Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Earth Day expunged from GOP vocabulary

On this 45th Earth Day we should note a strange phenomenon occurring in the GOP leadership over the past five years. The words "Earth Day" have disappeared from their vocabulary. Up till the 2008 election of climate change believer Barack Obama, Republican leaders were on the bandwagon to save the planet, promoting Earth Day and its mission. George Bush I and II were on board, as well as presidential contender John McCain, who, during th...e 2008 campaign, devoted an entire speech to Earth Day. In 2005, Mitt Romney worked to cap coal-fired power plant emissions as Massachusetts governor. But no more is anyone in the GOP talking up Earth Day in spite of the catastrophic damage we mere mortals have done to Mother Earth since Edwin L. Drake poked the first hole in her delicate surface in 1859 to extract in oil from the ground in Titusville, PA. Till then folks could only obtain oil from natural pooling on the surface, a meager amount not damaging to our precious atmosphere.
With Obama's election, the GOP vowed that anything the president supported, no matter how important it might be for our welfare, indeed our very survival, must be opposed without thought, exception or sanity. Hence, "Earth Day" simply vanished from their political utterances. Instead, they deny man made climate change, demand the president immediately green light the abominable Keystone XL Pipeline, ignore catastrophes like the BP Horizon disaster, and chant "Drill, Baby, Drill" like some demented cult mesmerized by the prospect of regaining the White House. The last recorded GOP leader to even mention Earth Day was Tennessee Senator and presidential contender Lamar Alexander in 2010. By 2012, global warming was completely off the table for every presidential contender. Only the most progressive, John Huntsman, who tweeted: "I trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy", realized his mistake and repented by saying, "This isn't the moment to take action on climate change". Even Mitt Romney became an anti-Obama global warming advocate in the 2012 election when he released his jobs plan, in which he pledged to amend the Clean Air Act so that carbon dioxide could not be regulated as a pollutant. “My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet,” he said.

Alas, the Neanderthals that make up today's GOP appear to be gaining in the climate change debate. They've caused an alarming rise in the percentage of Americans who now disbelieve in man made climate change at the same time that the carbon dioxide levels rise alarmingly above 400 parts per million (the ratio of carbon dioxide to other gases in the atmosphere) for the first time in recorded history. Happy Earth Day all you Republican yahoos. You may not see the catastrophic effects from your myopia in your lifetime, but you kids and grandkids sure will

ROSKAM PAC: Peter's personal ATM from the Fat-Cat Corporations

One of the coolest benefits about being a member of Congress is the perk of setting up a "Leadership PAC" (Political Action Committee). They were created by Congress to legally allow Congressmen and Senators to acquire mountains of cash with virtually no public scrutiny as long as they're for political purposes other than their campaigns, such as "like-minded candidates and causes". In Illinois both Senators and ten of our eighteen Congressman have one. Only a few are very active with the second most being that of my Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-6th). In the last two years he's vacuumed up a nifty million bucks, not from Joe Six-Pack but from the titans of industry like Comcast, Exelon, General Dynamics and the world's cheapest fixer of death causing manufacturing defects, General Motors. While Roskam is secretive about who and what causes he spends his Leadership Pac loot on, he's sure not shy about creating a catchy acronym, ROSKAM, which stands for Republican Operation to Secure and Keep A MajorityFrom a Channel Five investigative report we now know ROSKAM spent tens of thousands of dollars in the last two years on air travel, Utah sky trips and gifts for persons or groups who will forever remain mysterious. Fundraising costs money and ROSKAM is no exception, paying $320,000 in the same period to the obscure Townsend Group, based near the DC Beltway for PAC fundraising and PAC consulting. While ROSKAM's causes remain hidden, a few possibilities come to mind: keeping the minimum wage below subsistence level, keeping tens of millions from affordable health care, supporting the Military-Industrial Complex, allowing monopolistic consolidation of the telecommunications industry, and of course the old standby, reducing government regulation on industry that keeps us all safe. I may have trouble remembering what ROSKAM stands for but I've sure learned my 5 R's: ROSKAM'S RADICAL REPUBLICAN ROADMAP TO RUIN.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rauner's educational plan does Kevin Trudeau proud

Illinois GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner sure has a strange way of making education his top priority. His plan to make Illinois an educational showcase is to slash taxes, slash school funding, fire all the lousy (in his mind) teachers, lay off a bunch of others, swelling class size, and voila: First class education! Surprised? Don't be. Billionaire Bruce didn't get that moniker being a fact based, straight talking salesman. His educational policy sounds like he's channeling former diet book author and salesman Kevin Trudeau, who's sitting in the pokey for a decade for getting rich selling weight loss books by claiming his method was easy, when it wasn't. The main difference between Rauner and Trudeau is that Trudeau was charging money for his weight loss tips while Rauner is only charging people their vote for his snake oil tips to improve education. Maybe if Rauner gets elected he can use his enormous financial influence to get Trudeau early release from the slammer...and make him his education Czar