Friday, July 16, 2010

Make Congress Give Their Lobbyist Donations To Pay Off National Debt,Scott McInnis Loses His Street Cred

Paul Krugman
Dana Milbank
Charles Krauthammer
Joe Klein
"Republicans are feeling good about the midterms — so good that they’ve started saying what they really think. This week the party’s Senate leadership stopped pretending that it cares about deficits, stating explicitly that while we can’t afford to aid the unemployed or prevent mass layoffs of schoolteachers, cost is literally no object when it comes to tax cuts for the affluent." - Paul Krugman
"Twenty years ago, the dawn of the Internet Age gave us Godwin's Law: If an online argument goes on long enough, somebody will eventually invoke Hitler. When that happens, it's basically the end of the conversation, because all rational discussion ceases when one side calls the other Nazis." - Dana Milbank
"I have a warning for Republicans: Don't underestimate Barack Obama." - Charles Krauthammer

The opinion pieces linked above are all good reads today, all on different subjects. Paul Krugman is always interesting and usually sparks debates, Dana Milbank writes about our too casual use of emotionally incendiary language, like calling someone a Nazis. For instance, he asks you to: "Consider these tallies from Glenn Beck's show on Fox News since Obama's inauguration: 202 mentions of Nazis or Nazism, according to transcripts, 147 mentions of Hitler, 193 mentions of fascism or fascist, and another 24 bonus mentions of Joseph Goebbels. Most of these were directed in some form at Obama -- as were the majority of the 802 mentions of socialist or socialism on Beck's nightly "report." Charles Krauthammer picks up on what I have previously said about Obama's accomplishments and expands on them past 2012. And Joe Klein is softening you up for an upcoming military strike in Iran. In the Israeli papers today are many articles relating to striking Iran, how 56% of the American people would support one, and how the American military is helping with their own missile defense system, called Iron Shield.

There are still other Gaza flotillas in the works, though now the only reason for them is to actually deliver humanitarian aid. The Libyan ship that is the latest to desire plowing its way to Gaza City has gone to Egypt and off-loaded 1500 tons of stuff. The first report was that it had 2000 tons, but all later reports were rounded down, perhaps the difference went for bribes... The charity agency behind the Libyan ship is headed by Moammar Khadafi's son. He wanted to be on the ship and if he had done that I'm sure that another international incident would have occurred. Luckily, daddy realized the impulsive and hot-headed nature of his offspring, and wouldn't let him go onto the ship, so cooler heads prevailed... the irony of the turkish flotilla, is that Israel had already planned on easing up at the border crossings as part of the indirect negotiations that are ongoing. The flotilla incident upped the timetable, did not give Israel any good public relations, they wanted pats on the back for it, and gave Turkey better standing in the Arab world, which it has been courting ever since being denied entrance into the EU...

Amnesty International has issued a report on the crumbling North Korean health system. They interview people who have defected from NK, and hear horrible stories how dirty the medical facilities are, not sterilizing needles, lacking almost all medicine, performing surgeries and amputations without anesthesia or pain medication, and lacking the kinds of prescription medicine that we take for granted here. Doctors have to be bribed to see patients, and people are so poor that they rely more on folk medicine and therapies than go to a clinic or hospital. Oh yeah, people are starving in the countryside, the only ones who eat well are high cadres in the government. North Korea is going to have to change its name to North FUBAR, as there soon may not be a country for Little Kim's son to inherit, a land inhabited by ghosts...

I have suggested that we nationalize all Wall Street firms and banks, so that all investment profits can go to paying off the national debt. For example, Goldman Sachs made over $13 billion in profit last year. That could have paid for the unemployment extensions and have a few billion left over. If we bring our troops home, we could cut the Pentagon's budget for 2011, from $700 billion to $300 billion, where it was before we raided Iraq and Afghanistan. Get rid of the CIA, there's another $60 billion. That's about a trillion and a half savings over two years. Just think if we could also get more of the profits from the oil companies extracting oil off of our coastlines, time to rewrite the contracts on 3500 oil rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico alone... And, with the Bush tax cuts ending, that's another $65 billion each year.

Then, all donations from lobbyists to Congressmen should be appropriated  to pay off the national debt. As public servants, they should not receive such perks, and be given to the General Fund. Whining about repealing the health and finance reform bills is just corporate lobbyists talking. If John Boehner is going to promote ideas like a moratorium on all federal regulations for a year, he should be made to disclose and made to donate the money he was paid to say it. There are ways to get money to help lower our national debt if we are bold enough. A presidential line-item veto would help. If you asked each person working for the federal government the best ways to reduce inefficiency and to save money in their department, you would get thousands of suggestions, probably the bulk of them good ideas that are obvious but no-one has the guts to implement.

Again, every time Colorado makes the national news it's because of something embarrassing. Yes, we can't thank Balloon Boy and his family enough, nor can Republican candidate for Governor Scott McInnis, he of the bad makeover and hair dye, realize how much of a sleazeball he really is. A couple of years ago Scott was given a $300 thousand stipend for producing and article on colorado water rights. This was really to jump-start his campaign for governor by the conservative Hasan Family Foundation. Because they are a non-profit, he had to be paid for some kind of work. He used the written works from 1984 by a lawyer known for his knowledge of Colorado's battles over water rights, and committed plagerism by copying his work and putting his name to it. Everything was fine until it was discovered by the Denver Post on Monday.

Now the Hasan Family Foundation is asking for its money back, and saying how they thought his articles were suspect and shoddy work all along, trying to prove that they aren't stupid and gullible people. Scott has made schedule for payments and says that the matter is closed. Even our resident crazy Tom Tancredo has asked for Scott's withdrawal from the race, so Tom can take his place, of course. We have another Republican running for a Congressional seat who was fined for illegally reimbursing himself $48,000 for gas mileage, and now a Republican candidate for governor who has no credibility. I've been saying all along that the problem with our local Republicans is that they are all old-school conservatives and they need to find younger, more open-minded candidates to widen the tent. But, along with South Carolina, Alabama, Texas, and Arizona, we will be the last ones being dragged kicking and screaming into modern times.

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