Day: July 22, 2012

If Only: The 68th Birthday of Senator Paul Wellstone, If He Had Not Been Killed In Plane Crash In 2002!

Minnesota blessed the nation when they elected progressive Paul Wellstone to the US Senate in 1990, as he became one of the very best US Senators in American history, speaking for the average American in his nearly twelve years serving his constituents and the country at large. He demonstrated courage, as when he voted against giving authority to President George W. Bush to intervene in Iraq.

Tragically, he was killed in a small plane crash in October 2002, while campaigning for re-election, and his death shocked the nation and this author, who burst into tears upon hearing the tragic news! He was one of my all time favorite political leaders!

Wellstone might have been a Presidential candidate in the future, had he not had his life tragically cut short.

On today, what would have been his 68th birthday, we should honor his memory, and dedicate ourselves to the fulfillment of his dreams to make the nation a better place, fighting the good fight against those who wish to take America backward to the Gilded Age of the late 19th century!

Those Against “Reasonable” Gun Control Laws Are Promoting Anarchy And Lawlessness, Undermining Police And Law Enforcement Agencies!

With the horrific events in Aurora, Colorado, on Friday, the Movie Multiplex Massacre conducted by James Holmes, we are seeing conservatives, Republicans, and the National Rifle Association ready to fight to prevent even “reasonable” gun control laws.

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, elected with the help of the Tea Party in 2010 over the great progressive Russ Feingold, came out swinging against any gun control legislation, using the same crazy viewpoint of Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert that if others in the audience had possessed guns, they could have stopped the gunman, fully misunderstanding that several people using guns would have likely led to far greater casualties, as no one would know who was the perpetrator, and who was trying to stop him!

Johnson, on Fox News Channel, saying this ridiculous comment, was contradicted by Senator Diane Feinstein of California, who knows the horrors of guns, witnessing the assassination of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk in 1978.

As Feinstein asserted, there is ABSOLUTELY no reason for ANYONE other than the military and police forces to have access to assault rifles, and magazines of large numbers of ammunition. Handguns and hunting rifles for specific purposes, after a total background check are reasonable, but not AK 47s or other types of rapidly firing machine guns that can kill large numbers of people, as this massacre was conducted two days ago.

This is a struggle that needs to be fought against the unreasonableness of the National Rifle Association, and those Republicans, and even Democrats, who seem to have the belief that we are fighting the Indians on the frontier, or are fighting the Crusades in the Middle East in the medieval period.

A civilized society MUST put controls on guns that are unnecessary, and that only crazy people would wish to possess, as what is the purpose of having assault weapons, except to kill large numbers of people? It is not like a handgun to protect oneself, or a hunting rifle to go hunting for deer, or whatever!

Sanity must be demonstrated, and requires courage by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney and those who understand that if nothing is done, the massacre in Colorado will be repeated with much higher numbers of casualties, far surpassing the all time record of 70 victims which occurred two days ago!

Also ask law enforcement agencies, and one will find that the police see themselves as the front line of possible victims, as even with their own defenses, the widespread ownership of assault weapons endangers their lives, even more than the average civilian!

Eric Cantor: Promoting His Own Wealth Through Loophole In “Insider Trading” Legislation: A True Mark Of Corruption!

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is a true disgrace to the chamber he leads, and is a constant threat to the survival of Speaker John Boehner, should Boehner ever attempt in any way to “go off the reservation”!

Cantor, an extremely ambitious and ruthless politician, has been implicated in a scandal, although his party may not think that it is that, by inserting a loophole in the House version of the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act, which is designed to prevent any advantage for members of Congress in stock market transactions because of “insider’ information available to that institution, and was passed in April, with the purpose of restoring faith in the Congress on the part of the American people.

The manipulation by Cantor was not made evident to its Senate sponsors, Republican Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who were shocked to discover that Cantor had inserted an exception for spouses and children of Congressional members.

Now under fire, Cantor claims he is willing to make changes in the legislation, but had slipped in these corrupt exceptions with the clear hope of having no one notice it!

For this obvious transgression, Eric Cantor should face investigation and possible censure, but of course, it will not happen.

Still, John Boehner had better have “eagle eyes”, as there is nothing that Eric Cantor will NOT do to advance his own ambitions, and enrich his own pockets and fortune, at the expense of the American people!

The Republican “War On Women” Continues: The Blunt Amendment Revived, And The War On Planned Parenthood!

Missouri Republican Senator Roy Blunt has become infamous for promoting an amendment to the health care law, which would allow employers to decide what kinds of health care their employees should be denied, based on their own completely arbitrary definition of what is “immoral”! The Blunt Amendment was defeated in the Senate, but has now been revived in the House Appropriations Committee. It is, without question, part of a “War On Women”, as well as a war on health care for all employees, both female and male!

The war on Planned Parenthood, which utilizes only three percent of its funding for abortion services, continues, as the desire to redefine rape, and to fight to prevent contraception, continues, The fact is that contraception helps to avoid pregnancies for women who do not want more children, and will be impoverished by such pregnancies, and could prevent abortions altogether if contraception was not being utilized as a political “football” by the Republicans, including the Republican women in Congress, who as stated in earlier entries on this blog, seem to be an alien force from outer space!

It is beyond normal behavior to understand why the Republican Party has chosen to continue the “War On Women”, when it can only further alienate the female population, already a majority Democratic. And the fact that the men, and even the women in the party apparatus, both in Congress and the state legislatures, are willing to attack the rights of their mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters is beyond comprehension!

The”Old” John McCain Is Back: A Man Of “Decency” And “Principle”: Fighting Revival Of McCarthyism!

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain, the 2008 GOP Presidential nominee, has waxed hot and cold in recent years, causing mourning among his legions of fans across the political aisle.

But now there are signs of the “old” John McCain, the man who thrilled many back in 2000 when he lost the GOP Presidential nomination to George W. Bush, as he has come out against a revival of “McCarthyism”, a use of political rhetoric to promote fear, anxiety and hate against innocent victims.

Just as the infamous Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin labeled a lot of innocent people as “Communists” six decades ago, now we have a group of Republican House members led by Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who have accused an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of being linked to Islamic terrorism.

The victim of this attack is Huma Abedin, who has been a top aide to Clinton for many years, and also happens to be the wife of disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner. She is accused by Bachmann and four others of having relatives, including her deceased father, being linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

McCain, in a Senate speech, denounced Bachmann and the other Republican House members of “guilt by association” and said the accusations have “no logic, no basis, no merit”, and unfairly besmirch a dedicated public servant. The speech reminds many of Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, who denounced Senator McCarthy’s tactics in 1950, a true “profile in courage”!

Bachmann needs to be drummed out of Congress as a menace to normal political discourse, and is certainly on the short list of Republicans targeted to be defeated this November. Her leaving Congress would be a contribution to American unity!

It should also be pointed out that even Speaker of the House John Boehner has criticized the attacks on Abedin as unjustifiable, but that has not stopped Bachmann from now expanding the attack by accusing fellow Minnesota Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison of being leagued with the Muslim Brotherhood himself, as he is the first Muslim member of Congress.

If this reckless behavior continues, a move to censure Bachmann should be considered, just as it was conducted on McCarthy in 1954, leading to his ultimate downfall as a respectable political leader!

What Should Happen: A Joint Appearance In Aurora, Colorado Today By Barack Obama And Mitt Romney To Mourn The Victims!

President Barack Obama is going to Aurora, Colorado this afternoon to attend a service to mourn the dead in the Multiplex Movie Theater Massacre, a very appropriate action on his part.

But this is also a moment when his opponent, Mitt Romney, should forgo partisanship and unite with Obama on the podium, shaking hands, and both of them speaking on the dangers of gun violence, and the need for the federal government to do SOMETHING, overcoming partisanship and standing for joint action, based on what is right, not what is political, for once in a long while! And if the National Rifle Association gets angry, so be it, as it is highly unlikely that they will abandon Romney and endorse Obama for President!

Could Obama reject such a bold gesture by Romney, to share the podium with him? Hardly, but it would require real courage, guts, and principle by the former Massachusetts Governor, a profile in real leadership, where neither would gain politically, but both would gain in respect and common decency to unite on what is right to do, not what is politically popular.

But notice that Romney has remained silent, other than an appropriate statement on Friday, but he should surprise everyone and announce he will be there, and will wish to make the mourning for the victims of the gun violence totally non-political!

But don’t hold your breath on this one!

Political Failures: Gun Control And Climate Change

Our country is hungering for real political leadership, and instead, we go from one crisis to another,without any cooperation to bring about solutions.

Someday in the distant future, or maybe not so distant, we will have Americans look back and wonder why the country went into such rapid decline, with such a poor reaction by our political leaders.

We are a nation being torn apart by gun violence, with about 10,000 murders per year by gun, plus thousands more victims of guns by other methods than murder.

When we get a massacre such as the one in Aurora, Colorado, two days ago, we focus on it for a few days or weeks, and then seem to just go back to our old ways of neglecting the issue, and doing nothing about it.

We have corporations, and the political leaders who benefit from favoring them, who do whatever they can to maximize profits, and have no concern about climate change, even when we now see an emerging drought that threatens food supplies and is causing a spike in prices that will harm the middle class and the poor. Sure, the wealthy might have to pay more also, but they have unlimited supplies of money to meet any emergency, just as they had during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Both gun violence in Aurora, Colorado, and the drought now emerging, on top of floods, tornadoes, forest fires, and hurricanes, threaten our very existence as a nation, and somehow, we must demand from our leaders that they stop promoting themselves, and start dealing with the reality of life in America in the 21st century, or face the danger of chaos and anarchy!