Posts Tagged With: Ted Cruz

THE FREAK SHOW

I had promised myself that I wouldn’t write about Trump at least until it was clear that he would become the Republican nominee. But the latest shenanigans going on in that continuing circus known as the Republican debates made it all too irresistible. The latest kerfuffle occurred when Trump, always seeking to travel the low road, questioned whether his nearest rival in the upcoming Iowa caucus, Ted Cruz, is really a legitimate citizen of the U.S. Seems that good ole Ted was born in Canada, but to an American mother. That Cruz is a U.S. citizen is undeniable. But the Constitution states that to run for president, one must be a “natural born citizen.” Since Ted was born in Canada, Trump claims that the Democrats could “sue” Cruz’s eligibility to sit behind the desk in the oval office, should he be the party’s nominee. Since mudslinging is the name of the game in Trump’s world, these phony allegations reminded me of the 2012 election when Trump based his attempted march to fame on the “birther” allegation that Barack Obama was not a naturally born U.S. citizen, i.e., that he was really born in Kenya. Didn’t work out too well for him back then, and likely won’t this time around too.

First a few observations. Canada practically is the U.S., and would have been if not for the seditious actions of Aaron Burr, back in the days of our founding fathers. Secondly, most legal scholars agree that Cruz meets the definition of a “natural born citizen” and that Trump’s allegations constitute a “red herring.” It also noteworthy that the Iowa “caucus” followed right after by the New Hampshire primary, have an outlandish influence in selecting 2 candidates, one of which will go on to become the most powerful person in the world. Iowa and New Hampshire combined, constitute 1.4% of the total U.S. population. Yet if one candidate sweeps both states, it gives him or her a powerful leg up, and lots of momentum in winning future primaries in the more populous regions of the country. Such is the irrational or insane method this country employs to select its presidential candidates. Any third or fourth world banana republic would be too ashamed to admit to this method of choosing their leaders. 

So Trump goes non-stop on Twitter bashing Ted Cruz, in an effort to tweet his way to the White House. The latest polls show the 2 of them in a dead heat in Iowa. Now, normally I would be the last person to come to Cruz’s defense, since he’s a right-wing whacko extraordinaire. He’s anti-abortion, anti-gay rights, anti-immigration, and anti-gun control for openers. He’s also vociferously against government assistance to the poor, the sick, and the elderly. (If you’re poor, sick and old, you’re really up the creek without a paddle, in Cruz’s world.) He was instrumental in shutting down the government for 5 weeks in 2013, because he felt it was spending far too much on assistance for the disadvantaged. But, he’s also open and honest about his beliefs and priorities, such as they are, and doesn’t resort to mud-slinging demagoguery in order to achieve his goals. His views were largely shaped by his father, Rafael Cruz, who escaped from Castro’s Cuba, and equates all governments to the way the Castro brothers have ruled Cuba for the last 65 years. Rafael runs a mega-church in Texas, and has passed on his “all governments are tyrannical and godless” philosophy to son Ted who absorbed this type of thinking like a sponge.

Besides the bombastic, bullying Trump, and the far right, delusional Cruz, there’s a whole slew of Republican candidates eager for a shot at occupying the White House. There were originally 17 clowns on stage, and it’s now down to 13, I believe. But the only other candidate performing in these circus shows, that might have an outside chance at winning the nomination, is Marco Rubio. I’ve written about Rubio before; about his youth, good looks and even a dash of charisma, (unusual for a Republican.) There is no question that the young, handsome Marco would easily trounce the aging and highly damaged Hillary Clinton in a final showdown. The problem is that Rubio has run a rather lackluster campaign that has failed to energize most of the Republican base. He could easily win the election, but likely will not be able to secure the nomination. 

Then there are the also-rans like Jeb Bush. Bush used to be Governor of Florida but that was 8 years ago. Somehow Jeb believed that he could parlay the Bush family name into lining up big time cash donors that would buy the nomination and then the presidency for him. He did get the cash donors, but it’s not translating into potential votes in the upcoming primaries. Seems that the mostly disastrous  administration that brother George ran for 8 years, is still on voters minds. The thought of putting yet a third Bush in the Oval Office actually makes some people nauseous. There are also some of the longest of long-shots up on stage, hoping that lightening will somehow strike in their favor. For example, Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey, believes he somehow has a chance. But it’s not going to to happen and he should stick to blogging about his favorite restaurants in New Jersey. If anyone knows food, it has to be Gov. Christie. And, of course, these circus performances would not be complete without the one woman in the Republican race, Carly Fiorina. She speaks well, and exhibits great poise and decorum. But many years ago, Carly used to be CEO of Hewlitt-Packard, and nearly ran that company into ground with her decision to acquire the Compaq computer company. She was promptly fired from her job because of that fiasco. Then not too long ago she ran for senator in California and was soundly defeated in that quest, primarily because she was vociferously anti-abortion in a very blue state. Put her odds for the nomination at about a thousand to one. And the beat goes on.

There will be many more circus performances to write about before the eventual outcome, which will likely culminate with a Trump nomination. Then look at all the fun I could have, writing about The Donald’s exploits and ensuing disasters. 

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THE TRITE AND THE HACKNEYED

When Senator Ted Cruz announced for the Republican nomination for the presidency, (the first of what looks like to be about 2 dozen potential candidates), he used the phrase-“we’re gonna take this country back”- during his announcement speech. He didn’t say from who or what we were “gonna take this country back,” but it didn’t seem to matter to his gung-ho right-wing audience. Of course, Ted is by no means the first politician to utter empty platitudes on his way to political stardom, since Rand Paul and Ben Carson and probably all the other would-be candidates have also indulged in similar triteness. But in Ted’s case, since he’s a Harvard graduate, I figure he has to be a pretty smart guy; and to so unashamedly pander with such banality is, in my estimation, unforgivable. I believe Harvard should, retroactively, declare that Ted’s degree is null and void, as a warning to any other panderer that might be tempted to also orate with such hackneyed phraseology.

Of course politicians have been attempting to “take our country back,” probably since the beginning of the republic. I remember Ronald Reagan using that time-honored phrase on his way to swamping the hapless Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election. Who was he taking the country back from, poor old Jimmy? Whatever your opinion may be of the Carter presidency, I don’t recall Carter ever stating that he owned this country, lock, stock and barrel. When today’s politicians, (almost always Republicans) vow to ‘take our country back,” perhaps they’re referring to Plutonians that came down in space ships and took over the halls of our government after we downgraded Pluto from being a full-fledged planet some years back. Yes, that must be it. I mean, it took great hubris on our part to arbitrarily declare that Pluto was not a real planet, without us even bothering to discuss the matter with representatives from other entities in the galaxy. I can see where Plutonians would be angry and upset enough to initiate aggressive action. Otherwise, who else would we be taking our country back from. Well, you might say, there is Obama and the Democrats. The problem is, however, no matter how much you might despise them both, neither Obama nor any Democrat has laid claim to ownership of the United States. Obama will be gone in about a year and a half, and the GOP will almost certainly lock in majorities in Congress, and will also, likely, take over the White House in 2016. Talk about who will have ownership of this country then.

Another exercise in meaningless babble is the political infighting taking place over the illegal immigration issue. Earlier, Senator Marco Rubio managed to, rather heroically, have an immigration bill passed by the Republican Senate, that would, among other provisions, create a pathway to legal status for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. The problem was, that his fellow tea-party looney-tuners in the House became feverish and delirious at just the thought of even one undocumented immigrant in this country achieving legal status.  Their opposition was vociferous, and, in the end, Rubio had to disavow ownership of his own legislation in order to keep his presidential aspirations alive. So, the new mantra of meaningless babble emanating  from the GOP is that nothing will be done regarding the illegals until “our borders are made secure.” None of the candidates have defined how our borders are to be made secure, or how many more gazillion dollars they are willing to allocate for that purpose, above what we are already spending on border patrol. The only thing that matters is that our border, (at least with Mexico) ‘be made secure.”

So, since none of the Republican candidates are willing to discuss the details of what a secure border means, I will do it for them. The first thing you have to know is that our border with Mexico stretches for nearly 2000 miles. So securing that border would be no easy task. But if we really want to make sure that no illegal gets into this country, we would need to build a solid concrete wall across the entire 2000 miles. The wall should be at least 100 feet tall, and 20 feet deep, to assure that none of those sneaky illegals can tunnel their way into this country. We would also need to put electrified barb-wire on top of the wall just in case they have really tall ladders. Then we would need a few hundred drones constantly patrolling the area, as well as few thousand additional border patrol agents. All this could probably be accomplished for under another trillion dollars of additional debt. Think  the tea-party loonies will rally around this idea? Oh the dilemma.

To show just how racist the GOP immigration policy is, consider the case of Canada. Our Canadian border is just about twice as long as our Mexican border. All anyone has to do to enter our country illegally from Canada is to take a pleasant stroll through the woods. Yet our Canadian border, besides being twice as long, is almost unguarded.  Why is that? Because in the Republican mindset, Canadians are white like us, or most of us. They almost all speak English like us. For those that can only speak French, there’s an excuse for that too. I mean, French is so much more sophisticated sounding than mundane Spanish.

So the next time you hear some brainless politician tell you that he or she “is gonna take back our country,” or that the undocumented immigration issue can’t be addressed until “we secure our borders,” be on full alert. Those our just code phrases for the unthinking. In any event, with so manny politicians entering the Republican race, I’m thinking of throwing my hat in the ring as well. With the primary vote split among so many candidates, I might just be able to sneak in. Besides, someone has to take our country back, and secure the borders as well.

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AND ….THEY’RE OFF AND RUNNING

Probably, over 99% of Americans living outside of New York state have never heard  of George Pataki. Within the state of New York, perhaps about a quarter of the population still remembers that he was governor from 1995-2006. A pretty fair governor to be sure, but nothing that would set off a cavalcade of fireworks. Nevertheless, Pataki, at age 69, is putting together an exploratory committee to determine the feasibility of seeking the GOP nomination for president in 2016. His chances of success are about the same as mine if I ran for president. And why would anybody really want the job. Just the thought of having to deal with Congress would make me nauseous. Sure, there’s the fun stuff like getting to fly on Air Force One, or playing at elite golf courses, or hosting lavish state dinners. But every now and then the president has to deal with serious items such as combatting terrorism, Iranian nuclear ambitions, and budget and tax issues. The Obama presidency has seemed to focus more on the fun side such as playing golf, and as little as possible on world affairs such as the Ukrainian civil war and other other crises. But who needs all those headaches. I would probably do the same in Obama’s shoes.

In any event, with the election still more than a year and a half away, the race for the Republican nomination has attracted more than a dozen players, some whose chances of success are about as ludicrous as George Pataki’s. First off, like the ghost of Christmas past, Mitt Romney returned to the political arena figuring that the third time had to be a charm. It seemed for awhile that despite his losses in 2008 and 2012, His Mittness still had enough popularity amongst the GOP rank and file to secure the nomination for 2016. But as I’ve written many times before, financing is the name of the game in buying an American election, with the winning candidate usually being the most costly that money can buy. In our faux democracy, if a potential candidate can’t raise at least tens of millions of dollars, just for openers, he or she is usually toast. Romney did have huge money supporters until former Florida governor Jeb Bush figured that it would be a neat idea to follow the family heritage and become Bush number three to occupy the Oval office. When that happened Romney’s big money donors decided that the Busch name still had more commercial value than that of a previous two-time loser, and they swung over to Jeb’s side. Once Romney lost his major donors he knew it was all over, and time for him to get out of the game. The problem is, however, that Jeb Bush might be a tad too rational and sane to satisfy the looney-tunes element of the GOP which continues to grow even larger and more powerful.

The Rush Limbaugh faction in the Republican Party has focused on a number of potential candidates (excluding Jeb Bush) that would satisfy their far-right ambitions to basically destroy what’s left of the non-military portion of the U.S. government. First off, there are the holdovers from the 2012 Republican debates, such as Rick Santorum from Pennsylvania who is still seeking to criminalize social affairs such as birth control, abortion and gay marriage; as well as bible thumper Rick Perry, ex-governor of Texas, who couldn’t remember, last time around, all the government departments he would eliminate upon becoming president. Then their are new figures that  have lunatic fringe especially enthralled. One is Scott Walker, governor of Wisconsin, who pretty much was able to destroy public worker unions in Wisconsin that state employees belonged to, by taking away their rights to collective bargaining. He had to face a recall election because of that action; but thanks to heavy financing by the Koch brothers (whom I’ve written about before), Walker won the recall and is now the darling of the far, far right. He’s being hailed as another Ronald Reagan, their all-time favorite hero. With heavy money interests starting to galvanize in his direction, I would not discount Walker’s chances of securing the Republican nomination.

Of course he would have to contend with others that even the lunatic fringe considers lunatics, such as Rand Paul from Kentucky and Ted Cruz from Texas, who also have strong presidential ambitions. And, for the dingbat faction of the GOP, which is also growing in strength, there is always Sarah Palin who has mumbled something about entering the fray. I think more than half the fun of watching this circus unfold, would be lost if Sarah Palin didn’t have a go at the nomination. Chris Christie, governor of New Jersey, was thought to have a shot for awhile, but his balloon seems to be deflating. Again, he seems to possess too much of that sanity thingy to be a viable GOP candidate. But, if you want irrationality,  there’s always Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, who traded in his Hindu heritage for a strict brand of fundamental Catholicism, and who would also criminalize abortion and gay rights. And the beat goes on with a slew of more aspirants, each seeking to outdo the others in their extremist views.

If the Republican side of the coin has an over-abundance of candidates striving for the presidency, the Democratic side has decided to put all their eggs in one basket; which, of course, belongs to Hillary Clinton. Which is a very dumb idea to begin with. First of all, Hillary will be 69 in 2016 and has had health issues that could raise a number of red flags. Secondly, Hillary has enough political baggage to fill every flight leaving out of JFK for a month. Republicans, who are so much better than Democrats at practicing the politics of personal destruction, would immediately jump on husband Bill’s personal foibles from the 1990s and blame them all on Hillary. Already, they are printing up bumper stickers that say: “Monica Lewinski’s ex-boyfriend’s wife for president.” You can be sure that all of Bill Clinton’s prior misdeeds would be dredged up all over again. Also the Benghazi fiasco, where 4 Americans, including our Ambassador to Libya, were slain by terrorists on Hillary’s watch as Secretary of State, would be thrown in her face. Add to that, the fact that Hillary isn’t exactly the most dynamic or charismatic candidate around, and you can see that the Democrats are in a real pickle. The problem for the Democratic Party is, however, that they have such a thin farm system, who else could they nominate that would have a viable chance of winning the presidency.

My prognosis is that the election of our next president is the Republican candidate’s to lose. Which wouldn’t be the first time that they’ve snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Think back just to 2012 when Mitt Romney should have won by at least 10-15 points. In any event, it will be a fascinating spectacle to watch along the way, as the political scene unfolds over the next 18 months in our pretend election process.

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DIVIDING LINES

“We have met the enemy and he is us,” said Pogo, a cartoon critter located, with his pals, in the Okefenokee swamps in Louisiana. While this quote appeared in Walt Kelly’s cartoon strip during the 1970s, it was never more true than in today’s on-going political and social events. The country has never been more divided in the nearly 150 years since the Civil War ended. As a result, consequences adversely affecting our economy and and society as a whole are multiplying on a daily basis due to our highly polarized and dysfunctional government. And this polarized government merely reflects the deep divisions and fault lines that have developed among the citizenry of this country. Unless some leadership rises to the forefront that has a uniting ability to bring us together, we are becoming the divided states of America.

Let’s take a gander at some of these fault lines. Red states, those that reliably and consistently vote Republican, exist throughout the entire south, except, perhaps, for Northern Virginia and Florida. Red states also exist in parts of the mid-west and west, such as Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho and Montana. Blue states, those that more often vote Democratic, are situated primarily in the northeast, and west coast, along with several in the mid-west such as  Ohio and Illinois. The problem is that there is a world of difference between the political, social and religious views of majorities in the Red and Blue states. Red state majorities are becoming more religiously fundamentalist, and politically right-wing in their views of American society. The tea party’s primary political clout comes mostly from southern Red states. Their extremism is made obvious in issues that were once thought to be settled policy, but are now up for grabs. For example, a woman’s right to obtain birth control pills, an issue thought to be firmly established by the early 1960s, suddenly became a big deal in the 2012 election. Also, Red states have been establishing more and more stringent abortion rules, to the point where it’s getting almost impossible for women in Mississippi or Texas or other Red states to obtain legal abortion services. The quest to overturn Roe V. Wade is a driving force among and Red state partisans.

Red states are also circumventing the Voting Rights Act of 1964 by enacting new barriers for the poor and minorities to cast their ballots. Knowing that these groups usually vote Democratic, Red states are now requiring that potential voters obtain photo IDs before being registered. Since many poor can’t afford cars, and thus don’t have a driver’s license, (the only photo ID I have in my wallet) the effort to cast one’s vote can become exceedingly difficult. But, a primary tactic, if you belong to the tea party, in keeping the “riff-raff” out of the voting booth, and assuring that Red states remain solidly red. The culture wars are also a casualty of the Red state-Blue state divide. While many, if not most Blue states have legalized gay marriage, almost all Red states are fighting gay rights and marriage, tooth-and-nail. In Red state country, homosexuality is still among the deepest of sins and an abomination. This past summer, the CEO of Chick-Fil-A, a fried chicken chain located mostly in the south and mid-west, likened approval of gay rights to punching God in the face. If we don’t change our ways, he warned, God will wreck his vengeance on this country. To show solidarity with that kind of thinking, this past summer, hundreds, if not thousands, of like-minded customers, lined up for hours in front of Chick-Fil-A outlets to gobble down some greasy fried chicken.

The worsening of the political, social, religious, and cultural chasms afflicting our country came to a boiling point in the latest government shutdown we all experienced. Led by Red state tea-partiers in the Senate, and, especially, in the House, Republicans were quite willing to have the government cease functioning unless the President agreed to defund his signature health care legislation. This political suicide mission was led by Senator Ted Cruz, the recently elected tea-party favorite from, of course, Texas. The son of Rafael Cruz, who fought with Fidel Castro to overthrow the Batista regime in Cuba; but who, subsequently fell out of favor with Castro and fled to the U.S. To atone for supporting Castro in the first place, Rafael established a large fundamentalist, evangelical church in Texas which he runs to this day. He also imbued son Ted with a deep hatred of secular, all-powerful government, to the point where Senator Ted equates the Obama administration to the regime run by Castro in Cuba. Thus, Senator Cruz’s kamikaze mission to defund and destroy Obamacare.

Of course, this tea party effort has been greatly abetted by unbelievable Democratic ineptitude. An overly clumsy piece of legislation to begin with, but with 3 years to prepare, the rollout of Obamacare on-line has been a mind-bogling nightmare. Administration sloppiness in implementing this Act is, in effect, the Democrats doing the Republicans dirty work for them. Perhaps the Democrats will finally get their act together, and create a reasonable, glitch-free on-line site, where, in the near future, people that are uninsured, can actually obtain reasonably priced health insurance. Don’t hold your breath, however.

Of course, tea-party Republicans, (most are now, especially in the House) will keep coming like the charge of the light brigade, that I wrote about previously, to destroy Obamacare and the rest of the President’s political agenda. Even if it’s a similar suicide mission. The agreement to re-open the government has an expiration date come January, when Washington, once again gets to put its fiscal follies on stage. Meanwhile the political, social, religious, and cultural values dividing this country, grow deeper and more entrenched. Nothing good can ever come of that.

 

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TEA PARTY GOVERNANCE

Four high-profile Republican senators that were elected in 2010, and who are solid tea party favorites because of their extreme right-wing political views, are already running for president in 2016. Yes, I know that’s over 3 years away, but it takes a long time to put together the organization, the large amounts of necessary cash,  and the name recognition, to make a serious bid. You just don’t run for president on a lark, if one is serious about winning. These 4 senators consist of Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas, and Mike Lee of Utah. (Of the 4, Mike Lee is probably the longest of long-shots.) The 4 of them are putting together campaign organizations, appearing with increasing frequency on Fox News and other far right radio and TV outlets, and increasingly undertaking campaign trips to early primary states such as Iowa and New Hampshire.

Rand Paul is, of course, the son of Ron Paul, a long-time Libertarian congressman from Texas, who recently retired. Ron Paul ran for president in Republican primaries in at least the last 3-4 presidential races. His platform was essentially to cut Government spending to the bone, and bring home all U.S. troops stationed  overseas. He would have also sharply curtailed intelligence operations such as the latest kerfuffle going on about the NSA eavesdropping operations. I guess his theory was that those meanies overseas that we call terrorists, are really just swell guys at heart. If we would just withdraw from all foreign operations, bring all U.S. troops home, and return to a policy of isolationism, (that worked so well prior to WWII and the bombing of Pearl Harbor), those mis-understood ruffians would be more than happy to leave us alone.  Although from Texas, Ron Paul had his largest number of supporters here in Nevada. People here felt that if he slashed income taxes as he promised, it would free up that much more money to throw away in the slot machines or at the craps tables.

In any event, son Rand Paul has taken over his father’s political inheritance by advocating the same far-right policies. A short time back, he launched a 13 hour filibuster on the Senate floor, because he felt that something President Obama said indicated that the President had the right to launch a drone strike on a domestic target. But I can see his point. Nothing will get the day off to a worse start than having a drone come crashing into the cafe where you’re having your morning coffee and reading the newspaper. The 13 hour filibuster and other similar stunts have, nevertheless, raised Rand Paul’s profile and have given him gobs of free publicity and name recognition.

Not to be outdone, Marco Rubio is slogging ahead to become the GOP’s standard bearer in 2016. He was instrumental in getting the Senate to pass a cockamamie immigration bill, that would theoretically create a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. But the bill contains so many looney-tunes features that it turned out to be a really bad joke. It would mandate that a cement wall, about 1500 miles long, about a hundred feet tall, and 20 feet deep, ( you wouldn’t want those illegals to tunnel their way in), with electrified barbed wire on top, be built along the U.S.-Mexican border.  Plus, there  would be all kinds of motion detectors, infra-red cameras, and other devices along the wall. Plus, border-control agents would be posted about 50 apart. Okay, so maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the picture. But as bad as this bill is, it’s still too moderate for the Republican-controlled House. Republican representatives have already stated that no legislation that gives undocumented people legal status, will pass the House.

The third member of the four horsemen of the government apocalypse, Ted Cruz, maybe the biggest tea-party favorite of all. He makes Marco Rubio seem moderate. He failed to support Rubio’s immigration bill, although Cruz, himself, is Hispanic. He calls for the abolition of the Federal Reserve banking system, a favorite plank in Ron Paul’s libertarian agenda. He too would slash Government spending to the levels that existed in Calvin Coolidge’s time, as well as create tax cuts for the rich. In any event, I thought it might be of some fun to picture what life in the U.S. might look like should one of these senators become president, and  both houses of congress come under republican control.

Let’s start with Social Security and Medicare. Where in the Constitution does it say that the Government is responsible for providing for senior’s pensions or medical needs. If you’re going to start slashing public spending, you have start with these 2 major budgetary sinkholes. Okay, we will fund those that are already in those two programs, but only on the condition that they don’t live too long thereafter. I mean, everybody knows that those pain-in-the-ass seniors are nothing but a drain on society. Not working and just taking handouts from us productive working-class types. Maybe we will even let those within 5-10 years of SS and Medicare eligibility get into those programs, but again they have to promise to die soon after that. Everyone else is on their own. Create your own savings programs to take care of your own retirement needs and medical treatments. Try not to invest your savings in some fly-by-night stock or other hair brained savings scheme, even though we know most of you will ignore that advice and do just the opposite. Next, we save a bundle by bringing all our overseas troops home, and slashing the Defense budget. As well as eliminating all those unconstitutional counter-intelligence snooping programs. After all, what’s more important- human lives or the purity of the Constitution.

Of course not all Tea Party related programs will be about slashing government spending. Some programs will actually get pumped up. Such as creating the anti-abortion police to make sure that some poor, unfortunate woman isn’t doing away with her baby.  Or hiring thousands more border security guards to make sure that not even one more illegal Mexican is allowed to slip through and contaminate our society. The sky’s the limit when it comes to funding fun-stuff like that.

So this is what we have to look forward to in our short-term future. I can hardly wait for 2016 to come rolling in, when the Republican/Tea Party types take over the reigns of government.

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LEGALIZING THE ILLEGALS

As you’re probably well aware, there is a great debate going on in Congress, mostly in the Senate, about enacting legislation that would create a pathway to legalization for an estimated 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. Almost all of the 11 million, as you know, are Hispanic. The idea is to give these people legal status so they can work openly without fear of deportation, pay taxes, get driver’s licenses, and openly provide a public education for their children. The main obstacle to such a course of sanity and rationality is, of course, the tea-party element of the Republican Party, which includes almost everyone calling themselves Republican. Although the proposed legislation is being pushed by an Hispanic Republican senator from Florida, Marco Rubio, most GOP senators and representatives are on record as opposing this effort. The facade of obstruction emanating from these looney tunes right-wingers, is that legalization of undocumented persons should not occur until our border with Mexico is tightly secured so no further illegals can enter. Since the border with Mexico is almost 2000 miles long, I guess this would mean building a 100 foot high concrete wall along that 2000 miles, with electrified barbed wire on top. Plus extending the wall 20 feet below ground so illegals couldn’t tunnel their way in. Plus adding about 9 million security guards along the border, plus drones, sensors and other electronic gadgetry. When it comes to securing our border with Mexico, money is no object to right-wing whackos.

Opponents of legalizing the illegals claim that race or ethnicity is not a factor, but I strongly disagree, and will prove otherwise. Lets change the scenario, slightly. For example, our border with Mexico is under 2000 miles, but our border with Canada is well over 3000 miles. Plus our Canadian border is lightly manned, and virtually anyone that wants to, can enter the U.S. from Canada, illegally, by just taking a stroll through the woods, almost anywhere along the U.S.-Canadian border. So let us suppose that instead of illegal Hispanics, we had 11-12 million illegal Canadians in our midst. They got fed up with the long, cold Canadian winters, or with socialized medicine, or whatever, and millions came streaming across the border and headed south to warm up. Let us further assume that most of these illegal aliens were primarily French-speaking. Does anyone think that this would even be a blip on our political radar-screen. Of course not. Why? Because these illegal Canadians are white like us with the same ethnicity. And besides, doesn’t French sound so much more cultured and sophisticated than Spanish? So, 11 million illegal Hispanics- big problem. Eleven million illegal Canadians- no problem at all. They would just blend into the population.

Thus, as I’ve said, right-wing tea partiers, and other assorted kooks and racists are fighting tooth-and-nail to prevent this very modest legislative effort from succeeding.  One of the bill’s main opponents in the Senate, a newly elected tea-party favorite named Ted Cruz, is one of the most vociferous in leading the opposition. The fact that he himself is Hispanic, will not, in any way, compromise his right-wing ideology of preventing his own people from attaining the benefits of legalization and eventually citizenship.  Then there are those who fear that should these illegals eventually obtain citizenship, they would mostly vote Democratic. God forbid. Although I can’t imagine why, since the GOP seems to welcome Hispanics with open arms. The prognosis, at this time, is that Rubio’s bill will likely squeeze through the Democrat-controlled Senate, but will face very rough sledding in the Republican-controlled House. It might very well be impossible to get House Republicans to agree to this legislation, and, in the end, all that effort will be for nought. Time will tell.

Democrats these days are having a multitude of political problems, not the least of which is President Obama’s sinking poll numbers. A lot of people, especially young voters, are upset over the NSA snooping into our phone calls and e-mails. Although I’ve written a previous entry explaining how this was not only necessary, but vital, in preventing further terrorist attacks. The Director of NSA has claimed that over 50 planned terrorist attacks have been disrupted thanks to these NSA “snooping” efforts. Then there are the IRS fiasco and the 4 killed Americans in Libya, that the GOP has skillfully manipulated into being labeled as Democratic “scandals.” To say nothing of a still very sluggish economy, high unemployment, and oceans of red ink. And let us not leave out the huge problems the Administration is having in trying to implement Obamacare. It doesn’t look like implementation will be ready by 2014. So by all rights, the GOP should obliterate the Democrats in the up coming 2014 elections. But that’s not likely to happen because of Republican right-wing ideology. For example, just the other day, the Republican-controlled House passed legislation to ban all abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Just to further piss-off the women voters they lost in the 2012 presidential election. All to satisfy their evangelical (religious fanatic) base, and, even though they know that this bill will almost certainly die in the Senate. And even though it’s contrary to the law as established in the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe V. Wade. It’s just who they are.

It reminds me of an old story you may be familiar with. It seems that a turtle was sitting at the edge of a river, contemplating swimming to the other side. Along comes a scorpion who says to the turtle- I would really like to get to the other side of the river, but I can’t swim. But you, Mr. Turtle can swim. So if you let me ride on your back we can both make it to the other side. The turtle says- I’m not going to to that. You’ll sting me with your venom, and I’ll die in the river. That’s ridiculous-replies the scorpoion. If I did that we would both drown. The turtle is finally convinced that the scorpion means him no harm and says-ok, hop on my shell and we’ll head for the other side. About half way across, the scorpion suddenly stings the turtle’s with a lethal dose of poisonous venom. Why did you do that-cries out the turtle. Now were both going to drown and die. Couldn’t help it-replies the scorpion. It’s just who I am.

 

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