Discussions with 50 something, white guy Republicans

Having a few friends that fill this criteria gives me a great deal of thought. My first thought is usually “how can these guys be so dumb?”.

But then I just accept the fact that these guys are not really dumb, just uneducated as to what is really going on in the world.

First case came about a few weeks ago when golfing with three of these dudes. We were on the 8th tee when they began talking about how a professional golfer had just won 2 million dollars in a tournament and complained about only getting about $800,000 after taxes. I could only hold my silence for so long and then said. “I would be more than happy to take the $800,000 for a week’s pay and he can have my paycheck in trade. Most likely not having to pay any taxes.”

Of these three, one maybe two have enough money to not rely on Social Security for retirement income. Not that any of them would forgo the income but, I am sure they could survive nicely without it.

But I did ask them how they can show so much concern for a professional golfer that makes 2 million dollars for a week’s work and consider a single mother to be a leach on society for receiving food stamps. They went silent on me and went back to discussing their tee shots.

Then Saturday evening while sharing a few barley pops with a few other gentlemen of the same age group I mentioned how Michigan’s Republicans were raising taxes and fees to repair our dismal roads. Adding for good measure, the national Republicans were working on taking away both Social Security and Medicare. Something they will be relying on sooner than they think.

This group did seem to agree with me as to the unfairness of raising taxes on gasoline that would have a more devastating effect on lower income folk than on the wealthy few. They also expressed dismay, or was it disbelief, at my statement regarding Social Security and Medicare? Hopefully they will do some searching on this matter and maybe, just maybe they will “see the light” and stop voting Republican.

One can only hope, and continue in the efforts at educating the unknowing.

Wish me luck. 😉


Koch Brothers Now Interviewing Prospects for President

It is now public knowledge that these two Libertarian/John Birchers are interviewing candidates for their appointment to the presidency of the United States.
They have already stated their preference of Scott Walker. He is a good puppet and follows rules dutifully as he has shown us in Wisconsin.
But to be fair they have opened their doors to other potential candidates.
Criteria for selection include a willingness to eliminate Social Security and Medicare. This is in line with the brothers training as baby John Birchers.
Elimination of taxes for wealthy folks would be a plus for any possible candidate, so keep this in mind if you are considering applying.
Another topic they favor is climate change deniers. Science be dammed, we want more profits.
Social issues are not really important but anything anti-gay will be a plus on your resume as a vote getter.
Like I said, Walker has the inside track here but, if you can tastefully express hate for any and all minorities and/or poor people, you may be able to get a hearing.
Competition is expected to be fierce so apply now for the $900 million prize.
Thank you for reading and please reply if you have made an appointment with the brothers.

A Question for my friends that vote Republican

Note. “My friends that vote Republican”. Some actually have *Democratic values, but for some strange reason they vote Republican.
So friends, suppose Republicans take the white house in 2016 and hold on to the legislative branch. (House and Senate). This would give them control of all three branches of the federal government.

If this were to take place, there would be an elimination of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, all Republican goals.

And more likely than not, at least one invasion of a mid-eastern country. Oil producing mid-eastern country to be specific.

Additional goals would be a law banning unions and various worker’s rights. Abortion may or may not be banned it is still being used affectively as a get out the vote tool.

Now the question is: If this takes place, would you still blame Obama for your pain and suffering, or would you just say “we all have to make sacrifices for the good of the country”?

You can submit your answer here via a comment or just drop me an email. I sit with bated breath awaiting your replies.

*Democratic values, one Republican voting friend recently told me that water for personal use should be free to all. My response “That sounds rather Democratic if not actually socialistic.”

Should be Interesting for a few years

With the Koch brothers now in complete control of a majority of state governments and the legislative branch of the national government, we should expect some drastic changes.
In Michigan, Governor Snyder has shirked his responsibility and put aside a decision as to repairing the infrastructure until next spring. Snyder and the Republican controlled legislators have decided to put any difficult decisions up for a vote. (If the people are going to make the decisions, why do we need a government?)
IMHO this decision will be to not raise taxes to pay for road repairs and additional infrastructure maintenance. However a well-planned and aggressive advertising blitz may convince the voting public to do the governor’s job for him.

More interesting will be the goings on in Washington D.C. where the Koch brother’s legislative branch will set forth on their instructed efforts of dismantling the government.

They have such lofty goals as:
Removal of the minimum wage.
Make the United States a right to work (for less) nation
Privatize Social Security
Approval of the Keystone pipeline
Elimination of public education
Elimination of Medicare and Medicaid, you can swap chickens for health care
They will not touch the abortion issue as this will continue to be a strong get out the vote incentive.

It will be fun for us political junkies to watch closely, as President Obama uses his veto power on many of these controversial bills.
So my friends, get ready for a couple of raucous years.
And stay tuned for further developments. 😉

Late Friday Double Header. Open Letter to Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others

Open Letter to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Lon Johnson and all other State Democratic Party Leaders
Madams and Sirs,
When you get together to do an autopsy on the most recent election results, don’t waste too much time.
We got spanked again because of actions like the one that just took place in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats voting to approve disabling of the Dodd Franks law and increased monetary donations.
Until we, as Democrats, grow some gonads and stand up for what we believe in we will continue to get stomped in elections.
We must go on the aggressive rather than trying to appease the Republicans for fear of losing something.
Offer the voters something that they are concerned about and they will come out and vote.
In congress add riders to bills seeking an increase in social security while suggesting an increase will stop us from increasing taxes on the 1 percent by any more than 10 percent.
Bring up a bill to eliminate or lower interest on student loans with a similar stipulation.
Bring up a bill to increase earned income credits and again the promise to restrict tax increases to the 1 percent to less than 10 percent. (This one fits in Michigan also.)
Promote Gun control!
These are the type of actions that will inspire the people and get the voters to the polls.
Now chew on this for a bit and do something positive.
I feel better now, thank you.

A story with no moral?

Thinking back to the mid-sixties brings a memory of working for the state highway department. As a young man I worked for the bridge crew. This crew existed for the sole purpose of repairing and maintaining the bridges on the state highways in Michigan.
Keep in mind this was back in the days when citizens were accepting of the fact that taxes had to be paid to repair and maintain the roadways, a time before the idea of profit and greed permeated our society.
Our duties included such things as shoring up the pilings, cleaning and re-painting the steel girders, patching and replacing the concrete of the roadway and replacing the railings.
As workers we received a fair and decent wage and benefit package. Not as much as the unionized auto workers but, enough to provide for ourselves and our families.
In the summer we would begin on a bridge by sandblasting the rust off the steel girders and then paint them with two coats. First coat a primer we called red lead, an orange colored rust preventer. This was then covered by an aluminum based finish coat of silver grey color.
We worked off wooden scaffolding hung from the girders and often spent the whole day under the bridge with a brush in one hand and a bucket of paint in the other.
We were working on a bridge in a rural area just east of Saginaw. We had the red lead completed and were just starting on the finish coat when I thought I heard something on the banks of the stream. I popped out from under the bridge and saw 8 to 10 immigrant Mexican farm workers standing silently looking at the bridge. With bright orange blotches of paint on the outside girder. I paused for a moment and then using my one year’s high school Spanish said. “Esta muy bonita, si?” Not sure if this was grammatically correct but they all broke out in laughter and grins.
My mistake, as they all began chattering in Spanish and supposedly asking me questions. Finally I spouted out “No Hablar Espaniol.” This quieted them down and they slowly walked away.
After thinking about it for a bit I realized they were asking me how far to town; but they were gone when it became clear to me.
Now today when I pass a bridge with a crew working on it I see the Mexicans doing the work for a private contractor. The workers are earning about the same as I earned 50 years back (actually less in an inflation adjusted basis) but most likely they are not receiving any benefits and do not have a retirement program. They are paying taxes on their income including Social Security taxes.
Our tax dollars are still paying for this work and the contractor is making a profit, the workers are glad to be earning their meager wages and the highway department is spending less while American citizens are unemployed.

My Post election rant

Oh Wow! Big Money wins again.
Well the 2014 mid-term elections are a done deal. As the prognosticators told us, the Republicans, with the full support of the Koch brothers and others with similar wealth, spanked us. The spanked us bad, they spanked us like an NFL player disciplining a child.
After the 2010 mid-terms I was filled with anger. I was mad as hell at myself and fellow Democrats for sitting back and resting on our laurels after our win in the general election of 2008. My anger was expressed at various gatherings at that time.
Now we have experienced another trouncing. But my friends, this time my feelings are of sorrow, the anger no longer exists. I was under the misconception that we had a ground game similar to the game used during the two presidential elections. And believing we would put up a better fight, losing more than we won but holding our ground somewhat. Maybe even throwing out some of the tea party governors that came into power in 2010.
Michigan’s Snyder, Florida’s Scott and Wisconsin’s Walker are three I thought were potential losers. Each for separate but similar reasons.
There were local (Michigan) races that I expected to be close and yet again I was wrong.
The primary reason for the local losses is the massive investment by wealthy pacs in getting their candidates elected. The majority of money spent in television advertising in our markets was from out of state pacs.
A possible second reason is the Democratic Party’s failure to actually get out the vote. The ground game only works if you also provide a reason for the people to vote. Our party failed to get their message to the voters.
And because of this I am laden with a sadness, a sadness that is based on what I expect to take place in our state and our country in the near future.
At the state level I expect to see a continuation of the union busting, a continuation of putting local communities and local school systems into bankruptcy. A continuation of pushing the costs of government services on the struggling workers of our state.
At the national level we can look for efforts to privatize Social Security, a reform of the affordable care act to provide more profit to the healthcare industry and increased expenses to the working class. We can look for implementation of the Keystone pipeline, moving tar sand oil through our farmlands for export to China. We may be looking at more boots on the ground in foreign nations. Supporting our troops?
So my friends, I will not be expressing seething hatred for those in power for the next few years. I will be watching in sadness and occasionally saying “The people have spoken and this is what they want.”
In example, lovely wife found a household item she wanted on sale at a big box store. When she went to purchase item it was sold out. She asked for and received a due bill for item. The due bill expires 30 days after issuance. The expiration date is nearing and as of yet the item is still not available in stores. Lovely wife expressed disgust with the condition. I thought, but did not say, that is the free market way, that is what they want. Corporations can and will do anything they want to increase profits and consumers be dammed. Learn to live with it my friends it ain’t gonna get any better for some time.