31 August 2004

Don't be economic girlie men!

According to the Gropeinator, happy days are here again. Anybody can be a star, well, some small miniscule number, and the rest of you all suck. And if you are affluent, no kidding, things are looking rosy.
There is another way you can tell you're a Republican. You have faith in free enterprise, faith in the resourcefulness of the American people ... and faith in the U.S. economy. To those critics who are so pessimistic about our economy, I say: "Don't be economic girlie men!"

The U.S. economy remains the envy of the world. We have the highest economic growth of any of the world's major industrialized nations. Don't you remember the pessimism of 20 years ago when the critics said Japan and Germany were overtaking the U.S.? Ridiculous!

Now they say India and China are overtaking us. Don't you believe it! We may hit a few bumps — but America always moves ahead! That's what Americans do!

We move prosperity ahead. We move freedom ahead. We move people ahead. Under President Bush and Vice President Cheney, America's economy is moving ahead in spite of a recession they inherited and in spite of the attack on our homeland.

But we're going to move ahead because we're Americans and some magic will appear. And the economy is "moving ahead". Yes, hollywood movie stars. Is there anything they don't know?

Let's not forget that Bush is going to be the first president since Herbert Hoover to end a term with a net reduction in jobs, over one million gone. All the while, the traveling set that fund and keep company with Arnold, George, Dick and Ken fatten their coffers.

What, you mean you're not a CEO enjoying a 22% raise? Meanwhile, the ranks of those in poverty grew 4% and the number of Americans without health care increased 1.4 million. Nearly 1 in 5 children grow up in poverty now. I guess they're all girlie-girls and girlie-boys.

30 August 2004

The story of Congressman Ed Schrock

While festivities get started at the Republican convention in New York a Republican congressman in Virginia exits his post after startling revealations surface.
Congressman Ed Schrock has made a habit of rendezvousing with gay men via the MegaMates/ MegaPhone Line, an interactive telephone service on which men place ads and respond to those ads to meet each other. What makes this story more amazing? Congressman Schrock not only voted for the homophobic Marriage Protection Act, but he also signed on as a CO-SPONSOR of the Federal Marriage Amendment!

Ed Schrock has a voting record that the most right wing conservative would be proud of. The Christian Coalition gave him a 92% rating in their 2003 voting guide.

Other news outlets have been less forthright on the ScHrOCKING news, failing to note the content of the allegations behind his resignation.

If you can stomach it, here is the audio of a phone call Schrock made in one his rendezvous attempts.

Your legislators hard at work.

18 August 2004

Are you better off than you were four years ago?

The quadrennial question.
Watching the presidential campaign unfold, I fear that something Ronald Reagan, David Gergen and I did 24 years ago may have armed Senator John Kerry with a potentially lethal rhetorical weapon. While helping Mr. Reagan prepare for his debate with President Jimmy Carter, we came up with what was probably the most devastating line Mr. Reagan used against Mr. Carter: "Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Perhaps a better question is whether or not the next four years under Bush or Kerry will be better or not for your children.

3 August 2004

How to Win my Vote

After penning my last piece, I sought to discover how the candidates in my Congressional district felt about the issue. Republican Rick Murphy's campaign to unseat incumbant Trent Franks seems to be motivated purely by intense dissatisfaction with Franks. And he is on target, considering that it was once the seat of Bob Stump, who did Arizona conservatives proud. Bob Stump fought the good fight for American high tech workers:
The government has identified fraud in the program and there is no compelling evidence of a labor shortage. High-tech firms laid off more than 140,000 Americans last year while simultaneously lobbying Congress to increase the H-IB cap. I am also troubled by reports of age discrimination against middle-aged American computer programers. I believe the high demand reflects a preference for foreign workers and the cheaper foreign labor H-1B visa holders represent.

Franks has sold out to corporate interests, as his vote for the flawed Medicare prescription drug program indicates, at least according to Mr. Murphy.

What about the Democratic contenders?

Gene Scharer is on the right page but he wasn't even mentioned in a recent Arizona Republic district 2 Democrat roundup endorsement.

Globalization is indeed a fact of life and our participation in NAFTA and the WTO has contributed to this situation. The jury is still out on whether or not globalization will ever hold any benefits for Americans. However, it is clear that in the short-run we have a huge and growing negative balance of trade and that jobs are now one of our biggest exports. We have been losing manufacturing jobs to Central and South America and Asia for some time and wages and benefits in the U.S. have been depressed by it. The latest trend is to move professional and financial services to India where there is a large, well-educated, English-speaking population who are willing to work for about one-fourth the pay. Adding insult to injury, the IRS is now outsourcing the processing of our tax returns to India. While we have been asked to show our patriotism by flying the flag, many American corporations and our GOP-controlled Congress have shown no allegiance to us.

I suppose talk like Scharer's can get you banned from the anti-Democratic Arizona Republic. Gannett and company said nice things about Larry Coor but deemed him unelectable. You can even register to post on his blog. I sent Randy Camacho a web form generated query message mail deal, but his web site in turn presented me an error page, so I am uncertain if the message will reach its destination. I sent Trent Franks one too, but I doubt he'll personally see it.

Libertarian Powell Gammill needs to work on that website. It's devoid of data and looking circa 1996.

How do the candidates in your district stand on all of the issues?

It's just one issue, and by no means will it serve as the litmus test to earn my vote. For any of the candidates, be they local or national. For national candidates, economic issues are of paramount importance, but national defense and freedom from tyranny are major issues too. In the coming days I'm going explore the candidates and where they fit on the scales.
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