Thursday, October 31, 2013
The first thing I learned was that I was going to need a lot of patience because we were going to go down many rabbits trails before we got to the main topic. I knew I was going to have to take a lot of name calling, sift through the exaggerations, and I needed to try and calm down my angry opponent. That’s right, I’m satisfied with the last two presidential elections and my opponent is not. An angry person is not likely to make much sense until they cool down.
The conservative is likely to be a Ronald Reagan or a Ron Paul disciple, so they come into the argument with an idea that they are superior and if things somehow don’t go their way, then the system had to be rigged. They seem to think that President Obama couldn’t possibly get those millions of votes legitimately, so he would had to entice his constituents with government goodies. There’s no other possible explanation.
In the VA’s thread titled “America is ineptocrasy not democracy’ “the right-wing commenters wanted to make it about “makers and takers” and they got upset when other posters did not want to follow that storyline. They want to control the dialogue using their talking points rather than facts from reliable sources.
I had to sit patiently while my conservative opponent went through his monologue where he would call the president a socialist, tyrant, illegitimate, or the latest thing he heard from talk radio. I knew that I would be wasting my time trying to refute all those false claims, so I sat there and" bit my tongue" until we could get to the issues. It’s a rope- a- dope tactic.
If we were arguing in front of an audience, my conservative opponent would put on a show, by wildly exaggerating all his points. I had to carefully phrase my opinions and points, so he didn't mock my answers as much, since we are not having a formal debate. A good example is the last comment in the “Voter ID Law No problem in Crossroads” thread where a poster stated “Did you bother to read the article? “The voter ID law hasn't presented any problems. The gloom and doom stories were just that, stories?” The poster doesn’t know that’s such a small sample, that it is not representative sample that we can rely on but he thinks we can’t read.
The conservative is not dumb, but you have to keep repeating the facts that you got from reliable sources because they won’t sink in the first, second or even the third time around. For example, many have moved off the IRS non scandal because there were not enough facts to support their conspiracy, so it quickly became not a matter of concern. Benghazi is still alive to them because they think there are still pieces of evidence around to bring down the Obama Administration or to weaken Hillary Clinton in her presidential run. The Republicans have not come up with any meaningful legislation, so this is all they have to cling to.
Today, the GOP is on a “what did the president know and when did he know it?” strategy. Yesterday’s congressional hearing about the disastrous rollout of the Healthcare.gov website, there were more questions and statements about the president’s promise that people could keep their crappie insurance policies if they wanted to. It’s too late in the game for the GOP to start playing the “I feel your pain” game because everyone is aware that they have never cared about universal affordable health care.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
We are approaching Halloween so Larry Marek wrote another scary letter “President Obama is intentionally ruining America” but as usual, he doesn’t tell us how or what his solutions are. He says that left wingers will reap the same agony as anyone else but isn’t that always the case; regardless of ideology? He states that he is not a Republican or Democrat, but he’s definitely not a Democrat; and that leaves what? He says, “It’s your choice.”Huh?
I can understand Larry being confused. What type of Republican is up in the air because he has a few choices these days? Is he a mainstream Republican who believes what is reported on ABC news, or is he an avid Fox news believer? Wait, he has another option, he can be a Glenn Beck (The Blaze/ info wars) Republican. The GOP is split but they agree on two things; equal hate for Obamacare and President Obama himself.
Larry, you complain about the Obama Administration not being transparent, yet you preach gloom and doom, so how did you acquire all your information? You are very transparent. You don’t like Muslims because it would be reprehensible if the president of United States belonged to that religion. You find it distasteful, that a college graduate would help people of the poorer south side of Chicago and all this time I thought it was a Christian deed. He was also a college constitutional professor at the University of Chicago before he became a state senator and then a United States senator. Ordinarily, that would be an impressive resume.
This morning, Joe Scarborough tried to make his show all about President Obama either being out -of -touch or a liar with nothing in between. Joe Scarborough reminds me of people like Larry Marek who won’t be satisfied until everyone has the same contempt for the president as he does.
The latest criticism about Obamacare seems to be about the president promising everyone that if you liked your healthcare plan, you could keep it. Joe Scarborough is trying to make the case that the president intentionally lied. I never paid much attention to those words because like 80% of other Americans, I won’t be enrolling in Obamacare. Joe had Lisa Meyers on, who had written an article that stated “50 to 75 percent of the 14 million consumers who buy their insurance individually can expect to receive a ‘cancellation’ letter or the equivalent over the next year because their existing policies don’t meet the standards mandated by the new health care law. One expert predicts that number could reach as high as 80 percent. And all say that many of those forced to buy pricier new policies will experience ‘sticker shock.” Joe got upset when one of his guests said it was more of an upgrade than it was a cancelation. The people Lisa interviewed had catastrophic policies which are not health plans. Chuck Todd then angered Joe even more when he said that the insurers were ripping off those people. It boils down to this; the old policies did not meet the new ACA standards, so the profit motive insurance companies’ immediately raised their prices and canceled the existing one.
Joe Scarborough is trying to make a case “what did the president know and when did he know it” for every hiccup that involves the administration. It’s as if this administration invented “plausible deniability.” Joe was going hard trying to make his point that President Obama had to know that Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cell phone was being tapped.. Mika Brzezinski threw a curveball that hit a surprised Joe Scarborough. She told them that we started spying on our Allies in 2002. All he could say was “are you sure about that?” Joe is the host of that show, so it’s up to him to keep informed and not just make his daily anti-Obama comments.
Things ought to be looking good for Alcoa because the orders for aluminum for all the tin-foil hats has to be at record highs.
If I were to meet Marek and Joe Scarborough.I would say “dudes the president is not going anywhere for the next three years; the voters have spoken.”
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
I’ve tried watching a little of the Healthcare.gov congressional hearings but it immediately turned into a dog and pony show. You might remember Texas Representative Joe Barton, from the BP hearings. He’s the one who apologized to the CEO of BP because he thought that Congress was trying to shake him down for the worst environmental spill in our nation’s history. Yesterday, he tried to chastise the private contractors for their blunders in the rollout of the Healthcare.gov website. He said that the system had privacy issues and cited HIPAA violations. No Mr. Barton, applicants do not give out their health information because they don’t have to since the insurance companies cannot deny them for pre- existing conditions. Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey didn’t pull any punches, by calling the hearing a “monkey court.” No disrespect to monkeys.
Seven years ago when Medicare part D was having its problem with their rollout, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) on Feb. 15, 2006 said "This is a huge undertaking and there are going to be glitches, "My goal is the same as yours: Get rid of the glitches." And he is just one of many Republicans who adopted similar talking points. There were a lot of Democrats who were where the GOP is now but they eventually joined the opposition to fix the program. I don’t expect the GOP to help repair what’s wrong with the ACA.
Several Republicans and a few democrats have called for the head of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius to resign. Oh the GOP would love that because they wouldn’t confirm her replacement, just to further destroy the Affordable Care Act. I’m in no way excusing the disastrous implementation of Obamacare, but I would never expect Kathleen Sebelius to know all the technical details of building a website nor would I expect the president to have a simulator on his desk monitoring the day-to-day building of the website.
Politics are a lot like professional wrestling; a lot of showboating. I’ve heard of Democrats walking into Nancy Pelosi’s office seeking permission to bad mouth her. She tells them to say whatever gets them back. Recently, a few Democrats running in red states have asked for a delay in rolling out the individual mandate or other parts of ACA with the full blessings of the White House because they know their situation.
Last night I heard that part of the debacles was due to a plan of not testing until just before going online. They knew that the GOP and the media would continue to exploit the mistakes that all new websites have and they did not want to give them the satisfaction. As it turned out, that was a huge mistake. The latest information says that the website should be up and running by the end of November.
I’m still waiting to start investigating Wall Street. Lately Bank of America was convicted of fraud and JP Morgan Chase paid a $13 billion fine,so there had to be some criminality going on there. CNBC,FOX Business and Fox News said the Federal government is unfairly punishing those large banks. Huh?
Thursday, October 24, 2013
I didn’t know Wendy Davis was such a threat until I read this article from the Texas Tribune. Last night, Lawrence O’Donnell had a woman judge on, who said she voted in her own court house but still had to fill out an extra form because her name on her drivers' license didn’t match her voter registration. She as many women do,used her maiden name as her middle name on her driver’s license 42 years ago. the law stipulates if the names are similar but not identical,you sign an affidavit to say your are the same person. When did this issue become a problem?
The law has already made it harder for the poor, the elderly, students, and those who cannot arrange a trip to their nearest DMV to vote;now we added another layer of confusion. What happens when people are confused?
The Texas election code requires that the names on a voter ID and in the voter registry to be “substantially similar.” The polling judge will determine if a voter is required to use provisional ballot.I believe the voter has six days to produce the required proof and then the vote might not be counted.
I can see the confusion already involving recently married or divorced women. What about the newly arrived legal citizens from Mexico who usually take their parent’s name as part of their legal name? Ann Richards’s daughter said that she couldn’t find her marriage license, and she’s been married over thirty years.
Come on Texas GOP, you already have a substantial advantage in registered voters with all the Gerrymandered districts; let up a little and allow the best candidates to win.
I’m worried that we are making it harder to vote and it should be exactly the opposite.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
I decided to give our on line forum another try because as you can see I can’t resist answering those annoying letters to the editors that have no basis in the truth.
I’m not giving up this personal blog, and occasionally I will duplicate the material, so those who don’t want to comment at the VA will still have the chance to generate a discussion right here. I haven’t seen many people comment on those blogs at the VA.
Some people say Facebook is addicting, and I can relate to that because I just can’t shake my blogging addiction. I guess it’s because I watch are all those political shows, and I need a release from all the frustration.
I haven’t decided whether I’ll do much commenting because that will eat up hours. I suspect a subject that I can’t resist will come along..
Maintaining two blogs will be a chore, so your suggestions for a blog subject will be most welcomed.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
I completely dismissed this LTTE titled “Column shows poor opinion of Hispanics” written by Brenda Cash of Shiner and printed in our local newspaper, the Victoria Advocate, as just another letter whining about someone’s opinion. Last night I actually read the letter.
The author insinuates that the Democrats have contempt and an insulting low opinion of what she calls our Tejano Americans. She used the term Tejano, so we’ll stay with Texans who identify as Mexican-Americans. I won’t elaborate on her accusation because nothing could be further from the truth.
No doubt that heritage runs deep in Texas is but that’s because Victoria is only 232 miles from Mexico, so the ties Mexican-Americans have to their heritage are a lot easier to maintain.
I read Jason Stanford’s article, and he never once equated American citizens of Hispanic descent to any group that came here illegally. The illegal part does not remove the similarity in language, skin color, food, religious beliefs, heritage and the natural kinship. You can use any label; and you have (Tejano, Mexican-American, and Hispanic) and stereotype their work ethics, political and religious beliefs, but you completely miss the point. It’s all about the harsh rhetoric and tactics people on the right use daily to show their displeasure of those who come across our southern border illegally. Like your neighbors, coworkers, and friends in Shiner, I am not for open borders, but I can tell the difference of requiring birth certificates in a state where voter fraud is not a problem and using it for a political advantage. I took a look at the stats that show 600,000 people would be disenfranchised by the new voter ID laws and most of them would vote for Democrats. The emphasis that it would keep noncitizens from voting is a republican myth. Why would people who live in the shadows want to risk getting caught for a candidate or an issue that they don’t know anything about? You can take it further and you will find that Hispanic citizens don’t vote in great numbers, so Texas is using the voter ID laws like Florida and Virginia does when it purges their voter databases for every election.
Brenda Cash must not have read the exit polls that showed 72% of Hispanics voted for President Obama, so evidently they don’t agree with the Republican platform. Yes, there are the social issues where the Church takes a stance against homosexuality and abortion but there’s no verifiable proof that there is 100% compliance or close to it. I believe it’s human nature to have love for family and community even though conservatives claim it as their value. I don’t know of any mainstream Hispanic politicians who are preaching about lower taxes, regulations, and smaller government. Now that is a libertarian /Republican “I’ve got mine” idiosyncrasy. I did read where healthcare and good-paying jobs were at the top of their list of most Hispanics, as they are for most Americans.
The proof is always in the pudding. It will be interesting to see who will get most of the votes in the Rio Grande Valley. Will it be Greg Abbott or Wendy Davis? My money is on Wendy Davis because I’m not buying what Brenda Cash is trying to sell.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Friday, October 18, 2013
The shutdown is over, and now the GOP will set its sights on the computer glitches associated with healthcare.gov. This morning Joe Scarborough said the GOP should point out that the company working on our Affordable Care Act website was recently fired by Canada. Joe said the party should emphasize that this fiasco is in a $100 million overrun so far. If I would’ve been on that panel, I would say “the cost pales in comparison to the $24 billion the shutdown cost us.” I would have also said "the Medicare Part D’s website the Republicans passed had its delays and glitches. That would be just to get the Republicans off their high horse because this administration has to own this horrendous rollout.
There’s no way to sugarcoat the failure to implement a website that was supposed to help seven million Americans get affordable health care. It’s inexcusable but it’s not because the president had a high tech team running his reelection campaign and they should’ve known better. That’s the media version and they will repeat that line time and time again.
This system has to be able to communicate with Homeland Security, the IRS, the Veterans Administration, and Social Security and also with the state’s unique data bases. It’s a serious problem because consumers have until December 15 to choose a plan that can be in force January 1, 2014 but no later than Feb.15, 2014 or they could be hit with an IRS penalty. I wouldn’t be surprised if Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the deadline, only to hear the GOP say “I told you we should have the delayed the individual mandate for another year.”
The GOP wanted to delay ‘the individual mandate” for political reasons and not because they cared about the people who didn’t or now has insurance. The party knew if they could delay the implementation of ACA, reinforcements would come (more republicans) in the 2014 elections. They are not backing off one bit because their number one goal is to kill Obamacare.. A delay would mean that those who were insured through that the new Obamacare Medicaid program would no longer have insurance. I don’t know why the administration and democrats didn’t do more to emphasize that.
The president should make the successful healthcare signup website a priority because the GOP will exploit every hiccup. Robert Gibbs said that the administration could hire the best computer techs from Silicon Valley, but I can see the GOP controlled House handing over that much money to repair a system they hate to the core. More importantly, the people trying to signup are probably the ones who need it the most. The state’s websites are running smoothly, but they tell us that the applicants make at least 18 visits before they purchase, and traffic is the heaviest near the deadline for signup. There’s still time and when the glitches are fixed, the ones who remember this fiasco will be drowned out by the successful logins.
People seem to forget that the healthcare insurance was skyrocketing before President Obama ever took office, and the GOP did not have a plan nor were they interested in one. To this day, the Republican Party does not have a healthcare plan that will provide affordable health care for 30 million people. Republican legislators will tell us that people are not ever denied health care, but they leave out the part that those people regularly use the expensive emergency-room. Hospitals in most cases will charge the insurance companies the excess and that domino affect will add about $1000 to our health care premiums.
Rep. Louie Gohmert told a right-wing talk show host that the shutdown kept the Dems from brings up immigration reform. I don’t usually pay attention to Mr. Gohmert, but it’s in line with the GOP minority party tactics. Their plan is to filibuster, delay and basically run out the clock, so the president can’t pass his agenda.
I read an interesting Washington Post story that fact checked Senator Ted Cruz's claims about the job killing ACA. The newspaper only gave him two Pinocchios because our country has 315 million and a lot of his data could not be verified yet. Once businesses get going, those part timers will become full- timers regardless of their healthcare status ,so to say we are nation of 29 hour work week is not true.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Once again the adults, (this time we included several women senators) came to table to reopen the government and raise the debt limit, so we could pay our bills and put people back to work. Someone said the men caused this mess and the women came in and cleaned it up.
I don’t like Mitch McConnell but time after time, he comes in to save the day, but he also created the mayhem that started this mess. Remember, while the president and Michelle were dancing at the first inaugural ball, Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and other Republicans were plotting to derail the Obama presidency. This morning McConnell is being vilified by talk radio and the hard right for (in their view) cowering to President Obama and the Democrats. The far right doesn’t know that Mitch McConnell was able to retain some leverage for the next budget fight. Mitch McConnell insisted that the sequester cuts remain in place so that the GOP could use them as a bargaining chip to get some entitlement cuts.
How can a major party complain about the debt when the shutdown cost this country $24 billion, 0.06% in GDP growth and job losses?
The sad part of all this is that the Tea Party has not learned a darn thing from all of this. This morning Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ) said that all was not lost because Cory Booker only beat his Tea party opponent by 10 points, and Tom Cotton is nearly even with Arkansas Senator Mark Pryor.Rep. Salmon dismisses the 21% approval his wing of the GOP has. The Tea Party is consistent in their hate for President Obama. The members of that group always mention that the president is at the root of all our problems. I don’t doubt that we will back at the same place three months from now.
After the 2011 fiscal cliff battle, President Obama vowed not to negotiate the debt limit again. Reasonable people can differ on whether the debt limit was ever in jeopardy when attachments were added to a debt limit bill in the past. This time the debt limit was in jeopardy because some did not fear default. President Obama voted against the debt limit in 2006, but it was a show vote because he knew his colleagues would raise it. All the 2016 presidential candidates voted not to raise the debt limit last night. Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul all took advantage of their opportunity to vote no (show vote).
A lot of pundits showed their true conservative colors at CNN last night. For instance, Gloria Borger and David Gergen said last night’s voting results would embolden liberals in the Democratic Party. Senator John Tester (D-MT) said that he disagreed because he has not seen it.Embolden them to do what? The Dems are still outnumbered in the House. Liberal can do the math.
Throughout the seventeen shutdown days, the Democrats remained united even though some were allowed to vote for some bills because they were never going to pass in the Senate. That was the underlying factor. Once the Tea Party realizes that you can’t take credit for approval of anything unless it passes Senate and the president signs it, the better it will be for all.
You mean we couldn't get one Texas Republican House or Senate member to vote to open the government? Not one democrat voted NO...just saying.
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Monday, October 14, 2013
This week after being instrumental in shutting down the government, Senator Ted Cruz tried to rile up the veterans by telling them that President Obama does not care about them. Sunday Chris Wallace asked Senator Manchin of West Virginia, if the administration was purposely closing down the memorial’s to make it hard on the veterans for political reasons. Senator Manchin said no president (Republican or Democrat) would ever stoop that low. Joe Manchin was too kind because he could’ve reminded Chris Wallace, who shut down the government in the first place.