Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Name:
Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Jeopardizing Public Lands


It’s true that President Obama hasn’t been willing to open up more public lands for oil drilling or coal mining.  Republicans admit that our country has become number one in oil production, but complain because Obama won’t jeopardize the beauty of our public lands.  Oil, coal and natural gas production is up, but energy efficiency and conservation are also up.

In 2008, 21 million gallons of oil were being used in America.  We had just 4% of the world’s population, but supplied 25% of the world’s demand. 

Senator John McCain suggested that if Democrats would allow oil companies to drill in protected areas, the price of gasoline would come down and the economy would improve.  However, President George W. Bush acknowledged, that drilling in protected areas wouldn’t bring down the price at the pump.

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi wouldn’t allow the issue of offshore oil drilling, to come up for a vote on the floor of the House.  She also insists that instead of drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, which is a protected area, oil companies should be drilling in the 68 million acres in the lower 48, or the millions of unprotected acres in Alaska.  Pelosi believed that oil companies had no reason to drill in environmentally sensitive areas, until they have drilled in unprotected areas.  Pelosi suggested a law to prevented Alaska’s crude oil from being exported to other countries.

Pelosi argued: “Democrats have a commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices by cracking down on price gouging, rolling back the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and royalty relief given to big oil and gas companies, and increasing production of alternative fuels.”

The House of Representatives passed every one of Pelosi’s initiatives, but ran into a brick wall with Senate Republicans and Bush’s White House.  Democratic voters attributed four dollars per gallon gas to oil men in the White House and their protectors in the Senate.

Although, Bush had been in charge for seven and a half years, and hadn’t provided a coherent energy policy, many gullible Republicans believe it was the Democrats’ fault.

Oil companies had 68 million acres under offshore lease that were not being developed.  Furthermore, we had a shortage of refinery capacity and even if more oil became available immediately, the issue of where we would take it to turn it into gasoline would remain.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Eric Holder’s Record


 After six years of service, Attorney General Eric Holder is leaving his post.  He’s one of the three original Obama administration cabinet officials still serving and the first African-American Attorney General in history.

President Obama points out: “On his watch, federal courts have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terror cases.  He’s rooted out corruption and fought violent crime.

“Under his watch, a few years ago, the FBI successfully carried out the largest Mafia takedown in American history.  He’s helped safeguard our markets from manipulation, and consumers from financial fraud.” 

As attorney general, Eric Holder revitalized the civil rights division of the Department of Justice which was in shambles at the end of the George W. Bush tenure.  Holder has a personal connection to the issue civil rights, since his sister-in-law was one of two African-American students to successfully integrate the University of Alabama.

Holder has warned: “Work remains to be done, but our list of accomplishments is real.  Over the last six years, our administration -- your administration -- has made historic gains in realizing the principles of the founding documents and fought to protect the most sacred of American rights, the right to vote.

“We have begun to realize the promise of equality for our LGBT brothers and sisters and their families.  We have begun to significantly reform our criminal justice system and reconnect those who bravely serve in law enforcement with the communities that they protect.”

Holder is concerned about the right to vote, because we are witnessing the worst voter suppression tactics in decades.  He’s agreed to stay on as Attorney General until Obama nominates his successor and that successor is confirmed by the Senate.  But, if Republicans take back the Senate, it could make it very difficult for the President to get that nomination confirmed.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Foreign Policy Disaster


Fifteen of the nineteen perpetrator on 9/11, were Saudi Arabian Sunni Muslims.  None were Shiites from Iraq or Iran.  The fact is that 60 percent of the people in Iraq are Shiites, and only 20 percent are Sunni.

In retrospect removing Saddam Hussein was a victory for Iran, because his regime had kept the pro-Iranian Shiite majority repressed.  Instead of freedom, Iraq disintegrated into a Sunni-Shiite civil war that has spread instability throughout the region.

After 9/11, Bush convinced a majority in Congress that Saddam Hussein was seeking nuclear weapons.  Actually, Saddam didn’t have nuclear weapons and there wasn’t an al Qaeda connection.

ISIL, aka ISIS is the group presently overrunning Iraq is largely a creation of the Iraq war itself.  The group gained strength in numbers in the midst of the cauldron of violence that was unleashed by the Iraq war.

Senator John McCain has accused President Obama of pulling American troops out of Iraq too fast before the job was completed, leaving it vulnerable to be overrun by marauding terrorists.

Republicans seem oblivious to the fact that the withdrawal plan was put in place by Bush.  The Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq required, that it be approved by the Iraqi parliament, but our Congress was never consulted.  President Bush signed the deal requiring our combat troops to be out by 2011, and Sen. McCain and congressional Republicans didn’t complained at that time.  Any residual U.S. force we might have left in Iraq would have been minimal in any non-combat role, somewhere in the order of 2,000 to 3,000.  

Keep in mind that what happened in Mosul was that 30,000 Iraqi troops turned and fled in the face of 800 ISIL fighters.  Those troops were mostly Sunnis, who had no desire to risk their lives, for what they consider to be a completely Shiite dominated government hostile to their interest.  It’s doubtful that leaving a residual force of American military trainers could have done anything to prevent this.  Twenty thousand Iranian Shiite militiamen are presently fighting ISIL to retake Tikrit.

In 2010, Iraqi Shiite politicians refused to grant our troops immunity from prosecution.  Today, Iraq’s Prime Minister Abadi is also a Shiite, who doesn’t want our combat troops in Iraq.  However, he does wants our military to continue airstrikes against ISIL.  President Obama insists the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds in Iraq must come together to defeat ISIS on the ground.



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Foreign Terrorist Fighters


The following excerpt is from remarks made by President Obama at the U.N. Security Council Summit on Foreign Terrorist Fighters.
“Finally, this resolution recognizes that there is no military solution to the problem of misguided individuals seeking to join terrorist organizations, and it, therefore, calls on nations to work together to counter the violent extremism that can radicalize, recruit, and mobilize individuals to engage in terrorism.  Potential recruits must hear the words of former terrorist fighters who have seen the truth -- that groups like ISIL betray Islam by killing innocent men, women and children, the majority of whom are Muslim. 
“Often it is local communities -- family, friends, neighbors, and faith leaders -- that are best able to identify and help disillusioned individuals before they succumb to extremist ideologies and engage in violence.  That’s why the United States government is committed to working with communities in America and around the world to build partnerships of trust, respect and cooperation. 
“Likewise, even as we are unrelenting against terrorists who threaten our people, we must redouble our work to address the conditions -- the repression, the lack of opportunity, too often the hopelessness that can make some individuals more susceptible to appeals to extremism and violence.  And this includes continuing to pursue a political solution in Syria that allows all Syrians to live in security, dignity, and peace. 
“This is the work that we must do as nations.  These are the partnerships we must forge as an international community.  And these are the standards that we now must meet.  Yet even as we’re guided by the commitments that we make here today, let me close by stating the obvious.  Resolutions alone will not be enough.  Promises on paper cannot keep us safe.  Lofty rhetoric and good intentions will not stop a single terrorist attack.
“The words spoken here today must be matched and translated into action, into deeds -- concrete action, within nations and between them, not just in the days ahead, but for years to come.  For if there was ever a challenge in our interconnected world that cannot be met by any one nation alone, it is this: terrorists crossing borders and threatening to unleash unspeakable violence.  These terrorists believe our countries will be unable to stop them.  The safety of our citizens demand that we do.  And I’m here today to say that all of you who are committed to this urgent work will find a strong and steady partner in the United States of America.” 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rockefeller


The Rockefeller family has announced their charitable organization will begin divesting funds from oil companies.  That’s ironic considering that the late John D. Rockefeller built his fortune on founding the Standard Oil Company.
The Rockefeller Brothers Fund joined hundreds of institutions and affluent people in shifting its investment portfolio of $50 billion in fossil fuel assets away from companies involved in the fossil fuel industry.  The move is intended to bring their ideas about climate change in line with where they put their money.
Rockefeller Brothers Fund director Stephen Heintz said: "We are quite convinced that if he (John D. Rockefeller) were alive today, as an astute businessman looking out to the future, he would be moving out of fossil fuels and investing in clean, renewable energy."

The Rockefeller family timed their announcement just before the opening of the United Nation’s Climate Change Summit.  President Obama and more than 120 world leaders from around the world attend that summit at U.N. Headquarters in Manhattan.

The climate deniers in Congress are wrong, because for all of it’s power in Washington the oil industry can’t control everything.  Congressional Republicans complain about federal investment in solar, but never mention the $4 billion in subsidies the oil industry gets every year, while they continue to make record profits.

President Obama and Democrats have tried a number of times on the Senate floor to eliminate the subsidies for big oil.  Each time the oil industry organizes its Republican pawns in the Senate to filibuster and stop it.  With Republican’s in the majority in the House, Democrats can’t even get a hearing on the issue of subsidies, because big oil companies fund Republican politicians, who claim to be climate change deniers in order to get contributions from big oil, and vote against renewable energy. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Climate Change Summit


The following is a quotation from President Obama’s remarks at the U.N. Climate Change Summit.
“Today, I’m directing our federal agencies to begin factoring climate resilience into our international development programs and investments.  And I’m announcing a new effort to deploy the unique scientific and technological capabilities of the United States, from climate data to early-warning systems.  So this effort includes a new partnership that will draw on the resources and expertise of our leading private sector companies and philanthropies to help vulnerable nations better prepare for weather-related disasters, and better plan for long-term threats like steadily rising seas.
“Yes, this is hard.  But there should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate.  We recognize our role in creating this problem; we embrace our responsibility to combat it.  We will do our part, and we will help developing nations do theirs.  But we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation –- developed and developing alike.  Nobody gets a pass.
“The emerging economies that have experienced some of the most dynamic growth in recent years have also emitted rising levels of carbon pollution.  It is those emerging economies that are likely to produce more and more carbon emissions in the years to come.  So nobody can stand on the sidelines on this issues.  We have to set aside the old divides.  We have to raise our collective ambition, each of us doing what we can to confront this global challenge.
“This time, we need an agreement that reflects economic realities in the next decade and beyond.  It must be ambitious –- because that’s what the scale of this challenge demands.  It must be inclusive –- because every country must play its part.  And, yes, it must be flexible –- because different nations have different circumstances.
“Five years ago, I pledged America would reduce our carbon emissions in the range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020.  America will meet that target.  And by early next year, we will put forward our next emission target, reflecting our confidence in the ability of our technological entrepreneurs and scientific innovators to lead the way. 
“So today, I call on all major economies to do the same.  For I believe, in the words of Dr. King, that there is such a thing as being too late.  And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate while we still can.” 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

People’s Health


Many Americans are tired of politicians claiming that a transition to clean energy will take place sometime in the future.  Actually, we can rely on clean energy, and we should immediately start that transition.  The transition isn’t just about energy, it’s also about pollution that is affecting people’s health.

President Obama has outlined new actions by the Environmental Protection Agency to cut dangerous carbon pollution.  The plan builds on the efforts already being taken by many companies, cities and states.  Those guidelines will reduce carbon pollution from power plants, and eventually we’ll build a clean energy economy.  Obama presented a new plan at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he visited children whose asthma is aggravated by air pollution. 

The White House has announced that it will invest $70 million on renewable energy projects including 240 solar projects. That is a step in the right direction, but we can’t stop there, since we’re continuing to subsidize fossil fuel companies in the tune of billions of dollars every year.

We need to get rid of the subsidies for fossil fuel companies, and invest in renewable energy by making sure that there are benchmarks for all states and all local communities to reach.  Unless they have goals, they’ll continue with the status quo.

Recently, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted out support for the Keystone XL pipeline and House Republicans passed a bill, that included an approval for the pipeline.  They don’t seem to care about the environmental impact that is taking place, and how the XL pipeline would contribute to it.  If Priebus cared about things like property rights and eliminating our reliance on foreign oil, he’d be against the pipeline, but congressional Republicans can’t pass up the money from Trans-Canada or the other fossil fuel companies.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Renewable Resources


The State of Vermont has set a goal of achieving 90 percent of its energy from renewable resources by the year 2050.  Burlington, Vermont the state’s largest city is ahead of that schedule. 

Recently, the Burlington Electric Department purchased the 7.4 megawatt hydroelectric project on the Winooski River.  That purchase was the final piece to the puzzle to get the city of 42,000 people running on 100 percent renewable sources using wind, water, and biomass.

Burlington has joined about 11,000 residents of Central and Northern Vermont who reached the goal of 100 percent renewable energy earlier this year under the Washington Electric Cooperative. 

Both the Burlington Electric Department and Washington Electric Cooperative utilities will buy power from traditional sources if the wind isn’t blowing or the rivers are low.  However, when the resources are available, these utilities are expected to sell more than they buy.

The people of Burlington have set an example, while enjoying the cheapest electricity rates in the State of Vermont.  Progress is being made throughout our country from cities and states who’ve demonstrated leadership.  Unfortunately, there more than 100 climate change deniers in the Congress, who are standing the way of a clean energy future.

Vermont has the highest per capita rate for solar jobs.  Moving toward a clean energy future has created jobs, protects our national security, and our planet.

Addressing climate change is good for the economy, and saves consumers’ money.  Polls across America have shown that people overwhelmingly want a clean energy future.  They support the EPA’s proposal to cut carbon pollution from coal burning power plants which is responsible for 40 percent of our carbon pollution.

Voters need to elect clean energy champions to Congress, who will lead us toward a clean energy future.  However, our congressman Chris Gibson isn’t one of them. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Obama Has Learned


America has the unique capacity to mobilize the world against the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq known as ISIL.  Our intelligence community hasn’t detected any specific plots by these terrorists, but its leaders have repeatedly threatened us and our allies.  These terrorists pose a threat to the people of Iraq, Syria, and the Middle East.  The threat also includes our citizens, embassies, and facilities, and if they’re left unchecked, they could pose a growing threat to America. 
The mission is to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy in Iraq and Syria.  President Obama has ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL.  They’ve been able to protect our personnel, facilities, and kill ISIL fighters.  Air strikes have helped our partners on the ground break ISIL sieges, rescue civilians cornered on a mountain, thereby saving the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.
Our forces that are already deployed in Iraq don’t and will not have a combat mission.  They will support Iraqi forces on the ground as they fight for their own country against these terrorists.  This isn’t simply going to be America versus ISIL.
As Commander-in-Chief, Obama has pledged not commit our Armed Forces to fighting another ground war in Iraq, because after a decade of massive ground deployments, he’s learned that it’s more effective to use our capabilities in support of partners on the ground so they can secure their own countries’ futures.  That seems to be the only solution that will succeed over the long term. 
Obama has announced: “We’ll use our air power.  We will train and equip our partners.  We will advise them and we will assist them.  We will lead a broad coalition of countries who have a stake in this fight.”

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Hardest Decision


Recently, President Obama spoke to service members, at MacDill Air Force Base about our strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy the  terrorist organization ISIL, that has been killing innocent, unarmed civilians in both Iraq and Syria.  ISIL is also known as ISIS or the Islamic State.  It’s also responsible for the brutal murders of American journalists Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.
The following is a quotation from Obama’s remarks:  “Our intelligence community has not yet detected specific plots from ISIL against our homeland, but they have repeatedly threatened our core interests, including our personnel, our embassies, our consulates, and our facilities in Iraq, Syria, and in the broader Middle East.  If left unchecked, they could pose a growing threat to the United States.
“The U.S. Air Force has conducted more than 160 airstrikes against ISIL, successfully protecting our personnel and facilities, killing ISIL fighters, and giving space for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim key territory.  They’ve helped our partners on the ground break ISIL sieges; helped rescue civilians cornered on a mountain; helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children. 
"As your Commander-in-Chief, I will not commit you, and the rest of our Armed Forces, to fighting another ground war in Iraq.  Along with our airstrikes, U.S. forces will train, equip, advise, and assist local partners on the ground so that they can secure their own countries’ futures.
“The U.S. will lead a broad coalition of countries who have a stake in this fight.  France and the UK are already flying with us over Iraq, and other countries have committed to join this effort.  Saudi Arabia has agreed to host American efforts to train and equip Syrian opposition forces.  Australia and Canada are going to send military advisors to Iraq, while Germany is sending paratroopers to help offer training.  Arab nations have agreed to strengthen their support for Iraq’s new government, a key ally in our strategy to defeat ISIL.
“International partners will help us cut off ISIL funding, gather intelligence, and prevent foreign fighters from entering, or leaving the Middle East.  And nearly 30 nations have joined American humanitarian relief to help civilians, including Sunni, Shia, Christian, Yezidi, or other religious minorities, that ISIL has driven from their homes.
“I’ve called on Congress to support our military with the necessary resources to train and equip Syrian opposition fighters.  America’s leadership position is strongest when the President and Congress work together and show a united front.
"Sending our service members into harm’s way is not a decision I ever take lightly.  It is the hardest decision I make as President.  Nothing else comes close.”

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ebola Epidemic


The World Health Organization called this Ebola epidemic unparalleled in modern times.  Over 2,500 people have died in West Africa, and over 5,000 others have been infected.  It’s estimates 20,000 people could be infected in the coming months.

The hospitals, clinics and the few treatment centers that exist in West Africa have been completely overwhelmed.  Patients are being turned away and people are dying in the streets.

The campaign to fight Ebola could cost up to $750 million over the next six months.  The Pentagon has send engineers to set up 17 treatment centers in Liberia.  Our military will be training up to 500 healthcare workers a week in the region, and the plan is to send 400,000 basic Ebola response kits.  The kits include protective gear for families along with gloves, masks, disinfectants, and fever reducing drugs. 

Senator McConnell announced: “I support these efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic and know that we’ll monitor this humanitarian crisis in the weeks ahead.”

Speaker Boehner agreed: “I think this Ebola outbreak in Africa is a serious problem and I’m a bit surprised that we’ve -- that the administration hasn’t acted more quickly to address what is a serious threat, not just to Africans but to others around the world.  And I think in the coming weeks, you’re going to see the Congress and the administration take further steps to look at how do we best contain this very horrible disease.”

Speaker Boehner found it necessary to criticize President Obama for being slow to respond, but never expressed any concern until after Obama had announced his plan.  Indeed, Congress will be taking further steps, since it’s been estimated that it could take up to a billion dollars to bring this humanitarian crisis under control.

Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC News Chief Medical Examiner noted: “Well, it’s the perfect storm that we’ve seen a virus jumped from animal to man, it then jumped borders.  There are more roads down in West Africa so that connected towns.  For the first time ever we’ve seen Ebola, not burned out in a little village but make it into a major metropolitan area, Monrovia.  And then of course, we had it jump countries with air travel.

“So this has been unprecedented in how quickly it’s growing and also the modes of transmission.  These are the reasons why it’s a perfect storm and why it spiraled out of control.”

Friday, September 19, 2014

Ebola Outbreak


President Obama traveled to Atlanta where he received a full briefing by the CDC on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  He announced: “This is the largest international response in the history of the CDC.”

The following excerpt is from the speech in which Obama pointed out: “In West Africa, Ebola is now an epidemic of the likes that we have not seen before.  It’s spiraling out of control.  It is getting worse.  It’s spreading faster and exponentially.  Today, thousands of people in West Africa are infected.  That number could rapidly grow to tens of thousands.  And if the outbreak is not stopped now, we could be looking at hundreds of thousands of people infected, with profound political and economic and security implications for all of us.  So this is an epidemic that is not just a threat to regional security -- it’s a potential threat to global security if these countries break down, if their economies break down, if people panic.  That has profound effects on all of us, even if we are not directly contracting the disease.

“And that’s why, two months ago, I directed my team to make this a national security priority.  We’re working this across our entire government, which is why today I’m joined by leaders throughout my administration, including from my national security team.

“And we’ve devoted significant resources in support of our strategy with four goals in mind.  Number one, to control the outbreak.  Number two, to address the ripple effects of local economies and communities to prevent a truly massive humanitarian disaster.  Number three, to coordinate a broader global response.  And number four, to urgently build up a public health system in these countries for the future -- not just in West Africa but in countries that don’t have a lot of resources generally.”

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Civil Disobedience


 On September 4th, thousands of low-wage fast food workers protested in approximately 150 cities demanding a livable wage of $15 an hour and the right to join a union.  These protests were different from other protest, because they featured non-violent civil disobedience.  

Reportedly, 436 protesters around the country were arrested for the acts of non- violent civil disobedience.  Wisconsin Congresswoman Gwen Moore was arrested with protesters in Milwaukee, and 19 protesters were arrested in Times Square for blocking traffic.  

Workers want a fair wage, because $7.25 an hour comes out to only $15,000 a year.  That wage keeps a family of two living below the poverty line.  The federal minimum wage has been raised only five times in the last 20 years.  It was last raised five years ago in 2009.  If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation since 1968, the minimum wage today would be $10.86 an hour.

Most Republican politicians are against raising the minimum wage, and some congressional Republicans even want to abolish the minimum wage.

In North Carolina many of the fast food workers have been inspired by the Moral Monday movement, that is based on scripture from Deuteronomy to Jeremiah, and Matthew to James.  One of the most predominant themes in those scripture are the admonitions against low-wages.

The fast food industry could raise wages to $15 an hour and still earn handsome profits and their CEOs would still live very comfortably.  Billion of dollars are being made every year in this industry and there is no reason why McDonalds, Wendy’s, and Burger King can’t do in the United States of America what they’ve done for workers in Australia who earn $19 an hour, or workers in Denmark who earn $22 an hour.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Democracy For Sale


The first amendment to the Constitution was designed to protect the free speech right of people, not corporations.  A politically divided Supreme Court has transformed the first amendment into a powerful tool for corporations seeking to invalidate democratically-enacted reforms.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. FEC overturned the longstanding precedent prohibiting corporations from spending their general treasury funds in our elections.

Citizens United is a little over 4 years old, and a majority of the American people across the political spectrum understand that democracy isn’t about the ability of billionaires like the Koch brothers to buy elections, by spending hundreds of millions of dollars, on tens of thousands of political ads.

We have had campaign finance law in this country for many decades, and many Americans believe in public funding of elections.  The idea that democracy is for sale to the highest bidder, who spends the most money is an insult to those who believe in a democratic society.  Obviously, congressional Republicans like the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision.  They prefer an oligarchic society, since currently they’re the beneficiaries of the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson and other billionaires. 

The leadership of the Republican Party apparently wants to do away with all restrictions so that billionaires can hand candidates a check for $50 million or $100 million directly without having to bother with independent expenditures.

The day will come when the Citizens United decision will be legislatively addressed, because the majority of the American people are disgusted with what they’re seeing now.  Reportedly, there are 16 states that have already gone on record in opposition to Citizens United decision, as well as hundreds of cities and towns across our country, who want fair and free elections.  They don’t want billionaires from either political party buying elections.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fear Itself


President Obama insists: “I have the authority to address the threat from ISIL.  But I believe we are strongest as a nation if when the President and Congress work together.  So I welcome congressional support for this effort in order to show the world that Americans are united in confronting this danger.”

America taxpayers will have to foot the bill for dealing with the threat from ISIL, and that could lead to a political fight in Congress.  If Obama doesn’t do enough to satisfy Republicans militarily, he’s not going to get the appropriation, that he needs.

Speaker, John Boehner said: “I can tell you in our conversations this morning, a lot of our members don’t fell like the campaign that was outlined last night will accomplish the mission that the President says, and that was to destroy ISIL.  And so frankly, a lot of our members think a lot more needs to be done than what was laid out last night.”

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham warned: “I’m tired of half measures.  I’m tired of misleading the American people about what we face.  There is no way in hell we’re going to beat these guys without an American ground component in Iraq and Syria.  There is not a force in the Mideast that can take these guys on and win without substantial American help.

“You don’t need the 82nd Airborne, but we’re going to need thousands of troops over time on the ground, holding the hands of the Arab armies that are going to do the fighting along with the Syrians to make sure we win.
“And the one thing I can promise the American people, if we take ISIL on and lose, we will unlock the gates of hell.”

Republican will be making the case, that Obama and the Democrats are weak on national security.  Our country is also facing serious problems at home, such as income inequality, but all of those issues could be lost in conversation because Republicans intend to focus the conversation back on national security.

They want the mid-term elections to be about American’s feeling more secure, because almost half the nation thinks that we are less safe than we were before 9/11.  It’s the highest response to this question since the poll started in 2002.

The words that Franklin Roosevelt spoke still ring true. “We have nothing to fear but fear itself. ” 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Anticipating Blowback


Chalmers Johnson’s prophetic book “Blowback” linked the CIA’s clandestine activities abroad to terrorism at home.  The term “blowback” is a metaphor for the unintended consequences of our activities.

President Obama wants to pull together our Sunni allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan, but he doesn’t want our strategy to look like we’re going to war on behalf of the Sunnis against the Shia.

Unquestionably, we’ll need a coalition of regional powers and NATO counties to become part of the solution.  Obama wants to have a government in Iraq that’s inclusive, so that the Sunnis in Iraq will be our ally in the battle against the ISIS.  He was hesitant to announce his strategy until his plan actually came together.

For a long time, this president has made it clear, that he’ll use military force when it’s practical, and where the situation is controllable.  He’s a deliberative and pragmatic interventionist, and careful not to have a grand strategy. 

In 2003, the Bush administration had a grand strategy for remaking the entire Middle East.  That strategy was to start by conquering Iraq and they anticipated that everything else would fall into place.  Actually, the opposite happened, because Bush’s strategy triggered what we’re seeing today.  We’re now living in the aftermath of George W. Bush’s failed grand strategy.  That strategy didn’t consider the long term consequences of sending our troops to invade, and occupy Iraq.

ISIS isn’t a problem, that can be solve with airstrikes over a period of a couple of weeks.  It could take months, years, and possibly decades.  Defeating ISIS isn’t just an idea of something, that needs to be done today.  It’s anticipating what could follow, since every action that is taken is going to have a reaction, and we need to have a plan for those unintended consequences.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Emily F. Popek


Emily F. Popek the assistant editor of The Oneonta Daily Star wrote a column entitled: “Domestic violence isn’t a ‘mistake.’”  I follow her column, and have talk to her briefly on the phone, when she called to question my quote, or verify my letters to the editor.  In my opinion, yesterday’s column was possibly the best I’ve read.  

The following is an excerpt from that column: “So the National Football League came to the conclusion this week, seemingly after much deliberation, that violence against women is not OK.  

“Excuse me if I hold my applause. 

“To recap: Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was arrested in February after getting into an altercation with his then-fiancee Janay Palmer at a casino in Atlantic City.  A video was posted online showing Rice dragging an apparently unconscious Palmer out of an elevator.  Rice was indicted in March on charges of third-degree aggravated assault, but the charges were dropped in favor of counseling. 

“Rice then apologized for what he called ‘the biggest mistake of my life.’

“Mistake.  An interesting choice of words.  Rice knew what he was doing, and did it, anyway.  Is it a ‘mistake’ only now that he regrets it?  This somehow puts the assault into the same category as leaving the refrigerator door open, or forgetting your keys. 

“But the ‘m’ word keeps coming up. 

“In July, the NFL suspended Rice for the first two games of the 2014 season.  Ravens coach John Harbaugh told ESPN that the team would ‘get past’ the suspension and continue to support Rice. 

“There are consequences when you make a mistake like that,” Harbaugh sagely noted. “I stand behind Ray.  He’s a heck of a guy.  He’s done everything right since.  He makes a mistake, all right?  He’s going to have to pay a consequence.  I think that’s good for kids to understand it works that way.”

“So, kids, if you assault someone, expect to be lightly disciplined.  And don’t worry; your friends will support you, anyway.” 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Overturning Citizens United


The Republican justices on the Supreme Court have been chipping away at the foundation of our democracy.  They don’t believe that everyone should be equal in the political arena.  If you're a billionaire, you shouldn't be able to drown out the messages of the less fortunate.
Every Republican Senator is on the record as having voted to blocked a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and other Supreme Court rulings dating back to 1976 that invalidated restrictions on money in politics.
A party line vote of 54 in favor, 42 against fell short of the 60 votes needed to defeat the Republican filibuster and proceed to a final vote.  
From far-right ideologues like Ted Cruz of Texas to Republican "moderate" Susan Collins of Maine, every single Republican senator opposed the amendment.  However, that vote demonstrated, that a majority of senators declared they were ready to support a constitutional amendment stating that money isn't speech.
What makes it so hard for Senate Democrats to pass a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United and restore their right to regulate spending in elections is that although a majority of senators voted to support overturning Citizens United, 60 votes are needed to advance the measure, and 67 votes are needed to authorize a constitutional amendment.
During the debate, we heard Senator Elizabeth Warren warn that "when 32 people can outspend 3.7 million citizens, our democracy is in real danger.”
Polls show, that 80% of Americans want to see less corporate money in our elections. This campaign issue isn't going away, until Congress passes a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United.  Democrats will continue to fight for a constitutional amendment that would allow Congress to regulate the dark money in politics.  We need fair elections in order to give the middle class a fair shot.  

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Valid Perspective


From 2011 to 2013, William B. Taylor, Jr. was the Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions in the State Department to coordinated assistance and support to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria.  McCants is now with the Brooking Institution.

The host of “The Last Word,”Lawrence O’Donnell recently asked McCants: “Should we really be using the death of two American journalists who went over there into that area knowing exactly what the risks are, we should be using the death of those two individuals as some justification for an escalation of some form of war?”

McCants answered: “We should be using the risk of the jihadists in the Islamic State to our allies in Europe and to our allies in the region.  We can’t allow the death of two journalists, however horrific they may have been, to dictate our response.

“And I think that’s why the president is taking a go-it-slow approach in trying to figure out the right way forward.  It’s one thing to take the fight to ISIS in Iraq.  It’s quite another to go into Syria...

“We fought this fight to a standstill, where there was a chance for the Iraqis to put together a government.  We then drew down our forces farther than we probably should have.  We should have left some there.  But that was close to a success and giving the Iraqis the ability to put together a government.  They then did not do that...

“There’s been mixed results over the past 10 years.  Look, when one of these groups takes over territory, they don’t last very long.  Their ideology ends up being repugnant to the population that they control.  They end up making a lot of enemies among the local tribes.  We have to play this one smart.  If we go in too strong, we’re only going to rally people to their side.  We have to take it slow and we have to find the right partners on the ground to deal with the Islamic state.  Not just in Iraq but in Syria, because if you don’t remove their home base in Syria, they’re just going to come right back into Iraq.”

“Well, the people on the ground get a vote too.  I mean, we’ve reached this point because the Iraqi government did not want to allow the United States to leave troops in the country.  We respected their wishes, and they were also politically not able to get their act together and make sure the Sunni voices were being heard.  And that’s why we’re being faced with this insurgency.”

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Strategy To Destroy


Yesterday, President Obama announced his strategy for dealing with ISIL, also known as ISIS.  The following is an excerpt from those remarks.
“Our objective is clear:  We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.
“First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists.  Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.  Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are.  That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.  This is a core principle of my presidency:  If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven. 
“Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.  In June, I deployed several hundred American service members to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi security forces.  Now that those teams have completed their work –- and Iraq has formed a government –- we will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq.  As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission –- we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.  But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment.  We’ll also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL’s control.
“Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition.  Tonight, I call on Congress again to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters.  In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its own people -- a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost.  Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all. 
“Third, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks.  Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East.  And in two weeks, I will chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to further mobilize the international community around this effort.
“Fourth, we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization.  This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities.  We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.” 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Rich Get Richer


The rich are getting richer, because the top CEOs are making 330 times what the average person makes at their company. 

Thomas Hungerford, an analyst with the Congressional Research Service reports that capital gains tax cuts are by far the largest driver of income inequality.  Studies show that the income of the top 1% of Americans has been increasing dramatically.  Most Americans depend on wages which are subject to a graduated tax, but capital gains have a rate cap, which is presently 20% for singles. 

Today, the richest 1% owns 34 % of our country’s wealth, and the top one-hundredth of 1% now makes an average of $27 million per household per year.  The average income for the bottom 90% of Americans is $31,244.

Their are millions of  working Americans, who are struggling to pay their mortgage or rent, to buy food, and put gas in their car.  They’re paying federal taxes in terms of FICA taxes.  When the middle class is shrinking, we can’t expect to get blood out of a stone by taxing them more.  

It’s time for millionaires and billionaires start paying their fair share.  Congress has to choose between cutting education, job creation and health care, or requiring those who can contribute more to do so.

Education is directly related to more earning power later in life.  The average employed young person with a bachelor's degree earned 81% more in 2011 than his or counterpart with a high school diploma.  A recent study found the median income for workers with a high school degree was $32,000, with a four-year college degree $54,000 a year, and the median salary for those with a master's degree or higher was $72,000.  The earnings premium of individuals with college degrees continues over their lifetime.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Joe Biden


Vice President Biden filled in for President Obama’s weekly address, while he addresses the NATO summit in Wales.  The following is an excerpt from his remarks.
“When the President and I took office in January of 2009, this nation was in the midst of the greatest economic crisis since the great depression.  Our economy had plummeted at a rate of 8% in a single quarter – part of the fastest economic decline any time in the last half century.  Millions of families were falling underwater on their homes and threatened with foreclosure.  The iconic American automobile industry was under siege.
“But yesterday’s jobs report was another reminder of how far we’ve come.  We’ve had 54 straight months of job creation.  And that’s the longest streak of uninterrupted job growth in the United States’ history.
“We’ve gone from losing 9 million jobs during the financial crisis to creating 10 million jobs.  We’ve reduced the unemployment rate from 10% in October of 2009 to 6.1% today.  And for the first time since the 1990s, American manufacturing is steadily adding jobs – over 700,000 since 2010.  And surveys of both American and foreign business leaders confirm that America once again is viewed as the best place in the world to build and invest.
“That’s all good news.  But an awful lot of middle class Americans are still not feeling the effects of this recovery.  Since the year 2000, Gross Domestic Product has risen by 25%.  And productivity in America is up by 30%.  But middle class wages during that same time period have gone up by only fourteen cents.
“Folks, it’s long past time to cut the middle class back into the deal, so they can benefit from the economic growth they helped create.  Folks, there used to be a bargain in this country supported by Democrats and Republicans, business and labor.  The bargain was simple.  If an employee contributed to the growth and profitability of the company, they got to share in the profits and the benefits as well.  That’s what built the middle class.  It’s time to restore the bargain, to deal the middle class back in.  Because, folks, when the middle class does well, everybody does well – the wealthy get wealthier and the poor have a way up.
“You know, the middle class is not a number.  It’s a value set.  It means being able to own your home; raise your children in a safe neighborhood; send them to a good school where if they do well they can qualify to go to college and if they get accepted you’d be able to find a way to be able to send them to college.  And in the meantime, if your parents need help, being able to take care of them, and hope to put aside enough money so that your children will not have to take care of you.
“That’s the American dream.  That’s what this country was built on.  And that’s what we’re determined to restore.
“In order to do that, it’s time to have a fair tax structure, one that values paychecks as much as unearned income and inherited wealth, to take some of the burden off of the middle class.  It’s time to close tax loopholes so we can reduce the deficit, and invest in rebuilding America - our bridges, our ports, our highways, rails, providing good jobs.
“With corporate profits at near record highs, we should encourage corporations to invest more in research and development and the salaries of their employees.  It’s time for us to invest in educational opportunity to guarantee that we have the most highly skilled workforce in the world, for 6 out of every 10 jobs in the near term is going to require some education beyond high school.  Folks, it’s long past due to increase the minimum wage that will lift millions of hardworking families out of poverty and in the process produce a ripple effect that boosts wages for the middle class and spurs economic growth for the United States of America.  Economists acknowledge that if we do these and other things, wages will go up and we’ll increase the Gross Domestic Product of the United States.”

Monday, September 08, 2014

Keep Hope Alive


I’ve embrace the concept, that economic patriotism requires that we rise or fall together as one nation.
Presently, $4 billion of our tax dollars goes to subsidizes the oil industry every year.  These companies have been making record profits of tens of billions of dollars a year.
President Obama called on Congress to eliminate oil industry giveaway, and urged it to take a vote on oil industry subsidies.  That didn’t happen.  Obama wanted to put every member of Congress on the record, so that voters could determine, who in Congress wants to keep subsidizing fossil fuel that’s been getting taxpayer dollars for a century, and who supports clean-energy?
Furthermore, Congress shouldn’t be rewarding companies that ship jobs and profits overseas.  Instead, we should be rewarding companies that invest in America, so that our fellow citizens can have access to decent childcare, preschool, college and health care.
One of  the hardest things to accomplish is to change the status quo, and it’s even harder when the those in power only care about keeping power.  Many of those in power count on us to be cynical and not vote.  They want us to think that we can’t make a difference, because that’s how they’re going to stay in power.  They want us to not get involved, because that’s the way special interest groups stay in power. 
Cynicism didn’t put our astronaut on the moon, or cure a disease.  Cynicism is a terrible choice.  Hope is a much better choice, than cynicism.  Hope gave people the strength to march for women’s rights, worker’s rights, civil rights, voting rights, and gay rights.  
Hope is the belief that there are better days ahead, and that together, we can strengthen our middle class and hand down a better life for our children and grandchildren.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Changing America


Definitions of the word liberal include: “tolerant, progressive and not traditional.  Advocating progressive political reform, representative forms of government as opposed to monarchy, or oligarchy, and maximum individual freedoms, which are secured by government protecting our civil liberties.”
Without liberals this county wouldn’t exist, because our founding fathers declared their independence from the English monarchy by establishing a representative form of government.  The founding fathers, who were most progressive insisted on specifying our individual freedoms in a Bill of Rights.
Non-traditional liberal abolitionist were tolerant of differences in skin color.  They asserted that it has intolerable for white Americans to consider men from Africa their property and treat them as slaves.  The progressive suffragette movement advanced the status of women by fighting for the right to vote.
After all that labor unions have done to protect working Americans, it’s frustrating that Republicans have the gall to blame unions for the problems facing working Americans.
At the beginning of the last century, Republican members of Congress opposed unions ideas of a 40-hour workweek, overtime pay, weekends, and workplace safety laws.  Eighty years ago, Republicans opposed the idea of Social Security.  Fifty years ago, they were against Medicare.  Today, Republicans are against health care for every American, the right to fair wages, equal pay for equal work, and immigration reform.
Deeply religious conservative Republicans tend to be intolerant of homosexuals.  They believe a woman's right to use contraception or have an abortion is something that should be limited by a majority of male politicians in Congress or on the Supreme Court.  Most liberals don’t have a problems with homosexuals or with access to contraceptives, abortion rights or even the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Liberals strongly support the idea, that American citizens should have access to childcare, preschool, college and health care.  They want to make sure women get fair pay, and that mothers and fathers can get a day off if their child is sick or their elderly parent needs assistance.  They want to make sure parents working full time aren’t raising their family in poverty.
Despite all the obstruction from congressional Republicans there are workers who have jobs today, who didn’t have them before.  There are families with health insurance who didn’t have any before.  There are students going to college who couldn’t afford it before.  There are troops who were in Afghanistan who are now home.  

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Across America


The resilience of working Americans has enabled our country to recovered faster, than almost any other advanced economy.  For the first time in more than a decade, business leaders around the world consider the number-one place to invest to be the United States of America. 

We’ve got a lot of work to do, but there are reasons to be optimistic.  Now, the important question is will Congress make the right decisions to accelerate this progress?  Will they continue to focus on working families to make sure that a growing economy gives everybody more income?  

Corporate profits are high, and it’s a good thing that the stock market is doing great, because many Americans have 401Ks.  However, the parents who are breaking their back on two eight-hour shifts for enough money to send their child to college, need a break, also.  The woman who has worked for 40 years be able to retire with some dignity, needs a break, too.  Those are also ways to determine how well the overall economy is doing.  Americans, who have been working hard their whole life, doing everything right, just want a fair shot at success.

A year and a half ago, President Obama asked Congress to raise the minimum wage, and it was predictable, that congressional Republicans would continue to please their corporate masters by blocking it.

Nevertheless, we’ve seen companies like The Gap raise base wages for tens of thousands of workers.  On Labor Day, the mayor of Los Angeles announced a plan to raise that city’s minimum wage. 

Last month, Raymond Burse, the president of  Kentucky State University gave himself a $90,000 pay cut so that he could raise wages for his lowest-paid employees.  Thirteen states, and the District of Columbia have raised their minimum wages.  Four more states are putting minimum wage initiatives on the ballot in November. 

Congressional Republicans claim raising the minimum wage will kill jobs.  Actually, those states where the minimum wage has gone up this year had higher job growth than the states that didn’t raise the minimum wage.

Across America there’s a national movement made up of fast food workers, who have organized to lift wages so they can provide for their families with pride and dignity.  Executives on Wall Street and in corporate board rooms are doing very well.  They can’t deny the simple truth, that American workers deserves a raise.  

Friday, September 05, 2014

Obstruction Accomplished


The following letter to the editor was submitted to the Oneonta Daily Star for publication by Donna J. Shaver.

“In Chuck Pinkey’s Aug. 12 column, he attempted to answer my July 31 challenge to produce a list of the positive actions the Tea Party has done for this country.  ‘Talking points’ are not accomplishments. 

“In celebrating their fifth anniversary, they can lay claim to one major achievement.  By becoming the “bully” in the political arena, they have managed to decimate their own popularity by more than half as well as the G.O.P.  They are arrogant in destroying the framework of the Republican party by inserting their ideology on them.  America’s faith in the Republicans in Congress to accomplish anything rates around 10 percent. (Same as Tea Party ratings.)

“President Obama rates a lot higher than that, even with the destructive mechanisms at work in this country.  This is defeatism at its worse.  They claim to be strong believers in the Constitution, but ONLY in the parts they agree with.  What about Roe vs. Wade, women’s rights, equal rights, voting rights, etc.?  If they don’t like something, they either want to add, delete or change it.  So much for being strong constitutionalists!  ‘Don’t tread on me’ doesn’t count then. 

“‘Trying to save America’?  HOW?  There are many major events happening in the World today, and people need to get behind solutions to problems instead of floundering in senseless, childish game-playing.

“Think about what could be accomplished if everyone was striving toward positive goals.  Patriotism certainly is not trying to bring down our system of government.  Building bridges is far better than trying to destroy them.  Mr Pinkey, come out of the stratosphere, take a deep breath, and get a reality check on your quoted facts.  At your next rally, listen carefully.  ‘Would Christ approve?’  Ninety percent of America does not agree with you!?”

****
Actually, the Tea Party was able to accomplish “Obstruction,” and that will be their downfall.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

What’s At Stake


A surveys of foreign business leaders confirm that America is again viewed as the best place in the world to invest.
We added 248,000 private sector jobs last month.  That amounts to 10.3 million private sector job created over 55 straight months, which is the longest streak of uninterrupted job growth in our history.  The unemployment rate fell from 10% in October of 2009 to 5.9%.  That’s the first time unemployment has been below 6 percent since July 2008. 
What’s at stake in the next election is to make sure our economy works for everybody, who’s willing to work.  We need an economy with long term investments in American infrastructure, energy, manufacturing and innovations, that will create new industries.  We need an economy where workers have the chance to learn skills that lead to good paying jobs, and where children graduate from school fully prepared for the global competition they’ll face.  We need an economy where hard work pays off with higher incomes, fairer pay for women, workplace flexibility for parents, affordable health insurance, and decent retirement benefits.
Working families need help getting ahead, but Republicans seem to be opposed to everything.  Infrastructure spending has always been a bipartisan idea until Republicans suddenly turned against it when Obama became president.  In the 1950’s, President Eisenhower came up with the idea of a national highway system.  Even the dreaded individual mandate for health care came from the conservative Heritage Foundation.  It was the Republican answer to Hillary Clinton’s health care proposal.
So called partisanship is actually a one-sided love affair with privilege and prosperity for the few, while the working poor are made more vulnerable by policies enacted by congressional Republicans.  It’s not partisanship.  It’s the practices of a Republican party that could care less about the working poor.



Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Rebounding


Sen. McCain defended the economy by reiterating that it was “fundamentally strong,” until 10/22/08, when the stock market dropped 514 points.  Bush didn't admit we were in a recession until two days after the National Bureau of Economic Research made its announcement that 533,000 jobs had been loss in November 2008.  President Obama took office on 1/20/09, after we’d lost 650,000 jobs in December 2008.

Our economy has become stronger because of the decisions Democrats made to rescue our economy by asking the simple question.  Is this good for ordinary Americans?

Construction, energy and technology jobs are rebounding.  American manufacturing is steadily creating jobs for the first time since the 1990s.  Our businesses export more goods made in America to the rest of the world than ever before.  Our auto industry was saved as well as the one million jobs that depend on our auto industry.  America’s auto industry is building more cars than at any time since 2002, and adding jobs at the fastest rate since the 1990s.

We’ve become the world’s number-one oil and gas producer, and for the first time in 20 years, we produce more oil than we buy from other countries.  We’ve tripled the amount of wind power that creates energy, and increased by 10 times the amount of solar power we create.  That’s creating tens of thousands of jobs all across our country.

Our government helped more middle-class families afford college, and more young people are earning their college degrees than ever before.

Our deficits have been cut by more than half, as a result of changing our tax code that favored the very wealthy, and our unemployed having found jobs and therefore paying taxes.  
What has Congressman Gibson and his Republican colleagues done to improve our economy?   

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Corporate Inversions


Burger King considered a corporate inversion with Tim Hortons, in order to lower its U.S. taxes by claiming it’s a Canadian company, headquartered in Canada.

Corporate inversions aren’t just an important issue for liberals, since many conservatives consider it an issue of patriotism.  If you make money in America, you ought to be financing our government that provides that opportunity.

Elizabeth Warren observed: “There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own.  Nobody.  You built a factory out there, good for you.  But I want to be clear.  You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.  You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.

“You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.  You didn’t have to worry that bans would come and seize everything at your factory and hire someone to protect against this because of the work the rest of us did.

“You built a factory and it turned into something terrific or a great idea, God bless.  Keep a big hunk of it.  But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

Tim Hortons’ employees have guaranteed healthcare, which isn’t something Canadian workers worry about.  Although, Obamacare is a step in the right direction for low income Americans it hurts their corporate bottom line.

There is no question that we have a global economy, but a sense of fairness demands that corporations pay taxes to the treasury of the country in which they make their money.  Congress needs to set up a system, that ensures it will happen, and how that adjustment is made should be an election issue.