Monday, April 30, 2012

April 30 - Monday Quote(s)

Saturday was the annual White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, and the President got in some good ones.

monday quotes: President Obama noted that they were enjoying dinner in an enormous hotel ballroom--“what Mitt Romney would call a little fixer-upper”. 

Acknowledging that both he and Romney have degrees from Harvard, though he has only one while Romney has two, he quoted Rick Santorum:  “What a snob”. 

Talking about his appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show last week, the President said that Mr. Romney “asked if he could get some equal time on ‘The Merv Griffin Show’.”

Noting the presence of Newt Gingrich, he singled him out with: “Newt there’s still time, man!”.

President Obama mocked Republican criticism of his having eaten dog meat as a child in Indonesia and gave Sarah Palin a jab by tweaking her signature campaign joke. “What’s the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? A pit bull is delicious.”

He spoke to the members of Congress who attended, thanking them for taking “a break from their exhausting schedule of not passing any laws to be here tonight”.

Hillary Clinton got a mention for being photographed drinking a beer in a club during her visit to Colombia. “She won’t stop drunk-texting me from Cartagena”.

Talking about the Secret Service, the President said he had to leave the dinner early because he had to make sure he got his Secret Service detail “home in time for their new curfew”.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What Is It With Republicans and the GM Volt?

The GM Volt, the brainchild of former GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz, was recently named the European Car of the Year. Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly have used the car as an example of big government running amok, wasting tax dollars and creating a vehicle that is so unsafe to drive that only Europeans will buy it. (In fact, the Volt has passed all the latest battery/fire tests with flying colors.)

what eye thynk: Why can’t O’Reilly and Limbaugh let this issue die? Well, because they have invented a Volt-Obama connection that they just can’t let go--even though the connection lives entirely in their minds.

One of their main screaming points is the $7500 tax credit to which Volt buyers are entitled. They can’t get enough of railing against President Obama and big-government liberals for giving our tax money away to these tree huggers. Problem is, that $7500 tax credit became law while George W. was President; but, hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of a good anti-Obama rant.

Mr. Lutz, who describes himself as “deeply conservative” says he has become disenchanted with the lies these two spread to advertise their cause. “It's…the radical fringe who will use anything to attack Obama.”  Asked why conservative Republicans seem to be rooting against the Volt, Lutz replied: "They all...believe that the Volt is Obama's personal product program, because Rush told them so".

Well, at least one Republican has broken from the herd--George H.W. just bought his son Neil a Volt for his birthday. (Maybe he just wanted that tax credit?)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Big Oil and Congress -- A Model Plan for Money Management

Late last month Congress once again failed to eliminate billions of dollars in tax breaks for oil companies. As early as 2008 Shell, Chevron, BP, ConocoPhillips, and Exxon all said that the subsidies are not needed, especially when oil prices are high. John Hofmeister, former CEO of Shell Oil testified before the House prior to their most recent vote to continue the subsidies. “In the face of sustained high oil prices it (is) not an issue….of needing the subsidies to entice us into looking for and producing more oil”.

what eye thynk: Big oil is raking in enormous profits and they didn’t get to be that profitable by being stupid. While they admit that they don’t actually NEED the subsidies, they do acknowledge that they really LIKE the subsidies, and will gladly continue accepting our unwarranted largesse as long as possible--or until Congress finally stands up and says “No!”.

Don’t look for that to happen any time soon. Why? Can you say “lobbyists”, boys and girls? Big oil companies spent $146M last year lobbying Congress to continue providing tax breaks they admit are unnecessary. Both Democrats and Republicans continue to spout platitudes about how subsidizing oil companies helps to keep gas prices down.  At the same time, the Congressional Research Service, a non-partisan think tank that exists solely to provide factual analysis to members of Congress, states that the termination of oil company subsidies would cause gasoline to go up by only a penny or two. But who needs facts when you have lobbyists throwing $146M at you to ignore them?

And we can’t forget the additional money that big oil spends on helping their favorite Congressmen/women get re-elected. Compare the most recent voting record on oil subsidies to campaign donation records and it appears that those who voted to continue the subsidies accepted FOUR TIMES more dollars from big oil than those who voted to end the subsidies. Anyone see a connection?

So Congress gives the oil companies millions of dollars in subsidies. The oil companies then recycle a portion of those dollars back to Congress to guarantee the subsidies continue. Essentially, we’re funding their lobbyists! That is one heck of a recycling program.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I Just Had to Share This...

what eye thynk:  I don't know whether this makes me want to laugh or cry.  I'll decide right after I get done being pissed.  Don't bother waiting--the pissed-off stage is going to last a while.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Thumbnail Thoughts - Foot-in-Mouth Edition

#1 Romney seems to put his foot in his mouth about once a week. Last month, one of his former advisors said Obama is benefiting from these gaffes because the media reports on them. This, he says, makes Romney “overly self-conscious, producing more gaffes”.

what eye thynk: I sincerely doubt that Romney is suddenly going to become a master of spontaneous speech, so what is he going to do if he becomes President, appoint a Secretary of Media Editing? (After all, the chair belonging to the Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development will be empty.)


#2 Last week, Romney’s campaign organization set up a meet and greet with three handpicked Republican couples at a picnic table in a Pennsylvania park. A beloved local bakery supplied a tray of their specialty cookies. Mr. Romney said they didn’t look homemade, “no,no”, but looked like “they came from the local 7-Eleven…or whatever“. Then he wouldn’t eat any.

what eye thynk: This guy is so socially inept that he doesn’t even know when he is being insulting. I shudder to think what will come out of his mouth if he actually achieves his goal of becoming President and sits down with the leader of another country for an unscripted discussion. Will his idea of being cute cost us an ally?


#3 Remember Romney campaigning in Michigan? That‘s where he thought he would win the hearts and minds of auto workers by telling what he called a “humorous“ story about his father closing AMC plants--in Michigan.

what eye thynk: Yep, reminding people that your father probably put some of their fathers out of work is a real knee-slapper.


#4 And we can’t forget this whopper: “I’m not concerned about the very poor”.

what eye thynk: This is one of those Freudian slips that tells it like it really is. To be fair, he did go on to say "We have a safety net there"; but his party is currently in the process of dismantling that safety net as evidenced by the House of Representatives passing the Ryan budget, a budget that makes drastic reductions to safety net items like food stamps, health care and early education---the same budget that Mr. Romney has called “marvelous”.

It has been nearly a week since Mr. Romney last dined on his own shoe leather, so he is due for another taste of thousand dollar footwear any day now. I, for one, can’t wait.

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 23 - Monday Quote

Because I have always loved Dr. Seuss...maybe because my mother thought his books were stupid and wouldn't let me bring them home from the library, so I read every one I could find while hiding in the stacks on Saturday mornings. 

monday quote:  Adults are obsolete children. (Dr. Seuss 1904-1991)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Immigration -- Mitt Was Against It Before He Was For It

While campaigning in Wisconsin earlier this month, Mitt Romney is quoted as saying “We are going to have to make sure as we talk to Hispanic voters that we say ‘We are not anti-immigrant. We are pro-immigrant. We are the party that loves people coming into this country as immigrants’”.

what eye thynk: Mitt, Mitt, Mitt. Let me explain something to you. Simply saying something, does not make it so. I’m a 5’8” natural blonde. I can tell people I’m a petite brunette, but just one look and they will know I'm lying.

Same thing with your new “I love immigrants” posturing. There are video tapes all over the place of you saying things like, “as President, I would veto the Dream Act” and that you think the Arizona show-me-your-papers law is a “model for America”. You can’t have it both ways. Mitt.

Really, do you think that stating you favor “self-deportation”, (as you did in January at the Tampa Republican Primary Debate), is going to make immigrants feel all warm and fuzzy when your name comes up?

Choose a side and stick with it. We don’t have to agree with you, but we do expect you to tell the truth…and we have proof when you don’t.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Apparently God Changed His Mind...and the Clergy's Not Too Happy Either

Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain, Rick Perry and finally Rick Santorum all claimed that God told them to run for President. Now Rep. Ryan is claiming that his budget was shaped by his Catholic faith.

what eye thynk:  Four Republican candidates, each trying to become his/her party's nominee for President of the United States, each claimed his/her campaign was the result of divine guidance.  Each of them tried to claim the crown of "top Christian conservative" and each of them failed.  Of course, when you become so vainglorious that you mistake the voice of your own ego for the voice of God, failure is pretty much guaranteed.

I don't like anything about Romney, and personally, the more I read about Mormonism, the more it sounds like nothing but a well-organized cult; but at least he isn't claiming that God called him to run.

As for Rep. Ryan's assertion that his budget is molded by the teachings of his Catholic faith, it seems that the Catholic clergy assert differently.  Last Friday almost sixty Catholic priests, nuns and theologians spoke out against Rep. Ryan's claim.  John Gehring, Catholic Outreach Coordinator at Faith in Public Life issued this statement:  "If Rep. Ryan thinks a budget that takes food and health care away from millions of vulnerable people upholds Catholic values, then he also probably believes Jesus was a Tea Partier who lectured the poor to stop being so lazy and work harder.  This budget turns centuries of Catholic social teaching on its head.  These Catholic leaders and many Catholics in the pews are tired of faith being misused to bless an immoral agenda".  Amen!

God doesn't care about politics.  You can claim that He chose you to lead your political party, you can claim that He spoke to you and told you how to apportion your country's monetary assets; but, really, God is too busy to worry about your personal career goals or whether the national checkbook balances.

Instead of claiming to be on God's speed dial, these so-called "Christian" conservatives, would be better served, (as would the rest of us), if they were to spend some time re-acquainting themselves with a few Bible verses that explain how Christ really expected Christians to act.  Luke 10: 30-37, The Parable of the Good Samaritan, might be a good place to start.

Monday, April 16, 2012

April 16 - Monday Quote

Today is Tax Day Eve! 

monday quote:  I wouldn't mind paying taxes if I knew they were going to a friendly country. (Dick Gregory, comedian, 1932-   )

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pay Your Full Share -- Protect a Millionaire!

This past week I balanced the books for my small, (very small), business, yesterday I drove to Indianapolis for an audition, today I'm tackling our tax forms.

what eye thynk:  Yes, I know they're due on Tuesday.  I always promise myself I'm going to get them done early and then suddenly it's April and...well, there's always next year.

When I'm finished filing, I'm betting that my husband and I will end up paying a higher percentage than Romney's 14.9% and probably even President Obama's 20%.  *sigh*

So I've decided to attempt to get in touch with my "inner-philanthrope".   This should help me to feel good knowing that by paying our full share, we are helping a millionaire out there somewhere--one who, because of our generosity, will be able to keep more of his for himself and so won't have to settle for cloth seats instead of hand-rubbed distressed leather on his new private jet.  I mean, really, how could I expect him to fly to Aruba for dinner on cloth seats?  It would be too demoralizing.

Aw, crap.  It's not working.  Screw philanthropy.  I'm just pissed!  And I hope that millionaire has to eat his jet, right down to the buttons on his distressed leather seats.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When You're a Republican, Bigotry Has Its Own Rewards

Last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner appointed Robert George to the U.S. Commission for International Religious Freedom, an organization dedicated to addressing “the challenges of religious extremism, intolerance and repression throughout the world”.

what eye thynk: Robert George is not a household name so his appointment to what, admittedly, is a minor post was not a major news story and has gone mostly unnoticed; but Speaker Boehner's choice of Mr. George speaks volumes about the Republican party and their disregard for those who are not “like them”.

Robert George is the co-founder and chairman emeritus of the National Organization for Marriage, a group that identifies itself as a social welfare organization though the state of Maine identifies it more accurately as a political activist group and has decided it must follow disclosure laws pertaining to that true identity.

The day before Speaker Boehner appointed Mr. George to his new post, a Federal judge in Maine unsealed memos and e-mails written by the NOM. The details of these memos show that the National Organization for Marriage is nothing more than a front for a conservative political hate group whose main focus appears to be to deny gay men and women the right to marry.

Some of the memos brag about their “crucial” role in the passage of California’s Proposition 8. One memo talks about how the NOM made robo calls to residents in other states that were designed to scare residents away from supporting marriage equality; another details a plan where “the strategic goal of the project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks--two key Democratic constituencies”. Hispanic voters also earned the attention of the NOM. One of their programs calls for the manipulation of Hispanic voters in order to exclude gay people from marriage calling it “a key badge of Latino identity”.

Mr. George’s campaign against equal marriage rights did not stop with his founding of the NOM. In 2001 he co-authored the Federal Marriage Amendment which attempted to add an amendment to the US Constitution that would ban any state from legalizing same-sex marriage. In 2009 he helped to write the 4700 word Manhattan Declaration, a document that denounces not just same-sex marriage but also civil unions of any kind.

It should be noted that both Mr. Romney and Mr. Santorum have signed a pledge in support of the Manhattan Declaration. (Is it just me who finds it really scary when elected officials--or those who hope to become elected officials--sign pledges promising to support private hate groups?)
What possible justification can Speaker Boehner have for appointing this intolerant extremist to an international commission supposedly dedicated to fighting intolerance and extremism? Mr. George would appear to any sensible person to be so uniquely unqualified for this post that his appointment would seem a joke…that is, if you find hatred funny.

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9 - Monday Quote

This week's quote is dedicated to Rep. Paul D. Ryan and the House Budget Committee.

Monday Quote: Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle. (Franklin D. Roosevelt,  1882-1945)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tax Cuts for the Wealthy - Sure Glad They Cleared That Up

Last week the House of Representatives passed the new Ryan budget and tax plan. Romney has called it "marvelous".  President Obama said that the new tax plan will reduce taxes for those making $1M by $150,000 a year.  The House Budget Committee says this is not true.  The new tax plan will reduce a millionaire's taxes by only $46,000--the additional $105,000 comes from another extension of the Bush tax cuts.

what eye thynk:  This is supposed to make me feel better?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Rick Santorum and Global Warming - Part 2, The Faith Based Argument

This is my second essay on the subject of Rick Santorum saying he has never believed in global warming. (See my post of April 3, Rick Santorum and Global Warming - Part 1, The Factual Argument)
To quote him exactly: “We’re put on earth to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit, not for earth’s benefit”.

what eye thynk: Some conservative Christians like Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann, (remember her?), believe that global warming does not exist, that what we are experiencing is just part of the ebb and flow of earth as God created it. Other conservative Christian groups agree that global warming is true, but think we should do nothing about it. “It is entirely the hand of God bringing the world to an end and therefore we cannot and should not resist it” (Quote taken from “Understanding What the Bible Really Says About the Future” on the Biblical Thinking Resources website.)

From everything I’ve read about conservative and evangelical Christians, they believe that we should take the Bible literally and follow it as the true word of God telling us how to live. My question to them is: exactly where are the Bible verses telling us to ignore global warming? Where are the parables teaching us that ignoring melting polar ice and rising temperatures is a holy and just act? There aren’t any. There are no lessons because this problem was unimaginable two thousand years ago. There were no coal burning hydroelectric plants and Jesus didn’t drive an SUV!

There are, however, lots of biblical verses telling us that God created a wonderful earth and only when that earth was complete did He add human life. When God created man, He included a brain with the expectation that we would use it to improve and develop what was around us. Errors were expected, but He designed us with the ability to recognize mistakes and the capacity to fix them.

If Jesus were to appear in Cleveland tomorrow, I believe He would be riding a bicycle on His way to a Greenpeace meeting. After all, earth is a gift from His Father and therefore to be cherished.

I find it appalling that those who would impose their rigid interpretation of godliness on the rest of us are using their God-given brain to rationalize the destruction of His precious gift of earth, the planet He designed to sustain us. What ingratitude. What twisted piety.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Rick Santorum and Global Warming - Part 1, The Factual Argument

Rick Santorum says he has never believed in global warming. To quote him exactly: “We’re put on earth to use it wisely and steward it wisely, but for our benefit, not for earth’s benefit”.

what eye thynk: To begin with the last part of his statement, “our benefit” and “earth’s benefit” are not mutually exclusive. We live here. Anything we do that effects the earth, in turn effects us and vice versa. If we continue to destroy our planet, then we are destroying ourselves; protect the planet and we protect ourselves. You can’t have one without the other.

His use of the word “steward” as it appears in the beginning of his sentence is defined by Merriam-Webster as “one who actively directs affairs”. Either Mr. Santorum doesn’t know what the word “steward” means or he thinks that ignoring the science of global warming is a wise and active response. And what is “wise” about ignoring what scientists all over the world have acknowledged as fact--the earth is warming and the acceleration of that warming can be attributed in large part to the proliferation of man made carbon emissions?

The proof of global warming can be seen in the melting of our polar ice, the rising of our ocean levels, the dying off of our coral reefs, the rising of our average temperatures, the disruption of our weather patterns and the severity of our storms. Did you know that in 1910 Montana’s Glacier National Park boasted 150 glaciers? Today there are 27.

The United States should be leading the fight to correct global warming, instead we have allowed a narrow-minded segment of our populace to disseminate their anti-science ideology and to amplify it with their own brand of political rhetoric--rhetoric financed in part by those most likely to profit by our incognizance and designed to leave us isolated from the rest of the world in our selective ignorance. Turning our back on the problem has earned us the disdain of Europe and is allowing us to fall behind China in green technology.

Peter Raven, one of the world‘s most respected senior scientists was recently quoted as saying “…the world was hoping for US leadership on this question, global climate change, and now it has pretty well given up with us as the only hold-out nation on this science….There is a frustration and anger at America”.

In 1997, 160 countries met in Japan and signed the Kyoto Protocol, an agreement calling for the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions and yet, here we are fifteen years later still separate and apart, waiting patiently for those who have their heads buried in their personal pile of oil company cash to come up for air and realize that the rest of the world has left us behind.

We have allowed ourselves to be held back by the monied, the venal and the narrow minded.  We should be ashamed.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2 - Monday Quote

I would like to dedicate this week's quote to Rick Santorum.

Monday Quote: I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.  (Gandhi 1869-1948)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Good News! Using Romney's Own Criteria, Obama Wins!

Mitt Romney spent part of last week in Wisconsin where he picked up the endorsement of Representative Paul D. Ryan. During one campaign stop, Mr. Romney is quoted as saying “This President…was not elected on the strength of his compelling record of accomplishment but by a compelling personality and story”.

what eye thynk: Let’s see, Romney’s accomplishments include one term as the governor of Massachusetts where he passed the Massachusetts health care insurance reform law, a law with the same personal mandate requirement that the Republicans believe is unconstitutional when applied to the ACA. Guess we can remove that law from Romney‘s accomplishment column since if the Affordable Care Act goes down, his law can’t be far behind. For now, both laws stand, so we’ll call this one a draw. Accomplishment Score: Romney 1 - Obama 1

Just an aside--Mr. Romney has been saying that he re-entered the private sector after leaving the Massachusetts governorship. Factually, his assertion skims the outside edge of truth. His term ended on January 4, 2007, but he filed papers to establish an exploratory presidential committee the day before leaving office. He announced his candidacy for President on February 13, 2007.  So, yes, he was technically a private citizen, but his premature filing and his official political re-entry five short weeks later makes his private citizen assertion a little “iffy”.

Romney likes to remind us of his business credentials. He started Bain Capital, a company whose focus is on buying companies, laying off employees, and then selling the gutted company to another investor. By the millions he has made from Bain, I suppose we have to call that an accomplishment, at least for him…for the thousands of people he put out of work, not so much. I’m not sure I would call this a good business model for improving our jobless rate, but, hey, he seems proud of it. In the meantime, President Obama has overseen a slow but steady decline in the unemployment rate to a level that is the lowest we have seen in three years. Accomplishment Score: Romney 0 - Obama 1

How about foreign policy? A few days ago Romney called Russia “our number one geopolitical foe” going on to state that he was appalled that President Obama wanted to further reduce our nuclear weaponry. Russia? Apparently he has been too busy lately to read anything about Iran or North Korea and he thinks nuclear bombs are cool. As for President Obama, he has brought an end to the war in Iraq, formed an international coalition to deal with the Middle East, convinced other nations to co-operate in the attempt to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and eliminated Osama Bin Laden. Accomplishment Score: Romney 0 - Obama 4

Total Accomplishment Score: Romney 1 - Obama 6

I’d do a side by side comparison of their “compelling” personalities, but that just seems cruel.