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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Be Really Afraid

I thought about responding to David Strickland, but it would be piling on, since other posters have pretty much put him in his place. The writer has posted some very unchristian-like racist statements before he was banned from the local online form. I consider the source.

The writer had a litmus test for attending the inauguration and for being a Christian. It never ceases to amaze me how some believe that prayer is not allowed in school and that there’s a war on Christmas. The same people think we have an on-going war with Muslims around the world.

These people live in constant fear which is OK, but they try to drag everyone into the same hole. Although 80 plus percent of people claim to be Christian, some act as though someone is trying send Christianity into extinction.

Then there’s the economy where they’ve been hollering gloom and doom, runaway inflation and then ignore the good news and exaggerate the bad news.

Ever since Obama made his inauguration speech, where he hardly mentioned the deficit and debt, Joe Scarborough had been hollering at everybody about government spending and how it’s going to bankrupt us. He’s small government conservative who doesn’t buy into the theory of Keynesian economics. He comes from the Calvin Coolidge/Paul Ryan austerity school of economics. He thought if he just hollered loud enough, he would convince a lot of people that he was right; especially after the economy took an unexpected dip. Joe puts all his faith in a few economists and he won’t consider another theory. No Joe, the economy took a dip because the government quit spending just like Great Britain did.

Economic growth has four components (1) Consumer spending (2) private investment (3) trade and (4) government spending. Consumer spending is up right now but private investment, trade and government spending is down. In fact, government spending has been down in 10 of the last 12 quarters. You noticed that the stock market is not part of that formula because that’s just the capital market. Corporate profits are up but that’s because their foreign sales are up. The economy is still sluggish but if we hadn’t cut defense spending so much, our economy would have grown by 1.23% more. If we had a rational Congress, they would look at those last numbers and abandon the upcoming sequester cuts and concentrate on restoring jobs.

If you watched the congressional hearings on gun control last week, you would’ve thought women were being attacked by multiple intruders, and they all needed AR 15s because as Senator Lindsey Graham said," six bullets might not be enough.” To which Jon Stewart remarked, “What part of the country are those women living in?”This country has over three hundred million guns and some fear gun confiscation.

If the Republican Party is not promoting fear, they can’t seem to make their point. During the Chuck Hagel congressional hearings the Republicans put on one of the biggest clown shows I’ve ever seen. I mean I can just picture them sporting big red noses, oversize shoes, and dressed in baggy pants and suspenders, every time they questioned Chuck Hagel about something he said decades ago. Most people think that Chuck Hagel had a bad performance, and they’re right but I think he was using a rope- a- dope defense. He’s like a defendant who just wants to get probation from the judge. For example, Mr. Hagel just said something that was unpopular in the beltway, and he didn’t use political correctness. John McCain just wanted to talk about the success of the surge in Iraq, without mentioning the horrible decision of the invasion. I agree with Chuck Hagel, too many politicians are intimidated by the Jewish lobby, and we shouldn’t give Israel everything it wants, just because there are our best allies in the Middle East. Mr. Hagel will be confirmed on a party-line vote.

Seems like every time I pick up the paper, another red state has a different abortion bill that they want to pass. Are we having an abortion epidemic? Yesterday, I heard that the administration found a way to get the faith groups out of contraception loop by not having them arrange for the coverage or pay for it. Insurers would be reimbursed for any costs by a credit against fees owed the government. It’s still not satisfactory to some religious groups because they don’t want employees to use contraception. That’s either case of fear of losing control of their flock or a clear case of stubbornness.

You really can’t govern in a nation which is consumed by fear, so Democrats are just going to try to get things passed in the Senate and then try to pick off 22-25 Republicans to get the necessary 218 votes to keep the government moving. The last two major bills were passed by violating the Hastert rule. Former speaker Hastert said, “you don’t bring a bill up for a vote unless you have enough Republicans to pass it.”

Things aren’t as great as they could be, but we have the largest and best military in the whole world, yet some people fear that we will get invaded if we all don’t have 100 cases of shells and an arsenal of weapons. Glenn Beck and another paranoid right winger are building their own city. Our economy is better than Europe’s and China is starting to stumble, but once people begin to realize that we are in a world economy, they’ll see why their success is our success. Bill Maher put it all in perspective last night, when he said that there are some crazy liberals out there, but they don’t have a lot of followers. He said people like Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter have a huge following which is dumbing down the GOP. The people the party is featuring like Ted Cruz, Ron Johnson, and Rand Paul are turning away moderates. Those three senators could never represent anything other than an extreme Tea Party element.

I still say it comes down to trust and a new Pew Poll substantiates that. It seems an awful lot of Republicans distrust government these days (I wonder why) and liberals and Democrats are generally more optimistic.

Enjoy the Super Bowl tomorrow.
My prediction: San Francisco 24 Baltimore 17.

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