Rubio Advocates Dismantling Social Security and Medicare. Marco Rubio has unmasked himself and unmasked his fellow Republicans in the process. At the same event that he announced his candidacy for president, the Florida senator stated that the only way to save Social Security and Medicare is to dismantle them. The right’s agenda is now out in the open for everyone to see.

This agenda must be fought with all our might. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, are the bedrock of the social safety net, which has already been depleted over the years. They save the elderly, the poor, and the sick from having to depend entirely on the whims of HMOs and the stock market. Medicare actually has lower over head than private sector insurance companies.

The notion that they are in trouble is exaggerated. Social Security is doing so well that it’s surplus is used to fund some of the government ‘s general budget. (When, in the 1980s, one senator, Daniel Moynihan of New York, introduced a bill to take Social a Security out of the general budge, BOTH parties threw a fit because they would have been embarrassed by the resulting higher deficit numbers.)  That is the only reason that it’s money appears to be running out. In fact, it’s demise has been predicted for decades but has never happened.  The GOP Social Security and Medicare eliminated because they are terrified they are very soon not going to be able to win elections.

Other ways exist to save these programs. They income threshold for receiving benefits could be decreased. Some of the military’s huge budget could be put into SS and Medicate, especially since we are no longer fighting a country but tracking a few dozen individuals and the military industrial complex secures the funding of some weapons the armed forces do not even want. The budget certainly contains enough “corporate welfare” to save all social programs. Politics is all that stands in the way. Please tell the nefarious Rubio to respect his elders and then oppose him vigorously at every turn.

Don’t let polluters hold back clean energy: Thank You, Tell-a-Friend – NRDC Action Center

Don’t let polluters hold back clean energy: Thank You, Tell-a-Friend – NRDC Action Center. The latest attempt by the a Republican majority in the U.S. house to prop up the fossil fuel industries is to cut the federal outlay for clean energy technologies. It appears that no end their pollution depravity exists. This must stop. Please sign the petition and then let us give the boulders their walking papers in November.

The Beat Goes On

The shutdown continues. Some “moderate” Republicans, definitely an endangered species these days, may want to vote to end the shutdown, but their leadership is still terrified of angering the Tea Party. The din of their knees rattled must be deafening.

Boehner and company must at least be also feeling a little heat from the majority’s disapproval of the shutdown. According to The Gainesville Sun, they are planning to change their focus to the deficit and cutting social programs. This is a battle they probably think that they can win. We must do all we can to keep the county from falling for their typical debt paranoia demagoguery. After all, the deficit is going down. Further, taking money out of the system is bad for the economy.

This economy is not working for most people as it is. The last thing we need is for it to be made even more unfair for people not at the top, but that is what the Republicans are trying to do. They have got the majority of the public to go along with this by making them afraid of the poor and government efforts to help the poor. The problem is the middle class and non-union working class people do not pay attention to comments on how the poor are hurt by deregulation and cutting social programs, but metaphorically rise out of their seat when they hear allegations that they will be hurt by programs to help the poor. The “GOP” built opposition to “Obamacare”, for example, by claiming that it would cause the rates of those already insured to rise and that jobs would be lost. That is the bead-and-butter of the right wing: making those who “have” fear those who “have not”.

Now they have added the threat of a default on the national debt to their politics of fear. They have plumbed a new depth in their campaign against President Obama and against social programs, but still have the gall to blame it on Democrats. This message is helped by the media, who, in fear of being accused of bias and in desperate pursuit of conservative viewers who left them for Faux News, have had the temerity to claim that both sides are responsible. We must relentless put forth the truth. If we do so, a bit of sunlight may poke through the clouds.

Enough is Definitely Enough

This time Republicans have gone too far. This latest outrage must be the last. Shutting the government down unless they get their way is not only abominable, it is childish. Those big babies do not deserve their seats in congress. We must all rise up and remedy this appalling situation now and for all time.

First, we put the pressure on the right-wing fools who got us into this mess. Send them tons of  petitions, e-mail, and tweets demanding that they end the shutdown until they comply or vomit their last meal, which ever comes first. I, for one, will send at least one email each day.

Secondly, we do everything we can to lay these clowns off the way they have caused federal workers, and perhaps some in the private sector, to be laid off.  Support their opponents. Make the shutdown artists sweat buckets and perhaps defeat some of them.

Third, we must end once and for all the system of gerrymandering that has allowed the GOP to etch  a majority for their party in the U.S. House of Representatives into the landscape. In particular we must end the practice of politicians drawing district lines at all levels of government. We must create and fight for alternatives. A panel of judges and/or academics is one possibility.

Finally, we must end the dominance of money in our, and it should be ours, political system. Redoubling the effort to repeal the wretched SCOTUS decision in the Citizens United case is urgent. That is just the beginning. We must restore the finance reform laws that said court has been gutting for 39 years and then go further: full disclosure by both candidates and contributors, limits on corporate contributions, no corporate contributions without the approval of the stockholders, stricter limits on lobbying, among other things. We must be relent less about this from now on. The time has come to sweep the halls of government clean.

Obama Spending Binge A Myth

More on this later, but a columnist for the conservative Wall Street Journal has asserted the obvious: that the Obama spending binge that the right alludes to is a myth. Spending has actually risen very little during the current administration. This of  course will not penetrate the fantasy world conservatives live in.

More Boehner Games?

Speaker of the House John Boehner has once again threatened to hold he debt limit hostage, this time over taxes for the rich; he will not accept any deal that raise taxes on that group. This is beyond outrageous. Actually, the first time they held up a raise in the debt limit it was beyond outrageous. This time it is beyond any pejorative. To raise the threat of a consequence that would mean the economy would get much worse at best, a disaster at worst, to score political points with rich donors as well as the party base is unspeakably irresponsible, in fact just plain unspeakable.

This childish political gamesmanship has been going on for four years. It started the minute the 2008 election ended. The Republicans’ rhetoric changed from focusing on a variety of issues to almost nothing but fiscal issues, namely the deficit and the debt. Then Boehner and congressional leaders hatched a plot to take the congressional from day one of  the first session of President Obama’s term of office. The endeavored to set themselves up to win the 2010 elections while the Democrats, who are by no means perfect, tried to make deals. The opposed ANYTHING Obama proposed, including things they had previously supported, such as cap-and-trade(which was originally a Republican idea).

Now, to top it all off, they are trying to ice this years elections by preventing an economic recovery. Not only are they threatening to hold up a deal on the debt ceiling, but Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana has put a hold on nominees to the Federal Reserve Board. The result is that they do not have the quorum needed to take any actions. FED chairman Ben Bernanke, a BUSH appointee, reportedly would like to stimulate the economy. Vitter stated that his reason to hold up the appointments was to thwart what he called activism of the FED, which likely means anything that would help the economy before the election. Note that one of the nominees is somewhat conservative and, as I said, the board’s chairman is a BUSH appointee. This is hardly a prescription for partisan mischief.

The leadership of the Republican party has been playing “divide-and-conquer”(Scott Walker even admitted it) or wedge politics for over thirty years. It has gotten much worse the last ten years because they are getting desperate due to social and demographic trends going against them, and yet worse the last four years because President Obama scares them, his presidency might be a game changer if they do not take him down. This must not happen. The time has come for the Republican shenanigans to end. Nothing useful can get done until that party’s leadership is forced to deal fairly.