Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Coverup or the Crime?

In what Attorney General Eric Holder called the possibility of a "constitutional crisis", the House or Representatives Government Oversight Committee ruled that the Attorney General was in Contempt of Congress.  They claim he failed to provide documents they issued a subpoena to obtain.  After 7 months of back and forth over this, President Obama claimed Executive Privilege over those documents.  

Mostly, the media has either failed to mention this at all, or if they have mentioned it, it's been to mention it's an entirely partisan issue.  Some talking heads, like Al Sharpton, believe it's proof of racism against Eric Holder.

This is what I know, from what little reporting has been done. (And that by the alternative media.)

Operation Fast and Furious was designed to allow guns to be bought by Mexican Drug Cartels.  Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is dead.  300 Mexican citizens are dead.  And, unless I'm missing some vital piece of information, I'm not entirely sure what the purpose was of this operation.  There were no tracking devices put in these guns.  They were actually sold to straw purchasers, and allowed to be then sold off to the Drug Lords.  After that, I'm not sure what the intention was, but it wasn't just a botched law enforcement operation.  It's design and execution were flawed from the start.  It bears no resemblance to Operation Wide Receiver, which was designed not only to apprehend those buying guns illegally, but also selling them.  The weapons were designed to be tracked, and the operation was performed with the full consent and aid of the Mexican Government.

So, I'm still trying to figure out what the purpose of this all was, as was, I believe, Congress, when our Attorney General lied to Congress.  First he claimed he was unaware of the operation until a few weeks prior to the start of the Congressional Investigation.  That turned out to be a lie, and the letter stating that the DOJ wasn't involved was retracted by...the DOJ.  Then they claimed it was an extension of the operation under the Bush administration, a claim they once again had to walk back.

Congress couldn't even figure out what the Operation was really for, or who authorized it, because the Attorney General couldn't be bothered to tell the truth.  

Now, after seven full months of stonewalling on a set of documents, suddenly, those documents fall under Executive Privilege.  If someone wants to complain about wasted money, they could start there.  If those documents really fall under Executive Privilege, didn't they know that seven months ago?  Why now?  The other interesting question raised, is that, if the President was unaware of any of this, as he claimed, how exactly do those documents fit Executive Privilege?  That's not something that can be granted to the Attorney General, it has to be about the President, his immediate staff or the Vice President. 

Back during the Watergate Scandal the saying of the day was "It's the Coverup, not the Crime."  Of course, the crime was a paltry breaking and entering.  And the Coverup was far worse.  In this case, the crime is atrocious.  The Coverup of the crime, just makes it that much worse.

We should all be asking, what did the White House know, and when did they know it?  More importantly, was the President aware of this all along, and if so, why was it allowed to continue when it was obvious that it was killing innocent people?

It's the Coverup and the Crime.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Real Feminism?

What is real feminism?  I've been pondering this question since I read an article by Elizabeth Wurtzel, best known as the author of Prozac Nation.  The original feminists were the women who campaigned for suffrage, that is, the woman's right to vote.  They campaigned on women having equal status as citizens of the United States.  Equal status.  As women began to leave home and join the workforce, it became necessary for them to campaign for equal pay.  

I believe women can do anything they put their minds to.  I believe they should be paid the same as their male counterparts.  But more, I believe that women should be treated as equals, with ability to make their own choices in life, and be respected for those choices.

Ms. Wurtzel doesn't feel the same way.  You see, she just wrote an article telling people that being a stay at home mother is not a job.  She inferred that women who stay at home are dumb, and if they aren't, then she believes they should get off their rear ends and get a job.  She blames this all on the 1% SAHMs (Like Anne Romney), because that's all she knows.  I didn't live in Mrs. Romney's house, but I do imagine wealthy people have nannies, and babysitters, and maybe they get mani/pedis and go to fancy exercise classes.  I don't know. I don't know any 1%ers.

Ms. Wurtzel, who may herself be a 1%er...or at least a 5%er, is surrounded by people just like her.  So she has no idea that mothers in small towns still stay at home.  That they sacrifice those mani/pedis and exercises classes, so they can stay home.

My mom stayed home until I was in 5th grade.  The first time we went to Disney World, she didn't buy a pair of underwear for 2 years to save the money.  She made a lot of our clothes.  We didn't eat steak for dinner every night.  Simply put, we couldn't afford to do that on one income.

I'm a SAHM right now.  We do without a lot.  We never go out to eat.  It's a treat for the kids to get a "snack" on the way to softball games.  My kids aren't out every night of the week at some new place with their friends.  We don't go on fancy vacations.  We have a roof over our heads, food on our table, clothes on our back.  We don't have a lot of extras.  That's a sacrifice we all make so I can stay home.  The best thing I can hear is my 15 year old not complaining, but saying "Mom, I don't want you to go back to work".  She'd rather I was home.  So I'm willing to do without.

Ms. Wurtzel has NO idea, how many women would love to NOT have to work so they could stay home with their kids.

So she sits down and pens a ridiculous article, basically alienating anyone who isn't in that top tier of people.  

We aren't feminists, because we don't work.  

Well, Ms. Wurtzel, I AM a real feminist, because I applaud your choice to work, and to succeed.  I applaud those women who sacrifice to stay home.  I applaud those women who are exhausted because they have to work, and yet they come home and put 100% effort into their children too.  I applaud the women willing to join the military.  I applaud women who make their own choices, and I would stand up for their right to do so.  Such a shame that you don't.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Healthcare anyone?

Rather than bloviate I'm just going to give you a few statistics about healthcare in countries that provide universal healthcare.

We'll start in the U.S in the great state of Mass.
After implementing their statewide Universal care, emergency visits rose by 7% and costs by 18%

France:  The workers pay 19% in taxes for their "universal" healthcare, and yet 90% choose to pay extra for supplemental private insurance.  

Italy: The average wait time for a mammogram?  70 days.

Uk: Wait times in emergency rooms?  4 hours.  Wait times in the ambulance?  Up to 5 hours.  Total time?  9 hours.
Some hospitals encouraging "turning over bed sheets" to save money.
Half of the dentists in the UK will not accept people on the government health program.
Wait time for surgery?  Six months.
NICE gets to decide if your life is worth living.  For instance, the cancer drug, Tykerb, which delays the progression of breast cancer is deemed "too expensive". 
Around 20% of patients with treatable colon cancer are considered incurable by the time they get treatment.

Canada: It used to be illegal to go to non government health facilities, until their supreme court ruled that "access to a waiting list is not access to healthcare."  Hmmm....

Cuba: Uses induced abortion to lower it's infant mortality rate.  That would be almost funny if it wasn't totally sick.

Greece: Has 600 general practitioners.  They need 6,000 to function.  It's so bad, patients BRIBE doctors to get appointments.

US: 36 of the last 43 Nobel Prizes in Medicine were awarded to someone from the U.S.  

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

We Have A Revenue Problem

Or so we keep hearing.  Even people who have never commented politically, are appearing on my facebook timeline, telling me the country doesn't have a spending problem, it has a revenue problem.

So, do we really have a revenue problem?

My argument is no, we don't.  John F. Kennedy cut taxes.  Revenue increased.  Ronald Reagan cut taxes, Revenue Increased.  George W. Bush cut taxes, revenue increased.  Don't believe me?  Instead of just listening to the hype on the news, go look.  The numbers are available.  Do some research.  It's there to see.  Why is this the case?  Because when you tax corporations and rich people, they can afford fancy lawyers who can find every loophole necessary to protect their money.  So they pay less taxes.  Of course Warren Buffet doesn't mind if taxes are raised for rich people, because he knows he can afford 40 tax lawyers that will make sure he never has be pay an extra cent.  He knows that by peddling class warfare, he can help someone get elected, and still not have to pay a dime.   So we lower the threshold to $250,000 and now your small business owners, who can't afford tax lawyers get stuck with higher taxes.  To stay above water, they don't hire new people.  No jobs = less revenue.  Yes, yes it does.  If you aren't making money you can't pay taxes.  So a year goes by and we have no new revenue from that avenue, so we keep lowering the income threshold until the middle class is footing the bill.  We can't afford tax lawyers either.  We don't own businesses.  We just pay our taxes as they continue to go up.  That's how the "raising taxes" thing works.  You really want to increase revenue.  Flat tax.  No deductions.  No loopholes.  Works for me.

If you think we have a revenue issue, then I suggest you look hard at your monthly budget and figure out if you can afford and want to pay more, and then I urge you to just send a check to the government for that extra money.  I bet more than half the people screaming about revenue are not going to even consider that.  Or better yet, just tell the government you don't want your tax refund.  They can keep it.  Are you willing to do that?  If not, then stop advocating the spending of other people's money, assuming you will not have to pay.  Trust me.  You will.

We have a SPENDING problem.  A huge one.  Medicare is more costly than the national defense budget.  Medicare costs more every year than the Iraq War... times 5. yes... more than 450 BILLION dollars.  Every year.  And now we have yet another healthcare plan that will add to that. Social Security is going bankrupt.  When someone tells you the trust fund isn't empty, it's filled with t-bills?  Guess what they are?  Money the government OWES ITSELF.  Hello?  Where is that money going to come from?  They took social security funds to pay for other things. (Side Note:  That's how Bill Clinton got a surplus...he was counting the social security trust fund.)  We hemorrhage money in this country, and the only solution is to...raise taxes.  But it DOESN'T work.  It has NEVER worked.  You want to raise taxes?  Fine.  For every DOLLAR in taxes you raise, you need to cut a dollar out of the federal budget.  EVERY one.  Then I'm on board.  But there's no way I'm paying more taxes, so the government can keep throwing away money.  Forget it.

(One more side note:  the current President voted, when he was in the Senate, to raise taxes on anyone making more than $50,000.  How long do you think before that becomes "necessary" for our revenue problem to be solved).

(Another Side Note: Maybe we could slash public pensions... instead of the Military's Benefits.  He suggested slashing Military Benefits for Retirees, while continuing to feed public pension slush funds).

Stop with the revenue problem, people.  The only way government gets money is taxes.  If you over extend yourself, do you go ask your boss for a percentage raise to cover it?  No, because he'd laugh at you.  So what makes it right for the government to overextend itself and then ask US to pay for it?  Cut spending.  Then if we need to raise taxes to whittle down the deficit, I'm fine with that.  But spending cuts HAVE to come first.