Mechanical

Three Cheers for ... Republicans?

So the Supreme Court has issued a 5-4 ruling stating that local governments can take your property, against your will, to help private businesses. Which Supremes voted against it? O'Connor, Rehnquist, Scalia and Thomas. I didn't expect I'd find myself agreeing with the latter three any time soon. Is that a pig flying outside my window?

In other news, Congressional Republicans offered a Social Security bill which would, amongst other things, end a practice (started in the Reagan era) of borrowing our surplus Social Security funds to pay down the deficit. These funds were replaced with Treasury Notes. You and I would call them I.O.U.s. In effect, we have a pile of I.O.U.s sitting in our retirement account and that is the real reason for the Social Security system's failures. This is what Bush Jr., Clinton, and Bush Sr. were too cowardly to deal with: the Reagan administration's rape of Social Security in their spending orgy.1 W's "private accounts" were a damned joke that ignored the real problem. Now a handful of Republicans are trying to restore some sanity to the system. And the Dems are blocking it just because there is such an "us versus them" mentality that they can't let the Republicans get credit for anything.

Hey Congress! Could you please think about the American people for a change? It'd be awfully swell, guys.



1. What's terribly ironic about this is that the Reagan administration also saved Social Security under a plan that Greenspan put together. They saved it so well that the losses turned into a surplus and their greed got the best of them.
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I think it is so sad the way things are unfolding. Has this always been what has been happening and I have just been to stupid to see? I am feeling very naive and stupid right now.
I don't think this is a matter of stupidity. It's a matter of indoctrination. This has been happening for a long time, but there are many, many things which have conspired against our seeing this.

For example, if you pick up your average history text book for public schools, you'll find them riddled with errors and omissions. Our elected school board officials are often afraid of choosing accurate textbooks lest they lose their seat on the board (and I suspect they don't have the time or qualifications to judge those books, either.)

Our science textbooks are now under attack by Christians demanding their beliefs be offered in schools.

Fox News is so rabidly right wing and our media in general is so timid that moderates like Howard Dean get painted as left-wing radicals and nobody bats an eyelash.

The Democratic party in the US is pretty solidly to the right of many political parties the world over but somehow people think that they, too, are left-wing.

The White House lets a gay male prostitute (Jeff Gannon) into the Press Pool to lob softball questions at the president and no one seems to care.

The administration also pays for a lot of fake news stories to be distributed to media outlets but again, no one seems to care (this happened repeatedly under Clinton, too, I might add.)

We've really lost our way. Tolerance is viewed as evil. We have two right-wing political parties to choose from. Flag burning amendments are considered important. The President steps in to interfere with familial medical decisions. The Republicans dominate congress yet have trouble getting things done because even their own party is frequently appalled at their behavior. The Democrats refuse to support even reasonable proposals from the Republicans because they're afraid of losing face. It's pretty sad.
I was rather surprised at the count on the property decision case, too. Who knew the right would be on the side of the poor property owners, and the left would be on the side of business developers? I know it's more complicated than that, but it was just a shocker. Possibly more shocking was that O'Connor got vehement about anything; she's usually the nice consensus building moderate voice. So odd.
Ugh.

But that's somewhat good news on Social Security. Now if we could only figure out a way to pay down the deficit and keep SS.
right wingers are also the ones that voted against the federal medical marijuana fed stuff. they voted for state rights.