Hey Y'all - Welcome to my world

Sometimes 140 characters just won't cut it so I started writing stuff down....here. Don't get me wrong, I love Twitter but there are times when the Random Thoughts of a Southern Liberal Mind just can't be contained within a Tweet.

Friday, November 12, 2010

It is Time for Americans to Start Acting Like Grown-Ups!

Now that the mid-term elections are over and the GOP is about to take control of the House, the GOP filibusters that took place over the last 2 years “hoping” to prevent Obama’s “change” then ridiculing him for not bringing about the “change” he “hoped” for need to be addressed. There needs to be some sort of accountability – not just political rhetoric and ridicule of opposing points of view. There doesn’t need to be a “win at all costs” mentality employed by anybody. When that happens, all American citizens suffer. Sure… the politicians can beat their chests and say they won - but what actually gets accomplished? I think most Americans (including me) are basically moderately conservative fiscally. However, there comes a time and a place when we as a nation need to address the needs of our citizens. No one should starve or be forced to sleep in the streets in this great nation of ours! No one!

Despite what Fox News or any of the Talking Head pundit might tell us, President Obama has worked for the good of our country. Period. One example is the BP Oil Spill Compensation Fund he negotiated. It is probably the most under-reported and significant thing that Pres. Obama has done – and he did it without the help of Congress – and he did it over the objections of many GOP members & TeaParty candidates – and it isn’t funded by taxpayer money. Now that’s fiscally conservative! Kentucky’s new Senator elect, Rand Paul (T) says that it was “un-American to make BP pay” that kind of money. Texas Representative Joe Barton (R) publicly apologized to BP for the “shakedown”. Now by applying their logic, our Gulf Coast Region would be expected to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and deal with the cards BP (a foreign corporation) dealt us – is that that really the American way? Let's ask citizens, small businesses, municipalities to incur clean up costs without income and with no compensation from the offender (after the $75mil was spent)- then see what happens to our economy. The masses can’t pay their mortgages or buy groceries or buy cars or pay cell phone bills or pay medical bills or buy gasoline or…or…or… Then people are forced to crowd the unemployment lines, apply for Medicaid, foodstamps & WIC (all the entitlement programs the GOP screams about) which will eventually cause taxes to rise and so on and so on. The ripple effect is tremendous! How many people who vote the “anti-Obama” party line have collected monies secured from BP by Pres. Obama? Tens (if not hundreds) of thousands……that's how many.

Folks fuss about the left’s spending habit yet (vote GOP) then, despite that vote, take advantage of the Obama programs meant to spark the economy – like the $8,000 First Time Homebuyer’s Tax Credit or the Energy Efficient Appliance rebate program or the Cash for Clunkers program. It's incredible how Americans so blatantly bite the hand that feeds them!

The Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year. If they do, the majority of Americans (the middle-class) will incur on average about $1,000 a year (approx. $20 week) more in taxes. Significant to some…not so significant to others. Bush II said he wanted to give us a break during hard economic times and he did. He needed to in order to spark the economy especially after the 9/11 attacks. So he sent us a couple of $600 checks and told us to go shopping. This was only a part of the trickle-down economics idea that his father passed down to him. He also cut taxes to the top 2% of wage earners - the ones who benefit the most from the tax break. Trickle down economics didn’t work under Bush I – he even had to go back on his “no new taxes” mantra – and it obviously failed under Bush II. I can’t say for sure that Bush II only wanted to give the rich a break – because we all got a break. But the idea that jobs are automatically created when tax cuts are given or lost when tax cuts are taken away, is false. If it were true, we would not have seen the kind of skyrocketing unemployment rates over the last 6-7 years. Everyone got a tax cut – and a whole lot of people lost their jobs. Historically, there has been a great tax incentive for businesses to have people on payrolls - they can divert income to the employee through wages & cost of benefits (even bonuses!) allowing the employer to avoid incurring income tax on profits. If taxes are reduced as a matter of course, where is the incentive to seek out the deductions from profit through payroll or benefit expenses? There isn’t one. Money will be kept in company coffers or passed to the owners/shareholders – not the employees. The employees lose out and, a lot of times, lose their jobs to cheaper labor markets overseas. Which again, leaves less money to pay mortgages, buy cars, pay medical bills, etc…… History has already proven it.

I’m certainly not smart enough to solve the economic woes of the country or any other of our woes for that matter. But I know there has to be an income stream to pay for what we spend. Sure spending should be cut - but what programs? Likewise, the income stream has to go up - but on who’s backs? The two have to meet in the middle – that’s the only way it works. The problem is that most people believe that government programs are entitlement programs only when they apply to something in which they are not partaking. So… “don’t raise MY taxes” but dammit "Stop Government Spending"! But when you do… don’t you dare touch my Medicare or my Social Security or close my National Parks or cut back on my Veterans benefits or cut back on Space Shuttle launches or cut back on highway maintenance or even ask the elected ones to pay for their own health insurance……. See? It’s confounding. Trying to please everyone all the time just can’t be done.

Americans have to find a way to kick the divided team allegiances and start thinking like Americans again - not football fans.

Adults united and working together….its the only way out of this mess.

….and that’s all I have to say about that. - Forrest Gump

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I am not a Left Wing Nut Job....

Odd title, huh?

It seems that I've come under a little bit of fire for being too far to the left in my opinions. Maybe even too loud or "energetic" with sharing them on Twitter. The Twitter energy is probably because I'm a "Johnny Come Lately" to that app and have found quite an affinity for it. I not only get to share my views but I also get to read others view as well. While I've never met any of the folks I follow or who follow me, we engage in small exchanges and share ideas. We also get to see that we are not alone in our ideologies, political or otherwise. It makes someone like me, described as a "Blue Dot in a sea of red", feel warm and fuzzy at times to know that I'm not the only one who thinks like I do.

Occasionally, there are folks that don't see eye to eye with me and they call me on it. They share their ideas and ideologies and links to the stories and blogs that help form their opinions. I enjoy a good civil debate - I've even been known to invite one from time to time. Case in point, my new follower, SouthernIndependent. A good solid American citizen who doesn't share all of my opinions but is, at least, willing to address his differences with me in a civil tone. Good job!

However, I've come across a couple of "attackers" on Twitter. Those that resort to vicious name calling when someone posts an opinion differing from their own. These folks have typically been men and I've witnessed them attacking other women on Twitter too. I find it very sad that any person fulfills some banal desire to attack others or abuse others (especially ones they do not know) simply for stating an opinion. It is amusing that they do not show their faces or their names -they try to be completely anonymous. I find it especially worrisome that those who participate in this sort of behavior also refer to themselves as Christians in their profile or in their tweets. I find it comforting when other Tweeters come to the aid of one who is being attacked. I understand Freedom of Speech - I also understand that it applies equally to every single citizen of this Country - not just those that agree with you or with me - but every single person.

Christian is the term given to those of us who believe Jesus of Nazareth is our savior and for those of us that strive to model their lives after Jesus. Sometimes, I think the term is used too loosely. Now, I haven't read the entire Bible but I have read enough of it to know that Jesus didn't call people names and he didn't wish vicious diseases on people or their children. Jesus didn't seek riches or fancy clothes. He didn't own real estate. He didn't point the finger and lay blame on others for his troubles. Jesus loved his fellow man. He turned the other cheek. Jesus fed the hungry, he clothed the naked, he protected the downtrodden, he healed the sick, and he asked his disciples to give up their possessions and follow him.

Maybe people should apply their Christian values to their politics. I know I do.

I'm turning the other cheek now..........


Friday, October 22, 2010

SEC Football

SEC football is the most exciting (and maddening) way to spend a Saturday afternoon. So why do I do it every week? Who knows. This southern girl is solidly clad in Crimson & White (Roll Tide Roll!) so I guess it's just in my Crimson blood. I can hardly wait each week for the Saturday ritual of the family gathered around the big ole TV with a slew of football food.

Tomorrow night should be exciting with Alabama @ Tennessee. Then it's just 3 more games before the much awaited Iron Bowl. You better look out Cam Newton - the Tide has got your number! Auburn better bring their entire team because Bama has shown it can bring down those one man teams. Remember Tebow's Florida Gators?

Game on Y'all!

Tea Party adopting the GOP Southern Strategy?

Give 'em Hell Rachel!

What has happened to the Candidate vetting process?

Keep 'em honest Anderson.....keep 'em honest...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Blog from the Present

Where do I  begin?

There are so many issues to discuss and I have so little time.

As I stated in my earlier "A Blog from the Past", I listen to mostly conservative talk radio. I think it is important to not just hear, but also to listen to other points of view. What I normally hear are the angry rantings and ravings of the nationally syndicated shows’ hosts (whether they be Michael Savage or Todd Schnitt or Glenn Beck - Rush Limbaugh). These anger rants are filled with the type of abstractness found in poetry and rarely based in fact. The ravings are typically followed by the tea-drinking callers who believe they are "the masses". The tea-drinkers praise the angry hosts and the hosts pat themselves on the back for "warning" us of impending doom. The catch - if someone dares to disagree, they are demeaned, belittled, screamed over and eventually disconnected.

Blah....blah....blah.... Same talk, different show, different host, different day. UGH!

However, occasionally I will hear an accusation against one of our elected officials (also now more affectionately known as "the ruling class") that makes me go "Hmmmm....." When that happens, I begin researching the issue. On rare occasion, I find that an accusation has merit but the great majority of the time, they are based in absolute falsehoods found in emails which spread like wildfire. Example: Sharon Angle (Tea Party candidate for Nevada senate seat) claims that Sharia Law is being declared in cities across our country. Oh yeah....it’s already happening....she knows it to be true because she "read it somewhere." Want to know where? - You have 3 guesses.

But I digress....

Every workday morning, I listen to a local talk radio show "Sean & Wayne"on FMtalk1065 (http://www.fmtalk1065.com/). I hate to say it but I enjoy this show. They address local issues and the regular callers have quite a wonderful sense of humor. Recently, one caller dared to defend our President and the follow-up caller challenged us "liberals" to list for him just one accomplishment of the Obama presidency - "just one" he said. Well....I nearly wrecked my car reaching for my iPhone! I quickly ripped off a couple of emails defending POTUS listing issues I thought were not too polarizing. Here’s the exchange as it unfolded:

TO: Sean Sullivan
FROM: Amy Bolt

Subject: Here’s one for Obama

Auto industry bailout saved thousand of jobs AND they paid it back. Remember? The GOP opposed it.

- Peace, Amy

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
                   Subject: Another for Obama

He negotiated the $20 billion compensation fund from BP. That should have been capped at $75 million (and all spent by now) under the Oil Pollution Act set up by GOP in 1990.

How soon people forget.....

- Peace, Amy

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
TO: Amy Bolt
FROM: Sean Sullivan

                  Subject: Here’s one for Obama

Amy, the auto industry bailout saved jobs that shouldn’t have been saved. If GM’s business model was flawed then they should have failed. Thanks for listening and challenging my take on things. I do appreciate differing views its what makes this country great!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
TO: Sean Sullivan
FROM: Amy Bolt

Subject: Here’s one for Obama

I’m sorry I must disagree. The jobs that were saved were American working man jobs. These should be saved despite the company’s business model. Those working class Americans do not have decision making power when it comes to the corporation’s business model. What would have happened to Detroit’s community or the State of Michigan if these innocent working class folks had lost their jobs due to the corporations failed business model?

Your caller asked for a success of Obama’s. I gave you two on very short notice. There is a long list of them.

I love listening to you and Wayne in the morning. But sometimes the callers’ conversations are allowed to cause more harm than good..

- Peace, Amy


Crickets...chirp chirp chirp....crickets.....crickets....crickets....

Yep! Swoop! Nothing but air!

There are a couple of things glaring out here. The first one is that employees should lose their jobs because a big corporation’s business model is bad??? Come on! I hope my email response covered (which garnered no response). The second being that he completely ignored the single most important thing that our President has done for our local community. He negotiated with BP to set up the $20 billion compensation fund for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Why did Sean Sullivan ignore it? Because it is a good thing that has SAVED our economy. This is a major accomplishment and it is Obama’s accomplishment.

More crickets from the Right........

....chirp chirp chirp....crickets.....crickets......crickets.....

- Peace y’all

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Blog from the Past

I recently came across a posting I did on myspace during the late days of the 2008 Presidential Election.  I find it interesting that we seem to be fighting the same battles we were 2 years ago.  The Republicans have done their dead level best to make sure that nothing changes....nothing....nothing.   Read on

Originally posted on October 14, 2008:

I am not embarassed by my strong belief in the ideals of the Democratic party.

I have come to learn (not just believe) that certain news media outlets (Fox News; Limbaugh, Beck, Schnitt, etc..) all scream that the media is full of liberal nuts.  "The media has anointed Obama" – "McCain gets a raw deal" – "Palin is beat up by the 'gotcha' reporting" – "Obama is a Socialist" – "Bush (believe it or not) is not a real conservative".  These are all doctrines contained in the gospel according to the Republican Party.  Fox is simply an outlet for the Republican agenda and far, far from "Fair & Balanced".  Please forgive me if that's the station that you watch but I would recommend turning the channel.  For instance, Wednesday morning CNN was reporting on the differences between the economic stances of the candidates and Fox was replaying Palin's visit to SNL this weekend and actually asked why she and Tina Fey weren't put into a skit together like Amy Poehler & Hillary Clinton were.  Their concern was that Palin was treated fairly - but Clinton was. I was at the gym so I had the luxury of watching both.  I thought "Damn…we have more important things to talk about!"  Now… my opinion about that is…the powers that be, really don't want the staunch Fox watchers to hear about the real issues.  What surprises me is how these folks always seem to carve themselves out of the definition of "the media."   Okay...okay... time to climb off that soapbox.

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION:  I do not believe that people who came here illegally should be granted amnesty.  However, I don't know that there's any real solution as to how to round them all up and send them home.  I think one way to cut back on illegal immigration is to punish the employers that give them work.  If people would stop giving them jobs and paying them cheap labor under the table, they might stop coming here in droves.  THIS IS OBAMA'S STANCE.  Although he does talk about amnesty or some sort of temporary stay with worker permits for folks that are already here, he thinks the way to reduce the number of new illegal immigrants is to stop employing them.  Nobody should have to learn a second language like Spanish; however, I think it can't hurt to do so since it is the 2nd most commonly used language in the world.  I've been trying to learn it and I've been encouraging my children to do so too.

ECONOMY:  McCain and the Republican party want you to believe that Obama is a "Socialist" and that his economic plan will do nothing more than to create a welfare state.  Actually, the new line is "tax cut is a code word for welfare".  I see it a little differently.  I see that those who do better in this economy because of the greatness of this country should pay a little more in taxes to give back to the same society in which they've risen up.  No one should be given a free ride but those that have the ability to contribute should and should be proud to do their civic duty.  Trust me, no one is going to come to my house, take my stuff and give it to the sloth down the street under an Obama Administration.  But that is what McCain wants you to believe.    The Republican party wants all of us to believe that we are one of them.  WE ARE NOT one of them.  Did you know that the outfit that Cindy McCain wore on the night McCain gave his acceptance speech at the DNC cost twice as much as my house?  How can they begin to know what we go through every month trying to make ends meet?   I see that the Bush economic plan he put into place starting in his first 100 days in office (where he was reversing all that Clinton did), was the reckless spending of a spoiled rotten rich kid.  He gave the masses a couple of checks but gave away the country to big business.  When he did, he completely reversed a budget surplus into a record deficit.  Did you know that the war funding was not even included in his annual budgets until his latest one for fiscal year 2009?  So…all the billions and billions being spent in Iraq aren't even considered in the budget deficit each year.  I've been amazed at how money is found to fund an unnecessary war but social programs for our own citizens like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, School programs is taboo.   I know Bush isn't running for re-election.  But trust me…McCain has been right there with him during this last term and his ideas on the economy are no different from Bush.   McCain wants to cut funding (and benefits) to Medicare and Medicaid.  He still supports privatizing Social Security so it can be invested in the stock market.  Has he been watching the stock market over the last 3 weeks?  It's lost over 3,000 points!   Obama wants to increase the $90k ceiling on earnings that are taxed with FICA so that the higher wage earners bear a share in Social Security funding in order to shore it up so it will be there for me and you and everyone else we know.   The current Administration is in the process of Socializing this country as we speak.  You shouldn't worry that Obama is gonna do it.  It's being done already!  The government is taking over big business debts.  What's that?  Capitalism?

HOUSING CRISIS:  There are rumors out there that Obama was at the heart of this housing crisis because of his association with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  These rumors are just that….rumors.  In fact, I've gotten information that McCain's campaign manager was actually a lobbyist for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  This crisis didn't start with the Clinton policies or Jimmy Carter's policies like Limbaugh and others want you to believe.  Bush pushed through an initiative at FHA/HUD that allowed for zero down payment, zero documentation loans in the year 2004.  It was his iniative.  It was never voted on by Congress.  It was, however, adopted by FHA/HUD without that vital Congressional review.  It seems to me that most of the foreclosures are coming from ARMs that re-adjusted interest rates and payments after the initial 3 years – with folks that put nothing or little down that couldn't afford the loan in the first place.   Coincidence?   Probably not.

My last pitch today (I have many, many more):  The single most independent presidential decision that either of these folks will ever make is to choose their running mate – the one person they trust most to take over as President in the event of their death.  This decision is theirs alone -no Congressional confirmation hearings.   Although I would have liked to have seen Clinton on the ticket, Obama made a strong choice to shore up his weakness (foreign policy).  Joe Biden is one of the good guys – no doubt.   I feel that McCain absolutely squandered his decision.  Palin might be a pretty face but that is all this woman brings to the table.  If he wanted to trump Obama's post-convention bump in the polls, he would have been better served with Kay Bailey Hutchinson from Texas.  Palin is a scary person.  She is anti-abortion even in the case of rape or incest.  Now…how is that pro-life?  Does that give dignity to the poor victim of rape or incest?  Come on!  That's just inhumane.  She believes that the VP is in charge of Congress (the House and the Senate) and not just a tie-breaking vote.  She knows very little about domestic policy and she knows nothing of foreign policy.  She is incompetent, inconsistent, dangerous and completely out of her league.  This was McCain's most presidential decision and he was reckless with it.  That one thing is enough for me to be scared of how he'll run this country.  He's already run his campaign into the ground.

Believe me when I say that I listen to both sides of the issues.  I spend way way more time than I should reading, watching, listening.  I actually listen to more conservative talk radio than I do anything else, then I research what I hear.   Most of the time, the things that are being talked about on conservative talk radio is just crap and rumor mongering and very rarely backed up by the documents or proof.