Tag Archives: Marco Rubio

MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN? THIS ELECTION SEASON I’D SETTLE FOR MEDIOCRITY.

drumpf

 

Earlier today I blew up on Facebook. I called friends who generally share my views stupid and those who don’t stupider. Much of my heartfelt enmity is the result of the rise of Drumpf.

Why do I refer to him as Drumpf? You can thank John Oliver for that.

Immediately after my viewing of this episode I downloaded the Chrome extension that converts Drumpf to Drumpf (I have found I can’t even type the actual name here without it undergoing the transformation) on stories in my browser. It is one small consolation to see this at work in the headlines and stories I see on Slate, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, and elsewhere, even on sites that lean farther right.

I deplore the lowlghts from all the 2016 campaigns. Our Presidential  electoral process is in the gutter, dragged there by Drumpf who has been joyfully joined there by Marco Rubio  who questions the size of Drumpf’s penis; by Ted Cruz simply being Ted Cruz; by Jeb Bush forced to defend charges of being a mommy’s boy; by Ben Carson, who fell in while sleep walking; by John Kasich, who destroyed any possible claims of being a moderate by defunding Planned Parenthood; and by the millions of presumably sentient human beings who listen to all the crazy talk about immigrants and an out of control government who couldn’t pass a U.S. citizenship/civics test if it were an open book exam and the original Declaration of  Independence and Constitution were splayed in front of them.

Holding them hostage there are David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremicist groups armed to the teeth courtesy of the National Rifle Association, crazed Evangelicals who believe Drumpf somehow possesses better Christian bona fides than the Pope when The Donald is probably more likely to provide a quote from a Smokey Stover comic book than from II Corinthians when asked about his favorite Bible passage.

Let us not forget the Secret Srvice which somehow has improved its training to the point that a reporter who wanders 10 inches outside the designated journalist area at a Drumpf rally is strong armed when only a few months ago intruders inside the White House grounds stole President Obama‘s favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe before being hustled to the requisite nearby mental hospital for observation.

Oh I’m not forgetting the Democrats. Their participation is in somewhat shallower waters near the curb cutouts that allow wheelchair crossing rather than in the middle of the block, but where the H2O is equally putrid. This time it is not so much the candidates themselves…Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton …hurling invectives at each other so much as it is the so-called BernieBros who have been accused of ugly misogynistic characterizations of the other camp while feminist icons Like Gloria Steinem, though using politer language, are equally sexist in how they portray young female Sanders enthusiasts.

And from these nominal Progressives come the enabling threats to withold their vote from the nominee should he or she not be the one they love to death at this moment. Enabling threats because by doing so they will practically guarantee that our next President will have a bulbous red nose, bizarre multi-colored makeup, a fright wig,  and will be making nonsense noises as he struts around the circus ring. Of course all but Drumpf will need to be fitted for this outfit.

Accompanying this flotsam down the gutter where it will eventually empty into the stream that will make the water supply of Flint, Michigan seem utterly pristine by comparison are various pundits, analysts, economic gurus, and the like offering opinions that may be parsley, rosemary, or thyme, but most certainly not sage.

Perhaps the only good that is coming from this is Spotlight. No, not the latest Oscar winning film but the harsh relentless glare focused on the entire Presidential nominating process that places premiums on a candidacy that begins within weeks after the prior election and is fueled by endless speculation, pollmongering profiteers, the need to fill cable TV news with anything but substance, and the proliferation of web sites whose sole purpose is to promulgate lies, denigrate anyone with opinions different from theirs, and disregard anything remotely likely to benefit the America they all profess to love but which they incessantly subject to virtual domestic violence while declaring their fealty between bruising blows.

Super Tuesday is an agglomeration of primaries in states and American Samoa which would be significant just for the sheer numbers of opportunities for voters to express their choices were it not for the media telling us that the issues have been decided by the primaries/caucuses already consigned to history in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina and whch have a combined poulation dwarfed by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania whose own 2016 primary is not until April 26, a date by which the names of many former candidates will be not even a memory and which may represent only the merest possibility of ultimate success to the horses (asses) still in the race.

All this makes the Swiftboating of John Kerry in 2004 look more like the highest level of forensic debate by comparison.

Oh, hell. I’ll admit it. I, too have awkwardly stepped off the curb and fallen into the slime. But the murky waters are deep and I really can’t swim so I am about to drown in this torrent I am now a part of.

In splashing around for survival I might occasionally send splurges of nastiness into the open mouths of others, but they were there first voluntarily.

HOMES OF THE MAYBE RICH AND WANNA BE FAMOUS

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We are rapidly, or maybe not rapidly enough, moving towards the 2016 Presidential election. The house pictured above is the residence the announced candidates aspire to inhabit. But what about their current residences? How do they compare?

We are blessed by this article which gives us pretty pictures of the house or houses owned by some of the candidates, but limited to only Trump, Bush, Clinton, and Sanders.

http://www.homes.com/blog/2015/09/presidential-candidate-homes/

I have not been able to obtain photographs, but I am assured by reliable sources that the following descriptions are accurate depictions of their living spaces for some of the other candidates.

Mike Huckabee—a little warren within some evangelical church, away from the riff-raff whom he has time for only to deliver his latest irrational screed. Inside his personal area the walls are plastered with pictures of various acts of sado-masochism performed by him with waitresses from Hooters. Oh, and a portrait of Soupy Sales.

Rick Perry—His house is built to emulate the Allan B. Polunsky Unit in West Livingston, Texas which contains the state’s Death Row. Inside, Perry’s great room contains plenty of loungers with wrist, waist, and ankle straps and IV poles ready to deliver his guests’ beverage of choice.

Scott Walker—-Surprisingly he lives a very ascetic life in a bare bones home. After all, even in these times it’s difficult to fully furnish and decorate a house without objects that were union made. Obviously he has no car.

Rand PaulDesigned by renowned architect Howard Roark Paul’s home has a small but comfortable library which holds only the works of Ayn Rand…oh…and the Gideon Bible he brought home from his last national Ophthalmology Convention, aiming to use it for guidance when advising Kentucky County Clerks on their job duties.

Ben Carson—A comfortable but not ostentatious home in which his favorite room is the one where he displays mementoes of his life. Among thse are a brain preserved in formaldehyde complete with electric stimulators he can operate for old times’ sake, a sonogram of the pre-aborted fetus he later used for stem cell research, and an unused booklet of Food Stamps from his childhood.

Martin O’Malley—He lives in a house that formerly housed one of those crab shacks like you find dotting the Maryland shore. He maintains a supply of wooden mallets, a stack of old newspapers (each containing a report of one of his speeches) used to cover the wooden picnic table where his family dines, and a to-the-ceiling pile of O’Malley For President bumper stickers that no one has accessed his web site to request.

Rick Santorum—Since his unpublicized divorce and remarriage, he had to move into his new spouse’s dog house.

Chris Christie—Has houses all over the country. You can recognize them by the Dunkin Donuts logo outside.

Carly Fiorina—Her house is an nondescript suburban block and brick building, miles from public transit, part of which she leases to the local unemployment office serving laid off tech workers.

Jim Webb—A 3476 sq ft Virginia Colonial, indistinguishable from most of his neighbors save for the electric message sign in front displaying a continuous loop reading “I AM NOT THE JIM WEBB WHO WROTE THAT ATROCIOUS SONG MACARTHUR PARK. There is currently a class action by his neighbors pending in which they seek damages for the ear worm they cannot get rid of.

Jeff Boss, Harry Braun, Lawrence Lessig, Robby Wells and Willie Nelson (not the singer) , a bunch of unknowns seeking the Democratic nomination, who reside jointly in a suite at the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia.

Bobby Jindal–He used to live in a home resembling the Taj Mahal, but Trump evicted him for nonpayment of rent after he gambled all his money away in the building’s casino.

Ted Cruz—Rumored to reside just outside Winnipeg.

Marco Rubio—Lives very modestly in the rear of a Cuban sandwich shop in Miami’s Little Havana.

John Kasich—Currently living in the Ohio Governor’s mansion in Columbus, but preparing to move to a mountainside cabin on Denali. when his term expires.

Lindsey Graham—Once his objective of attacking Iran to end its nuclear program is acheived, he is going to retire from the Senate, and move into the penthouse condo he has already purchased overlooking the grandest boulevard in downtown Tehran.

Considering our options, would it be possible to change the locks at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. before January, 20, 2017?

 

UPDATE. The original version mis-stated Martin O’Malley’s first name as Michael. The text now reads as corrected.

THE WAR ON POVERTY HAS BECOME THE WAR ON THE POOR

“The same guys who can deny others everything are famous for refusing themselves nothing”

Leigh Hunt

Recently we observed the 50th anniversary of when President Lyndon B. Johnson announced measures to be taken to mount a war on poverty. Contrary to popular opinion these measures were not limited to providing pure handouts to shiftless blacks and lazy scumbag poor white trash. Indeed aside from common notions of poverty aid, Johnson’s plans were much more comprehensive and included provisions and programs to not only provide direct payments but which were designed to move to eliminate or at least lessen the causes of poverty entailing health, education and other social programs that benefited entire groups rather than individuals.

Such widely accepted programs as Medicare and Medicaid and federal aid to education were large parts of the entire package as was the establishment of the Food Stamp program, now called SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).

Despite some criticisms from both liberal and conservative factions, the actions instituted did decrease poverty levels significantly in the first ten years, according to the prevailing metrics of the time. The poverty rate fell from 17.4% when the initiatives began to 11.1% in 1973, when the rate leveled off.

A good overview of the War on Poverty (not an official name) and related topics can be found here.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_on_Poverty

Also contrary to popular opinion the War on Poverty has continued to be successful, perhaps not so much in reducing the poverty rate itself to miniscule levels but to prevent more people from falling into that defined status.

In observation of this anniversary the New York Times (NYT) offers an analysis of the present state of poverty in America with information gleaned from various sources. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-war-on-poverty-at-50/?_r=1

However, the writer refuses to frame the analysis in terms of winning versus losing.

So, collecting all of these facts, the answer to the question posed above is that it’s the wrong question, in that its inherent win/loss framing precludes a nuanced analysis of the play between many disparate factors.

The momentum to fight the WOP (War on Poverty) lessened considerably after 1973 and ground to a comparative halt in the past thirty years.

President Ronald Reagan notoriously virtually dismissed the entire WOP with his characterizations of the recipients of largesse as leeches looking to game the system at great cost to our country. The epitome of his scorn was the so-called Welfare Queen, traipsing in furs and driving Cadillacs while collecting thousands upon thousands of dollars in funds ideally directed to the neediest of our citizens.

While there was actually some truth to the alleged fraudulent schemes of of his main target, one Linda Taylor, legend has grown over the years that this woman was a myth created out of whole cloth and Reagan’s dementia fed imagination. But there really was such a woman who was convicted of welfare fraud but whose crimes, cons and scams were far more egregious than those petty misdemeanors, possibly even including murder.

(For an examination of Linda Taylor’s actual life—much undocumented—read the fascinating tale presented here. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2013/12/linda_taylor_welfare_queen_ronald_reagan_made_her_a_notorious_american_villain.html)

Unfortunately the image of “Welfare Queen has been iterated and replicated many times over since Reagan’s tenure though he assuredly was not the first person of any stripe or prominent leader to make that erroneous generalization.

Of course the notion that the WOP is an utter failure simply feeds that stereotype and lends  support to arguments propagated by conservatives to seriously slash these social safety net programs because…well…they don’t work anyways.

Senator Marco Rubio has taken up the failure mantra but liberal Michael Tomasky, building on the NYT article, observes that

What’s wrong with thinking is that we have not, of course, been fighting any kind of serious war on poverty for five decades. We fought it with truly adequate funding for about one decade. Less, even. Then the backlash started, and by 1981, Ronald Reagan’s government was fighting a war on the war on poverty. The fate of many anti-poverty programs has ebbed and flowed ever since. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/06/marco-rubio-is-wrong-the-war-on-poverty-worked.html

Arguably  Exhibit 1 of the decrease in willingness to attack poverty is the welfare “reform” enacted in 1996, that drastically altered eligibility requirements for  the primary cash payments to the poor. Morphing from Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) the number of families receiving such aid has dropped from about 12.3 million in the throes of the AFDC system to about an average of just under 4.5 million families receiving TANF.

With those reforms came a work requirement and a lifetime limit on benefits.

I do not maintain that these and the other changes did not have logic and a factual basis behind them. Just about any government program, social or otherwise, demands frequent reevaluation and revision to remain effective. I do note, however, that the poverty rate during the intervening years is substantially the same as it was prior to “reform”. That leads to a conclusion that there remains a crying need for assistance on the previously broader scale, even if some revisions assured that only the truly needy received aid and that fraud was minimized.

Indeed there are so many variables at play here that result in our poorest citizens as a class losing pretty much any hope of truly living the American dream——you know, the dream that has individuals living in spacious houses,  replete with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances, with cars that are more than “beaters”, designer clothes on themselves and their children, and having said children obtain a good education in our public schools and going on to the college or vocational school of their choice so they can achieve these same goals.

But it ain’t so, Joe.

Our economic system is supposedly based on free enterprise and free markets, though many conservatives insist on portraying government as one big clogging influence that drags down our economics and taxes the “job creators” to death.

This canard is repeated over and over when it can be demonstrated that the government gives far more to these “business titans” than it asks in return. Not only that but income and wealth inequality in the United States has reached epic proportions, far exceeding that of the “Gilded  Age”

I have written on that particular aspect previously such as here.  https://umoc193.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/wealth-redistribution-its-already-a-reality/

The video linked to here is a real eye-opener that provides facts about what people believe the ideal income distribution should be (surprise, it’s not everybody gets the same) what people believe our income distribution is, and further facts revealing that the situation is far worse than many Americans commonly think.      http://www.upworthy.com/9-out-of-10-americans-are-completely-wrong-about-this-mind-blowing-fact-2?c=wa1

Now is this growing inequality the fault of the “failed” WOP? Absolutely not. I have already mentioned the changes and reductions of help that have characterized the past forty years under Presidents of both parties. Indeed, what seems to be clear is that due to political expediency, philosophical adjustments, and a penchant for favoring guns over butter, we have reached the point where the average person finds it extremely difficult to move up the scale.

If only we had fought the war on poverty with the same fervor, unity of purpose and seemingly limitless expenditure of dollars that we have in attacking hapless nations we would have achieved far greater inroads against poverty.

But not only has the will to fight to end poverty been lost, today we find nefarious forces at work which are thoroughly hostile to the poor. (And since the middle class has been so ravaged I include them as the targets of the oppressors).

A quick glance through any news source finds the poor and middle class under attack as never before. They are being assailed for the lack of contents in their wallets while questioning their character. In other words, blame the victim.

Public school teachers, always underpaid in comparison to others of similar education, are now derisively attacked for the shortcomings of our public education system most especially if they have the gall to be union members.

Other public servants are barraged with allegations of greed, laziness and ineptitude, again more so if they are unionized. In Wisconsin and elsewhere their collective bargaining rights have been unilaterally removed. That is, except for police and firefighters. Ironically the most common instances of overreach of public servants are rooted in law enforcement. Certainly the offending parties are relatively few but annually they cost their cities and counties millions upon millions of dollars for illegal arrests, unjustified beatings and shooting, and outright corruption.

Unions and their members in general apparently are solely responsible for the near total demise of the auto industry recently and the steel industry before that. At least that is what you are fed every day by cowardly politicos and craven business moguls.

The image of the welfare queen has not faded but now is supplemented by the anger generated by the mere notion that someone on food stamps can actually buy soft drinks with them. Oh, the nerve!

One of the most successful public programs in history, Social Security, is beset by unthinking budget cutters wanting to curtail or reduce benefits or install new cost of living (COLA) formulas to hold future increases in benefits down. Of course, save for the short-lived SS tax reduction, not one cent from general revenues has ever been put into the SS Trust Fund nor has any benefit for retirees been paid out of general revenues. Also, of course, the current COLA formula already has prevented any increase in two out of the past five years.

I personally have seen my fixed living costs go up less than any increase in benefits I have received, meaning I have less disposable income than I did five years ago.

The evils of “Obamacare” are so horrific that Republicans want to eliminate it though its basic tenets were their original creation. The refusal of the governors in over twenty states (I believe all Republican controlled) to expand their Medicaid rolls under the Affordable Care Act and non-participation in the insurance exchanges will prevent millions from having coverage who live in poverty as well as making it more challenging for their citizens  to procure insurance on their own.

People making hundreds of thousands of dollars a year resent any move to increase the minimum wage to around $10/hour which would enable that earner to pocket $20,000 a year. This is so even with the fact that the current minimum wage is less in real dollars than what that figure was forty years ago.

Somehow these brilliant business folks are completely immune to and ignorant of the reality that putting more money into the hands of the less well off means it will be spent often generating more income for the rich while upping demand for jobs. Then they complain that President Obama isn’t creating enough jobs while out of the other side of their mouths comes the mantra that government does not create jobs, the “job creators” do. That’s them, naturally. So why in the hell have they not created more jobs while they and their business experience record earnings levels?

Every advantage is given to the rich. Their corporations face too high a tax rate, they moan, while paying no taxes at all. They bitch and kvetch about paying welfare mothers while they sit back and collect farm subsidies. (75% of those go to corporations, not family farms.) Some sit in their New York City penthouses and search their mail for their next subsidy payment while their Wyoming hunting camp doesn’t plant the crops that never would be planted in the first place.

While rich guys get billions in subsidies the poor are the targets of overzealous legislators convinced that they are all druggies and need to be tested before receiving benefits.

The unthinking Congress creatures and Fox news hacks decry the present movement to increase the minimum wage, futilely exclaiming that such an action will destroy the fragile economy when history proves otherwise. And, Dr. Watson, it is elementary that more money in the hands of those inclined or necessitated to spend nearly every cent they receive will increase demand for the very goods and services allegedly purveyed by the 1%.

Mitt Romney’s famous declaration that 47% of Americans pay no taxes and therefore must be totally disregarded drew much attention in the 2012 Presidential campaign. His unconscionable contempt for many of the same folks who are more naturally inclined to support conservative causes and ideals…you know, older people, military retirees and the like…may as well have been a major part of his standard stump speech. he never backed down from those remarks and, if you recall the recording, those vile words were spewed from his mouth almost in glee.

We have billionaires expressing the bizarre belief that any criticism of the rich is the equivalent of the Nazi degradation of the Jews and that a rich man’s “holocaust” is imminent. But we’ve recently learned that the 85 richest people in the world have wealth equal to the poorest 3.5 BILLION PEOPLE on this earth. So any extermination should be swift and not drain too many resources.

Of course that entire idea is preposterous and I can offer nothing but sarcasm for this idiocy.

The Affordable Care Act has been under assault from the date of its passage. As I cited earlier much of the resistance to it is an overt way to stick it to the poor or at least would have such an effect as an underlying consequence.

Poor students in one Salt Lake City school had their lunches taken away because their parents were not fully paid up. How thoroughly embarrassing for the kids thought it does seem that those who received totally subsidized lunches were not affected. But elsewhere there have been calls to eliminate any free lunches and substitute a work requirement for the kiddies to “earn ” their way.

I can detail so many examples of the way our lawmakers want to punish the poor for merely being poor, with the support of far too many factions in our society, most disgustingly some “Christian” groups.  But I believe these odious proposals are not only Unchristian but also Unmuslim and Unjewish and probably Unzoroastrian.

Let me say here I do not condemn those who are rich for merely being rich.

I do condemn those who are rich who possess the mistaken assumption that all beneath them are dirt.These reverse Robin Hoods desire to take from the poor so that the troughs of the rich can become ever more bloated with lucre.

I do condemn those who are rich for limning the poor as poor in character, not only in financial resources.

I do condemn those who are rich for their desire to have it all, not just most of it, to bleed every dollar from every transaction to line their own pockets.

I do condemn the rich who portray themselves as victims and under siege. They know very well that farcical that is.

I never advocate violence and mayhem as a solution to a problem, but the sentiments of this song are difficult to ignore and repress.

“Eat The Rich”

Well I woke up this morning
On the wrong side of the bed
And how I got to thinkin’
About all those things you said
About ordinary people
And how they make you sick
And if callin’ names kicks back on you
Then I hope this does the trick’Cause I’m a sick of your complainin’
About how many bills
And I’m sick of all your bitchin’
Bout your poodles and your pills
And I just can’t see no humour
About your way of life
And I think I can do more for you
With this here fork and knife[Chorus:]
Eat the Rich: there’s only one thing they’re good for
Eat the Rich: take one bite now – come back for more
Eat the Rich: I gotta get this off my chest
Eat the Rich: take one bite now, spit out the restSo I called up my head shrinker
And I told him what I’d done
Said you’d best go on a diet
Yeah I hope you have some fun
And a don’t go burst a bubble
On the rich folks who get rude
‘Cause you won’t get in no trouble
When you eats that kinda food
Now their smokin’ up the junk bonds
And then they go get stiff
And they’re dancin’ in the yacht club
With Muff and Uncle Biff
But there’s one good thing that happens
When you toss your pearls to swine
Their attitudes may taste like shit
But go real good with wine
[Chorus]Wake up kid, it’s half past your youth
Ain’t nothin’ really changes but the date
You a grand slammer, but you no Babe Ruth
You gotta learn how to relate
Or you’ll be swingin’ from the pearly gate
Now you got all the answers, low and behold
You got the right key baby but the wrong key ho, yoBelieve in all the good things
That money just can’t buy
Then you won’t get no belly ache
From eatin’ humble pie
I believe in rags to riches
Your inheritence won’t last
So take your Grey Poupon my friend
And shove it up your ass!
[Chorus]Eat the Rich: there’s only one thing they’re good for
Eat the Rich: take one bite now – come back for more
Eat the Rich: don’t stop me now I’m goin’ crazy
Eat the Rich: that’s my idea of a good time baby

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/aerosmith/eattherich.html

Writer’s Notes

Though I have included some citations for quotes and source materials, I drew from many more for my views expressed here. Below is a list of resources utilized here as well as some interesting reading which is related to this topic and will enhance your knowledge. I read each of them in preparing this post.

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/30/the_middle_class_myth_heres_why_wages_are_really_so_low_today/

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-scam-wall-street-learned-from-the-mafia-20120620?page=2

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/31/florida-welfare-drug-tests_n_4525534.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/02/koch-obamacare-ads_n_4533477.html

http://www.wearesc.com/forums/forum/main-category/off-topic/51431-stephens-obama-s-envy-problem

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/02/federal_judge_rules_floridas_welfare_drug_testing_law_unconstitutional/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/03/glenn-grothman-wisconsin_n_4537891.html

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/something-to-behold–2

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/01/05

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/koch-backed-political-network-built-to-shield-donors-raised-400-million-in-2012-elections/2014/01/05/9e7cfd9a-719b-11e3-9389-09ef9944065e_story.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/counter_narrative/2014/01/david_brooks_smoking_pot_should_black_kids_pay_for_his_pothead_sins.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/education/2014/01/north_carolina_s_assault_on_teachers_has_to_stop.single.html

http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/the-war-on-poverty-at-50/?_r=0

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/01/06/marco-rubio-is-wrong-the-war-on-poverty-worked.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/history/2013/12/linda_taylor_welfare_queen_ronald_reagan_made_her_a_notorious_american_villain.html

http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/01/07/republicans_will_only_revive_unemployment_benefits_if_they_get_to_keep_more.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/07/health-care-obstruction_n_4556307.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carly-paul/the-slow-grip-of-poverty_b_4516679.html

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/blogs/taibblog/a-new-low-in-health-care-rhetoric-20140108

http://www.politicususa.com/2014/01/09/wealthy-gop-candidate-illinois-governor-cut-states-minimum-wage.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rep-alan-grayson/what-obamacare-really-is-all-about_b_4570052.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/09/noelle-roni-fired_n_4569907.html

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/10/robert_reich_gops_divide_and_conquer_strategy_is_backfiring/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/28/congress-austerity_n_4509179.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/10/krugman_explains_why_the_war_on_poverty_has_failed/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/10/jon-stewart-income-inequality_n_4575409.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/01/social_darwinism_and_class_essentialism_the_rich_think_they_are_superior.single.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/01/marco_rubio_and_paul_ryan_lead_a_republican_campaign_against_poverty.html

http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox/2014/01/10/snap_should_be_cash_instead.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2014/01/welfare_works_for_kids_children_whose_parents_get_money_grow_up_healthier.html

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/30/the_middle_class_myth_heres_why_wages_are_really_so_low_today/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/14/minimum-wage-raise-proof_n_4597721.html

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/17/8_conservative_anti_poverty_ideas_that_will_make_things_so_much_worse_partner/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/red-state-voters_b_4608891.html

http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2014/jan/12/occupy-democrats/pro-democrat-group-says-9-10-poorest-states-are-re/

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/19/how_the_young_elite_rise_in_washington_d_c/

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/19/what_i_learned_from_a_week_on_food_stamps_paul_ryan_couldnt_be_any_more_wrong/

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2014/01/21/global_inequality_oxfam_report_finds_85_richest_people_s_net_worth_equals.html

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/15/poor_hating_hypocrites_secret_pro_military_loophole_reveals_latest_gop_outrage/

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/kevin-oleary-oxfam-poverty-fantastic

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/23/american-dream-dead_n_4651337.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/23/wage-growth-50-year-lows_n_4651882.html?utm_hp_ref=business

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/23/gilded-age-state-of-the-union_n_4647348.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marian-wright-edelman/its-time-to-end-child-pov_b_4652975.html

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/23/when_companies_break_the_law_and_people_pay_the_scary_lesson_of_the_google_bus/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/24/low-wage-workers-education_n_4653020.html?utm_hp_ref=business

http://www.salon.com/2014/01/22/wall_street%e2%80%99s_lamest_enemies_meet_groups_who_represent_the_poor_%e2%80%93_but_push_deregulation/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/27/thomas-perkins-doubles-down-holocaust_n_4674266.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/27/republicans-poverty-gop-inequality_n_4577490.html?utm_hp_ref=business

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20140129/us-wealth-gap-health-overhaul/?utm_hp_ref=homepage&ir=homepage

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/29/the-daily-show-minimum-wage_n_4688134.html

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/57468293-78/lunches-olsen-lunch-district.html.csp

MITT—HAVE I GOT A RUNNING MATE FOR YOU!

Now that Rick Santorum, his strongest challenger, has left the race for the Republican Presidential nomination Mitt Romney appears to have the nomination sewn up, at least as a practical matter if not yet officially.

The speculation had already begun as to whom he would choose as his running mate. The 2008 GOP standard bearer, Sen. John McCain, weighed in recently when asked who he would recommend. He replied, “Sarah Palin”, then began laughing. Unless you’ve been staying with the Gingrich family on the moon the past four years you’re aware of what a disaster she was as McCain’s running mate in 2008 and the fact there is no love lost between the two.

In that same interview McCain mentioned several possibilities whose names have been bandied about, such as Booby Jindal, Marco Rubio, and Mitch Daniels.

I love Mitt so much that I am going to offer my personal asistance with this vital decision. Utilizing my special brand of insight and my extreme outsider knowledge I’ll inform him on who that person should be. It won’t be easy. We all know how many equally qualified candidates lie within the Republican Party.

It is not unusual for the nominee to select a former rival for the position to join him on the ticket. Witness JFK-LBJ in 1960 and Reagan-Bush in 1980. Since last year and this there were a slew of challengers, let’s examine them first.

Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House, next in line to the Vice President to succeed the President if necessary. That’s already too close to the Oval Office for comfort and  he could be in a quandrary deciding which wife to ask to be his escort at state dinners. Just don’t let him pay for anything. (Psssst…..his checks bounce)

Rick Santorum did much better in the campaign than expected and definitely has the self-righteous smirk factor well-covered. But based on possible lingering resentment from the way Romney forces treated him during his run, if anything did happen to Mitt as President, Santorum would be first in line as a suspect.

Ron Paul might be good at taming any bellicose tendencies Romney may develop. However, if his pet project is adopted, returning the U.S. to the gold standard, Romney would be compelled to add substantially to his fleet of Cadillacs in order to transport the gold bullion now representing his $25 million annual income from his investments alone.

Jon Huntsman was one of the most reasonable candidates in the race, has daughters who merit more public attention (at least my attention) and was the only sane person on the dais at most debates. However, sanity and the Republican Party are incompatible plus Huntsman is a Mormon from Utah mirroring Romney’s own religion and one of his dozen or so home states.

Michelle Bachmann has proven to be resilient subsequent to her exit from the race, demonstrating  time and time again her flair for fantastical public utterings. Alas her questionable sense of direction might well lead her to appear in Washington, Pa. rather than Washington, D.C. to preside over the Senate.

Herman Cain has excellent credentials as a businessman and, frankly, brings that diversity factor to the table. But his 9-9-9 plan had everyone confused as to whether it referred to taxes or to his extramarital affairs, the number of women he sexually harrassed, and the number of harrassment lawsuits already settled.

Rick Perry has at least three valuable qualities desirable in a running mate but for the life of me I cannot remember ANY of them.

Gary Johnson and Buddy Roemer also sought the nomination.Some of their ideas passed muster with this firm liberal. But the former was governor of New Mexico which most Americans do not realize is actually a state, not a country.  The latter sounds as if he was named for two pet dogs—Buddy and Roamer.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana are considered to be rising stars among Republican politicians. But both are children of immigrant parents and we KNOW how candidates of that description are treated by skeptics. (Or is it just certain ones?)

Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana pulled the plug on his own Presidential aspirations early on. He is well thought of but

a) No one is sure if he is awake

b)No one is sure if he can keep voters awake.

Paul Ryan, the budget darling of the GOP, has had his name mentioned due to his “brilliance” on budget matters. But neither budget he has shepherded through the House of Representatives would have done anything to end deficits, merely pissing off Medicare Card carrying grannies instead. Those people vote!

Allen West is a freshman Congressman from Florida who was an army officer. Sounds good until you recall he was nearly court-martialed for pulling a gun on an Iraqi in an attempt to intimidate him. Now he is in the news for claiming there are 78-81 Communist Party members among the Democrats in the House. I’m not even sure he’s ever been in Wheeling, W.Va. Wait a minute……those may be his STRONG points for GOPers.

After due consideration of a number of possibilities I believe the choice of Mitt Romney for someone to share the ticket boils down to this. He needs someone with experience. He needs someone with name recognition. He needs someone to deflect the harsh media glare away from the inevitable mistakes all candidates make..

Yes, this choice is obvious, so obvious you probably saw it coming six hundred words ago.

That choice is…………………………………………….SARAH PALIN!

Her experience is that she ‘s been down this road before. Her name recognition is off the charts, even if it is very often preceded by %$#&^#$%#*,. She will easily deflect media attention away from Mitt as her public pronouncements will make his appear reasoned and rational and non-flip-floppy by comparison.

She will have learned from 2008. Why I bet she has been reading a national newspaper regularly even if it has been Grit.

Besdies, when she is part of a losing ticket again that somehow she believes she is the star of maybe, just maybe, she will finally acknowledge that voters ”  are just not that into her.”