Archive for July, 2011
There is a Republican War on Christmas. It is now being acted out as part of the debt ceiling negotiations in Washington, D.C. and has been going on for over a generation all over America. This is an expanded version of a previous post I wrote.
The Republican War on Christmas started in 1980 with the election of Ronald Reagan. Mr. Reagan ran against a $1 trillion deficit in 1980. In 1980, we heard how many times a line of money of $1 trillion would go to and from the Moon. Mr. Reagan told us that if we cut taxes for corporations and the very rich and increased defense spending by $1.2 trillion, we could balance the budget and insure the future security of all Americans.
Mr. Reagan didn’t really mean all Americans because the Republican definition of an “American” doesn’t include union members, the Middle Class, seniors, the disabled, pregnant women (if unmarried), minorities, students, the young, infants, the poor and the unborn (unless threatened by abortion but, thereafter left to thrive or die as the “free market” decides), widows or orphans.
George H. W. Bush called Reagan’s economic plan “voodoo economics” and predicted massive deficits. Mr. Bush was right. But, that was Reagan and the Republicans’ plan. If America ran up massive national debt, future government spending would naturally have to be diminished in areas Republicans believed were “socialism” or “communism” like Medicare and Social Security.
Please let’s not forget both Medicare and Social Security were and are still attacked by Republicans and Reagan and GW Bush as “socialism,” “socialistic,” communist” and other such tommyrot. See here, here and here.
But we’re still in Afghanistan, for no good reason at all. Greg Mitchell of The Nation tells us what we should have learned and discussed about Afghanistan one year ago, in light of the Wikileaks release of classified U.S. documents regarding Afghanistan:
[The Wikileaks release] not only recounts 144 incidents in which coalition forces killed civilians over six years. But it shows just how deeply elements within the US’s supposed ally, Pakistan, have nurtured the Afghan insurgency.
. . .
The Guardian carried a tough editorial on its web site, calling the picture “disturbing” and raising doubts about ever winning this war, adding: “These war logs—written in the heat of engagement—show a conflict that is brutally messy, confused and immediate. It is in some contrast with the tidied-up and sanitized ‘public’ war, as glimpsed through official communiques as well as the necessarily limited snapshots of embedded reporting.”
Democracy Now! reports on recent developments regarding efforts to seek Palestinian statehood:
Israel, U.S. Denounce Palestinian Statehood Bid at United Nations
The Obama administration and the Israeli government are continuing a vocal campaign to quash the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations. Palestinians are seeking a vote in September that would recognize an independent Palestinian state in the Occupied Territories. Speaking before the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor, as well deputy U.S. envoy Rosemary Dicarlo, offered matching positions.
Ron Prosor: “First let me state clearly, unilateral actions will not bring peace to our region. Like a false idol, the Palestinian actions at the United Nations may be superficially attractive to some, yet they distract from the true path to peace.”
Rosemary Dicarlo: “Let there be no doubt, symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September will not create an independent Palestinian state. The United States will not support unilateral campaigns at the United Nations in September or any other time.”
Both the House and Senate have threatened to cut off aid if Palestinians continue with their statehood bid. Also addressing the Security Council, Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour said Israel’s refusal to end the occupation remains the lone obstacle to peace.
Riyad Mansour: We have fulfilled our responsibilities and are ready to govern ourselves. The only remaining obstacle is Israel’s 44-year military occupation.
[More . . . ]
Deep corporate pockets have been drafting “model legislation” designed to put corporate profits before the health, welfare and political influence of ordinary people. Keith Olbermann discusses ALEC with John Nichols, Washington Correspondent with The Nation:
I don’t claim to have the expertise to cut through all of the yelling about the deficit. I do have some instincts, though, and many of those instincts were reinforced in a recent article by Arianna Huffington:
What’s more, these extended, deadline-pushing theatrics are utterly unnecessary. There was no reason an agreement on the long-term deficit had to be coupled to raising the debt ceiling. The latter dates from the days of World War I, and has been raised, routinely, dozens and dozens of times. It was raised 18 times under Reagan. It was raised seven times under George W. Bush.