Posts Tagged ‘Benghazi’

On Campaigns and Society

May 7, 2015

As of this writing (May 7th, 2015), there are at least six ‘declared Republican candidates’ for president. Six more are hinting strongly that they’ll run while they accumulate the milllions it will take to campaign for the party’s nomination. To do that, they’re attempting to find something, anything, that will separate them from the rest in the clown car. Funny suits, big noses, huge shoes won’t do it; this time, it’s not how they look but what they say.
Believe it or not, those buffoons represent a slice of the modern TeaPublican Party. Because they appeal to the few, they believe they can parlay that into an appeal to the many.

But they will end up driving each other farther to the right, to the portion of the electorate where the lunatic fringe lives. Where people think that if only people prayed more, that would solve all the world’s problems. Apparently they haven’t noticed how often Muslims pray.
They end up where the NRA lives, never noticing that the NRA propaganda hasn’t done anything to rein in government; instead, the guns kill thousands of ordinary citizens, many of them children. Not one ‘dictator’ trying to take over the country has been held back. You’d think someone would notice, but the propaganda is never ending. The tree of liberty has not been watered by the blood of patriots and tyrants, it’s grown stunted by being overwatered by the blood of children and citizens.
The no-tax fools are realizing that as government shrinks, as there’s less money in the system, somehow the potholes don’t get fixed. Bridges are collapsing. Some wonder why. Eventually, others will too. Whether they’ll wonder in time for the election I don’t know.
But the party of low spending has no qualms about using public money for political purposes. After all, they’ve spent millions trying to deny affordable health care for ordinary citizens. Fifty plus votes, last I heard. They’ve spent more on repeated investigations into Hillary Clinton. So far, nothing has been found. How much have the manufactured ‘crises’ cost the government?
More money will be spent on defense, too. Not to pay soldiers, not even to care for the injured and shocked, but for hugely-expensive weapons systems. That will, somehow, be spent in districts that elect powerful politicians. Ahh, pork…more public money used to help elect a critter.
So what are the issues? Other than that virtually all of them have been told by God that he should run. God’s being indecisive, I suppose.
Wouldn’t you love to see Ted Cruz debate Mike Huckabee on the role of religion in government?
Freedom, or what Republicans call freedom, is an issue.
Railroads are ‘free’ to haul dangerous cargoes. Periodically they blow up, but at least they blow up free.
Factories too are free of regulations. Guess what? They blow up too. But hey, regulation cuts into profits. And corporations need to be free to make as much as possible.
That TeaPublican fringe curses the EPA because it limits ‘freedom’. Even so, corporation are still free to pollute, to strip the top off mountains, to dump coal ash in streams, to leak oil from pipelines into rivers and streams, to create a mess that the federal government can’t control and won’t have the money to clean up.
And after the clowns drive the car as far to the right as possible, the eventual winner will try to crab back to the center. Dragging all that campaign baggage with him.
I don’t see much chance that a Republican can be elected. Even if one is, haven’t we seen how ineffective they’ve proven themselves to be at governing? At least so far, there’s a slight amount of control.
But the corruption is getting worse. The preachers and priests are gathering, waiting to have more say in American society. The manufacturers of military goods are smiling, waiting for more money for ever-more expensive systems they can sell to the Defense Department.
Have you noticed how similar we’ve become to the Middle Eastern nations we’ve been fighting?
We’ve separated into ‘tribes’ based on religious fundamentalism. On color. On ethnicity. On gender and sexual orientation. Corruption, always present, has become endemic. Schools are failing, education is a way for banks to exploit the young, the social safety net is tattered, little by little we’ve been reduced to a third-world nation. Maybe that’s what people are looking for.
Personally, I don’t want to live in Americanistan.
How about you?

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Bad Political Decisions

May 14, 2013

I think Mr. Obama is wrong again. He’s using a red herring to distract from another red herring, the Benghazi attack.

The Republicans are digging into Benghazi in hopes of finding something that they can use to attack Hillary Clinton as well as Mr. Obama. But using the IRS as a distraction from that is simply playing into Republican hands.

This is part of IRS guidelines that I got from a CNN article:

“A “501(c)(4)” organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code if it meets two criteria: the “organization must not be organized for profit and must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare.”
To meet the IRS social welfare requirements, “an organization must operate primarily to further the common good and general welfare of the people of the community,” The IRS further defines this critical criterion under section 501(c)(4) as “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”
But the IRS has said that “the promotion of social welfare does not include direct or indirect participation or intervention in political campaigns on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.” That said, “a section 501(c)(4) social welfare organization may engage in some political activities, so long as that is not its primary activity.” And, according to the IRS, a 501(c)(4) may also engage in lobbying.
For example, guidance from the IRS available online suggests that an organization is likely to be deemed tax-exempt under section 501(c)(4) if its educational activities are conducted in a non-partisan manner and if the organization is not affiliated with a political party — even though the organization’s philosophy on the issues it is providing education about is broadly consistent with the view of a major political party.
The same guidance also points to past rulings by the IRS that allowed tax-exempt status under section 501(c)(4) for “organizations primarily engaged in advocating a particular point of view on an issue of public concern, through lobbying and public education.””

Read that carefully. And then ask yourself why the IRS shouldn’t scrutinize an application that has “Tea Party” in it’s name? Or other political and non-bipartisan slogan or similar political lobbying effort aimed at raising money and spending it to the benefit of one party?

This is the inevitable result of a bad Supreme Court decision, one of many that this court has made. Citizens United, now Monsanto’s deciding that it owns the seeds of seeds they’ve sold, presumably forever; and for that matter, allowing any country or any state or any company to sell a product that it refuses to identify as GMO or allows to inject into the ground (i.e., fracking) without identifying what is in that…

This court, and the American government in general, may be doing what the Constitution demands by protecting citizens from repressive government. But no one is protecting citizens from oppressive and exploitative private industry and finance. Those last two now own the government and have gained that by the simple expedient of buying people who operate that government.