Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty

May. 4, 2013

Astair & Rogers, Abbott & Costello, Lennon & McCartney AND Reinhart & Rogoff. What do all these pairs have in common?

Each of these twosomes contributed something in their field that was lauded and praised by the general public. Each of these teams excelled in their fields and are accepted as the top of their professions.


Most people do not have the vaguest idea who Reinhart and Rogoff are. Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff are Harvard economists who provided an economic study that argues that higher public debt slows down economic growth when the GDP rises above a 90% threshold.  Reinhart and Rogoff did the work and because 99% of us have no idea how the economy actually works, their findings were pretty much taken as gospel.

Uh oh. Umass did it's own study. 28-year-old grad student Thomas Herndon and his two economics professors, Michael Ash and Robert Pollin actually took Reinhart and Rogoff's acclaimed and accepted study and ran the numbers several times and were NOT able to reproduce Reinhart and Rogoff's results. Herndon called the famous pair and asked them to provide him with their spreadsheet. Uh oh. Reinhart and Rogoff's spreadsheet had 5 missing columns. Five countries, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, and Canada–were removed and...

The NEW numbers with the PROPER GDP Growth (example Spain was corrected from 2.8% to the CORRECT 2.2%) completely debunked the Harvard study. Why do you ask am I making such a big deal out of this debunked study?

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) has been touting the Harvard study since 2011 and making it the basis for the spending cuts and current Sequester that is slowly dragging our economy down even further. Boehner and McConnell are also guilty of using the findings of this study to govern.

The Congressional Republicans have had little good news in the past five years. They erroneously thought this Harvard study legitimized the austerity they so want to impose on American citizens, based on THEIR idealogy. This isn't what is best for everyone and the majority AND the weak, who cannot defend themselves.

This REALLY pisses me off. Paul Ryan is a jerk to not even try to do anything to help his citizens. We get bogus budgets from this guy and his bullshit committee every year. Obama can't even get his budget to congress without Ryan shitting all over it.

This is no way to govern. The GOP is making itself obsolete. I am starting to hope that Hillary Clinton DOES run in 2016. It will really be over for this 'PARTY" then. She has a lot of old scores to settle and she will.

I say keep ignoring the will and desire of the public GOP. This latest "Background Check" fiasco is just the start of the polls sinking lower and lower. Republican Senators Kelly Ayotte and Jeff Flake were politically stupid to blindly follow the NRA on this watered-down garbage bill that Manchin & Toomey tried to get passed in bi-partisan fashion. The poll numbers for a lot of the senators who voted against background checks are sinking. GOP PA Senator Pat Toomey went UP five points after co-sponsering the bill with Democrat Joe Manchin. Hey Republicans...Wake the fuck up.

There will be so much happening this spring and summer with Syria, Iran, Isreal and the U.S. Congress, it will be hard to keep track of the scorecard. 

Rest assured. We will keep track and burn the GOP house down in the next two election cycles.

Much credit and love to 28-year-old Thomas Herndon and his two professors. They did themselves and their country proud on this one.

Apr. 25, 2013

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner”
          (from 'Dirty Dancing' 1987)

America gave Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev refuge, a chance to be educated, make a living and raise their own families. America got a slap in the face and spit on in return by the two Chechnyan-born young men, who may have been on their way to New York's Time Square for more mayhem.

Their mother can cry all she wants that her babies were framed. Alex Jones and the right wing media can start to spew out garbage of a conspiracy by the government, but the facts are coming out every minute that goes by that shows otherwise.

Most U.S. citizens know what is really going on. They see the facts all coming to light in all sorts of media outlets and have their own feelings on the subject.

The people can see for themselves the evidence and the damage that has been done. We can watch victims go on TV in hospital press conferences and speak plainly as to what they are going through.

Contrast the victims with the mother getting interviewed and crying that they"were framed." The evidence, including the younger suspect's own words state otherwise. I don't feel sorry for her losing her oldest terrorist son and I don't feel sorry for what will happen legally to her younger son.

I do feel sorry for the Campbells, Richards and the Chinese family of Lu Lingzi who were killed. I also feel for Sean Collier's family, the MIT Security officer killed in a shootout with the Tsarnaev brothers. The living victims, who have lost limbs, should be celebrated for their positive attitudes and courage.

The mother has been tied to some radical ideas in British newspapers. It is possible she indirectly had something to do with this herself, according to the 'Daily Mail' newspaper in England.

Who do we believe?

We believe our own common sense, once there are enough facts. We are getting close to that point. The video doesn't lie. They have the Tsarnaev brothers on tape with ther backpacks JUST before the explosions. They have an eye witness who looked suspect #2 in the eye as he placed the backpack down that exploded just a moment or so later. They have the younger Tsarnaev writing down basically a confession in his hospital bed.

It will be very difficult with American citizens to sympathize with any stated possible motives like our current and recently past wars. We are not at war with Chechnya. Whatever radical activism these two were involved with are hard to reconcile with their actions.

 Nobody puts "America" in a corner. We can make up our own minds, based on the facts.

Apr. 22, 2013

"Greatness. It comes in many forms, sometimes it comes in the form of sacrifice - that's the loneliest form."
                  (From "The Contender," 2000)

What have members of the U.S. Senate sacrificed lately? What great pain have the senators who voted against "Background Checks," which may the MOST watered down legislation brought to that chamber in years, had to experience?

The answer to that question may escalate as time goes on. American politics are changing. The very powerful lobbyists who have ruled the roost for decades are systematically being exposed by activists and LEFTWING lobbyists like Michael Bloomberg.

Why Mike Bloomberg? He will leave office as mayor of New York soon and needs something to do with his extra millions. He wants to leave his mark and HE CAN. I am sold that this guy wants to do good and he knows he is too old to run for president and America may not be ready for Mr. Bloomberg as Commander In Chief.

The parents of those murdered children in Newtown are becoming a powerful force of their own. These are upper economic folks who a year ago were raising their young families. Newtown has changed all that. They now have a higher purpose in life. These angered parents do not want the deaths of their 6-7-year-olds to be for nothing. They have come to Washington to make a difference in the fight for gun control legislation. They have found a willing partner.

They have bonded with President Obama and he listens to them and advises them on how to take on the system. Obama apparently wants to piece-by-piece, dismantle to the powerful gun lobby by using the will of the people. It is VERY ambitious, but he obviously thinks by using his bully pulpit, he can travel the land and spread the word.

This is a painful and slow process. Obama most likely knew that the "Background Check" bill was sketchy with the amount of money pouring into the few Democrats states who are "Gun-Loving." Smaller states like Montana are VERY Pro Gun Rights states and Obama actually used the word "lie" when referring to the gun lobby stating "Facts" that were skewed about the actual background checks.

It is easy to see why Obama is upset. The NRA took out ads stating that this bill would lead to a "Gun Registry." In fact the bill had it written into the text that there would be "NO GUN REGISTRY." The NRA and it's partner gun manufacturers (THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY FUND THE NRA) lied and got away with it.

I wonder how many of the senators who voted against this bill actually read the background checks bill?

Now after the Boston Marathon bombings, Iowa GOP Senator, Charles Grassley and Kentucky GOP SEnator Rand Paul are linking the two Chechnyan former nationals as a link to the current Immigration Reform legislation. Paul saying that these implanted Chechnyans are a good example why a Path to Citizenship for immigrants should be re-thought.

The Republican Party finds more ways to make them obsolete and will continue to lose national elections. They KNOW they have to include the Latino community in the equation or they will never get the votes to win the presidency. Grassley and Paul are idiots. Aside from the nearly 3,000 people we tragically lost on Nine Eleven, we have now lost a total of three more in the Boston bombing. Grassley and Paul could be spearheading a movement that will set their party back MANY MORE YEARS.

While I understand President Obama's condemnation of the senate for their lack of legislative common sense (Polls range from 80-90% support of background checks), he knows that state by state THOSE legislatures are doing gun reform themselves.

It is a slower process, but in the end WILL be the way it happens. THEN congress will act. As each state makes gun reform the law of the land, the U.S. Congress will have to catch up.

On the converse end, the Republican-Run legislatures are making abortion impossible by shutting down health clinics where abortions are performed. Until a case comes to the U.S. Supreme Court where the COURT makes this practice illegal, it will keep happening and even though Roe V Wade is the law of the land, the Red States have found a way to go around the constiution.

American politics is a mess!

Apr. 19, 2013

What do we know and what are we guessing about this terror attack on the 2013 Boston Marathon?

Two young men originally from Chechnya were the main suspects. The older brother Tamerlin Tsarnaev (age 26) had traveled to Moscow in 2012. Both brothers had been in the U.S. for nearly a decade and the younger brother Dzhokar (age 19) became a U.S. Naturalized citizen on September 11, 2012.

Many counter terrorism experts have claimed for many years that there were several cels all over America going to schools, working jobs and becoming ingrained in neighborhoods throughout the country.

These people are trained and learn on the Internet how to become destructive. Basically when the time is right, these members of U.S. society become "Activated" as terrorists and look to commit maximum damage, such as the Boston Marathon bombing. 

Tamerlin Tsarnaev died in a shootout wearing a bomb on his chest (an Al Queda characteristic). He was shot in a shootout with Boston police after killing a security officer at MIT. His brother was in the stolen Mercedez SUV they carjacked at the time and gunned the engine running over his dead brother. I am guessing that these are suicide bombers who were willing to die, as most Al Queda terrorists in the past.

The scary moral to this story is the fact that among our fellow citizens could be many Al Queda cels and others. There is a Chechnian connection dating back to 2001. Al Waki, who was killed by a drone in 2011 had a strong connection to Chechnya and their plight.

No one took credit for the Boston bombings, which is even scarier. We don't know WHY? We can guess, but we have no real facts.

There are likely more suspects to be found in this bombing. Someone was an accessory to these bombings. Time will tell.

Apr. 16, 2013

"God bless America/Land that I love/Stand beside her/And Guide Her/Thru the night with a light from above"
                      "God Bless America" Irving Berlin, 1918, 1938

"God Bless America" is sung during the 7th inning stretch at every major league ballpark in America. It has been the practice since September 11, 2001.

Some things in America have changed. Some things haven't.

America has become a nation of crisis. We go from crisis to crisis and that is what our money-generated media focuses on and YES, capitalizes on. Our fellow "News Junkies" have become addicted to the 24-hour news cycle so much that the ratings go crazy during a crisis so much that cable news keeps repeating the shows late into the night.


On April 15 at 9:00pm I was curious to see if the regular networks continued to carry coverage of the tragic bombing at the Boston Maraton. Nope. The networks went into their regular programming. If you wanted, you could still watch "Dancing With The Stars." The other networks had their regular shows on also.

Is this good, bad, or are you indifferent at this point?

The bottom line is cable news is there for us "Need To Know" types. Everyone else can get their entertainment in their usual spots. It doesn't make you less patriotic to NOT watch the Boston Terror Attack late into the night.

The numbing news-driven tragedy structure in America is in full swing and it has carried over into the political landscape. We care more about Gun Control Legislation (pro or con). It is played up on all the news channels and is a highly-charged story that keeps going, mostly because of continued activism by our President and the families of Newtown.

It is all getting lumped into one big change in America. People are better informed on how our government works and how we track terrorists down. We care more about this stuff. 

I feel we are a little less unresponsive. Americans really let the last administration take us into Iraq and seemed helpless to stop it. Our fellow citizens seem to be a little more active in this social media age. People call, use FaceBook and Twitter when they want change to happen.

It is quite astonishing to see this turnabout in our people. Regardless of political leanings, people are speaking out when they are pissed. This is a good thing.

Things have changed in America and I think for the better.