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Silent Center Starts to ROAR! Amen!!!

It’s about time for this nation’s MAJORITY — the middle-of-the-road Americans who make up the “Silent Center”  — to wake up and roar. THANK GOD that you are beginning to…finally!

For too long you’ve chickened out, burying your head in the sand, while you let a handful of posturing kooks and haters set the agenda and shape the political debate.

So where have you been?

The majority of Americans are NOT racists. The majority of Americans are NOT haters. The majority of Americans are sensible, level-headed people who understand that compromise is NOT a dirty word. In short, the majority of Americans are realistic, LEVEL-headed people who have NO problems electing a black president…and would elect a green, blue or striped president, if they liked what he or SHE stood for.

But until the shoe started to pinch you, Silent Majority, YOU didn’t care, did you? You happily let the country go to hell, gave politicians carte blanch to engage in unnecessary wars, to desiccate Healthcare Reform with one hand — while accepting money from the Health Care Industry with the other hand.

YOU, the silent majority, allowed your kids/families to be burdened with crippling student debt and other bad consumer loans. You let Republicans defeat and stymie attempts to regulate business. You looked the other way because YOU were too busy engaged in a buying frenzy you couldn’t afford – rushing to buy another prop you did not need, or another piece of materialistic flotsam that was cobbled overseas.

Did you NOT understand that there would be a price…for not caring? Now you’re waking up…hi ho!

Here’s just one example where you turned the other cheek. IMMIGRATION REFORM. (I use Immigration as a mirror to reflect several other issues of key importance, like the Iraq war, where you turned a blind eye with negative consequences.)

Where were you in 2006/7 when you let a minority of extremists on the right, led by racism and political posturing instead of practicality and human decency, set the agenda over IMMIGRATION REFORM?

Where were YOU when Ted Kennedy and John McCain (he was a different McCain – a principled McCain, back then) and President George W. Bush came so close to passing The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007, (110th U.S. Congress)? If you think ILLEGAL Immigration is bad, LEGAL immigration is even worse – it’s a nightmare!

The law would have overhauled America’s broken Immigration system, INCLUDING providing legal status/a path to citizenship (PATH – as in working your way towards a goal) for the approximately 14 to 20 million illegal immigrants currently residing in this country.

What is the convincing argument that you can come up with to keep millions of undocumented people in this country remaining IN THE SHADOWS? There were ONLY two options. Assimilate or Repatriate. Now, Republicans have added a third: Limbo! Not deporting, not assimilating – just hanging around!!!

Think of it. There are up to/or more than 20-thousand people living in this country without official documentation. Meaning, most are NOT in government databases. So authorities have NO idea WHO these people are, WHAT they are…or even WHERE they are. What a haven for terrorists!

Some of these people have been here for 10, 15, 20 years. They come from EVERY country in the world, EVERY race, including an estimated 20 thousand undocumented Irish. But Republicans focus ONLY on the Hispanics. Why? There are thousands of Chinese, thousands of Vietnamese, thousands of Africans, Cape Verdeans, Caribbean…Haitians, WHITE Europeans, Russians, Brazilians etc…

(Please note that as far as I am concerned, immigrants of any kind who rape, kill, pillage etc…should be deported immediately, without process. I am NOT asking for hardened criminal immigrants to remain here. My case is for honest, hard-working people who come here to WORK, who come seeking a better life or who are fleeing persecution and hunger, famine, disease.)

Do you really believe the reason the economy is bad and you can’t find a job is because of undocumented immigrants? OK, tell me.

How many Undocumented Immigrants killed President Obama’s 447-billion-dollar jobs bill in the Senate? (October 11, 2011)

How many undocumented immigrants are working at NASA? Or assembling train engines at General Electric (GE)? Are at Boeing building jet engines? At Bank of America creating bad mortgage policies? How many jobs did Undocumented Immigrants take at investment banks on Wall Street? At Goldman Sachs? And How many Undocumented Immigrants took home million-dollar bonuses while you lost your home…or voted to bomb Iraq?  

How many towns are laying off teachers, doctors, nurses and closing fire stations because Undocumented Immigrants are taking their jobs? Don’t you understand that the jobs these immigrants take are generally the backbreaking, low paying jobs so necessary to an advanced economy that traditionally the better off natives NEVER WANT TO DO? Even welfare dependents will stay home instead of doing these jobs. (Don’t blame immigrants, blame your system, and the politicians who won’t fix it.)

The Wall Street Journal has a list of major companies that laid off workers in ONLY the FIRST quarter of 2009.

  • UNITED TECHNOLOGIES: 18-THOUSAND
  • GM: 10-THOUSAND
  • NISSAN: 20-THOUSAND
  • PANASONIC: 15-THOUSAND
  • NEC: 20-THOUSAND
  • CATERPILLER: 20 THOUSAND
  • HOME DEPOT: 7-THOUSAND
  • CIRCUIT CITY (Bankrupt): 34-THOUSAND
  • ALCOA: 15-THOUSAND.

I listed some of the bigger companies/biggest job cuts. But go check the list for yourself: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2009/01/08/first-quarter-layoffs-selection-of-job-cuts-by-major-companies/

Is somebody trying to make YOU believe that UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS are “taking” your jobs? Did they take those jobs in the Journal list? Whom do we blame here?

For the fourth quarter of 2008, follow the Journal link or use this to check company lay-offs: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2008/12/04/fourth-quarter-layoffs-selection-of-job-cuts-by-major-companies/

How many of you are willing to go to Georgia to dig onions? Why not? Like Republicans claim, Immigrants are taking your jobs. Now the jobs are available. Go do them!  $8 an hour, with little or no benefits. Backbreaking, filthy, baking in the sun all day. Waiting for you.

Lawmakers in Georgia, led by the state’s Republican governor, (naturally)  Nathan Deal, passed a law: House Bill 87 – the “Illegal Immigration Reform and Enforcement Act of 2011” intended to drive such individuals “back home.”

What happened? About a-third of the workforce fled Georgia (they didn’t leave America, they left Georgia), crippling Georgia’s largest economic sector: agriculture…by leaving millions of dollars in crops—blueberries, onions, melons and others—to sit rotting in the fields.

Farmers, who were not consulted about the law, (what do farmers know?) and left out of discussions when the law was being crafted…are pissed.

So, you’ll take the jobs if farmers pay more? Say from $8 to $12 per hour? Is 12-dollars an hour acceptable to you? Not YOU, per se…(you’re looking for at least $20 an hour and up) but maybe lesser educated people? OK. Throw in Health Care and other benefits, you argue — to attract American Workers.

Are these the same Health Care/Benefits packages that big companies are trying to get out of? The Post Office says benefits are crippling the service to bankruptcy!  (I’m NOT arguing FOR or AGAINST benefits. Just saying companies claim benefits raise costs, and they do.) Ford, Chrysler and GM had to renegotiate their benefits packages or go bust. Remember, YOU had to then bail them out? Are you willing to pay $5 for a head of lettuce? Why not? Just think of the number of American jobs you’ll be saving…

A factory here in Massachusetts, (employs an acquaintance of mine), shut down and moved operations to Mexico. The company is keeping an office with a skeleton staff in Massachusetts. Who took those jobs? Immigrants – over in Mexico. Since they didn’t actually COME here, and are not immigrants, we’ll call them “potential immigrants-in-waiting.” They didn’t NEED to come HERE because YOUR jobs went to them! Well, I guess that’s better than having them come here, right?

I’d prefer the factory to stay here and at least pay taxes and have the wages they pay be spent HERE and generate economic activity HERE, for shelter, movie passes, food, clothing, furniture – wouldn’t you? I assume Undocumented Immigrants pay rent and buy food and pay bus fare and their phone bills? Or does somebody do THAT for them?

Do you hear Republicans saying anything about these companies that they support, the ones they give tax breaks to, while these companies export jobs overseas? Of course NOT! Big business can send jobs overseas to foreign workers, long as (a) these foreign workers STAY OVER THERE and don’t take these same jobs here, IN America…and (b) as long as these businesses continue to donate to Republicans political coffers!

How many of you, the Silent Majority, believe that every one of these millions of undocumented people in the U.S. should be rounded up and deported?

How many of you believe that every one of these people CAN be bundled up and deported?

How many of you are willing to pay for it? To pay for hiring airplanes and personnel, pilots, law enforcement to accompany deportees, food and shelter to house deportees while they wait, and for the long appeals lawyers/individuals will mount in YOUR courts? Would you mind the government hiring more lawyers, judges, court clerks…while laying off teachers and police?

How many of you believe that the legions of kids born to these undocumented immigrants, who are U.S. citizens by law, should either remain here while their parents are deported – or should be deported with their parents? Or should the parents go – kids stay?

How many of you believe that undocumented students who have excelled in their studies at American schools (at taxpayer expense) should be denied access to university while American kids are failing? Do you blame Undocumented Immigrants for the numbers of American kids, who sit next to the immigrant kids, sharing the same lessons, teachers, facilities and opportunities, but still fail?

How do you expect these bright, intelligent immigrant kids to support themselves when they leave high school with straight A’s but cannot get a job, not even at McDonald’s, because they have no Social Security number? Are you willing to throw these promising kids under the bus – your future scientists, teachers and artists – while shouldering lifetime Welfare Benefits to failing American kids – just because they are American?

So, lets’ re-examine. What did Republicans achieve by killing Immigration Reform? Political gimmickry, pandering to the Right!

Did undocumented immigrants leave? NOPE. Still here, with de facto Amnesty.

Is the problem fixed – or did Republicans manage to sweep one more major issue under the carpet, again?

Do you expect people who braved hell to get here, crossed deserts, sailed rickety boats in shark-infested waters, paid smugglers, sold everything they possess for passage, to endure great hardship and persecution, even rape, along the way, to give up now, that they’ve gotten here? Do you really think that after getting a taste of America, people will return to foraging in garbage dumps for food? To return to drug wars and disease and starvation and political uncertainty and religious persecution and lack of opportunity? Would you?

Would you like a pregnant undocumented  immigrant woman to start labor pains, or get involved in an accident, or suffer a heart attack and go to a hospital and be refused treatment, and be sent away to die? Do you want the hospital to tell the pregnant woman, sorry, we can’t deliver your baby and let the woman and baby die in the parking lot? How would YOU feel if you woke up one morning and there were 20, 50 such cases around the nation?

Or would you proclaim, like the Republican Right/Tea Party crowd (yes, the ones who so zealously appear to believe in a merciful, just, compassionate, forgiving God, the ones who speak for Jesus), because they are very sure that Jesus would also say: “Too bad for you, unwanted immigrants. You should die, so you can get the message and go back to where ever it is that you came from. You are taking away from my plenty – go back to your nothing! Furthermore, I talked to Jesus this morning, and he agrees with me!”

Polls consistently show that a MAJORITY of Americans favor giving undocumented people who are already here, have been here for years, those who are hard-working, upstanding, willing to learn English where necessary, A PATHWAY TO LEGALITY.

So again I ask YOU, the Silent Majority, where were YOU when you let voices on the right prevail, and shallow, scared politicians ducked for cover, and let a MINORITY of right-wing Republicans crush efforts by tying reform to a secure border? Do you plan to build a fence on the Canadian border too?

Now states are passing piecemeal Immigration Laws WHICH THE WHITE HOUSE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THEN GO TO COURT OVER, WASTING THOUSANDS OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS, because the Obama White House is AFRAID to take up a bill THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN INTRODUCED (HR 4321 – Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity (CIR ASAP) Act of 2009 by Representative Luis Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat in December, 2009)…because Republicans oppose it.

Most people thought President Obama had a wonderful opportunity to reform Immigration. But he squandered his political capital on a Healthcare Hash and now, instead of having the guts to force a vote, the White House is cowering because they’ve done the math/taken a poll, and apparently do not have enough votes to pass the bill!

Now we are governing by poll? By posturing? We are governing by fear?

Gone are the days when politicians with balls INTRODUCED a bill and DEBATED it and LET Congress VOTE. No, now handlers must first go behind the scenes and find out who is willing to vote for the bill, and tally how many votes they have, and if there are not enough votes, then capitulate and shelve/kill the legislation – EVEN IF IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

Oh Silent Majority, how much you are to blamed for…!!! And now, you protest…

Thanks God slavery is already abolished.

Imagine passing an anti-slavery vote Today. IT WOULD NEVER BE DONE. And thank God Rosa Parks did not go around asking for support BEFORE she sat down on that bus seat!

White House, take note. If the polls allow it…

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Cash for Clapboards & Kennedy’s Replacement

Wouldn’t it be nice if the government decided to buy foreclosed homes – invite people to turn in homes they no longer want or can afford – like homes that are not energy efficient? The government could then buy these houses, rehabilitate them and sell them to people who can afford them! 

I suggest we call that program: “<strong>Cash for Clapboards” (CACLAP)</strong>. 

Its forerunner, “Cash for Clunkers” seems to have: 

•          Ignited under new car sales.

•          Thrilled General Motors (GM) so much, the auto maker decided to lend dealers money to run the program…while those dealers wait for the government to reimburse them!

•          Increased vehicle production. GM is adding 60-thousand vehicles in the third and fourth quarters and re-hiring about 1400 laid-off workers. 

Under The Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS program), owners traded in their gas guzzlers. That made them eligible to get from 35-hundred to 45-hundred-dollars towards buying a newer model that meets or exceeds higher mile-per-gallon standards. Dealers fronted the money and the government reimbursed them. 

According to the Associated Press, the government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program has: <em>revived business at car dealerships, taken gas-guzzlers off the road and given a badly needed boost to struggling auto factories. By many measures, the government’s Cash for Clunkers program has been a success</em>”. 

Well then! My “Cash for Clapboards” (CACLAP) program could similarly inject a substantial infusion of cash into the struggling housing market/industry. 

Under CACLAP, homeowners could trade in that draughty old colonial for that new, energy-efficient detached with the big yard that you’ve been drooling over! Water saving, energy efficient appliances, solar panels on the roof – just think of it! 

Cash for Clunkers ends Monday, August 24, 2009. I say we start “Cash for Clapboards” immediately! 

*****  

I don’t support changing the Massachusetts Succession Law because a situation has developed that could benefit Democrats. 

The Boston Globe says Senator Ted Kennedy (who’s been battling brain cancer since May 2008) has written to Governor Deval Patrick asking the governor and legislative leaders to change the succession law. Kennedy apparently wants to ensure that Massachusetts will have a Senate vote when his seat becomes vacant. 

Massachusetts governors used to have the power to fill Senate vacancies. 

But in 2004, democratic lawmakers didn’t want republican Governor Mitt Romney to fill Kerry’s seat with a Republican if Kerry became president. So Democrats (who also held the majority back then) changed the law and created a five-month vacancy. 

Now that little self-serving trick could come back to bite democrats. President Obama and Democrats may face a close vote to pass health care legislation…and if Kennedy is out of the running, that’s one crucial vote short…unless that seat can be filled quickly! 

I tend to be pro-Democrat, but that doesn’t mean I support everything they do…or want to do. 

Why don’t I support it? <strong>Because it was Democrats who changed the law when it didn’t suit them – and if they changed it solely to tie Romney’s hands – what makes them think they can just as opportunistically change it now</strong>? 

Sometimes just having the required votes and the ability to do something…<em>doesn’t mean you should do it! </em>I like it when people fall into holes that they’ve dug for others! 

At one time Rome was the superpower. At one point it was Egypt. The Huns ruled, the Aztecs ruled…and more recently, Europe ruled. Empires come…empires go. Civilizations come and civilizations go! 

Learn from this. Politicians come and politicians go. Parties come and parties go! 

<strong>Whichever party has a majority should understand that this state of affairs will never last! What use is history is we never learn from it?</strong>

Blagojevich’s Unhappy Birthday…

I didn’t know much about Illinois Governor, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, but I’m getting a crash course.

Suddenly, today, (December 09/2008) the Illinois lawmaker, whose second four-year term ends in January 2011, was arrested – on corruption charges.

And he’s splashed all over the news!

There is the governor, at a press event just yesterday. Reporters asked Blagojevich if he thought it was possible he was being wiretapped. He replies that he has nothing to hide…and anybody who wants to can go ahead and tape his conversations!

Apparently unknown to Blagojevich, (but maybe not so unknown to that reporter) the FBI had been taping his conversations for three years!

According to news reports, the FBI is accusing Blagojevich and his chief of staff, (others are involved)…of two counts each of conspiring to gain financial benefits in appointing President-elect Barack Obama’s Senate replacement.

Officials allege “Blagojevich put a for sale sign on the naming of a United States Senator; involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism.”

A reference to The Tribune Company, which publishes the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. Tribune filed for bankruptcy on Monday. Officials say Blagojevich threatened to withhold state assistance from the company…unless Tribune fired members of its editorial board, who had criticized the Illinois governor.

Blagojevich is allegedly on tape discussing:

GETTING a big salary for himself at either a non-profit foundation or an organization affiliated with labor unions; SECURING a spot for his wife on paid corporate boards, with compensation of 150-thousand-DOLLARS a year; ELICITING promises of campaign funds, including cash up front and possibly WRANGLING a Cabinet post or ambassadorship for himself.

In ordinary speak, they’re claiming that Blagojevich, who turns 52 on Wednesday, tried to sell or trade Obama’s old Senate seat to the highest bidder…who would give him personal benefits for himself and his wife.

No comment, so far, from the Obama transition team. Blagojevich is quoted saying Mr. Obama can F-off because “they’re not willing to give me anything except appreciation“.

Investigators say Blagojevich also talked about feeling frustrated that he was “stuck as governor.” He even referred to a possible run for the White House in 20-16.

This underscores how some of us never seem to see the blessings or good things in our lives. Here is a governor, earning a decent salary, with perks, power, influence – a position that many would die for.

On top of this, he is the governor of Illinois, the next president’s home state, which already gives him entry to the White House. Yet instead of calling in groups, agencies and lawmakers to start brainstorming on how best to squeeze every ounce of influence out of Washington, he’s looking around, making comparisons and feeling he’s coming up short.

He sees Obama, his fellow colleague, now suddenly catapulted into the nation’s highest office. Blagojevich is serving his second four-year term. Obama made president during his first term!

The Illinois governor sees others like Jesse Jackson Jr. who could become the state’s next senator…

Yet there he is, feeling trapped in that local office.

He does not see the millions who have been laid off and the millions more poised to be laid off. All he sees is his lot…his misery, his disappointments, his financial strain, his career going nowhere. So he gets antsy, and shoots himself in the foot. Now where does he go from here?

It doesn’t look like Blagojevich will be heading to the White House in 20-16.

According to one news report, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Solicitation of bribery carries a maximum of 10 years in prison. Both carry a maximum quarter-million-dollar fine.

It’s hard to feel sorry for governor Blagojevich, when, according to officials, he allegedly wanted to pull back eight million dollars in funding from the Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He allegedly was pissed because the hospital didn’t give him the 50-thousand-dollar personal contribution he wanted.

Children…? Come on, Mr. Blagojevich. Let’s leave sick kids out of it.

Still until Blagojevich is proven guilty, we will give him the benefit of that doubt. Same as we did for O.J. Simpson.

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