Friday, September 15, 2017

Senate votes YEA to endless criminal war in 7 countries

The media wing of the war party largely buried yesterday's biggest story, the Senate's refusal to even debate ending the 2001 Authorization of Military Force (AUMF) America uses to wage perpetual, criminal war around the world. Republican Senator Rand Paul, the Senate's sole anti war member, threatened to gum up a defense authorization bill unless his resolution to kill that criminal war blank check got a debate. Shortly after it started, warmonger extraordinaire Bob Corker (R-TN) moved to end debate. It passed 61-36. Just 3 Republicans opposed debate shutdown against 31 Democrats and 2 independents (Sanders and King). Sadly, 8 Democrats voted to kill debate, apparently fearful of offending the all powerful US war party. Illinois senators Durbin and Duckworth get kudos from us peaceniks for being part of the majority of Dems voting against killing debate.
Why is repealing the 2001 AUMF so important? It would require a new AUMF (required under the War Powers Act of 1973), to keep the killing juggernaut rolling. After 16 years of utter failure everywhere we're blowing people up...that might be a tough sell.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Soda tax the insignificant issue that won't die

Sure wish the avalanche of folks weighing in on the Cook County soda tax would spend that time trying to end our criminal wars in 7 countries (that we know of), promoting a sustainable environment, working to reduce increasing income disparity between the economically desperate and the greedy rich, ending homophobia, xenophobia and sexism, than interfering with a sensible means of raising needed revenue while reducing consumption of a worthless, unhealthy food item.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Despite budget, Rauner still degrading life for Illinoisans in need

After nearly a thousand days, Gov. Rauner shows little inclination in helping Illinois' people in need, even with the recent budget passed over Rauner's heartless veto with help from responsible Republicans. 

Ponder state home health care workers, the poorest paid of all state employees at a near poverty level $13 bucks an hour. Rauner refuses to sign off on a measly 48 cent an hour increase authorized by the legislature but which Rauner has power to delay. This has prompted a lawsuit by the Service Employees International Union to force a guy who made $90,000 bucks an hour last year to throw a few crumbs at folks who add much more value to society than Governor Bruce. 

How bout social service programs for autism therapy, after school programs, immigrant integration assistance and burial for the poor. Many agencies providing these services cut back or closed entirely while Rauner promoted his businessman's holiday agenda. Rauner's signaled they will get less than the legislature's budget has authorized. Autism Program of Illinois closed its doors in June and will be hard pressed to function even if Rauner releases desperately needed funds. As former program director Russ Bonanno lamented, "I'm not sure what will come back. It's not like a light switch that you can cut off, then start up later expecting to pick up where we left off." 

Consider Illinois' staggering $15 billion bill backlog. Rauner has yet to issue bonds at lower interest rates to save $2 million a day in late payment penalties; $6 billion in savings overall. Rauner demands hundreds of millions in cuts, many affecting critical social services, before such borrowing. Delay cost since the budget passed? $120 million. 

How the governor sleeps at night escapes me. Apparently, you can lead Governor Rauner to a sensible budget serving the people....but you can't make him govern. 

Monday, September 11, 2017

US unleashes a daily 911 on Middle East, Africa

Sixteen years ago 19 bad guys mostly associated with our best weapons customer Saudi Arabia, flew four giant airplane bombs into American buildings killing nearly 3,000. In what may be the greatest example of transference in history, the US embarked on a 16 year long campaign of regime change and senseless bombing in 7 other countries that has killed hundreds of thousands, mostly innocents, along with a few potential bad guys. First stop on the President's Middle East trip this year? You guessed it...Saudi Arabia, where he lavished praise on the folks who publicly behead their own for such offenses as sorcery and don't let women drive cars. But he did ink a huge deal for more US WCD (Weapons of Civilian Destruction). The President got a Navy Seal killed in an idiotic raid in Yemen, the pitiful country we're helping the Saudis kill tens of thousands and provoke famine and the delightful cholera on millions. So when you remember the victims of 911 today, give a thought for the millions of people dead or suffering needlessly in the five thousand, eight hundred forty 911's we've exacted in revenge.