June 2006 Archives

While many in the lower middle class have to be scratching their heads trying to figure out what they gained by voting Republican in the last three elections, it is the middle of the middle class which has been largely upward mobile since Bush took office, who are likely to cost the GOP seats this November. There are two reasons for this. One is urban flight, and the other is their kids.

But first, the lower middle class. Except for the morality voters and GOP loyalist "patriots" of war, the psychology of this year's election for them is all about jobs, wages, and fringe benefits. Republicans have allowed between 5 to 10 million illegal aliens to enter this country under their watch, to under-bid the lower middle class for jobs. Additionally the lower middle class has watched the export of 100's of thousands of good paying jobs overseas since Pres. Bush took office and Republicans took Congress.

Incumbents on both sides of the aisle are lining up behind the next titanic piece of legislation to corrupt our government and politics even further. The legislation is the Line Item Veto. Here is why it will corrupt our system further and why both sides are lining up behind it.

The Politics of Iraq

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Here, I will put aside any discussion of how or why we are in Iraq except in passing. This discussion focuses on the political positions taken on the Iraq war. Viewed from this narrow perspective, there are some obvious implications and consequences for the November 7 elections this year.

The polls are shaping the politics of Iraq. Wars unsupported by the majority of a nation's population, let alone the troops, will not fare well. Viet Nam is a sufficient example. Republicans are quoted these days making the claim that Democrats have no consistent or unified approach to Iraq. Whether they do or not, the point is, if Republicans believe that, then, Republicans may not blame Democrats for the polls showing Americans favor exiting our troops from Iraq in the seeable future. Hence, logically, it is the American people themselves and the media coverage of the Iraq situation that are responsible for the polls showing resistance to the "stay as long as it takes" policy of the Bush administration.

In the clearest statement yet by the White House that the will of the people is meaningless when it comes to his policies, Tony Snow, the White House spokesperson, said yesterday: "President Bush understands there is growing U.S. concern over his handling of the Iraq war but will not rely on polls to determine when to withdraw troops". Given the House resolution last week to avoid even providing a time frame for withdrawal, it is clear that for the time being the White House and Republican Party are not even considering withdrawal from Iraq at all.

The U.S. is paving the way for widening civil war in Iraq. The U.S. government is setting up house in Iraq with permanent bases and facilities for itself. The Iraqi people are quite aware of this and oppose it in a huge majority. The new Iraqi government is dependent upon the resources of the U.S., especially financial and infrastructure rebuilding, and as a dependent of the U.S. government, the new Iraq government cannot send the U.S. home.

As I listened to the praise of the "bold and productive" move by President Bush to leave under a cloak of misinformation and secrecy to show up unannounced in Iraq for a photo op, I was struck by the comparison of the act to what our soldiers face and past President's have braved. If I look at how Pres. Bush visited Iraq and tune out the spin and bluster, it appears as an action of a frightened man unwilling to share any risk at all with his soldiers who risk all on his orders.

The Senate blocked a vote to repeal the Estate Tax provision of the IRS code. For the very wealthy, this means a portion of their estate to be inherited by their beneficiaries, will continue to be taxed. Rates will be lower, and the exemptions raised, so only the wealthiest of the wealthy will incur the taxes. Voting for repeal were 53 Republicans and 4 Democrats. Voting to keep Estate Taxes were 38 Democrats and 2 Republicans.

By RNC and DNC standards this was a bipartisan effort. HaH! Had repeal taken place, another 1 trillion dollars would have been added to our growing national debt. On this vote, it was clearly the Democrats voting for fiscal responsibility.

Jon Markman at MSN Money has some very wise advice for 401K investors with savings in stocks. While he is focusing in on market forces and indicators, there is a broader background to the Bear market that is upon us. That background includes politics, economics, and what I call the "empty reserve" factor.

Al Qaeda leader in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is dead. Others have waited and trained in line to take his place. The only good news about this is: 1) Bush gets to spin it as more 'progress' and 2) our troops get a morale boost since Zarqawi was a primary target in Iraq, and God knows, they needed some some good news.

But, other than this, it changes nothing. Al-Queda is not set up like a snake; cut off the head and the body dies. Not like that at all. And besides, al-Queda is only a very, very small part of the violence taking place in Iraq today. The sectarian violence has a life of its own and the civil war is wosening by the month, whether al-Queda is there or not. They are not interdependent. So, the civil unrest and sectarian violence and al-Queda presence continues on without, the now martyred, Zarqawi.

Many Democrats and Republicans argue a democracy cannot lead to tyranny by definition. But, I would counter with the following current facts and reality demonstrating how wrong they are:

Elect means 'to choose'. Hence democratic elections MUST by definition provide voters with a choice. However, the reality is the voters in America have no choice in vastly increasing numbers of so called elections. Case in point: From the Boston Globe on Massachusett's coming elections:

RESULTS are in from the candidate filings with city and town clerks statewide, and the winners are: the incumbents. And the losers are: the voters.

Only 14 of the Senate's 40 seats, and only 58 of the 160 seats in the House, are being contested this year, raising the question of where democracy has gone.

If you think of it, to "elect" means to choose. If there's no choice, how can there be an election? And if there's no true election, where's the democracy?

And where democracy is weak or absent, tyranny, like a wolf and a stray lamb, is not far off and following the scent!

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