Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty

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.

Apr. 12, 2013

"Don't hate on me boy if you do get down. Come from under my shirt try to lift you off the ground"
                       Lil Wayne "Young Playa"


Whether Kim Jong Un can nuke the west or the east off the face of the earth is not really the question that needs to be answered. The world will have to decide pretty soon if this 30-year-old dictator deserves "respect."

He has exhibited his bad intentions to us with sharp rhetoric and made his own people suffer. We DO notice this stuff.

Four of the generals who were pall bearers at his father's funeral disappeared. Another general was strapped with explosives (in public) and detonated to the horror of the witnesses.

This Man-Boy obviously is doing his best to be taken seriously by the world community. He also has his vulnerable side. He did host Dennis Rodman and the Harlem Globetrotters and acted like a little kid in front of his hero, crazy Dennis. Jong Un was a 90's Bulls fan and a Michael Jordan fan, just like President Barack Obama.

Secretary of State John Kerry needs to find a way to reach this leader and find some kind of common ground. 

China has a lot riding on the outcome. They do not want South Korea and North Korea to unite. If the U.S. helps South Korea with a lot of advanced weapons, there will be a lot of consternation from China and North Korea.

I certainly have no qualifications when it comes to international relations, but common sense tells me that Kerry will make it known to all three that the U.S. COULD do this if America had to and that wouldn't be beneficial this region at all.

Look for representatives to make a deal by back channel and in secrecy without a lot of fanfare.

Kin Jong Un is being taken seriously by everybody involved and looks to have achieved his purpose. By jumping up and down like a little kid and threatening the world, he is a "Playa."

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.