I am a progressive liberal because I was taught to have compassion...

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs, who, however, has never learned to walk forward.
A liberal is a man who uses his legs and his hands at the behest ... of his head." - Franklin D Roosevelt

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

G.O.P. Hypocrisy: Contraception Mandate in the Health Care Law

With passage of the Affordable Healthcare Law, certain provisions of the law will be enacted soon.  One of these that is causing great "concern" within the G.O.P. is the mandate concerning contraception.

But - is this a real issue within the G.O.P.?  Or just more fake outrage?

Hmm...upon further review, this G.O.P. outrage seems more like a right-wing dog whistle than actual concern for the rights of Catholics...just sayin'.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Are Willard (Mitt) Romney's Claims Of Credit For 2002 Olympics' Success Hypocritical?

G.O.P. Candidate (again) for President of the United States, Willard (Mitt) Romney claims credit for success of the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.  In fact, it appears its one of the pillars of his "qualifications" to be Commander-In-Chief.

But is this claim just more GOPocrisy?  More Mitt Romney flip-floppery?

It certainly is a topic of discussion that has taken hold recently.  And with Mitt Romney losing ground to Rick Santorum, its a topic that can't help his efforts.

I found this article in the Boston Herald.  Their headline reads, "Mitt Romney says he turned around Olympics.  Did he?"  Well before we dive right into the whole messy deal, I would like to offer my answer: "Yes, I think he did."  BUT - that is not why I am posting about this.  Rather, I would like to focus on Mitt Romney's hypocritical position on Federal hand-outs (my term, not his).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Facebook - Battleground For America's Soul

When I first joined Facebook (summer of 2009), I wrote in the "About Me" section that I was dragged, kicking and screaming to Facebook and that it was the devil and would melt my brain.

(image is licensed by WikiMedia's Creative Commons License)

Little did I know how close to the truth I was - except it hasn't melted my brain, it's melted America's (collective) brain.  And as far as Facebook being the devil, one can certainly argue that like heaven and hell, Facebook is the battleground for America's soul.  For instead of being a social meeting place to keep up with old school chums, show off pictures of your dog and your kids, it's now a semi-anonymous platform for people to espouse hateful things that I doubt they'd otherwise say in person if confronted by those they attack.

I'd like to share 3 instances I've seen via my Facebook "wall".  One is a photo a "friend" shared.  Another is a conversation initiated by the national television morning show, Today Show.  And the third is the President of the United State's Facebook wall.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Who Will Run Against Aaron Schock In The Race For Illinois' 18th Congressional District?

The 18th Congressional District of the State of Illinois has certainly had a long and storied history.  Since I've been alive, this district has been represented by 3 men: Rep. Bob Michael from 1957-1995 (House Minority Leader from 1981-1995), Rep. Ray LaHood from 1995-2009 (Current U.S. Secretary of Transportation since 2009), and since 2009, Rep. Aaron Schock - someone who, in my opinion, has not represented this district with the distinction his predecessors have.

(image is licensed under WikiMedia's Creative Commons license)
This November 2012, will see another historic election.  Not just in the sense of being able to re-elect the country's first black president, but also in the sense of the Democratic Party (not Democrat party) having the real potential to win back the U.S. House of Representatives.  And even though Illinois' 18th Congressional District has long been Republican-leaning, I believe this fall it stands a good chance of "turning blue".  But for that to happen, Rep. Aaron Schock needs to be voted out of office.  And for THAT to happen, takes organization, support, and a certain amount of excitement.  

Do the current declared Democrat candidates have what it takes?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Facebook Friends And Mitt Romney In Favor Of Drug-Testing Welfare Recipients

I have, in the past, argued with “friends” on Facebook against the idea of drug testing welfare recipients.  My assertion has been that, constitutionally-speaking, it’s wrong.  Worse yet, it’s racism.  And if it’s not racism, then its AT LEAST discrimination against the poor.  My personal belief is that people still unfairly associate welfare with minorities; therefore, the attack on welfare recipients is an attack on minorities.
(image is licensed under WikiMedia Creative Commons License)

And now, Republican candidate for President, Willard (Mitt) Romney, has indicated he is in favor of testing ANYONE who receives government funds.  The context, of course, was that he agrees with Florida's law to drug-test welfare recipients.  In agreeing with that policy though, he included anyone receiving government funds:

But I digress.  Back to drug testing welfare recipients.

The state of Florida passed a law mandating welfare recipients be tested for illegal drugs in their system.  This has resulted in 2% of those recipients being tested positive and loosing benefits. TWO PERCENT.  The overall rate of drug use in Florida is 8%.  EIGHT PERCENT.  Therefore, the argument that welfare recipients are more likely to abuse drugs is just false…an attempt to demonize the poor.

Of course, in Florida’s case, it can be argued that there are improprieties with that state’s governor having ownership in a drug testing company that provides the testing.  Similar to the accusations of Arizona’s governor having a financial stake in the privatized prison system, therefore having a financial interest in the passage SB1070.

Now drug testing welfare recipients legislation has been introduced in other states too: Hawaii, Indiana, to name a few.  However, I have not noticed the same fevered push to drug test other recipients of government funds.  Congress is not mandated to be drug tested.  None of the bailed out banks were required to be drug tested.  Where is the fairness in that?  If the argument is that anyone receiving government assistance should have to be drug tested to make sure they aren’t using government money for drugs, then EVERYONE who receives any money from the government should have to be tested.

Yes, I am aware that some will argue that reason for the low percentage of welfare recipients who test positive in Florida is because the law itself dissuades recipients from filing in the first place.  REALLY?  Do these people who argue this point really believe that argument?  If I have no job, no source of income or assistance, am I going to decide to keep using drugs I cannot afford to purchase since I have no income or assistance, opting to not receive those benefits just to keep using the drugs I cannot afford?  Explain the logic!  I saw one very informed observer breakdown the numbers even further (unsubstantiated): The 2% of Floridians who fail (and loose benefits) save the state $48,200 per person per year.  Multiply that by the 38 people who failed and that equals $1.83 million.  Seems significant, doesn’t it?  UNTIL you learn that the cost of administrating the policy/program is $178 million.  So much for saving money for the tax-payers of Florida, huh?

(image is licensed under Wikimedia Creative Commons license)

So setting aside the “fairness” issue of drug testing welfare recipients, the next time you “like” a Facebook post or page about “mandatory drug testing for all welfare recipients”, ask yourself why you think it’s really a good idea.  You may not like the answer you come up with if you’re honest because it really has nothing to do with saving your tax dollars and more to do with the opening paragraph of this article.