Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty

Jul. 2, 2013

When I was president, I announced and I still maintain that I can live with Roe v. Wade. I did everything I possibly could as president under that ruling, which I don't think ought to be changed, to minimize the need for abortions. I think every abortion is a result of a horrible series of errors on the part of people involved. (Former President, Jimmy Carter)

The Republican Party has a real problem on their hands. It is getting worse every day and they can't seem to do anything to stop it. The state-run Republican legislatures are systematically trying to circumvent the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision by making access to abortions and even women's reproductive services available in their states.

In Ohio, Governor John Kasich just signed a BUDGET with many draconian anti abortion laws written into the budget. The legislature threw the measures into the budget at the last minute with NO DEBATE on the floor of that state body. Kasich willingly and gleefully signed off on the budget and ALL the provisions with no line item vetos.

In Texas, Governor Rick Perry has recently called his second straight emergency session with the purpose of getting stringent abortion measures passed. Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis has become a national figure and official pain in Perry's ass with her recent 12-hour filibuster to thwart the first emergency session. Texas WILL get their draconian measures through this time out and successfully get 37 of the 42 state-run women's clinics closed. This WILL put Texas women at risk.

A bunch of states just had similar laws take effect in Alabama, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi and South Dakota.

Another in Montana, and part of a law in Alabama, would have started, but it was blocked by federal court in that state.

All of these were passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures and signed by their GOP governors.

What we are dealing with is the states doing what the congress and senate can not do. If congress were to successfully kill abortion, they would never win another national election.

I would think with women getting picked on systematically like African Americans and gays for the past half century, the Republicans would back off before losing yet another national voting block, women.

Rick Perry and John Kasich have been playing this conservative Red Meat game for so long, they know no other way to survive in politics. Both men are going to find their poll numbers dropping over the next year. They will be alarmed at how many women will jump ship on them and gravitate towards new candidates like Wendy Davis and other empowered women politicians.

The national re-branding effort is really failing so far. That is why we don't hear a peep from House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell about what is going on in the states. You don't see them launching or backing NATIONAL bills to circumvent the current abortion laws.

These are serious times with serious issues. The recent SCOTUS rulings on DOMA and Prop. 8 are definitely progressive and movement. The destruction of the Voting Rights Act sections that affect voter registration need to be corrected by the national congress.

The MOST important thing our government and Supreme Court must examine, is making a uniform abortion and reproductive ruling that will prohibit political bodies from making these decisions for political idealogical reasons. They may have thwarted blacks voting, but what about women? Hillary Clinton is a woman and the frontrunner for 2016. Good luck Republicans. You have screwed yourselves out of future black support and women are next.

Women's bodies are THEIR business and no governor should be able to tell a woman what she can and can't do when it comes to these rights. It has been the law of the land since 1973. Look it up.

Addendum: North Carolina's Republican-run legislature tacked anti-abortion ammendments to a "Sharia Law" bill. YES IT'S TRUE! They are ramroding this through. (7/3/2013)

Jun. 24, 2013

“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked,” he said. “That is why I accepted that position about three months ago.”
(Edward Snowden, June, 2013)

Look whatever you think. However you feel about what the U.S. has been doing to keep it's citizens safe, you must contend that Edward Snowden deliberately set out to expose his employer and his country after taking an oath.

I have a problem with this. I expect people who are entrusted to do their jobs and it affects my family, friends and my own personal safety to do that job in the secrecy they are supposed to do it in. Snowden was contracted by an important company and knowingly took an oath to protect THAT company and THIS country, while conspiring to expose the practices. 

If you steal a million dollars from your boss and give it all to a foodbank, does that make it right? Your purpose was noble (feed the poor), but your means are all screwed up. We don't live in Sherwood Forrest and Edward Snowden is NOT Robin Hood.

I have no problem that he is a follower of Ron Paul. I do have a problem with Snowden using his political leanings as a reason to break these laws and endanger his fellow citizens.

The man left the country. His father pleaded with him through the media NOT to divulge information that would put people in harms way. The fact that Putin went apeshit over the opportunity to stick it to the U.S., as well as China. This is BAD for us.

I'm sick to death of hearing 4th Amendment this, 4th Amendment that. I am much more concerned that my friends and family don't get blown up at a High School football game.

I would suggest taking a look at this episode for what it probably is. A crime.

If it were simply whistleblowing why would he run?

Also, did Mr. Snowden take into consideration that those two laptops with sensitive info that he stole may get confiscated by Russia, China, or whoever takes him in? Then what?

If this kid did this to become famous, I say well done young man. Well done.

Jun. 11, 2013

Spying, according to Websters Dictionary: 

  1. Work for an organization by secretly collecting information about enemies or competitors.
  2. Observe (someone) furtively.

Here are some examples of spying in America:

1. In the 1940's Alger Hiss, who had accompanied FDR to Yalta was imprisoned for espionage. This was the case that made Richard Nixon into a household name. Nixon with help of Time Magaine's Whitaker Chambers did a number on Hiss and he was imprisoned without being convicted for espionage. Hiss died in 1996 and it turns out through de-classified documents, he probably WAS a spy.

2. In the 1950's Julius & Ethel Rosenberg were convicted and sentenced to death for "Atomic Espionage." They too were guilty. They were executed in a very public and political case.

3. On May 1, 1960, a U-2 spy plane piloted by Francis Gary Powers was shot down near in the Soviet Union. This put a huge strain on U.S. - U.S.S.R. relations. The details surrounding this event are to this day still shrouded in mystery. Powers worked for the CIA and was convicted of espionage and sentenced to 3 years imprisonment and 7 years of hard labor. He only served 1 year 9 months and 9 days before being traded for the Soviet spy Colonel Rudolph Ivanovich Abel.


4. Daniel Ellsberg was a U.S. Military Analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers, a study of U.S. government decision-making in relation to the war in Vietnam. President Nixon went apeshit over this case (in 1970) and really put his political machine into action trying to smear Ellsberg, even raiding Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office.

5. Watergate (1972): President Nixon's administration was rocked to it's core for trying to bug the DNC in the Watergate building. Nixon wanted info on Ted Kennedy. The U.S. government was caught spying for the first time in this case. Nixon resigned and others went to prison.

6. Iran Contra (1987): More of a scandal with traces of spying to get info on Iran to gauge their willingness to dump hostages for arms. There were a lot of backchannel conversations between U.S. cels and Iran in this deal. The goal Reagan had was to arm the drug-dealing Contra rebels. Oy veh.

7. The NSA Leak. The jury is obviously out on this one, but it is hard to comprehend that over 1 million people in the U.S. knew about "Prism" for YEARS before Edward Snowden leaked the program. This thing is going to explode. ALL of the major tech companies are involved and have lied, just like the Bush and Obama administrations have since 2006. U.S. citizens have been spied on just as NON-U.S. citizens have been. There has been a 51% accuracy that U.S. citizens were or were not spied on by accident. According to Gizmodo.com: "The Protect America Act of 2007 made it possible for targets to be electronically surveilled without a warrant if they were "reasonably believed" to be foreign. That's where that 51% comes in. It was followed by the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, which immunized companies from legal harm for handing information over to the government. And that's the one-two punch that gives PRISM full legal standing."

What does this all mean?

The Constitution of the U.S. is really a bunch of BS in this Info Data/24-hour-Newscycle Age.

Our government always has done what it wants, despite a document that states otherwise. It doesn't matter if it is Obama, Nixon, Dracula, or Scooby Doo in the White House. The Senate Republican Senators like Lindsay Graham and John McCain are being VERY careful to play it down. Democratic California Senator Diane Feinstein has been so matter-of-fact about "Prism" and other murky programs, that most of America is confused.

Is this a scandal or the cost of doing business in America?
 

Jun. 4, 2013

(Let's update this post, which I first made in June...Via HuffPost: "Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Budget Committee whose office announced the action, will serve as lead plaintiff in the case, joining campaign-finance watchdogs Democracy 21, the Campaign Legal Center and Public Citizen.

The lawsuit will address one of the main concerns that surfaced with the recent IRS targeting controversy: Differences between federal law and the IRS rules on eligibility for 501(c)(4) candidates.") Like I've been saying for 3 months, this is NOT a scandal.....

 

From IRS.gov (1954 Tax Law regarding 501(c)(4) Tax Exempt Status for Organizations:

exclusively for the promotion of social welfare”

From IRS.gov (1959 Tax GUIDELINES regarding 501(c)(4) Tax Exempt Status for Organizations:

primarily for the promotion of social welfare”

This is the guideline the IRS has been following since 1959. Look most of us are ordinary Americans who do not read Tax Code and IRS Guidelines. We trust our elected representatives to do that and make laws accordingly. There is a HUGE difference between "EXCLUSIVELY" and 'PRIMARILY."

The only problem with that scenario is that no one seems to be reading the law as it was originally written in 1954. It was changed from "...if it is exclusively engaged in social welfare activities" to "if it is primarily engaged in social welfare activities" in 1959 not in the actual law, but rather in the IRS Guidelines.

Many political groups liberal and conservative have been abusing this law since 1959, gaining tax exempt status because the word "primarily" suggests that a group can also perform a minimum of Social Welfare activities and qualify for these tax ememptions.

The Tea Party and conservative organizations that were "targeted" by the IRS because their names contained conservative-friendly names should never have been given these exemptions in the first place. Organizing For America and the James Carville group should also be held accountable if they have been abusing this "IRS GUIDELINE."

ALSO...No one was denied these illegal exemptions by the IRS anyway.

So what do we have? We have 6 congressional hearings going on about this "SCANDAL." 

What a joke. We the people are paying our tax dollars to a government body to waste those tax dollars for hearings that should not even be going on.

Paul Ryan (R-WI) is a policy geek. He should know that this is an exercise in futility. Yet he chides his fellow congressmen in these hearings with a snide "Welcome to Washington."

Here is what needs to happen and SOON. No political organization should be given tax exemptions as a 501 (c)(4). These organizations are political, not for "Social Welfare."

Boys and girls, the jig is up!

Jun. 1, 2013

 I want a big funeral where people come and celebrate my life and talk about all the great things that I've done. Man, I gotta start doing some great things.
(From Alfred Hitchcock's "The Trouble With Harry")

Rand Paul wants in. The problem is only a small segment of America is interested in his Libertarian-based leanings. Some of his ideas like "...if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.” These ideas are very hard to swallow, based on the fact that the GOP NEEDS these to people to elect them.

Here is another Rand Paul gem: “I say not one penny more to countries that are burning our flag.” There are lots of future-voting immigrants AND American citizens who come from these countries. They will not be inclined to vote for men and women who say stuff like this.

If you spend ALL your time offending voters, it is very difficult to get them to back you in NATIONAL elections. 

Paul's foreign policies need some tweaking also. Paul: “Foreign terrorists do not deserve the protections of our Constitution ... These thugs should stand before military tribunals and be kept off American soil.” If you are Archie Bunker or Al Bundy, you will get a response. If you are a law-abiding NON-Tea Party voter, you will have a hard time swallowing this line of thought.

Paul was a leading opponent of Obama's "American Jobs Act." The GOP has done little or nothing about jobs except yell and scream, BUT Paul will say things like: “We need a Republican Party that shows up on the South side of Chicago and shouts at the top of our lungs, ‘We are the party of jobs and opportunity! The GOP is the ticket to the middle class." Very far from reality. The only thing Rand Paul has really done is tell us what we need. He has not really offered viable solutions.

We live in a country that is slowly changing. The rest of the world is embracing the VERY things President Obama has been slowly moving us towards, things like clean energy. There has been no friendlier president to Wall Street in hopes of reviving an economy that is NOW finally starting to show signs of life. Paul: 
“There is nothing conservative about bailing out Wall Street. Likewise, there is nothing progressive about billion dollar loans to millionaires to build solar panels.”


Mr. Paul is excellent at throwing the RED MEAT to his believers. Now it is time for him to show he can compromise with Democrats and do some things that Americans can actually take notice of. Maybe some things that would actually allow people in Blue States like California and Vermont to take a serious look at a 2013-ish Republican. So far, no one has done anything at their job on the right side of the aisle to make Democrats want to vote for them.

Just a thought for Republicans who SERIOUSLY want a shot at the White House.