Here at peoplepolitico.com I would like to wish you all a happy and safe holiday season. Yes, you read that right, Happy Holidays.
Felices Las Posadas
Happy Day of Ashura
Happy St. Lucia’s Day
Happy St. Nicholas Day
Meri Tennō tanjōbi
Merry Bodhi Day
Or any other of the many seasonal greetings.
There seems to be a common misconception that if you do not wish people a Merry Christmas during the month of December, you are somehow demeaning or slighting Christians and their particular holiday of Christmas. However, saying “Happy Holidays” has nothing to do with slighting Christians. Instead, it easily includes more of our fellows, Christians and beyond, offering a more rounded and universal holiday greeting. It is a sign of respect to everyone, including Christians, acknowledging the wide and varied beliefs of those around you. This country might be predominantly Christian, but there is no reason to exclude those that are not.
A Succinct Account Of All The Religions
Saying “Happy Holidays” shows respect for neighbors, children, grandparents, co-workers, and all the other various people that surround us in our everyday lives. We all have different backgrounds, different beliefs, and different ideas about the world.
This greeting is meant to be a warm, friendly saying to wish people a happy season, regardless of a person’s individual beliefs.
So the next time you want to wish someone well during the holiday season, remember if you are not sure of a person’s beliefs, saying “Happy Holidays” should be a welcomed greeting. Those who insist on using one particular greeting may be causing those who do not celebrate that particular holiday to feel excluded. We live in a country whose main tenet is inclusion of people from many different cultures. Our country was founded by people who wanted to exercise religious freedom, and be free from religious persecution.
The intent of a more inclusive greeting is to hopefully make someone else’s day better, and show that you accept those around you for who they are. Offering those around you goodwill and acceptance makes the world a better place. Isn’t that what the holiday season is all about?
The presidential holiday letter was released this last weekend in USA Today. The letter was well written and had very little real politics presented in it. Of course there were a few small things but overall it was what you would expect from anyone else in your family. The letter had a quick mention of everyone in the Obama family and what they have been up to. His list of happenings was a bit more extravagant than the rest of us!
Of course, FOX News jumped all over his Thanksgiving Address and this holiday letter. Seriously, can they give it a break for 5 seconds? It is so agonizing how they push to find something wrong with everything. There is something fundamentally wrong with this whole outlook on the world. It comes as no surprise though as FOX news takes the cake for getting things wrong. More on this in another article.
The point is, can’t we all just stop for a while? Let’s take a few breaths and offer each other good will? That is what the holidays are about. We need to keep this poisonous vitriol out of this time of the year, at least out of the Season’s Greetings. We are all American’s aren’t we? Can’t we be civil enough to reflect on the good things in life and wish the same for each other? Who knows, we might actually surprise ourselves and find out we can get along after all.
If we learned to get along with one another, we could learn to actually get some things done in America. If we could use this idea of peace and good will towards each other we might have a shot at tackling some of the issues at hand.
For now, take a step back and remember why we celebrate this time of year. Why we should look to each other with empathetic and kind eyes. Keep peace and good will at the forefront, and it might just become a habit.
Here is a snippet of the Presidential Family’s holiday letter.
On behalf of the entire Obama family, I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a happy and healthy holiday season. For us, the holidays are a chance to eat some good food, sing some holiday songs (occasionally out of tune), affirm our faith, and spend time with the family and friends who make our lives so blessed.
It can be strange, living in the White House. After all, every time my family piles into the car, Secret Service piles in with us. But there at the Memorial, as we held hands in silence, we were just another American family. We felt the way I hope you feel, as you celebrate the holidays: surrounded by the ones we love, confident in the promise of tomorrow, and blessed to live in this great country.
Read the entire letter here: The Obama Holiday Letter
So have a happy and good natured holiday season. Wish those around you good health and good living. Use this time to reflect on what we have, what we can offer and how we treat one another. It never is the time to focus on the worst of us, but doing so is nearly blasphemous during this time of the year.
From our hearts to yours, your family, your friends, and your loved ones, have a happy holiday season from PeoplePolitico.com.
The flurry of holiday shopping is underway and now is a great time to stock up on all those great political books you have seen through the year.
With the presidential election coming up here in 2012 it is time to make sure you are up to date on all of the hot topics of today.
With the horrible state of our politics, the misrepresentation in much of our news, and emotional tempers running hot, it is hard to have a clear, objective look at the political layout of today.
Along with reading the papers, surfing the online news sites and watching both network and cable news it can’t hurt to back up your political ideals through the wide variety of great political books as well. The more sources you gather your political information from the better. We as people are able to sort out the facts from fiction when we have enough information from enough sources. With this bounty of real and factual information we can make truly good choices when it comes to election time and our decisions on politics.
Our political systems works so hard to manipulate the voters instead of educating voters. That is why it is up to you to be sure that you remain truly educated on the political topics of the day.
Barnes and Nobel is having some great deals this Black Friday. They are also planning on some great blowout prices come Cyber Monday. Use the link below to get 50% off the books and other political media that suits your needs.
Grab some great deals this holiday season!
Once you are done reading these make sure to pass them around your friends and family. Ask them to share what political books and media they have as it can only help everyone increase their understanding of our incredibly complex and dysfunctional politico environment.
The “Super Committee”, a group of twelve Congress members, were tasked with finding a solution to America’s debt crisis and the deadline is 24 hours away. The outlook is grim.
The official vote for whatever solution the “Super Committee” was supposed to engineer must be delivered to the public at least 48 hours before the voting deadline on Wednesday. That means the plan is due tomorrow. If no plan is presented tomorrow, the “Super Committee” will have failed.
The possible failure of the “Super Committee” follows a long line of failures of Congress to act in the best interest of the American people. Their failure is just a reflection of the larger failure of American politics.
Who imagined a half dozen bull-headed politicians could agree on anything when they couldn’t do it before?
Why has it become OK to forget what comprise means?
Why has it become OK to continue to hurt America and its people over politics?
Why isn’t it OK to make those that forced us into multiple wars pay for the costs of those wars?
Why isn’t it OK to make those corporations that tanked the worldwide economy pay for their disregard?
Why must those that that are the victims of these injustices now be asked to pay for them?
Why are we all suffering the failures of our politicians, our government, and our people?
I wish I had a good answer for these questions but I don’t.
Our politicians have failed to do what is right for our country. Our people have failed by letting these political failures into office.
What is our recourse for the continued pulling of America down the drain.
Everyday Americans need to speak out, shout out. Join the Occupy Wall Street movement and help make these voices heard. When the topic comes up in conversations, use it as an opportunity to inform people that Occupy Wall Street is about the vast majority of Americans taking back the power, and holding those who are endangering America’s future accountable for their actions.
Contact your representatives. Let them know that you are in favor of compromise, that you are either in favor of their actions or you disagree. Our representatives have gotten away with doing what’s best for their re-election campaigns or the lobbyists for a long time. Let them know that Americans are no longer the apathetic sheep we used to be. We are watching what they do, we will remember, and they will be held accountable.
Come election time, make sure you go out and vote these obstructionists out of office. Vote these uncompromising political failures out of office.
We need to, no we MUST, send a message to Washington and the politicians that represent us that we will not stand for failure. We will not stand for their inability to legislate. We will not stand for them to demean, degrade and deconstruct this country that we all love.
So this has seemed to fade into the news cycle somewhere but a huge and potentially country changing decision is looming in near future. What will be the Super Committee’s decision and/or suggestions going to be to our current financial crisis? Will the Super Committee be able to craft a solution that satisfies both the Democrats, Republicans and the American People?
The hope is that they will have some ingenious solution to make our pains go away. The hope is that they will bridge their differences and come up with an all-encompassing compromise that will make us all do our fair share.
The reality is that they are very unlikely to come up with anything of substance at all unless we speak up.
With the very idea of compromise seeming to be a bad word in Washington recently. Compromise and working together is openly shunned. It is unlikely that anything real will happen. The current political strategies of obstructionism are wreaking havoc on our country, our government and most notably the people of the United States of America. We are all suffering because of the quagmire of politics right now.
We have seen in recent days that the voice of the people can make a difference should we shout out loud enough.
Stand Up For Healthcare has created a handy little tool to help you get a list of your representatives and their twitter accounts. There is currently a campaign now to inundate our representatives with what the people really want through Twitter in hopes that they will actually represent us and provide what we ask for.
I hope all of you use the tool provided below to make your voice heard. We the people are being systematically silenced but we can use the tools of today to keep out voice. Use yours.
I was raised in a staunchly Democratic household with Democratic generational roots in Northern Indiana. I grew up supporting Democratic policies and candidates and looking down on Republicans as backwards and not out for the middle class. I even said many times while living in Northern Ireland that “I will not move back to the States if that country-bumpkin Bush gets elected.” I did, however, eventually move back to the US on September first 2001. I watched the horror that seized the nation ten days later and then watched helplessly as the Bush’s two terms pass. During that tenure, I watched as civil rights and liberties were diminished, an ill-fated war be waged based on faulty intelligence (against a country that had nothing to do with September 11th), torture and abduction become acceptable, national debt skyrocket while more and more money is poured into our military industrial complex, and finally a the crash of the entire financial system. The tide of fear that gripped the nation left no room for any form of decent against what was happening for fear of being labeled unpatriotic or worse yet, a terrorist. In my mind and in my conversations, I had one nice and neat place to lay the blame…BUSH and his Republican cronies.
Does the U.S. Two-Party System Still Work?
I was filled with the “hope” and “change” that swept the Democrat Barack Obama into office and looked forward to congress being held by the Democrats as well. Things will change, they have to get better, I thought. As the dust settled and the Obama presidency got underway, I watched again helplessly as more and more Bush policies were adopted, as a healthcare bill was written by the insurance companies, as more troops die in both wars, and every effort seems to be made to compromise towards a “Republican platform” on social programs. Then one day as I was thinking about the state of our nation, I thought to myself, “What would I think if this were a Republican president?” I came to the realization that neither party has my interests at heart, neither party is willing to make the hard decisions on difficult challenges facing our country with both parties willingly perpetuating problems for political gain. No longer can I support the Democratic Party. I now believe that there is only one “hope” for our country and that is to break the two party strangle-hold that has established its permanent place of power and make our government much more transparent and working for us. We need to return to a point to where the government is the servant of its citizens and no longer its citizens being indentured servants of the government. I do not believe that can or will happen under this two party system.
“I’m not talking ’bout rich, I’m talking ’bout wealth.”
Average American people don’t understand the difference between being rich and being wealthy.
Rich is the guy who won the lotto. It happens. It could happen to you. It is not bloody likely, but it could. Wealth… doesn’t just happen to people. It almost impossible to create wealth. It is highly unlikely you will ever create a business that is so successful that you create wealth. The odds are worse than the lotto. Billions of times worse.
Bill Gates did it. He founded a company that revolutionized the business world. Sam Walton did it. He revolutionized the way we shop. Rockefeller did it. He revolutionized steel. Now, look at you. You aren’t going to revolutionize anything. You, Average Joe, are average. The wealthy are attending seminars on how to expand their wealth to take care of their 5th generation. Think about that. If the average person has two kids, then those kids have two kids, we are talking about people who are planning to have enough wealth to have their family of 64 live in lap of luxury for their entire lives. And guess what, these are not the first generation wealthy either. By the time you get that far down the line none of them have earned anything. The more you think about it the more the entire concept of a meritocracy loses water. And do not be fooled, that is exactly what people are being sold; the concept of meritocracy.
You are being sold the idea of “to each according to their merit”, and that is a false statement. That is like saying “everything in the world is fair”. It is just not true. You determine your own self worth, and that has little to no bearing on your financial status. In the grand scheme of things you are average. Most of us are. Billions of us are.
The thing is there is nothing wrong with being average. There is nothing wrong with striving to be better than average either, it is a noble goal. Most of the unwashed masses never even try. But it is a fascinating personality trait that would simultaneously make someone so arrogant that they believe they can break free of the pack, be that one in a billion, yet possess such low self esteem to believe that they deserve their lot in life no matter how bad that lot may be. And they will accept that lot in life no matter how easy it would be to improve. It is as simple as voting for the other guys. It is as easy as reevaluating what is important. But they will cling to the idea that they are exceptional no matter how statistically impossible that achievement may be.
The sooner Americans understand that rich happens by luck (like having some athletic, musical, or acting talent, or by winning the lotto) and that wealth is engineered through generation after generation of careful planning or by revolutionizing the world, the sooner Americans will do more to help each other. But I don’t see it happening because the lie is so entrenched.
“What is that lie” you ask? The lie is American Exceptionalism. For generations we have been told that we are special just for being born in America. President Obama has even been widely criticized for not promoting the concept as broadly as previous presidents. But the concept is faulty. There was a time when America truly was exceptional. When anyone, no matter who you were, where you came from, or your family’s financial status, could and often would achieve the American Dream. But that time was long ago when the American Dream was as simple as owning a home, being your own person, and living a life better than the previous generation. The American Dream itself has been distorted to fit this view of American Exceptionalism. The new American Dream is to be a rock star or movie god. To live the life depicted on MTV Cribs, or Keeping up with the Kardashian’s. But that life is statistically unobtainable. If you return to what the American Dream once was and simply try to live a better life than you had growing up you will see how flawed the whole system really is.
What made American exceptional in the past was how we reacted in the worst of times. It is what we did for our fellow Americans, what we did for each other, that led us to win two World Wars. It was working together that got us through the Great Depression. It was the will to achieve together that put a man on the moon. It was never what we did in the best of times that defined us, but what we did in the worst of times. Now is one of those times, and everyone needs to reevaluate where they stand; with the rest of America, or alone trying to achieve the lie.
I would find it amusing were it not so appalling that people support the idea that the struggles between Democrats and Republicans are simply matters of belief. These problems are a matter of facts. Republicans ran on a platform of jobs and the economy. Since taking office in January the Republican led House of Representatives has rallied behind social issue after social issue while doing everything in their power to make sure taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans were kept at record lows.
It is a fact that corporations are sitting on some of the largest stockpiles of cash in American history. It is a fact that the wealthiest 4% of Americans have an effective tax rate lower than the 1950s and lower than the vast majority of their fellow citizens today. It is a fact that those who the Republicans have deemed “job creators” are doing very, very well despite the perceived economic climate when, in fact, very few jobs have been created. It is also a fact that if we do not raise the debt ceiling we will only worsen our economic climate. In fact, the Republicans (who I will remind you controlled the White House and both houses in Congress for six years) raised the debt ceiling ten times. Ten times they raised it, and now they are playing politics with the one time when it looks imperative that we raise it again.
The Suffering American People
The fact is most Americans are suffering. Why aren’t our Republican friends worried about tax breaks for the 90%? Our roads and bridges are crumbling. Why aren’t our Republican friends talking about improving America’s infrastructure? We are paying 20-40% to export our goods to countries like India and China, while only charging them 2-4% to import them to America. Why aren’t our Republican friends concerned about trade inequity?
Rep. Jared Polis actually proposed legalizing and taxing online gambling and marijuana as a solution. Why aren’t all solutions being considered? Why do we have to have things one way or the other? Why can’t we have spending cuts AND tax increases? Surely if one of these solutions will get us out of our current financial situation, utilizing all of them will get us out faster.
While it is not a fact, I think that both parties have failed us. Unfortunately we do not have a strong 3rd party. Until we do we must vote for the “lesser of two evils” so to speak. If you take out your own long held political beliefs, look at the facts, remember that social issues are not really in the realm of a limited government, and vote for who actually has a plan and agenda to help you, then you will very clearly know who falls into the “greater of the two evils” category.
Using the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United, Steven Colbert, of the Colbert Report on Comedy Central, has legally and legitimately started his own Super PAC.
Over the last several months, he’s been working to form his own Super PAC in order to show that he can use the Supreme Court ruling in order to push his own political agenda. Steven Colbert is a comedian and his show is brilliant. What’s frightening about this stunt is that it goes beyond satire—he is showing the public exactly how anybody can do this. Because his program is a comedy show, he is not being taken seriously, except by those who truly understand the horror of what he is able to accomplish.
What is the Supreme Court’s Decision on Citizens United?
Effectively the Supreme Court ruled that corporations and businesses have the same rights as an individual United States citizen, and that no caps or limitations can be applied to the amount of money they can contribute politically because it limits a company’s freedom of speech.
This ruling has effectively given them the ability to amplify their influence on candidates. Companies with millions of dollars to spend to further their own agendas will absolutely take the opportunity to do so, in many respects drowning out or outright buying votes for their corporation and PACs.
What is a PAC (Super PAC)?
PAC Power: Inside the World of Political Action Committees
PAC stands for Political Action Committee. A Super PAC is just the bigger corporate type of PAC. A PAC is a committee that can be formed by anyone having some kind of political goal or agenda. Anyone can donate to a PAC, and this donation is undisclosed. This can be a donation of 1 cent to 1 billion dollars. Since this kind of political spending does not have to be disclosed it is a perfect and legal way to hide contributions to any PAC that supports your cause or that you yourself have created.
Why is the Citizens United decision and the formation of PACs so detrimental to our democracy?
For years, in fact for 100 years, a Supreme Court ruling has limited the amount of money corporations, lobbyists, and other interest groups can dump into the political system, whether for advertising, campaigning, or directly supporting candidates. The reasoning was that the country and the justices felt that it is important to limit these contributions so that companies and special interests didn’t drown out the will of the people. The people, even those that lobby for corporations, all have a vote and already have significant power when determining elections, without the overbearing influence of multi-million or even multi-billion dollar campaign ads, smear ads, propaganda and all of the other ways that voters and elections are influenced.
Now, with the ability to form PACs and Super PACs, the floodgates have been opened for these special interests to pour in as much money as needed to keep the legislation and politicians they want in power. There is a correlation between the amount of money put into an election and the results of the election. The influence was once limited, now it is not.
This decision by the Supreme Court is a new one and we are yet to see the full extent of what unlimited lobbying will do. I cringe to think about the damage we, our country and even our world might endure when faced with such forces as the petroleum industry, which literally has tens of billions of dollars PER MONTH it could potentially sink into campaigns. $10,000,000,000 a month to buy an election, and those that contribute can remain completely anonymous. How can the normal citizen even have a chance to combat such overwhelming funds, coming from questionable sources? And that is exactly the idea of PACs.
So I appreciate what Steven Colbert is doing. He has legitimately created a Super PAC, with his admitted intended use of the money to be completely frivolous. He has clearly stated that he wants a Super PAC so he has more money to have fun. And he actually got his Super PAC, and there are many people giving money to the PAC as we speak!
I think what Steven Colbert is doing is great. He is making Super PACs very public and showing what kind of sham they really are. He is illustrating the kind of shenanigans that he and anyone else could do, with their own PAC. There’s no accountability, there is no transparency, if the source of the money is anonymous. Transparency is one of the biggest wishes the American people have for their government. A government for the people is the very foundations that our democracy has to have to function properly. It was never meant for the corporation or special interests with the biggest coffers to have the biggest influence on our elected officials and the bills that become laws.
I hope you are all shocked and appalled that this is even possible. If you haven’t gotten to that point yet, watch below and try to understand the insane and horrible consequences that the ruling on Citizens United can, and probably will, cause our democracy. Our government is not supposed to be able to be for sale. But right now, it is.
Does it shock and disgust you that the Democrats in Wisconsin were forced to literally ditch the vote to stop the passage of the anti-union legislation in the senate? It should.
What was shocking? This legislation was introduced as a way to make a not only an attempt to balance the state a budget but also has a veiled attempt to destroy the bargaining power of state employees in their union.
What was so disgusting? It boggles my mind that they have the audacity to look to the teachers, firefighters and police to make major sacrifices when the Republicans themselves will not even concede to allow the tax cuts for the most wealthy (Make over $250,000 a year) in America to expire.
There is something fundamentally wrong asking someone to give up their basic civil rights when you yourself will not agree to a more equitable tax rate.
Find plenty of stories on this amazing turn of events here: Google Search
First we must not, cannot, give up any more of our collective bargaining rights. We as a people must not bow to the politico forces and there strange and often times convincing spin. We as a people must always keep our fundamental rights in the foreground and make decisions based off those first. We are a nation built on, and dependent on, its people. If we fail our people, America will fail.
By the people, for the people.
This constitutionally protected right must be maintained at all costs. Look at what happened with the breaking of the unions for airline pilots. They at one time made good money. Many smart, qualified people pushed hard to get into the field. This gave us an airline industry full of proud, well qualified pilots who did nothing else but focus on being a good quality pilot. This made the flying safer, more secure and attracted high end talent to this important industry.
Now the only pilots that fly are those that do it simply because they love it or did not realize how little they would be paid and how much they would have to work due to the lack of being unionized. Many are forced now to have second jobs and take double shifts just to make ends meet.
Doing that here would do the same thing by gutting the very infrastructure of Wisconsin. Do you really want only the desperate and ignorant to become the next set of teachers, firefighters and police officers? Even those that are willing to work for nothing will likely be forced out of that career due to simple financial requirements to survive. These are the people that should be paid well. They are the ones that keep America strong. Not the other way around.
Besides this argument to retain a strong foundation to our society, it can also be considered illegal and unconstitutional.
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.
Secondly, if the wealthiest 1% of American’s are not willing to give up the massive tax breaks, fighting tooth and nail to retain the inequitable tax breaks, how can they ask the rest of America to make such sacrifices that lead to un employment, losing their homes and even death. So many Americans are already without health insurance, this would just force more there. Some would most certainly die simply because they were unable to afford health insurance.
So they want the people to give up all of these things in exchange for the wealthiest 1% to have a better tax break? That makes me sick. It should make you sick.
The bottom line is I fully support the Democratic Senators of Wisconsin and their unorthodox but effective fighting of this unjust bill. I wish them the best and hope that their actions open the eyes of all of the people in America to the continued assault on our prosperity.