Sunday, December 12, 2010

Everything Old Is New Again

The three Sunday morning shows and most of the news media have totally ignored Sen. Bernie Sanders and his historic and heroic stand against what he knows to be wrong. The Senate servers crashed on Friday there was so much traffic. Yet it hasn't been covered except very briefly on last Friday's Olbermann and Maddow shows.

The Obama administration - fully aware that Bernie Sanders and his mini-filibuster would have been the lead story on all three Sunday talk shows - engaged in a nifty bit of political theater (I guess, despite rumors to the contrary, that the White House does know how to grab the spotlight when it suits their purposes).

President Obama tapped former President Clinton in order to steal the attention away from Sen. Sanders.This  gambit was calculated, obvious, crass and cynical. And the news media went right along with the charade by focusing on the Clinton press conference rather than on one elderly man rising in the halls of the Senate to take a stand for truth.

What we're seeing today is the same thing that legendary director Frank Capra showed so brilliantly in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - only instead of the truth being suppressed by Boss Jim Taylor and his "Taylor-made" machine, it's now our modern media conglomerates trying to sweep Bernie Sanders and what he did under the rug by not publicizing it.

Millions of Americans watched Sanders and thousands called their Senators and Congresspeople - and you'd never know it. There's a network media blackout - because for 8 hours, Bernie told America the truth - and anyone who watched it knew they were hearing the truth. But the powers-that-be don't want us to know that truth.

My hat's off to Sen. Sanders.  As I watched him speak, his white hair ruffled, his voice giving out a couple of times, fleeting images of Frank Capra's iconic movie Mr. Smith Goes to Washington came to mind, particularly the scene where the hard-bitten reporter Diz calls in the story of Jefferson Smith's filibuster: 

"This is the most titanic battle of modern times. A David without even a slingshot rises to do battle against the mighty Goliath Taylor machine, allegedly crooked inside and out."

What is Boss Taylor's response to Smith's filibuster? Just this:

"If he even starts to convince those Senators, you might as well blow your brains out, you know that, don't ya? This is the works, Joe! Either we're out of business or we're bigger than we ever were before. We can't miss a trick. We can't stop at anything until we've smashed this yokel and buried him so deep..."

And, later, Jeff Smith's words to Senator Paine when it appears that all is lost:

"I guess this is just another lost cause, Mr. Paine. All you people don't know about lost causes. Mr. Paine does. He said once they were the only causes worth fighting for. And he fought for them once, for the only reason that any man ever fights for them. Because of just one plain simple rule: 'Love thy neighbor.' And in this world today, full of hatred, a man who knows that one rule has a great trust. You know that rule, Mr. Paine. And I loved you for it, just as my father did. And you know that you fight for the lost causes harder than for any others. Yes, you even die for them. Like a man we both knew, Mr. Paine."

Obama and Clinton and Boehner and McConnell and Bloomberg and Axelrod and Reid and Pelosi and Geithner and Summers and Goolsbee et al are all part of the same rich man's system - they are the collective modern reincarnation of Boss Taylor.  They feed us platitudes like "the perfect is the enemy of the good" and "this is the best deal for all Americans" or "we don't have time to make a better deal," etc.

However, the more I learn about the provisions of this "deal," the less I like it, especially the estate tax provisions and the reduction in payroll tax. I'm self-employed and nearing age 65.  I really don't want a reduction in my payments to Social Security because that means I'll get less in my check in three years.

An article at the Huffington Post ( shows that in this so-called tax-cut deal there is one group who will see their taxes actually go up - those making less than $20,000 a year! That is a stunning announcement. But why should anyone be surprised? The poor have no lobbyists, no glitzy spokespeople, no one to argue their case. So it's no big deal to our modern power brokers that the truly poor would be the one group penalized by a deal that purports to cut everyone's taxes.

As Sen. Sanders pointed out in his "long speech" on Friday, the average net worth of white Americans is between $47,000 and $67,000, but the average net worth of Hispanics is $8,000 and for African-Americans, it's $5,000.  Guess which ethnic voting blocks fall disproportionately into the below-$20,000 annual income bracket?  Guess which ethnic voting blocks might not be too happy about the fact that their taxes will go up under the Obama-GOP giveaway to the rich?

The REAL truth is that the best thing for the entire economy would be to allow all the tax cuts - except those for the very poorest  - to revert back to the Clinton rates. It would add revenue to the government and allow us to start paying down the $800 billion we currently owe to China.

The bond market went into a tailspin the minute this rich man's bailout was announced. International markets know that this piece of pork adds billions more to our deficit and makes us weaker rather than stronger because, in order to pay for it, we are going to have to raise our national debt ceiling.  (Hey, y'all, wait until that little political donnybrook arrives on the floor of the hallowed halls of Congress sometime in the next few months!!)

Maybe it's time for all of us - left, right and center - to face the fact that the free lunch is over and that we - as a people - all have to tighten our belts and help our country out by paying more rather than less taxes in order to fund the services and programs we have all come to depend on.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Election 2008 - Who Can Really Solve Our Problems?

 This is fun!  Go to AARP and create your own political ad!

AARP 08 Video
Enter your name to see who can bring real change to Washington.
First Name:
Last Name:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Light a Candle for an American Hero

This morning (October 19, 2008) on Meet the Press, former Secretary of State Colin Powell related the simple and touching story of Army Cpl. Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, a 20-year-old American soldier who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Powell eloquently noted that religion should not be a factor in any political discourse and that Muslim-American children have the same right to aspire to the Presidency that non-Muslim American children do. The same day The New York Times did a more in-depth follow-up on Cpl. Khan's all-too-short life and heroic sacrifice.

During my internet search for more information, I stumbled upon what I think is a gentle and caring way to let Cpl. Khan's family know that you appreciate the sacrifice that their son made for his country.

You can go to the website for the Thibadeau Mortuary and light a virtual candle for Cpl. Khan.

Here's the link:

Light a Candle

It will take a few seconds and make a statement that you agree with Gen. Powell.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Catholic Church Engaged in Stealth Campaign That Clearly Steers Believers to GOP

Right off the bat, I'll tell you that I was baptized Catholic and attended sixteen years of Catholic school. I studied Classical Greek, Theology, Medieval History and Philosophy at Fordham University and left the Church at age 20. About ten years ago, I tried to reconnect. Did the reconciliation, went to mass regularly, etc. I finally decided that what had driven me away originally still hadn't been fixed. Women were still second-class citizens in the Catholic God's world.

Today, when I opened my email account, I discovered the video below, sent to me by a woman friend, also a lapsed Catholic. She has been inundated with videos and literature like this by her still-practicing family, people who routinely vote against their own economic self-interest because their Church "tells" them to vote against abortion.

In the video, a surrogate organization, shilling for the Catholic Church, clearly tells Catholic viewers that abortion is the ONLY issue that is important in the upcoming election. As you will see, in what can only be described as propaganda, the video juxtaposes photos of a voting booth, a fetus, the sign for high gas prices and global warming with the following words superimposed on the images:







The message is extremely clear, even to those not raised Catholic.

Vote for the party that labels itself pro-life.

Now, exactly what party would that be?

As far as I'm concerned, that Catholic Church - through this surrogate site - has endorsed a political party just as surely as if every priest stood in the pulpit next Sunday morning and ordered his congregation to vote for McCain and Palin.

Never mind that the Catholic Church and fundamentalist Protestants like Sarah Palin would make a 12-year-old girl carry her father's baby to term (now, why doesn't someone ask McCain about THAT in the next debate?!!)

This is blatant use of the internet and modern marketing techniques to sway the votes of millions of Americans. Catholics are in awe of the power of the Pope. The clever cutting and pasting of powerful archetypical images, co-mingled with historical images of proud Catholic Americans, leads to only one possible conclusion for a devout Catholic to draw. And that is: Vote Republican.

This video was produced (at some cost, I would imagine) by, the brain-child of another Catholic organization called Fidelis.

From the Fidelis website:

"Fidelis (Latin for faithful) is the universal name for a group of Catholic-based political, legal, research and educational organizations whose collective mission it is to formulate, promote, and defend public policies that uphold religious freedom, human life from conception to natural death, and the traditional institutions of marriage and family.

"Our structure and approach is designed to coordinate the efforts of four related organizations under a comprehensive structure and unifying vision in order to effectively shape public debate, influence public policy, and defend critical freedoms in areas consistent with its mission. In this objective, Fidelis is unique in combining political, legal, policy and educational components at the service of one mission."


Recently dozens of evangelical pastors put their tax-exempt status at risk when they defied the IRS prohibition against preaching politics from the pulpit and began instructing their congregants to vote for the McCain-Palin ticket.

The Catholic Church, through groups like Fidelis, is doing precisely the same thing, only in a way designed to preserve that all-important tax exemption!

Watch and decide for yourself.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

If McCain's Such a "Reformer," Where Are His Wife's Tax Forms? And What About "Pitbull" Palin and Her Husband?

This one's a no brainer.

Barack and Michelle Obama have released their tax forms.

Hillary and Bill balked until the media browbeat them into submission.

John McCain has released his forms.

Sen. Joe Biden's 2006 tax forms are available. We assume that he and his wife will release their 2007 forms shortly.

Mrs. Cindy McCain has basically told everyone to take a hike, declaring early on that the American people have no right to know where she gets her money.

The so-called liberal media hasn't bothered to bring it up since. They've given Cindy and her $100 million a free ride.

So, now, the GOP is trying to make Sarah Palin into The Painted Pitbull Housewife, claiming she's a woman who represents the great middle of America.

OK. Then she won't mind letting us all know how much she and her husband are worth!



Click on the following media links. Demand "full disclosure" and "transparency."

Demand that Cindy McCain and Sarah and Todd Palin release their 2007 IRS reports.

Click on one of the links below and let your voice be heard. It's time for the foot-dragging to stop.


CNN Online Comment Form