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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thanks Victoria Medical Professionals


No,that's not a picture of me but it is a picture of the immobilizer sling I have wear the next 4 weeks.

I want to thank the wonderful care nurses  I had at the Whispering Creek Day Surgery,without complaint; they inserted my ivy of sugared water because I forgot and took my insulin on the day of the surgery. The next thing I remembered was waking up in the recovery room painless ( nerve blocker) and 15 minutes later I was on my way home. That means my attending nurse,anesthesiologist, and orthopedic doctor did a superb job.  

The first day was about adjusting to the medication I was on but as of yet I,I haven't felt any pain. 

Yesterday,I had my first day of therapy to keep the shoulder from freezing and to slowly start to stretch the muscles around my rotator cuff...I keep hearing the voices in my head as they keep telling me "don't move the shoulder away from your body."..It's like I'm carrying a sweaty football under my arm 24/7. 

Once again my wife proved how much I need her because I don't know where I would be without her. At least she didn't have to put with the cow bell I used to ring the last time I was off my feet. This time the iMessage was more to her linking....:-)

I learned not to put too much faith on the internet rotator cuff patients because they had me scared to death. At one time I almost decided to deal with the pain instead of having the surgery. The blogs I read were dead wrong,because I'm getting enough sleep,even if it's on my recliner,and I stopped my pain medication yesterday at 9:00 AM.  

I know I'm not out of the woods yet but it's not too bad considering.


I think President Obama did the right thing in making Congress use their congressional powers to strike Syria for using chemical weapons on civilians and children. The president was getting blame from all over and he hadn't even made a decision;they just thought he had. ..It was a great call. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Oh, Whatever

This morning was one of the few times when I have ever agreed with Joe Scarborough, but I approved when he said that the non- crazy wing of the Republican Party is starting to realize that the wing nuts of their party have lost all sense of reality. It’s one thing to argue about economics’; it’s another thing to rally around shutting down the government over an obsession to defund Obamacare. I could hardly believe my ears when I heard Senator Ted Cruz tell CNN’s Candy Crowley that President Obama would agree to defund Obamacare under the right conditions. Joe Scarborough laughed hysterically when conservative/ libertarian Senator Jeff Flake responded to an ad that was running against him because he refused to defund Obamacare. Senator Flake responded with a simple tweet “oh, whatever.”

I’ve got to remember to tell myself “oh, whatever” when I see a post stating that hospitals don’t make a huge profit and that the insurance companies and the government are the reason for the high cost of health care. Last night, Chris Hayes said a bag of saline, including the ingredients of salt and water cost about 44¢ but they charge the patient $191.00 and another $1000 for the use of the operating room. That one poster  I mentioned said that the charge for attending nurses and other costs were part of the saline cost but that’s not true. Every item that a hospital charges has its own unique price. I’m thinking how much my orthopedic surgeon saved the insurance company by using an outpatient service and sending me home the very same day.

Another “oh, whatever” moment is the fallacy that welfare is going to lead us to financial ruin. The $235 billion we spend on the non-working poor amounts to about 10% of the federal budget according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. There’s a formula using census data to figure out where this money goes. First you have to combine all the costs of such programs to come up with the base total. Then you have to subtract spending on the elderly, and the disabled. In that figure will be vets, children, survivors of parents who have died, people on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and SSI. Finally we have to add up unemployment insurance, EITC and child tax credits understanding that people move in and out of these programs all the time. These programs come under the Non-discretionary spending and are required by law, so the battle is always about a percentage change or the amount of cost of living adjustments. You will see the GOP fixated on these programs in the upcoming budget battles and the Democrats will fight to keep the cuts as small as possible.

All the insignificant stuff will have to take a backseat to whatever we do militarily against Syria in the next few days. No serious person will question the amount of money we spend to send Syrian president, Bashar al Assad, a message that the international community will not tolerate the use of sarin gas on civilians or military personnel. The last I heard, it costs us about a million dollars to launch just one Tomahawk missile. According to the polls, Americans do not want us to engage in any type of military intervention in Syria but this is one of those cases where the president will have to take action despite the will of its citizenry. President Obama might have one of those “oh, whatever” moments.

Remember, don’t look for a new blog tomorrow but please keep checking because I might be back sooner than later…Smile

Monday, August 26, 2013

Twitter To The Rescue

I exploded this morning when I heard Joe Scarborough ask Politico’s Mike Allen what was wrong with showing a picture ID before voting. Mike Allen had that scared look on his face because he knew that he was in the middle of a partisan political statement. Joe Scarborough went on a rant saying that liberal columnists have tagged the governors of Texas and North Carolina as racist just for requiring a picture ID. He said that the writers tactically put a white hood over those governors. Mike Allen tried to say that they were other issues, but Joe would have none of it because he wanted someone to tell them what was wrong with a picture ID. His co- host Mika Brzezinski agreed with Joe saying that he had a legitimate complaint.

About 30 minutes passed when the director on the show informed Joe Scarborough that he had received several tweets condemning Joe for misrepresenting the voter ID issue. If Joe Scarborough had read the New York Times article, (and I suspect he did), then he knew he intentionally left out the facts that made this new law controversial. He didn’t mention early voting had been lessened, certain types of picture IDs were no longer accepted, the hardships that came with the new requirements (especially democratic voters) voter fraud is almost non-existent, and most of the fraud comes from mail in ballots(a GOP favorite way of voting) which do not require a voter picture ID. Joe Scarborough sheepishly said perhaps there’s more to this but it doesn’t excuse is the obvious attempt to get away with something that wasn’t true. Some might have called those governors racists; I don’t know, but it’s obvious that they are going after minorities who usually vote for Democrats. I think it’s political because given a chance, the Democrats would gerrymander the districts to their wants but there’s not much else they could do to suppress GOP votes.

Joe Scarborough tried to make the same point about the Texas ban on abortion after 20 weeks not too long ago. He intentionally left out the closing of the Planned Parenthood clinics. That particular morning he was surrounded by Democrats, so he didn’t get away with his tactic of emphasizing what he thought was reasonable and ignoring the real intent of the controversial law.

We are getting closer to the day when using television as a means to instantly spread falsehoods will be difficult because I vision a crawler at the bottom of the screen being used as an instant fact checker.Twitter can serve that purpose but it hasn't been incorporated yet. Then again,the RNC is using Twitter to jam the server with anti-Obamacare articles.

Tomorrow’s blog might be my last for a while because I’m going to have rotator-cuff surgery Wednesday. My left arm will be a sling for six weeks, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ve used voice-recognition software before so not being able to use my left hand for typing shouldn’t be that much of a hindrance. I will probably have to use my iPad, so I won’t have all the tools for desktop publishing, so I’ll limit myself to short blogs. Writing will be therapy because I’m certainly not going to sit around and watch television all day long. If you’ve had rotator-cuff surgery or know someone that has, please share that experience because even though it’s day surgery, I’m not looking forward to the pain and misery afterwards.

I’ve read BigJ’s blog where he agreed with a poster that placed the blame of our education woes entirely on liberals. I’ll probably use that topic as the next subject matter for one of my next blogs. I did a little research into the subject but all I could find was that conservatives don’t like the all- out support liberals give to public education. I did read some blogs at the National Review that blame the liberals for our education downfall, but it all had to do with social issues. I’ll have plenty of time to research this matter.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

It’s Been Fifty Years Since the March on Washington but We Still Have Work to DO

This is the weekend of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, where Dr. Martin Luther King gave his infamous “I have a dream speech” he would have been proud with how much has been accomplished since then. Dr. King was a perfectionist, so he would have said “we still have some unfinished business to take care of.

We still have a communication problem because we are still talking past each other. The nation anticipated riots and violence of a large scale to break out the day Dr. King was supposed to give his speech. If you have seen some of the old films, you have seen the huge crowd that surrounded the Lincoln Memorial and beyond, so if a riot was to break out, it would have been a big one. It turned out to be a peaceful march and the rest is a memorable time in history.

Fifty years later, we expected large scale riots after the Trayvon Martin verdict but only a few skirmishes were reported. A lot of people stereotyped African-Americans as being unreasonable militants; without knowing the reason for their frustrations. Those same people want President Obama to condemn the recent despicable killing of Australian baseball player, Christopher Lane, not as an act of sympathy but to even the score. They really want him to remain silent ,so they can continue to highlight a black killing a white narrative.

There is a world of difference in the two horrific events and it only takes the art of listening and reasoning to come to that conclusion. First and foremost, Christopher Lanes’ killers were immediately arrested and charged. The initial reports said that three African-Americans killed Christopher Lane which instantly sent off a firestorm. I don’t know if those stories were intentionally printed to fuel the fire of racism or just a premature mistake that is much too common these days.

The president commented on the Trayvon Martin incident several days later because of the national interest but he cannot be expected to come each and every time a merciless killing happens; even if it is a black on white crime.

I saw the hateful rhetoric on Fox News during the George Zimmerman trial and the other day, I saw more of the same because President Obama did not make a public statement concerning the killing of Christopher Lane. I wish a person would have explained what angered the African-Americans of Sanford, Florida in the first place. It wasn’t Al Sharpton of Jessie Jackson; in fact they were late coming to the forefront. There was already racial tension in Sanford before Trayvon was killed and the fact that Zimmerman was not charged and held for trial was the tipping point. The incident was barely reported in the newspapers, so after a few days, the residents reached out to Al Sharpton to see if he could let American know that an unarmed black teenager was killed and the man who did the killing was running around without being charged. Al Sharpton used his MSNBC show to prioritize the incident and it took off from there. All they wanted was justice and they got it, despite the verdict.

A lot could be done to ease the tensions if a good faith effort is shown. One could be for Congress to take up Voting Rights Act, and modifying it to today’s standards to let the states know that voter suppression will not be tolerated. It can be done because voting is a right not a privilege.

Friday, August 23, 2013

I’m Really Really Trying to Understand

There are three sitting legislators who have discussed the possibilities of articles of impeachment being brought against President Obama at their town-hall meetings. The lawmakers not pushing the legislation but they’re keeping the issue alive by not informing their constituents that their dream of impeaching the president is not a reality.

A lot of pundits and taxpayers are not taking the town-hall discussions about impeachment seriously. The talk of health care death panels started on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page and went straight to the town-hall meetings. We then heard Republican lawmakers talking about government death panels on the Sunday talk shows and on CSPAN.

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-MI) admitted that “it would be a dream come true to impeach Obama", Rep. Farenthold said the House had the votes and now Senator Coburn (R-OK) said the president is perilously close to impeachment. I don’t know representative Bentivolio but it didn’t surprise me that Farenthold would appease his base. Senator Colburn is a staunch conservative but I’ve always thought that he was truthful and honest. He is a friend of President Obama and his wife is friends with Michelle, so I can’t figure out why he said that.

There’s no legal definition of what is considered high crimes and misdemeanors, the president would have to commit in order to be impeached. There are the obvious constitutional infractions or criminal behavior but there’s not any evidence that he committed any of those.

This Congress has repealed Obamacare or parts of it 40 times, so their logic is not based on a judicial principle, the possibility of conviction, ethics, or fair play. No, their goal is to delegitimize this president and act, as though he was never elected, and if he was, the people who voted for him were duped. It’s the same way for Obamacare. I guess they think they are saving us from ourselves.

Today, the president was at a town-hall meeting talking about the problems of higher education, and afterwards, he took some questions from the audience. President Obama questioned the need for it taking four years to complete law school. He said it could possibly be cut down to two, and the students could save some money. It’s ideas like this that we need to throw around for discussion, but we can’t do that if a major network like Fox chooses not to air it. Instead, they were discussing Delta Airlines blaming Obamacare for their financial problems and the recent talks of impeachment.

A hurricane starts as hot air and then develops as it hits the warm Gulf waters, so don’t say the impeachment talk is a just a lot of hot air. The ones pushing impeachment talks don’t care what it will do to the Republican Party because that’s just collateral damage. The GOP is having weekly meetings discussing ways of defunding Obamacare, so how much trouble would it be to form a sub- committee to discuss impeaching the president? It’s not like they are going to discuss jobs, a GOP health-care plan or ways of improving the economy.

The House of Representatives can  only bring the charges of impeachment but the Senate has to the convict the president before he can be removed form office. There's no fear of the president being removed from office but Articles of Impeachment will divide this country and possibly cause riots in the streets because we are near the boiling point and as of right now,we don't have that Republican leader who will stand up to mob rule. I just hope it doesn't come to that.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

NO Apologies Needed From The “Holier Than Thou"

A poster named Rosalie Sykora wrote a tongue-in-cheek letter to our editor titled “An apology to liberals for conservative views.” I have no doubt that Rosalie is a decent, god fearing, Christian conservative but it’s views like hers that make me keep my politics secular. When you interject religion into politics at the scale that she does; it leads to a situation like we are seeing in Syria and Egypt.
Bless her heart, Rosalie may have forgotten “Matthew 6:1-34
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven

I haven’t seen a comparison between liberals and conservatives like she described in a very longtime. It’s as if they look up all the good words in the dictionary and applied it to conservatism and left all the bad definitions to describe liberals.

Rosalie, I certainly don’t back away from supporting black leaders and civil rights activists like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson when they are fighting for justice and equality. I certainly am an admirer of the Clintons and President Obama. Like many other legislators, I’ve sided with and have been against the views of Charlie Rangel and Sheila Jackson Lee. You didn’t mention San Diego mayor, Bob Filner, but I believe he belongs in jail and I’m glad that the DNC, and the California Democrats are actively trying to run him out of office. Anthony Wiener needs to grow up and the voters of New York will send him a message. I don’t know what Anthony Weiner’s wife, Huma Abedin, has done to be ashamed of. She was on the staff of Hillary Clinton and is a political consultant, but maybe the fact you don’t like her is that she’s a Muslim.

I don’t think Pope Francis judges any one by their ideology or political affiliation, and I’m fairly certain Mother Theresa would not have either.

I noticed that you mentioned visiting a church and synagogue, but you left out a mosque; was there a message there?

I admire Antoinette Tuff and I don't know her political affiliation or ideology. In case you don't know her (she hasn't received much publicity) she's the good person without a gun who beat a person with a gun that was about to shoot some school children in Georgia.

I commend you for reading the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence but those two documents belong to Christians and non- Christians. I keep those two short documents on my iPad for quick reference, just in case someone misquotes them.

Rosalie, you probably would be surprised that some liberals saw the same movies you did, pray, visit the sick, served in the armed forces and do pretty much do all the things you say you do without the need to let others know how self- righteous they are.I'm always amazed how conservatives wrap themselves around the flag and think that they own the word "patriot."

There’s no doubt liberals have attended X-rated movies, had extra-marital affairs and have done what you would classify as sinful but they don’t profess to be without sin. Several years ago, the GOP ran on a family values platform which is commendable if you can hold that standard. Many conservatives fell from grace and the public was all too happy to call them hypocrites.Conservative thought it was a double standard.

Conservatism, whether you use it in a political or religious context, means that those who adopt that ideology; tend to hold on to their traditional attitudes and values. They are reluctant to change.

Liberalism is rarely used in a religious context because it is about change and justice and many times they are interconnected.

There’s nothing sinister about being a liberal or conservative.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The GOP Has A Plan

This morning, the Heritage Action for America, Jim DeMint and Senator Ted Cruz started their nine city town hall meeting tour in their quest to repeal Obamacare. Ted Cruz said if Obamacare is still intact on January 1, 2014, it will never be repealed. This might be the only time that I agree with Ted Cruz.

Rand Paul has a wobbly position, because he’s not in favor of shutting down the government if Obamacare is defunded. Senator Paul is giving the House of Representatives a little hope that’s not based on reality. The senator thinks the House could come with a bill to stall the individual mandate or defund a small part of Obamacare, pass it and send over to the Senate for them to markup it up, knowing they will strike out the Obamacare provisions but then the bill would go to committee. Rand Paul thinks a part of Obamacare could be used as a bargaining chip for continuing resolution or in a month after that; to raise the debt limit.

One, the Democrats have enough votes in the Senate to ignore any proposal that has to do with Obamacare.

Second, the president has told the Republicans that he will not negotiate a debt limit increase. He’s tired of playing that game, so he won’t make a deal just to get the Republicans approval to pay for what debts we have incurred.

The GOP are badly misreading President Obama, he will let them shut down the government before he gives on his signature legislation.

Republicans are having internal fights over control of their party but the one thing that unites them is the hatred of Obamacare. There are several reasons for that:

1. If Obamacare is successful, it will be revered like Medicare and people will remember the party that passed the legislation.
2. Since 85% of us have insurance, they don’t feel like getting worked up over the 15% that don’t have health insurance.
3. Once the subsidies kick in for the poor people, it will make them look even more unsympathetic when they suggest cuts to Medicaid.
4. It’s another form of rejection to those who favor individualism without a safety net.
5. It’s Obama’s signature legislation, therefore they are adamantly against it.

Last night, Avik Roy, Mitt Romney’s health care adviser explained why the base of the Republican Party hates Obamacare. He said they hate it because to them, it’s a government takeover and more intrusion into their lives. They blame President Obama, but we’ve had government health care for 48 years called Medicare. Many of those people will never see any changes because they already have health insurance.

The rising cost of premiums will be in those states that have rejected taking part in the exchanges. The states that are helping with the exchanges are seeing lower premiums because of the availability of free market choices in developing a plan that fits the family budget.

I’m not sure why the Republicans won’t let health care law go through as planned because if it’s that bad, the president and the Democrats would pay dearly for that. It’s not as if they have a better plan for the 30,000,000 who don’t have insurance. I remember that the price of insurance premiums was rising before March of 2010 but I don’t remember the GOP worrying about it at all..

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Be Specific

I hear a lot of noise about impeaching the president of the United States from the right but I've yet to see any specifics. Where are the high crimes and misdemeanors?

We have a " representative democracy"type of government which allows the president to use executive orders.These executive orders are constitutional and have been used by several presidents.Learning the difference  between executive orders and those orders from an actual dictator will go far in developing a good discussion.

A poster said Obamacare should be defunded because it will cost us plenty in the long run.That's fine,everyone is entitled to their opinion but where's the evidence of that? I've seen and written about evidence that contradicts  that statement.

There's no short cuts to regaining the presidency after a loss. You still have to convince at least 51% that your policies and candidates are better.

It's going to take more than a few signs saying you want your country back. What does that mean? We just had a fair election where Americans voted in President Obama. Is there another America?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Are Town Hall Meetings A Thing of The Past?
Fewer and fewer legislators are holding town hall meetings because they are no longer a place where a representative can have a frank discussion of the issues with their constituents. They have turned into spectacle where special interests go to dominate the meetings.

A representative holding the town hall meetings has to be on top of their game because cell phones,recorders and cameras are recording every word they say;so they put on YouTube minutes after the meeting. The material they record will be edited to produce the sound bite that generates the most hits.

A good example of unintended consequences came to our own Representative  Blake Farenthold in Luling recently.I’m sure the last thing he wanted to talk about was President Obama’s birth certificate or his possible impeachment. He was not prepared,so his answer made national news because as I said the media seems to be addicted to right wing crazy. 

The extreme left is also very actively  hitting their representatives about the recent NSA surveillance programs.Those meetings are far and in between,so they are not widely publicized.

I have never been to a town hall meeting because I keep up with the issues on my own and I would consider any news coming from a town hall meeting as old news. I do think they serve a good purpose for those involved directly with issues our representative will be voting on. For example,this morning I saw a clip of a John McCain town hall meeting. In that clip,John McCain heard a sad story from a woman telling her story of how sequester cuts effectively took away the last bit of help she was receiving. After telling her story; she started crying, telling the crowd that she was not a “taker” because she paid into the system for 30 years. John McCain went over to her,consoled her and repeatedly told that she was not a “taker.”

I would hate for town hall meetings to completely go away but I understand why they are now scarce. They have been taken over by special interest groups but it doesn’t have to be that way because I’ve seen instances where the agitators were shouted down and meeting proceeded as intended.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Getting the Truth is Like pulling Teeth

I finally got relief when my molar was pulled but not before I had to endure extreme pain every time the dentist would come to check the numbness of the affected area. The dentist had a knack for finding the nerve that caused the most pain. Afterwards, his assistant gave me a list of do’s and don’ts. Whatever happened to the old pioneer days when the patient was given ½ bottle of whiskey got the tooth pulled and then went out and plowed the back 40?

I got home around 10:30 AM, took my pain pill, turned on the television, and I thought I was going to catch up on the news. I don’t know if it was the pain pill or the sheer boredom of watching the same stories being rehashed that put me to sleep. I know it’s the “dog days of summer” but how many stories can you do on “who will win the Republican presidential primary in 2016?” We’re only eight months into President Obama’s second term!

Every now and then I do hear something that makes me laugh such as Rand Paul saying “There is no greater defender, truly, of minority rights... than myself." I tend to believe Hillary Clinton when she said “Anyone that says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in American elections must not be paying attention.” Rand Paul is a lot like his dad, because they both like to use statistics to try to pull the wool over people’s eyes. In this case he correctly says that more black people voted than whites but then he goes on to say that it proves there’s no racial discrimination. Of course, we no longer have Jim Crow laws but Section 4 (pre clearance) of the Voting Rights Act was largely responsible for that large black turnout, and we all know what the Supreme Court did to that. One only has to look at the recent North Carolina voting laws that were passed if you want to know what voter suppression looks like. Like the snake oil salesman that he is, Rand Paul said “who can be against showing proper ID before you vote?” That’s one of those questions that require more than a yes or no answer and politicians know that.

Usually a political strategist gets away with their exaggerations and half- truths, but that was not the case yesterday when a Republican strategist tried to blame the Democrats of today for the actions of the Jim Crow tactics that were used by southern Democrats of yesteryear. The pundit told the strategist that he could not let him get away with that, and then went on to tell his audience that the two parties have changed sides.

If there was evidence of rampant election fraud, then both parties should sit down and work out a solution; not just GOP legislators and governors trying to enhance their chances of winning. The issue is not just about the voter ID. It's about the cost, what will be accepted, and availability. Voters have already shown proof of who they are, when they registered to vote; it wasn’t a matter of just signing your name. I’m all for a national ID card, but I can just hear the outcry from libertarians by the sheer mention of it. How ironic, conservatives are dead set against regulations unless it has to do with voting and a woman’s right to choose.

Ben Smith, who runs the website ,BuzzFeed, said he took off for a week, turned off all his electronic media devices and then came back to find that he didn’t miss a thing because it’s the same news on a continuous loop.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Really Peggy?

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I will post an extra blog today because tomorrow morning I will have a molar.extracted,so I expect to be out tomorrow. I 'm one of those big babies.

Many of you have probably heard of the racist clown at the Missouri State Fair who  wore an Obama mask while performing his routine. With the help of the announcer, the clown did his 15-minute  act. He moved the lips of the character he was portraying in normal black face fashion..

The Missouri State Fair showed their outrage by banning the clown for life but not before the videotape of the event went viral. The incident got its 15 minutes of publicity. I thought everybody moved on but not Peggy Noonan.

Peggy Noonan posted this on her Wall Street Journal blog.

"Let me suggest a classy Obama move that might go over well. From his Vineyard vacation spot he should have the press office issue a release saying his reaction to finding out a rodeo clown was rudely spoofing him, was, “So what?” Say he loves free speech, including inevitably derision directed at him, and he does not wish for the Missouri state fair to fire the guy, and hopes those politicians (unctuously, excessively, embarrassingly) damning the clown and the crowd would pipe down and relax. This would be graceful and nice, wouldn’t it? He would never do it. He gives every sign of being a person who really believes he shouldn’t be made fun of, and if he is it’s probably racially toned, because why else would you make fun of him?"
Allow me to give you MY interpretation of the paragraph Peggy wrote.First, she wanted to emphasize that President Obama was on another vacation at Martha's vineyard. For some reason, the right gets upset when President Obama goes on vacation.  Congress won't be back until early September, so I guess they want him to mow the White House front lawn or something. If he's going to take a day off, do it at the White House and Camp David  is right there if he just has to have the whole weekend off. Heaven forbid, if he ever wants to go his home state, that foreign country of Hawaii, for vacation.

 Peggy went on to suggest that Obama make a classy move that might go over well,as if anything he does will please the right. In the middle of Egyptian Civil War she suggests that the press office put out a press release exonerating the rodeo clown. She also suggests that the president should tell his supporters to cool it.

If this was the one-time event or even a rare one, I could understand how this would be a goodwill gesture. There's not a day they goes by that I don't see or hear of another racist, e-mail,  comment or event. In order to be fair to everyone, the president would have to appoint a "racist event czar" to handle such matters. No Peggy, I suspect the president shrugs his shoulders as Jackie Robinson did when he hears of the nonsense, and goes about doing his job to be best of his ability.

All presidents from George Washington down have been made fun of, it goes with the territory but Peggy thinks Obama doesn't believe he should be made fun of. President Obama makes fun of himself every year at the Washington Press Correspondents dinner. I heard him on the campaign stops making fun of himself for his lousy performance in his first debate against Romney. I heard senators Graham and McCain say that President Obama did not live up to the job of being Commander in Chief but the president recently sent the two senators to the Middle East, as our envoys.

Farenthold You're No John McCain

I was delighted that Victoria Advocate reporter Melissa Crowe wrote a front page story about the Luling town hall meeting where Representative Blake Farenthold was asked about the possibility of impeaching President Obama.  You can read that article here.

Representative Farenthold’s answer to his constituent, who asked the silly question about impeachment, has been discussed by the pundits nationally and has been published by Politico and the Washington Post.  The media loves right wing crazy.  The congressman had a chance to deliver a teachable moment but instead chose to say that the video of the town-hall meeting was very misleading. The representative is obviously no John McCain nor former Governor Mike Castle or for that matter any  other prominent Republicans, who don’t lower themselves to the fringe element in their party just to win an election.

Megan Cronin, communications director for Representative Farenthold said the congressman was speaking hypothetically because he did not discuss specific charges when he said that there were enough votes in the House of Representatives to bring up charges of impeachment.  I seriously doubt that Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor,  or representatives Paul Ryan and Tom Cole would join in that effort, and they hold more clout than Farenthold.  Congressman Farenthold should thank his lucky stars that he’s a Republican because if he were a Democrat, Nancy Pelosi would have torn him a new one for talking out of place.

We are in the fifth year of President Obama’s presidency and if Representative Farenthold still questions the president’s eligibility, then he should say so and not blame it on the last Congress.  Put the issue to rest with a public statement.

I’m glad that Victoria County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jane Bernal called out the Farenthold’s actions by calling them insulting.

It’s not about a lesson to America. It's about the importance of impeaching a president for high crimes and misdemeanors.  He should have told his constituent that you don’t overturn an election because you don’t like the results.  You handle any grievances that you have at the ballot box.

Neither party can win a general election without the votes of the independents.  Independents have never voted with the extremist.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Now I remember How I Used to Talk to A Conservative

A couple of events happened yesterday that made me think of the day’s that I could have a meaningful conversation with my conservative buddies. One had to do with the stoppage of New York’s “Stop and Frisk” policy, and the other had to do with climate change. Hang on a minute, and you’ll see how I tie these two topics together.

This morning Joe Scarborough talked about a liberal he met on the train in New York who was going to vote for Rudy Giuliani for mayor. People like Joe Scarborough wake up and go to sleep every day wearing their conservative label, and they assume that liberals do too. I assume the liberal Joe talked to, liked Rudy Giuliani’s way of crime fighting and the fact that he didn’t come with the extreme social beliefs. Conservatives like to think that they are tough on crime and so a few believe that we cannot give the police too much power. As human beings, we all want the police to keep us safe within the bounds of the United States Constitution.

A Federal judge temporarily stopped New York’s “Stop and Frisk “policy because it was really racial profiling in disguise.

Let’s look at the police’s own statistics that showed that in the period January 2004 until 2012, the city conducted 4.4 million stops but only 6% of those resulted in arrests or summons. Even more staggering, 83% of those stopped were minorities and 90% of those and didn’t get as much as a summons. The policy was meant to get guns off streets but of those stopped, 1.1% of blacks were caught with guns, 1.2% of Hispanics were armed and 1.4% whites were also armed. With stats like these, the judge ruled correctly when it was ruled that the policy needed reform and had to be closely monitored.

Racial profiling is acceptable as long as it’s the other guy getting profiled. I’ve heard stories of young black males having to dress conservatively in order not to arouse suspicion by the police. Middle Eastern people will automatically attract the attention of TSA if they wear traditional clothing. That’s not the America we want. The founders remembered being stopped and frisked by the British soldiers because they were suspected of not being loyal to the crown, so they inserted language into the Bill of Rights and the Constitution to ensure that that will not happen to future Americans.

And now back to the topic of trying to have a meaningful conversation with a conservative.

Last night, Chris Haynes had a very meaningful conversation with Samuel Thernstrom, a conservative expert on climate change. Chris Hayes led off the segment by showing a clip of Dana Rohrabacher, senior member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology calling climate change a fraud, to the delight of a tea party rally. Mr. Thernstrom said that crowd is mostly against government solutions. So if climate change is real, the government would be compelled to do something about it. The environmental expert also said that conservatives don’t like liberal solutions, like a carbon tax or Cap and Trade. Mr. Thernstrom said the base could be sold on private sector innovations that produced zero greenhouse gases. He said that government grants always lead to crony capitalism. That’s a start, at least there’s a consensus that climate-change is indeed happening and that we must take steps to curb greenhouse emissions. I’m not so sure that a carbon tax is a liberal idea and I know that President George Bush senior signed a sulfur dioxide (SO2) cap and trade bill, to curb acid rain. Who wants to quibble about the past if you’re making progress talking about solutions?

Now do you see how the two topics blend together? In both cases, it’s a matter, of “we didn’t say you couldn’t do it but here’s how it could be done with less controversy.”

Monday, August 12, 2013

GOP,It’s Time to Put UP or Shut UP

Saturday, Senator Ted Cruz got a standing ovation for saying that he wanted to repeal every single word of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or as it’s commonly called- Obamacare. That can no longer be a rallying cry, if you’re not taking the steps to legitimize that move. You’ve to put some meat on those bones.

Republicans have to convince themselves that they are willing to make the sacrifices it will take to repeal the ACA.

1. You have to tell your 26-year-old child that you can no longer carry them on your policy.
2. If you have a pre -existing condition, you must go back to the old system where the insurance company can deny you or make you pay dearly.
3. Pray that you’d never get a catastrophic disease because you will go back to lifetime caps.
4. Be prepared for health insurance costs to rise substantially as they were before ACA.
5. As of yet, the GOP does not have an alternative, so you might not be able to retain whatever ACA benefits you have now...{that alone should tell you something...after 3 years and 40 repeal votes later;yet no alternative}

Republicans are telling their constituents that their party will not repeal the most popular parts of ACA but that’s impossible, unless they find a way to get 30million new customers. Under ACA, private insurance companies have to spend 80% of their revenues on health care for their customers, or they have to reimburse the excess. Crunch the numbers, Paul Ryan and get back with us later, but there’s not that much left in the food stamp budget for you to cut. I guess they’ll find some way to privatize Medicare and Social Security and give those funds to the insurance companies but who knows?

What to defund Obamacare? For starters, you have to convince 14 Democrats in the Senate to reach the magic number of 60, and then it should be easy to get the 218 votes in the House. That’s the basics because you have to convince the president that he must sign the bill to repeal Obamacare. President Obama will most likely veto the legislation, and then they will take 2/3 of both chambers to repeal the law. If not, then you have to take steps to win back the Senate and the presidency in 2016. You have to get off your butt right now because there’s a deadline. In October, the uninsured will begin signing up for the exchanges and by January of 2014, the ACA will be fully implemented.

In the meantime, it would be helpful to provide some data that disproves this CBO projection that states Obamacare will reduce the deficit by $109 billion over the next 1o years. While you’re at it, give us some data showing that Obama Care ACA will not reduce the premiums in half in New York and is not working in Massachusetts, California, Oregon and Colorado. Your negativity has taken its toll, up until now, by further confusing people but that tactic has a short shelf life.

I’m not one to give advice to the opposition but if you want to be taken seriously, it seems like you would take steps to keep your crazies off the Sunday’s talk shows.Oh that's right, you don't have control over them and therein lies the problem.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Dime Store Philosophy

There’s no shortage of pundits, amateur shrinks and our own friends and neighbors who like to tell us what’s going on in America. I have my personal ideas that are based on nothing more than my own personal observations. That’s a departure from what I’ve accustomed to because I’ve always relied on stats, studies, polls and opinions of people I trusted.

It’s in the middle of August, it’s very hot, the economy is struggling and it looks as though no one cares.

If you are on the right, you will never understand how anyone could be stupid enough to give President Obama a second term. You are also frustrated because there’s not any evidence out there that will lead to impeachment. The so-called scandals have fizzled out.

Despite the Affordable Care Act being unpopular, about 51% do not want the law repealed. The anger these people have will hinder any chance of them listening to reason. They actually think shutting down the government will lead to defunding Obamacare. You have 15 Republican senators misleading their constituents by saying that voting for a continuing resolution that funds Obamacae means you are for keeping the current health care law. The Affordable Care Act falls in the mandatory spending category because the law is considered an entitlement. Democrats are silently hoping that the radical right pushes their leadership into a giant mistake that will doom them in the 2014 elections and beyond.

Conservatives take the spoken word literally, and they do their own interpretation. Liberals and Democrats are more nuance. For example, when the president said the old al Qaeda (the ones who attacked us on 9/11) had been weakened, we knew he meant that we destroyed the old havens and leaders; we never thought that al-Qaeda was finished. Then again, we weren’t scouring over the speech looking for words and meanings that we could exploit politically.

It’s relatively easy to read the frustration some conservatives have experienced the last two presidential elections. They blame the low information voters who are naturally less intelligent than they are, a nonexistent voter fraud problem, people yearning for free government handouts, and that their candidate was not conservative enough. It can’t be their policies or rhetoric wasn’t that appealing because Romney won several Texas counties by double digits. It’s like Governor Rick Perry bragging that Forbes's magazine had Texas as home to 7 of the top 10 best cities for future job growth without mentioning that those cities have mayors who are Democrats. Bill Clinton pointed out the fact that in the fifty-one years since President Kennedy, the GOP had twenty –eight years in the White House and the Democrats had twenty- three. In that period, the economy produced 66 private sectors million jobs -42 million under the Democrats, 24 million under the Republicans.

Last but certainly not least is the racial hatred that is worsening for President Obama and people of color. A racist does not want to own that label because they will be shunned by the people they presume to represent. The “N” word has been effectively taken away from them, so they will say the president is not one of us, they don’t like his white half either, he's also a Muslim, Socialist, and then use voter suppression laws to make it more difficult for his kind to vote. Just last week, the president was met with several racial hate signs in Arizona where he was making a speech. When all that doesn't work they would like to scare you into thinking that we are becoming a third-world country. The United States is among the most successful countries pulling out of their financial doldrums. For some, it’s a last stand of sorts for what they see as traditional conservative America. These are the people favoring state nullification laws which stems from their Civil War mentality.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Would We Miss Our Local Newspaper?

I was shocked when I heard that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos had purchased the Washington Post. I did not know that the newspaper had suffered seven years of consecutive profit losses. The newspaper spent an awful lot of money providing secondhand news. The era of big time newspapers is going digital in order to survive. There’s not a good plan to make people buy online content.

Newspaper circulation has been down since the seventies, as more people are getting their news from television. Some online services are providing news, but they don’t have any reporters, so they will follow the path of the print editions because that’s where they get their stories. The Huffington Post and Politico do have full time reporters, so they serve as models of where we will get our news. People on Twitter and Facebook will also play a prominent role in leading us to a good source for the news of the day.

I still subscribed to the Victoria Advocate, but it’s more out of habit than anything else. The Advocate provides a lot of its content online for free. The digital version is great, and it provides a lot  handy features. I don’t spend a lot of time reading the local newspaper, but I don’t fault our paper because I probably wouldn’t be reading the Houston Chronicle all that much either.

My older friends still subscribe to the Victoria Advocate but my children don’t. We have to provide all the death notices and other local tidbits to them if they happened to miss it on the free online version. Of course there’re busy and don’t rely as much on “breaking use” as an old retiree with nothing better to do.

I can remember sharing an Advocate at work, but we would have to wait for certain sections and then trade off. That’s no longer necessary with the digital version, and you can copy and paste an article or email it to yourself for future reference. The digital version will certainly save some trees, and reduce the carbon footprint, but it would also disappoint those who rely on the printed version. I can see the local newspaper staying afloat a bit longer than the larger city papers because of the local appeal people can’t get anywhere else.

I hear a lot of loving the feel of a newspaper or a good book and I can relate to that, but I think that’s more of a feeling of simpler times that we don’t want to let go of.

Some experts are saying that newspapers will be extinct in 10 years, but most think that’ll be sooner than that. It’ll go the way of the land line, phone books, address books, and photo albums. My doctor doesn’t need to give me an appointment card anymore because as soon as they tell me the date and time of my next appointment, I input that information into my cell phone. I sort of got the hint of what’s happening locally when I called to complain because I had  not received  my morning newspaper. The person on the other line didn’t seem too upset nor did they try to be accommodating saying that because of gasoline prices, they could only credit my account because it would be cost prohibitive to send someone out with another paper. They did encourage me to get a digital version, which I already had.

I don’t know, but it’s my opinion that alternative news is giving a platform for a lot of racist comments. I’m an old guy who grew up in a pre- civil rights era, but I’ve never seen so much racial hatred as there is today. Not the lynching but the rhetoric is there. Perhaps that’s a topic for a Saturday rant.