Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

Let’s Look at the Facts

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Who should we really fear, ISIS or the NRA? constitution2

Everyone believes ISIS is a threat to democracy, religious freedoms, and human rights. While I concur with these beliefs, I worry far more about domestic terrorists than foreign ones. Many radicalized individuals infiltrate our country, but they are not the only people who frighten me. It is the NRA and their uncompromising stand on gun safety and regulation that I worry most about.

Fact: America is losing more than 30,000 people each year to gun violence, over 90 people a day.

The loudest argument for no gun regulation is the Second Amendment. In its entirety, the Second Amendment reads:

“A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

The problem with this argument is that many of those carrying guns are not doing it as a well-organized militia. In addition, our Founders did not carry, nor envision, AK-47 assault rifles for an individual’s self-protection. Lastly, the Declaration of Independence gives all Americans the “inalienable Rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” I do not feel safer, freer, or happier when I see legislators’ voting to allow guns in grocery stores, family restaurants, college campuses, and mental institutions. Why is it okay to argue for the Second Amendment and ignore the Declaration of Independence?

Why Trickle-down economics doesn’t work?

Antiquated, unworkable policies like Trickle-down economics will send our economy into a downward spiral while funneling more money to the top 1%.

Fact: Trickle-down economics doesn’t work because cutting taxes on the rich doesn’t lead to job creation or economic growth.

Trickle-down economics – didn’t work under Reagan, didn’t work under George W. Bush, and won’t work now. Why? Simple math and logic tell us that millionaires and billionaires buy what they want. Therefore, the economy isn’t stimulated when they get more tax breaks or income. In addition, they choose to shelter the extra funds in foreign tax havens rather than use the money to create more jobs or raise workers’ wages.
Fact: The economy is stimulated and jobs are created when people spend money.
Fact: Minimum wage or low income workers when given a raise will spend it.

Low income workers buy products, help create jobs, and pay taxes. To stimulate our economy, raise the minimum wage; don’t provide tax breaks.

As our infrastructure continues to crumble, why isn’t Congress funding repairs?

Our roads and bridges carry millions of commuters each day, yet many drive in dangerous conditions – potholes and crumbling bridges, due to a lack of maintenance, are becoming more numerous daily.

Fact: In 2013, the Associated Press analysis of 607,380 bridges showed that 65,605 were classified as “structurally deficient” and 20,808 as “fracture critical.” This report deserves attention from our leaders in Congress.

With gas prices below $2.00 a gallon, it is time to raise the gas tax so there is dedicated funding to address this critical issue facing America and American businesses. If workers can’t get to work, businesses suffer, the economy suffers, and individuals suffer.

Fact: Gas prices are lower than they have been in 20 years.

Both Republicans and Democrats speak out for the need to raise the gas tax, yet nothing has been brought to Congress officially addressing this issue. Citizens need to get involved by calling or emailing their congressional leaders, voicing their concern about the disrepair of our roads, and encouraging action on their part.

Why do so many deny global warming?

Big oil lawmakers, alongside many corporations, are blocking progress in the fight against global warming. As glaciers continue to melt, extreme weather cycles batter the nation, from droughts to floods to huge snowstorms; our children’s future is in danger.
Fact: 97% of climate scientists agree that global warming is real and it is man-made.
Fact: Fifteen of the 16 hottest years on record have happened this century.

Our country, along with the world, must lower our carbon footprint with clean, sustainable energy solutions. Both wind and solar sources are developing and expanding globally, but the U.S. and China must lead the way.

Renewable energy is clean, affordable, domestic, and basically unlimited. Because it produces no emissions, it results in cleaner air and water. Additionally, it creates jobs and revenue in local communities, as well as strengthening our national security.

Even though prices are higher than that of fossil fuels, the advantages are undeniable. And as prices continue to drop, it is predicted that in the next decade, clean energy and fossil fuel prices will be comparable.

Republican Governors Questionable Behavior

Friday, October 10th, 2014

vote2While some Republican governors’ behavior is criminal, others are morally and ethically wrong. Below are some of the choices made by our brilliant elected officials…

Hardworking California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger not only impregnated his wife with their fourth child, but also had an affair with his maid, Mildred Baena, and impregnated her.

In June 2009, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford simply disappeared for six days. A bewildered spokesman said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. But what he did was fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina to be with his mistress, Maria Belén Chapur. He elected to abandon his position without notice or communication with his office, for almost a week. Apparently some voters don’t think extramarital affairs are that bad. After his term as Governor ended, the voters chose to elect him to Congress to serve SC’s first district. What message are they sending by electing him again?

During the 2012 election cycle, Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett bragged about implementing a new voter ID law that would ensure Mitt Romney was elected president. Since then, he has done nothing to help PA’s economy, the law was overturned by a federal court, and Romney did not win the Presidency.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, who has been mired in corruption associated with his tenure as CEO of Columbia/HCA, cut education funding and a high speed rail project. He also publicly denied global warming and the impact it will have on his state. In spite of his unpopularity, he vowed to spend $100 million to hold onto his job…makes you question his motives?

Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan pushed through a “right to work” law in his union-dominated state and enacted a tough abortion bill – both laws passed in a lame-duck session in late 2012. I wonder: do laws that can only pass in a lame duck session really serve the people who elected them?

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, ruled with conservative ideology that led to an unpopular law restricting collective bargaining rights for public workers. The restrictive law was subsequently overturned by Ohio voters.

In 2014, a number of Republican Governors faced problems

Governor Chris Christi’s “Bridgegate” involved the closure of the George Washington Bridge to get back at a political opponent. While this scandal hasn’t been directly linked to him…it makes one question how and why it happened under his rule.

Just this month, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, was found guilty of 11 counts of bribery, fraud and corruption; his wife Maureen, guilty on eight counts. Convicted of accepting lavish gifts from businessman Johnnie Williams for political favors including Williams paying for their daughter’s wedding, going on shopping sprees together and borrowing his Aston Martin “James Bond car” for vacations.

While the GOP might love Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s actions against labor and unions, not everyone agrees. He is marred by prosecutor investigations for illegally coordinating with conservative groups, special interest groups and a campaign committee. Charges were brought against a major campaign donor, one of his appointees and three of Walker’s close aides were indicted on felony embezzlement charges.

In August, Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted for one count of abuse of official capacity and one count for coercion of a public official. Perry, both ignorant and arrogant, when asked “what his charges were?” answered his question, with a question: “bribery?” Afterwards, he created t-shirts with his mug shot. Are these responses presidential?

Democrats aren’t saints either

Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy had a prolific and brilliant career. He was on the path to the presidency. But, when he was involved in the car accident and drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne, he chose to leave the scene of the accident, and not report it until the next day.

In 1987, Gary Hart was the frontrunner to win the democratic nomination for president. Unfortunately, when his extramarital affair with model Donna Rice surfaced, that goal was unachievable.

John Edwards had dreams of being president, but poor judgment and sexual indiscretions crushed that ambition. Edwards, not only had an affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter, as his wife was dying of cancer, but he fathered a child with her. Later, in an attempt to cover up an extramarital affair following his 2008 campaign, a North Carolina grand jury indicted Edwards in 2011 on six felony charges of violating multiple federal campaign contribution laws. Edwards admitted the affair, was found not guilty on one count, and the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining five charges.

Bill Clinton had his affair with Monica Lewinsky and Congressman Anthony Weiner texted unwanted photos of “his wiener” to multiple women.

New York’s Eliot Spitzer had at least seven liaisons with prostitutes over a six-month period. Investigators estimated Spitzer paid up to $80,000 for prostitutes over a period of several years, while serving as both attorney general and governor.

Maybe it’s time to stop voting for incumbents. Maybe it’s time to use a moral compass rather than a high-dollar portfolio to decide who we elect to office.

Why I’m no longer a Republican

Friday, June 13th, 2014

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In 1988 when I voted for George H. W. Bush for president, there was nothing unusual about it. From the time I turned 21, I had always voted Republican. But, after he broke his promise not to raise taxes and the country was in the midst of a recession, I reconsidered my position in 1992.

As Bush floundered, the brilliant and charismatic campaign and message of William Jefferson Clinton hit the scene and I voted for my first Democrat.

During the next eight years, I watched how President Clinton oversaw the longest peacetime economic expansion in our history; how the nation enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in decades; how the home ownership rate grew to the highest it’s ever been in the country’s history; how he improved economic equality that led to a strong economy and a surplus federal budget. Though his tenure was plagued with scandals and impeachment, it is important to remember, he was acquitted of all charges.

In 1996, I still didn’t consider myself a Democrat, even though I voted to reelect Clinton. I was an Independent who voted for the best person. But, when the Republican Party nominated George W. Bush in 2000…I began to think of myself as a Democrat.

Living in Texas, I saw Bush’s policies and ignorance first hand. I could foresee many problems the country would face if he was elected and, unfortunately, he didn’t prove me wrong. Against strong counsel from his own financial advisors, he cut taxes while starting two wars; something no other president had ever done. These decisions began the immeasurable damage to our country that would take decades to recover from.

He took a substantial surplus, and turned it into a huge deficit; he changed America’s standing in the world, by trying to force his views on other cultures; he chose to invade Iraq first, rather than Afghanistan, allowing Osama bin Laden to continue his reign of terrorism for years; he destabilized the Middle East which led to more insurgents. Bush and Cheney did not listen to Americans or our Allies and millions of lives were lost.

As the neocons continually promote just one more war to spread democracy, I believe we should fix America’s democracy first before we try to change the cultures of other countries to mirror our own.

Near the end of Bush’s disastrous two-term Presidency, it was an easy decision for me to vote for Obama over McCain. But, it was the creation of the Tea Party facet of the Republican Party in 2010 that turned me into a loyal Democrat, rather than an Independent. I don’t feel I abandoned the Republican Party but, I do feel the Republican Party abandoned me. Their emerging views on government, religion, women’s rights, workers’ rights, income inequality, violence against women, equal pay for women, minorities’ voting rights, made me move away from these radical ideologues as quickly as possible.

In 2014, the Republican Party is now split between the old GOP idealists and the new GOP obstructionists; between those who know their message is losing voters and want to change it and, those who would rather suppress and buy the vote, than change the message. The GOP no longer stands for Grand Old Party, but for Greedy Old Plutocrats.

Democrats must rally their base. There are many smart and educated Republicans who believe their Party’s lies, support their Party’s positions and who will come out to vote Republican at any cost. In America that is their prerogative. But, it is up to the rest of us to make sure these extremists are defeated in 2014, in 2016 and beyond. It is critical to this country’s future, maybe more than any other election in our history that you vote in November. Choosing not to vote because you think your vote doesn’t matter is just plain wrong. I worry that if people do not stand up for what they believe in, and vote, then our future right to vote may vanish.

I support the Democratic message because I’m for job creation, rather than obstructionism. I support healthcare for all, rather than repealing the ACA with no alternative plan. I think we should keep the safety net for those who need it and have paid into it all their lives. I support Social Security, and believe the system could be solvent for years if the income cap was removed and people paid into the system for every pay check they received. And unlike many Republican Governors, I also support Medicaid expansion which saves lives, adds billions in federal funds, and creates jobs.

I’m for keeping America safe and strong, but not for sending Americans into harm’s way when it isn’t necessary. I’m for helping veterans when they return from serving our country, rather than cutting their benefits. I’m for lowering Congressional pay and perks, so that elected officials’ jobs aren’t about becoming millionaires, but rather are about their responsibility to serve their constituents and their country.

I believe in food stamps for the hungry, but not subsidies to big agricultural firms. I believe in healthy school lunches for our children, but not Republican supported junk food lobbyists. I believe in putting people to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and bridges, rather than blocking the vote on job development, and asking “where are the jobs?” I believe in energy independence, but not at a cost to our society and way of life. I believe we should do something about man-made climate change, not deny it exists. I believe we should leave America, and the planet, a better place for my kids and my grandkids, rather than a worse place.

I’m for easy to vote elections, rather than designing restrictions that make it harder for minorities, the poor and the elderly to vote. I’m for term limits for all elected officials, rather than lifetime politicians. In other words, I’m for democracy…a democracy that is quickly diminishing under the current Republican leadership.

War…The Cry of the Republicans

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

elephantWhether it is Iraq, women, the poor, the elderly, college students, healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), public education, the post office, hardworking Americans or voters…Republicans are shouting for war. Unlike our forefathers, they are not fighting for democracy and equal rights, but rather for a plutocracy.

Four decades after Roe v Wade was decided, the Republicans continue to argue against women’s rights to control their own bodies. The party advocates against women having abortions under any circumstance, but don’t want to provide any assistance to help raise the children. They want to disallow coverage of birth control by insurance companies under the ACA, while allowing them to cover the cost of Viagra.

In addition, Republican governors in 20 states refused billions of dollars from the federal government, preventing millions of eligible people from receiving healthcare, while Congress and state officials enjoy premium healthcare benefits at taxpayers’ expense.

On another front, they fight to defeat any jobs bills that would help lower unemployment, but vote against extending unemployment benefits, school lunch programs and food stamps leaving the hungry without basic nutritional needs.

Republicans are constantly talking about the “takers” and the “makers” by pointing to people on Social Security and Medicare (both of which were paid into by recipients). In reality, congressional members are the “takers”…not the elderly, disabled, veterans or hardworking Americans. With salaries beginning at $174,000, this Congress chooses vacations over work. Even when in session, they spend taxpayer dollars trying to repeal the ACA more than 50 times, rename 60 post offices, and look for nonexistent scandals.

They continue to attack the basic right of everyone to vote. Rather than helping insure this right, they are passing state laws aimed at discriminating against students, the elderly, the poor, women and minorities. Republican state legislators’ have slashed the number of early voting days and hours creating reductions that include nights and weekends. The reduced time directly affects working class Americans and infringes on their ability to vote. In addition, many are requiring special photo IDs to combat nonexistent fraud. This law is the real voter fraud, and is being challenged in court as unconstitutional.

The Republican war on minorities, especially African American males, is evidenced in our prison system. After privatizing a number of the prisons, the population of minorities incarcerated for minor crimes has skyrocketed. Increases in prisoners multiplied by the tax dollars given per inmate equals a substantial profit for those people who invested in the prison system. Privatization of our jails is not aimed at justice or rehabilitation, but revenue.

In addition to the jails, the Republicans are trying to bankrupt the U.S. Postal Service, which was a standalone, profitable government entity, by taking unprecedented funds from it. They want to privatize it so that postal rates and delivery are no longer for the people, but by and for the greedy.

The education budget is another combat zone. From Pell Grants to research and development dollars, Republicans think appropriating some of the allocated money to for-profit charter schools, that can hand-pick the students they want, is how taxpayer money should be spent.

As they wage war to cut spending, the cutbacks disproportionately affect the poor, middle class and small businesses, while giving enormous tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and big corporations. The Ryan Budgets of 2012, 2013 and 2014 trim only from safety net programs, but provide large funds for oil and gas subsidies, farm subsidies to the biggest agricultural corporations and insane amounts of money for defense. They continue the battle cry for war…in Syria, Iran, Ukraine…who knows what land will be next.

Republicans continue to diminish our rights and ensure that average Americans’ freedoms aren’t there. When you stand up and sing The Star Spangled Banner words, “Oh, say does that star-spangle banner yet wave, O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?” The answer is no, it doesn’t. It waves over the land of the impoverished and the home of the wealthy.

Why do people vote against their own best interest?

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

vote2This question has stymied political strategists and pundits for a long time. As an expert in the women’s market, I too am baffled by the way people, especially women, vote against those who share their ideals and values in lieu of voting for those who don’t.

I have frequently been asked and often pondered the question: “Why would a woman vote Republican when they clearly have a war on women?” I wish I had a great answer for this. Perhaps they have always voted Republican, and thus continue down this path. Perhaps they are wealthy and the tax breaks the Republicans fight for, that primarily benefit the rich, is the most important reason. Perhaps they believe the falsehoods and phony rhetoric of the Republican Party. Whatever the reason, I find it truly disturbing.

Both women and men should vote for elected officials whose actions show that they have the best interests of the citizens and country in mind, but for some reason, they don’t.

While I acknowledge that many Republican women are pro-life, offering choice, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, just makes good sense. I’m not advocating abortion; I am saying that I should have the choice to decide what is best for me and my family.

Equally troubling is why Republican women support a party who barely passed the Violence Against Women Act, who don’t support legislation to guarantee that a women receives equal pay for equal work, and who think women’s bosses should have the right to determine her health care and reproductive decisions.

As Republican governors refuse to accept billions of dollars in free federal money to expand Medicaid, hundreds of thousands of people are going without medical care and are dying needlessly. As the GOP continues to cut billions from food stamps, many women and children are going hungry.

Men are also hurt by the policies of the Republican Party. Many men support the party because they are pro-gun, but Republicans also vote to keep the minimum wage at poverty levels and are against extending unemployment benefits. These policies hurt the working class.

Republicans want to reduce government spending and control, but I wonder if the populace realizes that many solidly red states that they live in receive a huge percentage of their income from the federal government? In actuality, the amount many red states pay in federal taxes is small compared to the amount they receive back from the government.

Do they think about how the government spends this money building the roads they drive on daily, or providing funds for the fire department that comes to their home if there is an emergency? When a natural disaster strikes them, do they accept F.E.M.A’s help? These and many more necessities are government-funded programs.

To cut spending on these and other projects as the Republicans suggest, would greatly impact both the men and women in these states in a very destructive way. It reminds me of the old saying, “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” It makes no sense.

In reality, the Republicans don’t want to cut spending, just redistribute it from the poor and middle class to the wealthy. The Republican budget once again gives massive tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, while it cuts programs and safety nets that help many of the people who vote Republican. I don’t understand why people vote against their own best interests, especially when it hurts their family, the economy and the principles on which America was founded.

I respect the two-party system and believe it is healthy for a democracy to have differences that exist in many areas of fiscal and social governance. But the right-wing fringe has hijacked the sanity of the Republican Party, and the GOP needs to get back on track. Gerrymandering, suppressing the vote, allowing unrestricted funds and unlimited terms have led to undemocratic practices which will destroy America if voters don’t stand up and fight for what is right.

Citizens, whether Republicans, Democrats or Independents, all have much to gain by voting for politicians who are interested in the good of the country: working together, listening to each other, and compromising. If they continue to choose representatives who do not support our fragile Democratic Process, citizens will soon have more reasons to fear Washington D.C. than foreign terrorists.
Follow Gerry Myers on Twitter: www.twitter.com/glmyers  or at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/gerry-myers/voting-against-own-best-interests_b_5185414.html