The Biden/Ryan debate will probably be remembered for two things, the intermittent broad grin that swept over Joe Biden's face and Paul Ryan nervously clutching and gulping his glass of water. Joe Biden's grin that occasionally bordered on out and out laughter was his reaction to Paul Ryan's out and out lies that were so blatant that they insulted the intelligence of the American voter. Paul Ryan's glass of water was the liquid version of the needle in a lie detector test swinging frantically to indicate a lie. I can almost hear what was going through Ryan's head as his heart raced and his palms became sweaty, "He got me! (gulp) How do I come up with a supporting argument for my last line of b.s.? (gulp) HELP!"
What a difference a week and a new moderator makes! Unlike Jim Lehrer, Martha Raddatz set and enforced firm ground rules and asked revealing questions that put the kibosh on any possible canned and scripted attacks coming from the GOP side. Although you will hear lots of moaning coming from the Republicans and some of their sycophantic supporters in the media, the truth prevailed last night. If that becomes a trend, we will become a nation of informed voters. I'm looking forward to the next debate. Thanks to Martha Raddatz's stellar performance, Candy Crowley has big shoes to fill.
Did you ever notice that I end every show with The truth isn't what you perceive it to be, the truth is the truth? That's because most Americans are subject to a constant barrage of distortions and out-and-out lies courtesy of a vast corporate big lie machine that not only controls many of our elected officials, but a good part of the media as well. While it would be very convenient to blame the mainstream media for all the lies and distortions that seem to permeate every aspect of life these days, it would be far from accurate. The mainstream media is just one tentacle of a giant corporate octopus that is strangling our country.
Another one of those corporate tentacles is tightly wrapped around the elected officials of every branch of government via their lobbyists and the big money contributors old boy network. The massive political largess of corporations and the rich creates an alternate reality in the minds of our electeds. This wall of contributor money and favors insulates most politicians from the voices and needs of ordinary voters and turns the demands of their big money benefactors into a commanding roar that cannot be ignored.
Effectively, the “needs” of those wealthy contributors are driving both political parties further and further to the right. This manifests itself as a Republican party that wants to weaken or eliminate long standing societal givens like Social Security, Medicare and unions and a Democratic party that offers only token resistance, serving up those programs for “compromise” and not supporting union initiatives like the Employee Free Choice Act. Sadly, they do side with the GOP on job killing “free” trade agreements. They say that everything happens for a reason and the reason for the above is that the electeds both parties get visits from many of the same corporate lobbyists.
The Federal Reserve Bank is yet another corporate tentacle, manipulating the reality of our financial system to benefit Wall Street powered megabanks at our expense. Their economic social engineering policy of lowering interest rates and quantitative easing have done nothing to ease the plight of the average person, but do serve as a source of no interest money for too big to fail banks. The Fed's stated intent was to make it easier for banks to make loans, but the end result was that banks got money for nothing that they used for speculative purposes, driving up the price of everything from food to fuel. Retirees and those on a fixed income get slammed by the rising price of almost everything. Savers get slammed by banks that pay almost zero percent interest and literally charge them for the “privilege” of keeping their money in the bank. That's because the Fed has gone into unfair competition with the small saver by supplying banks with zero interest money.
The issues that I Mentioned are certainly not all inclusive, but are just a small part of a massive pattern of corporate propaganda and control permeating every part of our system and every aspect of our lives. If corporations and the rich could go into the voting booths with us and pull those handles or mark those computer-scanned ballots they would, until then a few well spread lies and a bit of money put in the right hands works almost as well. Think about that when you pull that curtain shut and make your choices in November, then fight for real reforms!
Now that the conventions are behind us with party “D” having had their usual lovefest and party “R” having had their usual hatefest, we have to get down to the business of getting our candidates elected. This process causes angst for many of us on the progressive Democratic side of the fence who feel that our issues weren't properly addressed over the past few years by those who promised “Hope and Change.” Likewise, many people on the Republican side of the fence are starting to get the sinking feeling that their party has gone totally over the top. I totally agree with that!
I can certainly understand why any Republican voter would be thinking about jumping ship and voting Democratic. I can also understand why some Democratic voters feel that they were let down by politicians who talked a great game in 2008, but didn't fight hard enough for issues that are vital to the survival of working people, the poor and the retired. While I'm pretty sure that those Democrats who feel let down are not going to vote for Willard Romney, some are still talking about either not voting or voting for a third party candidate that doesn't have a chance of winning. That kind of protest vote may be emotionally satisfying, but it is self defeating. Our system is rigged so that it only allows you to successfully elect candidates from one of the two major parties, the evil one or the lesser of two evils, voting for anything else goes to one of the two parties by default.
I can't tell you what to do or how to vote but here's what I'm doing: I'm voting for Barack Obama and for every Democratic candidate on the ballot. I'm going to try to convince you, my neighbors, my closest friends and my family to do the same. I'm going to ask you to do duplicate my actions and get the word out. With any luck, we'll be able to secure a Democratic majority in both houses, giving President Obama a clear path to getting laws passed that more closely match his original campaign promises of 2008. This time around, I would like to see a lot more FDR and a lot less Ronald Reagan.
With a Democratic majority in place, there can be no excuses for legislation that protects corporate interests at the expense of we, the people. Any such legislation will be a painfully obvious violation of our trust and hopefully, will result in a massive third party movement that will include almost every voter and become the next winning party and the ruling political party in America for years to come.
The GOP loves to use the phrase "job creators" to describe businesses, especially small businesses. They claim that small businesses are hurt by excessive government regulation. I say that the greatest danger that small businesses face is a lack of government regulations to protect them from predatory corporate competitors! For a real eye-opener, visit my Listen Here! page.
Most of you know that I like the Republican Party about as much as I like root canal or an elephant taking a poop on my shoe. Now that in the interest of full disclosure I've told you my perspective, let's continue. You might think that the sole purpose of the Republican Convention is to select, nominate and present their candidates for President and Vice President. In reality, the main purpose of any political convention is to present the platform of its political party and win potential voters over to its candidates.
If a political convention is a marketplace of ideas and ideals, the GOP convention is selling spoiled merchandise. Its collection of ideas and ideals are literally a gathering of evils!
Here are just a few of them:
My list of evils is by no means all inclusive. As you watch the convention, you will see more evils than you can count, making it truly a gathering of evils!
Believe it or not, years of watching television have conditioned most Americans to think of and classify everything in terms of brands. This branding process doesn't stop with boxes of laundry detergent or cans of cola, we even classify politicians and political parties by the identifying characteristics programmed into our heads from watching years of campaign advertising. What comes to mind when you visualize the two political parties and their candidates? The GOP wants you to think that it and its candidates stand for mom, the flag and apple pie. The Democrats want you to think that they are the party of working people and the poor.
The stereotypical classifications of Democratic politicians as being the saviors of working people and the poor and Republican politicians as being patriots are deceptive at best, dangerous to democracy at worst. Those popular perceptions are borne out of years of political ads and carefully controlled public relations campaigns. The reality and track records of both parties should tell most Americans that nothing is further from the truth. Both parties are just assuming their traditional identities and playing to their target audiences: In the case of the Democrats, that would be working people, the retired and the poor. In the case of the Republicans, that would be the rich and the Archie Bunker variety of working people.
In the mind of their target voters, each of the two parties represents the previously mentioned characteristics; the Republicans represent patriotism, the Democrats fight for working people. Much in the same way that a certain brand of cola and a certain lemon-lime soda have their own specific taste profiles, voters expect each of the two brands, Republican and Democratic to stand for their implied values. When the Republicans rant about patriotism, but support “free” market policies that enable outsourcing jobs overseas, a decidedly unpatriotic act, it dilutes the Republican brand in the minds of their target working class voters. Similarly, when Democrats “compromise” with the Republicans on cuts to Social Security and Medicare and support job killing “free” trade agreements, it dilutes the Democratic brand in the minds of their target working class voters.
The subliminal message that political brand dilution delivers to prospective voters is that neither party delivers on their promises. That kind of message leads to passionless voters who feel that they are voting for the lesser of two evils and feel that once again, the system ripped them off. We have reached the point where one more disappointment might be the straw that broke the camel's back and be the tipping point that triggers a majority third party movement! The only thing that will prevent that from happening is for Democratic politicians to be authentic Democrats and truly support the working people who faithfully supported them. That would entail curbing job offshoring by restoring trade tariffs on imports to pre-Reagan levels, supporting pro-union legislation, fighting for Social Security and Medicare and remembering that the Democratic party is the party of FDR, not Herbert Hoover! One more thing, will Democratic electeds please stop making comments that venerate Ronald Reagan?
These days, there is a disease that is rampant in Washington. This illness causes seemingly normal people to lose functionality in the part of their brain that affects their historical memory.
The symptoms are as follows:
The above symptoms can and do give the afflicted many socially undesirable side-effects:
The cause of this disease appears to be the intoxicating effect of a massive influx of corporate money that “clouds” the afflicted politician's thinking process. Since fairly recent Supreme Court decisions define corporations as “people” and money as “speech,” there is currently no way to stop the flow of the corporate supplied campaign funds that buy most of our electeds and give them historical amnesia. Because there is no cure for this disease, we must fire as many of the afflicted as possible when we vote in November.
Have you noticed that there's no one on Talk Radio who speaks for John and Jane Q. Public? I want to change that situation. When I go into the studio and get on the air, I say the things that you've always wanted to say. The big corporate interests have their lobbyists, I want to be your voice. Just think of me as your guy fighting for your interests.
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Headlines For 1/20/2017