President Obama’s State of the Union Address 2012

people-politico-president-barack-obama-debatingThe President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, gave his 2012 State of the Union Address. Whether you love or hate President Obama, there is no denying that he knows how to give a great speech. President Obama is a very charismatic speaker using a great amount of intelligence and elegance when he speaks. Whether you agree or disagree with what he said last night does not change the fact that he is great at addressing America.

Watch the web enhanced video of the 2012 State of the Union Address


It’s always interesting to see how the fact checkers rate these addresses. Not just the State of the Union Address but the many other speeches, policies, rallies and other promises that are made by politicians. They are so easily lost in the tumult that is politics that no regular person, like you and I, can keep track of it all. So I like to wait at least a day for all of the fact checking places to do their due diligence. Then I peruse through them to see what was real and was smoke. I urge everyone to take a few extra minutes and check several different sources yourself, especially about the political issues you care most about.

It turns out that on the scale of what was true and what is reality President Obama’s State of the Union Address turns out to be mostly true! This is great news and a refreshing change of pace from the last administration. I always hate when we hear great promises or “facts” about what they have done or not done only to find out it was a thinly veiled attempt to earn favor, and far from the truth. Unfortunately, our first impressions are often the strongest. This means it is much harder for us to “unlearn” the lies we hear first instead of being able to believe the truth we learn later. Unfortunately this is widely known and is an often used tactic in politics. Know they use it, so you can guard yourself from it.

President Obama definitely covered the full gamut of issues that America is facing. There is a lot to talk about for sure and it will be interesting to see what, if any, action is actually taken. President Obama took a tougher stand last night during the State of the Union Address than we have seen before. We can only expect this “toughness” to increase over the course of the election year. I do appreciate that even though President Obama was talking tougher, he was still addressing everyone with respect and dignity. This is something that is unfortunately becoming more and more rare.

Formation of Committee to Investigate Misconduct of Big Oil and Wall Street

I think this was one of the biggest, most important announcements from the State of the Union Address, the formation of a Committee to formally investigate big corporations. If this actually happens, and actually gets to a place that they can actually do their job, it has the possibility to illuminate the insanity that our financial system and its corporations that puts on the people of American and the rest of the world. This decision alone could reach deep into the workings of our government and economy to expose the massive issues and broken systems that have brought the world economy to its knees. It amazes me how fast people have already forgotten how close we were to a calamity of massive proportions. Hopefully this will help to expose these issues and help us move forward to a solution in the future.

I know these are high hopes, look at how crippled some of the others have been. Tied up in the bureaucracy but more importantly the lobbyists pushing their congressman to fight against these common sense steps to a better America.

Combine the Citizen’s United, political partisanship, election year politics and it will honestly be a miracle if anything gets done at all this year. However, I am still hopeful that something will be, or at least could be, accomplished. We have to keep on trying and keep on pushing forward. Contact your representative and urge them to action!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday Political Book Deals

government-buildingThe 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.

Barnes&Noble.com

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.

Politics of Regulation on Retirement

people-politico-penny-pileRegulations: Ask different people what this word means to them and you will get a lot of different answers. Some will say regulations are an absolute necessity in our society, and some will treat the word like a swear word, saying regulation ruins innovation and stymies growth. However, those views may change drastically when the topic is drilled down to certain kinds of regulations. So instead of trying to talk about all regulations, it’s best to narrow the subject down to regulation of a specific type. Only then can we have an intellectual discussion about the topic.

Today we are going to look into regulations surrounding retirement funds and pensions in private companies. These benefits are often seen as one of the best benefits in privately owned companies. However, retirement and pensions are more and more often being sacrificed in tough economic times. But the upper management and CEOs of some private corporations may be using the recession as an excuse to force workers to give up their retirement benefits and pensions in order to pad their own retirement savings and company profits.

We have to remember that much of the purpose of a corporation is to make money, so it isn’t surprising, but it is appalling, to think that these private corporations can so easily take money from the retirement funds of their most loyal workers and use it for their own gain. This is a benefit that was promised to workers at the prime of their careers to help them plan for a time when they would retire after putting in many long years with a company. Corporations take advantage of a series of loopholes that are little known to the public to pull this money, meant for their work force, and convert it into “profit” for themselves. We don’t say bank robbers are not stealing, they are profiting by seizing the money of a bank, so why can these companies get away with it? Even when they cannot directly shovel cash out of your retirement, there are other means for them to force you to freeze or reduce your benefits while increasing their own benefits dramatically.

 

Retirement Heist

Stop the plunder of American hard work.

The WorldCom and Enron scandals both come immediately to mind with this type of action. However, there are thousands of other corporations that have done the same thing. Apparently after WorldCom and Enron, the media has decided “this is just how things are”. This is insane! “This is how it is” never, ever, justifies inaction to change. These types of horrible injustices will continue if we allow them to continue because of our own apathy.

It seems that these are no longer stories on the front page because this is how business is run in America. Business practices that involve taking from the workers and giving ridiculous amounts of money to the CEO is apparently what a small investment in elected officials will get you. The workers themselves have become a source of income for the upper tier of the corporation. Employees don’t get raises; they do not get more benefits and the benefits they do have already gained are being taken away. The workers get less and less while the upper tiers of these corporations get more and more. The employees have to take it because the job market is so terrible they know they have to be content with having steady employment.

 

But using people like this is amoral. This is ghastly. This is inexcusable.

This is why we need regulations regarding a company’s pension and retirement plans. These plans need to have protection and oversight or they will continue to be abused. Deregulation of pension and retirement plans was pitched as a benefit for the workers. Deregulation has been sold as a way to ensure the safety and security of the American people and the workforce. In fact, deregulation has destabilized the American work force, bringing uncertainty not only to those who are employed by companies that cannibalize their workers’ retirement funds, but to the majority of the American workforce. It has created a corporate environment where the American worker is forced to scrape by on stagnant wages, failing retirement and pension plans, and an unstable job market, while corporate coffers fill with the wages of American workers’ hard earned money. The upmost tiers of these corporations enjoy “profits” that are supposed to be our retirements while they themselves are being guaranteed ludicrously large sums of money in their retirement, and in some cases, even if they are fired for gross negligence!

If there is any hope to bring the American people back to a place where they can look forward to retirement, and can be assured of the pensions they have been promised for their entire lives, we must rip open this scandalous behavior and force regulations back into this area of business. We can no longer allow our hard earned money to be gambled away or stolen from us.

Share this with your friends, families and co-workers. You deserve to retire with your promised pension after a lifetime of hard work. You deserve to have the security that you will be taken care of when you most need it. You deserve confidence that a lifetime of work will be for your own prosperity, not another’s.

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin Ups the Ante on Abolishing Worker Rights

ru-serious-femaleThe madness continues as the Republican Governor of Wisconsin ups the ante stating that if none of the fourteen state Democratic Senators return to vote on this widely unpopular bill he will lay off 1500 people to make up for the budget deficit due to the stalled bill. This is absolutely ridiculous and I hold that those in Wisconsin keep faith and stay strong with standing up for their rights as workers and citizens of this country.

It continues to boggle my mind that such extremes had to be taken to stop a bill that is largely opposed but due to pass the state Senate because of the Republican majority. This perfectly illustrates how our system is broken and why we need something in place to make the politicians immediately liable and accountable for their wishy-washy and often times unpopular voting records. Their job is to represent the people’s will and the politicians need to be held to account when they vote and work against the peoples will such as it is in this case.

Gallup Poll

Eliminating Collective Bargaining Rights for State Unions

As you may know, one way the legislature in Wisconsin is seeking to reduce its budget deficit is by passing a bill that would take away some of the collective bargaining rights of most public unions, including the state teachers’ union. Would you favor or oppose such a bill in your state?

Demographic % In Favor % that Oppose % No Opinion
National Adults 33 61 6
Democrats 18 78 4
Independents 31 62 8
Republicans 54 41 5
Total Average 34 60.5 5.75

New York Times Poll

Americans Weigh in on Labor Unions and Public Employees

Collective bargaining refers to negotiations between an employer and a labor union’s members to determine the conditions of employment. Some states are trying to take away some of the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Do you favor or oppose taking away some of the collective bargaining rights of these unions?

Oppose to Eliminating Worker Rights 60%
In Favor Eliminating Worker Rights 33%
No Opion on Worker Rights 7%

What is at stake here are the workers basic rights to a fair and honest work place. Worker unionization is creating a democratic work environment. If a bill was introduced to limit our freedoms and our right to the Democracy of the United States of America it would be laughed right out the door. It would be hailed as a traitorous, treasonous act and would never, ever have a chance to come to a vote.

Most of the American working people have quietly allowed our workplaces to become dictatorships. For some reason we are OK with this but we shouldn’t be. We just sit back quietly and let employers dictate how our working conditions are, what we will get paid and what authoritarian rules we must follow. Over the recent years of deregulation and degradation of civil rights we have increasingly given ground quietly and calmly. We have allowed the corporate interests to wash over our own peoples personal interests both politically and personally. The last line of defense is, ironically, our very first right to be able to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. Taking away this from public workers is not only wrong and shameful, all the people in American need to understand this is a constitutionally protected right. Everyone needs to exercise this right. We need stand up and stand proud.

It’s time all American workers stand up for their rights and what is right for America. Stand behind the Democratic Senators of Wisconsin. Stand behind the teachers, fire fighters, police officers and the many other public workers that keep our nation going.

When they threaten to fire 1,500 hard working every day American people you ask them why these Americans must lose their jobs when these very same Republics brought our national government to a standstill because they would not give up their huge tax breaks. These very same tax breaks, should they have expired, would have flooded both the federal and state governments with long overdue funds which would have put our country on much sounder footing.

thomas-jeffersonInstead the wealthiest 1% of people get to hang onto their tax breaks and loopholes while the rest of the 99% of American people pay for these tax cuts with our own stagnant and oftentimes dwindling salaries. They can’t seem to afford a tax break but they ask us to lose our jobs, lose our houses and lose our pride in a county that is supposed to be the land of prosperity but is showing ruin to millions of American’s.

Shout back, stand up and go protest. Sign petitions, participate in polls but most importantly get involved. Organize on Facebook, tweet or whatever your representatives and make sure they hear that America’s people are sick and tired of the ridiculous politico environment and they, we, I, demand that things turn around for us, the 99% of the country that is getting the short end of the stick. Raise the taxes back to pre-Reagan years on the wealthiest of Americans. Let the last 30 years of tax breaks come flooding back into our Country so we can rebuild and become the America that 99% of us want it to be.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

-Thomas Jefferson

 

Here are a few sources for your reference.

  • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41901713/ns/us_news-life
  • http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41901713/ns/us_news-life#slice-3
  • http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/03/01/large-majority-of-americans-back-public-employee-union-rights-poll/
  • http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/02/28/us/28union-poll-results.html
  • http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/03/02/another-poll-shows-americans-support-public-employees-rights/
  • http://blog.aflcio.org/2011/03/02/maddow-half-of-voters-want-to-recall-walker/
  • http://www.minnpost.com/ericblack/2011/03/01/26237/poll_hurts_gop_drive_to_limit_public_workers_rights
  • http://www.gallup.com/poll/146276/Scaling-Back-State-Programs-Least-Three-Fiscal-Evils.aspx
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/us/01poll.html?_r=2&hp
  • http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2011/03/01/us/01poll_graphic.html?ref=us
  • http://www.fightthebias.com/Quotes/thomas_jefferson.htm

 

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