Friday, February 18, 2011


What you hear, what you know, and what you’re TOLD you know. There’s a definite distinction. Politicians want you to believe that what they have to say makes sense, and they have determined that the more they repeat the same thing over and over, the truer it becomes.
Note - I’m no longer making a distinction between Democratic, Republican or Tea Party politicians. Once they attain office and have to start fundraising, the party lines blur and often vanish entirely. This is the reason we need to revamp our campaign finance laws, but that’s fodder for a future blog – one which I’ll need a lot more time (and paper towels to clean the splatter from my exploding head) to write.
Here’s an approach we all should use when evaluating political news – pay close attention, and start your research based on the first comments to emerge. Anything after that includes an ever-increasing amount of spin.
Take for example, our present political environment surrounding the economic crunch we’re presently in. The initial report was that Democrats lost the house due to the fact that America needs jobs, and the Dems haven’t done enough to create them over the past 2 years. Ok, that’s a good starting point. So, once the House gets settled and the representatives start their work for the American people, what’s the first thing on their agenda? REPEAL THE HEALTHCARE BILL. Oh, wait…jobs is the priority, right? Ok, repeal the JOB-KILLING healthcare bill. This now ties the GOP’s priority to the PEOPLE’s priority, right? Of course. Now, if they keep pounding away with JOB-KILLING healthcare bill, JOB-KILLING healthcare bill, JOB-KILLING healthcare bill, the healthcare bill, which the GAO and CBO said should create jobs, becomes linked with removing jobs. Common sense tells me that increased healthcare will demand more healthcare providers and all the help that goes with them – nurses, physician assistants, bookkeepers, pharmaceutical workers, etc.
Now, lets take the economic situation/2011/2012 budgets. Now, the GOP has always been about tax cuts, more money in your pocket, protect the private sector, less regulation on business and free trade. As far as I can see, NONE of this has any bearing on fixing the situation with our economy or the budgets in question. These situations are only fixable one way – an influx of cash. Putting money in the right places (small businesses, entrepreneurs, start-up businesses) increases the cash flow, creates jobs & puts more money into the system.
Again, the original point was about JOBS, right? Lets face it, jobs is about the people. That’s the reason the Republicans were voted into office. Well, lately, since 2008 to be more precise, the Republicans have been fixated on FIXING THE DEFICIT. Why 2008? Well, before 2008 (since 2000 for that matter), the GOP has been like a shop-a-holic let loose in a shopping mall with a pocketful of unlimited credit charge cards. Since 2008, they want to fix the deficit because a) it seems like the responsible thing to do and b) it totally restricts the Democrats from being able to spend money on ANYTHING! Programs that benefit poor people, the ecology, wellness & health in general, any programs that don’t yield an immediate return on investment. How can they get away with doing this during an economic downturn?
Simple - equate FIXING THE DEFICIT with creating JOBS. They’ve been pounding away for weeks talking about FIXING THE DEFICIT, FIXING THE DEFICIT, FIXING THE DEFICIT. Cut, cut, cut. Unfortunately, everywhere you cut, you eliminate jobs. Nobody’s looking at this, though. John Boehner said the magic words the other day when a reporter asked him about what happens to the jobs with all these cuts and he said if jobs are lost, “so be it.” That’s it, in a nutshell. That’s how much the GOP cares about the public, the little guy. SO BE IT. That’s telling you that if the price WE have to pay for correcting their mess is selling us all down the shitter, SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!! SO BE IT!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Kitchen Proclamation #4: Unblind Justice

Great decision by the Supremes to allow corporations to spend unlimited sums of money to influence American elections. I can't wait until Bin Laden Construction starts buying campaign ads.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Goldman Sachs Reaps, America Weeps - PROTEST

Dear Friend,

Goldman Sachs does not get it. Nor does the rest of the financial elite.

America is facing its harshest economic crisis in 50 years. And, yet, the people who caused that crisis are continuing to celebrate and reward themselves with mind-boggling bonuses—and a tone-deafness that is astonishing.

On January 21st, I’m asking you to join me in giving voice to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs and their life-savings because of the culture of greed on Wall Street. At noon on Thursday, we will gather in front of the Manhattan, NY headquarters of Goldman Sachs—the day Goldman Sachs and other large financial institutions announce the bonuses they will dole out. We must make it clear that Goldman Sachs’ greed is un-American. We need new rules to make sure that the great wealth of our country is shared equitably.

The rally is co-sponsored by Progressive Democrats of America, Democracy for America, and Spread the word. Here is our Facebook page for the event (please comment and engage the discussion!) and here is a downloadable PDF of the flier – please circulate! Goldman Sachs is located at 85 Broad St. Bring your energy, signs and banners.

And thanks for all you do for your country.

Jonathan Tasini

Kitchen Proclamation #3: The Boston Massacre--you ain't seen NOTHIN' yet!

President Obama needs to go back and look at the pictures of his inauguration, and see, once again, the faces of the people who elected him: women, men, young people, working people, people of every color, liberals, union members, ordinary Americans. These are the people who campaigned for him, knocked on doors, phone banked, and gave till it hurt to elect the Change We Can Believe In. He probably wouldn't see anyone in those throngs who looked like corporate CEOs.

With large Democratic margins in the House and Senate, he could have pushed through the change he promised. He could have ended "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" on his first day in office. He could have rammed through universal Medicare--not a public "option," but REAL healthcare reform. He could have stimulated the economy with a jobs program, and ended the wars. (No he didn't need 60 votes--the Republicans have had no problem pushing through policies without having 60 votes since 1923! It's called "reconciliation.")

Instead, he chose to continue corporatist Republican policies. To escalate the wars. To give massive bailouts to rich Wall Street banksters--who continued to pocket billions in bonuses--while tacitly accepting double digit unemployment. To encourage a health care policy that enriches the for-profit insurance companies at the expense of ordinary Americans while taxing (TAXING!!!) health care benefits--and then trying to convince us it's a great plan! He chose to kiss the butts of pseudo-Democrats like Nelson and Landrieu, and capitulate to Lieberman.

Is anyone surprised that ordinary Americans are furious? Is anyone really surprised that a Republican won a Senate seat in Massachusetts, a state that hasn't had a Republican Senator in more than 30 years? Hey, Rahm, do you still think you can forget about your "base"? As President Harry Truman said, "Given the choice between a Republican and someone who acts like a Republican, people will vote for the real Republican all the time." And the people of Massachusetts did.

Maybe now that the fantasy of the "60 vote coalition" has been trashed, you can forget about kowtowing to the pseudo-Dems, and get to work with 51 votes, like the Constitution says. Nelson, Landrieu, and Lieberman can go spend some time with their families.

Hey, Obama, are you listening? Because if you don't wake up and start acting like a Democrat, if you don't start making good on the promises you campaigned on, the Coakley debacle is going to pale in comparison to the blood bath facing the Democrats in November. Deservedly.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dear Mr. President...

Mr. President,

I know you’ll never read, or even see this letter, but I have to get everything off my chest. I am one of your pissed-off base. I am a middle-class, progressive/liberal activist. I, like many of my friends, am tired of being ignored, abused and pissed-on. We worked hard to put you where you are. When your chief-of-staff says “don’t worry about the base”, he’s way off base. Martha Coakley losing in Massachusetts tonight is only the latest symptom. You know, in a relationship, when you try to appease everyone in the neighborhood and abuse the one who loves you, you look like an idiot to the neighborhood and your loved one will turn on you, too.

You ignored us on the health bill. You step on us by making deals with and concessions to Republicans, big Pharma, the insurance industry, Joe Lieberman, Ben Nelson, the list goes on. Then, you come to us with results that benefit THEM with nothing left for us. You gave away everything that was good and ignored the unions, the poor, the sick, the middle-class, the BASE!
Everyone that you promised “change we can believe in!”

I feel like the nice guy at the prom and my date, who won’t let me even get to first base because our relationship is “special,” had wandered off and just returned with a prom dress soiled from having sex with every other guy there and now wants me to take her home and I STILL won’t even get a kiss goodnight because we have a “special” relationship.

You’re going to see more and more of this. Elections where Democrats should be winning, lost because we’re either not going to go out and vote, or we’re going to support a third party candidate that we KNOW won’t win, but they appreciate us. We’ll lose Congress in 2010 and your bid for re-election in 2012, and it’ll put us right back where we started, with the idiot-fundamentalist-corporatist Republicans running this great country into the ground again! And it won’t be our fault, it’ll be YOURS! All because, lets face it…payback is a bitch! I’m not happy about it, but you don’t give me much to be happy about anyway, do you?


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kitchen Proclamation #2: Enough of this dipshit Ford.

In the past week, I've read two front page articles in the New York Times about right wing, corporatist, Tennessean bankster, Harold Ford Jr, "considering" a primary run against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. How about coverage of Jonathan Tasini, who actually is running a primary campaign against Gillibrand?

Tasini ran in the 2006 senatorial primary against Hillary Clinton, who hugely outspent him, and refused to debate him. Plus, NY1 barred him from their political forum, despite the fact that he met all the criteria. Still, Tasini got a remarkable 17% of the vote!

Sure, I understand why the New York Times Corporation prefers Ford to the liberal New York union guy, Tasini, but it smacks of yellow journalism.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Kitchen Proclamation #1: Tax on Health Benefits

Let me see if I got this right: the Senate is going to make health care more affordable by...TAXING OUR HEALTH INSURANCE! At the rate of 40%! One of the stupidest things I've ever heard. They'll probably use the tax to pay bonuses to the insurance CEOs.

I'll have to talk to my union...I need to know if I have a "Cadillac" health plan, or just a Ford P.O.S.