Li: ritual, propriety, etiquette. Hsiao: love within the family (parents for children and children for parents. Yi: righteousness--the noblest way to act in a situation. Xin: honesty and trustworthiness. Jen: benevolence, humaneness towards others. Chung: loyalty to the state and authority. --Confucius (Kong Fuzi)

All articles appear in reverse chronological order [newest first].

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I believe the past is relevant, sometimes more than others of course. In most cases we are seeing history being repeated, so it is most relevant.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Why Lincoln, T. Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Goldwater, Reagan and Jesus Christ Couldn't Be Elected In A Republicant Primary:

or, It’s Not Your Daddy’s Republican Party Anymore Baby!


On the Common Good:

EISENHOWER...I do not mean to say that this general government is charged with the duty of redressing or preventing all the wrongs in the world, but I do think that it is charged with the duty of preventing and redressing all wrongs which are wrongs to itself.
--Lincoln, September 17, 1859 Speech at Cincinnati

“…It’s remarkable, then, that most of the Republicans who would be president seem to be lining up for another round of punishment. In particular, they’ve been declaring that the retirement age —
ikewhich has already been pushed up from 65 to 66 and is scheduled to rise to 67 — should go up even further. Thus, Jeb Bush says that the retirement age should be pushed back to “68 or 70”. Scott Walker has echoed that position. Marco Rubio wants both to raise the retirement age and to cut benefits for higher-income seniors. Rand Paul wants to raise the retirement age to 70 and means-test benefits. Ted Cruz wants to revive the Bush privatization plan. For the record, these proposals would be really bad public policy — a harsh blow to Americans in the bottom half of the income distribution, who depend on Social Security, often have jobs that involve manual labor and have not seen a big rise in life expectancy. Meanwhile, the decline of private pensions has left working Americans more reliant on Social Security than ever. And no, Social Security does not face a financial crisis; its long-term funding shortfall could easily be closed with modest increases in revenue…” Paul Krugman: New York Times, 8-17-15  
"Marco Rubio declared: "The 'War On Poverty' has been lost." But that's not true. While poverty is still at epidemic levels, the supplemental poverty rate (the most complete measure of poverty, according to most expertshas fallen significantly in the last few decades, largely thanks to government welfare programs.
lincolnRepublicans often cite this as fact, but as the Washington Post's Mike Konczal points out, this figure, which comes from the libertarian Cato Institute, includes the cost of things like Medicaid, Headstart and community programs like adoption assistance and taxpayer clinics. What is commonly considered "welfare," like food stamps and housing vouchers, only cost us about $212 billion per year. The GOP claims Poverty is largely caused by social and moral decay. In reality, poverty is largely attributed to wage stagnation and other macroeconomic factors. For most of history, wages rose as workers' productivity increased. But that's changed in the last half-century. While worker productivity grew 80 percent between 1973 and 2011, real wages only ticked up 4 percent, according to the Economic Policy Institute."       Huffington Post, 1-27-14

On Labor and Social Programs:

“…but there is one point, with its connections… to which I ask a brief attention. It is the effort to place capital on an equal footing with, if not above, labor in the structure of government. It is assumed that labor is available only in connection with capital; that nobody labors unless somebody else, owning capital, somehow by the use of it induce him to labor. This (is) assumed… …And further, it is assumed that whoever is once a hired laborer is fixed in that condition for life. Now there is no such relation between capital and labor as assumed, nor is there any such thing as a free man being fixed for life in the condition of a hired laborer. Both these assumptions are false, and all inferences from them are groundless…”

On Corporations, Taxes, and Capitalism:

republicants (5)
“…For more than a century, the Roosevelt position prevailed in our country. Corporate money was barred from being used in federal elections. Our national policy was based on a simple proposition: only individuals and groups of individuals were allowed to contribute or spend money to influence federal elections.
Then on January 21, 2010, five (conservative, Republican-appointed) Supreme Court Justices reached into the sky and pulled out something that had not existed for the past 219 years: a constitutional right for corporations to spend money to influence federal elections.
These five Justices, whose decision will be harshly judged by history, threw out more than a century of national policy established by Congress, tossed out decades of Supreme Court precedents and eviscerated a bulwark of anti-corruption laws in the blink of an eye….”      Huffington Post: 2-6-12

republicants (1)“…For decades, Republicans have touted tax cuts as the linchpin of prosperity. And they may be on to something, as long as those tax cuts don’t go to the wrong people. Cutting taxes for “job creators” might seem sensible, but reductions for “job takers” are more powerful. As Zidar reports:
“...the positive relationship between tax cuts and employment growth is largely driven by tax cuts for lower-income groups and [the fact] that the effect of tax cuts for the top 10% on employment growth is small.”
The problem (if you can call it that) is that rich people tend to save a lot. That’s good for some purposes, but not when you’re trying to create jobs. By contrast, less-than-rich people tend to spend most of their income. That makes tax cuts for the poor and middle class more effective, at least over the short term. Or as Zidar says:
90percenttaxrate“Overall, tax cuts for the bottom 90% tend to result in more output, employment, consumption, and investment growth than equivalently sized tax cuts for the top 10% over a business cycle frequency.”

During the administration of Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a 92 percent marginal income tax rate for top earners in the United States remained from the previous administration of Harry S. Truman. At the time, the highest tax bracket was for income over $400,000.Jan 24, 2011

On Immigration:

The anti-amnesty stance the mainstream Republicans have aggressively promoted in the past is slightly muted by the shifting and shuffling of the current Republican candidates.
The presence of Trump’s collect and deport declarations is robbing the Republican party of one of their long-time ‘hot
thanks obamabutton’ issues that they role out every four years for election time and then hide it away until the next election. Since Reagan, they have used the no amnesty argument to stall any progress on immigration reform.
Trump’s bombastic cries for a southern wall has pushed the candidates towards amnesty to try and prevent a mass exodus of what little Hispanic support they have. Their base, however, is still anti-amnesty so any shift is not permanent and is not embraced by their base. “Trump’s Wall’ or should we call it ‘Trump’s Iron Curtain” is going to force the immigration issue, one way or the other. The scary question is what world leader will stand at that wall 50 years from now and mimic Reagan by telling the American President“, Mr. President, tear down this wall”.      

On Common Sense Gun Regulations:

republicants (6)
Why comment? Any attempt to suggest even a discussion results in unwarranted attacks.

“Tucker Carlson and Red State’s Erick Erickson created their little echo-chamber Sunday when they got together on Fox News’ Fox & Friends to talk about the evils of gun control. It took them no time at all to agree that “Obama wants to take away our guns” and “Arm the government instead.”
“I hardly know what to say. Never, in decades uttering this cry, has anyone – Obama included (and he’s been president for nearly seven years) – taken away anybody’s guns..…” 
“…In September 2008, federal agencies employed approximately 120,000 full-time law enforcement officers who were authorized to make arrests and carry firearms in the United States. This was the 
republicants (2)
equivalent of 40 officers per 100,000 residents. The number of federal officers in the United States increased by about 15,000, or 14%, between 2004 and 2008.”
But of course, George W. Bush doesn’t exist unless you’re Donald Trump pointing fingers at Jeb Bush. Otherwise, Republicans are more than happy to leave those eight years murky and blame any leftovers on Barack Obama.   

On Church and State Separation and Religion in Politics:

Religious persecution in England, a result of a combined church-state government, led to our ancestors fleeing Great Britain in the hopes of religious freedom. Some of these people voluntarily sailed to the American Colonies specifically for this purpose. After the American Revolution, the Constitution of United States was specifically amended to ban the establishment of religion by Congress.

At the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther articulated a doctrine of the two kingdoms. According to James Madison, perhaps one of the most important modern proponents of the separation of church and state, Luther's doctrine of the two kingdoms marked the beginning of the modern conception of separation of church and state

“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” In English, the exact term is an offshoot of the phrase, "wall of separation between church and state", as written in Thomas Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptist Association in 1802. In that letter, referencing the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, Jefferson writes:
“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.”

republicants (3)
June 26, 1830 ‘assigned’ members of the United Baptist Church of Christ…In November of that same year the membership drafted and received their Abstract of Principles:
Article…12th We believe that a union of religion and states constitutes the antichristian kingdom.Article…13th We believe that the religion of Jesus Christ ought not, nor cannot be established by the civil law of the Land and further we believe that no Legislative body whatever ought to presume to pass any such law.
Article…14th We believe it to be our duty to support the Government under which we live in all her civil matters.
15th We believe that money was not the means that God devised in infinite wisdom to affect the spread of the Gospel.”     The church at Second Creek Meetinghouse in Lawrence County, Tennessee

Americans United for Separation of Church and State was founded in 1947 by a broad coalition of religious, educational and civic leaders. At that time, proposals were pending in the U.S. Congress to extend government aid to private religious schools. Many Americans opposed this idea, insisting that government support for religious education would violate church-state separation. The decision was made to form a national organization to promote this point of view and defend the separation principle.

Even This Guy Couldn’t Win a Republican Primary:




Unless We Re-Wrote The Bible:


But This Guy Is The Current GOP Hero:


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