and Ryan cut to make up for the “$5 trillion in forgone revenue“.

Cheryl and I all ready pay thousand dollars in taxes higher than a couple is allowed to legally marry.  So, take away my mortgage deduction and I can kiss a lot more of my hard earned money to go up in smoke.  And, why should I vote for someone who won’t even tell me to my face that, yes, I’m taking away your largest deduction, so I can cut taxes on the ultra-rich?

I know a lot of people who are planning to vote for Romney and they’re going to be bitching if he runs and passes a radical tax law.

But, they will tell you a lot about their Medicare system.  Romney gave some details to reporters in Miami:

“My plan for Medicare is very similar to his plan for Medicare. My plan, like his, really expands Medicare Advantage. It says, let’s give people more opportunity to take advantage of not just the standard Medicare, but also the [private insurance] policies that are available in the market place.”

Get it? They want to privatize more Medicare, but they don’t want to tell you what tax deductions they’re ending. And, they send out their main man (John Sununu) to keep repeating the lie of the $716 billion Obama “gutted” from Medicare”.

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Affordable Care Act & Scott Walker

Fact:  By 2014, all 50 states have to have their health care exchanges up and running.  If they don’t, the Federal Government will step in and take control.

Fact: By 1/1/2013, all 50 states have to have a plan in place on just how they’re going to create these exchanges.

Fact: Scott Walker doesn’t like Federal Government Control and yet, he is putting off beginning the work on the exchanges until after the November election.  He’s probably thinking that Romney will win and he’ll never have to put it in place.

Opinion: Scott Walker is a dofus who doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground.  It’s too bad the man kept his throne in the Wisconsin State House, because he’s going to screw us like he is the Marquis De Sade.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek (August 13 – 26, 2012),  “only 18 states had even started putting in place the …health benefit exchanges.”  That’s one eight, people.  One of those states is Wisconsin.  The article states: “The Republican governors of six states are simply refusing to create the exchanges…”  And, our Governor is one of them.

Apparently, Scott Walker wants to wait until the outcome of the November election (see article here) to act on creating an exchange.  He also ” turned down $38 million in federal money that could have gone to implementing the federal health care law in Wisconsin.”

Does he even have a clue about what setting up a health exchange will entail?  First, you need an interface that end users (that’s us) can interact with to pick out the insurance, actually, that would be second.  First, you need the list of insurance companies, plans and rates that will be sold.  Then, an end user interface.  Then, you need for this software, database, etc. to interact with Medicare and Medicaid.  You need an interface for the insurance companies.  You need an interface for the government employees that will have to assist people signing up for insurance.  You need all of this to speak to the Federal Government’s computers.

And, you need money to create it, run it and maintain it.  So you really shouldn’t turn down $38 million from the Federal Government earmarked to help you do just that.

You need Business Analysts who can talk with all the parties to see how this can be put together – that can’t be done in a day.

And, Walker thinks he can wait until after November to do it.

The man is doesn’t understand the value of making it easier for people to purchase insurance.  And, he doesn’t understand the value of getting this project off the ground.  He doesn’t see the big picture.

Our state is still losing jobs and Scott Walker wants to put this off as long as he can.  Let me explain the big picture:

Setting up a healthcare exchange requires (at the very least) the following:

1. Business Analysts

2. Project Managers

3. Quality Assurance Testers

4. Database Administrators

5. Data Analysts

6.  Web Designers

7. Network Engineers

8. Web Services Programmers

9. Computer Programmers

10. Managers

11. Administrative Assistants

12. Technical Writers

When your state leads the nation in job losses, a project like this can put a lot of people to work, which in turn creates demand in the economy.  Think about it, when one person is working their money (i.e., wages) spreads through their community.  They pay their rent or mortgage – rent is better, as the money goes to a landlord, who then spreads it out.  But, a mortgage payment means a bank has money to lend (in a very simplistic view).  They purchase gas at their local station.  They buy groceries at their local market.  They take their family out to dinner.  They purchase new clothes and, this is personal, they purchase new programming books.  (I’ve never started a new project without purchasing a book.)  $10 here, $20 over there and pretty soon demand is up again.

But, Scott Walker is sitting on his hands, ignoring the Federal Government Mandate and hoping it just goes away.  He has to have the plan in place by January 1,2013.  Walker’s hoping that 1/20/2013 will bring in a new President and he won’t have to follow the law.  Romney’s not going to win, our country can’t be that full of stupid people.  But, even if he does win, the Affordable Care Act won’t disappear that face and Scott Walker will be breaking the law.  Oh – one more little item – Walker proclaims that he doesn’t want Federal Government interference, but the Feds will take this over if he doesn’t comply.  Why would you want to give up control of something so momentousness?  Could it be that Scott Walker is out of his realm?  That he cannot get this job done, because he is an uneducated man who doesn’t know how to run a project?

Thanks, Governor Walker.  I cannot tell you how much I hang my head in shame that my fellow Wisconsinites voted for you not once, but twice.  God help us all.

 

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The Abortion Lie

Let me start this by telling you about my neighbor.  My neighbor is a Republican and she’s on disability (which I think shouldn’t happen, but there it is).  She’s a good Christian woman, who suffered through an intolerable childhood and never married.  She worked, before her illness, in the Health Care field.  She offers advice, even when you don’t need it or want it.  My neighbor knows every thing that goes on in our neighborhood and I mean every thing.  I’ll be she’ll know about this post before I finish writing it and before I even post it.  Even when she was working, she knew every thing.

In the old days, we would call her – unkindly – the neighborhood gossip or busy buddy.  And, perhaps, that’s what she is.  But, she’s always kind, very giving and the kind of neighbor you can call when you need help.  For example, when we were having our biggest trouble with Oliver, she would take him every single day.  She helped train him and I think he’s more well-adjusted now than he would’ve been without her daily care.  Only her illness stopped her from continuing to watch him, but she’s never stopped loving him.

Over the weekend, she stopped with her little dog for a visit.  We had a nice time, even though I have no manners and forgot to offer her a drink or something.  Anyway, she told me that she was going to vote for Romney in the  Presidential election.  When I asked her why, since it is clear she doesn’t like Romney, her answer was abortion.  Republicans are against abortion.  She’s against abortion, so she’s going to vote for Romney.

And, that is why I’m writing this.  The anti-abortion stance in the Republican Party is a lie.  Mark my words:  There will NEVER be a Federal Anti-abortion – I mean make it back like it was – law EVER.  It doesn’t matter if the Republicans hold Congress, Senate and the White House.  It didn’t happen during Bush’s eight years (where they had all three for more than 4 years) and it will never happen.

Why?

Because abortion is an issue that keeps voters voting Republican.  A Federal Ban would mean that the voters would have to look for something else.  There are plenty of voters, like my neighbor, who is a one issue voters.  She doesn’t want abortion to be legal.  She doesn’t realize that the Republicans don’t really want to outlaw it because maybe she might start looking at their other issues.

So, if you’re a single issue voter and abortion is your issue and that’s why you’re voting for Romney – you might want to think again.  And, you might want to see what else Romney has in his bag of issues.

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Obama Sues to Protect Voting Rights in Ohio

A cousin of mine posted a link to an article on breitbart.com that claimed President Obama was suing in Ohio to restrict Military voting rights.  The truth is that Ohio passed a law that restricted non-military voting rights and Obama for American, the Democratic National Committee and Ohio Democratic Party are suing to have it overturned.  Ohio’s general Assembly passed into law three bills:  “Amended Substitute House Bill Number 194 (“HB194”), Amended Substitute House Bill Number 224 (“HB 224”) and SubstituteSenate Bill Number 295 (“SB 295”)”1“Prior to the enactment of these laws,there was a single uniform deadline of the Monday before Election Day for in- person early voting.”2

Now, only the military has until the Monday before Election Day for in-person early voting. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that in the eyes of the law, all citizens are treated equally (which means the same). When it comes to voting, the Military and the citizens it protects should be treated equally.

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”
The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment

Obviously, the Breitbart site and the other right-wing websites want to make an argument that Obama hates the Military and wants to restrict Military voting rights. In truth, the President just wants everyone to be treated equally.

Here’s the full compliant.

OFA Complaint as Filed

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Politics as Usual

I posted the picture from my blog about corporate taxes on Facebook.  I, then, shared a lot of feel good pictures.  Not so amazingly, the feel good pictures went on to be shared by my friends, while the picture of the widening gap between  Corporate taxes and Individual taxes went pretty much ignored.

I’ve created another picture and I hope that it gets passed around.

Moving on…

Included in the sad state of affairs, I posted on Twitter the following:

Republican: One who doesn’t want the government mandating that citizens buy health insurance, but sees no problem in deciding who can marry.

This posted to my Facebook account, as the two are linked. In response, I received this:

Democrat: one who does not care who or what you marry. As long as you are distracted enough for them to steal all your money and give it to someone who didn’t earn it.

Sad, isn’t it?

The idea that being a Democrat means you want to steal someone else’s money and give it away is the fallacy that the Republican Party promotes.  They’ve called earned programs, such as Social Security, entitlements.  They have distorted the Affordable Health Care Act so much that people don’t recognize the good things within it – such as mandating that health insurance companies spend at least 85% of premiums on health care and eliminating the pre-existing conditions.

 

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Tax Receipts By Source 1934 – 2011

I saw the below image on Facebook.  It was posted by a group called the Other 98%.  I wanted to see, before I shared it, if it was true.  So, I went looking for the data.  I found a spreadsheet on The White House U.S. Office of Management and Budget. I didn’t find any data to support the picture, but I did find something else just as interesting.

$0.22 for every dollar paid by the American Worker.

Sad Tax Data

In 1934, the tax receipts totaled (not including Social Security)  $784 million dollars – 53.57% was Individual Income Taxes and 46.43% was Corporate Income Tax.  In 2011, the tax receipts totaled (not including Social Security) $1,272,558 million – 85.77% was made up from Individual Income Tax and only 14.23% came from Corporations.

I don’t believe they’re paying their fair share, do you?

 

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A Week Of Sanity

I have decided that it is time to start spreading the sanity in our political debates.  It is time we all become educated in the economy to learn why we shouldn’t fall for more of tax breaks for the “job creators”.

I’m starting with Robert Reich.  Mr. Reich has served three presidents: Ford, Carter and Clinton.  The man knows his stuff.  Click on the video link on the right or click here to see him debunk 6 economic myths.

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