Are We Really In This Place Now, Is This Really Happening?

IMG_1894The short answer is yes. For the in detailed answer keep reading.

I woke up this morning and one of the first headlines I see is that Paul Ryan thinks that poverty comes from the “laziness of ‘inner city’ men.” I.e. black or brown are the cause of their own poverty because they are lazy. I couldn’t believe I was reading this, what’s next showing pics of those lazy men eating watermelon?

Next I read about American Companies hoarding over $2Trillion overseas so they don’t have to pay taxes on it. How is that something that is legal to do? Do lobbyists and big money donors really control that much of the U.S. that companies can legally do that? I mean I can see offering lower taxes for 10 years to companies if they build plants in a certain area; that would create more jobs and industry and revenue in a place that might not otherwise have it. But, keeping your money overseas is legal? At a time where unemployment is staggeringly high, job creation is incredibly weak, and Congress wants to cut food stamps for people that are hungry and unemployment insurance for people who can’t find jobs.

Who is in charge of this Country anyway? Surely no one in the U.S. government is looking out for the American people. Otherwise these issues would be dealt with. But there is no interest in changing the tax code. Why? If there really is a 1% what is everyone else doing? No one in Congress is part of the 1%. Ninety-nine percent of their constituents are not part of the 1%, so why aren’t tax codes being changed so U.S. corporations can sit on $2Trillion dollars overseas and pay no taxes on that. That is not in the best interest of anyone. Most especially not the so called 1%.

If the other 99% of people aren’t earning a decent wage they don’t have the money to buy things, that means the 1% suffers from lack of revenue coming in. A lose/lose proposition for everyone involved.

I don’t believe in income distribution. I believe in a government that can create more jobs so everyone has a chance to succeed in life. Yes, wealthy people should pay more in taxes. Yes, if your net worth is over $50Million maybe you shouldn’t be able to collect Social Security and Medicare. You have to be careful here because, like I tweeted earlier, $1,800,000 buys you a mansion in TX or a 900 sq foot one bedroom apartment in Manhattan. So location should play a factor.

There is so much we could do to make things better. Remove tax loop holes that let company’s keep money overseas; remove loopholes that legally let Mitt Romney pay an effective lower tax rate than his secretary. Bring that money back into the U.S. Treasury and let it be used for job creation, assistance for people in need. The Wall Street Journal had an article today about how the U.S. electrical grid is vulnerable for attack. National Security. But no one talks about a jobs creation program that would put people to work, modernize and fix our infrastructure, and make our Country safer.

Are we really so owned by big money and lobbyists that we can’t do the right thing? A pitiful time for The United States of America.

CPAC ** 50 Votes on ObamaCare ** GOP Doing Nothing All Year

BocaI saw on a headline somewhere today that this CPAC is going on now. For those who aren’t aware CPAC is the Conservative Political Action Conference. I am sure the entire conference will be about each one of them to trying to prove they are the biggest asshole in the room, oops, meant to say they will all vie for being the most right wing. Food Stamps? Cut them! Unemployment Insurance, Cut it!

I heard Mitch McConnell came out holding a rifle. I won’t be tweeting about any of this because I don’t want to give them any publicity, but I am going to comment on it and the GOP in general. So this week, or however long it is, each potential candidate will get up and slam President Obama and blame him for everything and anything that’s wrong in the world. I’m bored just talking about it.

Constructive criticism is always good and should always be sought after. But, just saying ‘You Suck’ does no one any good. Don’t like ObamaCare? It’s been 5 years, where is your alternative? This is where I would love to see politics separate itself from legislation.

The GOP announced at the beginning of 2014 that they were going to do nothing, let nothing pass as a political strategy to win the midterm elections. To me that statement is a call to remove them all from office and/or bring them to trial for not representing and following the Constitution. It sickens me that the GOP had their 50th vote recently to repeal ObamaCare. They know it’s already the law of the land. They know the president would never sign any such bill. Politics and pandering.

I would like to see, solid concrete ideas coming from the GOP, rather than just the word NO. Your taxes and mine pay the salaries of these people and yet they are accountable to no one. Yes, votes count and everyone must go out and vote, but, they should still be accountable while in office.

This might sound like a fairytale, but, what if the GOP actually spent their time doing what was best for the Country? Coming up with fresh ideas to increase job creation, boost the economy, help America’s reputation in the world. Coming together as a Country really is something few are interested in. Such a shame. I am sure that when the Founding Fathers put all of this together they would never have tolerated what’s going on today. A representative’s own job being more important than Country First?

Btw, I don’t doubt that the DEMS have been guilty of many of the things above and I hold them accountable as well. I’ve just never seen such egregious behavior from politicians as I have seen today.

Like they did in 1985 when laying down the tracks for “We Are The World” a sign was hung at the entrance saying “Leave Your Ego Behind.” I wish our politicians would do that. The Country and the World would be a better place.

Are We Already In WW3 But Don’t Know It

IMG_3969It seems like there is violence all around the world, every where I turn I see it. From Iraq Sunni Shia war that has been going on for over a thousand years, to right here in the U.S. Conservatives fighting with ultra-Conservatives and both groups fighting with the DEMS.

Obviously we aren’t in another World War, however it seems that war, physical or mental, is every where. Look what’s going on today in Ukraine, the President of the United States of America warned Russia’s Putin not to get involved militarily. Russian troops are already in Ukraine, flying the Russian flag over one of the parliament buildings.

Then take Syria, Civil War for years; Russia and Iran helping the Assad regime. No one helping the opposition, because no one really knows who the opposition is. Some are affiliated with Qaeda. Then of course there is Egypt which hasn’t quite decided how the Arab Spring will turn out.

You have the complete mess that the U.S. has left Iraq in and will soon be leaving Afghanistan in. Is it a coincidence that there is a huge heroin problem in the U.S. when our troops and others are there and Afghanistan is one of the largest suppliers of Opium. The Middle East is in complete chaos, then you have Iran. What is their game? Will these talks and pre-agreements turn into anything or are they stalling as usual to complete their nuclear weapons?

And here in the envied U.S. the income disparage and the unseen number of unemployed, what’s going to happen here over the next decade? What’s going to happen to the people when they have no money. Do we really have to spend so much time fighting about abortion? Civil Rights for Gays and Blacks?

Something needs to be done about all the turmoil, vitriol and hatred that is going on around the world. Can’t we all just get along? I think that was Rodney King’s statement but it’s so true. But, like good ole Ronnie used to say, if we can agree on 80% we are doing well.

Before this powder keg explodes, we all need to take a step back, respect others opinions and Give Peace a Chance.

Religious Freedom ** Discrimination ** Slavery

IMG_1674Ok, I know I am not the first to write about this, but I need to add my voice to the conversation. First, it’s really alarming that in this day and age people would be trying to pass laws that allow bigotry and discrimination. Maybe what a lot of people say is true, we have to wait for the close minded bigots to all die. I saw a study recently that said a huge portion of millennials have left the church because of the church’s anti-gay stance.

This Arizona law that Miss Wag-Your-Finger (Jan Brewer) is waiting on either signing or vetoing is supposed to protect religious freedoms. Everyone is thinking it is all about gay couples, and it is, but there is so much more. But, this law would allow a restaurant owner to kick gay people out of his/her restaurant, solely because they are gay. This is revolting and outrageous.

So, today it’s gays; as Anderson Cooper pointed out, tomorrow it might be an un wed mother; a divorced man or woman. And it could also be for all black people. Religious freedom was the rationale that was used to allow slavery. Religious freedom was used in the 1950s and 1960s with the Civil Rights movement, for people that wanted to keep segregation. It was used as a rationale for not allowing blacks into the U.S. Army.

Luckily some major companies have spoken out against this law and are urging Ms. Brewer to veto the bill. From Apple to Delta Airlines, companies are speaking out. And shockingly Fox News has even spoken out against the law, Fox News!

I don’t understand discrimination. My parents brought my brother and me up to treat everyone the same way and that all people are equal. I remember in 3rd grade posters showing kids of all different colors and races together and smiling. I am sure there was some kind of text under it saying something about all being equal but I don’t remember that. Just the image of different colors all being equal. This is why I find this law so foreign.

In the end I am guessing the bill will be vetoed. Not because of the bigotry it shows, but because of the financial consequences. Still, better it’s vetoed.

The “Obama Economy” And Treasonous GOP

IMG_1819Remember in 2008 when Obama won the election and many people, magazines, TV Shows all talked about how the Republican party was dead. After the large losses in 2006 and then the presidency in 2008 people were openly talking about the end of the GOP.

Boy, were they wrong. The GOP was cooking up a strategy to come back in a big way.

It sickens me to see headlines like Marco Rubio saying “The Obama stimulus was a failure” or the term “The Obama economy.” So misleading and incorrect. The current shape of the economy is due to the obstructionism and the GOP’s desire to make Mr. Obama look bad. No, not look bad, have him go down in history as a failure.

Flashback to early 2009 when Obama proposed the stimulus. At the time most economists said it was too small and would only work for a couple of years. As president Obama was on his way over to submit his proposed stimulus the GOP held a press conference denouncing it. Before they saw or read it they said no. Here is where their scorched earth strategy started. Say NO to anything and everything POTUS wanted. The Country was on the verge of another Great Depression and the GOP was playing politics, with the United States of America’s economy. Mitch McConnell was caught on TV saying the GOP’s top priority was to make president Obama a one term president. Not to dig the country out of the deep hole it was in or to help others.

To me, playing politics and deliberately voting on bills that sabotage the U.S. economy is treason. I think these people with these strategies should be tried in a court of law. Yes, I am aware that politicians play politics, but it should never be at the expense of the American people. In 2008 when George W. Bush proposed the TAARP to bail out the banks, the DEMS voted in  the best interest of the Country. The GOP? Voted against it.

The economy is in horrible shape today. The Wall Street Journal estimates that there are about 18 million longterm unemployed people in the Country today. The unemployment rate keeps dropping because people are so discouraged they have stopped looking for work. I blame this situation completely on the GOP/tea party. When demand is low and consumer confidence plummets it’s time for more stimulus and job creating bills. The GOP has made it clear they won’t vote for any more money being spent. That very action is why the economy is in such a bad state. I read today that according to the Gallup polling jobs and the economy are what Americans are most concerned about. If we invested now in new programs in the future the longterm debt would be lowered. Instead of having the government pay unemployment, welfare, medicaid if the government invested in new projects that put people to work, those people would be paying taxes and bringing more money in to the treasury. Thus in the longterm lowering the national debt.

To hear the spin from the GOP that this is Obama’s economy/failure is infuriating when it was the GOP that stopped him every step of the way. I do fault Obama for not publicly pushing for job creation more. He gave up too early on that and that’s a major blow to him and his legacy. After the 2012 election the polls all said the economy and jobs were people’s number one issue, just like today, Obama should have pushed hard to get more job creation. He went with issues that people weren’t as passionate about like guns, immigration. Big mistake.

I think we should call this the “GOP Economy.” And, I do wish that all the GOP who participated in the obstructionism could be tried for treason and jailed.

And, to you, Marco Rubio: the stimulus didn’t fail. It wasn’t large enough.

Very Exciting News My Nephew’s Paper Is Now Live Read What It’s All About

1901827_10152193736305027_841880655_nToday’s the day Eric’s paper goes live, check it out and follow @Eric_Ginsburg @Triad_City_Beat

Friends and acquaintances— I recently quit my job to pursue I better path for myself and our cities. Today is my first day at Triad City Beat, which I helped found. I invite you to ‘like,’ read religiously and fall in love with our newspaper and site! If you’d share this I’d be much obliged. http://triad-city-beat.com/

Triad City Beat exists to chronicle the Triad cities as low-cost incubators of innovation, sustainability and creativity. We publish smart reporting and writing that recognizes the intelligence of our readers. An informed citizenry is the lifeblood of democracy, and we take our responsibility seriously to provide good journalism to hold economic and governmental powers accountable, both locally and across North Carolina. Culture binds us, and we commit to provide lively and vital coverage of food, music and the arts in Greensboro, Winston-Salem and High Point. We unapologetically focus on the cities, and won’t shrink from defending LGBT rights, racial diversity and an urban sensibility. We carry the flag for no party or faction, and fiercely defend our editorial independence.

 

 

Our team

Publisher: Allen Broach

Editor in chief: Brian Clarey

Art director: Jorge Maturino

Managing editor: Jordan Green

Associate editor: Eric Ginsburg

Sales executives: Maria Recio and Ellen Kern

A Job For Mitt Romney ** Should America Have A Monarchy **

Boca area in BA, Very colorfulIt occurred to me the other day seeing Mitt Romney on a few TV shows that I have the perfect thing for him to do. Since he wants to remain in the public eye and not retire he should emulate Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. He should remove himself from politics and put his ‘celebrity’ to good use.  He was obviously a successful business man, he showed that he can handle things on a grand scale like the Olympics. He should start a charitable Foundation in something that interests him and could help people out. The Clinton Global Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have both done tremendous good. Mr. Romney has the leadership skills to accomplish something similar. Having him go on Sunday talk shows with partisan opinions is such a waste. He didn’t make it in politics; here would be a chance to really bring people together and help others. Mitt, I hope you are reading this. Pick a charity (homelessness, poverty, unemployment, infrastructure) bring business and thought leaders together and make things better. Imagine if The Romney Foundation raised enough money to rebuild the crumbling infrastructure in this Country; or if it helped schools teach kids the kind of things they will need to know so they can get good jobs. I think he is the perfect person to take on a mission like this; and everyone would benefit from it.

*************

I was reading in the paper the other day about how Queen Elizabeth II wants public money to pay her heating bills. The Royals have always kind of interested me in that people take them so seriously. When Charles and Diana got divorced she lost her HRH title, Her Royal Highness. People take these titles so seriously, I remember the outrage at the time. The Queen gave either her sister or daughter, the most highly respected title. That was adding the word “The” in front of Princess. All that stuff is funny to me.

The article was actually pretty interesting. She doesn’t own one of the palaces she lives in, the public does. Same with the Crown Jewels, they are hers to wear but she could never sell them. Some of the Castles and land she does own, I wish the article had been more specific.

The British people love the Monarchy, something like 87% of the people are in favor of keeping it. That made me think about the U.S. How nice would it be if we had a head of state that 87% of the people liked. In this day and age with all of the bitter partisan fighting, the posing and posturing of our elected officials. What’s happened is that our government is paralyzed. Nothing gets done. It’s beyond dysfunctional.

I know we left England and started this Country to get away from the Monarchy but what a nice thought. Americans agreeing on something.