Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Donald Trump and any "Birther" are just stupid

Well, I wanted to stay away from this issue because it is stupid for me to be talking about it; however, I have to say something again. Republicans continue to jump on the "birther" bandwagon and it is so bad that almost 50% of Republicans think that Obama is not an American. You are all stupid beyond belief, but nobody is more stupid than Donald Trump. Donald Trump, the self serving ego maniac thinks that he is presidential timber when all he can talk about is Obama's birth certificate? What a sick and increasingly stupid country this is becoming. If Donald Trump wants to be president, why doesn't he talk about .. ahem.. the economy?

Do you want to see Obama's birth certificate? It is there for everyone to see (link to Obama birth certificate). How about a picture? Do you want a picture? Oh! What about the raised seal from the state of Hawaii ? It can't be official until we see that.

How about independent unbiased verification? That means verification from people that are not stupid. Try "FactCheck.Org" . I would bet that there are many Republicans working for ", they're just not the stupid 50%. How about official government verification? Do you want to see a picture of that? Just go to the "" site.

Here is the bottom line. No president in our history has had to face such insane questioning. I wonder why this is happening now? Well Donald Trump, its called racism and if you think that it is anything different you are not only stupid, you have serious personality flaws. I for one do not want a psychiatric head case running for president. It seems like the Republicans have many head cases that have an interest in the White House.

All I have to say to the 50% of stupid Republicans is that I am very happy that our white house has become a black house. That's right; the White House is now occupied by a family that has an almost unbelievable American story that far surpasses any story coming at us from the Republican side of the isle. At least Barack Obama insists that his children stay grounded and stay in school (unlike Sarah truancy coordinator). The continuing reluctance of key Republicans to correct the record with the stupid people just ruins their ability to reach the independent voters. Fine by me!


Friday, March 25, 2011

Chafee's tax plan in Rhode Island makes sense

The following article was a recent letter to the editor of the "Providence Journal" which has not yet been published. It is my hope that they will quickly print this letter as day after day Governor Chafee is taking a beating in this newspaper over his proposals to raise taxes to close a budget deficit. How the hell do the Republicans always think that they can close deficits by reducing taxes for the wealthy? It's refreshing to see a governor take an approach that includes raising revenue as well as reducing spending.

Journal misses the boat on Chafee tax plan

I must say that the “Providence Journal” misinforms when advising citizens on Chafee’s tax plan (Editorial; “Chafee tax plan’s flaws” March 13, 2011). Consider this; Governor Carcieri reduced the number of state workers by 3000, reduced state pensions for future retirees, reduced state income taxes for the wealthiest, furloughed state employees for 12 days, and the deficit grew as did the unemployment rate. Something is not working, but what?

Fewer employees means more outsourcing of government work and privatization costs may very well be playing a significant role in driving deficits. We have seen in past “Journal” reports the exorbitant costs associated with outsourcing work to private concerns by some state agencies. Right-sizing state government may lead to significant savings and assist in improving pension liabilities.

The “Journal” comments that, “state employees continue to receive annual pay increases”; this is not true. Your editorial staff is always looking to balance the budget to the detriment of state employees. This will have a limited effect, and here’s why. From previous “Journal” reports, the estimated annual cost of each state employee is just under $100,000. With approximately 14,000 employees, all salary, fringe and pension cost approximate $1.4 billion. The state budget is estimated to be $7.5 billion this year. Employees account for around 18.5% of total spending. You can’t fix the problem with a focus on only 18.5% of cost, reducing income from the wealthiest while blindly outsourcing government work.

Additionally, you attack the sales tax as being “regressive” and “not exactly what you want to expand”. On the very same day, the “Journal” reports; “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S Bernanke, at the National Governors Association winter meeting …… advised governors that lowering their sales tax rate while broadening the variety of goods and services to which the tax applies would result in a steadier stream of revenues, better positioning states ….” (“Chafee says he’s trying to ‘share the sacrifice’” March 13, 2011).

Governor Chafee is doing exactly the right thing, managing government with his brain and not a lopsided ideology. Does Chafee get it all right? No. The Chafee administration needs to really perform the “Big Audit” of privatized service cost which may be significantly driving deficits and study “right-sizing” government strategies. I would further advise Chafee to reduce the recommended 6% tax on car repairs to 1% and tax the yachts that line Narragansett Bay at the 6% rate. Until the toys of the wealthiest among us are taxed on a par with the taxes facing the middle class, Rhode Island is missing the boat.



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Public Pensions and the Fight Ahead

Governor Scott Walker, Republican ideologue from Wisconsin has done something that I did not think possible a few months ago. Walker has mobilized unions that will serve as counterweight to any Tea Party movement in this country. Governor Scott has ruined chances for Republican leadership in my estimation. Good for him; keep talking Scott Walker, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, you guys are the best thing to happen to the Democratic Party since Franklin Roosevelt had to step in and clean up the Republican mess left by ideologues like you. Remember Republicans; Democrats won 5 consecutive Presidential elections and they only lost because a moderate for all of the people stepped forward to rescue the ideological bankrupt Republican Party. Dwight was a guy for all of the people.

Walker's attempt to strip employee unions of power has nothing to do with the reality of state financial burdens. Everyone needs to read the current McClatchy Report; Why employee pensions aren't bankrupting states. This is a great report that underscores the true reason why Republicans are trying to gain political capital by scapegoating public employees and attacking their pensions.

In Rhode Island, our new Democratic Treasurer, Gina Raimondo has had the nerve to say that she believes that retirees may not own their pensions nor do state employees. Oh really: Who the hell do you think put the money into the fund? Employees put 8.75% of their income and school teachers put 9.5% into the system over their careers of 30+ years, and the state matches that whenever they feel like it (this is the problem), and now you say that system is taxpayer money? Gina Raimondo, you border on delusional and do not belong in a position to speak for the citizens of a free country! You will not get my vote next time around and never will get my vote unless you apologize to all of the hard working public employees across this state.

Governor Lincoln Chafee will be proposing steps to help secure the state's financial position tomorrow. One recommendation will be to increase state employee and teacher contributions to 11.5% for an interim period until a comprehensive pension overhaul can be achieved. Rhode Island employee contributions are already the highest in the Nation and now the move is to increase that by 2% for teachers and 2.75% for state employees?

At first I was really angry at the idea, then I realized it may well be brilliant. The Congress just reduced contributions to Social Security for workers and employers by 2%. This is something that Obama should never have agreed to do. Republicans will use this loss of revenue to argue for privatization of social security. Chafee's plan will result in little change in take home income for public employees that pay into state retirement as well as social security. Money that formerly was going to the Federal Government will now accrue towards the state's retirement plan.

Union workers do not want their pensions decreased. My guess is that most union workers will see this as a step toward fully funding the promises. I must admit though, until the state of Rhode Island taxes all of the yachts in Narragansett Bay, I find it hard to take money away from the hard working middle class.

One last comment that I have already made a half dozen times before in this blog. Donald Carcieri, our past ideologue governor attacked pensions and attacked public employees every day for eight years. Carcieri took 3000 state employees out of the system and yet his final budget proposal called for a 9% increase (from $7 billion to $7.8 billion). Employees are not the problem as salary, fringe and benefits of all employees account for 17% of the entire budget on an annual basis. Public employee pensions are not bankrupting the system. Republican privatization practices are bankrupting the system (more money to their friends).


Monday, March 7, 2011

What about Libya?

Should Barack Obama move us in the direction of military intervention in Libya? My answer at this point is no! It is now time for other countries to step up and take the lead while the United States deals with its current entanglements.

I am so happy that Obama is in charge at this point in time. You know for certain that John McCain would have jumped right into the fray because that is exactly what he has said. McCain jumps before knowing where he is going to land. At least Obama is surveying the neighborhood to find the best spot for our nation to land.

The good news is that some of our friends are finally stepping up to the plate and taking a leading role in determining the efficacy of a no-fly-zone. The United Kingdom and France are leading a United Nations effort to limit Moammar Gadhafi's ability to control the skies over Libya. Why shouldn't they play a leading role? Britain and France were active imperial powers that helped give us the Middle East that we know today. The United States is a johnny-come-lately to the region.

Regardless of what country supplies the military might, I'm relieved to see Europe step up to the plate; after all, most of the Libya's oil flows to Europe. Britain and France should damn well be concerned what happens to their own interests. Why should the United States always be fighting the world's battles? Don't forget that the Lockerbie Scotland incident was an attack on Europe as well as the United States.

United States military intervention in Libya could very well set off World War III. We are so lucky to have a thoughtful President who is willing to study the issue fully before committing more U.S. troops in foreign lands. From the "Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli" is not a reason to go to war and that is exactly where we would be if Obama followed John McCain's stupid, idiotic advise.

I don't have the exact quote, but John Kennedy said something like this when referring to Vietnam; If a country wants to be free, they must find their freedom on their own, it can't be handed to them. Of course, John Kennedy was taken from us before major decisions to escalate our involvement in Vietnam were made by subsequent administrations. Thank you Barack Obama for taking the time to think and to lead!


Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Changing Mike Huckabee

So what's up with Mr. Mike these days. It seems like he has made a decision to travel down the low road to a possible run for President. How irritating was it to hear him make a claim that Obama was not one of us because "he grew up in Kenya"? Obama first visited Kenya at the age of 26. It is well known where he grew up. It's just more lies from the Republican machine that includes Fox News and just about all of it's TV personalities.

Lawrence O'Donnell had a great story on a recent broadcast that accused Huckabee and Bill O'Reilly with lying to the American people about Barack Obama. O'Donnell then gives an outstanding accounting of how great the American story of Barack Obama actually is. Huckabee goes on O'Reilly's show to tell America that Barack Obama is not one of us because he was not a Boy Scout or little league player when he was growing up.

The Boy Scout reference brought me right back to my childhood. Now let me think; I believe it was the first Monday of every month our troop leaders would pile us into cars and we would travel to the YMCA (you know what that is) to go swimming. Yes it is very important for kids to know how to swim, but to this day I have no idea why we all had to be completely naked. That's right, I said 30 or 40 boys aged 12 to 16 swimming naked at the YMCA while the dirty old chaperons sat along side the pool and leered at us for an hour and a half. Thank God my own father only traveled there as chaperon once. It's one thing to change in the locker room, it's quite another to be talking to all of your male friends completely naked. Funny thing is that this did not bother me as much as the dirty old men leering at us from the sidelines did.

Not surprisingly, Boy Scout troops always have a spiritual leader and ours was a Catholic Priest, not from our Parish I might add, that never missed a trip to the good ole YMCA. I wonder what he was doing when he got home? Did anybody wonder why I quit the Boy Scouts by the time I was 14? I was just a little nervous around some of our community leaders.

That experience provided me with the knowledge that parents need to be very aware of their child's surroundings and not assume that a great organization, like the Boy Scouts is safe. Pedophiles flock to organizations such as this. I can't begin to tell you what else I learned in the Boy Scouts of America, but I need to keep this post as clean as possible. When my son was to travel on his first overnight (7 day outing) camping experience, I was quite concerned. I simply did not trust the troop leader and I felt that he liked looking at little boys a little too much. The camp director was a very good friend of mine and lived at the site. A week before my son's trip I took him to the camp and introduced him. My son was instructed that if he were uncomfortable for any reason, he should go to the director's house and I would be there shortly.

Well, nothing happened that he knew of on that trip. My wife called me paranoid. Two years after that trip and a year after my son left the Boy Scouts early, his Troop leader was arrested for molesting young boys.

Those are my Boy Scout high times - Mike Huckabee. In the end, I think my wife was quite impressed by my suspicious nature as was my son. I'm not saying that the Boy Scouts is a bad thing here; I am saying that some people's experience may not measure up to Huckabee's glorified view of the Boy Scout experience.

Maybe we are better off that Barack was not a Boy Scout? let's face it Mr. Huckabee, you don't think Barack Obama is a true American because he played basketball; you know, the sport that blacks like to play the most!


Friday, March 4, 2011

What Can I Say?

Let me start by saying that I am sorry for being away so long. I'm actually dizzy from the actions of the new Congress and disappointed that the voting public is so stupid. That's right; at times the voters are just amazingly stupid. You need only look to the re-election of Richard Nixon to know that.

There is so much to talk about since I've been away, I don't know where to begin. How about this new Congress that wants to cut $60 billion from this years appropriations. I have no problem with cutting $60 billion; I have a problem with where the bone heads want to make those cuts. John Boehner and crew want to cut the money from the Environmental Protection Agency, The Security and Exchange Commission, The Consumer Protection Bureau, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. What kind of memory do these Republicans have? Can't they remember that our economy was taken to its knees at the end of the Bush administration because of the pro Wall Street attitude? My dog has a better memory than the current Republicans in Congress.

How about the idiot in Wisconsin; that would be the Governor, who does not have the guts to negotiate with any union. What a weak kneed example of America patriotism! He blames the state employees while he cuts the taxes of Wisconsin's big corporations. Then this idiot expects only the public employees to pay the bill! Outrageous!!!!

I miss Keith Olbermann! You can always connect to him at his new site, the Fok News Channel.

On the positive side of reality, Senator Lincoln Chafee is now Governor Lincoln Chafee who provided me the energy to create this web site. If you want to learn more about this, just follow all of the Chafee links. I was there on election night when this Republican turned Independent garnered enough votes to become Governor (37% in a 4 way race). Since his election, he has done nothing but impress me with his approach to leadership. While Linc is no longer a Republican, he represents what Republicans used to be. One small example of Linc's efforts to deal with the deficit in this state; instead of attacking state employees and teachers, his administration did announce the reduction in payments to outsourced law firms by 15%. What a great idea! Privatization is killing government and this is the area where real savings can be found.