Why America Needs a Third Political Party (Desperately!!)

If you were born around mid-20th century you  probably remember a simpler time, when you knew who the USA’s enemies were;  when the two political parties had significant ideological differences but understood the absolute need to work together for the good of the entire country;  that if you worked hard you could get ahead;  when natural disasters struck the US government was there providing competent relief to the needy; and citizens were proud of the strength and resourcefulness of the United States of America.

Then the Reagan administration came in.  It was hell-bent on reducing the central government by privatizing its functions,reducing funds for education, eliminating social safety networks, adding religion to politics, providing tax breaks for the rich, and re-categorizing ketchup as a vegetable in school lunches.  The political power of the radical-right military-industrial complex was increased with contracts for US$300 toilets in military aircraft and US$ 500 hammers for military construction projects.  The beginning of right-wing extremism as a large force in American politics had begun.

During the Clinton administration (1993-2000), the more left-leaning liberals, starved for even one political achievement after 12 years under republican rule, attempted to implement universal healthcare in America.  While truly a noble effort, this totally overstepping action hit the ground with a loud thud.  The see-saw of American politics swung back into the radical right’s favor.  Republicans retook congress in the 1994 elections.  But the Clinton administration became more centrist to work compromises with that newly GOP congress.  Together they passed comprehensive welfare reform and national budgets that generated surpluses for four consecutive years in a row.  The economy boomed, demonstrating that the political centrist road was working for the country and its people.

Unfortunately, bipartisanship drove into a brick wall during the GW Bush administration with the reintroduction of religion in government, more tax breaks for the rich, and more favoring of the military-industrial-corporate complex, two expensive (but unfunded) wars, an unfunded prescription drug program for seniors that guaranteed even more monster profits for corporate big pharma, deregulation of financial and mortgage markets which caused the housing bubble to explode,  Wall Street and the economy to implode, and exploding national budget deficits to be left to the next president to solve.  The partisan extreme right believed that “deficits don’t matter”, as then vice-president “Tricky Dick” Cheney is famous for saying.

The extreme political partisanship which began under Reagan really didn’t come into its own until republicans took control of both house of congress for 6 years beginning in 2002 during the GW Bush administration.  From then on congressional democrats were more and more marginalized until, in 2006, senate republicans threatened to deploy what they called the “nuclear option“, i.e., they would their majority in the senate to change senate rules so that filibusters could be shut down with a simple 50% plus one majority, as opposed to the 60% requirement the rules demanded.  The only thing that stopped this was the “gang of 14” moderate senator from both parties who got together to forge a bi-partisan solution.  Bi-partisanship had dodged yet one more bullet, but the power-addiction of the GOP was no beyond the point of no return.

While the democrats won back the senate in 2006, the GOP still controlled the house of representatives.  However, when the democrats also took both the white house and the house of representatives in 2008, the withdrawal symptoms caused by the GOP’s power addiction really kicked in.  The GOP in both houses of congress started voting as a single block of votes on almost every issue.  Senate republicans used the filibuster rule to stop almost all of the democrat’s proposals.    Uncompromising partisanship had finally become the standard for these republicans.

And when the GOP won back the house in 2010, it just made them even more  partisan.  The newly-GOP-controlled house pushed through legislation they knew would die in the senate or be vetoed by president Obama.  Their partisan extremism had been further enhanced by the 61 new Tea-Bagger congresspeople whose only stated agenda was to impose their way or the highway.  The debt-limit increase debacle of last July and August is how business is now conducted on Capitol Hill.  This is hurting the weak economy and making the US government look like it belongs in a lunatic asylum.

As a result, a group of moderate centrists democrats, republicans, and independents fed up with the partisan bullshit known as “No Labels” has been meeting and growing, much like the extremist Tea Party movement did several years ago.  In fact, they recently participated in a conference call with 100,000 attendees!!

With the Tea-baggers controlling the GOP and the leftist liberals mad at Obama (a centrist democrat, by the way), no is the perfect time for “No Labels” to “mix it up” by offering a third political choice at the polls.

They just need a better, catchier name….

Like, maybe…We the PEOPLE!!!‘s party!   :)

Reducing Unemployment and Saving Money At the Same Time

So the USA’s unemployment stands at a stubborn 9.1%, the national debt keeps climbing, and the USA doesn’t seem to be very popular with the global community, despite spending billions on it.

But wait:  isn’t this the same country that contributed to the demise of the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s?

Right-wing conservatives often credit their ultimate icon, then-US-president Ronald Reagan, with “bankrupting” the Soviet Union by forcing it into an extremely expensive arms race to develop and field more capable intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and an anti-ballistic missile (ABM) defense system cutely known at the time as “Star Wars”.  Others argue that it collapsed under the weight of its own economic deficiencies and the built-in defects of a communist methodology.  But those folks are ignoring the truth: without the people of the Soviet-bloc countries demanding democracy and western-style economics and goods, the Soviet Union might still around today.

The USA traded freely with the Soviets, mostly to the USA’s financial gain.  Everything from grain to blue jeans to western pop and rock and roll was exported to the Soviet Union, along with the information about the outside world which accompanied these exports.  The more they got, the more they wanted, and the residents of the USSR went to great lengths to get what they wanted.  Corporate America ate it up;  the increasing demand was exponential.  It was a huge money tree for the USA’s and Europe’s capitalists: almost like selling heroine to addicts.

In the course of becoming addicted to more and more western culture, the Soviet citizenry began demanding more and more access from their government;  they just couldn’t get enough.  The Soviet government responded by taking the path of least resistance:  it relaxed its restrictions and allowed more and more importation of western culture (and subsequent information).

In a classic snowball effect, western culture became critical to Soviet life.  The Soviet government had made a critical mistake:  once allowed into the country, western cultural contamination portrayed the west as cool, instead of the evil destroyers that decades of government propaganda proposed.  The people’s demand to be more “western” ultimately grew past the point of no return, and the internal pressure to dismantle the Soviet empire became an irresistible force.  The USSR began crumbling from within.  The arms race and economics defects stuff just helped it along.

In other words, blue jeans and rock and roll crushed the USSR.

So riddle this reverse logic if you can:

For over 50 years, a piddly little Caribbean island nation with practically no modern weapons or technology and only 90 miles from Key West, Florida, has been a thorn in the side of every American leader since John F Kennedy was president in the early 1960’s.  The USA imposed a trade embargo on Cuba in 1960, and made it even more restrictive in 1962.  With only occasional lapses, this embargo is the longest such economic action in modern history.  Its stated goal was to force the collapse of the communist Castro regime in Cuba.  This was supposed to cause a new democratic government to take hold in Cuba.

However, after more than 50 years, even an 11-year-old can see that this stupid embargo is a massive failure.  It has only hurt the Cuban people.  They’ve existed without the American influence that comes with every pair of American jeans, every rock cd and every car part needed to repair their ancient American Chevies.   Meanwhile the USA spends billions in foreign aid to fund local infrastructure projects in places like Africa, which accomplishes…what?

While the USA suffers unemployment and financial deficit/debt problems, Castro’s Cuba spends money fomenting international hatred of the USA, which the USA spends money trying to reverse (unsuccessfully).  Meanwhile, Americans sit at home without a job.

The obvious solution is to lift the trade embargo against Cuba completely and immediately.  Flood the island with American blue jeans, rock and roll cd’s, and free consultation for improving their crumbling infrastructure.  Then offer to supply free materiel and unemployed American workers for those infrastructure projects and repairs. .  Select workers based partially upon their friendliness and knowledge of the benefits of democracy.  Addict the Cuban to American culture.  Let the same process that brought down the USSR work its hedonistic magic in Cuba.

Then sit back and watch as Americans working in Cuba lower the US employment rate for a fraction of what we used to spend on foreign aid. Watch more jobs created in the USA, as Cuban cigars and other goods are now featured and sold . Watch US markets make enormous new profits, while the US government spends less, generates new import and other revenues, as democracy takes hold in Cuba because of demands for what the Soviet people demanded (and got).  A win-win for everyone.

Alas…it will never happen.  Why?  Because neither Cuban-Americans in Florida and elsewhere, nor the American ultra-right can see past their self-righteous fanatical indignation over such a proposal…it doesn’t have any anger in it.

Monday’s GOP Debate: Embrace Lies, Ignore Facts

Based upon the latest polling, President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects seems to be in real trouble:. those disapproving his job performance has reached 55%.

Last Thursday, he presented an extremely-well-crafted jobs recovery bill before a televised`joint session of congress..  Some folks think it was the best speech of his political career.  He should have gotten a 10%-20% bump in the polls, but he didn’t.  Obama’s numbers stayed at the  55% disapproval rate he’s had since the debt-limit-increase debacle of August.

Yet, another poll released today (9-14-11), informed Americans actually like his jobs recovery bill by a margin of 43% to 35% (80%), while fully 20% have no idea what’s in Obama’s jobs bill, or don’t know about it, and thus have no opinion.  Most were probably too busy watching the opening game of the  National Football League (NFL).  Keep those ignorant 20% in mind, and add them to the 35% who oppose the jobs bills.  Is it just a coincidence that they add up to 55%?

If you even had the stomach to watch Monday’s GOP debate among the eight GOP/Tea Party candidates (without getting too nauseous), you probably noticed two things:

1.  The GOP/Tea Party candidates did not seem to have any use for facts or truth, and

2.  They never mentioned Obama’s proposed jobs bill.

Thus, it’s reasonable to calculate that 35% of Americans who watched the debate would approve of most of what they heard (almost all of it lies and stupid statements), because they are either conservative republicans, ultra-extreme-religious-right Tea Party activists/supporters, or head-in-the-sand libertarians who believe that the only justifiable function of federal government is to build an extremely strong military force to defend the Sovereign Associated States of America (SASA for short, the name they would call the USA if they could).  Tea Partiers believe in that same strong military force, by the way, except they also believe that this armed force can be used to invade any country that does not support their Tea-Party agenda….or that has lots of oil…or both.  They also tend to agree with the SASA idea.

Against this backdrop of extremism, the GOP/Tea Party candidates in the debate essentially attempted to revise history, law and reality to serve their personal agendas.  And while all of them participated in this practice to one extent or another, the bullshit award of the evening has got to be given to Michele Bachmann, the ultra-extremist, right-wing evangelical fundamentalist ignoramus from Minnesota.

Bachmann, continuing a tradition she started for herself of talking out of her ass without ever checking the facts, accused president Obama of “stealing US$500 billion from Medicare” (a program, by the way, that she would end if she could).  Obama did nothing of the kind.  The bill passed by Congress and signed into law by Obama is expected to lower the Medicare budget by that amount of money through the reduction of rampant fraud and abuse and by implementing streamlined systems.  Obama stole nothing.

She also claimed that Rick Perry of Texas personally forced 12-year-old girls in Texas to receive a “state-mandate-government-injection” without the ability for parents to opt out and say no.  The truth is that while Perry issued an executive order in Texas to have all 12-yead-old girls receive the HPV virus vaccine UNLESS they opted out,  And even so, the Texas legislature rejected Perry’s executive order, and then passed it’s own version of the law, which included the opt-out provision.  The hypocrite Bachmann never mentioned that she doesn’t oppose children receiving state-mandated mumps or chicken pox vaccinations, or any of a myriad of other vaccinations, however.

Bachmann also clearly stated that the HPV virus vaccination is dangerous to kids because it can cause metal retardation, a bullshit claim she repeated the next day on CNN.  She seems to base this claim upon an unknown “mother” coming up to her and claiming that her daughter had a “mental health episode” following an HPV vaccine.  The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia has repeatedly made it clear that no such danger exists.

She also claimed that the health care reform law funds abortions, at Obama’s personal direction, because the law mandates that health insurance companies cover the “Plan B” morning-after contraceptive, which Bachmann falsely proclaims is an abortion-inducing pill.

Michele Bachmann has a long history of spouting bullshit about founding fathers, slavery, the US Constitution, and revising history to back up her beliefs and agenda.  Weirdly, the rest of the GOP candidates seem to be emulating her.  The stupid and the lazy in this country are eating it up!

If Obama and the democrats don’t want endure a “shellacking” again in the coming 2012 elections, they better start spoon-feeding the American electorate every single time the GOP candidates lie and ignore facts and reality by aggressively waving that bullshit flag over and over…

Because if they don’t…well…how did you like the eight years of Bush and 6 years of republican control of congress?

 

“Tricky Dick” Cheney Has “No Regrets”??

Tonight the declared republican candidates candidates for the USA presidency will participate in the first of three national debates scheduled within 15 days.  This is the first conservative Texas governor Rick Perry, who along with the rest of the GOP pack, will surely claim that he has a plan to reduce the budget deficit and national debt, while further reducing taxes on the wealthy, beefing up the military, and creating jobs.

What Perry will probably not mention is that his predecessor, former republican US president George W. Bush and his vice-president “Tricky Dick” Cheney, inherited a strong economy and a national budget surplus when they took office in January 2001.  Nor will Perry (described by some as Bush on steroids) mention that in eight years Bush/Cheney turned that strong and healthy economy into a recession-infested disaster, while millions of Americans lost their jobs and homes.  The USA operated all eight Bush/Cheney years with large budget deficits each year.  The national debt doubled from US$ 5 trillion to over US$ 10 trillion.  Two unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy, two unfunded wars, and an unfunded private-industry-friend medicare prescription drug program, along with allowing for unregulated risky mortgages for people who couldn’t afford them were primary causal factors of the recession.  But Tricky Dick famously stated in 2004, “Deficits don’t matter”.

American possess two very bad characteristics that favor republicans when it comes to politics:  Incredible gullibility, and very short memories.  Thus, the Tea Partiers and other extreme-right GOP folks have been able to convince Americans that the deficit and the debt are both the fault of President Obama and the democrats.  American tend to believe the loudest and most repetitious.  Plus, they’ve forgotten that  Bush/Cheney were still in office and republicans controlled congress when the recession began in December 2007.

Oops.

Enter “Tricky Dick” Cheney, hawking his new book which, according to him, will “make heads explode”.   After months of silence, “Tricky Dick”s public reappearance just as the GOP race is heating up, is actually fortuitous for democrats for two reasons:  Cheney’s presence can remind American voters where the deficits really came from and who caused them, and they can ask people if they really want a return to Cheney’s of arrogant “we’ll-do-what-we-want-and-rationaize-it-later” form of governing, reminding people about how the Bush/Cheney syndicate ran the country into the ground.

If “Tricky Dick” Cheney was anyone else, he probably would have timed his book’s release so as to interfere as little as possible with the republican candidates’ political campaigns.  He also might have expressed so regrets and admitted to some critical mistakes during his time as vice-president and surrogate brain for GW Bush.  But true to form, Tricky told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer just the opposite during an extensive interview you can watch in various segments HERE,

“Tricky Dick” made it very clear that he has no regrets.  Not a single one.

He doesn’t regret deficit spending while giving his rich buddies large tax breaks.  He doesn’t admit to anything the Bush syndicate did wrong, or that any of it was causal to the recession.  He doesn’t regret that more than 4000 American lives were lost and hundreds of billions of dollars were spent on the Iraqi war.  He doesn’t admit that invading Iraq over false intelligence information regarding Iraqi WMDs was a mistake, or that the US diversion in Iraq also caused the USA to “take its eye off the ball” in Afghanistan, including the pursuit of Bin Laden and the Taliban, which is partly why the USA and its NATO allies are STILL fighting in Afghanistan 10 years after 9-11.

When it comes to the economy, he doesn’t regret a single Bush policy, and has no expressed regret nor accepted any responsibility whatsoever for the recession.  And perhaps most horrendous of all, he seems proud of using “enhanced interrogation techniques” such as water-boarding and other forms of torture on detainees.  Moreover, he still insists that these torture methods were instrumental in preventing any more “mass casualties attacks”, as he puts it, on the USA since 9-11.

Of course, ol’ Tricky Dick  doesn’t say which “planned attacks” upon the USA since 9-11 were prevented, or when they were scheduled to occur, or who specifically were the almost-perpetrators, or how and where they were supposed to happen.  He also didn’t explain why the 2005 Al-Qaeda London bombing and 2004 Al-Qaeda Madrid train bombing weren’t prevented, or how come the shoe-bomber or the underwear bomber weren’t discovered before they were already airborne on their respective target aircraft.

Finally, he doesn’t acknowledge how hypocritical the USA now appears when it criticizes another country for “human rights abuses”.

Yep.  “Tricky Dick” Cheney is a republican with no regrets.  You know.  Like Perry, Romney, Bachmann. Palin, Cain, and the rest of the pack.

Americans need to believe it.  They need to remember it.

Democrats had best make certain that they do.