The Social Safety Net Under Attack

Our social safety net is under assault by the representatives of the ultra wealthy who want to rob the Social Security fund and take away the earned benefits for which many of us have been working our entire lives.

Write your Representative today and tell them to stand against cuts to our earned Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Have you signed the Cancel The Sequester petition yet?

If not, take a minute now.

Obama and the Democrats: Selling us Out Again

After being elected on a tide of disgust fueled by the Tea Party Republicans’ austerity war on the poor and the middle class, and Obama/Biden promising during the election that, “Social Security is off the table,” the White House is once again turning out to be a pack of liars.  Some of us could see this coming.

I did NOT vote for Obama and spoke up about what I saw as wishful thinking on the part of a number of Democrats I know who thought he would be better the second term, that he would protect the social safety net (instead of being the one to put it on the table as a bargaining chip), who made excuses for his signing the first NDAA bill that stripped us of our 5th amendment rights (even though he was the one insisting on Section 1021 and 1022 as he is now).  I warned that there was no rational basis for the idea that he would be “better” and that he likely would be at least as bad as he wouldn’t be worried about re-election; now it pains me to say he is doing the very things some of us predicted he would do.  Though I didn’t believe it, I was hoping I would be wrong.

We so desperately need better choices, and there were those choices this election cycle, it’s just that no one seriously considered them.  I’ll tell you why.  The Democratic Party and the Republican Party both fight any third party candidates participating in the debates, make up impossible rules for ballot qualification for third party and independent candidates, have allowed the hostile takeover of the debate moderation by the corporate Commission on Presidential Debates, who wrested control from the League of Women Voters who were fair and impartial, and continue to field candidates nearly indistinguishable from one another.  Surveys have shown that 70% of people surveyed would vote third party if they thought the candidate could win,  and we need to level the playing field so that third party candidates have a chance to get heard so that they are seen as viable so they CAN win!

As an example of the kind of fascist control the two-party tyranny exerts, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the Green Party presidential candidates, were ARRESTED AND HELD in a special facility where they were bound for hours with no one knowing where they were at first,when they tried to attend the presidential debate in New York, even though they were on over 80% of the ballots nationwide??!! What an outrageous hypocrisy in a country always touting its freedom! There is a serious need for some actual democracy and plurality in this country, not this two-party rule, and my question to you Democrats is, when are you going to demand better from your party and stop enabling this kind of inequality?!

Now you can “rather have” Obama sell us down the river by cutting Social Security, rather than Romney.  What’s the difference?!  This “deal” is coming from the White House, just like the demand that our 5th amendment rights in the NDAA bill be thrown out.  I would have rather had someone way better than Obama, like the P & F, Green, or Justice Party candidates that ran—wouldn’t you??!!  We need to change this system that stomps all over the chances of everyone but the Democrat and Republican “choices.” This is especially true for President; there are much better Democrats in Congress (the House AND the Senate) but since “their guy” in the W. H. is selling us out, they are going to go along with it, whereas if a Republican were in the White House, they would be putting up more of a fight, because party politics always win out, not standing up for the citizens of this country.  This is why I say we need to do away with parties altogether, so that we can deal with the issues rather than play out endless partisan struggles for power, but in the meantime, we could at least have a plurality, so that there would be more choices and more voices, some of whom are bound to be better than this continuing charade!

ALERT: Call Congress, White House re NDAA 2013!

The House has passed an even more extreme version of the National Defense Authorization Act which again strips us of our constitutional rights, allowing for indefinite detention of U. S. citizens on U. S. soil without charge or trial, despite the last one, the NDAA 2012, being ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.  We must speak up and voice our outrage to our representatives and the White House before it is passed by the Senate and Obama signs it into law!  When you call, remind them that the billions spent on endless wars and Pentagon pork authorized by this bill can be applied to the deficit and budget instead of cutting Social Security with the outrageous and cruel chained CPI!

To learn more and act, go to:  https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/detention/

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/498/p/dia/action/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=8895

  • Call White House:  202-456-1111
  • Call Senator Boxer:  202-224-3553
  • Call Senator Feinstein: 202-224-3841

Also see:

Is Obama Dangling us Over the Cliff?!

Obama &  the Social Safety Net

I am very concerned that the White House is going to cave in to pressure from the hostage-taking Republicans with regard to the phony “fiscal cliff” despite the fact that it is a huge betrayal of the middle class and the poor to continue to allow the ultra-rich 1% to evade paying their fair share of taxes off the backs of the rest of us.  We also are not fooled by the phony “fiscal cliff” nonsense, nor are we taken in by the attempt to gut Social Security and Medicare, programs to which we the people are ENTITLED because people have paid into them their entire adult lives!  Social Security and Medicare do not add ONE PENNY to the deficit so this is a total red herring and the budget crisis is one of their own making.  But we the people, per usual, are the ones who stand to lose from the political posturing because these threats have real financial consequences in the real world to real people and Obama is not grounded in terra firma if he risks the well-being of the American people in this game of chicken.  Will he throw us over the cliff or throw us a lifeline and keep the social safety net intact?

Obama was re-elected to stand up to these right-wing lapdogs to the ultra-rich, not give in to their rigid, grossly unfair, preposterous demands, but if history is any indicator, he will forget who elected him, become the weak, spineless (or worse) non-leader he has been, and cave in once again.  Worse, Obama has been the one who has opened the door to cutting Social Security and Medicare, decrying his not “getting credit” to negotiate away our most basic programs upon which millions of Americans depend.  As these cuts would especially harm women who are the poorest of the poor, I here reiterate what the National Organization of Women stated, that specifically he should NOT:

  • back down from allowing the full amount of the Bush-era tax cuts for the top 2% of income earners to expire
  •  agree to the “chained CPI,” a cruel and immediate cut in Social Security benefits
  • agree to raising the Medicare eligibility age
  • agree to means-testing Medicare
  • agree to cutting Medicaid funding in any way

All of this current discussion in Washington is a distraction.  If cuts were applied where they need to be–wars and the Pentagon–and the richest 1% and multinational corporations were paying their fair share in taxes and generating the jobs they supposedly create, there would be no deficit and no budget shortfall.  John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the austerity fascists and their enablers like Obama need to fall off their fictional fiscal cliff, not mercilessly shove the middle class and the poor over it by destroying the social safety net while allowing their billionaire paymasters to continue to evade responsibility for their actions and live as fiscal predators and parasites off the backs of the 99%.  We would be far better off to have tax increases across the board go into effect than trade away these vital lifelines.  In a world where the interests of the people were actually considered, Congress could then draw up a sensible budget strengthening Social Security and streamlining Medicare, and eliminate the deficit by increasing taxes on the ultra-rich, ending all the wars, and drastically reducing the bloated Pentagon budget.

Romney: 10 Really Important Reasons to Vote for Anyone Else!

Romney-01

And by anyone, I mean even Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, or Barack Obama, though there are far better choices out there:  Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, and Roseanne Barr for example.  I feel compelled to spell this out, especially since Romney is trying so hard to pretend he is someone other than who he really is, by listing the reasons he is the worst choice in my humble opinion.  When reviewing them, you may wonder why I have left out civil liberties, foreign policy, trade agreements, drug policy, and war.  This is because this piece is about reasons voting for anyone other than Mitt Romney, and Obama and Romney are both so disregarding of our civil rights, militaristic, devoted to continuing the destructive and pointless war on drugs, and ready and willing to enable corporate world government and a police state that Romney could not be singled out as worse, though on foreign policy his debate comments about “getting bad guys” reveal a more simplistic, comic book tone than Obama’s.

Ron Paul is only marginally better on most of these issues I have enumerated but infinitely better on war and civil liberties (except for women as he is anti-choice).   The only person running that is worse in most every way than Romney is Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party because he is right-wing-on-steroids crazy when you look at his voting record vs. what he says in the debates, where he comes across less extreme (kind of like Romney and Obama).  That should put this in perspective. Even so, voting for him means less chance of a Romney/Ryan win so I can still say for that reason, he is a better choice (only because he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning). Remember you can write names in in many states, even if they don’t appear on the ballot!

Here are 10 reasons why anyone sitting on the fence should NOT cast a vote for Mitt Romney:

  1. Paul Ryan – the architect of the most severe austerity budget imaginable, anti-government fanatic, misogynist extraordinaire, self-congratulatory elitist, utterly confused religious zealot who simultaneously embraces fundamentalist Catholicism (except for the part about caring for the poor) and the ultra-selfish philosophy of the very damaged, anti-social, arguably sociopathic Ayn Rand (an atheist), oblivious to the inherent contradictions. Romney, with his corporate raider, fascistic, anti-human policies and questionable ethics, not to mention his polygamist father and beliefs that are viewed as cultish by the rest of Christendom, has picked an even more dangerously fringe running mate who would be a heartbeat away from being President, in addition to being set up for a White House run later if elected VP.
  2. Women’s Rights – If you are a woman or care about a woman—any woman, say your mother, sister, wife, daughter, grandmother, friend, or your housekeeper, Romney is a disastrous choice.  Romney not only has declared his intention to defund Planned Parenthood, supported employers being able to refuse to cover employees’ birth control for ‘moral’ reasons, continued to back the likes of Todd Akin and now Richard Mourdock and Joe Walsh with their abhorrent views on abortion and rape and rape-induced pregnancy, and vowed to work towards Roe v. Wade being overturned, but has even endorsed the crackpot idea of a Constitutional Amendment to endow “fetal personhood” on nonviable life, like gametes and zygotes, being included in the Republican platform, and has never supported Lily Ledbetter and equal pay.  Romney and Ryan don’t have “binders of women,” they are BINDERS of women!  They will not stop until women have no rights whatsoever and are barefoot and pregnant, dependent brood mares; if elected maybe Romney might provide some “sister-wives” to help out with the laundry and childrearing since he certainly won’t support day care.
  3.  The Earth – Fast track to environmental doom with resulting drought, famine, worsening storms, hurricanes, fires, and water shortages await if this demonic duo wins the White House.  Romney is a climate change denier and actively promotes nothing but dirty forms of energy like oil and nuclear power and environmentally devastating practices like clearcutting, drilling in the antarctic, mountaintop removal, and fracking, when clean alternatives are not only preferable and available but essential, and actually uses the term “clean coal,” an oxymoron if there ever was one, while being hellbent on dismantling all of our environmental regulations and agencies.
  4.  The 99% or the 47% – If you are a member of the 47%, or even the 99%, Romney clearly not only doesn’t care about you, he sees you as a “parasite” who wants to mooch off of him and his other plutocratic, capitalist multimillionaire/billionaire/multibillionaire friends.  If anyone is parasitic, it is these two guys who have lived off of the work of the 47% and the 99% their entire privileged lives.  Romney and Ryan will do everything in their power to amass more power and wealth for the 1% and themselves at the rest of our expense, and enable the so-called “job-creators” they promote to do exactly what they are doing now–sit on all their cash like the fat-cat hoarders they are.
  5.  The Economy and Income Inequality – Extremist, trickle-down, voodoo economics is what this man and his side-kick believe in, the same policies that will only increase the already huge divide between the haves and have-nots.  The pathetically inadequate health care reform bill, otherwise known as “Obamacare,” that has instituted a few much-needed reforms such as outlawing the practice of denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, Social Security, Medicare, and the entire social safety net will be under attack; tax breaks for the ultra-rich will not only be continued but likely increased while they pile on more taxes for the middle class and the poor; the already bloated military budget will increase (along with the deficit) and there are not going to be any jobs, not here anyway. Romney and Ryan believe in austerity, for everyone but the uber-wealthy and people like them who serve them; this is a rehash of Hoover’s policies that plunged us into the Great Depression and are currently causing financial collapse and social chaos in Europe.  A vote for Romney is a vote for Herbert Hoover.
  6.  Education – Romney believes in education for the 1% and those who can afford to go to an Ivy League school; everyone else doesn’t need an education because the fictional “jobs” he is going to provide won’t require one, especially if you have to commute to India or China. He probably “loved” his teachers at Harvard, but he doesn’t love the ones at your child’s grade school or those teaching at a community college, and you can forget about Title IX or Brown v. Board of Education because these rightwing people want to do away with equal opportunity.  If you think education should be less important than Halliburton’s profits, especially for girls and minorities, vote for this guy.
  7.  Theocracy, not democracy – These two men have no respect for the separation of church and state, support the blurring of these lines, and espouse beliefs that rationalize rule by the church.  Which one you ask?  Any of the authoritarian, fundamentalist, patriarchal religious sects will do as they all agree that basic human rights are expendable, such as sovereignty over one’s own body, right to make your most personal decisions regarding conception, whom you bed and whom you wed, what books you can read and films you can see, what words you can say and hear, freedom from religious tyranny, and so on.  The Bill of Rights (especially the 1st amendment) is basically superfluous to these people, except for corporations of course, though they love to abuse particularly the 10th and 14th amendments; only the 2nd amendment is exempt because corporations rake in obscene profits on firearms.  Obama has been a civil liberties nightmare also; he just isn’t as much of a Bible thumper as these two and doesn’t support their radical religious social agenda—nor does Biden, despite being a practicing Catholic.  You might as well vote for the Taliban as for Romney/Ryan as there is little difference.  Do we need more gun-toting religious bigots?!
  8. Corporate rule unchecked – The fact that corrupt billionaires like the Koch Bros. and Sheldon Adelson (a modern-day Meyer Lansky) support Romney and Wall Street has abandoned Obama for him says it all, this despite Obama’s letting banksters off the hook and caving in left and right to corporate demands. Romney, which someone pointed out can’t be spelled without “money,” is going to make sure that Bain Capital and its ilk are the bane of our existence because he is 110% corporate.  He thinks they should rule over every single aspect of our lives and continue to get government handouts in the form of subsidies and military contracts and pay no taxes in order to line the pockets of their shareholders while complaining about the deficit.  Corporations are not only “people,” they are the only “people” that matter.
  9. The Supreme Court – Mitt Romney has reportedly said that Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Antonin Scalia are his favorites.  Need I say more?  He apparently favors judges who give corporations free rein to wreak havoc on actual people and the environment, allow unlimited contributions from billionaires and super-pacs to elections as in the 2010 Citizens United decision because they claim money is speech, collude in the stealing of elections by ordering a voter recount to be stopped as in the 2000 elections, and who, like Thomas, don’t believe they need to report their wife’s income or recuse themselves from cases where there is a conflict of interest (his wife employed by the Susan Komen foundation and the Affordable Care Act ruling, for example).  What can you expect from a presidential candidate who doesn’t think the American public has a right to see his tax returns?  With him in the White House, he may be able to nominate up to FOUR justices to the Supreme Court, who we will have to endure for 40 or 50 years.  Remember Robert Bork?  He’s BA-A-CK as Romney’s top legal advisor!
  10. Oppression vs. Justice – that means people of color, LGBT people, women, workers, students, older Americans, the poor, the ill, virtually everybody but the privileged, entitled, ultra-wealthy, elitist 1% will be further disempowered, their rights trampled, their votes suppressed, and their lives and health degraded.  Vouchers for inadequate, for-profit healthcare (another oxymoron) at astronomical prices, no equal pay for women, no raise in minimum wage, corporate price gouging, GMO-engineered, pesticide, hormone, preservative-laden Frankenfood, exploitation of public lands, pollution of the air, water, and soil, privatized social security, corporate propaganda passing for news, no public television with quality programming or accurate, in-depth journalism, and limited legal recourse for injustice.

When considering for whom NOT to vote, Romney is at the top of my list; I hope you will consider putting him there as well and pick any of the others.  I personally am voting for Roseanne, the antithesis of everything Romney represents being a feminist, environmentalist, populist, pro-education, pro-worker, secular humanist (yes I used that wonderful term!), working-class, civil libertarian peace and justice advocate and the antidote to everything that is wrong with Washington.

Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder: Occupy Dollar Bills

I love this idea that Ben & Jerry are promoting of stamping dollar bills with 99% slogans.  This expression of free speech aimed at taking back our democracy is also referred to as “Occupy George” http://occupygeorge.com/.  If I might add my own suggestions:  “Money is NOT Free Speech!”, ‘This Dollar Bill CANNOT speak”, “Money Talks, but it doesn’t SPEAK!”  “Money’s ‘Speech’ is never FREE!”, “Invalid if used to Bribe Politicians or Pay Lobbyists”, “Invalid if used to pay Corporate CEO’s”, “NOT TO BE USED TO BAIL OUT BANKSTERS OR WALL STREET CROOKS”, “On my way to the Cayman Islands!”, “Kiss Me Goodbye, I’m off to the Orient,  along with your JOB”, and “On Temporary Loan by the 1%.”

One person pointed out in his comment on the above article that “Federal Reserve Notes” are not government money (that is, they are not issued by the government) and therefore the law against defacing currency does not apply.  The Bureau of Engraving and Printing produces currency (as well as postage stamps) and the U. S. Mint produces coins; the Federal Reserve produces neither, instead producing only federal reserve notes, which the courts have ruled are “legal tender” and “lawful money”.  So, though a federal reserve note is considered the equivalent of government money, from researching this question it appears that the defacing issue applies more to coins than to paper money, except with regard to altering paper money  in an attempt to defraud (e.g. trying to make a $1 bill look like a $10 bill) or to such an extent that it is rendered “unfit to be reissued”.  See these links for more info:

http://voices.yahoo.com/is-illegal-write-draw-us-money-rules-about-5839668.html?cat=3

http://www.ehow.com/list_6535889_defacing-u_s_-currency-laws.html

http://www.positiveatheism.org/mail/eml9613.htm

http://moneyfactory.gov/historicallegislation.html

http://www.richmondfed.org/faqs/currency/

As many of us are aware, there is nothing “federal” about the Federal Reserve because though it is subject to some congressional oversight, it is a privately-owned,  independent central bank, which has the power to make the decision to print money, for instance. http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Under_the_Federal_Reserve_Act_of_1913_the_what_powers_do_Federal_Reserve_banks_have  What is interesting is that while our paper money used to read “silver certificate” across the top, as it used to actually be redeemable for silver from the U. S. Treasury, these stopped being printed in 1964 and were replaced by federal reserve bank notes which had “national currency” written across the top until 1971, when they were replaced with the federal reserve note which reads “Federal Reserve Note”.

There is a movement to end the Federal Reserve  and put the power to create money back in the hands of the federal government and out of banksters’ clutches. Dennis Kucinich has authored a bill toward this end titled the “National Emergency Employment Defense ( NEED) Act”.  You can read more at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/12/01/kucinich-bill-seeks-to-end-the-federal-reserve/. The following link to a YouTube video also brings up some important points regarding the printing of paper money and its relation to debt and how it would be advantageous for the government to take back the role of again printing money. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tr5BbH6X8s&feature=colike

Amazing, how the more “federal reserve notes” the Fed prints, the less the 99% benefits.  The idea of “Occupying Dollar Bills” is brilliant in my opinion and I’m going to order me some rubber stamps!

Ben & Jerry’s Co-Founder: Occupy Dollar Bills