Day: July 1, 2010

Senator Ben Nelson Personally Responsible For Defeat Of Extension Of Unemployment Compensation! :(

Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska is clearly the most conservative of all Democratic Senators!

He tends to vote with Republicans a good deal of the time, since he represents a state which is more conservative than most!

It is understandable that Nelson is often on the fence on party issues, but it is unconscionable that he would block the extension of unemployment compensation to millions of people who are desperate, many of them out of work for nearly two years in the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression! ๐Ÿ™

These people will lose their homes or apartments; many will go hungry; their children will experience the horrors of total poverty; and the health of these unfortunates will deteriorate under the stress! ๐Ÿ™ The Great Recession is still raging! ๐Ÿ™

And yet Nelson, and the entire Republican party in the Senate, with the exception of the two Maine woman senators–Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins–seem unconcerned about the human suffering they are causing! ๐Ÿ™

The longer people in the millions are out of work, the longer the deep recession will last, as if one does not work or have disposable income, then it brings down the economy for other Americans! This hardheartedness on the part of Nelson and the GOP is incomprehensible! ๐Ÿ™

And ironically, as Robert Bryd left the Senate chamber for the last time after being in a casket in the legislative body he loved, the Senate Republicans and Ben Nelson dishonored their colleague, as had he been alive and able to vote on unemployment compensation extension, it would have passed in time for the July 4 holiday! ๐Ÿ™

Now, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will have to struggle to find a 60th vote to overcome a filibuster, and that cannot be done until the Senate returns on July 12 after the holiday break! ๐Ÿ™

How can Ben Nelson and his GOP colleagues enjoy their break on the backs of the unemployed and needy? ๐Ÿ™

This whole situation is absolutely a disgrace! ๐Ÿ™

The Charges Against Former Vice President Al Gore: Incomprehensible! :(

The growing controversy over accusations of sexual misconduct against former Vice President Al Gore requires some rational thought and analysis!

Gore has been accused of what The National Enquirer terms to be misbehavior on the level of a “sexual predator” and a “pervert”! ๐Ÿ™

This whole reported “scandal” reeks of questionable veracity, and makes no sense! ๐Ÿ™

Is it possible that Al Gore may have “cheated” on his wife, thus causing the recent decision for the couple, married 40 years, to seek a divorce? YES, that certainly is possible, but to believe that any such “cheating” was by aggressive sexual assault, rather than consensual, is VERY hard to believe! ๐Ÿ™

Why would Al Gore risk using violence and committing a criminal act? What would drive him to such reckless behavior? ๐Ÿ™

This is not John Edwards, correctly exposed by The National Enquirer, in a consensual sexual affair! This is not Bill Clinton, involved in a similar consensual affair with Monica Lewinsky! This is not Clinton suggesting to Paula Jones that she commit a sexual act, but stopping at the suggestion!

All the above is believable, and reality, but Al Gore being brutal and boorish with a 50 year old massage therapist of ordinary looks, as compared to much younger women with Edwards and Clinton, is beyond understanding!

The question arises why it took four years for this to come out, and why when it was first reported at the time and again investigated last year by the Portland, Oregon police, that it was dismissed as not serious! ๐Ÿ™

And why did this woman want a million dollars to tell her story to the National Enquirer, which they refused to do? If she wanted money, especially of that large amount, does it not have to make one doubt the veracity of her claims? ๐Ÿ™

Is it new that there are women who love to create stories and blackmail famous public figures, either for consensual affairs or because they conjure up such events for the almighty dollar? ๐Ÿ™

Does this woman have any credibility? The answer is ABSOLUTELY NONE, but meanwhile public figures have their reputations dragged through the mud in a disgraceful manner! ๐Ÿ™

And while there is not yet any proof, could not one imagine that right wing media could be creating this whole story to defame Al Gore, and help to undermine his leadership of those who advocate environmental action to combat climate change and global warming? Does not this “scandal” in their minds help to undermine a cause that they despise?

It is not beyond possibility that a conspiracy is involved in this matter, and hopefully if so, it will be revealed, and Al Gore will be able to clear his name!

If indeed Al Gore did what he is accused of doing, there is no justification or defense of it, and he should pay the penalty, whatever it is!

But if that were so, it would be a shock to all his fans who mourned with him over his loss of the Presidency in 2000, and his courageous leadership on the environment!

The author and many others are hoping the truth will soon come out, and that it will set Al Gore free from such allegations!

John Boehner, Social Security, And The Long Term Future: A Proposal Of A Solution!

House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio has stirred up a controversy with his statements about the future of Social Security!

There is no question that the problem of the future of Social Security is a crucial one, that desperately needs to be dealt with in a serious manner, as it was in 1983!

That year, President Ronald Reagan and House Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill negotiated an agreement which governs Social Security ever since then. Despite their political and ideological differences, the two men and their party members recognized the need for Social Security reform.

Sadly, the reforms of 1983 were not enough to solve the problem for the long term, meaning to the end of the 21st century, but it did solve the problem to the mid point of this century. As a result, people born in 1943 and after had to wait to age 66 to receive full benefits, and those born in 1960 and after had to wait until age 67. But these people were given plenty of notice in order to plan their futures, and age 62 remained the minimum age to receive lower Social Security benefits!

Now, John Boehner has proposed that the Social Security age be raised to 70 for those twenty or more years from retirement, meaning those born after 1970. He also suggested that although everyone pays in, that those who are wealthy give up the benefit as they do not need it! He also stated that this sacrifice would help finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan!

The uproar is massive, but Boehner is not totally wrong in what he advocates!

There has long been a reality to recognize the need to raise the retirement age long term. What makes more sense, however, is the following proposal: Raise the retirement age to age 68 for those born in 1970 and after; to age 69 for those born in 1980 and after; and to age 70 for those born in 1990 and after!

This means that people now 40 and under would understand that the age is 68; that people now 30 and under would know that the age is 69; and that people now 20 and under would accept that the age is 70 for full retirement benefits! This gives all these groups plenty of years to plan ahead!

Also, we need to face the facts that age longevity is growing, and now with national health care, it should improve further, so there is no reason that people cannot work to the older ages if they wish! But always, they can retire as early as age 62 at lower benefits!

But beyond this reform, should wealthier people give up their benefit? The answer is NO, as they have contributed to Social Security and should be entitled to the proceeds of their efforts! There should NOT be a means test for Social Security!

But to help finance the long run future of Social Security, the limit of Social Security contributions should be lifted to cover ALL wages, just as is with Medicare! That will supply a much larger amount of funding from the growing percentage of people earning much more than $106,800, the present limit!

Finally, should Social Security be linked to support of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan? Absolutely NO, as the plan should be to withdraw from both wars as soon as possible, as neither has contributed one iota to our security and safety after September 11!

So John Boehner has contributed to the debate over Social Security, but what has been suggested by the author is a much better solution to the long term future of Social Security and its recipients!

We must not have young people thinking that they will see the demise of Social Security, therefore lowering their desire to want to see it continue!

When Social Security was started 75 years ago, it was seen as a contract with the American people to give an element of peace of mind to senior citizens and widows and orphans. It is a social contract that cannot be allowed to be broken!

So the only way to protect and preserve it is do what is suggested above, and also NOT to invest it in the unstable stock market! That is a person’s private choice with other funds, but not with their Social Security contributions!

More Economic Stimulus Needed! Private Enterprise Cannot Expand Rapidly Enough To Revive Economy Alone!

The debate is thick and fast in Washington, DC, and around the world, as the G-20 Summit in Toronto supported cutbacks in government spending to deal with the growing deficit problems!

But President Obama disagreed, emphasizing that private enterprise cannot alone revive the economy fast enough, and that more government stimulus is urgent!

It is true that the economy has not recovered in any large degree, but Obama is right that government stimulus is urgent now, while at some point later, it is necessary to cut the deficit!

To count on private enterprise, which has been reluctant to expand jobs, as the only method to economic recovery, is a vast mistake! Many nations are going that way, but most economists predict it will be a disaster with many victims, if governments go the way of the 1930s reaction to the Great Depression! ๐Ÿ™

Elena Kagan Versus Republican Senators: A Superb Performance! :)

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan put on a superb performance in her appearance this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee! ๐Ÿ™‚

Kagan displayed great intelligence and knowledge about the courts and the law, and was excellent in the use of humor and sarcasm, making her one of the more interesting nominees to appear before the Judiciary Committee in recent years! ๐Ÿ™‚

She made some of the Republicans look mediocre in their pettiness and criticisms, and did not back off from her effusive praise of her mentor, Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom she worked as a clerk for a few years on the Supreme Court!

The attacks on Marshall’s view of the Constitution demeaned NOT Marshall, but those Republicans who attacked his judicial record!

Kagan came across as clearly a liberal in her background and experiences, and will be an excellent addition to the Court!

Her differing experiences, including NOT being a judge, will create some diversity on the Court that is much needed!

It seems clear that she will easily be confirmed, and that she may get more GOP votes than originally expected! ๐Ÿ™‚

So, Solicitor General Kagan, soon you will be Associate Justice Kagan! ๐Ÿ™‚ Congratulations! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Republicans And The Great Recession: They Just Don’t Get It! :(

The Republican Party is proving yet again that they just don’t get it when it comes to the Great Recession! ๐Ÿ™

Resisting necessary financial reform, and blocking an extension of unemployment compensation to desperate people, it reminds us too much of the years of the GOP under Herbert Hoover, and during the New Deal of Franklin D. Roosevelt! ๐Ÿ™

When, oh when, will the American people understand that it was the GOP which put us into this mess, and now refuse to do anything to get us out, as to them, the only thing that matters is preventing Barack Obama from having any success! ๐Ÿ™

The thought is that if Obama fails to accomplish his goals, they gain, as Obama himself said yesterday in a public rally in Racine, Wisconsin! But it seems to the author that exactly the opposite will happen, and that the American people will come to realize that Obama is concerned about them, and the Republicans are not! ๐Ÿ™

Outgoing Senator Robert Bennett of Utah, a victim of the Tea Party Movement, has stated recently that while he thinks his party will win Congress this fall, that they only have slogans, and no programs or ideas, and that therefore, it is likely that even if they do win control, they will lose in in 2012!

Certainly, every utterance of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and House Minority Leader John Boehner fails to give any encouragement or inspiration to anyone who is listening! They come across as hard hearted, unconcerned, vapid spokesmen for their party!

The thought of Boehner as Speaker of the House makes one wonder, as his reputation is that he is NOT a hard worker, and cannot be reached after 5 pm! In other words, he is lazy and uninspiring!

On the other hand, listening and watching McConnell makes one feel as if he is at a wake! LOL

A more inspiring leader may be House Minority Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia, but there are rumors that he is looking to run for the Senate against Jim Webb in 2012, and that his heart is not in the House anymore. In any case, he and Boehner do not act seamlessly, and therefore, the GOP leadership is mediocre! ๐Ÿ™

But it is not just the leadership! It is also the membership in both houses that simply can be seen as having no imagination, no new ideas, and ultimately, no concern for the American people! ๐Ÿ™

Hopefully, the American people will see this by November, as Vice President Joe Biden predicts will be the case! We shall see soon enough!

Four Finalists For Democratic National Convention In September 2012!

The Democratic National Chairman, former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, has just announced the four finalists to host the Democratic National Convention, beginning September 3, 2012!

They are: Charlotte, North Carolina; Cleveland, Ohio; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and St. Louis, Missouri!

Notice that three of the four are in the battleground Mid West, and North Carolina is another battleground!

But also note that North Carolina, Ohio and Minnesota all ultimately went to Barack Obama in 2008, although all three will remain tough races for the 2012 Presidential election!

Missouri went to John McCain by just a few thousand votes, but in so doing, it was only the second time since 1900 that the “Show Me” state failed to go to the winner of the Presidency!

The only other time was 1956, when Adlai Stevenson somehow won the state over President Dwight D. Eisenhower, running for reelection!

It seems to the author that, therefore, the best case can be made for St. Louis, the home of the Gateway Arch, and a city sitting on the Mississippi River, marking the symbolic center of the country!

It is a state that Obama needs to win, and it obviously is a bellwether state more than any other!

Just as Tampa, Florida, made the most sense for the Republican Party for their 2012 convention–a state which went to the other party but is essential for victory–so does St. Louis, Missouri make the most sense for the Democratic Party!

The author months ago made a prediction that Tampa would be the GOP choice, so he is going out on a limb and predicting that St. Louis will be the Democratic selection!

Now let’s just wait and see if I can bat one thousand on selections of national conventions! ๐Ÿ™‚