Tag Archives: United States

Mr. Scarborough, you’re earning your “RINO” title

English: American cable news host and former U...

English: American cable news host and former U.S. Representative Joe Scarborough (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Joe Scarborough,

Your piece this morning in Politico was interesting and informative but not in the way you intended.  You gave Governor Scott Walker some tips for how he should respond to the silly questions he has gotten on evolution and President Obama’s faith and patriotism.  Your critics on the right think your time in New York City and on MSNBC have moderated your political ideology.  You just aren’t the firebrand you were in Congress. You’ve been drinking the progressive Kool Aid on set and have lost touch with your party.  Underscoring my point is the fact that all of your responses made perfect sense to me — a liberal Democrat.  You suggested this:

1. Do you believe in evolution?  “I believe those who try to set up a false choice between God and science are wasting their time. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I believe in both.”

2. Do you agree with Giuliani on the president’s patriotism?  “Mayor Giuliani can speak for himself. I believe this president loves his country even if his policies are dangerously misguided.”

3. Do you believe the president is a Christian?  “He says he is. Why don’t you take him at his word?”

All of those answers look perfectly reasonable and you are right, these are sideshow questions aimed at tripping candidates up.  The problem?  The base to which your party needs to appeal wants to hear that President Obama is a Muslim who hates America.  Did you know that a quarter of Americans think the sun revolves around the earth?  This may be a horrible thing to say but I would be willing to bet those people live in red states.  Your party doesn’t seem to like science.  That’s not an opinion (and that isn’t a terrible thing to say).  This is why Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal called to offer his support to Mayor Giuliani.

As a Democrat, I like seeing Republicans do things that make them look petty, mean and/or stupid.  I also write satire so it makes my life easier.  As an American, however, I would like to see a real debate about the issues that face our country.  These questions don’t get us there but then again, I am not voting in the Republican primaries.

Sincerely,

Alyson

My thoughts on Giuliani’s comments can be found here.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/02/scott-walker-2016-elections-115409.html#ixzz3SZdpccxZ

On the road again…

List of crossings of the Saint Lawrence River ...

List of crossings of the Saint Lawrence River and the Great Lakes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I hope to update this much more often … especially over the next few weeks as I just took on a new client and will be going all over Florida for them.  Be prepared to be wowed and awed with stories AND photos!  Ok, there might not be so much in the way of awe but it will be more fun.  Check back soon!

We deserve better

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Conventional Republican wisdom is that the fewer taxes people pay and the simpler the tax code is, the happier and wealthier we all would be.  In fact, our economy would soar and it would be utopia. Thomas Piketty’s recent book, Capital in the 21st Century  claims the opposite.

Piketty, a French economist known for studying inequality, argues that progressive taxation reduces it.  Psychologists find that people are most satisfied, not when they have the most of something (like money), though some probably are, but when they don’t see a huge difference between themselves and the people around them.  The Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) puts out a yearly list rating the quality of life around the world.  They rank: 1. Australia, 2.Sweeden, 3. Canada, 4. Norway, 5. Switzerland, 6.the United States, 7. Denmark, 8. the Netherlands, 9, Iceland and 10. the UK.  Of the countries on the chart, only the UK follows us.  Everyone on the list pays higher taxes.

The 2011 paper , Progressive Taxation and the the Subjective Well-being of Nations (Dr. Shigehiro Oishi from the University of Virginia) found, “Respondents living in a nation with more-progressive taxation evaluated their lives as closer to the best possible life and reported having more positive and less negative daily experiences than did respondents living in a nation with less-progressive taxation.”

When Bill Clinton was president, some on the right claimed that he was destroying our way of life because he was making “taxation acceptable.”  His argument was that people would start getting something good in return for their taxes and not mind paying them.  According to the right, this would lead to the apocalypse.

The right doesn’t hate President Obama just because of the Affordable Care Act, they hated him long before that, but it is one reason.  Obamacare is a tangible way people can see their taxes in action.  In the same vein, they aren’t trying to cut education funding for just that reason, they just think the only things our tax dollars should go to is the military and investigations into the Obama administration.

Republican Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “Taxes are the price we pay for a civilized society.”  Maybe we need to stop demonizing taxes and wonder why making things essential to life such as health care, an education, shelter, etc. is so bad.  The citizens of such a great county as this one deserve better.

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Please stop blaming Obama for Ukraine

 

President George W. Bush and Russia's Presiden...

President George W. Bush and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin take a sunset walk on a pier along the Black Sea during a visit by President and Mrs. Bush Saturday, April 5, 2008, to President Putin’s summer retreat, Bocharov Ruchey, in Sochi, Russia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To many on the right, all bad things that happen are President Obama’s fault.  More than a few see what happened in Benghazi has the cause of anything that happens anywhere in the world. In that context, it is surprising the missing Malaysian plane hasn’t been blamed (yet) on Benghazi.   The theory is that Obama’s weak foreign policy has emboldened Vladimir Putin to the point where he thinks he can do whatever he wants, wherever he wants.  How do they know this?  Because when their guy was in office, they say Putin backed off.

The theory of this comes from the US response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008.  The theories I have heard are that after Russia sent troops to the area, George W. Bush sent war ships to the Black Sea, trained the Georgian military to fight Russia and airlifted troops from Afghanistan home to fend off the invaders.  What really happened? Georgia is part of the international coalition that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.  As such, the US did train their forces and agree to get them home in the case of an emergency.  The invasion was viewed as a qualifying emergency and the US transported Georgian troops from Iraq to Georgia but not to areas where the fighting was occurring and the administration made it very clear that was part of the agreement we had with all members of the coalition, not a response to the crisis.  As for the US ships in the Black Sea, they were full of humanitarian supplies and again, the White House went to great lengths to show they were not there to engage Russia in a fight that everyone thought could lead to a nasty conflict between the two nations.  US military action was never an option.

What did President Bush do?  Here is his official response: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1Men9v2tNg

Oh, the (W) Bush administration also levied sanctions on Russia.  Sounds pretty similar to what Obama is doing now. Putin did not take over Crimea because of anything Obama has done.  This move is very popular inside of Russia and the leader clearly wants to re-litigate  the end of the Cold War.     The US needs to be a part of any action to end the takeover of Ukraine but to assume it caused the situation or that it alone can end it is naive and misguided.  This world we now inhabit is far more complex and integrated than the one we lived in during the Cold War.  We are all better served by not applying simplistic causality (Obama is weak therefore …) to complicated situations.

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