Politics

The Fossil Fuel Lie

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Repeatedly, we hear the myth that if we end our dependence on foreign fossil fuel gas prices will be lower. However; the fact is that our country’s dependence on foreign fuel is the lowest it has been in thirty years and, yet the price of gas still hovers between $3.60 and $4.00 a gallon.

There are those who want to blame President Obama for our high prices. They announce the price of a gallon of gas on January 20, 2009 like it is some proof that Obama’s policies have failed. They totally ignore that prices rose to historic highs during President Bush’s administration.  In either case, President Bush didn’t control the gas prices then and President Obama doesn’t now. Neither President had a policy that caused Americans to pay more at the pump.

So, what’s up?

What’s up is the fact that our oil companies can sell their wares on the open market and in the open market, the highest bidder wins. Don’t think that oil companies care if you pay $3.00 or $4.00 per gallon. It is all about making money.

And, that’s what it means to live in an open market society. For good or bad, unregulated markets go up and down. Gas goes up in the summer and down in the winter, but it never seems to go as low as it once was.

I agonize about gas prices. I have a 126 mile round trip commute to work. I pay very close attention. But, it isn’t going to change no matter who is President, so I’m not going to pretend that it will.

Romney’s 47%

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Back in May, Mitt Romney went to a Florida fundraiser and basically called the 47% of Obama supporters victims. His mistake was confusing the 46% of Americans who do not pay Federal Income Tax with the 47% of Americans who are supporting President Obama.
And, he said it to a room full of rich people who believe the same thing.
A lot of news casts have been focusing on the people who make up the 46%, but I don’t think that is the only lesson we should take from this. I think we should also realize that how Romney described Obama supporters is how Romney and other conservatives actually see us. If I had a dollar for every time a Republican has called me lazy when all they know about me is that I write a blog, I’d be almost as rich as Romney. I’ve been told to get a job, too.  People like Romney have been kept so far from normal people that they can’t understand how a working person might consider paying taxes as the price we pay for living in the greatest country on earth.
Rich people like Romney are really the ones who feel entitled. In trying to dig himself out of this hold, Romney has been saying that people need good paying jobs and he strongly suggests that President Obama would rather give handouts. But, the irony on Romney’s statement is lost on him and most Republicans : People like Romney are the reason there aren’t more good paying jobs in America. In the search for cheap labor, the so-called job creators have laid off Americans and moved their factories overseas. Then, they rake in the big bucks and demand to pay less taxes.

Last night, Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan laid the blame of the slow recovery at President Obama’s feet. He claims that President Obama has failed and we “deserve a real real recovery.” But, Ryan is wrong. This is what recovery looks like. It took years to get to the recession and it will take years to recover from the recession. The last thing we need running this country are a spoiled rich boy and an Ayn Rand follower.

We need men who know what it’s like to work hard to obtain their dreams, not someone who’s father purchased his first house and someone else who went to school on Social Security benefits, but wants to cut them for everyone else.

Governor Walker’s Protest Problem

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Governor Walker appointed David Erwin the Capitol Police Chief. And, now, this veteran of both our armed services and the state patrol has set out to rid our Capitol of people who exercise their First Amendment Right to hold a peaceful protest. Agree with the protestors or don’t agree; it doesn’t matter – Chief Erwin and his force are making a mockery of both our government and the men and women officers who know the difference between a peaceful protester and a terrorist.
Both the  Madison Professional Police Officers Association and the Dane County Deputy Sheriffs Association have condemned his actions. Apparently, much like our Governor, Erwin doesn’t care. Arrogant people like our Governor and Erwin don’t have the ability to process any idea that is contrary to their own. To Erwin, disagreeing and protesting against your government equates a terrorist attack. I’m guessing that “the right of the of the people peaceably to assemble” that our First Amendment guarantees wasn’t taught in his history class. Maybe he missed that day.

This probably makes the Capitol quieter, so the Republican Legislators can get back to screwing over the Wisconsin people without having to answer to any of them.
If you’re heading to the Capitol, keep this in mind – Carry a concealed weapon, you’ll be fine. Speak your mind, go directly to jail, don’t pass go and don’t collect $200.

Poll Fixing?

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I’ve been hearing talk that some Republicans believe that the media is fixing the poll results to put President Obama in the lead. Frankly, I think that’s ridiculous, but supposed it was true. I know it isn’t, but hear me out.

Who would President Obama’s lead benefit?  Certainly not the Democrats. A far enough lead in the polls can lead to some voters staying home. This election is going to be closer than the polls are suggesting. Every voter who supports President Obama needs to vote in this election – regardless of the polls lie. There are some people who might think Skip it, Obama’s in the lead, he doesn’t need my vote. This kind of thinking, coupled with the un-Constitutional new voter laws, could hand Mitt Romney the election.

Instead of whining, what the Republicans should be doing is holding up these poll numbers and use them to rally their base.

What is happening is that they are ignoring the truth and trying to package it as a lie.

I pray every night that President Obama wins the election. But, if the Republicans keep wasting opportunity, then I think President Obama will be taking his second Presidential Oath of office on January 20, 2013.

Romney’s 47%

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Back in May, Mitt Romney went to a Florida fundraiser and basically called the 47% of Obama supporters victims. His mistake was confusing the 46% of Americans who do not pay Federal Income Tax with the 47% of Americans who are supporting President Obama.
And, he said it to a room full of rich people who believe the same thing.
A lot of news casts have been focusing on the people who make up the 46%, but I don’t think that is the only lesson we should take from this. I think we should also realize that how Romney described Obama supporters is how Romney and other conservatives actually see us. If I had a dollar for every time a Republican has called me lazy when all they know about me is that I write a blog, I’d be almost as rich as Romney. I’ve been told to get a job, too.  People like Romney have been kept so far from normal people that they can’t understand how a working person might consider paying taxes as the price we pay for living in the greatest country on earth.

Rich people like Romney are really the ones who feel entitled. In trying to dig himself out of this hold, Romney has been saying that people need good paying jobs and he strongly suggests that President Obama would rather give handouts. But, the irony on Romney’s statement is lost on him and most Republicans : People like Romney are the reason there aren’t more good paying jobs in America. In the search for cheap labor, the so-called job creators have laid off Americans and moved their factories overseas. Then, they rake in the big bucks and demand to pay less taxes.

Finally, has anyone noticed that the majority of those people who support Romney live in red states? And, the red states receive more federal aid than the blue states. And, then they speak about personal responsibility.

Our friend, Mitt Romney

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While Governor, Mitt Romney signed into law a healthcare law that is very much like the Affordable Care Act. I will admit that I am not very familiar with Massachusett’s law, but I believe that if Romney had disagreed with the law, he could have vetoed it.

Romney is running for President and he plans on overturning ACA (aka Obamacare) on day one, my friend.

Now, this passed weekend, Romney goes on talk shows and said that there are some parts of ACA he likes and he will keep them.

What?

How can anyone take this guy seriously any more? I don’t have a problem with a politician saying “You know, I was against this, but I did more research and I’ve changed my mind.” I don’t mind a politician saying, “I was against this, but I’ve received a thousand letters from my constituents and I’m going to vote for it, because they want me too.”  (Where would we find a guy like that?)

But, Romney is running on a platform that is against Obamacare! And, now he’s mellowing? Where is the decisive business man he claims to be? He flips and flops that it scares me. He wants to be liked. Mitt Romney wants all of us to like him.

But, that’s not possible when you’re running for office. You’ve got to stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. We need a President with a backbone! Not someone who wants all of us to be his friend. I have friends. The country has friends. What we need is a strong leader and Mitt isn’t.

The Supreme Court Gets It Right

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Finally, the Roberts led Court made a decision that will actually be good for this country. Too bad the right wing is too stubborn to agree.

Sadly, many on the right just don’t get it.

They think that this equates to people getting something for nothing. Apparently, they haven’t been told that millions of hardworking American citizens either can’t afford insurance or work where it isn’t offered.  The Affordable Care Act means that they will have access to affordable health insurance. That’s a good thing.

Plus, the law finally does what should’ve been done a very long time ago – it regulates the insurance companies. Now, they have to spend 85% of the premiums on actual health care. This is a good thing.  Let me explain.

I’m a responsible, tax paying American citizen. When I was working as a contractor, I purchased the most expensive health care plan my employer offered.  I paid the full amount of the premium. I thought I had purchased a plan that would cover up to $15,000 of charges.  I ended up in the hospital and the bill came to well over $6,000. My insurance company didn’t pay anything. What they did do was deny the hospital payment for services and lower the cost of others. I was left with a $4,000 bill.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t have $4,000 just lying around.

With the health care law in full effect, this wouldn’t have happened. And, I wouldn’t be making monthly payments to my local hospital. The insurance company would’ve done what I had been paying them to do.

Another good thing about the health care law is the removal of pre-existing conditions. I have a very mild case of asthma. There was a mix up with my insurance when I switched from one consulting firm to another. This left me without insurance coverage for about two weeks (during which I managed to rack up another $2,000 in Hospital bills.)

Under the old ways, no continuing coverage – no coverage for my asthma. Not now.

Now, my new insurance cannot penalize me for someone else’s mistake.

Which brings me to the Individual Mandate. #1. You don’t want someone to not have coverage, be diagnosed with cancer and then sign up for insurance. That would be the same as not buying car insurance until after you’ve been in an accident. By making everyone have insurance, this scenario practically goes away.
#2. By everyone having insurance, hospitals will be paid for services. If you think people are walking away from medical bills and no one is paying for it, you’re wrong. We all pay when the hospitals raise their rates to make up for the deadbeats.

Responsible adults carry insurance. Now, we’re all going to be responsible adults whether the right wing agrees or not.

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Romney is NOT our Man

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Quick, which Presidential candidate had a rich daddy pay for his Harvard education?

ROMNEY.

Which candidate broke companies apart, created layoffs for his fellow Americans and became rich in the process ?

ROMNEY.

Romney’s campaign slogan “Putting Jobs First” is a joke of epic proportions. Romney isn’t someone who knows about putting jobs first. He is a business man and a very successful one. For that he deserves credit. However; you CAN’T run the government like you run a business.

Business people care about profits and that runs contrary to creating jobs. Businesses don’t create jobs for the sake of creating them. They create jobs when there is a need.

What creates need? Demand. Demand for your products or services creates the environment that causes companies to higher.

Profits DO NOT create jobs. Take a good hard look at the profit and lost sheets of nearly every major company in the country. You will find that most of them – the majority of them – are making higher profits now then before the 2008 crash.

Then, take a look at their hiring. See any job creation? Not a lot.

Think tax cuts are the answer? Think again. Taxes on the upper one percent and corporations are lower now than they were in the 1950s. And, still, very few jobs.

Is our economy improving?

Yes it is, but if we make cuts in government spending now – like Romney supports – and we further cut the taxes on the rich – like Romney wants – we’re repeating 1937. And, we all know what happened in 1937.

Romney is the wrong man at the wrong time. We don’t need a business man who only knows profits. We don’t need a man who spent his professional career laying people off. We don’t need a man who asks his country what can you do for me and then hides his money in the Cayman Islands. We don’t need a man who believes that “Corporations are people, my friend.”

We need a man who has had student loan debt. A man who knows our communities. A man who understands that the road to success is paved with hard work and dedication.

We need President Obama for another four years.

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Gay Marriage: Not a Single Issue

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A good friend of mine posted on a Facebook status regarding gay marriage and voting that some people don’t just vote a single issue. Now, he’s a little misguided because I know plenty of people on the right that vote Republican solely because they’re anti-abortion. And, I know plenty of people who voted Democratic because they were against the war in Iraq. Quite frankly, I agree with my friend: one shouldn’t vote just one issue.

But, when you’re gay, gay marriage isn’t a single issue. It affects nearly every single issue out there for gays and lesbians.

Point 1: Taxes. Everyone complains about how much they pay in taxes.  If you’re a straight married couple with no kids, making what Cheryl and I make, you pay around $1000 less in Federal income taxes than Cheryl and I do. Between the two of us, we paid more than $10,000 in federal income taxes – roughly 16% of our joint income. This means we paid a higher percentage than Mitt Romney.
The Republican tax plan? It will cost us a lot more, while lowering taxes on people who all ready pay less than we do and, I’m ignoring the other items, like lowering taxes of the rich.
You want tax equality? Let the gays get married.

Point 2. Social Security. I earn a substantial amount more than Cheryl. Therefore, I pay more into Social Security than she does. If we were allowed to legally marry, she could apply for Social Security under my name. However; because we’re not legally married, she can’t.  She, also, won’t receive any death benefits if I happen to die first – unlike her legally married, straight counterparts.  In the land of equality, this stinks. A man can marry a woman, stay married for ten years and divorce her and she can file for his Social Security. That same man can marry another woman, stay married for ten years and wife #2 gets a piece of his Social Security pie. His benefits are never reduced. 

Point 3. Healthcare. Taxes. If I take my employer provided healthcare benefits for Cheryl, like millions of straight married couples do all over the country, I will pay income taxes on the employer cost of said healthcare. You want to fix healthcare in this nation? Start by eliminating the domestic partner taxes on healthcare.

See, I’m not asking for special rights. I am demanding equality. The right wing yammers on and on about fairness and freedom, but it’s just talk. They don’t believe in equality. 

Further, there are more issues than just these three that is affected by one’s marital status. Gay marriage may not be important to straight people, but it is literally the most important issue to gay people. It affects everything about our lives.

If you care one iota for your gay friends and family, you’ll vote Democratic this fall. Until we’re all equal, none of us are equal.

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