Sunday, July 31, 2011

The sheer size of the cojones on the US Government never ceases to amaze me.

Debt ceiling.

Ceiling of Debt.

Consider it to be the stop light on our government’s spending – more of a guideline than a real rule. Oh, haven’t you heard? You don’t REALLY have to stop at red lights. Those are more like yield signs.

Of course I’ve been reading all about the red light on spending, and getting up and watching the news to see how “talks” on Capitol Hill have progressed, and having debates with myself about it while in the car on the way to work. (Oh, haven’t you heard? I am now GAINFULLY employed – but more on that later.)

Of course I’ve been watching MSNBC (gag), CNN (cough), and really any other news outlet that I can get my hands on.

Why, as I’m sure you’ve heard, even Don Lemon’s upset about the situation.

As you watch this video, ask yourself a series of questions: do we want the truth from our news reporters? And, if so, why are we upset when they try to dig through the bullshit to get to said truth? We complain and complain and complain (just in case no one heard it the first  2 times) about politicians that beat around the bush so much that you forget what the actual question even was – but when someone comes along to try to Hulk Smash their way past that – they’re bad reporters. Screw that. Don Lemon – I tip my hat to you. Sure he was rude. But what's worse? A rude reporter, or a congressperson that sits on his or her ass all day doing absolutely nothing, but still taking home a 6 figure salary? I don't pay Don Lemon. I pay congress. I could give a damn about Mr. Lemon being rude. 

He hit the nail on the head. The American people want something done. Period. At this point, I’m not even sure if any of us actually care WHAT gets done. We just want something to BE done. But that is, naturally, just my opinion. 

They were hired to do a job. They positioned themselves as worthy candidates. They showed up to the interview, paid their dues and we chose them. Some of us weren’t happy with that choice – but, hey, majority rules and all that.

Now, they sit on Capitol Hill, day after day doing nothing. They’re leaned back in their chairs (chairs that WE paid for, mind you) with their feet kicked up on their desks, eating their foie gras and nurturing their principles. But they keep TELLING us that they’re hard at work. And we’re just supposed to be at ease with that.

They keep saying “we’re working for the American people,” but they aren’t! They’re working against us. They hear our complaints, our requests for compromise, our belief that it would be best to increase revenue AND cut spending – but still they’ve done nothing! Congressmen and women are supposed to listen to what WE are saying and transfer our grievances/desires to the Hill. They are not supposed to take them, parcel through and decide what they like the best and then transfer to the Hill.  

We are telling you to stop being pansy asses and cut spending and raise revenue, but somehow 
our desires go ignored.

Ignoring the voices of the people you claim to work for and calling it principles is like ignoring the will of God because you “know better” and still expecting to get into heaven.

Please stop doing what you think the Tea Party, the Republicans or the Democrats think you should do – and do what NEEDS to be done.

Differentiate between wants and needs. You’re adults; you should be able to do that. If you can’t, then resign. If you can’t, you clearly are not old enough for this job.

And, America – stop blaming everything on President Obama. He had 535 people to help him get this country where it is.

You can find their names here:

If they don’t shape up, and do something about not only this debt ceiling, but every damned thing else – I say that we all go to our human resources departments, grab the pertinent tax forms and decrease our withholding to 0.

If that doesn’t send a message, I don’t know what will.

Friday, July 22, 2011

When a good night's sleep just ain't enough.

If you listen closely you can hear my eyelids as they scrape shut over my sandpapery eyeballs.

I’m way too exhausted for someone that sits around and watches Golden Girls and 3rd Rock from the Sun all day. (In addition to The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency and Breaking Bad). Watching TV (with a critical eye, of course, is SO tiring. Especially when you’re watching Wilfred – a show that I can only assume is some twisted person’s idea of what happens when Stewie Griffin grows up and replaces Brian.

But I digress.

I think I’ll blame my current bout with lethargy on the heat wave that’s gripping the country. I could fill a river with all of the water that’s been leached from my fleshy cocoon over the last few days. And, adding insult to aqueous injury - my AC doesn't work. 

I could also blame it on the book that I haven’t worked on in weeks. I get tired just thinking about all the work I have to do to make the story make sense.

Or I could blame it on the fact that the people who we elected to run this country are running it straight into the f*cking ground. I read today that Speaker Boehner (pronounced bow-ner. Don’t  let him fool you, folks) walked away from debt talks today. Oh. That’s classy. Also, very adult of him. I love the message it sends – when you don’t get your way, walk away, pout, bitch and moan and all your problems will be solved.
I keep hearing about the fact that PRESIDENT Obama (notice the emphasis on the “president” there. Some of you seem to keep forgetting that he’s the president and should be addressed as such) hasn’t personally come up with a deal/proposal of his own.

I ask you, America (i.e. all 7 of my followers) what difference would it make if President Obama had come up with a deal of his own? How many deals have both sides walked away from? What’s one more? Would it make you feel better if Mr. President had come up with a deal just for congress to walk away from it?

I ask you, America – if both sides have walked away from multiple deals, multiple times, what makes you think that a plan that was devised by the President himself would be any different?

But, of course, I’m looking at this WAY TOO LOGICALLY. Let’s ignore the fact that in 11 days the United States’ credit is going to be as worthless as an education in Atlanta. Please, let’s focus on the fact that President Obama has yet to come up with a plan in the face of countless other (apparently) unacceptable plans.

Or, maybe I’m just exhausted because I’m tired of hearing about how tax laws and the current tax rates in this country are somehow stifling job creation. Jobs aren’t being created because employers have realized that they can get the same amount of work done with half the employees. “How have they done this?” you ask? It’s simple. People are scared shitless of losing their jobs. So they’re staying at work later, taking less pay, and doing double the work just to be able to feed the families they never get to see because they work so late. (Of course, I’m making assumptions. You can trust me though. I was almost a doctor).
Jobs aren’t being created for numbers of reasons – and I won’t catalogue them here. Why? Because all you have to do is turn on the news to find out why. Read a book. Read a newspaper.  I just wish (which is something I do every single day) that our elected officials would stop making it seem like lowering/not raising taxes is somehow going to result in this explosion of new jobs.

It won’t.

Perhaps I’m exhausted because I’m tired of the hate in the world. My heart goes out to Norway today. I think of those families that got phone calls today. Phone calls that relayed messages of loss and heartbreak.
Why do we, as “civilized” human beings, as the “more intelligent” species, hate each other so much? Over things as simple as religion? Skin color? Who we love?

Is the value of a person’s life and happiness so negligible?

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other – Mother Teresa

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

High on the sense of life


I admit it.

I’ve started watching the news again. [Excuse me while attempt to give you the courtesy of looking ashamed]
I had the extreme pleasure of seeing Rick Santorum on CNN’s American Morning (click the "On TV" tab CNN doesn't link you to the video directly). He talked about jobs, creation of jobs, President Obama, and – of course – gay marriage.

I hated everything he had to say.

I don’t want to start with references to how he skirts direct questions and blames everything on President Obama – because all politicians do that.

I don’t want to start with his discriminatory views on marriage. Besides, I don’t think I could do it better than Dan Savage. And we all know that Rick Santorum doesn’t like gay people and doesn’t want them to have the same rights that we straighties have. (Even if he has pulled the infamous “some of my closest friends are gay” card. I think I’ve seen him hanging out with a few black people, too.)

I want to start with his take on job creation. Ugh. Job creation. It’s become a pop term. It’s like crack to the current presidential candidates. At a loss for what to say? Just sprinkle “job creation” liberally throughout your speech and everyone will be so high on the idea of a paycheck that they’ll forget that you’re a complete ass who has no idea how to run this country.

Luckily for me, I took some Benadryl this morning – it’s a special formula designed to block histamine and bullshit. I think I’m going to be pretty drowsy for the next few months.

Especially since Santorum supports a “0 rate tax” plan for business (more on that in a sec).

He feels that when the government “takes more and spends more the American people have less.”

How are we determine what “less” is? Sure, less money on my paycheck – I wholeheartedly agree. But let’s think about where that money goes – i.e what it’s spent on. It goes to social security, something we all benefit from. It goes to Medicare and Medicaid. It goes to repair the roads that I have to drive on. It goes to schools and the teachers in those schools. It goes to the men and women that have sworn to serve and protect, to preserve and fight for the fundamental rights that all Americans are granted. Oh, and those people with the water hoses that run into BURNING HOUSES to save lives.

I think I can give up a little extra in my paycheck for those services. Do you?

Santorum goes on to say that Obamacare should be repealed. That we should repeal the Sarbanes-Oxyley act (an act to protect American investors). That we should repeal “big chunks of Dodd-Frank,” (enacted to ensure consumer protection and greater accountability in big business). He further cites the EPA and FDA as being evidence of an “explosion of the regulatory process” on the part of the current administration. In short, he says there is TOO MUCH regulation and it’s encumbering business and its growth.
Whew. That was a mouthful. But, hold on to your butts, ladies and gentleman, we aren’t done yet.  Santorum’s answer to fueling job growth in this country is to, you guessed it, CUT TAXES.

I’ll pause while the masses rejoice.

He wants a 0% rate of taxation for corporations and individuals that manufacture in this country. What they’re manufacturing, I’m not sure.

Here’s my issue with this 0 rate taxation plan – well beyond the obvious ZERO FREAKIN DOLLARS IN TAXES. Job creation does not equate with job maintenance. What’s to stop these companies from opening a few manufacturing jobs on American soil, getting this tax break, and then firing these workers? I hope there’ll be a clause for that.

What’s to stop them from creating (for arguments sake) 5 manufacturing jobs in the US and 35 in India? Wouldn’t they still qualify for the break since they’ve indeed created American manufacturing jobs? Will there be a clause for this? Or is that too much Regulation for Santorum?

What’s to stop them from hiring American manufacturers, and firing American employees in a different sector only to ship jobs of said sector overseas? Sure, manufacturing jobs have been created – but other’s have been lost. AND this company still gets the tax break.

I’ll pause as the rejoicing ebbs.

Jobs have been created. Great. Incentives have been given to big business to create said jobs, great. But, our wonderful government has now lost out on a big chunk of tax revenue that would ordinarily (in a more perfect world) go toward bringing the budget deficit down. You’ve now lost out on money that’s used to fuel all of those wonderful programs I noted previously.

And, what’s possibly even more frightening – does this tax break apply to manufacturing companies or companies with manufacturing capabilities? For instance, companies that devote 100% of their time to manufacturing versus those that only devote 3% of their time to it.  Will they only apply the 0 rate of taxation to that 3% of earnings?

I guess it doesn’t truly matter since companies that bring in BILLIONS of dollars are getting away with paying 1.1% in taxes (in addition to gratuitous Capitol Hill ass kissing, and quite possibly corporate murder). Those programs I mentioned before aren’t being funded by these guys.

But wait, unfortunately there’s more.

When asked how he felt about putting tariffs on imported Chinese goods, for example, he said that it would increase costs for workers and that what we need to do is engender incentives. Okay – I agree with him on this point (SHOCK! SHAME!).

We all know that part of the issue of job creation in this country is demand. People aren’t spending because they aren’t working and big companies therefore cannot “afford” (as they say) to create more jobs. So, if we put tariffs on imported goods (especially those sorts of goods that can be (and are being) manufactured right here in the good old U.S. of A), the cost will go up and give American buyers an INCENTIVE to buy American products. Thereby fueling money into the economy and those businesses. Thereby giving said business the INCENTIVE to create more jobs.

I think I’m a little high on all the sense this is making.

Excuse me while I run off to locate some tasty treats.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Why hello, Jesus! Long time, no see.

My health (and quite possibly my immortal soul) dictates that I should not watch the news every morning.  It drives up my blood pressure, feeds my as yet undiscovered brain tumor, widens my gastric ulcer and makes my eye twitch – rapidly. Also, my anger as a result of watching the news scares my boyfriend.

Because of this, I know I’m (more often than not) late with the political news. However, Rep. Todd Akin’s infamous words of the past week resonate with me.

As I’m sure you’ve all heard by now, this individual feels that “at the heart of liberalism is a hatred for God.”

Cue firestorm of outraged liberal media.

Cue religious leaders coming forward and denouncing the comments.

Cue liberal Americans standing proud as Christian citizens who love God.

Cue me, wondering where the hell I’d been for the past week.

Honestly, it’s a bunch of bullshit. If you love God, then love God. You’re love of Him will either define your political leanings or it won’t. I don’t personally believe that at the core of any ideology is a love for, or a hatred of, God.

What I do believe is that the average human being has their own established beliefs, ideas and leanings and that they use religion as a means of fueling those ideas. How many times in the history of the world has a religious text been twisted to suit the needs of one explosive group or another?

In the end, I try not to define myself as a conservative or a liberal.  I do, however, define myself as a person who believes that we help those in need.  That we aid the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked – essentially take care of those who cannot take care of themselves.  Take a gander at Matthews 25:31-46. I don’t take those words lightly. I don’t think they are there just because they look pretty in red.

For the most part, the people you accuse of hating God are the ones that are the most vocal about upholding the programs that ensure that our uninsured get medical aid, that our hungry get food, that our naked get clothed and that our rich don't continue to get rich off the backs of people that can't even afford to put enough gas in their cars to get to work. Hatred of God indeed.

I'm going to need you to man up and not take the pansy way out by saying you were referring to "ideology" and not people. If the average person is defined by their political ideology and you feel that liberalism is defined by a hatred of God, doesn't that mean that you believe that some liberals, on some level, hate God? Or, at the very least, that they are okay with adhering to a realm of thought that his defined by a hatred of God? (Which, let's just face it, is just as bad.)

Of course that's not what you meant! 

Rep. Akin – I know who I am. I know what God defines me and I know what political leanings define me. But, whether I’m conservative or liberal – I take offense to your assertions. Perhaps if you spent more time focusing on the core tenets of the Christian philosophy and less on the foundation of the liberal ideology – you’d be a better representative.

If you wanted to debate the fundamental differences between conservativism, liberalism, pansy-ism and backbone-ism - perhaps you should have become a professor of the political sciences. 

Oh, and if any of you were wondering: 

Conservative - adj. disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditional ones and to limit change.

Liberal - adj. favorable to progress or reform, as in political or religious affairs.

I guess I'll be a liberal today.