unastronaut*

Feet on the ground – head in the clouds.

McCain supporters for the Constitution

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It’s truly great to see some of the subtle stances of the McCain campaign and individual supporters as of late. It has really been too little, too late considering McCain and Palin have been the ones stoking the fires of racism and intolerance. Here some McCain supporters surround another group who are distributing ignorant, un-American bumper stickers. The Muslim supporters of McCain are right to be offended, but that’s what happens when you turn the election into a “Who’s more American” contest.

Of course, the McCain campaign has silenced this true patriot because he’s Muslim. It’s funny how we teach our kids how we grew painfully out of slavery and went through the civil rights movement and are all better for it, then the next wave of “other” comes around and we resist the opportunity to make the same progress.

Written by unastronaut

October 20, 2008 at 12:56 pm

The inherent injustice of trickle-down economics

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This point is simple. Trickle-down economics is the idea that lower taxes for the wealthy and for corporations will lead to jobs being created. So let me get this straight, we let the wealthy have more money in hopes that they’ll let the poor work for it? You mean to tell me the people who complain about “lazy welfare recipients” want us to give them money, so we can work for it? That’s ludicrous.

If everyone has purchasing power in this country, demand will dictate that jobs be created. If everyone were better off, the corporations would be better off in the sense that their customer bases would only continue to grow. When the economy tanks, even the corporations suffer, but they are some how immune to creative destruction (fossil fuels, bullet trains) or risk (banks, united airlines, chrysler). This nation is strong on the backs of the 300 million, not on the pocketbooks of the wealthy few.

McCain campaign lobbyist Ed Rogers’ transparent spin

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On Hardball with Chris Matthews today, right-wing spinster Ed Rogers made baseless claim after baseless claim while exonerating the McCain campaign for stoking the fires of racism and antipathy toward any opposing viewpoint. Not only is this extremely dangerous, but it completely goes against the free exchange of ideas upon which America’s strength is built. What woke me from my half-napping state was his first ludicrous claim, that “Obama has never done a hard thing in his life!” This got me to thinking, what has Ed Rogers’ life been like?

Well, his lobbying firm Barbour, Griffith and Rogers represents the Republic of China. He’s tied to a private contractor whose profits and purpose exist only because of the Iraq War and the greed cesspool it has created within the already perverse military-industrial complex. This contractor, Diligence, LLC’s chairman Richard Burt had this to say about the current business climate in the Middle East: “The opportunity for business growth in the Middle East has never been better.” Rogers has also served as a deputy assistant to President George H. W. Bush, of “it’s the economy, stupid” fame.

I’m not going to go through all of the examples of Senator Obama overcoming adversity to get to where he is today, but a white bread warmonger and advisor to another president is found wanting on credibility with this attack. He went on to flop around like a fish out of water on the “hate rally” nature of this weeks McCain-Palin rallies. I will say now that if anything should happen to Senator Obama, the McCain campaign will certainly be partly culpable. With cringe reactions to shouts of “terrorist!” and “traitor!” evident on McCain’s face, he has no excuse for not standing up for civilized society, and absolutely no integrity left in his hate-filled campaign.

Rogers claimed that the hate and anger are “distractions” and that “people should behave”, as if threatening to “kill him!” or saying “off with his head” are simply Klansmen rally attendees misbehaving. They are threatening a legitimate candidate for the highest office in this land in a public forum and the McCain campaign doesn’t even have the class to respond as a leader of a free society. All the while Rogers continues to say that Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright are fair game. These are the “associations” which are stoking the hate-crowd fire. The truth is, these are not real associations that bear any significance on this election, but since the 5-week-old national politician Sarah Palin says we must have an explanation for the, I’ll simply repeat everything Obama has said in public about the relationships.

When Barack Obama was 8 years old, a radical anti-war activist was a member of a group that planted bombs at the Pentagon and the US Capital. These caused property damage but no deaths. Today, 40 years later, that reformed “domestic terrorist” is a professor of education at the University of Illinois. He is a contributing member of society whose cause is to improve the state of the education system in that state. His life has been far from perfect, but also far from the life of Obama. In fact, their paths crossed as members of a charitable board working in education, the Annenberg Foundation. The media has rightly pointed out that this foundation is comprised of conservatives and liberals and was founded by a former Ambassador in the Reagan administration. He did not meet this former radical under any radical circumstances.

Obama also did not know everything about this man’s past before meeting him. On the campaign trail, Governor Palin recently stated that she’s known about Ayers “since forever”, even way up there in Alaska as she likes to say. Palin should stop patronizing people, she’s not familiar with the Bush Doctrine, which is responsible for the mission her son is now carrying out in a country that had NOTHING to do with the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. She certainly didn’t learn better than the rest of the American people, whom she claims “must be exposed to Obama’s radical associations” about an obscure anti-war group during the Vietnam War. Sarah Palin told a good lie, because there’s no way of proving this, unless her high school history teachers and college professors care to share her “intellectual curiosities”.

I’ve already written about Reverend Wright at length, and will just sum him up by giving one piece of advice. Watch the entire 18 minutes worth of sermons where the “un-American” 30-second sound clips were taken from. If you have any understanding of free speech in this country, you’ll realize there’s nothing un-American about speaking your mind — including criticizing the actions and policies of this government (which should be of the people, by the people and for the people).

I’ll also say that Pastor Thomas Muthee is much more extreme and un-American in a sense of respecting the 1st Amendment and both the establishment clause and the free exercise clause. It is clear, Muthee wants to “infiltrate” our political and economic systems with his 17th Century Salem-style beliefs. If you take Wright in context, he isn’t nearly as abrasive. If you take Muthee in context, he’s even more extreme than any short clip could portray.

So as the McCain-Palin campaign stokes the fires of hatred and violence, they should recognize that they will be individually responsible should any of their extremist followers “misbehave” as Ed Rogers says. Here’s an idea, if you must have distractions like Ayers and Wright take time from discussing the economic crisis, how about doing it only to Senator Obama’s face at the debate. Don’t tell your Klan-inspired crowds about Obama’s association with a college professor that it was an association with a “domestic terrorist”, unless you have pictures of an 8-year old Obama with Weather Underground member William Ayers. Unless, of course, you think the FBI should be notified about Obama’s — and the University of Illinois’ — terrorist connections.

Concerning connections that may be worth a quick look-see by the FBI, perhaps they should start with a secessionist group led by people who reject the title of “American” and host a website with the tagline “Alaska First – Alaska Always”. A group with the “First Dude” of Alaska formerly on it’s membership list. A group Governor Palin addressed as recently as March of this year, telling them to “Keep up the good work!” I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe my state is above my country. I’m certainly not standing behind a sign that says “Country First” with ties and supporters like this. I think it’s time Sarah Palin answered for her own radical ties, and the McCain campaign stop lying to the American people about Senator Obama.

I want to note that McCain faced boos and harsh backlash today for his defense of Senator Obama as a “decent man”, which is exactly what McCain should have said but it is a bit late. This video also shows that, clearly Senator McCain and Governor Palin must do more.

McCain campaign offices as empty as the rhetoric

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You could take every McCain volunteer we’ve seen doing actual work in the entire trip, over six states, and it would add up to the same as Obama’s single Thornton, CO office. Or his single Durango, CO office. These ground campaigns bear no relationship to each other.

Sean Quinn from FiveThirtyEight.com has an interesting story about his experiences with both campaigns. It seems the McCain campaign is more about hating on Obama than actually running phone banks and canvassing neighborhoods. Perhaps this is why the trail has turned disgusting and downright reprehensible this week.

When someone at a McCain rally responded to “Who is the real Barack Obama?” with “a terrorist!”, Senator McCain clearly heard the remark, as evidenced by his cringing after hearing the remark. What Senator McCain did not do was stand up for decency, and honor his campaign pledge to run a clean campaign. That promise was broken long ago, if it was ever even true.

If the McCain campaign and his Klan rally supporters want to know who “the real Barack Obama” is, they need only a Google search. Even for those who don’t own a computer, any public library would be glad to let you cure your own ignorance by actually gathering some information, rather than perpetuating lies. Sarah Palin continues to say “we don’t know much about Obama”, after only hitting the national stage in the last days of August. Take a press conference, tell the media we don’t know much about Obama. Don’t simply keep inciting hate speech.

Burton Malkiel wrote of the “castles in the air” theory of investment in A Random Walk Down Wall Street. The McCain campaign has co-opted the concept, constantly upping the rhetoric to a level so inflated that the foundation disappears. At this point, McCain and Palin seem to just be holding Klan rallies in the air.

Cindy McCain, your husband was right about you

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Today, Cindy McCain attacked Barack Obama for voting against funding for the troops. She did this in the most classless way by omitting the fact that her own husband made the same vote two months later. Then she dares Obama to spend a day in her shoes. Are you kidding me?

“The day that Sen. Obama cast a vote to not to fund my son when he was serving sent a cold chill through my body let me tell you,” Cindy McCain said in introducing the GOP ticket. “I would suggest Sen. Obama change shoes with me for just one day. I suggest he take a day and go watch our men and women deploying.” HuffPo

Cindy, anyone in this country (with very few exceptions) would gladly switch places with you, if only for a day. Why? Because we all used to call ourselves middle-class, and now we wonder if we’re just poor. Furthermore, simply watching soldiers deploy means nothing. Maybe try not sending those men and women into an unjust and unneccessary war? Or maybe just try not to lie about your own husband’s record? 

Your reckless, lying husband helped Charles Keating destroy the lives and life savings of thousands of American families. How did you feel about that? Or how about his first wife, or does adultery not matter to a beer heiress? Your husband and the cronies in his campaign are partly responsible for the national economic crisis we face today. And by we, I mean everyone but you. Of course, what could we expect from someone who steals drugs from a charity?

How will McCain’s tax cuts trickle down?

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If I could ask Senator McCain one question this morning, it would be about his tax cuts. Specifically, I would want to know how he justifies who is getting the tax cuts under his own plan. As ThinkProgress noted during the debate last night, McCain’s own family would receive over $300,000 in tax cuts under his own plan. I constantly hear Republicans with little understanding of the market talking about job creation as a weak link to tax cuts. This is my inquiry:

What would you do with that $300,000 tax cut in your own personal finances that would create jobs and/or trickle down and what path might that money take on its way to ultimately helping the middle class, which seems to be in constant decline in this millennia?

I’d be curious to know if Senator McCain would say he is the prime candidate for tax cuts in America. There’s something disgustingly 18th Century about the world’s strongest model democracy favoring an aristocracy in its tax codes. Until people start to explain where the money will go, up to and including a cameo appearance in middle class family budgets, there’s absolutely no reason to continue with failed “trickle down” economic policies.

Written by unastronaut

October 8, 2008 at 6:10 am

The four things America needs most

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Election Day should be a national holiday. There is absolutely no reason why people should be receiving days off to celebrate the lives of people they know nothing about — or don’t believe in — when a very public and founding principle is not equally respected. An active citizenry is vital to any democracy, and celebrating the life of a raping, pillaging, culture-eradicating scumbag certainly seems archaic.

Impose a two or three-term limit on ALL public offices. Career politicians are the backbone of our corrupt system that borders on aristocracy. When politicians are simply doing a job, they will ultimately find the loopholes in their own system. Politicians campaign on ideals and a vision for the country, only to enter office and scratch the backs of those who scratched theirs. This all happens at the expense of progress, the American people and — in a very real sense — the American dream.

Eliminate the winner-take-all system in the electoral college for 48 states (Maine and Nebraska already distribute electors by district). Federalism relies on local and state level representation being strong and representative of that population, rather than simply taking cues to homogenize from the Federal government. There’s no reason anyone should ever feel their vote won’t matter simply because they live in a ‘red state’ or ‘blue state’.

The William U’Ren system of initiative, referendum and recall at a national level, and in all states would enhance the actual representation of average Americans in government. I am fortunate to live in a state where the people can propose ballot initiatives, referendums and initiate recalls of officials who betray the public trust. It works great for this state, helps us hold up our end of the federalism bargain and should certainly be made national. With a national initiative, we could have proposed our own bailout package, rather than relying on corrupt career politicians to actually speak for our interests.