horses and saddles sold cheap and other metaphors

Saturday, August 14, 2004

We all know by now that the Republican concept of free markets is simply to buy legislators and legislation that locks out competition and locks in profits as much as possible, screw the consumer. Nothing typifies this more then the Medicare reform of the Bushies that was really a welfare package for drug companies that were already making historic profits.
Medicare Reform isn't Flying
In a survey released Tuesday, the Kaiser Family Foundation found nearly half the Medicare recipients interviewed had a negative view of the Bush administration’s changes, and only 26 percent support them (By comparison, 73 percent like Medicare overall). Of the negative views, 81 percent said the problem is the new rules don’t go far enough. As Kaiser Foundation president Drew Altman told the New York Times:

"Views are decidedly more negative than positive. The law has not been the political plus that the president and Republicans had hoped for."

The door is open for John Kerry to really expose this for the boon-doogle it is. What's Bush going to do, admit he was wrong? We know that Bush never admits mistakes, that would be a sign of maturity and leadership. Besides, the drug companies would want a refund for all those campaign contributions.

update: Via Winning Argument The costs of research and development do not justify the costs of prescription drugs.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Tax Burden Shifts to the Middle
Since 2001, President Bush's tax cuts have shifted federal tax payments from the richest Americans to a wide swath of middle-class families, the Congressional Budget Office has found, a conclusion likely to roil the presidential election campaign.

Howard Dean was ahead of the curve on this one The Bush Tax: How Much Is It Costing You?
Bush is largely to blame for the fiscal crisis that has forced states and communities to raise taxes and slash services. According to the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), “A conservative estimate suggests that federal policies are costing states and localities about $185 billion over the four-year course of the state fiscal crisis.” Bush has shifted health costs to states and forced states to pay for unfunded mandates for homeland security, election reform, and No Child Left Behind. As a result, states and communities have had no choice but to raise taxes and cut services. That’s the Bush Tax.

So, the middle class and working poor are paying a bigger portion of federal tax burden at the front end and paying higher state fees and taxes on the back side. Voodoo economics rears its ugly head, no wonder the wingers would rather talk about Cambodia then the real issues. Smears are easy, very appropriate for the party that thinks work should be penalized and the lazy rich should reap even bigger riches. In my dictionary its called decadence.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Bush-Rove are brillant in a sick way. Rather then tell a few lies and have a couple scandals like normal politicians they've embarked on a mission of Scandal Shock and Awe. Americans are so overhelmed at this point, they've developed lie/scandal overload. Someone is keeping score though: Novak-Gate, FBI-Ashcroft-Gate, NO WMD-Gate, Iran-Code-GATE, Nuke-Gate, Anthrax-Gate, Forgotten Bin Laden-Gate, Voter-Purge-Gate, Judicial-Gate, Halliburton-Gate, Religion Gate, Compassionate Prisoner-Gate. Republicans don't just live in gated communities, they are a gated community. Gays are not a threat to american families or values, conservatives are. You know why they put mute buttons on remotes? So you can save yourself from the snow-job of another conservative talk about values. All The Unreported Bush Scandals

Citizens For Honest Fighter Pilots Call On Bush To Explain His Military Record
Therefore, my newly formed group, "Citizens For Honest Fighter Pilots," hereby calls on Bush to explain his whereabouts and activities for the period of time he was AWOL, and for him to repay the quarter of a million tax dollars wasted on his fighter pilot training.

As a member of "Citizens for Honest Fighter Pilots," I want to remind voters that while Kerry was in Vietnam, doing whatever it was that the "Truthful Vets" imply he was doing over there, Bush was an AWOL, suspended fighter pilot, roaming around somewhere in between Alabama and Texas.

Nobody seems to know which State of the Union Bush was in or what shape he was in. Also, not one of the 700 members at the Alabama unit where he claims he served, remembers serving with him.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

All this stems from Bush's foreign policy of preemptive war, which encourages war for such vague humanitarian ends as "human rights," or because the United States believes another country may pose a threat to it. Its champions seem to almost joyously anticipate a succession of wars without visible end, with the invasion of Iraq merely its first fruit: former Bush appointee Richard Perle, from his writings on foreign policy, would have us war against nearly every nation that he defines as a rogue. The ironic consequence of this policy to stabilize the world is greater instability.

There's much to disagree with in this article as far as the rose tinted historical view of conservatism for the last forty years, but he nails Bush. He differentiates the Bush family version ( cronyism, corruption and unquestioned power ) from those conservatives that value a sound fiscal policy and modest foreign policy.

Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency
by Robert C. Byrd

In Losing America, the veteran Democrat offers scathing criticism of Bush, whom he sees as undeserving of the office, unfit to lead, "callow and reckless," and "incredibly dangerous." Besides criticizing the much-discussed rise of the neoconservative philosophy, Byrd bemoans what he sees as the erosion of constitutionally mandated separation of powers.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Friends in the White House Come to Coal's Aid
In 1997, as a top executive of a Utah mining company, David Lauriski proposed a measure that could allow some operators to let coal-dust levels rise substantially in mines. The plan went nowhere in the government.

Last year, it found enthusiastic backing from one government official - Mr. Lauriski himself. Now head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, he revived the proposal despite objections by union officials and health experts that it could put miners at greater risk of black-lung disease.

The reintroduction of the coal dust measure came after the federal agency had abandoned a series of Clinton-era safety proposals favored by coal miners while embracing others favored by mine owners.

Yep, labor unions have a strangle hold on american business as they are blackmailed by far right conservatives like Lauriski. Either let coal companies squeeze out a few more pennies from operations or get a production job at Mickey D's for minimum wage. That is the choice facing the working people of coal country.
Over the last six years, coal companies have donated $9 million to federal political candidates and party organizations, and 90 percent has gone to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Money talks and ethics take a walk. There's plenty of profit to be made with safety standards in place. When's the last time you heard of a coal company executive declaring bankruptcy. This kind of shrill approach to business is not about reasonable profits, and its certainly not about what's good for america, its a kind of Main Street madness. White middle-aged men with no imagination and an insatiable greed pass for reasonable as they wrap their warped world view in the flag.

You'd think that moral values and environmental values would fit into a "conservative" agenda, yet Republicans , especially on the federal level have a horrible environmental record. Some conservatives at the grass roots level are catching on:
Improving the Environment in a Conservative Political Climate
Focus on the fact that environmental issues are moral issues. Poor stewardship of the environment like poor stewardship of one’s personal relationships or finances is a spiritual issue with moral implications. Additionally, related moral issues such as materialism, wastefulness, gluttony, and self-centeredness have environmental implications. By addressing these issues, the environment will improve along with the social conditions of people around the world. For example, less consumption at home means a healthier environment and greater contentment.

I thought this paragraph was amazing because it sums up a lot about the way I think about the environment and values. Most of the time I understand the why there is a polarization of the political landscape. With wing-nuts on TV and radio constantly referring to people that strongly believe in the values expressed in the quote above as environmental wackos. Surely I thought , there's no room here for common ground. How can they say they love america or claim to be spiritual, yet think that poisoning our soil, air, and water was good for families or business. It turns out there are a few conservatives out there that get it. Environmentally aware conservatives are closer to modern liberal philosophy then the current Republican party. That being the case, maybe its time for a little revolution in the conservative ranks, change parties. It would make the voices of sustainability, morality, and a green economy that much stronger. The Republican party has a few moderates left. The majority of conservatives have moved to the extreme right. History shows that liberals are closer to real fiscal conservatives then the BushCo borrow and spend wing of the party, that progressive economic policies grow the economy and reduce the total burden of taxes/fees. Why do these "green Republicans" stay Republican? Its beyond me.

update courtesy of Majority Report Radio, a recording of Bush speaking on tribal sovereignty. "Tribal sovereignty means that. It's sovereign. It'''re've been given sovereignty..
I didn't laugh at the end when the journalists laughed at Bush trying to BS his way through an answer, I cringed. Bush is awful, but he's the president of my country. How low have we sunk that so many people support this critenous excuse for a man to lead America into the 21st century.

My Ecosystem Details