Category Archives: National

The Common Sense Party

I think it’s time for a new political direction. And maybe even a new party.

I like the sound of the Common Sense Party because it speaks volumes about the current situation.

And a new party completely meshes with the various debates I’ve recently had with family, friends, and colleagues who are on both sides of the political spectrum.

Republicans currently control the Senate and the House, and almost two-thirds of governor’s offices. Over the past nine years, Republicans have gained about 1,000 seats in the state legislature and currently dominate at a rate not seen since the Civil War.

Republicans control both chambers in 32 states, including 17 with veto-proof majorities.

I keep asking myself how it is possible that so many U.S. citizens are okay with the
the top one-tenth of 1 percent owning more than the entire bottom 90 percent.

Can someone in the 90% please answer that question for me?

Last month Republican Congress approved one of the cruelest pieces of legislature in history.

And yet many Americans don’t seem to care that 23 million of us may soon be without health insurance while billionaires will enjoy ridiculously generous tax breaks.

And according to the Congressional Budget Office, not only would the American Health Care Act leave 23+ million of us without insurance but they also warned that premiums for older workers and lower income Americans would soar.

A month ago, while cases of celebratory beer were wheeled into the Capitol, President Trump praised the House version of the AHCA. Last week Trump called it “mean.”

Thanks for your flip-flop and take-charge input Mr. President.

Speaking of take-charge, the Republicans seem to be in charge of everything these days.

Well, maybe not everything.

Powerful corporations with selfish agendas also have significant influence over all things economic and political in our country.

So here it is folks: Republicans and big business are the now the masters of the American universe.

They are winning, bigly.

The Republicans insist that low taxes on the rich are the key to prosperity.

Prosperity for who?

Not the struggling middle class. Not the lower income Americans.

And now the American Health Care Act Part Two is in the competent hands of the Republican Senators, right?

But why is the plan top secret? And why are there no female Senators in on their cloak-and-dagger pet project?

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell created a working group of 13 male senators, including himself to work on the health care bill. He made sure to include staunch conservatives and ardent foes of the Affordable Care Act, but not one woman.

Thirteen senators in the group and Mitch couldn’t give one of those seats to a female?

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat in New York’s 12th District, said it best: “Women are half of the population but make up only 19.4 percent of Congress.”

Shouldn’t every woman in America be alarmed by that?

The Middle class keeps shrinking, women continue to get the shaft, and the poor are getting poorer, while Republicans are focused on providing the top 1% with $3 trillion in tax cuts.

Why are Americans allowing our government to coddle and reward the 1%?

What about the rest of us?

Why aren’t the 99% of Americans outraged that while we struggle to get health care, housing, education, and even clean drinking water, the Republicans along with the 1% hold our purse strings?

Here is why America is in this pickle:

The United States has one of the lowest election turnouts of any major country on earth.

Sad but true.

And think of it this way: If liberals voted at the same rate as conservatives, Hillary Clinton would be president and the Democrats would control the Senate.

Some will say that would have been terrible, which is why a new political party might be what’s needed to heal our wounds and come together as one America.

An America that works for all of us, not just the 1%.

In 2016, 43% of eligible Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 voted in the presidential election, vs. 71% of Americans over the age of 65.

Midterm elections were even worse: In 2014, 17% of Americans between 18 and 24 voted, compared to 59% of seniors. An appalling 36.7% of eligible voters cast ballots in 2014.

Think about that. Do the youth in America not realize that this land is their land?

Stop texting and listen up kids: Are you completely oblivious to what’s happening to your future? Americans over 65 had their turn. It’s your turn now. The future is up to you. Start voting already.

Otherwise the GOP keep on winning. And a YUGE tax cut for the wealthy is on its way.

I will end this blog post with a recent quote from Speaker Paul Ryan: “Transformational tax reform can be done, and we are moving forward. Full speed ahead.”

Full speed ahead.

Where’s the outrage?

And can someone organize the next massive protest march ASAP?

Corporation Welfare Dependency

Corporate Tax Avoidance

The Panama Papers are all over the news, but what’s the hoopla all about? Too boring to care, right? I can already see your eyes glazing over.

But listen up, and do your Panama Papers homework. Because according to USA Today, of the 500 corporations in the S.&P. 500-stock index, many were both profitable in 2015 and paid NO income tax globally. No wonder they were profitable.

So let’s talk a little bit about entitled corporations.

An Oxfam study released today, states that for each dollar America’s 50 largest companies paid in federal taxes between 2008 and 2014, they received $27 back in federal loans, loan guarantees, and bailouts.

The Oxfam report goes on to say that each $1 that these same companies spent on LOBBYING was associated with $130 in tax breaks.

I don’t know about you, but I could have definitely used a couple of those incentives while preparing my taxes due tomorrow.

The bottom line? While the share of corporation taxation in federal revenue has declined since 1953 from 32% to 11%, the portion coming from payroll taxes (that’s you and me, folks) has climbed.

According to The New York Times, tax dodging by major corporations costs the U.S. Treasury up to 111 billion dollars a year! Yes, you’re reading the figure correctly, and I’ll say it again for good measure.

If the Corporate Tax Code weren’t rigged, the U.S. Treasury would add an extra $111 billion a year to its coffers annually.

I want to throw out some other numbers:

It has been reported that the total cost to prevent lead poisoning in tens of thousands of children annually would cost approximately $2 billion, and another $2 billion or so could end family homelessness.

Think of all the other ways the U.S. could use that $111 billion annually as you maneuver through your due dates, deadlines, and extensions this tax season.

Corporate fraud

A Woman on the $10 Bill! But Who, and Why Not the $20?

                      $10 Bill Cropped
Possible honorees include, clockwise from top left, abolitionist Harriet Tubman; suffragist Susan B. Anthony; reformist First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; and civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks.

In June of 2015, Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew asked the public the following question:

If you could pick any deceased woman from American history to adorn the $10 bill, who would be your choice?

The riled up response he received took him by surprise. He fully expected an outpouring of opinions about which woman it should be. Particularly given that the only woman who ever appeared on the face of a United States bank note was Martha Washington in the late 19th century, and only for an extremely brief period of time.

But what he wasn’t expecting, were the pointed questions, stinging opinions, adamant suggestions, and angry complaints surrounding not women, but the two men whose portraits are on the $10 and $20 bills.

On the $10 is Alexander Hamilton, a revered and well respected founding father, and on the $20 is President Andrew Jackson, as reviled and vilified as Hamilton is revered.

And who could have ever anticipated that the timing of the $10 bill redesign would coincide with the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton?”

The popular opinion from the public?

Eject Andrew Jackson from the $20 and put whomever you want on it, but leave the $10 bill—and Hamilton, alone.

The unexpected number of responses from the public at large were adamant that Hamilton, the architect of the American financial system, and the first Treasury Secretary should under no circumstances be removed from the $10 note. And the majority of the public was outraged and unnerved as to how the current Secretary of Treasury could forever displace the first Secretary of Treasury.

The public response was also clear about their opinion that Jackson doesn’t belong on the $20 bill at all, if not based on his opposition to national banking, then surely his abhorrent record of violence against Native Americans.

In response to the public outcry about Hamilton, the Treasury gave their assurances that Hamilton would somehow still remain on the $10 bill, more than likely as a secondary figure.

I think it will end up the other way around as usual. Hamilton will be the primary, and “some woman” will be the secondary.

The rollout of the redesigned $10 bill is expected to take place in 2020, which is also the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment that extended the right to vote to American women.

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HARRIET TUBMAN QUOTES

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.

I grew up like a neglected weed – ignorant of liberty, having no experience of it.

I would fight for my liberty so long as my strength lasted, and if the time came for me to go, the Lord would let them take me.

’Twant me, ’twas the Lord. I always told him, “I trust to you. I don’t know where to go or what to do, but I expect you to lead me,” and he always did.

I had crossed the line. I was free; but there was no one to welcome me to the land of freedom. I was a stranger in a strange land.

Quakers almost as good as colored. They call themselves friends and you can trust them every time.

I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.

SUSAN B. ANTHONY QUOTES

I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.

Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.

I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.

There never will be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers.

Cautious, careful people, always casting about to preserve their reputations… can never effect a reform.

I always distrust people who know so much about what God wants them to do to their fellows.

The older I get the greater power I seem to have to help the world; I am like a snowball – the further I am rolled the more I gain.

I do not consider divorce an evil by any means. It is just as much a refuge for women married to brutal men as Canada was to the slaves of brutal masters.

Join the union, girls, and together say Equal Pay for Equal Work.

Oh, if I could but live another century and see the fruition of all the work for women! There is so much yet to be done.

ROSA PARKS QUOTES

I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.

Each person must live their life as a model for others.

Have you ever been hurt and the place tries to heal a bit, and you just pull the scar off of it over and over again.

The only tired I was, was tired of giving in.

I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would be also free.

Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.

Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.

I would like to be known as a person who is concerned about freedom and equality and justice and prosperity for all people.

My only concern was to get home after a hard day’s work.

Whatever my individual desires were to be free, I was not alone. There were many others who felt the same way.

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT QUOTES

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

Women are like teabags. You don’t know how strong they are until you put them in hot water.

You must do the things you think you cannot do.

It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.

Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.