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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A New Era in Divided Gov't

The people have spoken, and we can safely say that we are all better for it! The democrats have taken power in the House of Representatives and are on the brink of claiming the Senate. Donald Rumsfeld is finally out! And Cheney has been rebuffed by Bush for the first time publicly! What difference one night and a humiliating defeat makes! For the first time the President seems humble and willing to be bipartisan(like he has any other choice). The tone of the President's noon press conference was very subdued, though still defiant when it came to Iraq. The Republicans seem shocked back into reality and their reign, dictatorial at times, is at an end. A new era of divided gov't is about to begin, and it could not have come at a more urgent time. The american people have taken their country back from the radical right, the neoconservatives, and the evangelicals. With the resignation of Don Rumsfeld and the rebuffing of Dick Cheney (who did not want Rumsfeld gone and then wanted another idealogue to replace him) by the president, the neoconservative movement is all but done, at least for a good while. Bush has found independence and freedom himself at the hands of an overwhelming Democratic victory. Ironically he brings in Robert Gates, former CIA director and a Bush 41 team member, in what could possibly be a merger between Bush 41 and Bush 43 policy. All in all, some will say that "father ultimately knows best". How funny it seems that Bush 43 has to go back to daddy and his team to help him get out of yet another mess. The return to a more sensible foreign policy seems at hand. The neocons are dead in the water as the President faces a more lonely future than he has in the past. He will have to depend more on his judgement than on his advisors', whose ideology has been flatly rejected by the people. Some think this is a scary thought, and it very well could be, but no scarier than if Cheney and has neocons were to run policy. At least there is opposition with power to say, NO NO NO! Let the '08 presidential games begin!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Vote for the Future: Will It Be Good or Bad

Today America votes to elect a new Congress. All 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 seats in the Senate are up for grabs. It has been a very contentious and dirty campaign on both sides but, and no surprise here, the bulk of the dirty tricks on the Republican side. The general consensus is that the tide is flowing with the Democrats, although the Republicans have made some gains over the last few days. Voter turnout is also expecte to be very high, a sign of how angry the electorate is.

But what is most important here is the fact that this election is about so much more than just Congress. This is as important a midterm election as there has been in the past. So much is at stake, not just the Iraq War and the War on Terror. The future of the country is at stake. For six years, with help from the panic caused by the 9/11 attacks, the Bush Administration has undertaken policies and measures that have eroded the freedoms attained through much ardor in this country, all in the name of National Security. National Security is extremely important, but so are the freedoms and rights which this country has so vehemently fought for in the past. These freedoms have been endangered by an Administration whose policies seek to (and to a large extent have) expand presidential powers comparably to a dictatorship, and to suppress the minority opinion, which in this case represents half or more of the population. The majority of the country disapproves of the Bush Administration and the Republican Congress, but the minority Republicans are in control of everything so the majority of the country remains disenfranchised. For six years this Republican controlled government has taken over in imperious fashion over everything and forced policies through that have been detrimental to the middle and lower classes, while rewarding the richest 1% of the nation. They have diminished world opinion of the United States, turned some of it into hatred. They have weakened the might of the most powerful military in the world and by extension weakened its ability to defend the fatherland. They have undertaken economic policies that have resulted in the largest federal budget and trade deficits every recorded. The national debt has tripled practically and we are being held hostage to an extent by China, who holds a large portion of that debt. Tax cuts that have benefited the richest 1% have translated into a fairly good economy that is only felt by that 1%. The rest are struggling to get by, working two jobs, increasing credit card debt to a record high just to stay afloat. Healthcare and energy prices are through the roof, and the Administration passes drug perscription and energy plans that benefit the drug and oil companies. These result in record profits for oil companies and excellent ones for drug companies. All the while 44 million + americans do not have health insurance because they cannot afford it. Education, the cornerstone of any country's future, is pathetic, with a No Child Left Behind initiative that has been underfunded completely. Higher education is now out of the reach for most americans not only because of higher tuition prices, but the federal government cut funding for higher education grant and loans. Although unemployment is low at around 4.3%, the fact the wages are stagnant at $5.15 an hour translates into people having to work two or more jobs to get by. Any attempt to raise the minimum wage has been denied by Republicans, and when they introduce a minimum wage bill it is ammended to include other issues that are not beneficial, so Democrats vote it down and then Republicans try to make them look like the bad guys. Other non-policy issues such as gay marriage and federal stem cell research funding have been used to divide the country bitterly. Even in the face of scientific eveidence, Bush and his people have denied the progress of research because of their highly misguided concept of religion. In gay marriage, they have sided with evangilicals to used the wedge issue and deliver the vote, all the while some of these leaders secretly doing those things they preach against. The height of hypocrisy. This governement has taken the idea of "divide and conquer" a step further, more like divide, destroy and conquer, all at the expense of the nation's future. Their environmental record is abyssmal. The White House has systematically denied and supressed scientific evidence indicating global warming, a world wide problem, to advance its goals (many benefitting energy companies). Death of Habeas Corpus? Torture? Warrantless eavesdropping? I could go on and on about endless number of things that have harmed the country. I will not even discuss the Iraq War and the War on Terror, there is no need to, everything is clear by now. The Republicans say that Democrats don't have solutions or that they do not offer anything. Well, first of all, Republicans do not allow Democrats to introduce anything in Congress. Anything good introduced by Democrats is shot down, then a similar bill is drafted by the Republicans and introduced in Congress. Second, why should Democrats have to offer up a solution to clean up the mess created by the Republican Congress? Is it not as Colin Powell said: "you break it, you own it"? Democrats offer a solution while they are not in the majority? Why? The President is already going to leave this mess to the next President. Republicans always try to blame democrats about everything, but last time I checked they controlled everything. I'm not saying that Democrats are going to be any better, but they cannot be any worse than Republicans already are. Republicans on the other hand CAN make things worse. After all they are the ones who got us here. What is worse is that they do not see how bad the country is doing, therefore they offer no solutions to stop the downward spiral. Democrats won't do much, after all it is still a Republican presidency and most likely senate, and no veto proof majority. But they can at least put a stop to the Republican Titanic and start some very much warranted investigations into Republican misconduct.

So you see, this midterm election is not just for Congress, but for the restoring of some sense of decency and correctness to the nation. It is a vote for the future, to provide our children with a lot of the great things this country has provided for us. It is a vote to protect what this country has been in the past and should be in the future. It is a vote for AMERICA.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Vote for Truth Not Spin

On Nov. 7, VOTE FOR TRUTH NOT SPIN. Educate yourself about the important issues and your candidates. Do not fall for these dirty political ads full of lies and innuendo. Learn what each candidate's stance is on the IMPORTANT issues. For the incumbent, review his past performance and see how it stands against his current position. Is it political in nature, or is it genuine? Has he been consistent? Does he show independence? Is he open to change or inflexible? Character is always important, but it should be defined by the candidates' past and present actions, not by his opponent's political ads. Judge the candidates by their merit. If a candidate is willing to run ads that lie and suggest very offensive material, ask yourself, what kind of person would stoop to this level? Why is he/she not talking about the real issues? Your vote is as important as it has ever been. Use it wisely, and don't fall for crooked spinsters like Ken Mehlman of the RNC or the 507 groups that have made a reputation of destroying reputations. On the Democratic side, less dirtyness is seen (mostly because they are not as organized and have less money, and no Karl Rove), but still don't believe it. Vote smart, not your heart.

On the Recent Dirty Political Ads...

Politics over the decades, especially the last one, have gotten so dirty and disgusting that it is disturbing to watch. Both parties use negative ads, but Republicans have taken it from negative to dirty and outright lies. When do ads become personal? When the candidate cannot run on his performane on the most important issues. All he is left with is trying to tarnish the integrity and reputation of his opponents. That is what we have seen in the past few weeks, beginning with the Republican ad run in Tennessee against the Democratic challenger Harold Ford Jr which insibuates interracial sex along with porn producers, etc. Then in New Jersey where Tom Kean Jr. is running an ad that ties Sen Bob Menendez with the mob directly by name. In Virginia, Sen. George Allen has been reduced to picking sexually explicit excerpts from his democratic opponent James Webb's FICTIONAL novels. Nevermind that there is such a thing called poetic license. There are many more. Why don't these "public servants" spend money to present their accomplishments on the real issues important to our country: Iraq, Afghanistan, the economy, wages, gas prices, health care, terrorism, corruption, budget deficits, trade deficits, incompetence, social security, medicare, education and costs, North Korea, Iran... should I keep going? Are these issues not more important than somebody going to the playboy Mansion for a super bowl party along with 5000 others? Or that an accomplished novelist wrote a sexually explicit passage in a novel, like many other successful novelists have? Why do they choose to go the dirty ad way? Because they cannot run on the real issues. The majority of Republicans have a record that practically mirrors the President's agenda, a deeply unpopular and failed agenda. The only option left for these Republicans is to try and tarnish their opponents with dirty and misleading ads that are easily disproven, but they still ring some bells.

The only reason that every Republican seat is not in danger is because disctricts have been so gerrymandered, that even when discontent is as large as it is right now, most house seats are protected. There are only a few house seats that are competitive, and they are almost all Republican. What does that tell you? Is this a real democracy? If that were true, then more than a few house seats would be in peril.

On Nov. 7 vote for truth not spin.

Get Rid of John Kerry

John Kerry must retire immediately and go off into obscurity hoping we forget he ever existed. The junior Senator from Massachussets is the most pathetic example of a suppossed leader in Washington D.C. (Corrupt Republican gov't officials not included). Kerry could be the biggest embarrassment to the Democratic party since Michael Dukakis. What makes it even more gut wrenching to watch is the fact that Kerry is a well educated man, who served honorably in the military, and his resume reads like what a President's should, certainly more suited for the oval office than George W. Bush ever was. When he made his comments on Monday, he didn't do anything that President Bush has done repeatedly throughout his political career, he mangled a joke?, statement?, or something like that. Bush does it all the time. The difference is that it is difficult to extract what the meaning of Kerry's mangled joke was. Was it that stupidity, a lack of knowledge and mediocre grades lead us into a war like Iraq, or that our lower classes are the ones forced to take up conflicts such as Iraq when they join the army in an attempt to have the gov't pay for higher education once you serve your 4 years (it certainly was not intended to offend the troops, as the Republicans would have you believe)? These certainly are very valid and factually supported arguments. But it is easy to spin that into something else as has been done. What Kerry did wrong was not to mangle his speech (we all do that sometimes), it was to take such a stupid stance after he clearly screwed up. He came out and said "I apologize to no one for attacking the Presdident". The moron doesn't realize that what he meant to say is no longer the issue, it is what it has been spun into. Instead of apologizing quickly, he waits three news cylces to do what he should have done five minutes after he messed up his speech: correct it and apologize if his misstatements offended anyone. Most folks with common sense and a brain understand that Kerry's intent was not to insult the troops, but that is no longer the main concern. The concern here is to halt the Republican spin machine from morphing the screw up into a sound bite supporting terrorism. But alas, leave to Kerry to do something stupid and make it more difficult for Democrats to win. John Kerry must go. He is a worthless political leader, and any aspirations he had for the presidency in '08 were shot down in '04, and buried in '06.

On a related note, when voting out there on Nov. 7, do not fall for all the spin and lies being spread out there (and these are heavily Republican). Do not take something like Kerry's blunder and give it more weight than it should have. Vote on the issues, on what is really important. Real lives are at stake, not political ones. If you identify more with the Republican party on ISSUES, then vote for them. If you identify with Democrats, then vote for them. Do not let all the BS meant to muddy waters, such as the republican spin on kerry, influence your vote. Vote smart, vote with your brain, not your heart. On Nov. 7 vote for truth not spin.

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