POLITICAL PARTY POOPER

WE WON'T BE SAFE WHILE POLITICAL PARTIES ARE LEGAL

Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

If I were President

Posted by politicalpartypooper on August 13, 2011

I’ve been having discussions with  a number of political people recently.  Let’s say that they’re political junkies.  Many, like me, are avowed Independents.  There are those remaining few who are brave enough to admit that they are a party hack…ahem…Republican or Democrat.  Those brave few are always the few who argue most vociferously for their obsolete ideology.

I can’t really recall one argument I’ve had with an Independent.  Maybe the Hacks are right; we don’t argue because we don’t stand for anything, except maybe fence-sitting.

Perish the thought.  Here’s what I stand for, and here’s what I would strive for if I were President:

* End the Bush tax cuts.  Anyone who believes we can solve our debt problem by cutting spending alone is naive, or reasonably insane.  There is no argument one can make against raising revenues when all we’re talking about is less than four percent in tax rates.

* Reform the estate tax.  Yes, there needs to be an estate tax.  Money “won” in an estate is income…and almost always, unearned income.  Being a member of a wealthy family doesn’t give you a pass to perpetual wealth without taxation.  If I earn $5,000,000 in one year, I get taxed on it.  So should you.  Especially since you probably DIDN’T earn it.  America wasn’t built on inheritance, and Capitalism isn’t based on inherited wealth.  It’s not a death tax; it’s an income tax.  We’re not taxing the dead guy.  We’re taxing the income that the living recipients receive free of charge or labor.  Husbands and wives, of course, would pay no estate tax, as our government views the rights of the surviving spouse to be an equal owner of the estate, and still living.

* Extend Congressional Terms to four years, and limit the number of terms to two.  No more career politicians.

* Reduce Senatorial terms to four years, and limit the number of terms to two.

*  Write a Free Trade Equity Act.  Simply put, demand that in any trade agreement that our nation makes or currently holds, an equal number of jobs have to be created between the two parties.  If American factories move overseas and create 1000 jobs in that foreign nation, that nation must reciprocate in kind.  No deviation is to be allowed.  Free Trade isn’t free if the results are as lopsided as they have been for the last twenty years.

* Write an Amendment to the Constitution that guarantees the Bill of Rights only to Natural Persons.  Corporations may be an assembly of natural persons, but they aren’t a natural person in and of themselves, and therefore, do not have the same rights that Natural Persons have; such as Free Speech.  This ought to end the debate about whether corporations or special interests (such as unions) can contribute big money to our campaigns.  While the people within those corporations or special interests may have an individual vested interest in the outcomes of elections and deserve their voices to be heard, the  entity of corporations and special interests do not have vested interests and shall have no voice in our system of government.  The Bill of Rights pertains to the individual, not to groups of individuals.  The right to worship as one sees fit, for example, is an individual right, not a corporate right.  Individuals have the right to organize according to their method of worship, but the organization itself has no say, no free speech with regards to our system of government.  Our Founders didn’t write a Corporate Bill of Rights; they wrote a natural person’s Bill of Rights, and defined what that Natural person is within it.

* A Tax code that is simple, equal, and fair, without loopholes for the wealthy.  What that tax rate may be would need to be determined, but whatever it ends up being, no one except the very poor would escape its full effect.  If we can find a rate near 17-19% that helps us maintain our budget and our social programs, that would be optimal.  But for the time being, if that rate needs to be one or two percent higher to help us pay down our debt and balance our budget, I think most Americans will be accepting of it.

* A program of employment for the long term unemployed.  We cannot pay unemployment benefits perpetually without return.  Our nation has massive infrastructure deficiencies, and employing the long unemployed toward this end would go a good way toward solving this need, while paying a fair wage and giving the newly employed a sense of contribution to their society.

 

To be continued

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Breaking Down Trickle Down: Business Plan 101

Posted by politicalpartypooper on August 18, 2010

The thirty year old Conservative plan for the economy is known by many names; Supply Side, Reaganomics, but my favorite name for it is Trickle-Down economics. In case you don’t follow economic theories, Trickle-Down is the practice of giving advantage to the supply side of our economics system, the corporations, wealthy, and small businesses who create jobs, through tax breaks and incentives. The idea is that wealthy people flush with cash save that cash, and those savings are invested, through some means, back into the economy, which then through various ways, trickles down even to the poorest of Americans, either through innovations and efficiencies that make consumer goods less expensive to own, or through job creation due to increased demand.

Historically, this has been accomplished through tax breaks, especially for corporate America. In fact, about the only solution available to Supply-Siders is reducing taxes.

Thankfully, that’s as complicated as Republicans have made it, which makes my job much simpler.  The idea of cutting taxes for corporate America and small businesses is that they will then use that money to create jobs in their own businesses.  Only we’ve been using Bush’ Trickle-Down tax cuts for nine years, and we’re bleeding jobs.  The best that can be said about Bush’ job creation record was that it was a positive record during his two terms.  He averaged 49,000 jobs created per month.  Economists say we need at least 150,000 to keep up with population growth.  So Bush only fell about 101,000 jobs short per month with his Trickle-Down plan.

So much for tax cuts creating jobs.

Now let’s get to the good stuff, and don’t worry, this is easy.  Business Plan 101.  How to make money running a business.

Business A receives a tax cut and finds itself flush with cash.  Wanting to do their part, they immediately hire several staff.  However, after a few months, they realize that there is no work for these new staffers to do; even though they were flush with cash before they hired the new staff, in the end, there was no demand for those new hires to fulfill.  After a few more months, those hires were laid off, and Business A had less cash than they did before they received the tax cut.

Business B received the same tax cut as Business A.  Instead of hiring new staff, though, Business B researched whether there was actually anything for them to do; in other words, they monitored demand, always at the ready to meet it with new employees if it came to that.  But in this case, the demand for their product was no different from before they received the tax cut, so they didn’t hire anyone.  The tax cut ended up not achieving its goal.

Which business is the smarter business?

Tax cuts mean nothing for job creation without demand.  Absolutely nothing, and that it can be described like this, without using any fancy formulas, completely destroys the myth of Trickle-Down economics.  The effect that tax cuts for the wealthy, or for Corporate America have on our economy are long delayed, at best, and meaningless at worst.

Business planning 101 dictates that you don’t hire unless there is work for them to do.  In other words, if demand is not present, neither should any new hires be.  And this is exactly what ails our economy today.  No good, smart business should ever hire someone just because they received a tax break, and the investments that the wealthy make and the subsequent trickling effect are too delayed and minimal to do any good.

Capitalism starts from the ground up.  No product is sold without a consumer to buy it.  This is simple stuff.  I explain it to my conservative friends all of the time, and then they go watch Fox News or some moronic Republican Senator who repeats all of the old anecdotal “facts” about Supply-Side, and I have to start all over again.

I can make the greatest gadget ever, but if there is no buyer for this gadget, I’ve just lost money.  Capitalism’s history is gorged with start-ups that failed because no one wanted their product or service.  President Obama just visited one that teeters on the brink yesterday, ZBB in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.

No matter how you roll the economy, it has a starting place, and that starting place is demand, at the bottom.  Tax cuts have no  significant impact on job creation.     Ω

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Rep. Tom Petri (R) Will Have a Formiddable Opponent In 2012: Me

Posted by politicalpartypooper on August 3, 2010

I live in Wisconsin’s sixth district, and am represented by Tom Petri, Republican.  It’s just about time to end that.

I don’t want to be represented by a Republican who believes that Supply-side economics works, or that tax cuts create jobs.  I don’t want to be represented by the special interests that he has collected; groups like the Railroad Industry in Wisconsin, or the Air Transport Industry, Attorney Groups, Public Worker Unions, Boeing, the National Beer Wholesalers Association, amongst a slew of others.  In essence, I don’t want to be representd by a career politician who has never held a real job in his life, and has sucked off of the public teat for too long.

I don’t want to be represented by a man who:

* Voted NO on letting shareholders vote on executive compensation, but voted yes on it two years prior. (Jul 2009)

* Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. (Nov 2007)  Are you kidding me, Tom?  Are we living in Afghanistan?

* Voted NO on regulating the subprime mortgage industry. (Nov 2007)  We see how well that turned out, don’t we, Tom?

* Voted YES on $9.7B for Amtrak improvements and operation thru 2013. (Jun 2008) Now you can see how all that railroad money really came in handy.

* Voted YES on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with China. (May 2000)  Free Trade has destroyed our economy.  Thanks, Tom.

* Voted Yes on every Free Trade agreement, and also voted yes on ‘Fast Track’ authority for trade agreements.  Can’t wait to betray American workers, can you, Tom?

If I can get the required signatures, and save and raise a small amount of cash to begin an effective, responsible campaign, I’ll be running against Tom Petri in 2012 as the Wisconsin State Representative for our Sixth District, as an Independent.  I’ve had enough.  So have the people of my district and of Wisconsin.  It’s time to end the shipping and outsourcing of American jobs to places where the employee has no rights, earns almost nothing, and has no protection against the American corporations exploiting them.  Goodness, I thought we cleared all of this up in the early 1900’s, when we got rid of sweat shops, the seven day, sixty hour work week, asbestos and a whole host of other things that Petri apparently wants to resurrect. How about we resurrect some American jobs, Mr. Petri, instead of shipping them overseas as fast as we can?

For the people of my beloved sixth district , start asking Tom Petri one question and one question only; Where are the  jobs?

“Why, they’re overseas, where I sent them” He’ll respond.

It’s time to put my money where my mouth is.     Ω

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How Corporatist-Conservative Policy Destroyed The American Economy

Posted by politicalpartypooper on July 21, 2010

I get asked repeatedly by clients and friends, “Pooper, when is the recovery going to happen?”

To which I answer, “Are you referring to the recession, or the actual beginning of the collapse of our economy?”  I typically get blank stares.

Allow me to expound.  What you are seeing in America today is not a recovery from anything; not from the “recession” (called so because we have to have a label for everything), not from jobs lost, not from jobs outsourced overseas…there has been no recovery and will be no recovery until we undo what Conservatives (and in some cases, Democrats) did to ruin the economy.

Here is where all of my conservative readers (I think there are seven) become belligerent.  Be patient.  I am going to paint the case of why Conservatives are to blame, and when I am done, you will not be able to refute it.  It’s not pretty.  I used to be a conservative, and am a small business owner.  I’m supposed to be a conservative’s best friend.  But I can’t be.  Their economic policies need to be lynched, forever.

Conservative economics used to mean reduced government oversight of free enterprise, and tax policies designed to encourage small business growth.  In essence, a conservative believed that it was the government’s job only to passively regulate industry from a distance, and that taxation was meant only as a means to secure our liberty and provide a safe environment for enterprise to flourish.  Business DID flourish in the United States, with a few rough spots along the way in our first one hundred and twenty-five years.  That’s why conservatives are called “conservatives”; they don’t like change.  Why fix something that isn’t broke?  Just keep the government small, allow business to govern itself, and everything will be alright.  Conservatives fought unionization, building codes, the forty hour work week, profit sharing, vacation, higher pay for overtime…the list goes on and on and on.   Their track record is a marvel; they literally believe that nothing is ever broken, that no business owner is taking advantage of his employees, and that business can regulate itself.

It was that kind of thinking that caused the first Great Depression.  But something happened to Conservatives in the 1930’s; they became irrelevant.  A near permanent Democratic majority kept Republicans fuming and on the outside looking in.  For decades they were powerless to stop the New Deal, The Great Society, Social Security, Medicare, the forty-hour work week, the minimum wage, building safety codes, OSHA, and on and on and on.  Regulation of power companies, telephone companies, banks, investment banks, and overseas commerce all came to pass while Conservatives could only watch and stew.

But in 1981, all of that ended.  Reagan ran on a platform of deregulation, limited government, and tax cuts and won.  What is amazing in its irony is that during the midst of the recession of 1981, Reagan actually agreed to raise taxes on the profits of corporations, in order to limit the growing deficit.  Even at that time, and despite all of the conservative rhetoric that tax cuts for corporations were good for job creation and deficit reduction, the only action Reagan ever took to reduce the growing deficit was to increase taxes on businesses by the largest amount in our history.   The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 instituted a three-year, $100 billion corporate tax hike—the largest tax increase since World War II.  That one tax increase proved that not even Ronald Reagan believed in trickle down economics.

But Reagan also succeeded in cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans from near 70% to 50% in less than a year.  Had conservatives left that figure alone, our historical debt would be vastly different.  Instead, conservatives continue to use fear for the future as a tool for winning elections based on “fiscal conservatism”, which is the idea that only a conservative knows how to manage the national debt in a way that won’t cripple our grandchildren’s wallets.  Poppycock.  Their incessant tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and for corporations who ship jobs overseas is what has created the path to an unsustainable national debt.

Reagan instituted a phrase that conservatives use to this day:  Trickle Down (or Supply Side) economics…Reaganomics.  It is the philosophy that tax cuts for the top tier of American earners, and for Corporations will increase corporate profits, and create jobs through a trickling down process.  This, coupled with President George H.W. Bush’s demand for a fast track on the North American Free Trade Agreement began America on a collapse from which we will never emerge unless drastic measures are taken.

Conservatives believe that by allowing corporatists and wealthy Americans to keep more of the profits, and by encouraging them to trade internationally and build factories over seas, more prosperity than ever will trickle down to the rest of America, creating more, and better, higher paying jobs.

Sounds great!  Doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work.

THE EVIDENCE

The first piece of evidence I present should be obvious, even to stubborn conservatives.

1.  By allowing large corporations reduced taxes and higher profit margins, the corporate philosophy of America changed.  It morphed from a partnership between management and labor to a partnership between management and stockholders.  Instead of quality products for a fair price, the old American way of doing business, enterprise became predicated upon profit alone.  Demand for greater return on investment drove management to look for new ways to cut labor costs and reduce expenses.  What resulted was an increasing call for free trade agreements that allowed corporations to transfer large blocks of their manufacturing overseas where labor was infinitely cheaper, and where regulations were not imposed to protect that cheap labor. President George H.W. Bush started this landslide by ramming NAFTA through, President Clinton continued it, and the most recent President George W. Bush extended it and in all likelihood, drove the final nails into the coffin.

Also occurring simultaneously was the increased demand for executive talent that could manage multi-national companies.  Along with that demand came vastly increased pay for executives, while manual labor pools in America shrunk and lost wage leverage.  That lost leverage has never been recovered, and has infiltrated even into the white collar world of lower management.  Where once there was a large enough pool of opportunity for American workers, there grew in its place an increasing number of unemployed or underemployed laborers, which exacerbated the lost leverage problem.  A worker today only has leverage if he has an opportunity to move from his current employer to a different one offering higher wages.  That possibility has all but evaporated with trickle down economics.  As more and more  jobs left American shores, the opportunity for leverage disappeared.  All of the leverage belongs with corporations today; exactly what conservatives, or should I say, corporatists, wanted.

By allowing corporations to manage based on profit alone, and enabling their greed for profit by removing traditional protectionist regulations on international trade, conservatives ushered in this new era of lost jobs, wages, and hope.  The jobs can’t return until American companies can compete without hiring labor overseas.

2.  I call this the Mega-Corp effect.   Consider the competition between large corporations hiring cheap labor overseas against smaller companies trying to compete while paying higher American wages.  Who will win?  It’s a no-brainer.  Large corporations have become much larger, morphing into mega-multi-national corporations against whom the much smaller American companies simply cannot compete.  As those smaller companies lost, the larger corporations bought them, forced mergers, or outright stole their technology and ideas, moving every bit of the manufacturing from the older, smaller company, overseas.

By allowing corporations to manage according to profit and greed alone, conservatives tilted the playing field heavily in favor of America’s largest corporations.  Smaller manufacturers simply could not compete, and were swallowed up.  Start-up manufacturers have only one chance to compete; they need to hold the patent on a completely new product, and typically, large corporations are buying up the rights to those patents from the inventors, from the profits that conservatives are so desperate that they have.  What happens to the jobs that those new patents might have created?  They go overseas, merged with the large corporation’s other overseas interests.

That’s why when I hear President Obama talk about America becoming the Clean Energy supplier of the world, I nearly choke.  Unless the free trade agreements are altered or torn up, every new patent for a clean energy product will be controlled by a large corporation, and it’s manufacture will occur overseas, where labor is cheaper and regulations cost less.  Large corporations simply have no incentive to manufacture or produce goods in America.  On the contrary, conservatives have created incentives for them to continue shipping American jobs overseas.  It’s a cycle that can only be ended by legislation that either reduces or destroys these free trade agreements.  But don’t hold your breath for President Obama to change the course of American business.  He is already rushing headlong into a new free trade agreement with South Korea.

The larger these big corporations become, the more impossible it is to compete with them; which vastly reduces choice and quality, while concentrating the greatest proportion of wealth in the hands of the few Mega Corps.  The same phenomenon has occurred in our Financial Industries.  The repealing of the Glass Steagall act of 1934 allowed commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies to merge and sell each other’s products.  The result was the formation of Banks-too-big-to-fail, and the most recent collapse of Wall Street.  Local community banks cannot compete with these mammoths, and are bought up one by one, eliminating choice and quality, along with providing these huge corporations with more and more money that they use to influence legislation in their favor.

3.  Profits that the wealthy and the corporations keep do not trickle down to America.  Where is the job creation occurring in this world?  In developing countries and in the East; namely China.  And why are American companies there?  Because free trade agreements removed the tarrifs and protections that enabled American workers to compete.  There is simply no way around this one, primeval fact.  It all began with tax cuts for corporations, higher and higher and higher demand for profit in lieu of quality and tradition, and removed protections for American workers.  That is Pandora’s box.  That is the legacy of Supply-side Economics and Free Trade.

4.The Race To The Bottom.  If you are a business owner who regularly deals with consumers (in my case, clients), you’ll recognize this one immediately.  Conservative economics dictate that the government deregulate, or to use Sarah Palin’s terminology, “Jus’ git outta our way!”  The philosophy behind this is that free enterprise can regulate itself much better than government can.  On the surface, that sounds almost right…almost true…almost sensible.

But if you own a business, in a field where there isn’t much regulation, I’ll bet you can name four or five competitors who are “snakes”.  These “snakes” are business owners whose sole purpose for enterprise is to take as much money as they can from their customer for the cheapest possible investment.  Whether that investment be materials, labor, information, or whatever, we all know who the snakes are.  For some of us, it’s an amazement they are allowed to be in business at all.  You know that if you are competing directly against them, they will “lowball” your perspective client to get the business, and then jack up their profit in after-the-sale charges or change orders.  It never fails; and these snakes rarely lose.

It’s the ultimate race to the bottom; spawned from a mentality of profit at any cost, even if that means cheating your client.   Even as you are reading this post, you know the names of businesses who did this as well as I do.  Goldman Sachs.  BP.  Exxon.  Haliburton.  AIG.  More?  Of course…too many to count.  That’s what happens when you deregulate.  You cannot trust EVERY business person to believe in providing a fair product for a fair price.  In fact, on Wall Street, that “fair price for a fair product” mentality is actually a minority, as it is amongst the Ultra Banks.  When the largest amount of money you can conceive of is up for grabs; and when the business sector in which this money resides is deregulated, the only thing you can be certain of is the race to the bottom of the ethics ladder.  People and entire corporations will sell their very souls to grab the largest piece of the pie, or be the biggest fish in the ocean.  In fact, they justify their greed by saying that if they don’t “strive” to be number one, they’ll be swallowed up by a bigger fish.  Easy mergers, easy derivatives, easy, cheap, overseas labor…all breed the race to the bottom of the ethics ladder.

No industry can truly regulate itself.  Business owners who believe in the fair market and in providing the best of their service for a fair price know that when the mongooses of regulation are removed, the snakes multiply.  That deregulation is a Basic Conservative Tenet is an undisputed fact.  That snakes breed, multiply, and create serious and oftentimes catastrophic financial disasters when deregulation occurs is unarguable.

5. What Conservative Deregulation Really Means.  Historically, Conservatives have been against some of the pillars of American Economics.  For example, Conservatives fought against Social Security insurance, Medicare, the minimum wage, the forty hour work week, the banning of asbestos in building materials and the right of a citizen to sue an asbestos manufacturer for liability in asbestos-health related cases.

But what does deregulation really mean?  In my industry, it meant repealing Glass-Steagall, the implosion of Wall Street, and the collapse of the American economy.  In another industry that I worked for in the 1990’s, it would mean reduced building-safety codes, reduction of power for OSHA, reduced fire codes, and fewer protections for construction workers, all things that Conservatives can really get their arms around.  After all, these industries can police themselves, according to Republicans like Palin and Newt Gingrich, and libertarians like John “I think unemployment benefits discourages people from looking for jobs” Stossel.

Ahhh yes…the race to the bottom in all of its glory.  Do you have any idea how much it costs to install a fire alarm in every room of every building, or emergency, battery powered lighting in every hallway?  Conservatives roll over in their graves for years at all of the “wasted” money.  And why bother removing asbestos insulation from a building when you can ignore it?  Besides, health effects from asbestos take years to develop, and by that time, the manufacturer will be out of business so…problem solved…no one to sue equals an equitable result for all parties, according to a conservative.

6.  The money goes to the top and stays there.  “Supply Side” economics is a policy that concentrates money at the top (corporations) in order for it to “trickle” down to the masses.  The more money there is at the top, the more money that trickles down…or so they say.  Something happened to that ,money, though, on the way to the bottom.  In 1980,  executive pay was only forty times greater than the average American salary.  Today, executive pay is more than five hundred times greater, meaning all that money concentrated at the top is staying at the top; not trickling down.  For most people, this would have been a no-brainer; but for conservatives (even the rank and file) it is the stuff of life.  I can talk to any conservative today, and he will tell me that trickle down economics not only works, but has been proven to work by the stats.  He’ll continue that line of reasoning until I show him the real stats; especially the fact that his boss is making five hundred times more than he is.  He’ll defend that stat by telling me that there are more, higher paying jobs available now that at any time in our history; until I show him that the Bush-era lost three million jobs and they’ve never come back, that wages have been stagnant at best for the last fifteen years, and are diminishing when compared to inflation at worst.

In Conclusion:

The facts do not lie; conservatism, or as I called it earlier, Corporatism, does not work.  It’s not just one part of it that isn’t working, it’s all of it put together.  In truth, some conservative principles would work fine with our system of free enterprise.  I believe that there really does need to be incentive for businesses to hire in economic downturns, and sometimes, tax cuts help.  I believe that small businesses should receive greater tax breaks than large corporations, considering the fact that it is the small business sector that historically creates sixty percent of the new jobs coming out of a recession.  But conservatives want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, who over the last ten years, have created zero jobs.  Yes, you read that correctly; job growth since the Bush tax cuts has been negative, not positive; so the tax cuts have had a zero, or negative impact on American job creation.  Since they didn’t work, and cost our country trillions in new debt due to lost revenue, it’s time to do the smart thing, and end them.

From supply side to deregulation, from tax cuts for corporations that ship American jobs overseas to the race to the bottom, conservatism does not work.  It’s not real conservatism, anyway.  Real conservatism looks more like the Libertarian party.  The brand of Republicans calling themselves fiscal conservatives today aren’t conservatives at all; they’re Corporatists, and their every word and act reveals this.  Against extending unemployment benefits that add $30 Billion to the deficit, but for extending the Bush tax cuts that add nearly $1 Trillion to the deficit..every year.  That’s right; if we ended the Bush tax cuts today, our actual deficit would be somewhere around $600 Billion, and all of the Bush years would have seen budget surplusses.

How’s that for conservative economics?

America needs to reverse this corporatist-conservative train immediately.  Free trade needs to end.  Regulation needs to force the snakes into the open where they can be stomped on.  The Bush tax cuts need to be allowed to sunset.  Small businesses need to be able to get decent credit on decent terms instead of allowing the Mega Banks to deny them access.  Tax tarriffs on American companies who ship jobs overseas need to be implemented, and protections that allow the American worker to compete with the rest of the world must be re-implemented.  Economic growth happens from the bottom up.  That’s an undisputed fact.  No one spends more moeny than middle-class America, who are no where near the top of the “trickle-down” pyramid.

In the end, that’s what corporatist-conservatism became; a giant pyramid scheme.  It’s time to nuke that pyramid.  We don’t have much time.     Ω

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Republican Or Democrat Does Not Equal “Choice” At The Polls

Posted by politicalpartypooper on July 7, 2010

We all have numerous choices in America.  It’s one of the trademarks of a Capitalistic society.  Grocery stores confuse me and I tend to stay out of department stores for fear of getting lost.  If I visit Amazon.com or any one of thousands of online stores (millions?) I’m struck by the plethora of choices I face.

So why is it that when I vote in America, I’m dumbfounded by the lack of choice?

Let’s see; I can choose a Democrat…or a Republican…a Democrat…or a Republican…a Democrat…or a Republican.

Some choice.  It’s like voting for the devil or his twin brother.  And always it makes me feel discouraged, as if knowing that neither choice will bring the change I hope for locally and in Washington.  I’ll be forty-three years old on Wednesday, July 14th, and having voted for twenty-five years, I come to find that I’ve never  voted for anyone I thought was a good choice.

Sure, I voted for President Obama like so many other people, but not because he was a Democrat…like so many other people.  For me, it was because he seemed more of an Independent than a Democrat, while McCain just seemed old.  I come to find out that he really is a Democrat; complete with all of the trappings of that party.  Got a crisis?  He asks himself, “what would a Democrat do?”  Recession?  What would a Democrat do?  War?  What would a Democrat do?

It turns out, Democrats aren’t much different from Republicans.  Sure, their ideologies are worlds apart, but the way they actually govern isn’t.  In practical terms, there’s only one ideology that governs in Washington; Incumbency.

It’s more than just an individual thing, too.  If that were all it were, I wouldn’t feel so cheated at the poll.  One man’s ideology is his right, and in many cases, can be honorable.  But a political party’s ideology?  That’s a different thing.  When a mass of humanity clusters, and then jostles for power collectively, their opponents become enemies.  And every seat of power becomes something to win and then to hold on to, as if owned.  Along the way, the issues of our day meet the differing ideologies, and often become secondary to the struggle for power.

Such is the state of our union; this glorious union of the States of America.

The state of our union is corrupt; dominated by two political parties who weren’t even in existence when our Constitution was written.  Those two parties are almost wholly funded by Corporate or special interests; many of those even foreign interests.  It’s become so bad in these last years that in a decision between special interests and the interests of the citizens of America, special interests always win.  It doesn’t matter whether Democrats or Republicans are in power; if there is legislation to be written, Las Vegas bets that Corporate and Special interests will be favored.  If indeed there were a “line” on the legislation, the odds for special interests or corporate interests would be two-to-one while the odds against normal citizens would be 50:1.  That’s what money buys you, and money owns and operates Democrats and Republicans.

So when I vote this fall for a governor, a senator, and a congressional seat, I’ll be choosing between two parties who really only represent one interest; the corporations or special interests who gave the most money.  Sure, if I had a billion dollars to give these folks I could buy legislation, too.  But that’s not the way our system is supposed to work!

I’m supposed to have choices!  This is America, for God’s sake!  But time after time, the choice I’m left with is (R) or (D).  Like I said, some choice.

It’s not a choice.  It has the illusion of choice, but it’s not really a choice.  If it were, we might be able to trust a politician when he says he’s an outsider and he’ll change things.  But when I look at that guy and see a (D) or an (R) behind his name, I know that no change is coming.  That guy is a Democrat, or a Republican.  If you think he’s suddenly going to have new ideas and new values, you are crazy.  I’ve been watching these guys for twenty-five years.  I’ve been waiting for the guy who actually carried the mantel that went with the words for that long.  I’ve heard it all.  I’ve heard all of the “I’m different!” speeches that I care to.  I heard the first words out President Obama’s mouth the night he won the White House, “Change has come to America!”

No, it hasn’t.  I knew then that it hadn’t.  I liked the guy, but I knew then that change was at least another four years away, and probably a lot longer than that.

You see, it’s as I said.  I’ve heard all of the speeches.  In 2000, George W. Bush ran as a Washington outsider. In 1992, it was Bill Clinton.  In 1980, it was Reagan. And on and on and on.  Change?  Washington isn’t the problem.

It’s the two political parties that are.  It’s these two massive corporations that recycle the same, tired rhetoric year after year, election after election.  “Vote for me!  I’m different!  I’ll bring change to Washington!” (R)

“Vote for me!  I’ll change the way Washington operates!”  (D)

See?  That’s not a choice.  It’s the same thing.  It’s two massive corporations controlling every aspect of America, and each one is determined to have you believe that they will change what’s wrong in Washington.  There’s nothing so wrong in Washington that a well placed tactical nuke hitting both party conventions couldn’t solve in an instant.

Did I say that out loud?  May it never happen, because in America, we don’t solve problems that way.  We solve them at the polls.  Which leads me to the point of this entire article.

What America needs is not a third party.  Sorry Tea Party, but you are Republican Lite.  We need another one of those like we need a Second Great Depression.

What America needs is a new, yet old, philosophy.  We need to start anew the idea that we can govern ourselves without the help of political parties or a ruling class.  That’s what political parties are, you know; a ruling elite, without whom America would be lost; or so they would have us believe.

I find great solace in the fact that America won its independence and wrote its original constitution entirely without the help of a political party, or a class of ruling elite.  Farmers, doctors, business men, soldiers, and inventors wrote our constitution.  The self-made and the self-educated partook in the process.  Today, our process is dominated by cookie-cutter, inside-of-the-box,  centuries-old, obsolete ideology, and by money.  It’s time to change that.

If you want change, you aren’t going to find it with an (R) or a (D) behind its name.  That means you probably won’t find it this fall.  Sure, Republicans hope to win huge victories this November, but those victories won’t represent change for you and me; only change for the party elite.  Even regular Americans who support the Republicans cannot realistically expect anything to change in Washington after the elections.  That’s because you can’t clean a baby with dirty bath water, and the bath water in Washington is completely polluted by Republicans and Democrats.  They are part of the problem; one with it, in essence.  Expecting them to change it in a way that favors American citizens who don’t contribute to their campaigns is like asking the mafia to police themselves.

If you want change, you are going to bring it about yourself.  Look within yourself; look within your neighborhoods and your towns.  And for God’s sake, don’t look within the two parties.  Find an Independent, or become one.  Run for office Independently.  Do it locally, or, if you can get the funding, do it nationally.  Change won’t come easily, and it won’t come all at once.  But it won’t come at all if we keep making the same choices we’ve always made.

It turns out, those choices weren’t really choices at all.

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The Dumbing Down of American Politics: Why Political Parties Leave Us With a System Full of the Least Common Denominator.

Posted by politicalpartypooper on May 18, 2010

If you are a Republican, you usually or almost always vote Republican.  If you are a Democrat, you usually or almost always vote Democrat.  No matter what.  If the GOP candidate has repeatedly lied about his position on issues, yet you are a Republican, you will vote for the lying Republican; so onerous is voting for a Democrat to you.  Same goes for Democrats.  Decades have gone by with these two parties at the helm, and what America has devolved into is a country with politics left up to the least common denominator;  Is he Democratic or Republican?

What ever happened to the question, “Is he or she the best candidate for the seat?”

Oh, I know.  It went the way of, “He’s a Democrat, so he has to be the best candidate.  I’d never vote for a Republican!  And Independents just can’t seem to make up their minds.  Yup, definitely, my party hack is the best candidate.  So here’s what I’m going to do.  I’m going to just click on the “Vote All Democratic” icon, and be done with it for this list of seven different seats I am voting on today.  There, I did my duty.  I feel like a real American.”

It must be nice to be so certain.  And yet, how can you be certain that you are making the best choice when you plod along voting for the political hack who belongs to your Party?  After all, both parties have had vast opportunities to govern, and the best they’ve come up with is this:

1.  America is as divided as it has been in the last one hundred years, and that division is a direct result of the Republicans and Democrats.

2.  America teeters between too much government spending and massive debt, to a bubble economy that continuously leaves our Middle Class poorer and poorer.  Where America once had a Middle Class that was the envy of the world, today we have a Middle Class that is in many ways as poor and bereft of opportunity as most of the nations in the world.

3.  Social Security has been failing for decades, and both Parties have completely ignored it for decades.  They get a special “attaboy” for that.

4.  Republicans have ground our economy into the dirt, and Democrats have been reticent in dealing with it.  One in five American males remains unemployed, and the best news we hear from the White House is that high unemployment is here to stay for a long while.  But Democrats never miss a chance to tell us that our economy is recovering.  If  by that, you mean to compare it to an alcoholic who is always in some stage of recovering, then I suppose you aren’t lying.  Otherwise, you are lying.

5.  Back room deals, political bribery, aristocratic attitudes, life-time seats, and looking the other way when their political contributors break the law or ignore regulations are traits both Parties have in common, and it’s simple to understand why:  It’s much easier to bribe an entire political party than it is to bribe every single elected official.  Bribes buy legislation favorable to special interests, and no one knows how to suck the cock of a special interest better than a political party.  That’s true for BOTH parties.

6.  Both parties repeatedly toss in candidates designed to make the electorate feel like they are choosing between the lesser of two evils.  This makes it much easier for a partisan electorate to simply vote the party line.  I don’t how President Obama snuck in there in 2008.  I get the feeling it was supposed to be Hillary Clinton against John McCain, so we could all feel like it didn’t matter who we elected; both candidates would have stunk.  In 2004, it was Bush against Kerry.  Please.  In 2000, Bush against Gore.  How droll.  1996, Clinton against Dole.  Two trolls.  Shall I continue?  I haven’t even begun to list Senate and Congressional campaigns.

The gist of it all is that political parties have been, and are continuing to, dumb down our politics.  The health care bill just passed is one example.  It could have been so much more.  Instead, it was the best that  dumb party hacks could come up with.  I cheered it as a first step, but really, why does reform have to be a process?  Wall Street regulatory reform?  Are you watching it?  I guarantee you that any reform done on Wall Street will say the most while accomplishing the least.  What else can you expect from two parties that regularly suck Wall Street cock?  Oh, I am sure we’ll hear the “This reform bill has TEETH!” crap, but nothing will change, because the two political parties don’t want it to change.

What they want is for you, all of you fine people here, to NEED them.  They want you to fret over issues, to be fearful of your future, but above all, to be so confused about our political process that you leave it up to them, the American Political Mafia.  Their design is to have it all; control over everything, but if they can’t get that, then they want you divided.  There is nothing like a nation divided that lights up the campaign coffers of political parties.  The more division the better.

We’re being screwed here.  Are you going to take it?  Are you a Democrat?  Are you a Republican?  Are you going to continue to vote with either party while they rob you and America of time and treasure?  Are you going to continue to pull that lever for your party while you remain out of a job because they just don’t have time or the ideas to deal with you?  Are you going to remain steadfast with your political party while they lie to you about how well the economy is recovering?  Are you going to vote for your party hack while he passes a health care bill that demands you buy insurance; insurance which he wants no part of?

And what about Free Trade?  Well?  What about it?  Both Parties are responsible for it, and continue to lie to us, telling us that jobs aren’t leaving our shores, and that if they are, they will be replaced with high paying “Service Sector” jobs.  THERE ARE NO SERVICE SECTOR JOBS! You have to make things in order to service them.  You are being lied to.  Democrats and Republicans have sold the American Middle Class out to the highest bidder, and their name is Walmart, Apple, and a host of other “great American Companies” who are hiring overseas labor for $1.48 an hour and receiving tax breaks from YOUR government for doing it.

Meanwhile, you sit there, unemployed, or underpaid, or held to a job you can’t stand because you fear that if you walk away from it right now, you might never be able to find another job.  Tell me, how are those political parties working out for you?

America is not about the least common denominator.  We are better than that, and we demand better.  We don’t need to settle for dumb Party hacks who vote along even dumber Party lines.  You deserve better.

Demand it.  Stop pulling that lever for Party hacks, and start demanding more Independent candidates.  Demand that since your tax dollars pay for each political party’s primaries, that any candidate that wants to run against those parties in a primary be allowed to.  Or, tell the Democrats and Republicans to pay for their own damned Primaries.

Demand better, and you will get it.

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Political Partageddon

Posted by politicalpartypooper on April 25, 2010

A while back, I wrote an article about Primary elections.  As a follow up, I have some news about Primaries, as well as some encouraging stats for Independents.

Proposition 14 in California, a referendum that would allow Indies to vote in statewide primary elections, is coming up.   Since Primary elections are primarily for the selection of party candidates, the debate has been long and vitriolic over whether to pass it or not.  Here’s what the bill would actually provide:

If Proposition 14 passes, Californians will still participate in two-stage elections. But instead of a party primary, the first stage would be a contest in which candidates from any party — or no party — could participate. The top two finishers in the first stage, even if they are from the same party, would move to a runoff election, and the winner of that election would get the office. Races for Congress, the Legislature and statewide offices would all be governed by the new rules; those for local offices and the presidency would not.  LA Times

It’s a small step in the right direction.  Nevertheless, even as it is debated, Republican and Democratic Party officials are screaming like the evil terminator at the end of Terminator 2 as he melts.  You can imagine the rhetoric.  “It will be the end of days!  Or at least the end of political party’s!”

Political Partageddon.

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST!

Basically, what Prop 14 does is allow Indies to run as candidates in the primaries against the Republican or Democratic candidates.  It makes taxpayer funding of Primaries more palatable.  Prior to this, Indies were stuck with paying for Primary elections that they had no part in.  Talk about controlling government!  Let’s get the rest of this done, and get every state on board with free and open elections for all.  The hoops that some state’s election boards put a candidate through are ridiculous, especially if that candidate is a third-party or Indie candidate.  It’s time to break up the cartel, boys and girls!

Finally, an article from The Collegian states:

Young Americans are opting not to affiliate with a political party.

Fully 50 percent of voters aged 18-29 now identify as independents, and the percentage of the electorate under 30 is growing. In 2006, 18-29 year olds accounted for 21 percent of the electorate. By 2015, estimates are that 18-29 year olds will account for 33 percent of all voters.

But the millennial generation finds itself confronted by an electoral system designed by, and for, the “I Like Ike” crowd. Party politics dominates. Election districts are gerrymandered to serve party interests. Many states require poll workers to be registered Democratic or Republican. The Federal Election Commission is comprised of three Democrats and three Republicans, rendering it both structurally impotent and blind to the concerns of independents. And most significantly, primary elections are off-limits to independents in 17 states.

Did you read that?  Primary elections are off-limits to Indies in seventeen states?  But Republicans and Democrats will steal their tax dollars to pay for their primaries, won’t they?  Blood suckers.

The good news is, more and more voters are choosing to go Indie.

Can you hear it?  It’s off, in the distance…a tolling.

It’s getting louder, and soon, the Republicans and Democrats will hear it, too.  They will hear it, and they will recognize it; after all, it’s the bell that rings for them, the death knell of corrupt political parties.  One day, and I believe it to be soon, being a member of a political party will be as poisonous to a candidate as belonging to the KKK.

With the most recent financial disaster, and another one looming on the horizon, more and more information is coming out about how members of both parties played a hand in sculpting the system that made it all possible.

More than 40% of Americans already identify themselves as Indies.  It won’t be long now…dong…..dong…..dong….

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A Word Can Paint a Thousand Pictures, Just Ask the Royal Republican Party

Posted by politicalpartypooper on April 16, 2010

As I Listened to Paul Ryan (R-WI) speak this morning, I was struck by his choice of words.  Repeatedly, he used the word “regime” when describing the Obama Administration.  There was, of course, the by now obligatory reference to “Socialism”, “European-style Cradle-to-the-Grave Social Welfare State”.  Wow.  That was a mouthful.

Of course, word association is nothing new in politics, but what seems new is the vitriol and misleading quality of the words being chosen by politicians, especially those on the right, these days.  In just the last year, we’ve seen such shining samples as “Death-Panels”, “Government Takeover”, “Socialist State”, “Marxist President”, “Regime”, “Socialized Medicine” and my personal favorite, “IRS Agents will being to multiply”.  I could go on and on with this list.  But the point is, all of these words are associated with very negative things.  That is by design.  Their use is scripted by people like Frank Luntz, who instruct the Republican Party on how words and images can create the types of reactions you desire from citizens.  If you want to stir up fear about President Obama and his “agenda”, call him a Marxist and describe everything he does as Socialism.  If he wipes his ass with white toilet paper like the rest of us, describe it using words like “co-op-purchased, socialist-made toilet paper” and you’ll have your image of Fidel Castro wiping his ass in the White House.

All is fair is love and war, and, essentially, politics.  I’m no Democrat, but I’m also no Republican.  I am pretty much a Centrist Independent who thinks a little bit of both Conservatism and Progressivism is probably a perfect mix.  From my perspective, this is exactly how President Obama has been leading…from the Center.  Unfortunately, the Right believes that the Center is far too Left, and needs to be dragged against its will back to the crazy, emotionally driven ideology of the far-Right.  Even the Tea Party is trying to usurp the Center, by claiming that they are the vast majority of Americans who are against this Obama policy or that one.  Word to the wise:  only eighteen percent of Americans identify themselves with the Tea Party.  Last time I checked, you needed to be well above fifty percent to be considered a vast majority.  Shut up.  You don’t speak for me.  But thank you for trying to usurp my freedom.

Did you see what I just did there?  Did you catch the word the “usurp” twice?  When you read it, what did you picture?  Nothing good, I imagine.  Probably some guys in Red Coats with muskets aimed at your head, or something like that.

I’m not above using the Rights’ methods against them.  It’s easy, considering how emotionally unstable they are.  Oops, did it again.  “Emotionally unstable”.

Why would I do that?  Because I get tired of people like Mitch McConnell telling America that the Center wants the government to stop regulating Wall Street, to stop trying to fix health care in America, and especially to stop trying to help the Middle Class improve their condition.  According to people like McConnell, the Center wants what the Republican Party and Tea Party wants, which is utter and total nonsense.  So I have decided to fight back, to speak for myself, and the first place to start is with Frank Luntz and the Republican Party.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to let a bunch of mind-control freaks speak for me, and that’s exactly what Frank and the Republicans are.

Hey…did I just do it again?  But how else could you describe someone who believes that you can control the emotions of Americans by repeating certain words and phrases?  Have you read Luntz’s manifestos?  He has more than one, and they all say that if you use this word or that word, you’ll control the response of the American people!  Mind Control. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a plan to inject mind control drugs into your morning Corn Flakes, brought to you by the wonderful corn growers of Monsanto, America’s Mad-scientist Monopoly on genetically mutated seeds.

And why would I want to identify with a group of people who are actually fighting against Wall Street and Bank regulatory reform, and lying about it?  Why would I want to identify with people who think they are royalty?  Would you want to hang around the Royal Republican Party who claims to be for the middle class while their every action is aimed toward helping a select class of wealthy people? I don’t know about anyone else, but I got over the idea of having royalty rule us long before I was even born.  I don’t want King George back, I certainly don’t want the Prince of AIG gambling the bank’s money away, and then riding into our villages demanding that we pay a tax to bail him out.  I also don’t want the Duchess of Wasilla telling me that I really want the wealthy to keep more of “their” money, especially when they already pay themselves far more than they are worth, at the expense of their subject’s livelihoods.

500:1.  That’s the ratio of dollars paid to royalty in America for every dollar paid to a peasant.  You’d have to be mental to think that Capitalism was designed to produce that.  We don’t live in a Capitalistic country.  We live in a plutocracy, and our ruling class see themselves as royalty. In the last five years, I’ve seen my businesses’ income lose over fifty percent, all the while America’s royalty continue to increase their piles of gold.  I take the risks, and they reap the rewards, and when they screw up, I bail them out.  They control the prices of stocks on the “free” market, while I sweat to earn a profit.  No more.  I’m calling them what they are: Radical Far-Right Royalty, kind of like Saudi Arabia.

We see what happens in a radical Far-Right Regime. The money stays with the royal family, while the rest of the nation lives in oppression and poverty, a breeding ground for religious terrorists.  That’s the Right in America.  Radical religious extremists who want a return to an America enslaved by Monarchy.  And they are using you to get there.

So let’s review.  So far, we’ve repeated the words “Royal Republican Party”, “Radical Far-Right Regime”, Royalty”, “Radical religious extremists”, “The Duchess of Wasilla”, and “plutocracy”.  Maybe those words are stretching the truth, but in today’s America, who the fuck cares?  There is no “news” outlet who will fact-check me or call me on my rhetoric.  I’m safe in the knowledge that whatever I say will get more attention than whether it’s true or not, and that’s the name of the game in American politics.  If you can paint your opponents as maybe not the worst thing, but something “like” the worst thing using a word or two, you are the master of the conversation, and the debate goes where you want it to go.

Word of warning to the Duke of Luntz and the Royal Republican Party:  You’re pretty good, but I don’t need to spend millions on polling to discover what paints you as a monarchist and a radical far-right religious extremist.  I just need to say the words and repeat them.  Because, you see, that which is repeated often enough is true.

Right?

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Yet Another Comment CENSORED at Charlie Sykes’ Blog

Posted by politicalpartypooper on April 12, 2010

Yes, it has happened again.  This time, I was smart enough to copy what I had written before I hit the submit button.  Cheerio for me!  Here it is:

That a luxury yacht (is it Burger?) company is going out of business has nothing to do with tax rates and everything to do with a bad, bad economy. You know it. The tax rates haven’t changed for the wealthy AT ALL yet. They just didn’t receive the same tax cut that everybody else got in 2009. But as far as income taxes go, Bush’ tax cuts STILL have not been repealed. Get your facts straight.  The current high tax rate on income tax is STILL 35% for earned income over $372,950. 2010 is the same

Now, I ask you, what inside of that comment would cause anyone to say, “Oh, I just can’t accept that comment…there’s simply too much vulgarity in it!  And the hate speech and personal attacks!  I’ve never seen such filth!”  I kid you not; the above comment is word for word what I submitted at Charlie Sykes’ blog.  Now, normally, I am all for a private blog owner’s right to moderate anything he wants.  Usually, that means I agree that hate speech, vulgarity, and personal insults are risky things to write in a comment at any site.  But do you see any of that in this comment?

What do you see in this comment?  Facts.  Irrefutable, straight-shooting, factual facts, something Charlie Sykes finds inconvenient from time to time when it doesn’t agree with his personal take on the world.  And what is that personal take?  That President Obama is the most Radical Lefty, Socialist, Marxist we have ever had as a President.  Here are the facts that back his worldview up:

1. President Obama, with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, had a chance to ram through a Single Payer health care system, thereby eliminating the private health insurance industry altogether.  What did he actually ram through?  A Marxist health care bill that forces every American to buy PRIVATE health insurance from an actual for-profit company, because Marxists hate profit, and therefore, all profit is bad, and all companies who make profit must die.  Except in the case of private health insurers, who are Marxist by nature.

2.  He’s black

3.  He’s a Democrat

4.  Death Panels!  Oops, that should have gone under #1

5.  Higher taxes on the wealthy…except for the wealthy in America, who are still paying the same taxes they paid under the Bush tax cuts…because Obama is sooooo Marxist that he just couldn’t wait to raise taxes on the wealthy, so what did he do?  He didn’t raise taxes on the wealthy.  Now that’s Marxist!  Also, wealth-redistributionist.

6.  Charlie thinks the following is an acceptable comment at his blog:

President Obama is Satan, and he wants to eat your children. No kidding, he feasts on the blood of nuns, but before he does, he forces them to have sex with crocodiles and the Ebola Virus, which is his secret plan for population control. But don’t let his soft heart fool you! He really wants to harvest your limbs and organs, and his health care bill proves it! He has a plan to raise Stalin from the dead, and feed your first-born to him!…..Am I in?  Did I get crazy enough to be in?


Apparently, though, facts do not make the cut.  Atta boy, Charlie!

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Newt Gingrich; That Exemplary, Shining Example of Conservative Christian Values

Posted by politicalpartypooper on April 10, 2010

Republicans and Conservatives have a new-old hero:  Newt Gingrich.  Amazingly, Gingrich is being seriously discussed as one of their candidates for a 2012 Presidential election run.  Conservatives everywhere hold Gingrich up as a shining example of Conservative principles and family values.  So, what do those principles and values look like?

Taken from Wikipedia:

Gingrich has been married three times. He married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old. She was seven years his senior at 26 years old.[56][57] They had two daughters. The couple decided to divorce after Gingrich told his wife of his extra-marital affair while she was recovering from cancer surgery.[58] In 1981, six months after his divorce was final, Gingrich wed Marianne Ginther.[59] He remained married to Ginther until 2000, when they divorced. Shortly thereafter, Gingrich then married Callista Bisek, with whom he was conducting an extra-marital affair during the Congressional investigation of Bill Clinton‘s perjury relating to his affair with 23-year-old intern, Monica Lewinsky

On the surface, I see nothing wrong.  Yup, Gingrich is a shining example of exemplary Christian behavior, telling everybody how to live their lives while he acts like a heathen all of his.  He should fit right in.

With people like Gingrich, America doesn’t ever have to worry about Socialism.  We’ll be too focused on making sure we toe the Christian Conservative Hypocrisy Line.

Newt, you had an affair while your first wife was undergoing treatment for cancer?  Who does that?

Oh yeah, John Edwards does that.

Need I say more?  Conservatives and Republicans; if this is the best you got, maybe it’s time to fold your tent.

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