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January 1, 2011 / hoopersx

Merry New Year!!

Yeah, yeah I knows it’s Happy New Year but I’ve always gotten a kick out of that line in Trading Places when the Rasta guy Murphy is pretending to be says “Merry New Year!”  And Clarence Beaks says, “it Happy New Year”.

Anyway, enough of my 80’s nostalgia, I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year and thank you all again for checking out my random musings.  I hope the New Year brings you happiness, prosperity and joy!

Stay safe!

Hooper

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December 30, 2010 / hoopersx

The 1st Amendment and Campaign Finance Reform

The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

It’s pretty plain and straightforward.  But here’s a question:

What/whom does the First Amendment apply to?  Does it give all of us a unique and individual voice?  Or does it give both the individual and the corporate world a voice?  It’s an interesting question.  It’s one that I certainly don’t have the credentials to argue effectively.  But I do have a point of view and would love to know what you all think.

I ask this because of the recent article on the Huffington Post, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/25/lawmakers-seek-cash-durin_n_801269.html.  And because of the recent Supreme Court decision in the matter of Citizens United vs. the Federal Elections Commission.

Here’s my thesis:

I believe that the Constitution applies to the individual.  It’s all about protecting you, a human being, from the potential abuses of the Federal government and business.  There’s very little, if anything, in there that suggests it’s speaking to a collective, certainly not a collective of business interests.  To my mind, it’s all about protecting the person from the collective.  Whether it’s a government collective or a business collective, the Constitution is looking out for the little guy.  After all, it’s our vote that really counts.  Only a person can vote.  The corporations can’t.

Therefore, the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to corporations or businesses.  Sure, they have people working for them that might agree with their point of view but it should always be up to the individual to contribute money to a campaign.  Only living, breathing human beings.  Businesses shouldn’t be covered by the 1st amendment.  So the Halliburton’s of the world….  The Wall Street firms…  The insurance companies of the world shouldn’t be able to donate a dime.  Why should individuals be limited in what they can donate contribute, while non-humans are free to spend as much as they like?  If corporations are limited by the total combined contributions of their willing individual donors/employees, then fine.  If the people who believe in their plight want to donate, then fine.  If they take money from business/corporations, then I say the same rules should apply.

A side note: 50x, non-profits will be fine with me as long as they are only funded by the maximum donation of each individual donor, that probably isn’t the status quo but it should be.

Let me know what you think.

Note:

Had some formatting issues on the original post and comments were probably lost.  Sorry!

December 25, 2010 / hoopersx

Merry Christmas To You All!!

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to read my silly opinions these last couple of weeks!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday.  Please stay safe.

Hooper

December 23, 2010 / hoopersx

Change I Am Learning to Believe In!

 I still believe the tax cuts were wrong, on principle.  I can admit when I am wrong.  Now that all is said and done, those cuts sure seem to have born an awful lot of fruit that far outweighs their down side, IMHO.

Tax cuts for millionaires/billionaires suck on any level.  In particular, I found the idea of giving tax cuts to a bunch of multi-millionaires from Wall Street even more distasteful.  Especially given the fact so many of them were the very people that caused this economic crisis in the first place.  Then to top it all off, after the Fed bailed them out, they gave themselves record bonuses.  Ok.  Ok….  I’ll knock off my continuing tirade and move on, for now.  Those unpalatable tax cuts, to my mind, ended up making the following possible:

1.  The end of DADT.

2.  The passage of the NEW START treaty.

3.  The passage of the 9/11 First Responders bill.

4.  The extension of unemployment benefits.

As well as several other lesser-known bills like the Food Security Act.

I don’t think the merits of any of these bills need be discussed.  You were either for them or against them.  Either way, they passed on Obama’s watch.  Up until the last week or so, Obama’s agenda from his 2008 campaign seemed to be quickly slipping away.  Then in a whirlwind, he suddenly managed to push through a good chunk of those campaign promises and at the same time do something I view as far more important:

Devastate the GOP unity that had been holding everything up for the past two years.

You see, the GOP had been playing their “No” game all year long.  It had been working like a charm.  But I think they made one major strategic mistake; they took control of the House and made large gains in the Senate in the midterms.  Suddenly, they had EXPECTATIONS!  Up to that point they could just say, “Hey, we aren’t in control!  What are we supposed to do?”  But now they were going to be in control in a sense and their base, especially the tea party, would be expecting results.  And the GOP rhetoric all campaign long had been TAX CUT EXTENSION OR DIE!  That’s where I didn’t see the long-con.  All I saw was a GOP that was getting pretty much everything they wanted over the next two years.  I certainly didn’t think that would provide the necessary leverage to push everything else through.  But it did and Obama did.

Once the GOP agreed to the tax compromise, they no longer had cover for their “Do Nothing” policy.  And while some of them kept at it, the ones with half a brain realized that the real mandate of the election wasn’t GOP rule.  It was,” GET SOMETHING DONE FOR A CHANGE!”  Obama recognized that.  DADT, START, Unemployment Insurance and the 9/11 first responders bill all had the support of the American people.  There was enough support for all of them that all the Obama administration and the Dems had to do was give them the press they needed and let that momentum gain steam.  And they did.

I never gave the idea of the Republicans breaking ranks a second thought.  Coming out of the election, they looked completely unified and as crazy as ever.  I just couldn’t wrap my mind around their unity eroding.  And that is why I write a blog only a handful of people read (a few of which are my family) and Obama is our Commander in Chief.  I was playing checkers and he was playing 10 moves ahead in a chess game.  In the course of this lame duck session he has managed to address nearly all of the complaints I have made about his first two years.  Mr. President, I was wrong and my hat is off too you sir!

All that being said, I will continue to critique your administration when I think you are wrong.  That, after all, is what a representative government is all about.  We hold those we elect to office accountable to the promises they make while they campaign.  I think you have done some amazing things this month.  However, I am still going to insist on a Public option.  I’m going to insist on REAL Wall Street reform.  I’m going to demand true Net Neutrality.  But I also understand that these things take time and the small progresses I see in these issues are laying the foundation for larger progress.  And after the week you’ve had I can say once again that you are, “Change I am learning to believe in!”

Oh yeah, as for the name of the site, Obamaisfailing…  Sorry but that stays.  He may not be failing now but he will again and i’ll be here to point that out OR be completely wrong again!  Either way, I’m just a page view whore and it helps drive people here so….  Yeah, I’m a page view whore. 🙂

December 21, 2010 / hoopersx

As the clock ticks down…

The scum of all scum are hiding behind…  Actually, I have no idea what the hell they are hiding behind.  For example, Senator John Kyl is against the idea of paying for the medical needs of the 9/11 first responders because….  Hell if I know.  He said something about not wanting to pass the bill if they can’t add amendments to it.  On this bill, WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?  The smallest bit of an argument on this bill has been that it isn’t paid for the way they would like.  AWESOME!!  Because unpaid tax cuts for the rich are SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT to pass, UNPAID!

I really hope the Democrats cease on this and show the world just how full of crap the GOP really are.  In a world that is right and just, 9/11 first responders wouldn’t even rate as a question.  They would get everything they needed and MORE.  In reality, the GOP make this a political issue and leave the country’s heroes waiting and waiting and waiting.  It is reprehensible.  Like I said before, I hope the next time these assclowns need emergency assistance, the 911 operator stops to ask them how they voted on this bill.  And when they tell the truth(highly unlikely) the operator tells them to call someone else.  Burn motherfucker, BURN!!!

December 18, 2010 / hoopersx

I’m not Obama’s biggest fan, but what if….

John McCain had been elected President?  I am, as you all already know, no fan of Obama and even less of a fan of the tax cut compromise.  But I have to admit that the McCain we all knew before the election and the guy we either voted for or didn’t during the election is a distant memory of the man he is now.  His own daughter is slaughtering him in the press because the truth is, John McCain is either a massive bigot or horribly misguided.  And, like his daughter, I would really like to give him the benefit of the doubt.  But he is making that harder to do with every passing day.

Back in the “Logical Years”, McCain seemed to be a rational Republican.  He wasn’t exactly who I would have wanted for my President but that man, at that time, wouldn’t have made me cringe if he were to have been my Commander-in-Chief.  All I can say is THANK GOD!!!  In less than 2 years, he has become a shadow of himself.  Where once was a man who seemed to champion the causes of the little people, today, he’s a full-fledged member of the CRAZY right.

We can begin and end with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.  EVERY single high-ranking member of the armed forces with the single exception of the Marine Commandant has said that DADT is a non-issue.  They have uniformly insisted that it needs to be repealed sooner, rather than later.  So who is the biggest hold out on this issue in the Senate?  Take a guess.  While it looks like the repeal will pass this weekend, it’s no thanks to McCain.  He’s spewed all sorts of nonsense about procedure and more hearings but reality is reality.  When the majority of the highest ranking officers in the military are on board and despite his claim that he has the highest regard for those officers, he continues to fight the change, there’s only one logical conclusion……  He’s a bigot.  He doesn’t like gay people and is loath to accept them into the mainstream.  PLEASE, if I have missed something or an alternative exists, let me know.

The really sad thing is there once was a time I admired John McCain.  I thought him to be about the only independent voice in the Republican Party.  What Bush and turdblossom did to him in the 2000 election was reprehensible.  And the people who bought that lie and decided to not vote for him based on that lie (he had an illegitimate black daughter) are even more reprehensible.  But then he lost the 2008 election and went, stark raving nuts and hasn’t come up for air ever since.  So sad.  The world desperately needs the 2008 election John McCain right now.  The man with a level head.  Alas, that man is gone, never to be seen again.

And in the interest of full disclosure:

I actually think Meghan McCain is kind of hot.

December 18, 2010 / hoopersx

9/11 First Responders…. Screw you, the rich need their tax cuts!

I am just about speechless.  For all the platitudes of the GOP, money is the only currency they deal in.  Is there a single, solitary Republican Senator who isn’t so far up the ass of big money interests that they might, once in a while, do what’s right?  This bill should have been passed years ago.  There’s nothing Democrat or Republican about it.  These are the people who, when things go horribly wrong for you or your family, show up in minutes and help.  You can be the picture of perfection by political standards or the dregs of humanity, they come and help.  On 9/11, they all came together and did what needed to be done.  Now the Republicans are holding up this bill on what?  Procedural issues?  GARBAGE!!  If karma exists, the next time those same Republicans need emergency assistance; the first responders should let them burn in hell.

Here’s the thing, for far too long the GOP has campaigned on the idea that they were the only party that really cared about the military, the cops, and the firefighters.  They contended that the Republicans were the only ones on the side of this countries real heroes.  Democrats and the ACLU were on the side of the deviants of society.  The Dems stuck up for the scum of the earth while the Republicans were on the side of the righteous.  Well I call BS!  The entire Democratic caucus is in favor of this bill.  It’s the GOP who are holding it up until the VERY rich get their precious tax breaks.  And now that the VERY rich have gotten their tax breaks, they still have no sympathy for these heroes.  Because in DC, it’s all about being reelected and not about doing what’s right.  As much as I might be for the repeal of DADT, I believe this bill should come first.  Let’s help those who helped us so much in the minutes, days, weeks, months and years after the attacks of 9/11.  It is REPREHENSIBLE that the Republicans are playing politics with these people.  GIVE THEM WHAT THEY DESERVE!!  PERHAPS YOU WOULD HAVE HAD AN OUNCE OF CREDIBILITY IF YOU HAD INSISTED ON PASSING THIS BILL FIRST OUT OF DUTY AND HONOR TO THOSE WHO SERVE YOU SO WELL, before the tax cuts were passed.  That you are still holding it up after the tax cuts have been passed makes you look like the people you really are; corporate whores who don’t do a thing unless it pads their campaign pockets.  SLEEZY, SLEEZY SCUM.

I’ve already said it, but it bears repeating, I hope you find yourself in a horrible situation and the first responders tell you to screw off!  You deserve it.