• RSS Eye on Oregon

    • Dishonest Greg Walden April 13, 2013
      Rep. Greg Walden has shown his core dishonesty so flagrantly that even Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives (Walden represents AT&T, drug companies and the insurance industry) are backing away from his smell.The news is everywhere, but we offer this story from Oregonlive, the online version of The Oregonian. Essentially, Walden attacked a […]
    • Buy guns. Tax bullets. December 20, 2012
      We may not ever stop the carnage. The left desires state “control,” which won't work, the right believes the problem isn’t too many guns but not enough guns in the right hands—a belief pure crazy.But given the dysfunction of America on this issue, what can we do? I suggest a market-based approach. Let’s put a […]
    • Longer term consequences December 14, 2012
      Because the economy is going to recover without Republicans in charge, the right now loses the myth that only they can solve economic woes. This wound will last a couple generations. With it to the trash goes the right’s bigotry that theirs is the only morality, the only religion, the only good worthy of the […]
    • Careful, Mr. President November 30, 2012
      Mr. President:Two things in the news over the last couple of days concern me. First, your proposal to Republicans on avoiding the fiscal cliff includes $1.6 trillion in tax increases and $50 Billion in stimulus spending. This seems like a bit of a “cram down,” as in something you cram down your opponents throat.Given the […]
    • Taxes November 28, 2012
      Here comes Fox News, the propaganda wing of the Republican Party, trying to stymie any compromise on the deficit.Fox wants us to drive off the fiscal cliff, so they are attempting to yank the wheel. They are doing so by saying that closing loopholes will mean cuts to:"-- Medicare benefits for senior-- Capital gains rates-- […]
    • Economic recovery is a time to do less November 23, 2012
      Let’s have a discussion about the 47%. Students who got bought off by college loans, women bought off with birth control,  poor bought off with medical care, Hispanics bought off with immigration reform. Let’s assume, for a moment, that Romney’s White Man’s Nightmare is true.Let’s even ignore his secret tax returns and off-shore bank accounts.We […]
    • Oh, Mr. Ro-money November 16, 2012
      On Tuesday night I stayed up for the final election results and saw Gov. Romney's concession speech. I was impressed, actually, and for an entire day felt that America may have actually had a choice between two qualified candidates. And I was done with this election.Then came Wednesday. Then Romney proved he was just as […]
    • Four reasons why Romney lost November 10, 2012
      Pundits across the political spectrum are analyzing, dissecting, and opinionating why Mitt Romney lost the election to be President of these United States.They are making it far too complex:1) No tax returns. C'mon, what's with the off-shore bank accounts?2) No plan. Magical thinking is not a plan.3) No honesty. Etch-A-Sketch was the only truth spoken […]
    • What now? November 8, 2012
      Victory is sweet. No denying it. We won. And for all the right reasons.But so quickly is that overwhelmed by the realization that we are still standing in deep shit and we are in it together. It does not matter, today, where that shit came from. It does not matter, today, who kept it from […]
    • Salt Lake City Tribune endorses… Obama October 21, 2012
      For all the right reasons, The Salt Lake Tribune, of all newspapers, turned away from Mitt Romney and endorsed President Obama. Read it here. Every moderate, every undecided voter, hell, everyone should read this. It is one of the best descriptions that has been published about the choice that faces America.

Eye on Oregon

Eye on Oregon

A blog of things Oregon: politics, weather, living and laughing, shouting and crying and all that. Eye On Oregon is a point of view on our unique and wonderful place. By Erik Dolson

Rep. Greg Walden has shown his core dishonesty so flagrantly that even Republican leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives (Walden represents AT&T, drug companies and the insurance industry) are backing away from his smell.

The news is everywhere, but we offer this story from Oregonlive, the online version of The Oregonian. Essentially, Walden attacked a part of President Obama's budget that was to reduce the deficit. It has to do with how cost of living increases are calculated and was initially proposed by Republicans.

So Walden trying to use it to get seniors angry at Obama backfired and caused Republican leaders to call Walden immediately on the carpet.

Walden is chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in charge of raising funds for Republicans to get elected, so he is in campaign mode and did this for cheap political points. Walden is the type of political hack that gives politics its stink: the destructive, tear-opponents-down-any-way-you-can kind of nonsense that voters across America rejected last November.

That's aside from being in the pocket of corporations which profit from monopolizing services essential for Americans (look at his record and draw the lines right back to market-destroying activism).

But there is much to enjoy here. For the act of attacking President Obama, Walden not only faces the wrath of House conservatives and leadership, but at the same time was labeled a "Rino" by conservative action committees for opposing something that would reduce the budget deficit.

Central Oregon should be part of an effort to refuse Walden another term in Congress so he can go to work lobbying for AT&T and make the income he deserves from work that he loves.
Author: Unknown
Posted: April 13, 2013, 3:34 pm

We may not ever stop the carnage. The left desires state “control,” which won't work, the right believes the problem isn’t too many guns but not enough guns in the right hands—a belief pure crazy.

But given the dysfunction of America on this issue, what can we do? I suggest a market-based approach. Let’s put a value on guns that means something, buy them and melt them down. 

I suggest $20 per round-capacity. So a six shot revolver would bring $120 to the seller, a 9-round semi auto would bring $180, an assault rifle with a potential 50-round magazine a cool $1,000.

At the same time, we should tax bullets. I don’t know—$1 apiece? We can figure that out. The revenue from bullet sales will be used to buy the guns. 

I was thinking about making an exception for hunting rifles and shotguns but was told that such discrimination was not fair. So okay, no exceptions.

All guns collected go into a blast furnace.

To those who wrap themselves in the second amendment: keep your guns. No question. But… since we already have gun registration laws, we need to extend those laws and all your guns need to be registered. And identified with ballistic evidence. With some pretty severe penalties, including confiscation, for non-compliance with the registration law.

Then we add real liability. If you are negligent in gun ownership, proven simply by the fact that a gun registered to you was used in a crime, you are economically liable for the consequences and maybe criminally liable if the negligence was gross.

I don’t know if we will ever change the culture of gun ownership. But I think market place economics can be used to reduce the number of times guns fall into the wrong hands and are used to kill classrooms full of children. It’s about damn time.
Author: Unknown
Posted: December 20, 2012, 6:24 am

Because the economy is going to recover without Republicans in charge, the right now loses the myth that only they can solve economic woes. This wound will last a couple generations. With it to the trash goes the right’s bigotry that theirs is the only morality, the only religion, the only good worthy of the word, that the rest of us are vile and immoral. So to goes the falsehood that getting sloshed on beer is less harmful than getting baked on brownies. Freedom to choose is not free if the choices are already chosen.

But the left loses something, too, with their victory. They lose the real messsage of the Right, poorly wrapped in fear and hypocrisy, about the power of the individual, the validity of making choices in our lives. There need be consequences for bad choices and individuals need to suffer those consequences. If society takes up too much of the burden we disable instead of empower. Freedom to choose means freedom to fail. We cannot eliminate risk nor should we. We make better choices knowing life is not easy. 
Author: Unknown
Posted: December 14, 2012, 4:36 am

Mr. President:

Two things in the news over the last couple of days concern me. First, your proposal to Republicans on avoiding the fiscal cliff includes $1.6 trillion in tax increases and $50 Billion in stimulus spending. This seems like a bit of a “cram down,” as in something you cram down your opponents throat.

Given the stonewalling and muck Republicans drug you through with the avowed goal of making you in their words "a one-term president," I don’t blame you. Not one bit. Giving them a knuckle rub probably feels pretty good.

But is it right for the country? We are coming out of the recession. To avoid becoming guilty of everything the Republicans said you already were guilty of in terms of potential damage to the economy from fiscal imprudence, now is the time to think about going after the deficit in a year or two, not adding to the debt.

You rescued the ship, now steady as she goes. The deficit is not a single-generation problem, it is a problem for our children's grandchildren. Saving the country for them would be a legacy worthy of Lincoln, and only you can do it.

My second concern is you opposing the bill that would grant work visas for 50,000 educated foreigners who could greatly benefit the United States. Whoa… really? These are the very people who will build the very economy of the future that you have supported, another move that could cement your legacy. 

Please reconsider. Yes, different people make different contributions. A PhD from India will contribute more than a maid from Guatemala. That does not mean the PhD is worth more as a human being, only that their contribution will produce greater returns. If you have to give up one for the other, just do it, as we say out here in Oregon.

Finally, I am going to tell you to be wary of the advice of friends in your second term. Many will be looking for payback, others will be looking a political windfall. Success for you doesn't work like that. Yes, they stood by you and were often right. Smart people, they helped redirect the pendulum and were invaluable. But you are in danger now of being pushed too fast in a direction where we are already gaining speed.

Slowly, sir.
Author: Unknown
Posted: November 30, 2012, 4:02 am

Here comes Fox News, the propaganda wing of the Republican Party, trying to stymie any compromise on the deficit.

Fox wants us to drive off the fiscal cliff, so they are attempting to yank the wheel. They are doing so by saying that closing loopholes will mean cuts to:

"-- Medicare benefits for senior
-- Capital gains rates
-- Earned income tax credit
-- Charitable contributions"

Of course this is not the only approach to tax reform. This is just the most difficult way which is why Fox News, Mitch McConnel, John Boehner, and 
Oregon's own Republican flack Rep. Greg Walden are so focused on it. If they put "charitable contributions" in the mix, they get churches to bring pressure on the Democrats. Medicare gets seniors riled, mortgage deductions gets every Realtor in the country on the phone.

Walden, recently elevated in the House for lockstep advocacy of the rights of corporations over the rights of consumers said on Nov. 20:  "Part of the way to (avoid the fiscal cliff) is by reforming our tax code to close loopholes, lower rates, and spur economic growth." Lower rates and close loopholes. Yeah, okay, Mr. Walden, that should only take about what, 4 years or so if you had your way? It's time you took that plush job ATT has waiting for you.

But wait a minute. What about the ideas of Warren Buffet, one of the country's most savvy investors and one of the wealthiest men in America. What does he have to say?

On November 25 in the New York Times, Buffet wrote that there is another way. Read it here. After explaining how the rich—like himself—have accumulated more wealth and paid less taxes than at any time in generations, Buffet advocates a minimum tax for the wealthy.

He said it so well that I quote him here:

"Additionally, we need Congress, right now, to enact a minimum tax on high incomes. I would suggest 30 percent of taxable income between $1 million and $10 million, and 35 percent on amounts above that. A plain and simple rule like that will block the efforts of lobbyists, lawyers and contribution-hungry legislators to keep the ultrarich paying rates well below those incurred by people with income just a tiny fraction of ours. Only a minimum tax on very high incomes will prevent the stated tax rate from being eviscerated by these warriors for the wealthy."

Othere things need to be done, Buffet says, but "We can’t let those who want to protect the privileged get away with insisting that we do nothing until we can do everything."

So, before we let Republicans like Oregon's Rep. Greg Walden attempt to make tax reform too difficult, or drive us off the fiscal cliff so they can then blame Obama, or take away contributions to churches (after all, they just help the poor, so who cares?), we need to look at other alternatives.

Warren Buffet is one of the smartest investors the world has ever seen. And he invests in America instead of putting his money in banks in the Cayman Islands, like some in the Republican Party. I think we need to listen to what he says.
Author: Unknown
Posted: November 28, 2012, 4:55 am

Let’s have a discussion about the 47%. Students who got bought off by college loans, women bought off with birth control,  poor bought off with medical care, Hispanics bought off with immigration reform. Let’s assume, for a moment, that Romney’s White Man’s Nightmare is true.

Let’s even ignore his secret tax returns and off-shore bank accounts.

We need to ask about the actual cost of these programs and whether this is truly the harbinger of an “entitlement society” as bemoaned by the right.

And at the same time, we need to look ahead about six months or a year, assuming the recovery that seems to be picking up steam (without Republican participation) continues to build.

The more affordable college becomes, the more engineers we produce (and fewer Golden Sach bankers) the better off we are. It is probably an investment, as opposed to a cost. I will make the same argument for much of Obamacare.  We do not have the best health care system in the world, just the most expensive. We can do better.

Immigration reform? How much does that cost us really? Should we send back the Irish, the Swedes, the Italians, the Chinese? C’mon.

Birth control? Let’s get government out of the religion business. And the morality business. Let’s make it as easy as possible to avoid unwanted pregnancies. If abortion offends you, then advocate for birth control.

No surprise, I have a contrarian argument to my friends on the left: We need already to be thinking about doing less with government. The left will say that they won and now is the time to push forward with an agenda they feel they earned. I respond that there was no mandate and a political victory does not change the laws of economics.

First and foremost of those laws is the problem of deficits. Of productivity. And yes, let’s give Republicans their due on this one, it is a fact that if something is free it will be consumed without limits, and the law of unintended consequences assures that if we remove consequences behavior will be altered and individuals will depend more and take responsibility for less.

It was never a good idea to cut budgets during a recession. But now that we see the end of the downturn and the beginning of prosperity, it is time to determine how we will slow the growth of government. Because we can’t live that far beyond our means as a society and we cannot tax our way into higher productivity, the only way that we truly create wealth.

Author: Unknown
Posted: November 23, 2012, 5:40 pm
On Tuesday night I stayed up for the final election results and saw Gov. Romney's concession speech. I was impressed, actually, and for an entire day felt that America may have actually had a choice between two qualified candidates. And I was done with this election.

Then came Wednesday. Then Romney proved he was just as out of touch as has been written here, as he was portrayed by the Obama campaign, as voters finally decided. We got his unvarnished opinion, given with nothing to lose, nothing to cover. On Wednesday, Mr. Romney proved he was not right for America. Read it here.

According to him, Romney's loss was due to gifts of education to students, gifts of medical care worth $10,000 a year for them poor Mexicans, gifts of free abortions to women. Obama gave those gifts and that is why he won, according to Romney. Why, the responsible Romney couldn't compete! He had the interest of ALL Americans in mind when he guaranteed free money to the top 1%. My god, what a putz.

Romney lied when he apologized for the remark that 47% of Americans were freeloaders. That is exactly the fiction he believes and that is how he would have governed. He just repeated it to the nation through his disappointed campaign contributors. Romney planned to make life harder for the poor and decimate the middle class in the foolish belief that the top 1% are the only social class worth coddling.

Other Republicans are trying to put as much distance between themselves and Governor Gaffe as they can, but Ro-money has already given Democrats heavy artillery for the next election. That may be too bad, because by then we may need the austerity and good ideas from the right.

Good ideas, not the posturing, lies, half-truths, and misinformation spread by the Romney campaign and rejected by more than half the country in 2012.

America, we have much to be proud of this week.
Author: Unknown
Posted: November 16, 2012, 12:53 am
Pundits across the political spectrum are analyzing, dissecting, and opinionating why Mitt Romney lost the election to be President of these United States.

They are making it far too complex:

1) No tax returns. C'mon, what's with the off-shore bank accounts?

2) No plan. Magical thinking is not a plan.

3) No honesty. Etch-A-Sketch was the only truth spoken by the Romney camp.

4) Obama won. The Dem's brought game and Karl Rove brought… nothin'.

It's time to move on.
Author: Unknown
Posted: November 10, 2012, 4:43 pm

Victory is sweet. No denying it. We won. And for all the right reasons.

But so quickly is that overwhelmed by the realization that we are still standing in deep shit and we are in it together. It does not matter, today, where that shit came from. It does not matter, today, who kept it from being cleaned up over the last four years.

What matters, today, is cleaning it up.

Conservatives cannot do it today. Any proposal for action makes stepping forward too risky for them, like a capitulation, an invitation to be abused. Their whole argument was that the shit will take care of itself, eventually it will drain away or get covered up or maybe we'll just get used to the smell. That's why the victory was for all the right reasons. America knew better.

That leaves it to the Left. The first task is to extend a hand to the conservatives and thank them for presenting their ideas. Because as our President said, we are lucky to be Americans and other nations fight with GUNS when they disagree.

Tax reform: Let's take Governor Romney's pledge and make it real. No loss of revenue. But at the same time, no increased revenue. The only way to do both and meet our obligations is to become more efficient and the first step along that path is reform of the tax code.

Please. Reform. The. Tax. Code. Flat tax, progressive tax, sales tax… I don't care. But simplify, please. 

Liberals, money comes from somewhere. Every dollar spent on consumption in lieu of investment is a dollar that does not multiply. Yes, the gamblers on Wall Street have to give up their "carried interest" dodges, capital gains should be taxed as ordinary income, mortgage interest capped so the middle class can still buy a home but the loophole limited for mansions. But let's fix the tax code. We can do this.

Medicare and Social Security need to cost each one of us more money. We need a serious co-pay program that does not discourage primary care but makes each of us is cost conscious. It will mean some hardship, but hip replacements in the last 30 days of life only happen because nobody is footing the bill. 

We need to have a serious spiritual discussion about the difference between saving lives and prolonging death. A. Serious. Spiritual. Discussion. Shut up, Sarah.

Education? C'mon, teachers. You're right, children are our future, but THEIR future is in your hands. You are NOT proud of the product.

Industry and jobs: Government employs a lot of people, but it is not government's job to employ people except in certain circumstances. We need roads and bridges, we need teachers and soldiers and battleships, the auto industry bailout was a very good thing.

But mostly, government needs to be a referee: markets need protection from oligopolies, our financial system must not be a casino for Goldman Sachs to play with other people's money, the military/industrial complex must not be allowed to poison our water and foul the air to compete with the Chinese. That's a cost shift, a market distortion.

But Liberals, profit is not a dirty word, income inequality is a great force of inspiration and there are many unintended consequences to the best of intentions. Maybe we can talk about taking the burden off industry for health insurance and pensions so when somebody loses a job, they don't lose access to basic  services? Maybe we can cut a deal, here, that might fit everybody's ideology?

Gays and lesbians, did you HEAR our President acknowledge you in that speech on Tuesday? It was wonderful. "Gay or straight!" he boomed out there at the end. Equal. But look: Marriages are contracts between two consenting adults. It is a contract for living, of mutual responsibility for obligations, rights etc. If we just get rid of the word "marriage," a lot of the animosity goes away. Man-woman, man-man, woman-woman, it's a contract. Why is this a government issue?

Abortion? Gentlemen, please turn this debate over to the women. They will figure it out without your help. Just ask them.

Marijuana? Do Americans 200 miles north of the Rio Grand KNOW what our drug war is doing to Mexico? The cartels control STATES down there now. Allow the market to work. It's a REPUBLICAN idea! Legalize pot, cocaine too, crack, whatever. Addiction is a naturally regulating behavior. Toughen up, let junkies clean up or die, get some taxes out of it and call it a day.

Liberals, we do NOT have a mandate. We have a job to do. And the first task is to turn to our conservative neighbors for help in solving some of these terribly difficult problems. We can't clean up all this shit by ourselves, and certainly not if they are standing on the shovel.
Author: Unknown
Posted: November 8, 2012, 4:07 am
For all the right reasons, The Salt Lake Tribune, of all newspapers, turned away from Mitt Romney and endorsed President Obama. Read it here. Every moderate, every undecided voter, hell, everyone should read this. It is one of the best descriptions that has been published about the choice that faces America.
Author: Unknown
Posted: October 21, 2012, 3:36 am
David Stockman was Ronald Reagan's budget director and worked as a private-equity investor for 17 years. He explains why Romney's often poor choices at Bain Capital do not qualify him for president.
Read it here.

Author: Unknown
Posted: October 18, 2012, 1:51 pm

Quantum Mechanics asserts that a "particle" can be in two states at the same time, that it assumes one state only when observed. Two "entangled" particles communicate instantly their respective states if one is observed no matter the distance between them. A "particle" may be in two "places" at the same time, its position essentially a "wave" of probability. 

Each requires the assumption that "time" is absolute.

What happens if time itself is indeterminate, flexible, malleable on a quantum scale? What happens to our ideas of particles? What happens to our miles per hour, feet per second, angstrom per attosecond if the denominator, the number below the slash, the devisor, is not fixed, if it can't be fixed, if it may be unknowable at all beyond a vague assumption? If it changes?

If our universe is of space-time and the cone of light speed defines causality, what happens to us if the speed of light is no longer absolute not because the distance covered is greater or less, but because the time it takes is constantly changing?

Everything happens at once.
Author: Unknown
Posted: October 4, 2012, 2:14 pm
It's hard to catch a greased pig, but Obama let one get away.

Mitt Romney made a number of claims over the last year that he disavowed on Wednesday night. Obama should have been able to point out where and when and subject Romney to the lawyer's question: "Are you lying now or were you lying then?" Obama did not and looked pained and frustrated that Romney was able to lie his way out of his own history.

Jim Lehrer stunk worse than Obama in this debate but not by a whole lot. Lehrer looked like my grandmother trying to separate fornicating dogs. How many years has it been since he has felt his own testosterone?

Romney wasn't great in the debate but he was good enough. He kept on message, hammering again and again even falsehoods like the $716 billion in cuts to Medicaid. The president addressed the issue once but let Romney repeat the claim without rebuttal a second and a third time.

A simple message is effective, even if false, because it is simple. The response has to be simple and forceful. Being forceful is part of the message. Obama failed to deliver either because he assumed that Lehrer would establish control or he felt that he had made the case and could let the facts speak.

He was wrong. Romney won the debate because a lie told over and over with passion does become true. It is the package, Mr. President, not the content. It doesn't matter if you have distaste for that, it doesn't matter if Romney changes the content and the package every time he speaks, it doesn't matter if he says he will do the impossible and you have to defend what you have done.

Take off the gloves, Mr. President. No more Mr. Harvard Law Professor.
Author: Unknown
Posted: October 4, 2012, 1:27 pm
Republican candidate for president Mitt Romney promised yesterday that he would guarantee time travel to all Americans by the end of his first term.

"Any American who chooses to travel through time will be able to do so. This is a freedom and America was built on freedom. Only I can do this for America and I have a plan to do this for all Americans."

Asked what that plan might be, Romney said "There is no reason for me to go into the details. If I provide any detail, my opponents, who oppose me and therefore oppose time travel, will simply start picking apart my plans and prevent me from getting elected and being able to provide the time travel I have promised all Americans."

Romney went on to say that "President Obama has failed to deliver on time travel. He has held America back from exercising their freedom to travel where they want, when they want. It is time for a change."

Questioned whether time travel was even possible, Romney said "I don't believe just in the possible. I believe in the unlimited possibilities of the American people. My experience in the private sector provided me with the experience to create jobs. That is what this election is about, the jobs I have experienced and my experience creating jobs. Millions of jobs for hard-working Americans.

"My opponent, the president who some worry might not have been born in America, does not like jobs. He does not want people to have jobs. All he wants is big government, voters who want free stuff and will never vote for me so screw'em, and no time travel for them, either."

Romney's running mate Rep. Paul Ryan was speaking to Council for American Families when told of Romney's new promise. 

Ryan said that time travel should first be offered to Americans "who want to go back and undo bad choices, make better decisions. Even in cases of justifiable rape, rather, where the claims of a raped woman can be justified after they are proven by the evidence gathered at the scene, as it were, which would be much easier with time travel, that woman can now choose whether she gets pregnant or she might even choose to keep herself out of harms way before the alleged rape even occurs."

Ryan said time travel could even result in the prevention of pregnancy when the fetus grows up to be homosexual. "No abortion and and no deviant. That's a win-win," Ryan said.

Romney did say his concept for time travel is based on the idea of "getting government out of the way of companies that will provide jobs for everyone and the safest, most cost efficient travel through time the world has ever known. Free markets provide competition that works to free markets from excessive government regulations that prevent the freedom to compete that all Americans demand and deserve," Romney said.

"The president, who once said that he favored opportunity for all Americans in a socialistic effort to redistribute wealth through progressive taxes that I never paid anyway, opposes Americans having jobs or traveling through time."

The Obama campaign was cautious in their response. "That Governor  Romney promises time travel by the end of his first term makes sense of so many things," said David Axelrod, Obama campaign spokesman. He would not elaborate.
Author: Unknown
Posted: September 20, 2012, 6:17 am
The Republican duopoly Romoney-Ryan has hit heavy weather, but storms have caused them to finally say what they mean. Let's look, shall we? The following came from an article today in Businessweek, hardly a left-leaning publication.

The federal government should not "take from some to give to the others," said Romney, trying to defend his dis of 47% of Americans he said think they deserve handouts.

Which means what? That he believes there should be an end to "progressive taxation" where the rich pay a higher percentage than the middle class? Or does he favor a national sales tax? Maybe the whole country should just go to user fees, pay for what you get? Toll roads, private schools, doctor's paid through your VISA card? Explain, please.

Because tax policy is already skewed in his favor, Romney paid 13%, possibly a lower percentage than his cooks, his maids and his chauffeur, certainly lower than taxes paid by people earning much less than he does. More importantly, he has much, much more left over.

He would have more left over even if he actually paid the top tax rate. Even if he wasn't hiding his income in the Cayman islands and Swiss banks accounts (we NEED to see those tax returns. I would be content with 2005 through 2010).

To add fuel to the fire, VP candidate Paul Ryan stepped up with "The point we're trying to make here is, under the Obama economy, government dependency is up and economic stagnation is up."

Well, duh! Government dependency? Mr. Ryan, we are still in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s (which was made worse still by policies like those you advocate). The federal government (you were involved in a lot of the discussion–remember?) pays unemployment insurance and (don't tell anyone in your party) there have been a lot of unemployed since your buddies over at Goldman Sachs kicked the economy in the balls and George Bush started the war in Iraq without wanting to pay for it. Yes, there is also more Medicaid going to people who lost their health insurance when they lost their jobs, too.

Economic stagnation?  Two days ago you called efforts by the Federal Reserve to end "economic stagnation" nothing but a "sugar high." I will put Ben Bernanke's PhD up against your asinine Ayn Rand blather any day of the week. Economic stagnation is part of the process called debt destruction (you can look that up if you take the time from pumping up your biceps) and we need to get banks and companies to take money out of their vaults and put it to work, which will put people to work.

Private employment is actually recovering. We would have lower unemployment now than when this mess started if Republicans weren't trying to fire every other public employee in the country. And we would likely be out of this mess completely if you, Mr. Ryan, had not tried to capitalize on our hardship by blocking recovery efforts so you could create a regime change in Washington putting you in power.

Finally, Romney admitted he doesn't believe in opportunity for the rest of us.

 "…Romney referred to videotaped comments Obama made in 1998 (14 years ago!?) as evidence he favored government redistribution of wealth. As an Illinois state senator at the time, Obama said he believes in it "at least to a certain level to make sure everybody's got a shot."

What?! Remember, redistribution of wealth is another way of looking at progressive taxation. Even then, Obama was restrained. He didn't talk about fairness, he talked about opportunity.

So. Romney doesn't believe that everyone should have a shot at the American Dream? No "pursuit of happiness" if you weren't born wealthy? No need for America to pull together in this crisis, share the burden, provide an opportunity to all her citizens?

Very good. Glad we finally know where they stand.
Author: Unknown
Posted: September 19, 2012, 3:17 am

Mitt Romney may know how to advise the Marriott Hotel Chain how to avoid taxes, and he certainly knows how to avoid them himself.

But he doesn't know much about the tax code faced by most Americans.

In saying that 47% of us don't pay income taxes and that we expect a handout and won't support him, Romney mischaracterizes statistics. Of that 47% a majority of 28% pay a payroll tax. Much of the remainder is made up of retired people.

Actually, Romney has far more support than he should have among those who don't pay income tax. Those who pay payroll tax should realize that a portion of what they pay has gone into the general fund to reduce the taxes for the rich. Retirees should know that Romney wants to cut the very social services they need most.

Mitt Romney may not be as smart as his Stanford/Harvard education led us to believe. Or he has been so insulated by his Mormon religion and inherited wealth that he has not had to learn much about the world of working men and women.

Actually, given the man's disastrous foreign tour, his misperceptions about workers, hiding his tax returns (what IS he hiding in those tax returns?), and his lack of specifics about how he would govern, may he just doesn't know how the world works. 
Author: Unknown
Posted: September 18, 2012, 5:06 pm
It's official. Mitt Romney does not like you if you:

are Latino (immigrant);
are Black;
like Medicare;
believe in Social Security;
have a government job;
don't have a job;
feel responsible for others;
would like help from others when life is hard;
believe that a woman is in charge of her own body and life;
believe you are "entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it."

The man has no concept of community, no concept of charity beyond his Mormon Church, no concept that life can hit you with a random blow, no compassion for others hit with a random blow.

Sometimes, Mr. Romoney, shit happens to someone that ain't their fault. Americans believe that we are stronger when we pull together, extend a hand, provide opportunity for "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Too bad you believe "he who grabs, gets."

Romoney is so insulated by his wealth, inherited and accumulated  by gaming the system (then shipped to Swiss Bank accounts and hidden– can you spell "tax cheat?"), that he feels anyone who is not rich doesn't have the same guarantee of opportunity that he does.

He scorns 47% of the country, saying they believe themselves to be "victims."

After his buddies at Goldman Sachs crashed the economy with dubious deals by playing "casino" with our mortgage payments, after millions of Americans were thrown out of work  because of economic forces OVER WHICH THEY HAD NO CONTOL and lost their homes and their insurance and their future, Ri¢hie Ri¢h Romoney says they consider themselves "victims" and expect handouts.

And yesterday, he and that tight-assed VP candidate, the cold, calculating narcissistic liar Paul Ryan, said the Federal Reserve shouldn't try to jump start the economy because we hadn't been hit hard enough, hadn't suffered enough over the last five years.

America! Wake up! It IS class warfare and they started it! Working men and women are losing! The 1% have contempt for the 47%! They have all the money and they own our Congressmen (that's you, Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon) and are buying our legal system.

Romney is owned by gamblers (real ones – not just Goldman Sachs) and polluters and New York bankers and drug companies and insurance companies. They want to make economic serfs out of us!

Romney has admitted it. Finally, something comes out the man's mouth we can actually believe.
Author: Unknown
Posted: September 18, 2012, 2:58 am

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan call Federal Reserve efforts toward sparking economic recovery a "sugar high."

This is an abysmally poor understanding of economics or a craven attempt to capitalize on the hardship of millions of Americans. The only economic "plan" Romney - Ryan have is to allow polluters to pollute more and let Romney's banker friends pay as little as possible back into the system that made them so rich.

The Federal Reserve is trying to jolt an economy hurt by those same bankers and made worse by the crisis in Europe. The Fed is trying to force cash into the economy so people can begin to buy washers and dryers and kitchen cabinets and so other people can build them, here in Oregon and across the country. 

The Romney - Ryan "plan" is to reduce environmental controls for campaign donors who have tired to buy this election and nearly every state house in the country  (see Koch Bros). Their "plan" (see if you can find any details – ANY) would actually increase the number of people out of work  with the promise that eventually, someday, hopefully, the great capitalists of America will hire more workers and pay higher wages.

Maybe wages as high as they pay in China, where most of our jobs have gone. 

Romney - Ryan oppose the Federal Reserve effort because it might work! They call it a sugar high because they are in favor of more difficult lives – because it will be good for us.  The harder life will lead to the better life in the long term, they say. Maybe. For some people. Yes it will – if you already have a good life.

That's a lot of gall from a couple of men who were born rich and claim they deserve it.  Men who don't know what it's like facing unemployment, don't know what's it like to have a sick child and no  access to medical care, don't know what it's like having to decide between paying rent or buying milk.
Author: Unknown
Posted: September 17, 2012, 3:05 pm

Three things in the last week are turning off voters to Mitt Romney. Each in its own way shows the man has no core.  

He refers to his "plans" for the country but refuses over and over to say what those "plans" might be. He flips and then he flops and says whatever he thinks his audience wants to hear as long as it doesn't mean anything.

Now his "plan" for healthcare would retain the popular parts of "Obamacare." Seriously? After months and months of slamming the new law that covers more Americans, prohibits exclusion for preexisting conditions and allows young people to stay other parents policy, Romney now says he would retain those elements?  Whatever happened to "repealing Obamacare on my first day in office?

Romney now says his "plans" for economic recovery will not lower taxes on the rich. At the same time he talks about lowering taxes. How can he do both? By closing loopholes. Which ones? He won't say. Watch Romney slip and slide around the question in this NBC Interview with David Gregory: It's at about minute 17:30, though the whole show is worth watching.

Even Businessweek  has a hard time stomaching this foolishness

Romney VP choice Paul Ryan admits the White House has little voice in the matter: "Mitt Romney and I, … think the best way to do this is to … show the outlines of these plans, and then to work with Congress to do this," Ryan said on ABC's "This Week." Saying "we will close loopholes" is showing the framework of a "plan?" 

Now Romney blames Obama for sequestration worked out by both parties in Congress  as part of a deal to automatically impose $1.2 trillion in budget cuts in defense and Medicare spending in exchange for raising the debt ceiling a year or so ago and keeping America from going into default. Romney VP Paul Ryan helped promote this deal that was supposed to keep a "supercommittee" from failing to find cuts. 

President Obama specifically exempted military pay and benefits. But in his "say whatever it takes" politics, Romney blames the President for something Congress did. The man has no core. He wouldn't get elected in Oregon.

Finally this week the craven Romney tried to capitalize on an attack on American embassies overseas by Muslims angered by a film. Embassy personell were trying to cool a situation that eventually resulted in the loss of life. Romney would have added gasoline to the fire. Even Republicans want Romney to shut up and stop looking like a cheap opportunist on this one.

But Romney can't stop looking like a cheap opportunist. That's who he is.
Author: Unknown
Posted: September 13, 2012, 4:07 pm

The following was posted as a comment to my last blog.
It is so well written I decided to give it it's own title and space. 
I have no idea who the author is and even though I disagree 
in substance or detail with a number of the points made, 
I will save my retorts for the comment section. 
In the mean time, I think it should be savored 
by the widest audience possible ~ EyeonOregon.

Anonymous said...
Dear Mr. Rube:

Thematic essays, your blogs. Without the rules of essay writing in evidence, of course. Fragmented thematic essays.

Patterned themes. For instance, the ugly, tyrannical, megalomaniac Large Corporation. Villain du jour.

From sea to shining sea, the definition of ‘person’ includes business entities, in all colors, shapes and sizes. ‘Personhood’ is critical – businesses are sucked into the system along with persons covered in sweating flesh. Sucked into the basics – civil and criminal laws. The enhanced “sucking”: the ungodly stacks of Rules and Regulations, government agency oversight, regulatory hearings, investigations, inspections, reporting, record keeping, administrative officers, quasi-judicial bodies, etc.

I have a friend who steered his deep sea charter-fishing business to success, despite competition. And while newbie fishermen falling overboard are idiots, they are idiots with lawyers. And what did Ordinary Man do to protect his American Dream? Built a tower of legal defense. LLCs for each fishing boat, LCCs owned by LLP, LLP governed by a C corp. And secondary defense lines were put in play.

Clever. Applauded. And Big Business is different how?

My friend hired a local accounting firm; friends of friends; nice people. Anti-tax tactical forces fully exploited the gaps and perks of the tax laws. Hands shake again at a backyard BBQ while dogs run and kids bark.

And this is different from Big Business how? And while tax ‘efficiencies’ are legal, are they the moral choice? Temporary Aid for Needy Families is in jeopardy; unemployment compensation may be cut, education grants are reduced, funding of the arts degrades.

Small businesses are the stuff of Americana. The stuff of neighbors, friends and families. Tinkers. Tailors. Farmers. Small manufacturers. Bakeries and brothels.

Big Businesses are the stuff of high drama movies. Legendary corruption. Powered by monopolistic engines. Destroying the economy and our children’s opportunities, no compassion, no moral compass. Damn those iPhones made in Chinese sweatshops, thank god they’re pretty.

Business entities, large or small, successful or not, are driven by the best, the worst and the mediocre - just like any other human endeavor.

Small enterprises represent 99.7% of all employer firms & employ half of all private sector employees. They also represent the largest sector of tax fraud and tax evasion. Small businesses are well skilled in all sorts of wicked ways.

Label employees ‘independent contractors’ to avoid workers comp, unemployment comp, employment taxes, minimum wage laws, etc.

Don’t comply with ADA standards. (My god the costs are huge – I go to church with the disabled, I invite them to BBQs. Surely they don’t want me to coddle them at such a cost.)

Small businesses in the compliance zone of employment rights who just don’t. Small business owner knows how to do the Right Thing.

Liquidating small businesses who “sell” stuff to friends, family and neighbors before filing bankruptcy. Who don’t disclose all assets – how are they going to survive if everything but the family bible is put up for auction? Big Bank and Big Business creditors can absorb the loss; and, quite frankly, should take the hit – if BBs knifed the economy, then surely the weeping wounds have spread their puss to the innocent small business?

Small business owners are good people trying to their best survive with as much integrity as they can afford. Bless their little hearts.

What’s good for small businesses is good for the country. To hell with Big Businesses.

Author: Unknown
Posted: September 10, 2012, 1:07 am
It would be a very different world if you or I could borrow money, put a big chunk of what we borrowed in an bank account in the Cayman Islands or Switzerland, and then stick someone else with the debt. That's what Mitt Romney did.

You see, Bain Capital was a mechanism for Romney to make himself and his "NASCAR team owning" buddies and the tax dodgers he advised very, very rich. The essence of the Bain Scheme was to borrow a lot of money to buy a company, saddle the company with the debt while paying himself big fees and then walk away.

Here is a wonderful analysis of this "business" plan. Thank god most of his investments missed Oregon, though Bain is investing in hospitals and Romney still gets money from Bain.

Sometimes things worked out, like the company Staples. Sometimes what happened is a lot of American workers lost their jobs and the companies went bankrupt.

While Romney raked in a cool quarter billion dollars. And it is likely he raked in a lot of money from Goldman Sachs and others that were getting bailed out by our tax dollars. A transfer from Main Street to Wall Street to Bain Street!

We don't know. Romney is hiding that information. Why? Because there is something to hide.

Does anyone, anyone, really think this man of piercing ambition, who has and will say anything to anybody to get elected, would not release his tax returns if they validated his argument that he should be president?

Not bloody likely.
Author: Unknown
Posted: September 6, 2012, 3:51 am
Can it be true? Paul Ryan has never had a job outside of Congress?

Paul Ryan has never met a payroll, never been in the "market place" he so blithely advocates for others? Never not had government perks? It's astounding!

Can it be true this man has never been in the private sector but has been paid out of our tax revenues his ENTIRE ADULT LIFE?!? If so, this is the best argument ever made for retroactively downsizing government.

No wonder Paul Ryan has so little compassion – he came of age in Washington D.C. He was born on third base, says he hit a triple, then tells everyone else coming to the plate that they should bat without a helmet. What gall. What hypocrisy.

He believes in Ayn Rand but leaves out that atheism is the core of her philosophy, which is baking a cake without adding flour. Or eggs. He says we cannot afford compassion as a country and really, it's a sign of weakness. Does this staunch Catholic think he is quoting Jesus!?

He makes up a silly budget fiction about how to give more money to the rich while cutting food and hospitals and schools for the poor. Then he says Democrats are divisive?! This ego-driven wanker even lies about his time in marathons. He's never even run in Oregon's rain!

Paul Ryan's budgets are a sleight of hand, his "everybody-on-their-own" philosophy heartless in this time of hardship, his adherence to "free markets" uninformed. Ryan is as ambitious as Mitt Romney and just as bogus.
Author: Unknown
Posted: September 6, 2012, 3:29 am

How did it come to pass that rich white men born into immense privilege are telling the rest of us we should just work a little harder, expect a little less, do a little more without? 

Where do they get off telling the rest of the country what life should be for poor white men and women, poor Blacks, Hispanics, single mothers etc.(some of whom actually had those kids that Romney-Ryan say all women who have sex should be obliged to have )? 

Oookay, I got all the "coal miner" symbolism paraded out by the righties at the GOP convention. Too bad nobody had a great uncle who was a logger up here in Oregon (whew!) or worked in the mills around here. Rather, the mills that used to be around here. I bet there would be some great family history of the Wobblies.

Speaking of which, all those descendants of miners at the GOP convention and not a word about horrendous conditions? About mines collapsing because adequate shoring took too much out of profits? About black lung disease so long hidden by the great coal companies? The United Mine Workers didn't send one kid to college? Ever seen a face macerated by a broken saw chain?

But, back to the rant. 

I don't get it. Romney-Ryan don't know and can never know what it's like at the bottom of the pile, and now they want to lower their taxes (when they already pay less of their income in taxes than their drivers, their maids, their cooks, etc.) and they want to raise our insurance deductible, they want to decimate our schools, they want to take away our retirement? While they hide their tax returns and their money in offshore accounts? While telling us we should trust them?!?!

What they really want is to destroy opportunity for the rest of us to get where they are, because we need schools, hospitals and homes we can afford. And clean water to drink. And clean air to breathe. And jobs that protect us instead of kill us. And we want our kids to have some opportunity to get what Romney-Ryan got.
Author: Unknown
Posted: September 4, 2012, 2:38 am

The Republicans drove the United States into a ditch so they could grab the White House. We can't let them get away with it.

For the last two years Republicans stonewalled every attempt to get the economy going again. If the economy improved, Obama would be reelected. That would disrupt their business plan.

Paul Ryan is a liar and a hypocrite. He actively sought federal pork while saying he was opposed to pork. He was part of a budget deal that would withhold funds from the military if the Congress of which he was a part did not do its job, which it did not partly because of his efforts, and now he says he will go back on his word. 

Ryan opposes abortion in every situation as dictated by his Pope, as does Mormon Bishop Mitt Romney, and both refuse to admit when and how they would impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us.

Romney will say anything, and has, to get elected. He tears down the Presidency, makes a mockery of America's place in the world, then says our President diminishes the office. Romney plays the bigot in Israel and says stupid things about the English and brags about his wealth. 

 Both men were born on third base and pretend they hit a triple. Romney says culture is what creates success, by which he means the Mormon culture. Ryan is an acolyte of atheist Ayn Rand but picks bits of her "philosophy," such as it is, that justifies his belief in himself. God, what a pair of putzes. With no compassion whatsoever, their hunger for power shows so little class.

Romney/Ryan want the rich to get richer and the poor to suffer: 

Romney/Ryan want to end Social Security to enrich Goldman Sachs, the bankers who ruined the economy then profited from the chaos. 

Romney/Ryan want to end Medicare to enrich the insurance industry which will enrich them in turn and pay their political hyenas. 

Romney/Ryan want to rig the "non-free market"  in favor of large corporations in which they have a stake, to hell with individuals, laborers and small business owners. 

Romney/Ryan will take away individual rights and give them to giant corporations who view all citizens simply as consumers.

Romney/Ryan lie and cheat and steal. We can't let them steal our country. We just can't.

Author: Unknown
Posted: August 24, 2012, 1:20 am

Karl Rove is the political operative running the largest funnel of anonymous money into the Republican party's battle for the presidency. On August 15, 2012, the once credible Wall Street Journal gave Rove a forum for the fiction he uses to reshape America:

“… While there would be no changes in Medicare for those 55 or older, starting in 10 years younger Americans … could either pick traditional Medicare or use … money the government spends on each Medicare enrollee to buy private insurance. The reasoning is based on a reliable truth: Competition will lower costs by using market forces to spur innovation and improvement.”

First, the statement is incoherent. Competition is the "market force." Rove is saying competitionwill lower costs by using competitionto spur innovation… or market forceswill lower costs by usingmarket forces…" By using two words for the same force, Rove creates an illusion. The creation of a fictional entity to make belief plausible is characteristic of "magical thinking.”

Rove could have written more logically that "competition will lower costs, spur innovation and improvement," but that would have exposed the second magical element of his thought: the market forces he refers to do not actually existin most areas of health care.

For there to be "market forces" there has to be a functioning "market." A market requires good information available to informed buyers who choose between multiple providers competing for their business. That is not how we make most health care decisions.

That's the GOP sleight of hand. The GOP doesn't support the fundamentals of efficient markets. The GOP doesn't advocate for good information. The GOP doesn't encourage multiple players in a market, especially if dominate companies make campaign contributions.

Instead, the GOP says "government is the enemy" even when government is protecting markets. The GOP calls rules that prevent oligopolies from ruining markets "antibusiness" when those rules are actually business positive. Bank deregulation harmed many businesses in America by turning mortgage markets into gambling casinos.

The delusions of Paul Ryan and Karl Rove that the Wizard of Competition will give us cheaper healthcare that is even better – Cheaper! Better! – is equally distructive. What they mean is that huge health care monopolies, some partly owned by Mitt Romeny's Bain Capital, will get even more of our health care dollars. That's not healthy for anyone.
Author: Unknown
Posted: August 18, 2012, 6:18 pm

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