Sunday, February 26, 2017

Who are you, really?

Just saying, “I’m not an islamophobic, xenophobic, homo/transphobic, racist” isn’t convincing to anyone but those who already agree with you. If this isn’t who you are in your heart, you’re going to have to be the ones to show the rest of us who you really are. Your actions are the best argument for who you really are, what you really believe. We cannot see into your hearts. Your condescension, hostility and political support, your treatment of LGBTQ as malformed deviants, are what we see. You talk about how you’re not racist, but then we see you fall in behind a president who surrounds himself with white supremacists. How would Christ treat Muslims? Does not the Bible enjoin God’s people to welcome the foreigner? We hear you talk about family values, then see you support a politics that tears children from the arms of their parents.

You support people who are opposed to Social Security, minimum wages, affordable health care, Medicare and Medicaid, fiscal responsibility, sane gun laws, food safety laws, worker protections, environmental protections, financial and consumer protections, and protections against discrimination. You call people who support those things bleeding heart liberals, socialists, not real Americans, moochers, and unpatriotic. You support people who practice voter suppression, who oppose ethics oversight, who oppose immigration reform, who vote consistently to benefit the already wealthy, who pass laws that benefit large corporations and don't do anything for or even hurt small business, who lower taxes on the rich and then blame assistance programs for deficits, who call Social Security the biggest federal expense and ignore that it has its own revenue stream, and who support an administration that wants to deconstruct federal agencies and flat out lies over and over to our faces.

Is this really who you are? If not, then you have a funny way of showing it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Stop Voting Against Your Self-interest

Do you think that the Republican Party best represents the interests of  the working class?

It is primarily Republicans who call Americans lazy. They think people would rather live off of the government tit than have a job. That's Ayn Rand's premise, and House Majority Leader Paul Ryan named Rand his favorite author. That is the conservative's main excuse for eliminating government assistance programs. As for Democrats, they understand that Americans don't want jobs that don't even pay minimum wage. Ask yourselves why Republicans won't simply issue work visas to Mexicans so they don't have to stay here to make money. Hint: Then they would be legal and would have to be paid more.

Republicans call 47% of the populace "moochers," including people on Social Security who paid into it their whole working lives. (And don't believe the lie about Social Security being the biggest federal expense; it has its own revenue stream, has a $2.8 trillion Trust Fund and its accounting is separate by law from the federal budget. It is not an "entitlement" as conservatives use the term.) The real moochers are companies that pay so little that they force workers to get assistance from the government to make ends meet. When their workers get food stamps, companies are the beneficiaries.

Ask yourself who better represents the working class.

Democrats want higher minimum wages and worker protections. Republicans want to eliminate minimum wages, safety rules (OSHA), job age requirements, and regulations concerning hours worked and overtime. Democrats want the rich to pay their fair share; the tax burden in this country has been shifted to the middle class. Those at the top send their money to work at making more money, and the profits are taxed at a lower rate than the incomes (not profit) of people who work. Money is valued more than sweat.

Democrats are pro union; Republicans eliminated most unions because that is how their opponents were funding campaigns. Now both parties are dependent primarily on the wealthy and on corporate donations.

Democrats want universal health care as most other western countries have. Medical debts are the primary reason for personal bankruptcies today. Instead, we have a Republican plan (a modification of RomneyCare) which was created by the conservative Heritage Foundation. So we have for-profit insurance companies with 20% administrative overhead issuing plans with ridiculous deductibles and high co-pays (an insurance company between you and your doctor). And we are still forcing companies to pay for health insurance for their workers which is an expense not burdening their foreign competitors.

We have free trade instead of fair trade, so American companies are forced to compete with companies who do not have to follow the same standards of product safety, worker wages and worker safety, environmental protections, and fiscal responsibility.

Finally, Republicans are no longer fiscal conservatives. Their philosophy is to drown the Federal government in a bathtub (remember Grover Norquist and his pledge that Republicans signed?), with the main tool being to force elimination of programs and agencies by starving the government of funds. Of course, they are better at reducing revenues than expenses.

Stop voting against your self-interest. Start voting smarter.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Why Us Liberals Have a Problem with Trump

Want to know just a few of the reasons why "liberals" have a problem with Trump? Trump signs executive orders without reading them, except perhaps the title (that's how Bannon got a seat on the National Security Council). He turns any occasion into a speech about himself or his enemies. He nominates unqualified people for cabinet posts. Steve Mnuchin, Trump's Treasury nominee, took over a bank and went into a foreclosure frenzy using unethical practices at the height of the financial crisis. In addition to practicing robo-signing, he foreclosed on a 90-year-old homeowner over a 27-cent payment error with her insurance. Betsy DeVoss, Department of Education nominee, knows nothing about public schools. Trump claims to be smarter than anyone, yet some of his spoken sentences make no sense, and on numerous occasions he displays his ignorance. He contradicts himself constantly, sometimes within the same sentence. Some of his reactions display emotional immaturity ("No, you're the puppet."). He regularly attacks and belittles people instead of saying why they are wrong. He promises whatever he thinks people want to hear. He promised less expensive healthcare that will cover everyone, "just putting the finishing touches on it," then says maybe we'll get a replacement for the ACA in 2018 (presumably after the elections). He promises to drain the swamp, then loads his staff and nominee choices with Wall Street insiders, predators, industry insiders, and white supremacists. He insults foreign leaders and does not prepare for conversations with them. The excuse for the Australian debacle was that it was five pm and he had a long day. Isn't Trump the one who said Hillary didn't have the stamina to be president? His secret plan for getting rid of ISIS turned out to be getting 100 generals together and giving them 30 days to come up with a plan to get rid of ISIS. He signed an executive order overriding a regulation which stated that financial advisors must act in your best interest, avoid conflicts of interest when possible, and must be transparent with you about his or her compensation and fees. In other words, he gave the go-ahead for people handling your retirement account to cheat you. He obsesses about the popular vote, claiming that millions voted illegally for Hillary. In person voter fraud is rare. From 2000 to 2014 there were only 31 confirmed cases of voter impersonation fraud out of more than a billion votes cast. Voter suppression, however, is alive and well. We are told to treat the president and the office with respect, that Trump supporters had to put up with eight years of Obama with nary a complaint. How long did Trump claim that Obama was an illegitimate president? How long did the Republicans practice "Just Say No" to anything Obama wanted, even if it was in our best interests? For almost a year Obama's Supreme Court nominee never got a hearing, and McConnell vowed to block any nominee for four more years if Hillary won. And now McConnell wants a hearing on Trump's pick for SCOTUS, saying to treat him fairly like the Republicans did for Obama's nominees. You wanted facts? Those are just a few of them. Read the Republican party platform, read the Republican bills which have misleading titles, listen to what Trump and the Republicans say and do, and decide for yourselves if the Republican party is acting in your best interests and is truly the party of fiscal conservatism. Fact check the lies, such as lies about Social Security with its 2.8 Trillion Trust Fund (Treasury Bonds) and separate revenue stream and separate accounting (by law), with claims that it is broke and is the biggest federal expense.

Are you really against minimum wage laws? When people don't make a living wage, they need government assistance. When taxpayers have to fork out money to help a business's workers, that is corporate welfare. Look it up and get educated. Or call us snowflakes and stay ignorant. Your choice.