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Welcome to my blog. Essays on my thoughts on anything and everything, original photography, philosophical musings, spiritual beliefs, political rants, and shameless promotion of things I think are good for us individually, collectively as citizens of the United States of America and good stewards of the planet Earth. We must honor our higher lights and face our inner demons in the diverse forms they appear in our world. The more people with whom we can share common awareness, regardless of our egocentric perception, the larger our personal share of the Human Spirit.

Many of the photographs on the blog are original photography taken by me with my trusty cell phones and now BlackBerry. Some others have been with an array of off the shelf digital cameras. The subtle double rainbow on the title was photographed east of my home on 10/15/2010 at 6:23 PM on my BlackBerry. For a campy, tongue in cheek look at the meaning or non-meaning of double rainbows, check this out, or if you're more interested this...

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Fiscal Conservative?

 The Republican Charade
That dog won't hunt.
Gerard J. Zarella 2011

         The Republican Tea Party propaganda machine is running at full throttle.  In what some are calling  politically motivated manipulation of the oil market just before a long national holiday weekend, President Obama authorized the Department of Energy to join their international counterpart, the International Energy Agency (IEA) to release collectively from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPR) 60 million barrels of crude oil into the world  market over the coming months.  The much tauted reason is to attempt to drive summer gas prices down and to give a jolt to our sluggish economyFree market hawks are going bananas over the government interfering with the will of the market.  Some are predicting that this will only cause more fluctuation and speculation.  Oil industry pundits, who certainly have no stake in this,  say that the fix will be small and temporary, with the possibility of gas prices spiking higher as the market rebounds from too quick a drop over a short period of time

       The jury is out  yet.  Let's see what happens.  I'm a little skeptical of anything the Republicans try to tell us about money management.  Their fiscal track record is less than stellar.  Repeatedly refashioned, repackaged, ill-conceived Conservative fiscal policy hasn't worked in the past.  Should it now? Trickle-down Reaganomics was a farce and did little to improve the economic outlook.  "Reagan delivered on each of his four major policy objectives, although not to the extent that he and his supporters had hoped."  More recently they voice unrelenting opposition to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  The Right keeps telling us that the stimulus only made a bigger mess of things, contrary to what many respected economists say.  Ah, but those liberal number crunching socialists must be misrepresenting the facts!

      The Obama administration, with constant aggressive resistance from the Right, is trying to do something to facilitate a spark to jump start the lagging economy.  The President continues to invite the Republicans to the table, only to be stonewalled at every turn. 

       The Right keeps barraging us with self-righteous fiscal rhetoric peppered with copious warnings and admonitions about the socialist conspiracy to take over the Republic. Right-wing operators raise people's fear and angst by trumpeting doom and gloom financial and political prognostications.  They sweeten the pot by telling us that they're primary agenda is all about jobs creation - by repealing or over riding "job killing" legislation and regulation. 

      Their bourgeois policies at the state and federal level have left a wide path of job destruction, fear and confusion about the future for many who had dedicated their lives to public service.  Throughout the nation, union busting legislation and slash and burn budget cutting has resulted in  the furlough of hundreds of thousands of local, state and federal unionized employees.  They've created chaos, new hardship and very few  new jobs.  They're using budget choking legislation to force their right-wing political and social agenda down the throats of the American public.  It's all smoke and mirrors to cover their cozy relationships with corporate supporters as they subsidize profitable industries and pull the rug out from under grandma, veterans, the environment and the kids.  Reuters reports, "The layoffs of thousands of government workers may threaten the already slow-motion economic recovery in many U.S. metropolitan areas, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Brookings Institution."  So, the right-wing attack on the American worker is doing what for our economy and the recovery?  Oh, IT'S NOT WORKING!

      They can dress it up any way they like.  They can put lipstick all over that pig, but their Plan for America's Job Creators is nothing less than corporate welfare and gifts to the rich.  To pay for their patronage they are obliged to cut support for people with real needs, inhibit the regulatory power of government agencies, ignore the waste and fraud in their own programs, and recklessly expose the environment to irrevocable damage. If they cannot overturn regulatory legislation, constitutional law or social convention, they use the congressional power of the purse to place those with whom they have pique in a crippling strangle hold. Woe to any targeted government agencies, and  NGO's who depend on government guaranteed grants and loans to fund varying portions of their operational budgets.  The party of greenbacks used congressional prerogative before to create a climate in which corporate greed and corruption found a foothold and flourished into financial failure on a scale rivaled only by their smug camera mugging, self-righteous, self-promoting pompous projection of patriotic piety to God and country. Get government out of the way and give the market freedom to run on its own.  Everyone wins! Happy Days Are Here Again!  None of it is true! That tired old dog ain't gonna hunt!  No more trickle down Voodoo economics.  No more corporate control of the government and politics.  Didn't we learn our lesson the last few times they've dragged us through this faulty financial fantasy of theirs?

        The Conservative direction is backward to failed policies and practices. They've spent the last six months undoing anything that the Left accomplished over first two years of the Obama presidency to reign in their malfeasance in managing corporate and financial oversight and responsibility.  The new majority in the House grabbed Obama's new broom out of his hands and broke it into pieces, so that he could not continue to clean up the gargantuan mess left by his predecessor.  With George W. Bush at the helm, these fiscal compassionate Conservatives had control of the White House and Congress.  They increased the national debt by 25%.  Their helmsmanship created the toxic environment of fiscal irresponsibility that followed in the wake of their blatantly political, money fueled folly. The only budget reduction was on the revenue side after the Bush tax cuts that subtracted almost 25% from the Clinton balanced budget.  The entire Republican Tea Party is in denial of the pile of crap that the Bush administration left behind.  They're trying to block any progressive legislation that Obama and the Democratic controlled Congress enacted before the 2010 mid-term.  They've absolutely dismissed the Affordable Health Care Act, condescendingly dubbing it "Obama-Care". Their solution to the failing health care system is to throw a fat bone to the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries in the form of vouchers in place of Medicare.  Rather than re-examine and revise AHCA, the Right is doing everything within their power to repeal it.  For education the grand experiment in Washington DC with school vouchers seems to be leaving some children behind.  Currently, they're playing chicken with the debt limit while admitting that default on the US debt could lead to worldwide fiscal calamity.   Not exactly what you would expect from conservative fiscal hawks, is it?

      From An Analysis of the Presidents Who Are Responsible for the Borrowing, "Every time we have seen massive tax cuts there was a bubble in the economy followed by a recession." And, "...under all five Republican Presidents, since Nixon, government revenue has decreased and spending has increased.  This is positive, unambiguous proof that cutting taxes does not increase revenue.  Yet Republicans are still trying to sell that old canard.

     The conservative leaning Supreme Court   overruling campaign finance reform added fuel to the fire and credibly demonstrates that the Right is all about money.  They want to completely repeal  McCain-Fiengold opening the door to allow corporate influence to poison the well of our political system.  That ruling has now opened the flood gates for incredible amounts of corporate cash to flow into political coffers on both sides under the guise of freedom of speech.  The only thing I think the Court did was to put a high price on free speech.

      Conservative talking points are intentionally deceptive and  incongruous with the way Republicans conduct the country's business.  They don't care about people or the nation.  They are motivated by their love of money.  I think that we've heard that phrase before, "The love of money..."  The flag and Christian cross are distractions that they wave in front of us to take our attention away from the special interest money changers operating in the dark corners of the national temple. They can pompously portray all of the patriotic theater they can muster, but most of their hearts are not with the flag.  Their hearts are with the dollar sign.  They crave unconditional power.  In their superficial ideological culture money is Power.  To secure their grasp on political control they will continue to play to big money to make sure their war chests are full for the upcoming campaign season.  History is not kind to the results of the fiscal policies of the Bush administration and his drum beating, flag waving, hypocritical Republican Congress. Speaker John Boehner and the rest of the Republican controlled House of Representatives are leading us on the same type of path to economic disaster and greater hardship for many Americans.   "...the nation's mounting debt is largely attributable to wars, a recession and tax policies put in place under [the Republican] watch."  The Republican Tea Party is selling off the US federal and state governments to the highest corporate bidders.  Someone needs to put that grand old pooch out of it's misery. Time for a new champion.  That poor, worn out, old, flea bitten, crippled mutt just ain't no good no more! That dog won't hunt!

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