Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

Republicans’ Wet Dream

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Abolish all “social safety net” programs along with all Progressive, New Deal, and Great Society eras’ legislation, agencies, and bureaus, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Clean Air Act of 1970, Clean Water Act of 1972, including reversing Roe v Wade, and repealing the 17th Amendment.

Return America to the “good ol’ days” of a dog-eat-dog, wild-wild-West, unmitigated, unregulated free-for-all.

Face it, many – if not most – GOPers think FDR a pariah, a veritable scion of the dread “socialism,” and LBJ as traitor to the “Lost Cause.”

The GOP is winning – hands down – the rhetoric game. And they’ve allowed it to be ratcheted up to 11 with the 45th president. And if things continue as they have been, he’ll cruise to re-election just as handily as he did before.

Most everyone in the world who has been paying even the least bit of attention, knows full well what he’s capable of saying… er, scratch that. He’s a loose cannon, and as unpredictable as a bull in a china shop, who’ll literally say anything, for any reason, at any time. Just be assured it’ll be an utter wreck by the time he leaves. And he’ll deny he ever did anything.

And the people are completely stupefied and stymied – frozen, like deer in the headlights – by the proliferation of it all. The multiplication of mass media, their advertising-funded talking heads – network, or not – are concerned exclusively with eyes on the set, and website click-bait revenue, and nothing more. It drives ratings, and increases the price they can ask for advertising.

For them, it’s all about the green.

Money.

And that’s the game the GOP plays… in part.

Fear is the other.

Simply let some GOP sycophant say something like “those illegal-alien loving, socialist Democrats are gonna’ take away your jujubees, make harvesting honeycomb illegal -and- raise your taxes!,” and POOF! Just like that, the lemmings are running off… to the voting booth, with a voter guide published by some coalition of religious fanatics who have jumped on the exploitation of victimization bandwagon and falsely claim that the “Big Bad Wolf” of Washington is going to take away their religious freedom, and force their children to be sacrificed to Molech.

But instead, they’ve only laid out their genuine imitation faux sheepskins to be fleeced by the wrong god – the one whose hair they comb every morning. Their shepherds are simply wolves in sheep’s clothing, living in multi-million dollar mansions, flying in their privately owned jets, and living the high life, all financed by the impoverished, and laid upon the broken backs of those whom they claim to heal – all while paying no taxes.

If the Democrats would simply STOP responding to every vacuous, puerile comment made by the pablum-puking infantile Idiot in Chief, and were to take command of any debate on matters of public policy, and explain to the people how they will either be harmed, or positively helped in very concrete ways, they would quickly gain the confidence of many disaffected registered voters who now sit on the sidelines stewing in silent disenfranchisement.

But the sway of stupidity, and the siren song of public opinion, drives the ever-shifting winds of change. And the sands of time fall through the hourglass just as timelessly as it has marched on for the last 50 years and more.

I can understand the immense sense of frustration which was the motivating animus that propelled Trump into the Oval office.

However, I cannot understand how so many completely Read the rest of this entry »

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Economic Fundamental

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 5, 2019

California United States Senator Kamala Harris

There is something FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG in a nation when its largest supermarket chain by revenue – which is also the second-largest general retailer and the eighteenth largest company in the nation – finds it necessary, and plans to Read the rest of this entry »

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Republicans Started The Idea Of Government Shutdowns

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, January 7, 2019

The “Blame Game” is a popular political football not only in our nation’s capitol, but across the nation in statehouses. The “polarization” oft described by news outlets and “fake news” is a direct result of practices used by Republicans, which began in large part with Newt Gingrich.

You know, the Newt Gingrich who was the Georgia Republican having an extra-marital affair while trying to impeach then-President Clinton for a sexual tryst with White House Intern, Monica Lewinsky. Yes, the same Newt Gingrich who divorced his first wife (Jacqueline “Jackie” May Battley, who was his high school geometry teacher) while she lay in hospital recovering from cancer surgery while he was campaigning in hopes of becoming the GOP’s presidential nominee.

That’d be the same Newt Gingrich who next married a Congressional aide (28-year old Marianne Ginther) with whom he was philandering while married to his first wife Jackie, and asked her to marry him before having divorced his first wife, and then married Marianne a mere six months after divorcing Jackie, who also asked her (Marianne) if she would be interested in having an “open marriage” in which he could have a mistress and a wife.

And yes, it’s the same Newt Gingrich who in the exact same pattern, did the exact same thing when he married his third wife (Callista Bisek) by carrying on a six-year adulterous relationship with her, whom was also a Congressional aide, and then later moved to divorce his second wife Marianne after learning she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and the third wife whom Trump later named as Ambassador to the Holy See, as an ultimate insult, and slap in the face to the Pope, the Vatican, and all that the Church believes in, and stands for. It’d be like naming neo-Nazi/White Supremacist/Holocaust denier to be Ambassador to Israel, or an industrialist to be Secretary of the Interior, or a climate change denier to be administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Wait…

That Newt Gingrich.

The same Newt Gingrich who wrote the so-called “Contract with America” which was broken the first day Republicans took the oath of office following their win of the House and Senate – the first time since 1953 – even though they all signed vows that stated “If we break this Contract, throw us out.”

Yeah.

THAT Newt Gingrich.

Now, the Bully in Chief is blaming Democrats because he can’t get his way – which is BILLIONS MORE for a “concrete, rebar-reinforced wall,” which has since devolved into “steel slats,” or even less, a simple “barrier.” Notice how things are changing already? Next thing you know, it’ll be a row of concertina wire spooled across the 1954 miles of U.S./Mexico border.

Frankly, it’d probably be much cheaper, not only in the immediate term, but in the long term, as well. You see, one of the things that NO ONE – not even the Congressional Budget Office, nor the Government Accountability Office – has studied is “how much the upkeep of ‘the wall’ will cost American taxpayers.

But here’s an even more disconcerting thing: The ever-shifting comments of the Current White House Occupant on the matter, which have ranged from this comment from a campaign speech given Tuesday, January 13, 2015 at his Trump Tower office building in Manhattan:

“I would build a great wall – and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me – and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border, and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”

To one of his highnesses more recent Twitter rants which was:

“Mexico is paying for the Wall through the new USMCA Trade Deal. Much of the Wall has already been fully renovated or built. We have done a lot of work. $5.6 Billion Dollars that House has approved is very little in comparison to the benefits of National Security. Quick payback!” January 2, 2019

Are you starting to see a pattern here?

Promises.

Lies.

Broken promises.

More lies.

Say anything to get elected, or if you prefer, to get into Lady Liberty’s & America’s pants. The net effect is the same.

Look, I’m no fan of either Gingrich or Trump as human beings, and I think that Trump is vastly out of his league in any government, much less at the Federal level, and as President. He’s told more brazen lies than almost anyone can remember, and has sown confusion in our nation, which is not only demoralizing domestically, but makes us look like buffoons in the eyes of our international allies, and enemies. But, to give credit where credit is due, I think Read the rest of this entry »

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Congress’ Revolving Door, Part II

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 30, 2018

TheHill.com is reporting that, once again, outgoing Congress critters are migrating to their Corporate Masters on K Street… the well-worn thoroughfare for lobbyists, and “think tanks” who seek to influence Members of Congress decisions for the benefit of their Corporate Masters, not for for the benefit of “We the People.”

That is not a new phenomenon, has occurred, and continues occurring in the Democratic, just as well as in the Republican camp. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Government Shutdown is Democrats’ Fault

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, December 30, 2018

… and other lies.

Just like it’s the Democrats’ fault that Trump screwed around on his wives.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in part that, “Shutting down the government is something that’s widely disliked by virtually every American and I don’t think we’re going to do it.”

But on Saturday, November 17, 2018 Trump said in part that, “If I was ever going to do a shutdown over border security — when you look at the caravan, when you look at the mess, when you look at the people coming in. This would be a very good time to do a shutdown.”

Then, on December 11, 2018 in the White House Oval Office, in front of teevee cameras, and worldwide press, speaking to Democratic leaders Rep. Nancy Pelosi (CA-12) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (NY) in the Oval Office, Trump said: Read the rest of this entry »

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Does This Trump-Caused Market Slump Foretell Recession?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Of course, the Stock Market is NOT the economy, but for many, it’s the easiest touchstone to consider approximating the economy. And because most Americans are NOT heavily invested in Wall Street, its performance only nominally and indirectly affects them.

However, for those traders whose livelihood depends upon its gains or losses, such as corporate and investment banks, and brokerage houses, speculators, derivatives traders, hedge and other type funds, and the like, it doesn’t portend well.

And then, Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, while vacationing in Mexico, decided to call on Sunday the CEOs of 6 of the largest banks in America (Brian Moynihan of Bank of America; Michael Corbat of Citi; David Solomon of Goldman Sachs; Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan Chase; James Gorman of Morgan Stanley; and Tim Sloan of Wells Fargo), and then Twitterized it ex post facto. The media managers at Treasury decided to inform the public that… “The CEOs confirmed that they have ample liquidity available for lending to consumer, business markets, and all other market operations. He also confirmed that they have not experienced any clearance or margin issues, and that the markets continue to function properly.”

The Current White House Occupant is Mad at Mnuchin, and wants to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell, ostensibly because Mnuchin told POS45 that Powell would be a good choice for Fed Chairman. That’s according to four anonymous people, who were described by Bloomberg News as being “four people familiar with the matter” and speak “on condition of anonymity.” Where I come from, and live, that’s called cowardice. It might be called something else in Trumpanzeeville.

In the days ahead, POS45 will Read the rest of this entry »

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Republican Party Corruption: How did it get that way? – Part 1

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, December 15, 2018

George Packer, Staff Writer for The Atlantic, wrote an excellent, article examining the historical “modern” roots of today’s GOP, which was published yesterday, December 14, 2018, in an article entitled “The Corruption of the Republican Party.”

The article’s subtitle states that “The GOP is best understood as an insurgency that carried the seeds of its own corruption from the start.”

To be certain, when he cited corruption, he acknowledged that he didn’t mean to refer to “the kind of corruption that regularly sends lowlifes like Rod Blagojevich, the Democratic former governor of Illinois, to prison,” specifically noting that “those abuses are nonpartisan and always with us,” and excluded another kind of corruption such as “vote theft of the kind we’ve just seen in North Carolina – after all, the alleged fraudster employed by the Republican candidate for Congress hired himself out to Democrats in 2010.”

Rather, he states that the particular corruption to which he refers is not based upon one, two, or even three specific examples of types of corruption, but instead “has less to do with individual perfidy than institutional depravity. It isn’t an occasional failure to uphold norms, but a consistent repudiation of them.”

“A consistent repudiation of norms” – that is the very essence of today’s perversion of the modern GOP, as George Packer wrote.

They are no longer a “big tent” party as once described in 1967 by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan to the Republican Assembly on April 1, at the Lafayette Hotel, Long Beach, California, when he said in part that,

“The Republican Party, both in this state and nationally, is a broad party. There is room in our tent for many views; indeed, the divergence of views is one of our strengths. Let no one, however, interpret this to mean compromise of basic philosophy or that we will be all things to all people for political expediency.

“In our tent will be found those who believe that government was created by “We, the People;” that government exists for the convenience of the people and we can give to government no power we do not possess as individuals; that the citizen does not earn to support the government, but supports a government so that he may be free to earn; that, because there can be no freedom without law and order, every act of government must be approved if it makes freedom more secure and disapproved if it offers security instead of freedom.

“Within our tent, there will be many arguments and divisions over approach and method and even those we choose to implement our philosophy. Seldom, if ever, will we raise a cheer signifying unanimous approval of the decisions reached. But if our philosophy is to prevail, we must at least pledge unified support of the ultimate decision. Unity does not require unanimity of thought.”

Read the rest of this entry »

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Jeff Sessions Should Resign

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 7, 2017

EDITORIAL—
by Donald Watkins

Jeff Sessions Should Resign

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions should resign his office. President Donald Trump does not like, trust, or respect him.

Sessions reportedly offered to resign two weeks ago amid Trump’s growing frustration over the Attorney General’s decision to recuse himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into ties between the Trump Campaign and Russia. Trump has blamed Sessions for Read the rest of this entry »

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Voting Participation Rates: A Steady Decline… Or Not?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 26, 2017

As of today – Sunday, March 26, 2017 –  we are less than 100 days into President Donald Trump’s term in office, and his approval ratings – so far, a low of 37% –  are practically subterranean. According to Gallup, his highest approval rating thus far has been 46%, which was a three-day average shortly after he was inaugurated, from January 23-25, 2017. An average of all presidents from 1938-2017 at this point in their presidency (first year, first term) is 53%. Two-term Republican Dwight David Eisenhower (previously former Supreme Allied Commander during WWII) was the highest with a 74% approval rating in March 1953. Oft-maligned Democrat President Jimmy Carter had a 72% approval rating March 1977, and JFK had 73% in March 1961. A reminder that JFK was later assassinated November 22, 1963. More recently however, Barack Obama had a 62% approval rating March 2009.

A reminder also that the 2018 Election (aka “Midterm”) is arriving quickly, and for many, it will be one of THE MOST SIGNIFICANT elections in a lifetime, because ALL 435 seats in the House of Representatives and Read the rest of this entry »

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Can @realDonaldTrump this?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, November 13, 2016

Sunday, November 13, 2016
Day 5: The standard has been set… by a Black man.

According to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – the huge government bureaucracy established by Executive Order 13228 under President George W. Bush on October 8, 2001 – and it’s subsidiary bureaucracy the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), from 2009-2015, President Barack Obama has deported over 2.5 Million illegal immigrants… more than the George W. Bush administration.

Statistics for this year (2016) are not ready, because… the year hasn’t ended. Duh!
So, there are more to be added to the “we kicked you out because you broke the law” rolls.

Really? Obama deported more illegals than Bush?

Yup.

He’s deported so many illegals that he’s been nicknamed the “Deporter in Chief.”

In fact, he’s deported MORE than any other administration in history.

MORE than Reagan.

MORE than George H.W. Bush.

MORE than Clinton.

MORE than Carter.

In fact… MORE than ALL OF THEM COMBINED!

Oh yeah.

Ouch… that’s gotta’ smart!

The Office of Immigration Statistics (a subsidiary of the Department of Homeland Security), says Read the rest of this entry »

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The Great Unknown… Or Not: Separating #Fact From #Fiction: @realDonaldTrump’s First 100 Days – Realistic, Or Idealistic?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 12, 2016

November 11, 2016
Day 3: Still thinking

Yesterday, President Obama met with Donald Trump at the White House. It was the first time either of them had met. According to brief remarks made to the Press afterward, their collegial meeting lasted about one and a half hours.

The erudite will recall that “the first 100 days” is taken from a radio address given by Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first term in office, in which during his first 100 days , and modeled after his plan to get Americans back to work, protect their savings and create prosperity, provide relief for the sick and elderly, and get industry and agriculture back on their feet.

Having read Trump’s goals for his first 100 days in office, it seems to me that there are some ideas I can support. Yet, there’s some pure bluster and ignorance designed for purely emotional appeal. I’ll separate fact from fiction, and we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.
See: donald-trumps-contract-w-american-voter

Trump’s objectives are in bold, my comments follow.

—/—

First: Constitutional Amendment for Congressional Term Limits – I have long supported that idea. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell (R), however, opposes them – as, presumably, do some others. Whenever their income source or security is potentially challenged, they’ll fight. Which is probably all the more reason it ought to enacted. A Lifetime Limit of Eight terms in the House of Representatives (2 years x 8 terms=16 years), and a Lifetime Limit of Two terms in the Senate (2 terms x 6 years=12 years) for a combined total of 20 years Lifetime Total ought to be enough for anyone.

Second: Federal Hiring Freeze, to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health) – I can understand that, and could go along with that for a period of time. Realize also that whenever any public action is required to be taken – such as “extreme vetting,” it is done by Federal Employees. So if their numbers are reduced, as a natural result, expect slow-downs and delays in any actions undertaken.

Third: Require that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated – That’s unrealistic, and impracticable. It may be nice to think about, but as a blanket statement, it’s simply unrealistic.

Fourth: A 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service – TOTALLY in favor of this idea.

Sixth: Lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government – Totally in favor of, and the ban should extend to ALL former Federal Employees.

On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers:

FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205 – I have long advocated for changes to NAFTA, and other Free Trade deals to which the United States is a party.

SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership – TOTALLY in favor of this idea.

THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator – Some say “yes,” some say “no,” but there is no disagreement China has bought American currency on the FOREX (Foreign Currency Exchange Market), and has purchased American indebtedness (T-bills, and other bonds). Mr. C. Fred Bergsten, Senior Fellow and Director Emeritus at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, put it this way: “Currency manipulation occurs when Read the rest of this entry »

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How Radical Has The GOP Become? Listen To Mike Huckabee To Know.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, July 31, 2015

Having read that Mike Huckabee made a veiled remark suggesting that he would “send the FBI or the National Guard to close down abortion clinics” (specifically, he said “We’ll see when I’m president” in response to the question), it didn’t surprise me one iota.

I’ve warned that those folk – the GOP – are radicals, and are Hell-bent upon transforming our beloved nation into their warped version of a “free market” state. We’ve already entered into the beginning phase of Gilded Age v2.0 with the advent of Ronald Reagan, because it was during his two-term tenure that the seeds of these ideas were sewn.

Former Mississippi Governor Republican presidential candidate former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council 42nd annual meeting Thursday, July 23, 2015 in San Diego.  (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Former Arkansas Governor, and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee speaks at the American Legislative Exchange Council 42nd annual meeting Thursday, July 23, 2015 in San Diego.
(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

As one type evidence, note that alternative energies, solar, etc., were ousted from official White House consideration. Witness that he had the solar hot water heating panels and collectors removed from the White House. Had we doubled down on recycling, and other forms of energy – wind, geothermal, etc. – we would be LIGHT YEARS ahead of where we are now with respect for our energy independence.

Another type of evidence was the successful repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act, which was originally enacted Read the rest of this entry »

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Sodomy: A prime example of what’s wrong with #ALpolitics

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 12, 2015

A dear friend who is a long-time retiree, aged 78 years, entire subsistence is from a meager pension (earned from a lifetime of work in a unionized organization), supplemented with a paltry Social Security check.

She’s lived through breast cancer surgery (mastectomy) & reconstruction, other major surgeries (knee replacements) and procedures, and lives in a trailer which she owns, situated upon a lot which she rents. She has resided there many, many years.

To save money, she recently Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama May 2015 Unemployment Higher Than Reported

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, June 20, 2015

Alabama Unemployment Rates May 2015 by County with Totals

Alabama May 2015 Unemployment Rates by County with Totals

According to the Alabama Department of Labor, the Seasonally Adjusted preliminary state Unemployment Rate for May 2015 was 6.1%. The Not Seasonally Adjusted rate was 6.2%.

However, as I have written previously (October 2014, Analysis: Alabama Unemployment Higher Than Stated), the rate is subject to flaw precisely because it is Read the rest of this entry »

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How To Get Elected In Alabama: Convince the “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” to vote for you.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 14, 2015

It’s a classic variation upon the theme of a “straw man argument.”

But if you’re like most folks in Alabama, you’re probably so “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command” to know what that is.

So, I’ll tell you.

You cite an example of thing you oppose (and which many others would oppose) – even though it’s false (example: “The air in our city has killed thousands of babies!”) – and hammer on it, until you beat it up. Never mind that the example you use is pure bullshit and a total lie. That way, you get your opponent distracted from the REAL issues by responding to your bullshit lies. Studies have shown that when you repeat a lie – even if you are repeating it to refute it – the repetition can reinforce the lie in the minds of some people.

Read on.

Insight: How To Get Elected In Alabama

By Hardy Jackson

In my more than half-a-century of following politics — state, local and national — I cannot recall such a general disgust with the quality of the folks who govern us.

How, I hear it asked repeatedly, did these people get elected?

The answer, of course, is that they got the most votes.

But that is not the answer most people want.How to Get Elected in AL politics

What they want to know is how these politicians were able to convince a majority of Alabama voters to cast a ballot for them.

Well, I’m gonna tell you.

Today, politicians in Alabama get elected because they have mastered a strategy that has gotten Alabama politicians elected as long as there have been politicians and elections in this state.

Here is how it works.

First, a candidate must convince voters that Read the rest of this entry »

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How Much Could Alabama Save By Not Paying Legislators?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 30, 2015

UPDATE: Sunday, 14 June 2015 – Found following main body

Today (Thursday, 30 April 2015) the Alabama State Senate knocked off at 11:30, and reconvened 1PM. It’s also the final day of the Legislative Session for the week – they only work three days each week – Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

An hour and a half – that’s a nice, long lunch break for a wealthy man, a powerful man – not a working man. It’s pretty cushy for someone who works three days a week, only 30 days a year. Reckon how your boss would respond if you asked for a three-day work week and a 30-day work year?

How long do you get for lunch?

Most folks get 30 minutes.

The Alabama Senate gets THREE times longer than most working folks.

But then, excesses in Alabama state politics is nothing new.

Recall that – by law – the Alabama Legislature is limited to work <30 days/year (in a 105 day period) & for that privilege, citizens & taxpayers fork over $50K+/yr in pay & compensation to them – 35 in the Senate, and 105 in the House.
TOTAL=140 men (mostly) & women.

In stark contrast, New Mexico’s State Legislators are a Volunteer Legislature (they’re elected, yes, but unpaid), and during Session, by State Law receive a Daily Federal Per Diem, and Two-Way Mileage once during a session EXCLUSIVELY.

Legislative pay in Alabama has been a hot-button issue, particularly in recent years – and, it’s unnecessarily complicated. By State Constitutional Law, their “official” pay is Read the rest of this entry »

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Presidential Political Prophesy

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, March 12, 2015

As we wind down the final two years of President Barack Obama’s second term, speculation is arising concerning who will become the GOP’s Presidential nominee. At this point, there is much less speculation among Democrats about who will contend for the race, although Hillary Clinton does seem to be positioning herself early for a run at the Democratic party’s nomination.

Given the increasing inoperability of the radicalized GOP (even though they have wrested solid control of the House and Senate, but not enough to override a presidential veto), and their tendency toward government shutdown, brinksmanship, and extremism, some have said they would prefer to see a Democratic presidential successor, though there may be little evidence to support the notion such a thing will occur.

Some have said “That doesn’t help the Democrats” and that, “a Republican president doesn’t help anyone but corporations.” While there may be merit to both statements, it should be observed that a spirit of cooperation has become eroded to the point that there seems little chance that statesmanship and compromise for the good of the whole will occur… even given the Republican majority in the House and Senate. The radicalized GOP’s infighting even has Speaker Boehner up in arms, and not merely for his impotence and inability to control the party now hijacked by Right-Wing Extremists.

Which is where we begin the prophesy. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Successful Is It To Drug Test Public Assistance Welfare Recipients?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, October 5, 2014

UPDATE: 07February2016
http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2016/02/07/drug-testing-benefits-tennessee-yields-only-65-positives/79776756/

Since implementation of a law began July 1, 2014, the Tennessee Department of Human Services found only 65 out of 39,121 people who applied for a cash assistance program known as “Families First in Tennessee,” tested positive for illegal substances, or medicines for which they had no prescription.

That’s less than 1% of all applicants who tested positive.

That information was provided provided to The Tennessean by the Tennessee DHR.

An extra 116 refused to participate in an initial drug screening questionnaire, which automatically disqualified them for benefits.

The average monthly benefit of the cash assistance program was $165 per month in December – or $1,980 per year. If they otherwise would have qualified to have received assistance, the total value of the benefit to the 116 people who refused to take the test would have been $230,000 annually – if they had otherwise qualified for benefits.

Since the law began, 609 people have been asked to take a drug test: 544 tested negative, and 65 tested positive. Of those who tested positive, 40 were referred for substance abuse evaluation, and 13 enrolled in a drug treatment facility or recovery support group as a condition of receiving benefits.

The total cost to Tennessee taxpayers so far has been $23,592.

There’s a meme which circulates on FaceBook and presumably, in other places as well, which appears similarly as this:

Drug Test Public Assistance Recipients

Drug Test Public Assistance Recipients Meme

Honestly, the idea is a failure.

But you’d rarely – if ever – hear about it’s failures.

Florida was the first state to tread that path. What they learned was surprising. And then, the law was struck down by a Federal court. The states that embark upon Florida’s path will be wa$ting their citizen$ taxe$.

Only 2.6% of Florida applicants failed the drug test.

“Because the Florida law requires that applicants who pass the test be reimbursed for the cost, an average of $30, the cost to the state was $118,140. This is more than would have been paid out in benefits to the people who failed the test. As a result, the testing cost the government an extra $45,780.”

The purported savings in Florida’s program will be negligible after administrative costs and reimbursements for the drug tests are taken into account.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/18/us/no-savings-found-in-florida-welfare-drug-tests.html

But it wasn’t limited to Florida. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teaching Jobs Lost Under Alabama Governor Bentley

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, May 8, 2014

Yet more bad news from Governor Bentley’s incompetent, do-nothing administration.

Chalk up more jobs lost.

This is a DIRECT RESULT of the closure of the International Paper manufacturing facility in Courtland.

And the best worst part is, he’s playing with our children’s lives.

Be certain to thank him at the ballot box this November.

And the bad, sad news is undeniable: Alabamians are “largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”

When will Alabamians learn?

Wait… if the residents are “largely poor” they’re certain to be “uneducated, and [therefore] easy to command.”

Remember the cheer” We like it, we love it… we want some more of it!

Or if not, how about the line in the Charles Dickens classic Oliver Twist?

Please, sir… I want some more“.

Alabama obviously likes it, and hasn’t gotten a bellyful yet.

Again… apply the circular logic of:

“largely poor, uneducated, and easy to command.”

(Board Of Education) BOE cuts local funded teacher units

Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 6:00 am

The Lawrence County Board of Education continued to take steps to solidify the county’s financial footing Monday night, eliminating five certified positions in an effort to cut the number of locally funded teacher units.

Superintendent Heath Grimes said more cuts could be on the horizon.

“We have to start focusing on building our financial reserves and this is one step in doing that,” he said. “We’ve been working closely with the state Board of Education to get a plan in place to build a one-month operating reserve and this is one of the suggest measures.”

Lawrence County’s one-month operating cost is roughly $3.2 million. Grimes said the board has $1.5 million in reserve.

“It’s important to understand that, yes, we are Read the rest of this entry »

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Congressional Budget Office: Offshore Corporate Tax Havens Cost each Citizen $1259

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, April 17, 2014

Historically, our nation has prospered when tax rates on the ULTRA wealthy and corporations were highest.

In the period following World War II, under President Dwight David Eisenhower – a Republican, and former Supreme Allied Commander / 5ive Star General – Corporate Tax rates have continually declined.

Now, during the Obama administration, they are at the LOWEST they have EVER been.

Corporate Income Tax Rates have continually declined

Corporate Income Tax Rates have continually declined the peaked during the Eisenhower administration. The formula is: b/(a+b) Where (a) Corporate Profits After Tax (without IVA and CCAdj), Billions of Dollars, Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate (CP); And (b) Federal Government: Tax Receipts on Corporate Income, Billions of Dollars, Not Seasonally Adjusted (FCTAX)

Tax Havens Leave U.S. Filers $1,259 Tab Each, Report Says

U.S. taxpayers would need to pay an average of $1,259 more a year to make up the federal and state taxes lost to corporations and individuals sheltering money in overseas tax havens, according to a report.

Tax haven abusers benefit from America’s markets, public infrastructure, educated workforce, security and rule of law -– all supported in one way or another by tax dollars -– but they avoid paying for these benefits,” U.S. Public Interest Research Group said in the report released today, the deadline for filing 2013 taxes.
ref: http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/picking-tab-2014

“Instead, ordinary taxpayers end up picking up the tab, either in the form of higher taxes, cuts to public spending priorities, or increases to the federal debt,” it said.

In total, the U.S. loses $150 billion in federal revenue and another $34 billion in state revenue annually because of money parked in tax havens, the Boston-based consumer advocacy group concluded.

That’s almost Read the rest of this entry »

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American Entitlement Culture

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 10, 2013

Recently, I happened across an item which read “When they analyze the demise of western society due to the entitlement epidemic, it’ll trace back to giving kids awards just for showing up.”

Of course, it can sometimes be difficult to discern sarcasm when reading, and I rather suspect there is at least a smidgen of sarcasm in that brief remark.

Sarcasm, of course, can, and is often used to convey a truth, or truths about numerous subjects, and is a teaching tool, as well.

Because I often use dictionaries to aid my understanding, I chose to look up the definition of the word “entitlement.” Here’s what I found:
As a verb, to “entitle” is to give someone a legal right, or a just claim to receive or do something.

For example, in the United States, the First Amendment is an entitlement to Read the rest of this entry »

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Radical Republicans, TEApublicans and other Governmental Deconstructionists

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, June 17, 2013

Audits, liens, garnishments: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) goes to amazing lengths to ensure you comply with your taxes but what happens when they turn that energy to making sure you also comply with their political agenda? As recent scandals have shown, that’s exactly what they are doing! Our response: its time we abolished the IRS.

“The IRS has admitted to unfairly targeting conservatives, hassling adoptive parents, throwing lavish conferences, attempting to censor pro-life groups and has leaked confidential tax information for political ends — and this is the agency we are going to trust with enforcing Obamacare?”

Tear it down.

Break it up.

Destroy it.

Kill it.

We hate it.

That’s the message of the modern Republican party.

We hate you.

We love BIG BUSINESS.

We think you ought to believe the way we do, think the way we do, act the way we do.

Be different!

Join the crowd!

Yes, the irony is abundant.

The message quoted above is a direct e-mail message from Read the rest of this entry »

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Senator Jeff Sessions REFUSES to give up part of his salary for sequestration

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, May 27, 2013

Be sure to ask Sen. Sessions if he is going to voluntarily give up a portion of his Senatorial salary since the Senate last month passed a measure urging their members to forgo 20% of their salaries as part of sequestration.

Kudos, however, to Sen. Bob Corker R-TN, who has NEVER pocketed any of his Senate salary.

Why?

He donates it ALL to charity.

Why?

He’s worth over $19 Million.

Few senators sacrifice pay amid cuts

By Russell Berman – 04/03/13 05:00 AM ET

Only a few senators are planning to forfeit a portion of their salaries to charity or the U.S. Treasury while sequestration is in effect, according to a survey conducted by The Hill.

The Senate last month passed a measure urging members of the upper chamber to forgo 20 percent of their salary during sequestration. Most senators, however, are keeping quiet on whether they will follow through.

During a marathon session of budget votes, the Senate approved by voice vote an amendment from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) calling on lawmakers to donate 20 percent of their pay to charity or return it to the U.S. Treasury.In his floor speech, Graham noted that about 500,000 to 600,000 federal employees will be furloughed because of sequestration and that senators should “feel what other people are feeling.”

Yet in a survey of Senate offices by The Hill, only Graham and Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) have indicated they would give up some of their take-home pay.

In a recent press release, Begich — who is up for reelection in 2014 — said Read the rest of this entry »

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Would President Obama privatize TVA & Kill the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Shoals: Privatizing TVA is ‘a bad idea’

By Mike Goens
Managing Editor
Matt McKean/TimesDaily
4/21/13

Anglers fish below thousands of feet of power lines that run from TVA’s Wheeler Dam turbine systems. Those from the Shoals who work closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority said the federal agency should not be turned over to private companies. Matt McKean/TimesDaily

Anglers fish below thousands of feet of power lines that run from TVA’s Wheeler Dam turbine systems. Those from the Shoals who work closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority said the federal agency should not be turned over to private companies. Matt McKean/TimesDaily

If President Barack Obama needs help orchestrating an effort to privatize TVA, he shouldn’t expect much support from the Shoals.

Those from the Shoals who work closely with the Tennessee Valley Authority said the federal agency should not be turned over to private companies. They fear a privately owned TVA will lead to higher electricity rates, job cuts, more flooding problems and navigational issues on the Tennessee River and other waterways under TVA’s jurisdiction.

“The first questions you need to ask are what’s the gain for government and what would be gained by the community,” said Steve Hargrove, manager of Sheffield Utilities. “If the purpose is to make things better and there is reason to think it’s possible, I would be the first one interested in sitting at the table and talking about it. I just don’t see advantages of privatizing at this time.”

Obama brought the issue to the table through his 2014 budget proposal, which was released last week. He said selling TVA should be explored as a means to increase revenue by as much as $25 billion, money that could reduce the federal deficit and pay for other government services.

Hargrove has a unique perspective to the debate, having worked at TVA for 33 years before retiring as plant manager at Colbert Fossil Plant. He became manager of Sheffield Utilities in December.

His department purchases electricity from TVA and provides power to about 19,000 customers in Colbert County.

“I am a believer in the private sector, but I would fear their mission would be different than TVA’s,” Hargrove said. “The mission of TVA is not to make profit, and the mission of the private sector is to make a profit. They have to answer to a board that wants to maximize profits. When your primary goal is to make a profit, that becomes a higher goal than helping the community.

“TVA has had its problems, and bad decisions have been made, but its mission is good and they are an established part of the communities.”

Hargrove said residential rates for TVA customers in the Southeast are among the lowest 25 percent in the country and Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama’s Republican Legislators take over State’s Schools… even though they’re not failing.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, March 10, 2013

The lack of news outlets in the states three major newspapers all which publish only three editions weekly (Birmingham News, Mobile Press-Register, and the Huntsville Times, now known as “Alabama Media Group” which newspapers are all owned by the same privately held mega-firm that owns Sports Illustrated & Conde Nast – Advance Publications, aka Newhouse News) has – in my estimation – contributed to the demise of public involvement in governance, and to a great degree, influenced voters from participating in their own governance by keeping them ignorant.

However, that does NOT mean that there is no news, nor does it mean that there is a news blackout. What it means is that in those three major cities in the state, there is a dearth of reporting of state events.

For example, the Montgomery Advertiser reported recently that in an email message to his staff, Governor Robert Bentley “demanded that his cabinet members and the state employees who work for them not discuss with state legislators any concerns they might have with a proposed overhaul to state law enforcement agencies.

““I do not want any cabinet head or any member of their department to lobby against this. Tell your employees to contact ONLY Blaine Galliher if they have any questions or concerns. NO ONE is to talk to members of the House or Senate in opposition to this legislation,” Bentley wrote in an email sent to cabinet members by his executive assistant on Feb. 12.””

Governor Bentley is showing his true face… that of a tyrant.

The year Alabama legislators took over schools

by Wayne Flynt
Special to The Star
Mar 10, 2013
Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in Montgomery last week. Photo: Dave Martin/Associated Press

Gov. Robert Bentley talks with reporters in Montgomery last week. Photo: Dave Martin/Associated Press

My father grew up poor and never finished high school but was incredibly resourceful. He could “figure things out.” He did his own plumbing, wiring and construction. But on occasion, Dad’s chief asset became a liability. So confident was he in his ability to fix anything that he refused to admit that he didn’t know everything.

That is a good description of the new Republican Legislature. They were elected for good reasons: The hubris, arrogance, excesses, patronage abuse, corruption and demagoguery of Democrats. But the 2013 Legislature reminds me lots of the Democrats they replaced.

Republicans, who hold all state offices and a veto-proof majority in the Legislature, have decided that they know better than anyone how to do everything.

Take education, for instance. Three successive reform-minded state school superintendents — supported by a business community concerned about the loss of one-third of Alabama manufacturing jobs since 2000 and fearful that schools were not producing a labor force skilled enough to compete in the global economy — began reforming education.

They introduced model early childhood programs, world-class math and science curricula, a reading initiative widely copied nationwide, tougher graduation standards, and took over failing schools and malfunctioning systems characterized by patronage politics and financial profligacy (think Birmingham).

Education reformers organized A+ Education Partnership and joined this battle. Their hugely successful “best practices” center and life-changing college-readiness program that enrolls record numbers of students in demanding advanced placement courses constitute instances where Alabama set national standards rather than followed them.

So what does the new Republican Legislature do? Read the rest of this entry »

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Exactly whose idea was this “Sequester” thing anyway?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 23, 2013

Whose idea was this “sequester” anyway?

Would you believe Mitch McConnell & John Boehner?

Yeah, but McConnell & the GOP are calling it “the president’s sequester”!

Yes, they are. And they want to deceive you.

In other words, they’re lying.

Kentucky’s senior Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, who is the Senate Minority Leader, along with Speaker of the House of Representatives Ohio Congressman John Boehner have both called the impending drastic across-the-board budget cuts & tax increases as “the president’s sequester.”

However, the idea did NOT originate with President Obama.

For the benefit of those whose (choose any combination of the following):
1.) Memories are short, and/or;
2.) Weren’t paying attention in class and/or;
3.) Believe teevee’s talking heads, and/or;
4.) Believe the GOP.

Give particular attention to the last paragraph in the first story, which states in part that,

“McConnell, the chief Republican architect of the compromise, has been adamant that no tax increases will come out of the joint committee. And he and Boehner have effective control given that they will hand-pick six of the 12 members. That said, the defense lobby — a strong force still among Republicans —will most feel the impact of any sequester, and the industry is already being squeezed by the revised appropriations targets set for 2012 and 2013.”

Finally, I would remind the reader that because the GOP’s radical philosophical ideology of privatizing practically every government service (which places public tax dollars in private pockets – is that anything like “welfare”?) harsh across-the-board budget cuts are precisely what the GOP has begged for from Day One.

Debt ceiling disaster averted, but nobody’s really happy

By: David Rogers
August 2, 2011 11:30 PM EST

Running short of cash, Treasury won an immediate reprieve of $400 billion in new borrowing authority Tuesday with the enactment of a hotly contested debt and deficit-reduction agreement hammered out between Republicans and the White House on Sunday night.

President Barack Obama, not hiding his frustration, quickly signed the measure sent to him by Congress after a final 74-26 Senate roll call, capping an unprecedented hard-edged political struggle that had pushed the nation to the brink of default.

Indeed, the stakes were far larger than with the April shutdown fight, and more than any single event this year, the debt battle captured all the power — and critics would say extreme risk-taking — of the anti-government backlash that fueled the GOP’s gains in the 2010 elections.

The timing makes it a gamble too with the faltering recovery. Most of the promised $2.1 trillion in deficit reduction will take place in the out years, but discretionary spending will continue to fall in 2012 and the same Congressional Budget Office — which scored the cuts — will soon issue its August economic update, which could show slower growth.

House Speaker John Boehner has argued the opposite: More aggressively addressing deficits “will in fact provide more confidence for employers in America, the people we expect to reinvest in our economy and create jobs.” But a sell-off Tuesday on Wall Street sent the Dow down 265 points, reflecting growing pessimism about the economic outlook. And as lawmakers left for the summer recess, Democrats vowed to turn the agenda more toward job creation when they return.

“We crossed a bridge,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) “Enough talk about the debt. We have to talk about jobs.”

Obama signaled as much in a Rose Garden appearance after the Senate vote. Extending his 2-percentage-point cut in payroll taxes remains a priority and the appropriations bargain, Read the rest of this entry »

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Ronald Reagan on carrying loaded firearms in public

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Americans don’t go around carrying guns with the idea they’re using them to influence other Americans. There’s no reason why on the street today a citizen should be carrying loaded weapons.”

Ronald Reagan, then Governor of California, speaking in Sacramento, California, Tuesday, May 2, 1967, after “a dozen of the armed youth – members of Read the rest of this entry »

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Reasoned Debate: Our Second Amendment Rights & Preventing Firearm Violence

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, January 26, 2013

Alabama State House GOP "Dare Defend Our Rights" gun logo

Alabama State House GOP “Dare Defend Our Rights” gun logo, from the FaceBook page of Speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn

Recently in another Social Media forum, a long-time friend had posted a link to a site operated for the Alabama State House GOP faction, which is a so-called “supermajority” in that state’s elected legislative body. That site may be found here: http://ALHouseGOP.com/WeDareDefend/.

Perceiving that that those political ideologues were very likely drumming up support for their positions based upon pure emotion and fear, rather than reasoned, rational and informed debate, I initially responded by quickly writing a somewhat sarcastic response, precisely worded to give pause for thought. My initial response elicited a query, to which I delightfully replied more eruditely.

The exchange as it exists presently, now follows.

Me: Yeah. Alabama was wrong on their right to segregation and their right to deny civil rights, too.

Friend: So, do you support the Read the rest of this entry »

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Ronald Reagan: “I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, January 18, 2013

History’s a funny thing, ain’t it?

FaceBook The Internet is full of false “quotes” attributed to such luminous historical figures as Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other Founding Fathers, along with fallacious – even mean-spirited and evil – attempted parallels to Hitler and the sitting President Barack Obama.

It’s just pure hatred. That, ignorance and selfishness.

But when it comes to one of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, a two-term Republican President held in high esteem by Democrats and Republicans alike, no one really likes to recall the things he said.

And so, here for your perusal and consideration, is an historical redux.

Enjoy.

Reagan’s 78th Birthday Includes Posh Party, Campus Speech, Courtesy Call

JEFF WILSON , Associated Press
AP News Archive Feb. 7, 1989 5:54 AM ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Ronald Reagan celebrated his 78th birthday by saying he’s had enough of retirement and was ”saddled up and ready to ride again” for a balanced federal budget and repeal of the two-term presidency.

The 40th President’s birthday celebration Monday included an office chat with Japanese Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, a black-tie party and a speech to students at the University of Southern California, where he was serenaded by the USC Marching Band.

”One of my biggest disappointments as president was I wasn’t able to balance the budget,” Reagan told the college audience.

Reagan received extended applause when answering a question about over-the- counter military weapons, such as the AK-47 assault rifle used to gun down five Stockton schoolchildren last month.

”I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense,” he said. ”But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.”

The speech was Reagan’s first public event since a spirited welcome home airport rally Jan. 20, the day he relinquished the presidency to George Bush. The former president said Read the rest of this entry »

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Mitt Romney “never wanted to be president,” says son Tagg.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, December 27, 2012

The story behind Mitt Romney’s loss in the presidential campaign to President Obama

It was two weeks before Election Day when Mitt Romney’s political director signed a memo that all but ridiculed the notion that the Republican presidential nominee, with his “better ground game,” could lose the key state of Ohio or the election. The race is “unmistakably moving in Mitt Romney’s direction,” the memo said.

But the claims proved wildly off the mark, a fact embarrassingly underscored when the high-tech voter turnout system that Romney himself called “state of the art” crashed at the worst moment, on Election Day.

To this day, Romney’s aides wonder how it all went so wrong.

They console each other with claims that the election was much closer than realized, saying that Romney would be president if roughly 370,000 people in swing states had voted differently. Romney himself blamed demographic shifts and Obama’s “gifts”: federal largesse targeted to Democratic constituencies.

But a reconstruction by the Globe of how the campaign unfolded shows that Romney’s problems went deeper than is widely understood. His campaign made a series of costly financial, strategic, and political mistakes that, in retrospect, all but assured the candidate’s defeat, given the revolutionary turnout tactics and tactical smarts of President Obama’s operation.

One of the gravest errors, many say, was the Romney team’s failure, until too late in the campaign, to sell voters on the candidate’s personal qualities and leadership gifts. The effect was to open the way for Obama to define Romney through an early blitz of negative advertising. Election Day polls showed that the vast majority of voters concluded that Romney did not really care about average people.

These failures are now the subject of scrutiny by national GOP officials who say they plan to Read the rest of this entry »

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Research: WalMart’s Low Wages Burden Taxpayers

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, November 23, 2012

The high cost of low living…

“Walmart’s employees receive $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store.
They are also the top recipients of Medicaid in numerous states.
Why does this occur?
Walmart fails to provide a livable wage and decent healthcare benefits, costing U.S. taxpayers an annual average of $1.02 billion in healthcare costs.

This direct public subsidy is being given to offset the failures of an international corporate giant who shouldn’t be shifting part of its labor costs onto the American taxpayers.”

You’re the life of the party, everybody’s host
Still you need somewhere you can hide
All your good time friends
And your farewell to has-beens
Lord knows, just along for the ride

You think you’re a survivor
But boy, you better think twice
No one rides for nothin’
So, step up and pay the price

Dedicated to the GOP & other radical TEApublicans who worship the “almighty” dollar, tax cuts for the über wealthy, and their multinational corporate prophets.


Hidden Taxpayer Costs

Disclosures of Employers Whose Workers and Their Dependents are Using State Health Insurance Programs

Updated January 18, 2012

Since the mid-20th Century, most Americans have obtained health insurance through workplace-based coverage. In recent years there has been a decline in such coverage caused by a rise in the number of jobs that do not provide coverage at all and growth in the number of workers who decline coverage because it is too expensive.

Faced with the unavailability or unaffordability of health coverage on the job, growing numbers of lower-income workers are turning to taxpayer-funded healthcare programs such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

This trend is putting an added burden on programs that are already under stress because of fiscal constraints caused by medical inflation and federal cutbacks. Many states are curtailing benefits and tightening eligibility requirements.

It also raises the issue of whether states are being put in a position of subsidizing the cost-cutting measures of private sector employers.

Across the country, policymakers and others concerned about the healthcare system are pressing for disclosure of information on those employers whose workers (and their dependents) end up in taxpayer-funded programs.

The following is a summary of the employer disclosure that has come to light so far. It includes two cases (Massachusetts and Missouri) in which the information was produced as a result of legislation. The other cases involved requests by legislators or reporters. The latter situations have sometimes resulted in data that are incomplete or imprecise, which suggests that only legislatively mandated, systematic disclosure will tell the whole story.

This compilation was originally produced by Good Jobs First as part of its preparation of testimony given before the Maryland legislature on an employer disclosure bill. A version of that testimony can be found here [1].

Alabama
In April 2005 the Mobile Register published an article citing data from the Alabama Medicaid Agency on companies in the state with employees whose children are participating in Medicaid. The newspaper obtained a list from the agency of 63 companies whose employees had 100 or more children in the program as of mid-March 2005. At the top of the list was Wal-Mart, whose employees had 4,700 children in the program. Following it were McDonald’s (1,931), Hardee’s (884) and Burger King (861). The data were similar to information obtained from the same agency by the Montgomery Advertiser two months earlier.

Sources: Sean Reilly, “Medicaid Providing Health Care for Kids of Working Families,” Mobile Register, April 17, 2005 and John Davis and Jannell McGrew, “Health Plans Not Family Friendly,” Montgomery Advertiser, February 22, 2005, p.B6.

Arizona
In July 2005 the state Department of Economic Security issued data on the largest private employers with workers receiving taxpayer-financed medical insurance through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. At the top of the list was Wal-Mart, with about 2,700 workers–or 9.6 percent of its Arizona workforce–participating in the program. It was followed by Read the rest of this entry »

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Grover Norquist: “Romney was a ‘poopy head’.”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, November 12, 2012

“…the president was committed, ah, elected on the basis that he was not Romney, and that Romney was a ‘poopy head,’ and you should vote against Romney – and he won by two points.”
Grover Norquist

Norquist’s voice sound like he’s a pinko puss.

Not a man.

Grover Norquist: Obama Won Because He Called Romney A ‘Poopy Head’

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 11/12/2012 9:12 am EST

Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans For Tax Reform, has a new theory about why President Barack Obama won — he portrayed Mitt Romney as a “poopy head.”

“The president was committed; elected on the basis that he was not Romney and Romney was a poopy head and you should vote against Romney and he won by two points,” Norquist said on CBS’ “This Morning” Monday. “But he didn’t make the case that we should have higher taxes and higher spending, he kind of sounded like the opposite.”

Host Norah O’Donnell pushed back. “Well, I’m not sure that’s what the president called Mitt Romney, Grover,” she said. “That’s not the debate that was had … he said very clearly throughout the debate that the Read the rest of this entry »

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Perversions of Justice & Twisted Interpretations of Our Constitution by Activist Judges

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, November 10, 2012

Once, upon a time (in my lifetime), there was little to no need for $uch $pending as we recently witnessed in the November 2012 General Election.

Formerly, Pre$ident$ and Congre$$ were elected without much money.

Now, due in large part to Read the rest of this entry »

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What will President Obama do in his next four years?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 26, 2012

Obama and the Road Ahead: The Rolling Stone Interview

In an Oval Office conversation with a leading historian, the president discusses what he would do with a second term – and his opponent’s embrace of ‘the most extreme positions in the Republican Party

by: Douglas Brinkley

Obama on Rolling Stone 20121023-obama-1169-306x-1351006174

Photo by Mark Seliger

Barack Obama can no longer preach the bright 2008 certitudes of “Hope and Change.” He has a record to defend this time around. And, considering the lousy hand he was dealt by George W. Bush and an obstructionist Congress, his record of achievement, from universal health care to equal pay for women, is astonishingly solid. His excessive caution is a survival trait; at a time when the ripple and fury provoked by one off-key quip can derail a campaign for days, self-editing is the price a virtuoso must pay to go the distance in the age of YouTube.

Viewed through the lens of history, Obama represents a new type of 21st-century politician: the Progressive Firewall. Obama, simply put, is the curator-in-chief of the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier and the Great Society. When he talks about continued subsidies for Big Bird or contraceptives for Sandra Fluke, he is the inheritor of the Progressive movement’s agenda, the last line of defense that prevents America’s hard-won social contract from being defunded into oblivion.

Ever since Theodore Roosevelt used executive orders to save the Grand Canyon from the zinc-copper lobbies and declared that unsanitary factories were grotesque perversions propagated by Big Money interests, the federal government has aimed to improve the daily lives of average Americans. Woodrow Wilson followed up T.R.’s acts by creating the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission and re-establishing a federal income tax. Then, before the stock market crash in 1929, the GOP Big Three of Harding-Coolidge-Hoover made “business” the business of America, once more allowing profiteers to flourish at the expense of the vulnerable.

Enter Franklin Roosevelt, a polio victim confined to a wheelchair and leg braces. His alphabet soup of New Deal programs – the CCC and TVA and WPA – brought hope to the financially distraught, making them believe that the government was on their side. Determined to end the Great Depression, Roosevelt was a magnificent experimenter. Credit him with Social Security, legislation to protect workers, labor’s right to collective bargaining, Wall Street regulation, rural electrification projects, farm-price supports, unemployment compensation and federally guaranteed bank deposits. The America we know and love today sprung directly from the New Deal.

For the next three decades, the vast majority of voters benefited from Roosevelt’s revolution. And every president from FDR to Jimmy Carter, regardless of political affiliation, grabbed America by the scruff of the neck and did huge, imaginative things with tax revenues. Think Truman (the Marshall Plan), Eisenhower (the Interstate Highway System), Kennedy (the space program), Johnson (Medicaid and Medicare), Nixon (the EPA) and Carter (the departments of Energy and Education). Whether it was Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy going after the Mob or LBJ laying the groundwork for PBS, citizens took comfort in the knowledge that the executive branch was a caring iron fist with watchdog instincts that got things done.

It was the election of Ronald Reagan that started the Grand Reversal. Reagan had voted four times for FDR, but by 1980 he saw the federal government – with the notable exception of our armed forces – as a bloated, black-hatted villain straight out of one of his B movies. His revolution – and make no mistake that it was one – aimed to undo everything from Medicare to Roe v. Wade. Ever since Reagan, both the New Deal and Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama’s Quandary: Nur$ing Homes, or Home Care?

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, October 5, 2012

It’s almost like trying to patch a roof while it’s leaking.

October 04, 2012

This Week in Alabama Politics

By Steve Flowers
It is basic public policy that you either have to raise taxes or reduce government services. It has become a cardinal sin in Republican politics to even say the word tax much less enact any increase in revenue. Our legislature is now overwhelmingly Republican and they are real Republicans. They take their no new tax pledge seriously as does our Republican governor. Therefore, when the dicing and crafting of the 2013 budget was being processed, new revenue enhancement measures were not on the table. It is doubtful that you will see any tax increase proposals anytime soon in the Heart of Dixie.

The state’s new budget year begins this week. It will be horrendous. There are draconian cuts to basic state services. Alabama has a constitutional amendment that mandates a balanced budget. We are in dire straits but at least we are not deficit spending like other states. California is teetering on bankruptcy.

This past year’s budget was bad. Teachers and state employees pay was cut this time last year. However, if you think that last year was bad, you ain’t seen nothing yet. This is the year that the chickens have finally come home to roost. The federal stimulus manna from Heaven has provided a lifeline salvation for several years but those dollars are gone. This fiscal year may well be the worst dilemma since the Great Depression.

My contention is that it is worse than the Depression years. During that era the state Read the rest of this entry »

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Necessary but Not Sufficient: Why Taxing the Wealthy Can’t Fix the Deficit

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, October 4, 2012

NOW OR NEVER | SEPTEMBER 2012

Necessary but Not Sufficient:
Why Taxing the Wealthy Can’t Fix the Deficit

By David Brown, Gabe Horwitz, and David Kendall

In this paper we shatter the myth that taxes on the wealthy can come close to solving our long-term budget problem. We readily acknowledge that raising taxes on top earners is necessary, but it is not sufficient to solve the looming fiscal crisis. And we make clear that if entitlements are left on autopilot, burdensome middle class tax hikes become inevitable.

Even a 50% tax rate on the wealthy can’t fix the deficit.
Even 50% taxe rate on wealthy can't fix deficitThis is the first in a pair of papers that demonstrate that purely ideological fixes will not sufficiently address our fiscal issues. Our other report, Death by a Thousand Cuts: Why Spending Cuts Alone Won’t Fix the Deficit, proves that a cuts-only strategy cannot solve our budget woes without severely compromising our safety, security, and economic growth. Together, these papers make the case that a big and balanced fiscal package is the preferred way to avoid the fiscal cliff, prevent deficits from exploding in the future, and allow our economy to grow.

To stabilize the debt and create a positive economic climate for U.S. growth, most mainstream economists agree that annual deficits must be reduced to 3% of GDP. The question is: how do we get there?

In order to demonstrate that taxes alone cannot solve our budget woes, we explore three budget scenarios, all of which rely solely on Read the rest of this entry »

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How Governor Bentley & Alabama’s GOP dominated state legislature raped their “constituency”

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, September 29, 2012

Allow me to be more explicitly succinct: Governor Bentley and the GOP led legislature are lying sons-of-bitches who ought to burn in Hades for how they’ve raped and lied to the people of the state of Alabama.

I have only one thing for them: Utter Contempt.

The $437 Million Hustle

Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 9:07 AM
Updated: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, 9:12 AM
By George Talbot

Alabama voter Amendment 1 ATF

Bridget Stafford of Montgomery casts her vote on Amendment 1 at Vaughn Park Church of Christ in Montgomery, Ala., Sept. 18, 2012. (Julie Bennett | al.com)

In honor of the constitutional amendment approved by Alabama voters on Sept. 18, we here at the South Alabama Political Animals Club would like to introduce a new award.

Let’s call it the Karl Rove – James Carville Political Slickum Trophy. The inaugural winners? Gov. Robert Bentley, House Speaker Mike Hubbard and Senate President Del Marsh, who pulled off a political hustle as sharp as anything outside of a Chicago pool hall.

The Republican leaders were in a jam, and got Democratic voters to bail them out. Impossible, you say?

The numbers don’t lie. The amendment, which allows the state to tap into the Alabama Trust Fund to pay for government operating expenses, won by big margins in Democratic precincts, and was soundly rejected in the state’s more conservative corners.

Voters in deeply Republican Baldwin, Cullman, Madison and Shelby counties, for instance, shot down the measure by nearly 2 to 1. But the GOP proposal reaped a bounty of support from Democratic voters in Mobile, Jefferson and Montgomery counties.

The margins were even greater in the Black Belt, Alabama’s last Democratic stronghold, where the amendment rode a wave of “yes” votes in Greene, Perry and Wilcox counties. In Dallas County, it got eight “yes” votes for every one “no.”

How’d that happen?

Supporters of the proposal, organized as the Keep Alabama Working political action committee, raised big money from groups that would have taken a budget hit if the measure had failed – chiefly nursing homes and hospitals.

Much of that money was raised and spent by Read the rest of this entry »

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The continuing saga of “My Favorite Kenyan,” Part 2

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 14, 2012

Wizard of Oz Scarecrow

Ray Bolger starred as the Scarecrow in the 1939 motion picture classic “The Wizard of Oz,” originally filmed in black & white, it is a fairytale dream sequence in which Dorothy Gale (played by Judy Garland) is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.

Gee, I kinda’ wish they hadn’t.

Now, I wonder if the sales of my Special Kansas Tin Hat will decline.

Be sure to get yours now, while your thoughts are still yours!

You never know those sneaky feds, next thing, they’ll put micro-neurotransmitters in each and every kernel of corn.

C’mon, “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore!”

Dorothy: How do you talk if you don’t have a brain?
Scarecrow: Well, some people without brains do an awful lot of talking don’t they?

Ballot Challenge in Kansas Over Obama’s Birth Is Ended

By

September 14, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Citing a wave of angry backlash, a Kansas man on Friday withdrew a petition in which he argued that President Obama should be removed from the state’s election ballot because he did not meet citizenship requirements.

The challenge filed this week by Joe Montgomery of Manhattan, Kan., prompted state election authorities to seek a certified copy of Mr. Obama’s birth certificate and reignited long-running conspiracy theories that the president was not born in the United States. The state will continue to try to obtain the birth certificate, and officials will meet on Monday as scheduled to close the case officially. But without the petition, Mr. Obama will remain on the ballot, Secretary of State Kris W. Kobach told The Associated Press.

Mr. Montgomery, the communications director for the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine, explained his decision in an e-mail to Mr. Kobach.

“There has been a great deal of animosity and intimidation directed not only at me, but at people around me, who are both personal and professional associations,” he wrote. He added that he did not “wish to burden anyone with more of this negative reaction.”

After a hearing on Thursday, the state’s Objections Board, led by Mr. Kobach, a conservative Republican, said it needed more information before issuing a ruling.

Mr. Montgomery argued that under case law, to be eligible to become president, a person must be born in the United States to parents who are citizens. Mr. Obama’s father was from Kenya, and his mother was from Kansas. Mr. Montgomery also speculated that Read the rest of this entry »

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The Biggest Economic Challenge of Obama’s Second Term

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 10, 2012

Investing in economic infrastructure is ALWAYS a sound decision because
1.) Materials and Manpower ALWAYS comes from the private sector (and always will), and;
2.) Economic capacity and economic opportunity expands.

Note also these two remarks:

Corporations won’t hire more workers just because their tax bill is lower and they spend less on regulations. In case you hadn’t noticed, corporate profits are up. Most companies don’t even know what to do with the profits they’re already making. Not incidentally, much of those profits have come from replacing jobs with computer software or outsourcing them abroad.

“Meanwhile, the wealthy don’t create jobs, and giving them additional tax cuts won’t bring unemployment down. America’s rich are already garnering a bigger share of American income than they have in eighty years. They’re using much of it to speculate in the stock market. All this has done is drive stock prices higher.”

The Biggest Economic Challenge of Obama’s Second Term

Monday, September 10, 2012

The question at the core of America’s upcoming election isn’t merely whose story most voting Americans believe to be true – Mitt Romney’s claim that the economy is in a stall and Obama’s policies haven’t worked, or Barack Obama’s that it’s slowly mending and his approach is working.

If that were all there was to it, last Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing the economy added only 96,000 jobs in August – below what’s needed merely to keep up with the growth in the number of eligible workers — would seem to bolster Romney’s claim.

But, of course, congressional Republicans have never even given Obama a chance to try his approach. They’ve blocked everything he’s tried to do – including his proposed Jobs Act that would help state and local governments replace many of the teachers, police officers, social workers, and fire fighters they’ve had to let go over the last several years.

The deeper question is what should be done starting in January to boost a recovery that by anyone’s measure is still anemic. In truth, not even the Jobs Act will be enough.

At the Republican convention in Tampa, Florida, Romney produced Read the rest of this entry »

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DoD says Climate Change is National Security Risk

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, September 7, 2012

Here’s an item from our “Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Climate Change file.

While there continues to be much frothing about the mouth from conservative and libertarian types about climate change, there remains no doubt of its existence.

Some – mostly Republican & Libertarians – continue to assert that climate change is as much a hoax as the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny or Great Pumpkin. However, to be certain, there is no doubt that change has occurred, and continues to occur. The reason(s) why, and causes of the same are subjects of valid scientific debate and research. But there is no disagreement that change has, and is occurring.

The United States Department of Defense, Read the rest of this entry »

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If government IS the the problem, then the Constitution is the BIGGEST problem. Therefore, abolishing the Constitution would solve all problems.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Monday, September 3, 2012

Contrary to Ronald Reagan’s assertion, government is NOT the problem.

Government is OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people.

If government were the problem, the Constitution would be the BIGGEST problem.

Essentially, that argument – the one that claims “government is the problem” – is a self-refuting idea (aka self-defeating argument). In other words, it inherently & naturally contradicts itself.

The observant (astute) reader will recall that it was Ronald Reagan who made that specious claim.

Again, if “government is the problem,” then anarchy is the answer; for anarchy is the total absence of government.

So… there’s your GOP “logic.”

As I continue to write, and opine, and explain, the GOP has been taken over by radical leftists who are Hell-bent upon destroying government.

Again, I have written, if government is evil, then those involved in government are evil. Why then, would someone admit they are participating in, and desire to participate in an evil process?

That too, it self-contradictory.

And that too – that government is evil – is a GOP argument.

It’s pure idiocy.

On Defense In Era Of Anti-Big Government Sentiment

by NPR Staff

Listen to the Story / All Things Considered [11 min 29 sec] / Add to Playlist / Download / Transcript

September 2, 2012

ap361102076

In 1936, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was making the case that government was a necessary and positive part of American life. Contemporary Democrats are having less success with the argument.

Democrats today, for the most part, balance between two slightly competing ideas: that government is part of the solution, while still acknowledging that it can be part of the problem. Meanwhile, they’re up against a long-running Republican messaging campaign against “big government.”

The concept of big government goes back to around the beginning of the 20th century. Princeton historian Julian Zelizer traces the idea to the Wilson administration and its initiatives, including the creation of the Federal Reserve.

“Woodrow Wilson, who is still conservative by modern liberal standards, does allow for a pretty dramatic expansion of government,” Zelizer tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

The real turning point, though, was Read the rest of this entry »

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Republicans: Let’s fly to Israel, eat fancy food, drink Dom Pérignon champagne, and swim nekkid!

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hey!

I know!

Let’s get lobbyists to pay for a trip to Israel where we can eat fancy food, drink Dom Pérignon champagne, and swim nekkid!

You know, it’d be funny if it weren’t first so sad… because it’s all true.

Every Dogdamn bit of it.

—-

August 21, 2012

Skinny-Dipping in Israel Casts Unwanted Spotlight on Congressional Travel

By and

WASHINGTON — The trip was much like any of the hundreds hosted in recent years by a nonprofit offshoot of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a powerful Washington lobby, and the purpose was much the same: to solidify the support of American lawmakers for Israel at a time of Middle East tumult.

For eight all expense-paid days, House Republicans visited Israel’s holiest sites, talked foreign policy with its highest officials and dined at its most famous restaurants, including Decks, known for its grilled beef, stunning views of the Sea of Galilee, and now, for an impromptu swim party.

With hundreds of Washington lawmakers having gone to Israel courtesy of the program, the trips have a reputation as being the standard-bearer for foreign Congressional travel. “We call it the Jewish Disneyland trip,” said one pro-Israel advocate in Washington.

But for lawmakers, the attention surrounding last summer’s trip — thanks to reports of a skinny-dipping Kansas lawmaker who was part of the delegation —  has Read the rest of this entry »

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Alabama Governor Robert Bentley MD to voters: Trust me. I’ll pay it all back.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Would you trust this man?

He’s a damn politician… and a GOP one, at that.

The problem is, that he’s NOT yet shown any plan on how or when he’ll do that.

But!

Whatever you do, please… DO NOT raise property tax rates on Corporate Timber owners.

Nope.

Not at all.

Never.

They should pay much less than residential property owners.

And for goodness sake, PLEASE do NOT raise the state income tax rate on the wealthiest, who are documented to already pay a lower rate than the working poor in the state.

Hell no.

Don’t do that.

Gov. Robert Bentley: $437M from trust fund would be paid back

Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 7:00 PM     Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 7:17 PM
By The Associated Press

AL Gov Robert Bentley MD -small

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley: Trust me I want to borrow your money. Trust me. I promise to pay it back. Trust me.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Robert Bentley and legislative leaders said Tuesday they are committed to paying back the money if Alabama voters agree to take more than $437 million from a state trust fund and use it to Read the rest of this entry »

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Led by GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner, Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing your “Do Nothing Congress” of 2012

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Republican obstructionism, or Republican obstructionism?

So far this year, lawmakers have staged 195 roll-call votes, which boils down to only about 60 pieces of legislation, including post-office namings.

Among them are:
● The Mark Twain Commemorative Coin Act.
● The Sportsmen’s Heritage Act of 2012.
● Legislation requiring the Treasury to mint coins commemorating the 225th anniversary of the U.S. Marshals Service.
● The World War II Memorial Prayer Act.
● The Permanent Electronic Duck Stamp Act.

Because the Democrats lack a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, they can bring virtually nothing to a vote without the blessing of the Republicans. Even with that hurdle, the Senate has been able to slog through a few bills in recent weeks, including Read the rest of this entry »

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Today Mitt Romney spoke out of the _?_ side of his mouth, and said:

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Tuesday, August 14, 2012

“And you know what he did with it? He’s used it to pay for Obamacare, a risky, unproven, federal takeover of health care.”Mitt Romney

Government estimates say that more than 6,000 jobs statewide and 20 percent of Iowa‘s electricity needs come from wind power, and the state’s senior GOP leaders all support renewing an extension of a wind tax credit that Romney opposes.

Romney’s campaign did not respond to repeated quests for his position on the other portions of the bill, which includes items such as a tax break for developers of NASCAR facilities and purchasers of electric motorcycles.


http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-08-14/gop-ticket-faces-growing-pains-as-dems-attack

FACT: The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has determined that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is fully paid for, Read the rest of this entry »

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How to End This Depression

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, July 29, 2012

It’s been said that ‘everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.’

The distinguished Dr. Krugman – who accurately foretold in 2001 that the “Bush Tax Cuts” would create significant deficit (and they did) – understands the role of government in providing opportunity for entrepreneurs and private enterprise, and the equally important role that government has in responsibility to protect public health and safety.

The long and short of it is this: Government spending on economic infrastructure (including education) is a good investment because it yields significant immediate and long-term results.

Why?

Because Materials and Manpower ALWAYS come from the private sector.

Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with the aforementioned premise, and the numerous times about which I have written in detail about the same. This entry illustrates with three excellent examples of that principle.

Naysayers and critics miss one very important factor in their analogy, which is that the Federal government has the power and authority to print money. The way that factor relates to the issue at hand is this: While the government could – in theory, and in reality – print enough money to give $10,000 to every man, woman and child in this nation the net effect of so doing would be to devalue the money, which would be resulting from inflation.

How to correct, resolve or work within the guidelines of that factor is to understand that one very important role of government is to provide OPPORTUNITY for entrepreneurs and private enterprise. By providing opportunity, government is also encouraging private enterprise and entrepreneurship. And, for the strict Constitutionalists, courts have continued to uphold and acknowledge that such power is contained within the Preamble’s clause “to promote the general welfare.”

Further, for the “anti-Big Government” naysayers, it is preposterous (contrary to reason or common sense; utterly absurd or ridiculous) to imagine that, in this era, with every technological advance, invention and discovery which has been made since 1776, and with our population (now approaching 312,000,000), that we would have fewer laws, rules and regulations than when we first began.

And, for those who say we should balance our budget, I would agree. However, I hasten to point out, that the last time that was done was under Eisenhower and LBJ. That does not excuse us from an ongoing civil discussion and debate about how to effectively manage our nation’s budget. Perhaps a formula of some type which would take into account GDP, debt (outstanding Treasury notes), trade deficit, population growth, birth rate, and other factors – with an “escape” mechanism for times of civil emergency or war, of course.

For such, we need technocrats – experts in areas of operations – rather than bureaucrats. Perhaps in an advisory role. But then again, we have those.

So… why don’t we work together as we ought?

Politics.

It seems that “Everybody’s got something to hide except for me and my monkey.”

How to End This Depression

May 24, 2012

Paul Krugman

The depression we’re in is essentially gratuitous: we don’t need to be suffering so much pain and destroying so many lives. We could end it both more easily and more quickly than anyone imagines—anyone, that is, except those who have actually studied the economics of depressed economies and the historical evidence on how policies work in such economies.
Obama in Master Lock factory Milwaukee

President Obama on a tour of the Master Lockfactory in Milwaukee with the company’s senior vice-president, Bon Rice, February 2012; Susan Walsh/AP Images

The truth is that recovery would be almost ridiculously easy to achieve: all we need is to reverse the austerity policies of the past couple of years and temporarily boost spending. Never mind all the talk of how we have a long-run problem that can’t have a short-run solution—this may sound sophisticated, but it isn’t. With a boost in spending, we could be back to more or less full employment faster than anyone imagines.

But don’t we have to worry about long-run budget deficits? Keynes wrote that “the boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity.” Now, as I argue in my forthcoming book*—and show later in the data discussed in this article—is the time for the government to spend more until the private sector is ready to carry the economy forward again. At that point, the US would be in a far better position to deal with deficits, entitlements, and the costs of financing them.

Meanwhile, the strong measures that would all go a long way toward lifting us out of this depression should include, among other policies, increased federal aid to state and local governments, which would restore the jobs of many public employees; a more aggressive approach by the Federal Reserve to quantitative easing (that is, purchasing bonds in an attempt to reduce long-term interest rates); and less timid efforts by the Obama administration to reduce homeowner debt.

But some readers will wonder, isn’t a recovery program along the lines I’ve described just out of the question as a political matter? And isn’t advocating such a program a waste of time? My answers to these two questions are: not necessarily, and definitely not. The chances of a real turn in policy, away from the austerity mania of the last few years and toward a renewed focus on job creation, are much better than conventional wisdom would have you believe. And recent experience also teaches us a crucial political lesson: Read the rest of this entry »

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