Best Way to Fix Congress

September 8, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Pastiche

This goes out to conservatives, liberals, and everybody in between. Someone wants to promote a “Congressional Reform Act of 2010.” It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I know many of you will say this is impossible. Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval rating of any entity in Government. Now is the time when Americans can join together to reform Congress - the entity that represents us.

We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House. These people will become American heroes.

Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits.
12 years only, one of the possible options below..

A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms

2. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

If you agree with the above, pass it on.

(Author Unknown)

What About those Headless Bodies in Arizona?

September 3, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Pastiche

According to Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, “headless bodies” (obviously more than one) have been found in Arizona.  Given ample opportunity during last nights Gubernatorial Debate, and questions from the press following the debate, to recant that absolutely false statement, she decides to pull a Palin and ignore any/all questions regarding her blatant lie. Flat out refusing to answer questions seems to be the new paradigm with politicians, with Palin being the template for this new strategy; Ignore, deflect, and spew forth some nonsensical rant about something totally unrelated to the question.

The truth is that NO headless bodies where found in Arizona. Mexico, yes. Arizona, no. Brewer knew that fact all along, yet consciously decided that fear mongering is worth far more political points than honesty will ever be when it comes to getting votes. It’s so much easier to get throngs of people to hate the “other” when things are not going well in their own lives…or when a politician is trying to save their own job and win an election. It’s always easier to point the finger and blame someone else.

Without our politicians around to constantly remind us which group of people we’re supposed to be hating this month, or remind us how our economy went to hell the day Obama became President (never mind the fact/truth that it took us about TEN YEARS to reach this point of collapse), how would we ever know who to  hate, or what we’re against?

So now, rather than coming together as Americans… or as a supposedly “evolved” Society, according to the GOP and various talk show personalities heads must roll, Government must die, Social Security must become privatized (at least that’s what will happen if some of these holier-than-thou Tea Party/Republicans get their way), and Medicare and/or Social Security must be phased out. (See: GOP candidate, and Tea party favorite, Sharron Angle maintains that she wants to “transition out” of Social Security.  Also: on CBSs Face the Nation, Alaska GOP U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller suggested that both Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional. ) As if doing away with Social Security, Medicare, Health care, and oh by the way, illegal immigrants (who often work long, hard hours on our farms) is somehow going to magically restore our economy in 2 months.

After listening to some of Brewer’s comments as of late, the too numerous-to-count Palin-isms that are well beyond mindlessness, Michele Bachmann’s obsessive paranoid ramblings, and various other brain-draining politicians from both sides of the isle, I’ve come to the conclusion that the only “headless bodies” being found (and only by those who are willing to notice) are these politicians. What I fail to understand is why so many people actually BELIEVE whatever lies these particular women shamelessly and consistentaly adhere to. The truly sad part is that the more the  lies are repeated, the more people listen to them as if they’re  Truth with a capital T.

From Consumerism to Sustainability

May 17, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Pastiche

Did anyone notice when luxury items became necessities?  One prime example is a cell phone.  I hate talking on cell phones and use mine only when absolutely necessary.  That equates to one or two calls a month; if that many.  My family and friends know that it’s an exercise in futility to try to reach me on my cell phone, unless it’s a matter of life and death.

Another example of what  was once a luxury item is Internet connection. It doesn’t seem that long ago when we thought having a dial-up internet connection was a luxury item.  Now high-speed internet connection/Wi-Fi is a necessity… as is processed convenient foods, disposable diapers, hair/clothes dryers, and for the vast majority of kids; iPod, iTouch, iTunes and now the iPad.  Consumerism has propelled us  from an iNeed culture to an iMustHave culture.

It’s been said that “comparison leads to unhappiness.”  If that’s true, then, for the most part, we will always be unhappy since there will always be some “New and Improved” item that we will want to have because someone else has it. And, being creatures of habit, this new thing will become a necessity in life.   Whether we can afford it or not, we will buy it (products, cars, homes with large mortgages, etc.).

I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately; Sustainability.  Mostly because someone I’m very close to has been trying for the better part of a year now to convince me to relocate to an area of the country where the cost of living isn’t sky-high the way it is where I now live, and that I should get back to the basics in life.  He’s also of the mindset that no one should have to depend on getting their food from large grocery store chains, where food products are constantly being recalled due to contamination of some sort.  I believe he makes several valid points, yet I seem to be having a difficult time letting go of the lifestyle I’ve become used to — regardless of the fact that it’s creating unnecessary stress in my life.  But I’m working on it. Seriously working on it.

I came across an interesting Website this morning you may want to take a look at: State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures.  Their mission, as posted on their site, is: “Worldwatch Institute delivers the insights and ideas that empower decision makers to create an environmentally sustainable society that meets human needs. Worldwatch focuses on the 21st-century challenges of climate change, resource degradation, population growth, and poverty by developing and disseminating solid data and innovative strategies for achieving a sustainable society.”  A core belief is that only way for  humanity to thrive long into the future is to orient our cultures on sustainability, not consumerism.

How Palin Can GET 12M in Only 9 months

April 14, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Pastiche

Half-term Governor Palin has proven how easy it is for (as she likes to say all in one breath) “real patriots, real Americans, people who love this country, pro-Americans” can receive (not “earn”) $12 Million dollars in as little as 9 months.  It doesn’t require hard work, years of effort, an original thought, or obtaining a special degree.  All you need is the ability to spew forth nonsensical, incoherent sound bites peppered with satire, sarcasm, and hypocrisy.

Once you’ve mastered the fine art of fooling some of the people all of the time with your shtick, and can string together nauseating cutsey-wootsy phrases like “hope-y, change-y” and “Nahhh…we’re the party of HELL NO!” spoken in angry populist rhetoric, then it’s just a matter of finding enough people willing to hand over their hard earned money to you.  Just give it to you; No questions asked (unless they’re scripted questions, of course).  Obviously, there are plenty of people ready, willing and able to hand over their money.

The general idea behind this get-rich-quick scheme is to rile up a crowd by stoking anger, hatred and fear towards the “other.” It doesn’t matter what the “other” is, but “big Government” seems to work rather well as a common denominator.  There are those who would argue that less Government in a country the size and ever-growing population of the U.S. would be a good thing.  We don’t need any more/better public schools, roads, bridges, infrastructure, military bases, police officers, teachers, libraries, hospitals, public parks, and so on.  Of course, this scheme only works on people who are so busy being consumed by their fear of other that they have no time to read, research or think for themselves.  Being an independent thinker is a lot more difficult than simply playing the role of a lemming.

Ideally, you’ll need to baffle the crowd with your BS, so you better have enough to go around… and Palin, et al. has more than enough to feed the masses.   What you don’t want to do is offer up any sort of common sense solutions, be grounded in reality, or cite empirically proven facts that would indicate that the vast majority of  “real Americans” tend to be optimistic and hopeful.  After all, America has a history built on hope…and 233 years of change.  Constant change.  Palin has made a side show out of disparaging Americans who are at their core very optimistic and hopeful people.  How sad, yet proven to be extremely profitable.

Clearly, we know who Palin, et al. is against, but we have no idea WHY, other than the fact that she’s a  GOP/Tea-Party-Real-American-Patriot.  (And by the way, I resent the implication that if I’m not part of the Tea Party movement, I’m not a “real American.”) Her ad hominem attacks offer only sarcasm and sweeping generalities: no solutions to any of the problems we’re up against.  No specific concepts to solve economic and social problems.  She has said absolutely nothing even remotely close to being helpful, or positive for that matter.   Other than demanding mega bucks to regurgitate the same sound bites (her applause lines) at various GOP complaint conventions and depression sessions, and demanding bendable straws (maybe unbendable straws are too sharp for her) and a Learjet for transportation to events, what, exactly, has she done for those so willing to give her their money?  Her so-called speeches are short on evidence and logic, and long on one-liners, conceit and BS. Then again, she only speaks in front of crowds who are more impressed by BS than by facts, logic, solutions and rationality.

Palin does ALL Americans, in ALL States, from ALL walks of life, an incredible disservice by glamorizing ignorance and giving voice to the worst elements of our society.  Surely we have evolved enough as a society to the point where we can move past the anger, fear and violence she so loves to inspire in people and work towards real solutions to real problems.  At least I would HOPE so.

Don’t speak out against Government run Health Care WHILE you’re GETTING Government run Health Care…

That’s just bad form.  Palin loves to rant about “socialized, government run health care,” along with the pointless “repeal and replace” GOP mantra.  Apparently, “socialized health care” and “Government run health care” is completely acceptable to her for her own family, but not for the rest of the “real American” families who can barely make ends meet in this Bushy-Cheney created recession.  How can someone who is raking in millions of dollars not be able to afford – or are unwilling to pay for — private insurance?

Recently released documents from the custody battle show clearly Tripp Palin Johnston has socialized health care through Indian Health Services and the Alaska Native Medical Center.

A look in the rear view mirror…

When Palin mocked Obama by asking, “how’s that hope-y, change-y stuff working out for ya?” why didn’t someone ask, “How’s that Bushy, Cheney stuff working out for us?”  Let’s briefly recap:

BUSH/CHENEY

  • Two unfunded wars. (No one seemed to care about what that would do to the deficit.)
  • Borrowing billions from China to pay for those unfunded wars (if China calls in their markers, we are in deep, deep trouble).
  • Turned a surplus into a HUGE deficit.
  • The Enron Collapse (People would have been outraged if they understood what happened.)
  • Debt rose under the G. W. Bush administration by $6.1 trillion (No one seemed to care about what that would do to future generations)
  • No progress on homeland security. (I don’t want to mention 9/11, but, well, that did happen under Bush’s watch.)
  • Skyrocketing health care costs. (No one seemed to care about what that would do to the deficit.)
  • Skyrocketing health insurance premiums. (Why would anyone in Congress care? They already have great insurance coverage…paid for by We The People.)
  • Financial market meltdown creating that “too big to fail” scenario. (No one seemed to care about the long term effect of  giving Wall Street carte blanche to do “whatever” would have on the economy, and of more import, on We The People.)
  • Tax cuts for the already rich and powerful. (No one seemed to care about what that would do to the deficit.)
  • Unfunded Drug Prescription Program. (What’s one more massive unfunded program.)
  • Millions of people lost their jobs, their health insurance, and their homes. (No one seemed to care enough to stop this from even starting. No one wanted to regulate the financial industry and risk losing their biggest political contributions.)

OBAMA/BIDEN

So far, and only one year into the “hope-y, change-y” side of things Obama has:

  • Passed the stimulus package, generating jobs (see graph below)
  • Eliminated wasteful spending; The Washington Times reported on January 14 that Obama won “60 percent of his proposed cuts” and also managed “to get Congress to ax several programs that had bedeviled President George W. Bush for years.”
  • Sotomayor nomination
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which expands the rights of workers to sue employers over wage discrimination claims.
  • SCHIP expansion.
  • Credit card reform.
  • Transparency. The Washington Post reported that moves by the Obama administration to improve government transparency “included a ban on lobbyist gifts; restrictions on the hiring of lobbyists; publication of White House visitor logs and other records; and a move to bar lobbyists from serving on advisory boards.” A report by Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, and U.S. PIRG stated that: “The cumulative effect of the Administration’s actions has been to adopt the strongest and most comprehensive lobbying, ethics and transparency rules and policies ever established by an Administration to govern its own activities.”
  • Tobacco regulation.
  • The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which expands the scope of AmeriCorps and provides opportunities for young people and senior citizens to join in service programs.
  • Stem cell research.
  • Plutonium Disposal Agreement with Russia
  • Getting China to work with us on Iran Sanctions
  • …But wait… there’s MORE!  You’ll just have to do the Google search yourself.

The slow climb out of a very deep hole…

Today, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that he has confidence the unfolding economic recovery will have staying power, although it won’t be strong enough to bring quick relief to high unemployment.  I’m not sure how the Tea Party-goers can expect and/or demand “quick relief” from a problem that was 10 years in the making.  Wanting instant gratification seems to be the norm in our country.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/36496933/ns/business-stocks_and_economy/

We are climbing out of the hole and on our way to full recovery.  Slowly, but surely….

FEATURED VIDEO

Rachel Maddow demonstrates job growth under Obama vs. Bush using a “bikinigraph:

Closing comment:

Maybe Country Western singer Terri Clark was onto something when she wrote, I Think the World Needs a Drink.”

I think the world needs a drink
I think enough’s enough
She’s been spinnin around so long I’d say She’s pretty wound up
Calm down, Sit back, Relax.

The Nether Regions of Glennbeckistan

March 5, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Pastiche

Too funny!  Gotta love Sen. Byrd (D-W. Va.).  He ripped into the West Virginia newspaper, the Daily Mail, for an editorial they ran this week related to health care reform.

Byrd argued that the newspaper demonstrated a clear misunderstanding of congressional rules and procedures, which only results in the publication confusing its readers. Sen. Byrd wrote that the editorial more closely resembled the “barkings from the nether regions of Glennbeckistan” than the “sober and second thought” of his hometown newspaper.  Way to go, Senator Byrd!!

With all due respect, the Daily Mail’s hyperbole about “imposing government control,” acts of “disrespect to the American people” and “corruption” of Senate procedures resembles more the barkings from the nether regions of Glennbeckistan than the “sober and second thought” of one of West Virginia’s oldest and most respected daily newspapers.

Read the editorial here.

Why We Need Health Reform and Life Panels

March 5, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Pastiche

From bloomberg.com:

One man’s end-of-life health care bills totaled $618,616, almost two- thirds of it for the final 24 months, much of it for treatments that no one can say for sure helped extend his life.

Read the whole story: bloomberg.com

Would you like fries with your Ammonia Burger?

January 9, 2010 by Terri  
Filed under Pastiche

(NaturalNews) If you’re in the beef business, what do you do with all the extra cow parts and trimmings that have traditionally been sold off for use in pet food? You scrape them together into a pink mass, inject them with a chemical to kill the e.coli, and sell them to fast food restaurants to make into hamburgers.

The USDA knows about this procedure and obviously doesn’t care that people are eating ammonia in their hamburgers. Apparently fast food restaurants and schools don’t care either.

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