Friday, June 18, 2010

Whatever happened to Jim Webb?

by Rich Miles

You know, of all the recently-elected liberal or progressive senators, the one who appeared to have the most solid liberal credentials and the most likely to raise some serious leftie hell in the Senate is Jim Webb of Virginia.

While he was a candidate, ol' Jim in essence told the good ol' boys to go fuck themselves, and made it clear that he was going to be his own man and big-biz interests could just screw off, thank you very much.

But since he's been elected? Not so much.

THe only times I've heard of ol' Jim, who does not represent my state, and therefore is not top of mind for me all the time, have been when he's voted for something extremely RIGHT-wing. Like yesterday.

Ol' Jim got not one but TWO chances to be a traitor to his progressive roots yesterday, and by golly, don't you know he took BOTH of them?

First, the vote was taken for the Jobs bill, already passed in the House, and on the spurious grounds of "deficit reduction", the Senate voted it down, including our trusty Mr. Webb. The final tally was 52-45, with every single slimebag anti-American family repug joined by about a dozen supposedly liberal Democrats, including our boy Jimbo.

Then, so as to make it a full day of work, they voted on an amendment introduced by one of the few remaining REAL progressives, independent Bernie Sanders. Here's what ol' Bernie's pretty straightforward amendment allowed: to "eliminate big oil and gas company tax loopholes, and to use the resulting increase in revenues to reduce the deficit and to invest in energy efficiency and conservation." See? Deficit reduction, just like the rationale for not passing the unemployment bill.

But deficit reduction only matters when it can come out of the pockets of ordinary Americans, not corporate "people".

Remember this, America!!! Remember how we were betrayed even by some of those who we had every reason to expect to be our champions, like Jim Webb.

In the interest of accuracy, the two bills mentioned above were NOT literally voted on on the same day. It was within TWO days, not that that really makes any difference to the traitorous thesis of this article.

But see, as so many have been saying for so long, Democrats don't need the repugs to defeat them, when they do such a good job on themselves. If Democrats can't be counted on to be at least somewhere left of the middle of almost every issue, then where is our beloved two-party system left?

In closing, let me mention that John Kerry voted against the Big Oil amendment, and Russ Feingold voted against the Jobs Bill.

Where o where are our liberal champions? If there are any anymore.

I'm getting old, and I'm not sure I can figger this stuff out any more. Are people really this conservative across the board? Do Americans really want their elected reps to vote this way?

Or are our elected reps not even taking our wishes into consideration before they vote, just like always?

Storm the Bastille. I'm tellin' ya, that's what it's eventually gonna come to.

And I'm not even going to MENTION What's-his-name Barton's apology to BP. That one made me a little ashamed to be an American.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Definition of egregious

by Rich Miles

The New York Times today has an editorial that should make your blood boil. It did mine.

I just don't understand the people who not only are able to get away with this, but who actually believe that it's right and proper to do so - who actually believe they are more entitled to these things than the overwhelming majority of the rest of us.

Here's the kicker. Read the whole thing:

"Nonemergency provisions in the (unemployment insurance extension) bill do need to be paid for, including renewal of several generally useful business tax breaks, like the research-and-development tax credit, totaling $32 billion over 10 years. To help cover those costs, Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate started out with the sound idea to close an egregious tax loophole that allows wealthy fund managers at private equity firms and other investment partnerships to pay a top tax rate of just 15 percent on much of their earnings — versus a top rate of 35 percent for all other higher-income Americans.

Here's my perfectly obvious question: Why do the wealthy get the tax breaks? They've got lots of money. That's why they're known as, you know, the wealthy. They've got a lot of money left over AFTER they pay taxes. Usually more after taxes than the overwhelming majority of us will ever see BEFORE taxes are paid.

So when is this going to stop?

How about a little Bastille-storming? Or the 21st-century equivalent thereof?

Friday, June 11, 2010

A New Political Party

by "Not Sure Who Wrote This"

Got this in my email today, and thought it was marginally clever. I don't say I agree 100% with everything said here, but it seems that a good deal of it needs to be said one way or the other. See what you think:

*A New Political Party.*

*Not Democrat, Not Republican, Not Independent, and most definitely not Tea.*

*It's called the “PISSED OFF PARTY" (or POP).*

*This party is dedicated to vote every incumbent out of office in the next elections.*

*If you're Democrat, vote Democrat. Just don't vote for the incumbent.*

*If you're Republican, vote Republican. Just don't vote for the incumbent.*

*We need to send a message to all politicians, that we're tired of their B.S.*

*If the country votes out all the incumbents, the new incoming politicians will get the message..*

*It's pretty simple. Nobody needs to change parties and let’s face it, there's plenty of blame to spread around.*

*A few good politicians will lose their job but they probably have better retirement and insurance than 95% of the American public.*

*You've had to struggle for the last 5 years. Some of you have lost your job and may be working in some other sector just to feed your family.*

*I guarantee you, none of them will suffer like this country has.*

*If you like what's going on and think this is a bad idea, delete this.*

*But if you're fed up and think this is a good idea, then pass this E-mail on.*

*If you really think this has legs, then a website and a blog could help get the word out.*

*To All 535 voting members of the US Congress: it is now official: you are ALL corrupt morons.*

Here's how we know:

*a.. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.*

*b. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.*

*c.. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.*

*d.. The War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to "the poor" and they only want more.*

*e.. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.*

*f.. Freddie Mac was established in 1970. You have had 39 years to get it right and it is broke.*

*g.. The Department of Energy was created in 1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It has ballooned to 16,000 employees with a budget of $24 billion a year and we import more oil than ever before. You had 32 years to get it right and it is an abysmal failure.*

*You have FAILED in every "government service" you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.*



*Folks, keep this circulating.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010


by Rich Miles

You wanna know something? My constitutional rights are being violated. Regularly and egregiously.

Because I am not represented in the US Congress. Not in either House. Nope. My beliefs and wishes are not represented. There are three guys who nominally represent my district - Brett Guthrie, Mitch McConnell, and Jim Bunning. But they don't represent ME.

Because they are idiots, who espouse policies and governmental actions that are abhorrent to me. They are not merely frequently in disagreement with me - they are CONSTANTLY in disagreement with me. I don't remember any of these three guys, or their predecessors, ever doing anything I wanted them to do. It's pretty much 100% when one considers matters of any controversy whatever.

Now, I do understand the concept of democracy - the "majority rules" ideal, and I know that by the very definition of their respective and collective elections, I am in the minority in my congressional district. But geez, don't I EVER get to have a congressional representative who does what *I* think is right?

I can't wait till this November. Maybe a Democrat will slip through the lines, and I'll be at least partly represented. I mean hey, a boy can dream, can't he?

Naaah. This IS Kentucky, after all - the state that competes with Mississippi and Arkansas for the bottom rung of the American economy and educational excellence. I mean, it isn't impossible, but it seems damned unlikely based on history.

So I'll just go on not being represented in Congress. There are several million others like me, after all. And hey, who knows? We could elect a Democrat SOME day. Some how. Can't we?

I mean, can't we?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Why I am a Democrat

by Rich Miles

Way back in the old days, when I was about 18 years old or so, and Richard Nixon was you'll pardon the expression president, I learned all I needed to know about my personal politics by watching Nixon and his compadres in action on national television. I learned that, no matter what else you may be able to say about a Republican, the fact remains that they are mean-spirited, selfish, hateful, and just altogether not nice people. And that they are so un-self-aware that they don't even know it.

And I learned that I didn't want to be like them, and that the only logical way to remain an American but NOT be like them - was to become a Democrat. And so I did.

But in all those years, I tried repeatedly, in essays like this, in letters to the editor and in other fora, to come to a statement of WHY I believe as I do, and I always failed - most often I degenerated into babbling, incoherent fury at the assholes, and couldn't make it really clear what I felt. Sometimes I got partway there but couldn't find the words to really nail it. Sometimes I didn't even get that far.

But I write today because someone has found the words for me. Steve M. has this over at No More Mister Nice Blog:

I suppose it's futile to hope for this, but the left response to the Sestak story should be: Republicans, how dare you. Amid job losses, oil spills, terrorist attacks, and all the other problems we have, you want to bring down a government now, over this? Talk about the criminalization of politics.

But then, Republicans simply don't care about what happens to America. They'd burn America to the ground if it meant they'd rule over the ashes.

I thank Steve immensely for breaking my years of inarticulation. And I rather suspect I'll use this quote again. Accredited, I'm sure.

THAT'S what I really meant to say

When I was about 20 years old, I discovered what I needed to know to solidify my political leanings for (so far) the rest of my life. I discovered that, whatever else one might say about Republicans, they are mean-spirited, lacking in humanity, hateful, and selfish. And don't even know it.

But ever since then, I've been trying to figure out how to say this about Repugs, and how to say in clear, concise terms what it is that so disgusted me about Republicans in general.

And today, after all that searching, and word juggling for all those years (no I will NOT tell you how many), I believe I've found it. Someone else said it, I won't try to claim it as my own, but the following little snippet says what I've meant to say, AS I meant to say it. It's the culmination of a lifetime's search, and Steve M. stated it for me. Here it is: