Friday, October 18, 2013

Congressman Roskam owes apology for $24 billion shutdown hit

Everyone in Illinois' 6th District owes Congressman Peter Roskam a thank you for voting with a minority of House Republicans to end the government shutdown. Then we should demand he apologize for serving as one of House leaders who caused the shutdown which inflicted, according to Standard & Poor's and Bloomberg News, $24 billion in economic losses and a decline in consumer confidence for future economic growth. Roskam is no meek back bencher who can feign innocence on the shutdown. He was right there leading the bomb throwers in the extremist Tea Party faction in the House who had been agitating for a government shutdown since before they were even elected to Congress in 2010. When Roskam entered the House in 2006, he could boast with some validity that, although highly conservative, he had a reputation for working with his Democratic colleagues in the Illinois Senate to pass important legislation. Sadly, the lure of power beckoned so Roskam grabbed the brass ring of House Chief Deputy Whip, working with Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor to implement the slash and burn policies of the of the Tea Party fanatics who held veto power over their leadership roles. The result has been nearly three years of relentless resistance to every job creation measure and vital progressive legislation such as health care reform, Wall Street reform and immigration reform. When they lost the vote on the Affordable Health Care law both in the Congress and the Supreme Court, they turned to the economy killing tactics of government shutdown and threatening debt ceiling default. The recent shutdown is simply their most outrageous action since they began this policy nearly three years ago, costing cumulative economic losses of around $700 billion, and adding 1.4 percentage points to our unemployment rate according to a widely cited study It's possible that Congressman Roskam voted to end the shutdown because he finally listened the the many constituents who called and wrote him to stop supporting, leading in fact, the Tea Party radicals who would destroy our economy. Since that legislation only delayed this destructive fiscal blackmail for a few months, we need to keep the pressure on him to finally break with the faction that puts ideological purity above sensible governance. If that costs him his leadership role in Congress, fine. He wasn't elected to serve the Tea Party radicals. He was elected to serve Illinois' Sixth District...and the country. For the past three years he hasn't served either. And when contacting him, don't forget to ask for the apology.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tea Party racism, Dominionism tear at fabric of democracy

Watching Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin cozying up to the racists and religious fanatics who dominate Tea Party activism scares me and should every citizen who cherishes our secular, inclusive democracy. Their appearance at a Tea Party rally in Washington D.C. October 13, added high profile luster to the confluence of these evil anti democratic trends that helped shut down the government. The rally featured Confederate Flags, cries that the President is a Muslim and orders that he "put down the Quran, get up off his knees and come out with his hands up". Cruz and Palin had no more business there than at a KKK rally. Cruz and Palin are too slick to engage is such despicable, racist prattle but both are dedicated Dominionists, members of a radical cult of Christianity who believe God has chosen them to seek high office to implement their twisted notion of fundamental religion over our populous. In Cruz's case the apple doesn't fall far from the tree as his father, Rafael Cruz, is a rabid right wing preacher who openly promotes Dominionism. When asked how religion fits into his leadership role in the shutdown Cruz explained he prays mightily to God and believes he is being guided by "God's will". Palin is a little less up front in her Dominionism, keeping mum about her quarter century membership in an Alaska church associated with a radical stream of US Born-Again Evangelism known as ‘Joel’s Army,’ an offshoot of Dominionism. Like Cruz, Palin references Godly commands regarding her political aspirations, saying that if God opens a door to political calling, she will walk through it. Apparently, the door she walked through to the Vice Presidential nomination was opened by the Devil. Amoral billionaires may have founded and funded the Tea Party, but it quickly bacame a haven for dead end racists and fanatical Domionists willing to sacrifice our economy, indeed our democracy, to implement their cracked vision of America

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Talk about shutdown - look to Iraq

If anyone wants to see a country that’s really shut down, look to Iraq. The catastrophe our $3 trillion criminal war there caused continues apace. So far this year, more than 6,000 Iraqis have died in sectarian violence unleashed by our March 2003 war. Our military was kicked out on Dec. 31, 2011, because we couldn’t negotiate immunity from the Iraqi government for servicemen accursed of violent crime after that date. In 2005, we built a $730 million Citizen Kane-style Xanadu embassy, our largest in the world, to control our newest Middle East ally. Now it stands nearly empty as we withdraw most of our diplomatic staff from a country we’ve given up on. At the end of the year only 1,000 diplomatic personnel protected by 4,500 security folks will remain. Our puppet government under Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, has come to life Pinocchio-style and is cozying up to our main bete noirs there, Iran and Syria. Meanwhile back in Texas, the architect of the Iraqi shutdown, George W. Bush, is chopping wood and riding his bike relentlessly while he ponders his sinking place in history as our worst president and biggest war criminal. Walt Zlotow Glen Ellyn