Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty

Apr. 10, 2013

Is Mitch McConnell Right?

Is Mitch McConnell right? We all know he is slanted far to the right in the U.S. Senate. The House Minority leader is likely a slime bag, just like MOST of his brethren in Congress.

Does David Corn’s revelations about the dirty practices INSIDE the McConnell campaign on how to deal with a possible Ashley Judd senate run deserve a full airing in public? The answer is somewhere between yes and no. Since someone saw fit to record the private conversations inside of a tactics meeting and let Corn (of Mother Jones magazine) have the recordings, it is a news story.

As for McConnell, he tried to deflect the story by saying that his office was bugged by the left wing media or left-leaning politicians. This is highly unlikely since it has now been revealed that the office was swept and nothing was found.

For McConnell to call this “bugging” NIXONIAN is a laugh. Nixon WAS a fellow Republican.

Okay…This is where I will take heat from MY fellow left-leaning compatriots. I think it was wrong for someone in McConnell’s campaign to tape this INNER CIRCLE stuff in the first place. AND to release it to the media. Terrible. I don’t give a rats ass what they said in that meeting.

Everything they discussed was revealed by Ashley Judd herself. She frigging wrote about this stuff in her book. There are numerous audio and video tapes where she discusses her 3 rapes and her religious views. Of course McConnell is going to pipe in. He was there. Is it fair for those inner circle discussions to be aired publicly?

If I were McConnell I would have said: ‘These were private discussions among my campaign staff and already in the public domain.’ McConnell hit the panic button and deflected it by calling it “Nixonian” and alluding to someone’s tweet about the “Ethnicity” of his wife.

David Corn is a brilliant journalist, who helped us lefties seal the deal in the 2012 election for Obama with the infamous “47%” video that Scott Prouty recorded. Prouty was NOT told that he couldn’t tape anything. I am assuming that employees of a political campaign know it is wrong to secretly record audio of tactics in a planning meeting.

As president Obama has often said “That is not who we are.” Or is it?

Apr. 9, 2013

 "It's a question of methods. Everybody wants results, but nobody wants to do what they have to do to get them done"
                            Clint Eastwood (Sudden Impact)

I know that people kill people and the guns are just a tool, but profits cannot be more important than our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It was very distressing to watch Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stand on the U.S. Senate floor and have to beg his fellow senators to allow a debate on Gun Control legislation. Many GOP Senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have threatened a Silent Filibuster.  This "Political Stunt," as President Obama calls it wouldn't even be possible if Reid himself had done what was in his power to do at the beginning of the year.

Reid cut a deal with McConnell that would keep the current filibuster in tact and allow this procedure, which appears NOT to be in the best interest of American citizens.

Most of our citizens are not aware how our government works. The real down and out dirty politics. We all just assume that government doesn't work and we leave it at that.

It takes political courage to take on the NRA. President Obama has no more elections to win. He is now into his second and final term as our president and he has a lot of issues to tackle before he leaves office in January, 2017.

He has called Newtown his "Worst Day" as president and he obviously cares deeply for the families who lost loved ones and the thousands since who have needlessly died in gun violence.

America has a gun problem.  The polls have shown that 90% of Americans want "Background Checks" for gun purchases accross the board. This is a fact. The Republicans are not disputing this fact. There are several Senators and Congressmen and women who are sticking nwith the NRA, who once (in 1999) said there SHOULD be background checks.

Why would Wayne Lapierre announce the NRA was in favor of background checks in 1999 after the Columbine shootings and do a 180% turn in 2013 after Sandy Hook?

May I suggest Mr. Lapierre was told by the gun manufacturers who made it clear to him that there will not be any gun restrictions in America? Why else would Lapierre go on Fox News and tell Megyn Kelly that "Anyone who knows about guns" knows that 30-round gun clips, or 10-round gun clips wouldn't have saved lives at Sandy Hook.

We live in an age where there is SO MUCH is just stated as fact everywhere that our fellow citizens are easily confused by our politicians changing stances.

Here is an example. Several weeks back Arizona Senator John McCain stated in front of Town Hall goers in Arizona that "Assualt Weapons" legislation would have "No Chance" passing through congress. McCain said this right to a woman who lost her son at the Aroura Colorado mass shooting from last summer. This same John McCain on April 7th said "We should at least have the debate" in the senate. He made himself look politically more palatable by making this statement, knowing full well that his Town Hall statement will do lesss political damage to him nationally. These guys are real pieces of work. 

There are plenty of Congressional Democrats who are equally as slimy. Politicians usually pay attention to polling, but when it comes to Gun Control Legislation they follow the money. It is NOT the NRA money we should be concerned about, it is the gun manufacturers that sink millions to the NRA and gun-friendly congress members annually.

Here is a quote from "The Nation" (December, 2012) that really explains:

"In reality, the NRA is composed of half a dozen legal entities; some designed to run undisclosed attack ads in political campaigns, others to lobby and collect tens of millions in undisclosed, tax-deductible sums. This power has only been enhanced in the era of Citizens United, with large GOP donors in the last election reportedly funneling money to the NRA simply to use the group as a brand to pummel Democrats with nasty ads. (As The Huffington Post’s Peter Stone reported, even the Koch network now provides an undisclosed amount to the NRA.)"

So if we follow the money, we don't JUST blame the NRA, we have to hold the manufacturers responsible for NOT policing themselves. Look, even the cigarette industry runs TV ads stating the fact that smoking is bad for everyone.

Right leaning politicians have no problems protecting the life of the unborn, but when it comes to guns and this epidemic of gun violence in America, the money is far too abundant. It is easy to scare people into thinking (wrongfully) that Obama is coming for all of your guns. It is simply not true. Obama and Senator Diane Feinstein are just trying to get weapons that are meant for the battlefield and the ammo clips off the streets, so people who shouldn't have them can use them for evil purposes.

This may be our only chance to move the needle on this. I personally detest guns, but totslly defend people's right to protect their homes and loved ones, but that does not mean that everyone should have them. Gangs on our city streets are not considered a "well-regulated militia." Crazy kids with a bad home life do not need to be able to shoot 154 rounds in 5 minutes at a grade school. 

Amendment II. A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Apr. 5, 2013

Americans LOVE fast foods. Micky D's, Burger King, KFC, Papa Johns..You name it, people go there and a lot of our fellow citizens with advanced degrees from our major universities work there for $7.25 an hour ($15K-per-year).

The Sequester that our government just let happen is going to cost our fellow citizens 750,000 MORE jobs.

On "Mainstreet": The results of the March Jobs Report are in and our shit is fucked! 496,000 former workers left the job force because they couldn't find work, etc...Unemployment is down to 7.6, but that number is misleading because the number of people eligible to be working or looking for work dropped to 63.3%, the lowest since 1979.

Meanwhile on "Wall Street": Stocks are back UP to pre-crash numbers. I have been watching the Dow Jones soar SINCE the election. It has steadily gone up.

What does that tell us?

Well...Non-farm payrolls have gone up half a million jobs since January 1, 2013. There are plenty of former executives and college graduates working at Burger King, McDonalds and KFC at minimum wage. The average age of a fast food worker is men (28yo) and women (32yo). 

The retail sector lost almost 25,000 jobs, possibly an effect of the payroll-tax hike that was part of the "fiscal cliff" settlement at the beginning of the year.

On Thursday April 4, 2013 many east coast fast food workers risked getting fired by going out on strike to protest low wages and poor working conditions.

We need solutions. 

Okay, let's start with a company like Yum Yum Corporation. They OWN the franchises of KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza hut. They franchise their stores to smaller groups of people all over the country and world who own these franchised stores. So each store is owned by a mom and pop or investment partners. These OWNERS pay their staff as little as possible. Most employees are minimum wage earners ($7.25-per hour). The MAIN company is off the hook, because while the menus are set at "Franchise Prices" and the parent company reaps huge profits, the smaller franchised stores may not make as much so the labor force pays the price.

The average MW worker makes $15,000 per year. If they are paying $12,000 in rent, their shit is fucked. They must have a second MW job just to have pocket money.

My solution is two-fold, raise the minimum wage by $2.00 AND incentivize these BIGGER PARENT COMPANIES with nice tax breaks to offset a $1-per hour pay raise accross the board. If the parent company kicks in $1-per hour and the government does the right thing and help these people get caught up with cost of living in America, then our society will be adjusting to the fact that MANY more people are shifting towards these unsourceable low wage earning jobs that are now the new normal in America.

For my right wing alarmists, please note that The Fed has been trying to stimulate the economy, buying $85 billion in bonds each month to lower the longer-term interest rates. They will continue this practice until it sees substantial improvement in the labor market.

My solutions are not perfect. They are just a starting point for dinner table discussions. I'd love to hear people in Washington have this discussion in a real way. They will be forced to if this movement gains any traction. Many low wage earning jobs are at fast food places that cannot be outsourced to China or Taiwan. These jobs are in YOUR local neighborhoods. These workers are paid $7.25 and are burning out, leaving the workforce and whittling the middle class even lower and lower on a daily basis.

Something to think about.

Mar. 28, 2013

Guns are NOT the problem. The people who shoot them are AND the people who enable murderers are the problem in my opinion. This is MY opinion. These are not facts.

First...A few important questions:

If not now, when? If not us, who?

Who are we and when will we be heard by the people we pay to represent all of us?

How do we get through to them?

These are good questions that deserve answers.

Telephones, computers, letters and showing up to town halls are probably the ONLY way congress will pay attention to ordinary people, more so than lobbyists who are well-paid to mold opinions of our lawmakers with cash.

What if Mayor Bloomberg spent some of his millions on putting together a competing organization with the NRA? Don't laugh...He is spending a lot of money to run ads against measures the NRA abhors. Bloomberg could organize his own lobby and fill it with sensible people who will protect the 2nd Amendment AND have enough citizens on board who REALLY will be accutely aware of the REAL climate our country faces.

Protection, hunting animals and target practice are all reasonable uses for guns and legal. People hunting other PEOPLE is NOT a good thing for anyone.

I really like this idea of a competing organization. Maybe it is nutty, but possible to knock the NRA off it's perch as "THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN." Someone can hopefully take most members away from the NRA with a well-organized gun organization that really cares about all Americans. This new organization would have sensible leaders who would do the best thing for the citizens of our country and NOT the gun manufacturers who have the NRA and many of our best and brightest representatives in their back pockets.

All I ask is that you THINK about it yourselves. An idea is worthless if it is not at least explored.

I will send this out to as many people as I can reach. At least I'm willing to play the fool in a public way and take a stand.

Mar. 22, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama knows how to give a speech. The Israeli people now know this first hand, as Obama was able to turn a heckler's heckles into a standing ovation during his speech at an Israeli university 3/21/2013.

He then went on to make points about the necessity of a two-state solution that would have surely been derided if the speech had been made on U.S. soil.

The President used political tactics that would normally seem risky, but he knew that these people would listen and respond to having them put themselves in the Palestinians shoes. Brilliant! Obama mentioned that he had spoke to some Palestinian youths just before his speech at the Israeli university. Obama said the youths reminded him of his own two daughters Sasha and Malia.

Obama has a knack for humanizing international politics. He was able to "INCLUDE" the Israelis into his inner circle. The Nobel Peace Prize winner was inclusive and stern in his plea for the Israelis to accept Palestinians as human beings just like them. Bibi Netanyahu could not have been surprised or happy with Obama's popularity with these sentiments. 

This is way bigger than the moment. This speech will be looked back on by the international community for decades. U.S. Presidents have not been this active in Israel for many years. This was a big deal and now American Jews will take notice that Obama is THEIR friend too.

This was a speech about humasn politics NOT military strength. It was empowering and inspiring to a willing audience.

Bottom line is Mr. Obama did an end around and now has many more fans. He truly is an international rock star on a stage that really needs one.