War is Not a Solution

copyright © 2008. Jerry Northington.   Northington website or on the blog.

For the past several years I have been a member of the local peace group, Pacem in Terris.  One outgrowth of membership and action with the group was my recent political campaign.  The driving force for political action was then and remains today my staunch opposition to the ongoing occupation of Iraq.  Our nation has many issues to be resolved today.  We will not be able to address many of those issues so long as we continue to borrow and spend $10 billion a month in Iraq.

Support for the Iraq occupation has waned over the course of the years since the invasion.  The administration keeps much of the activity and the results of war from our eyes.  Our media does nothing to portray war as the real hell on earth so many of us know.  During my time in Vietnam I saw first hand the effects of war on troops from both sides, the people and the land.  War ruins the landscape and kills people without discrimination.

The major insult is not to the troops but is rather to the civilians, the women, the children, and the aged who have no part in military activity.  We must continue to remember every person on either side killed or wounded as a result of our military intervention is a son or daughter, maybe a mother or a father, perhaps a brother or a sister.  Every life lost touches the lives of the many who surround that person.  The damage spreads ripples throughout the surrounding society.

I suggest we look to peaceful means of resolving world conflicts.  The end solutions to terrorism will lie in social and economic change.  We need to begin our pursuit of those measures as soon as possible.  It

is left to each of us to insure our elected officials hear our wishes.  First of all we vote.  Then we must remain vocal and keep in touch with those we elect to remind them they serve us first of all.  Those we elect must lead our nation in the direction we choose.  Only our continued action will insure that course is the one taken.

Peace.

Quote of the week:  

In war more than anywhere else things do not turn out as we expect.

~ Carl von Clausewitz

Northington Notes is a twice monthly e-mail newsletter and commentary.  Subscribe on the website or send an e-mail to JerryNorthington at gmx dot com with subscribe in the subject line.  

Make History; Vote Early



VoteForChange.com: Make History

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

In this election year, America has made history.  Throughout the country, people are able to vote early.  Millions have decided to take advantage of what never was this easy to do, contribute to the greater community.  The question is will the once apathetic, those who felt powerless, or the people who were willing to be labeled as lazy participate.  

Might any of these individuals be deterred by the rumors.  Absentee ballots and tallies transmitted before the official election date will not count.  Ballots are altered by machines or perhaps, inept poll workers.  Proper attire must be worn or a constituent will be refused a place at the polls.  Could citizens consider the lines are long as an excuse to wait or a reason to forfeit the role they may play in the future of this nation.  There is much to ponder.  

Perhaps the reason people do not partake is the survey is too long.  Initiatives, Judges, Representatives, and the Presidential race; some might say there is just too much to research.  However, in America today, wherever a person may go there is talk of tomorrow, a hope for change, fear of what could be, and most importantly a sense that anything is possible.  After all, if citizens can choose early, and the hours to vote are more extensive, perchance, for the first time ever, more, if not every eligible American will have a say.  Apparently, the novel arrangement known as “early voting” appears to be a triumphant.

We may not yet know which candidates will win.  Nevertheless, it seems the people are a bit more victorious.  Countless pound the pavement.  The electorate runs, walks, bikes, and drives to the polls in numbers never seen before.  People hope to make history, to bring about change, to secure a sense of commitment to country such that America has never known.  An expanded opportunity to contribute to the choice of President has an effect on the possible outcome of this election.  The chance to speak through a ballot, coupled with what some express as, a greater need to voice personal preferences, the public heads for the poll en masse.


The Success of Early Voting

The New York Times

October 30, 2008

A lot is going wrong in this election, from malfunctioning electronic voting machines to voters being purged mistakenly from the rolls.  But one thing is going very right: early voting.  In the more than 30 states that allow early or no-excuse absentee voting, voters have been casting ballots in record numbers.  Early voting has many advantages.  The main one is that it makes it likely that more eligible voters will participate in democracy.

Election Day has traditionally been held on a single day – a Tuesday.  Congress scheduled federal elections on Tuesdays because they worked well for farmers and Sabbath observers.  But in the 21st century, having one day to vote is an antiquated relic.  Voters have to fit in a visit to the polls with their work, family and other responsibilities.  Many cannot find the time, particularly when lines are as long as they have been in recent times.

The answer, as many states have discovered, is to move away from a single day of voting and allow voters to cast ballots over a period of days or weeks. . .

Some people are wary of early voting.  As Susan Saulny reported in The Times on Wednesday, there are rumors in the African-American community in Jacksonville, Fla., that early voting is a scam and that the votes cast early would be discarded.  Given Florida’s history with electoral mischief, some skepticism about election procedures is not only understandable, but necessary.

But the truth is that early voting actually makes it harder for the forces of disenfranchisement to stop eligible voters from casting ballots.  If election officials try to require voters to present ID when it is not required by law, early voting gives voters a chance to simply return the next day.  Dirty tricks are also harder to pull off.  If political operatives want to jam get-out-the-vote telephone lines, as they did on Election Day in New Hampshire in 2002, it would be harder to do if people voted over two weeks.

Tittle-tattle, tales of what will go wrong, or has, may be unfounded, or at least far less dire than reported.  While problems still exist, purged ballots, misplaced tickets, and other antics are less likely when the time to vote is spread over days, and even weeks.  Challenges can be corrected.  Dilemmas dealt with.  Quandaries quickly resolved.  Hence, eligible voters enjoy.  

Chat with those in your community while you wait to cast a ballot for your county and for the children who cannot yet legally speak for the concerns that will transform life for them.  Take comfort in the knowledge that time will pass and you can be a part of what will be better for the Seventh Generation.  Settle in as you sit with your absentee form and do the research.  Remember, the young, the old, those soon-to-be born, the ill, the impoverished, even the affluent will be affected by your decision.  Be part of the choice this country makes.  Feel empowered.  Make history.  Vote early.

Reference: for a newer reality . . .

GOP Back on the Brink




To view the original art, please travel to GOP Back on the Brink

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

With less than a week until Election Day, it’s starting to look more and more likely that the GOP will be cast “Back to the Wilderness” (Archive No. 0837) by voters.  But beware: The last time Republicans were banished, they came back strong, first with their “Contract With America,” then with a scary brand of neoconservatism implanted on the born-again blank slate of George W. Bush. Lord only knows what they might come up with this time.

Back in seven with my post-Election Day toon.

Andrew

toon@offthewahl.com

Common Sense Taxation



CNN Crunches Obama and McCain Tax Plans

The only question is as to sustaining the change [to higher taxes] before the people.  

I believe it can be sustained, because it does not increase the tax upon the “many poor” but upon the “wealthy few” . . .


~ Letter to William S. Wait, March 2, 1839, reprinted in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, volume 1, p. 148.  Rutgers University Press. (1953, 1990).

I go for all sharing the privileges of government who assist in bearing its burdens.

~ Letter to the Editor of the Sangamon Journal, June 13, 1836, reprinted in Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, volume 1, p. 48.  Rutgers University Press. (1953, 1990).

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

The chap was well-dressed as was his wife.  She expressed her distain with her husband’s choice.  He would cast his ballot for John McCain in this election year.  Taxes were his only concern.  This lovely lady declared herself an active Democrat.  She had been a Clinton supporter, Hillary that is.  Now, she was decisively behind Barack Obama, and proud of it.  I might not have known this or much else about the couple of strangers; however, in the year 2008, everyone seems anxious to share political concerns.  

Times, as the adage states, are “tough.”  Yet, life goes on.  Families still celebrate birth dates, nuptials, and anniversaries.  People continue to purchase gifts, although most do not feel they can afford to shop.  Persons do not purchase until they drop.  Instead, individuals in stores stop and chat of the financial crisis.  They speak of fears and folly.  Countless recount tales of pink slips received.  Others anxiously await what they cannot predict.  Will they soon be among the  6.1 percent unemployed Americans?  

Those in malls understand the woes and are apprehensive they might be next.  With more citizens out of work, millions find they cannot pay the mortgage.  Ruthless subprime rates raked many United States residents over the proverbial coals.  Home loan representatives, who indulged in illicit although not illegal, practices, have helped cause an abundance of  foreclosures. Many Americans are out on the streets.

Rage, resentments, and calls for a revolution, are rampant.  However, on the issue of tax policies those who benefited under the Bush plan want no change.  Dollars held tightly in the palm of an individuals’ hand make sense to those such as this stylish gentleman I met more than a month ago.  

For me, the discussion of government assessments began long before America became acquainted with “Joe the Plumber.” It commenced when, I met a couple, whose names I do not know.  Perchance, as I tell this tale, I will call them John and Jane Doe.  The man, woman, and I did not exchange names, although we had an extensive conversation.  The three of us were in a second-hand store.  Still, we all wondered whether we could afford to buy even one item.  

Today prices are high.  The cost of living soars.  Incomes are depressed; dollars are too.  Small businesses suffer.  Workers employed in large and little companies fear they will not be able to survive.  In September 2008, 159,000 jobs were lost. This monthly calculation is the worst seen in five years.  Americans are not surprised.  This computation confirms what most have felt.  The economic downturn is severe.  Hence, the trepidation for higher taxes.

Talk of tariffs adds to the daily stress people experience in hard economic times.  John Doe expressed, for him, the only issue of import is levees.  His spouse Jane sighed.  Restless, she pleaded to her husband, “There is more to consider.”  However, her husband remained resolute.  This genteel gent was concerned with his own fortune, not with societal failures.  The proposal presented before the public by Barack Obama, says persons such as “Joe the Plumber” and the fine fellow who stood before me, are reminiscent of Socialism.  Republicans and Independents who see themselves as rugged individualist react strongly to the idea of wealth redistribution.  Democrats attempt to remind all Americans of history.

A prominent Republican, Abraham Lincoln, first introduced the strategy that would rearrange the division of riches.  During the Civil War, as costs to run a nation and sustain a war effort could no longer cover expenses, President Lincoln imposed an income tax, a progressive rate of return applied to revenue.  Responsibly in 1862, the then President of the United States, choose to seek and preserve fiscal common sense.  Unlike the current Commander-In-Chief, the former Chief Executive believed budgets must be balanced.  Thus, citizens were charged a fee on income in order to pay for the conflict between the States.  

The Civil War Commander also grasped an awful truth; if war is profitable, people will prefer the fight,  President Lincoln hoped to ensure economic gain would not be an incentive for bloody battles. While his plan worked, the prosperous protested, just as they did during the Persian Gulf conflict.

Commander-In-Chief Lincoln struggled in his efforts to find a way to pay for the Civil War.  Initially, President Lincoln turned to bankers to pay for the battles.  After all, the citizens called barons of capitalism, in a derogatory fashion, had the money and the means.  Yet, then, just as now, financiers would not fund what they thought an uncertain future.  

In the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, lenders groused; loans are liens. Repayment is required.  The individuals of yesteryear who wished to secure and retain personal profits were more than reluctant to part with cash.  Indeed, they refused.  The stranger who stood before me and “Joe he Plumber’ might relate.  They too do not want to contribute a penny more of their cash to assist the country.  Miserly might best describe the early proprietors of principal.  The term may also apply to the gracious gentleman in my presence, the person I refer to as John, or to “Joe,” the man who fits pipes for his wages.

President Lincoln, may too have been as these fellows are, early in his career.  However, wartime realities transformed him.  As Chief Executive of a country divided, Abraham Lincoln realized the toll discordance takes.  Lincoln learned to consider Thomas Paine a prophet.  He acknowledged, as the astute author penned in Common Sense, as the population increases, individuals and small clusters of people can no longer care for themselves, friends, and family.  Nor can a modest collective control the chaos that comes when people are overwhelmed by a desire to be the one and only.

John may wish to ponder the wisdom his wife expressed.  Plumber Joe may want to join him.  What the two thoughtful men might define as Socialism is, what Thomas Paine and Abraham Lincoln would classify as a society where government is of, by, and for the people.

Perchance, the truth of what became self-evident after the Republican experiment of 1862 had a profound effect on what occurred decades later.  The excise became permanent with the adoption of the Constitution’s 16th amendment in 1913. Earlier the Supreme Court had rejected the duty; however, Congress, members of the Grand Old Party and Democrats together, overturned the decision.

Income tax has allowed America to civically function and build communities that flourish for near a century and one half.  For the last one hundred years, citizens of this country have endured, enabled by a tax system that secures education for all.  The current tax structure redistributes wealth so that we all might travel on paved roads, feel safe on secure bridges, and enjoy the creature comforts of cheap electricity, and access to ample water.  John McCain, Sarah Palin, “Joe the Plumber,” persons of their ilk, and perhaps John Doe may prefer to be without the luxuries Americans take for granted.  Fear of what they characterize as Communism or Socialism, could cause our society to crumble further.

That is exactly what the person I refer to as Jane, John’s  life-long partner had endeavored to communicate as the three of us exchanged philosophies on the floor of A Consignment Shoppe.  Jane attempted to assert the Bush Administration engaged in redistribution.  George W. Bush gave to the super-rich and took from the poor and Middle Class.  The trickle-down theory was in truth a splash up.  The abundantly affluent were doused in dollars.  Common citizens crumbled under the weight of the wealthiest gains.

Jane hoped she could explain, as did I.  Our efforts proved futile.  Neither of us had, close at hand, the evaluation of experts.  Perhaps, had John been able to see the charts and graphs, had he read the terms of an agreement with Barack Obama or with John McCain, he would have recognized as Thomas Paine, Abraham Lincoln, and we did.


Barack Obama John McCain
New Tax Cuts Refundable “Making Work Pay Credit” of 6.2 percent of earnings up to a maximum earnings of $8,100 per worker

Refundable “Universal Mortgage Credit” of 10 percent of mortgage interest for nonitemizers up to $800

Eliminate income tax for seniors making less than $50,000 per year

Make Research and Development and renewable energy production tax credit (wind, solar) permanent

Extend childless Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) phase-in range and increase phase-out threshold; increase EITC phase-in rate to 45 percent for families with three or more children; increase add-on to EITC phase-out threshold for married filers to $5,000

Make Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit refundable and equal to 50 percent of child care expenses less than $6,000

Make saver’s credit refundable and change to a 50 percent match of the first $1,000 of contributions

Rename the Hope Credit the “American Opportunity Tax Credit” and expand it to a refundable credit of 100% of the first $4,000 of college expenses

Mandate automatic 401(k)s and automatic IRAs

Allow first-year deduction of 3 and 5-year equipment, deny interest deduction (expires after 2013)

Reduce maximum corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent (phased in by 2015)

Increase the dependent exemption by two-thirds (phased in by 2016)

Convert Research and Development credit to 10 percent of wages incurred for Research and Development, make permanent

Capital Gains Increase maximum capital gains rate to 20 percent for those earning more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples)

Require information reporting of basis for gains

Make permanent current rates on capital gains and dividends, (0 and 15 percent)
2001/2003 Tax Cuts Permanently extend child credit expansions, 10, 15, 25, and 28 percent rates, and changes to tax implications of marriage

Restore 36 and 39.6 percent statutory income tax rates in 2009

Restore phase-out of personal exemptions and itemized deductions (PEP and Pease) for households making more than $200,000 ($250,000 for married couples), increase the PEP and Pease threshold

Make permanent all provisions other than the estate tax repeal
Alternative Minimum Tax Extend and index 2007 AMT patch Extend and index 2007 AMT patch, further increase exemption by additional 5 percent per year after 2013 (temporarily)
Estate Tax Make permanent estate tax with $3.5 million exemption and 45 percent rate Make permanent estate tax with $5 million exemption and 15 percent rate
Simplification Provide taxpayers with simple returns the option of pre -filled tax forms to verify, sign, return to IRS Create optional alternative tax with two rates and larger standard deduction and personal exemption
Revenue Raisers and Tax Havens Eliminate oil and gas loopholes

Close loopholes in the corporate tax deductibility of CEO pay

Tax carried interest as ordinary income

Reallocate multinational tax deductions

Impose a windfall profits tax on oil and gas companies

Require publicly traded financial partnerships to pay corporate income tax

Codify economic substance doctrine (requires transactions that qualify for tax benefits have economic justification beyond those benefits)

Create an international tax haven watch list of countries who do not share information with the U.S. and require greater financial disclosure to decrease tax shelters

Repeal domestic production activities deduction

Eliminate oil and gas loopholes

Unspecified corporate base broadeners

Health Income-related federal tax subsidies for health insurance purchased through new health insurance exchange

Require employers to provide insurance or pay a percentage of payroll to support the national plan

Small business healthcare tax credit of 50 percent of employer paid premiums

Replace exclusion from income for employer sponsored health insurance with refundable credit of $2,500 for individuals and $5,000 for families who purchase qualifying health insurance



As economic experts evaluate the numbers, calculate the computations, and consider how the Presidential challengers will pay for public works and raise revenues, the conclusion the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center professionals reach is a resolute reminder from the past.  If John McCain is elected, American wealth will be redistributed as it was under George W. Bush.  The smallest percentage of the population, the select few who qualify as super-rich will prosper.  Should voters place Barack Obama in the Oval Office, we the poorer Middle Class will survive, perchance, even thrive.

The two candidates’ tax plans would have sharply different distributional effects.  Senator McCain’s tax cuts would primarily benefit those with very high incomes, almost all of whom would receive large tax cuts that would, on average, raise their after-tax incomes by more than twice the average for all households. Many fewer households at the bottom of the income distribution would get tax cuts and those tax cuts would be small as a share of after-tax income.  In marked contrast, Senator Obama offers much larger tax breaks to low- and middle-income taxpayers and would increase taxes on high-income taxpayers.  The largest tax cuts, as a share of income, would go to those at the bottom of the income distribution . . .

The infrastructure [the supply of power and water, public transportation, telecommunications, roads and schools,] the luxuries that make life in America lovely will not exist without taxes.  The discreet dude, John Doe, who spoke of his stocks, bonds, and levees imposed on income could have come to the conclusion that if we hold on tightly to what we, as individuals have, our hands are not open and free to build a greater communal wealth.  The Oracle who resides in Nebraska understands this.

The “Sage of Omaha” thinks the strategy Barack Obama wishes to exercise is wise. The multi-billionaire investor states Barack Obama “is going to bring outstanding ideas” to the White House.  Warren Buffett worries that America, under John McCain might stay the course that has not served us well.  As the nation’s economy free falls into a downward spiral, Warren Buffett reasons.

“I think that the US has followed and is following policies which will cause the US dollar to weaken over a long period,” he said.

After voicing support for Obama, Buffett nonetheless noted the US economy had managed to do “awfully well” despite a depression, two world wars, and many financial crises.

“They say in the stock market … buy stock in a business that’s so good that an idiot can run it because sooner or later one will,” he added.

“Well, the United States is a little like that.  We can take a little mis-management from time to time,” Buffett said.

The Presidential candidate, McCain understands that Mister Buffett may muse of more than his personal pocketbook.  However, John McCain grieves not for one vote lost.  Senator McCain and his handlers trust in human nature.  Common people disregard the good sense of one who is unaffected by the financial crisis.

The Arizona Senator has faith; if he devotes his attention to everyday Americans, he can still win the presidency.  The people’s choice is a reflection of how the public feels about the economy. If John McCain can convince John Doe, the man who might be an Investor, and Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher, the self-described soon-to-be owner of a profitable small plumbing business, that Barack Obama, like Abraham Lincoln before him, is a Socialist, Senator McCain will be successful in his bid for the White House.  

Granted, if McCain become President, John Doe may not be provided for.  Jane, his spouse, and I are sure Senator McCain will not care for our needs, but then Commander-In-Chief aspirant and Arizona affluent, McCain does not want the vote of those who recognize the rich reaped greater treasures from the Bush redistribution of wealth plan.  Senator John McCain does not desire the vote of Obama supporters, such as billionaire Warren Buffett, who he cannot sway with slams of Socialism.  

John McCain’s only wish is to seize a commitment  from constituents who have not learned from history.  The abundantly affluent Arizona Senator desires to hold on to those voters who are apprehensive.   He seeks support from citizens who declare, as the Republican candidate does, the proposed tax plan of Presidential hopeful, Barack Obama, is as Abraham Lincoln’s redistribution of wealth strategy was, “Socialism”

References to the past and hopeful future . . .

The vet who did not vet



The Vet Who did Not Vet

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Some may wonder why a man as experienced as John McCain might have chosen a Vice Presidential candidate with so many skeletons in the closet.  Many muse; what might have possess this chap to do as he did.  Males among us know what women have wondered about.  Chaps will confess; “There is something about Sarah.”  

After the Vice Presidential debate a few fine fellows admitted, when sweet Sarah Palin winked, they sat up a little straighter.  New Republic Columnist, Rich Lowry wrote, “I’m sure I’m not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, “Hey, I think she just winked at me.” And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America.”  

Gents will attest to the power of a flirtatious female.   Some will confess; they swooned when sexy Sarah showed how sensational she could be.  John McCain might only state, he saw himself in the lovely lady.

The Arizona Senator, upon meeting Sarah Palin one time, knew, he did not need to vet her.  There was no need to scrutinize her record.  Any man can see what Sarah has to offer, particularly in the light of day, while under a sycamore tree.

The Republican Presidential aspirant saw all he needed too when he first met Sarah Palin in February, at the governors’ convention in Washington.  When they saw each other again, the afternoon before he selected her as his running mate, the man with twenty-six years in politics was more certain.   The second encounter was at his ranch in Sedona Arizona, on August 28, just four days before the Grand Old Party convention.  John, the suave soldier saw she has great gams.  This beauty queen’s skin and teeth glow brightly.  Her eyes . .  John was mesmerized.

McCain took Palin to his favorite coffee-drinking spot down by a creek and a sycamore tree. They talked for more than an hour, and, as Napoleon whispered to Josephine, “Voilà.”

One does not have to be a psychoanalyst to reckon that McCain was smitten. By no means am I suggesting anything untoward between McCain and his running mate. Palin is a governor, after all. She does have an executive résumé, if a thin one. And she’s a natural politician who connects with people.

But there can be no denying that McCain’s selection of her over others far more qualified — and his mind-boggling lack of attention to details that matter — suggests other factors at work. His judgment may have been clouded by . . . what?

Science provides clues. A study in Canada, published by a British journal in 2003, found that pretty women foil men’s ability to assess the future. “Discounting the future,” as the condition is called, means preferring immediate, lesser rewards to greater rewards in the future.

In the immediate, John was gratified.  A gorgeous woman wooed him and the throngs that John McCain needed to secure enthusiasm for his campaign.  Sarah sang Senator McCain’s praises.  She electrified crowds and coyly charmed the man who provided her a cherished place on the political stage.  There was chemistry between the two.

McCain spokesmen have said that he was attracted to Palin’s maverickness, that she reminded him of himself.

Recognizing oneself in a member of the opposite sex (or the same sex, as the case may be) is a powerful invitation to bonding. Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in the river, imagining it to be his deceased and beloved sister’s.

John McCain might have mistaken the image that sat before him  to be his beloved benefactor, the one and only who might praise him while she provided the long sought after women’s vote.  However, had the Arizona aspirant read the research he might have realized, women would not likely be swayed by feminine wiles.  

Daughters of Eve are not so easily enchanted by the presence of an attractive female.  For the fairer sex, emotional intoxication did not cause them to forget rewards that might be better reaped by delayed gratification, and more research, at least not when in the company of someone as sizzling as Sarah.

Famed feminist Gloria Steinem states, “This isn’t the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need.”  Kathleen Parker, a Conservative Columnist, also heralds the haste with which John McCain selected a woman.  Perhaps, more importantly, this female whose mystique has been as a life-long Republican, speaks of the waste.  Parker, who pens for the National Review, a  forum for the “Right,” posits “The Palin Problem.”

The staunchly traditional Journalist states, Sarah Palin is “out of her league.”  Ms Parker muses, “If at one time women were considered heretical for swimming upstream against feminist orthodoxy, they now face condemnation for swimming downstream – away from Sarah Palin.”  The proud Conservative continues to share her angst as she discusses the Palin paradigm.

To express reservations about her qualifications to be vice president – and possibly president – is to risk being labeled anti-woman.

Or, as I am guilty of charging her early critics, supporting only a certain kind of woman.  Some of the passionately feminist critics of Palin who attacked her personally deserved some of the backlash they received. But circumstances have changed since Palin was introduced as just a hockey mom with lipstick – what a difference a financial crisis makes – and a more complicated picture has emerged.

As we’ve seen and heard more from John McCain’s running mate, it is increasingly clear that Palin is a problem. Quick study or not, she doesn’t know enough about economics and foreign policy to make Americans comfortable with a President Palin should conditions warrant her promotion.

Yes, she recently met and turned several heads of state as the United Nations General Assembly convened in New York. She was gracious, charming and disarming. Men swooned. Pakistan’s president wanted to hug her. (Perhaps Osama bin Laden is dying to meet her?)

Kathleen Parker observes, as is substantiated in studies.  Men, such as John McCain are swayed by beauty.  They overlook the obvious; without abundant wisdom, knowledge of fiscal affairs and issues that affect those abroad, a President, or his partner, man or woman will not work well in the White House.

The sisterhood from either political Party understands, females want more than a figurehead.  One lass, in a prized position, does not appease all womankind.  The daughters of Eve envision a world where life for all women is more fair.  Ladies from the Left and Right do not wish to mingle or maneuver within the good old boy network.  Women want no closed set of connections.  The gentler gender accepts that if persons are to be truly equal, guile cannot be the ticket in.  Craftiness and sexual characteristics cannot count more than brains or the acumen built from competence and clarity.

Indeed, fellow females think Sarah Palin does not have the mettle to be Vice President, let alone perchance, Vice President.  When the ladies discuss the “looker” the perception is far from favorable.  Her physical credentials do not charm the females within the population.  Women may recognize Sarah is “hot.”  However, for forward thinkers less influenced by chemistry, women explain, experience, education, and ethics are essential qualities that many believe Sarah lacks.  

Perchance a veteran in women’s ways would have vetted the gorgeous Governor Palin.

Sexy Sources to Scrutinize . . .

Conservatives for Change



Conservatives For Change

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

They trust in the rights afforded by the United States Constitution.  Yet, Conservatives, committed Republicans, will vote for change.  Countless on the Right have openly endorsed Barack Obama, a Democrat for President.  Numerous established and esteemed dynasties remain steadfast and staunchly devoted to what are commonly thought to be traditional mores. Yet, persons within these same lineages  say aloud and in print the Democratic Obama Biden ticket will best represent them, their long held values, and the country they love.

CC Goldwater, granddaughter of the renowned Republican, Arizona Senator and a Presidential aspirant Barry Goldwater illustrates this veracity.

Ms Goldwater professes a profound connection to her past.  She treasures her heritage and has faith in the principles Paka, her granddad, the father of traditional, time-honored values the Republican Party holds dear. CC, who speaks for her relatives and herself, cherishes the creed  Paka avowed.  “We believe strongly in what our grandfather stood for: honesty, integrity, and personal freedom, free from political maneuvering and fear tactics.”  

However, the woman who penned her grandfather’s biography said, “I am still struck by certain ‘dyed in the wool’ Republicans who are on the fence this election, as it seems like a no-brainer to me.  Myself, along with my siblings and a few cousins, will not be supporting the Republican presidential candidates this year.” Faithful in the doctrine she learned at Paka Goldwater’s knee CC and her blood will cast a ballot for Democrat, Barack Obama.

Chris Buckley, the son of the famed William F. Buckley also reveres Republican ethics.  He respects his roots.  This is the reason he cannot commend Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin.  Christopher Buckley did place his confidence in the former prisoner-of-war McCain during the primary election season.  Yet, over time his fervor for the man he once called “friend” waned.

Late in October, the man who has upheld a Republican family ritual will do as he has not done.  In The Daily Beast, Chris Buckley did not boast, nor did he bemoan, In a treatise titled, “Sorry, Dad, I’m voting for Obama” the author wrote, “So, I wish him [Barack Obama] all the best. We are all in this together. Necessity is the mother of bipartisanship. And so, for the first time in my life, I’ll be pulling the Democratic lever in November. As the saying goes, God save the United States of America.”

For this statement, a tempest arose.  The National Review columnist, Chris Taylor Buckley, felt forced to offer his resignationfrom his position at the magazine his father founded.  The reason; the rants the periodical received, after he inscribed his choice to endorse Democratic Presidential hopeful Barack Obama,.  Many readers refused to further fund the publication.  More mused of the mutiny, the betrayal to the “standard-bearer for the fledgling conservative movement.” Chris Buckley, whose Dad was a Republican when the young Ronald Reagan was a registered Democrat, dared to declare as he has.  For some on the Right, this was and is unforgivable.

Most who were forever fond of the son, just as they had been of the father William F. Buckley, may not have read or were too red-faced with anger to comprehend, Chris Buckley is still the Conservative they loved.   He too states as many McCain Palin supporters might, “I am a small-government conservative who clings tenaciously and old-fashionedly to the idea that one ought to have balanced budgets. On abortion, gay marriage, et al, I’m libertarian. I believe with my sage and epigrammatic friend P.J. O’Rourke that a government big enough to give you everything you want is also big enough to take it all away.”  For the more than few fervent followers of the McCain Palin ticket, these sentiments matter not.  Blood and the Republican brood must be more loyal.  They cannot think for themselves or commit to change.

Christopher Taylor Buckley believes even his darling Dad, might not sanction a sentiment that avers blind faith to a Party or a person.  The younger Buckley presents a narrative, “Dear Pup once said to me sighfully after a right-winger who fancied himself a WFB protégé had said something transcendently and provocatively cretinous, “You know, I’ve spent my entire life time separating the Right from the kooks.”

Perchance, other renowned Republicans feel as Goldwater and Buckley do; Republican is not synonymous with “right.”  Reference, David Brooks in a New York Times editorial, Thinking about Obama, or even earlier in a January interview on Meet the Press.  Remember Colin Powell and his powerfully profound soliloquy on Sunday, October 19, 2008.  Again, on Meet the Press, a Republican offers a tale that tells of more than a moment where he or she has evaluated the man, Barack Obama, and his message.

Peruse and ponder thoughts George Will presents or the offering Hail Mary vs. Cool Barry, by Conservative Columnist Charles Krauthammer.  Might there be a hesitancy to support the Arizona Senator McCain?  Other Grand Old Party Obamacans acknowledge there is.  Prominent Republicans Line Up Behind Obama.  Governors William Weld and Arne Carlson, Ken Adelman, a prominent Conservative, expert on foreign policy matters are among the many who may have broken with family tradition, or as CC Goldwater observes; “We reject the constant intrusion into our personal lives, along with other crucial policy issues of the McCain/Palin ticket . . . I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most, and not the intolerance, and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years.”

Indeed, Ms Goldwater, shares family history that offers insight into what her grandfather, and grandmother intended to be interpreted as Conservative constructs.  “My grandfather (Paka) would never suggest denying a woman’s right to choose. My grandmother co-founded Planned Parenthood in Arizona in the 1930’s, a cause my grandfather supported. I’m not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation. I think he would feel that love and respect for ones privacy is what matters most and not the intolerance and poor judgment displayed by McCain over the years. Paka respected our civil liberties and passed on the message that that we should conduct our lives standing up for the basic freedoms we hold so dear.”

Perhaps Ms Goldwater understands as Chris Buckley and other Republicans do.  Family values and a deference for Constitutional rights are the found in Democratic platform.  Barack Obama and Joseph Biden embody the traditional mores more than the McCain Palin ticket might.

References for Republicans for Change . . .

Republican Rant; “Democrats Deregulate”



Attempted Citizen Arrest of Karl Rove

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Today, citizens of this country are confronted with a record realized under the Bush Administration.  Karl Rove, “The Architect” of the Bush campaign claims no responsibility for the cause or effect of his chief candidate’s actions.  Nor does he acknowledge that his Grand Old Party might be answerable for accounts receivable.  However, others, those common folks less connected to the current Administration might disagree.  In an ominous moment, on a San Francisco stage Americans were given the opportunity to look into the future and remember earlier days and dictums.  

In an address to the Mortgage Brokers Association citizens had an opportunity to hear Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and John McCain all at once, although only one of these fine fellows sat on the platform and professed his truth, all were present in the philosophies expressed.  The theme was one each has adopted.  “So the regulators in 2005 were the Republicans, and the deregulators, the anti-regulators, the let-them-do-anything-they-want crowd, were all Democrats, with all due respect,”

“The Architect” spoke and the moneyed audience, mesmerized by the magnificence of this individual who was able to change the dynamics, through deregulation, in a consumer-driven a nation, listened, except for the few who feared the past would indeed be prologue.

A few women attempted to perform a citizens’ arrest.  The well-dressed Janine Boneparth mounted the stage where Karl Rove sat, and strove to handcuff the political guru.  She told the boisterous and bold “Bush Brain” he had committed treason.  She intended to take him into custody.

Janine, an average American could not forget the loans, credit, payments, and profits all unregulated that adversely affected millions of lives.  On more than one occasion, she heard, as she did on this day; Karl Rove admits, a lack of oversight is, responsible for the economic crisis that evolved under the auspices of George W. Bush.  Yet, she marveled, the man, who some say, was the mind behind the Bush White House façade, accepts no quilt.  Karl Rove said, Democrats done this country in.

This person who many believe is the master of manipulation, does not place the onus for the fiscal demise on a majority Republican Congress, which governed for most of the last two-terms.  Nor does the personal chum of the President, George W. Bush receive any wrath.  Certainly, Rove concurs, as Senator John McCain says on the campaign stump, as George W. once did, the Grand Old Party President is not responsible for laws loosened for the financial industry.

Lest “the Architect” and Americans forget, when it comes to deregulation, Karl Rove, George W. Bush, and John McCain were and indeed are best friends.  In February 2008, Karl Rove announced that he had contributed $2300 to the then presumptive Republican presidential nominee, John McCain.

When asked of the donation, potential President McCain said he has “always respected Karl Rove as one of the smart great political minds I think in American politics,” The perhaps, soon-to-be Commander-In-chief McCain refused to condemn campaign tactics Mister Rove used to diminish and destroy candidate McCain in the 2000 South Carolina race.  Months ago, and likely now, Arizona Senator McCain proclaimed, “Nobody denies he’s [Karl Rove is] one of the smartest political minds in America.  I’d be glad to get his advice.  Perhaps, John McCain did seek the former Presidential Advisor Rove’s counsel

Americans are led to believe that apparently, all those years in the Oval Office did not soil the hands of the Bush Brain, the Texas oilman, or their accomplice in the Senate, John McCain.  While each endorsed deregulation for decades, in the present day, the three claim to have played no role in the process of oversight reduction.  

Countless among the common folk see through the veil that protects the current President, the potential Commander-In-Chief, and Karl Rove.  Citizens who chose to be more conscious and conscientious have acted on what they believe is truth for quite some time.  Karl Rove, away from the  safety and sanctuary of the White House, which protected him as Deputy Chief of Staff, met many a countryman or women who thought he must be placed behind bars for transgressions against the State and its people.  

Since August 2007, “The Architect” has not been a public servant, or an Advisor to the President; yet, the American people do not forget the adversarial influence the “Bush Brain” had on official policy.  Many, trust even as a political pundit, an analyst for Fox News, and writer for the Wall Street Journal, this man has clout.  Amongst the constituency, there is a belief that Karl Rove can and does unconstructively change the culture, the climate, and the country.  His rhetoric may reap lucrative rewards; nonetheless, numerous have faith the man is a crook.  Hence, common folks try to take “Turd Blossom” into custody.  These civilians must not yet have heard the message; the Democrats did the deeds that cause such grave calamities.

On March 9, Rove gave a speech — the fee was a reported $40,000 — at the University of Iowa.  What was described as a hostile crowd greeted his remarks, often interrupting with shouted questions.  Replied Rove:

You got a chance to ask your questions later and make your stupid statements.  Let me make mine.

Two people tried to make a citizens’ arrest of Rove for his crimes as a member of the Bush administration.  At one point, according to CNN, someone in the audience yelled, “Can we have our $40,000 back?”  To which the man sometimes known as “Bush’s Brain,” replied, “No you can’t.”

No one can recover funds from the man or men who some say stole our nation’s sanity, although many have tried.  Nor can they apprehend “The Architect” of America’s demise.  Secret Service surrounds George W. Bush and John Sidney McCain.  For now, there is no chance these men will be brought down.

Any who try to arrest the more accessible White House advisor will likely be greeted with a Rovian reprisal.  A denial, a declaration such as ‘the Democrats done us in,’ or a dig to the abdomen might accompany an attempt to detain the infamous “Bush Brain.”

Janine Boneparth learned this lesson on October 21, 2008, at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s annual convention.  Karl Rove elbowed Boneparth away.  She was then escorted off the stage.  Karl Rove acted as though nothing occurred.  He continued to deliver his message and debate former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

The true demons, Karl Rove declared are the Democrats. While the Progressives worked to reinstate some sense of regulation, often their efforts were obstructed.  The Conservatives intent on a free market, a for profit society, thwarted attempts to reform a system so flawed as to cause century’s old financial institutions to crumble.  Americans, or Karl Rove, need only look at the record of the current leader of the Republican Party to affirm the veracity of what was and is.  An assessment may help Misters Rove, Bush, and McCain to remember; the Republicans opted for deregulation

“I Don’t Think Anyone Who Wants To Increase The Burden Of Government Regulation And Higher Taxes Has Any Real Understanding Of Economics.” During a McCain Town Hall in Inez, Kentucky, John McCain said, “When we come out of this recession and we will because I believe that the fundamentals of our economy are good … Sen. Clinton [a Democrat] wants the government to make the decisions for you on your health care, I want the families to make the decisions on their health care. I don’t think anyone who wants to increase the burden of government regulation and higher taxes has any real understanding of economics and the economy and what is needed in order to ensure the future of this country.” [McCain Town Hall in Inez, Kentucky, ]

The implication or allegation is the Democrats will do America wrong again, just as they have done in the world according to Karl.  Mister Rove, Senator McCain, persons who support Grand Old Party, and surely the President proclaim Progressives posit restraint on a free enterprise system.  Contrary to the recent claims of Karl Rove that Democrats deregulate, John McCain states, Liberals will lead this country down the path of bigger government.  At least that was what Senator McCain swore to then before the bailout.

During this town hall meeting, Senator McCain expressed his empathy.  He recognized Americans were hurting.  He spoke of how hard it is for the average Joe or Jane to survive in  times such as these.  Damn those Democrats.  

As the Presidential aspirant assessed the economic crisis, he surmised that he had a solution, much as George W. Bush did, and the current President’s Brain, Karl Rove did and does.

Senator McCain stated his deep conviction, as he had months earlier, before he voted for a mega-billion dollar government bailout for big-businesses.  Back in the day, before it was unpopular to be a Republican or deregulator  John McCain avowed.

“Let’s Reduce Regulation.” While speaking about the economy in St. Louis, Missouri, John McCain said, “I’m asked all the time are we in a recession or not in a recession. And I don’t know the answer to that because it’s kind of a technical term . . .I do not believe we should raise your taxes. I think it would be the worst thing we could do. And that means to me I think the tax cuts need to be made permanent. When you’ve got a bad economy, the worst thing you can do is increase people’s tax burden. Let’s reduce it. Let’s reduce regulation.”  . . .

“We Need To Return To The Reagan Years . . . We Need Less Regulation.” As shown on PBS’s “Washington Week,” John McCain said, “We need to return to the Reagan years. We need to have fiscal conservatism. We need less government. We need less regulation. We need to end of spending spree which has eroded our base of Republican support.”

The words reverberated. The sentiments were consistent with those oft affirmed by Republicans, Chief executive Bush, and the guru, Karl Rove.  Were is the operative word.  When Americans were led to believe freer markets would benefit them, the Rove and McCain message was Democrats were wrong to impose regulations.  Now that the population has realized a harsh reality, profits do not trickle down the tables have turned.  Rove, his friend George W., and fellow Republicans such as Senator McCain revel in regulation.   Witness the recent vote for a $700 Billion dollar rescue plan.  President Bush, Republican appointees such as Treasury Secretary Paulson, and of course, John McCain endorse more government and greater restrictions.  

Blame the Democrats for what you have done also works for the Grand Old Party when wizardry is necessary.  Perchance this theory explains the recent vote for a “bailout.” In an interview with Mike Wallace, John McCain elucidates.  The senior Senator from Arizona helps Americans to understand, the constructs of deregulation, and Socialism.  The Presidential aspirant envisions no dichotomy, or does he?

McCain: So is one of the tenets of socialism redistribution of the wealth? Not just socialism – a lot of other liberal and left wing philosophies – redistribution of the wealth? I don’t believe in it. I believe in wealth creation by Joe the Plumber.

Wallace: But, Senator, you voted for the $700 billion bailout that’s being used partially to nationalize American banks. Isn’t that socialism?

McCain: That is reacting to a crisis that’s due to greed and excess in Washington.

And what this administration is doing wrong, and what Paulson is doing wrong, is not going out and buying up home loan mortgages, home mortgages, and giving people new mortgages at the new value of their home so they can stay in their home.

They’re bailing out the banks. They’re bailing out these institutions.

Wallace: But you voted for that.

McCain: Of course. It was a package that had to be enacted because the economy was about to go into the tank. . . .

But the point is that, of course, when a – when a – that’s the reason why we have governments, to help those who need help, who can’t help themselves, and when time of crisis to step in and do what’s necessary to preserve the lives and futures of innocent people.

Well-done Senator McCain.  The prose of the now “populace” political pundit and the potential President reveal a rabid reason for citizens unrest, or desire to arrest the former Bush “advisor.”  

As, “The Architect” perchance crafts another campaign.  Another Presidential aspirant is directed to “deregulate” as Rove reveals Republicans do or do not.  After a careful assessment of the facts, folly, and flippant reality Karl Rove and John McCain present, Americans might muse as Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell did. Perhaps we are as Dorothy in the Land of Oz.  The man behind the curtain, and the gent who stood in front of it for oh so many years, join John McCain as he now leads in the pledge.

“Less Government, Lower Taxes, Less Regulation, Safer America Is What I Can Give America . . . I can make a case that a less government, lower taxes, less regulation, safer America is what I can give America. But I don’t underestimate the size of the challenge” . . . or the vastness of the veils needed to disguise the decree of deregulation.

Mister Rove was “Right.”  Democrats [sic] such as John McCain [?] have foisted a lack of directives and direction onto Americans.  Some may say “G-d bless America.”  As the Presidential Election nears, citizens might consider, if attempts to arrest Karl Rove or restrain John McCain fail, then “Lord help America. The Grand Old Party will have  its way with us once again.  

References for Republican Regulations and Democrats Deregulation . . .

Dear Red States



Dear Red States

copyright © 2008 Betsy L. Angert.  BeThink.org

Mail entered my inbox.  No postage was necessary for this delivery.  The carrier was not a pigeon or the United States Postal Service.  The sender made use of the Internet.  Jayne hoped for a speedier means to share what brought her such smiles.  The enclosure began with an enthusiastic note from my friend.  Jayne wrote of the glee she felt after she read “Dear Red States.”  Jayne was joyous.  Who might have inscribed such a communiqué, she thought.  Excited, as she studied the information offered in the script, Jayne was inspired to share the imaginative request for unity rather than investigate its origin.  The passage was quickly  forwarded to others, me included.  

Now, I share “Dear Red States” with you.

Dear reader, resident of a Stated dominated by Republicans, or those amongst  the Progressive population, you too may wish to pay particular attention to the text that has delighted many across America.  Please travel through this “link” or follow along the path of words that will lead you to the ultimate “Dear Red State” recitation[s].

The first “Dear Red States” letter may have appeared on Craig’s List in June 2005.  Other variations have emerged as sentiments evolve.  In 2008, as the nation is perhaps more divided or more desirous of togetherness rationalizations for secession and reasons to unite are revealed.  

Persons in the self-defined Red States may resent being but a fraction in a formidable county, one that is ostensibly “ruled” by a central government.  These strong individualists perhaps, do not realize the benefits they reap by being part of a Union.  People in the Blue States, may marvel a bit more when they consider what communities can produce when they recognize that each individual contributes to the greater good.  

For those in territories, which have expressed a want for independence, times may be tough if they choose to go it alone.  Those who populate the provinces which traditionally adopt Progressive policies, although more physically able to thrive autonomously would rather not.  Perchance a paradigm shift advances with awareness.

Please peruse what might be thought a parody, or a plea to the Conservative constituency in this country.  Ponder the satire that invites residents to consider the State of the Union.  Reflect on what might already be a reality, the statistics may offer a truth.  Contemplate what could be a nation divided.  Review the rhetoric.  Reflect.  Revise the language.  Rewrite the exposition and expand the references.  Share the epistle with friends and family.  Smile, sigh, express your sensibilities, and hopefully enjoy the essay titled, “Dear Red States.”


Dear Red States . . .

We’ve decided we’re leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we’re taking the other Blue States with us.  In case you aren’t aware, that includes Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, New York, and all of the Northeastern states. After this election, we’ll be adding Colorado, and New Mexico.  We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, especially to the people of our new country – Nuevo California.

To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states; we get stem cell research, the best beaches, and the best ski resorts. We get Elliot Spitzer; you get Ken Lay.  We get the Statue of Liberty; you get Dollywood. We get Intel and Microsoft; you get WorldCom. We get Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Cal Tech, MIT and Columbia; you get Ole’ Miss. We get 85 percent of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs; you get Alabama. We get two-thirds of the tax revenue; you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22 percent lower than that of the Christian Coalition, we get a bunch of happy families and you get a bunch of under-educated single moms.

Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we’ll need all of our citizens back from Iraq at once.

If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They apparently have kids they’re willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don’t mind if you don’t televise their kid’s caskets coming home.  We do wish you success in Iraq and hope that those Weapons of Mass Destruction turn up for you, but we’re not willing to spend any more of our money in Bush’s Quagmire. ??

With the Blue States, we will control 80 percent of the country’s fresh water, 90 percent of pineapple and lettuce, 92 percent of the nation’s fresh fruit, 97 percent of America’s quality wines (you can serve French wines at your state dinners), 90 percent of all cheese, 90 percent of the high tech industry, most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, and all the Ivy League and Seven Sister schools.  We also get New England, the Great Lakes, and Yosemite, thank you very much.

In the Red States, you will have to cope with 88 percent of all obese Americans and their projected health care costs, 92 percent of all U.S. mosquitoes, 100 percent of tornadoes, 94 percent of hurricanes, 99 percent of Southern Baptists, virtually 100 percent of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, and Clemson.

Additionally, in the Red States, 38 percent actually believe Jonah was swallowed by a whale; 62 percent believe life is sacred unless it involves the death penalty or gun ownership; 44 percent claim that evolution is only a theory; 53 percent insist that Saddam Hussein was involved in 9/11; and 61 percent of you crazy bastards believe you have higher moral standards than those of us on the left.

By the way, we’re taking all the good pot, too. You get that dirt weed from Mexico and Kansas ditches.

Peace out,

The Blue States

References for the read . . .

America at a crossroad




To view the original art, please travel to America at a crossroad

copyright © 2008.  Andrew Wahl.  Off The Wahl Perspective.

Just thirteen days until United States citizens face “The Choice” (Archive 0836), (though early ballots are already in the mail). Have you made yours?

Back in seven . . .

Andrew

toon@offthewahl.com