Monday, May 9, 2016

It's All Fun & Games Until Someone Loses an Eye: How Trump Won The GOP Nomination

Well, someone has finally lost an eye. The GOP thought fooling around with that sharp stick, well, a bundle of sharp sticks, would be fun, that Trump was just a joke. But now, finally, the GOP has lost an eye. And should we be surprised? Maybe. But the GOP shouldn't be shocked in the least. They are the ones who, to use another colloquialism, let the fox in the henhouse...a fox with a truckload of really sharp sticks. This is not your father's GOP, and they brought it all upon themselves. 

Sharp Stick Number One: The Teabaggers
Yes, the Grand Old Party accepted the Tea Party as its own when it let them dictate the Congressional agenda. Yes, with the state of current events, with government shutdowns, downgrades of the United States credit rating and all the rest, we see the GOP allowing the Tea Party Nutjobs being allowed to run the show, and Boehner was in no shape to stop it (see stick number 2 below). And they brought their racism, sexism and homophobia along with them. That was big ol' stick number one. 

Sharp Stick Number Two: Obstructionism, and "John Boehner isn't good at his job." 
Sharp stick number two is a forked stick, as the two pointy parts work together with a single thrust. Stopping the Obama Administration from having any success was goal number one of everyone's favorite tortoise, Mitch McConnell. He was very clear in his support of these blockades: "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Combine that with John Boehner's incompetence, and his inability to even pass what the standard-issue, typically conservative member of the party would approve, and attempting to assure that the first African American president gets noting done, causing yet another stick to poke its way onto the scene. 

Sharp Stick Number Three: Forcing The Hand of POTUS
Executive orders are the way that the U.S. president can circumvent this sort of obstructionist bullpucky. And the GOP, with their lack of compromise, and playing to the new, vocal, Tea Party base, gave President Obama no other way to accomplish some basic governance...and, by the way, rallying support of the Democratic base in the process. Great strategy, GOP.

Sharp Stick Number Four: Rrrrrrrreince Priebus and Co. Take Trump's Campaign as a Joke
Well, Rrrrrreince, who's laughing now? Last week, it actually came out that Trump never expected to win the primary. (My bored, rich megalomaniac theory proven right...just sayin'...) We have to go back to the Mittens for President campaign on this one. The Republican National Committee, in their post-mortem of the last two presidential races, decided that part of the problem with Mittens not winning was how long the primary season dragged on. So, in order to make certain that the lead candidate locked the nomination early, they pulled a switcherooo on the early primary states, thus ensuring that the early frontrunner pretty much locks up the nomination. Great idea, eh? Yeah, it was, until they got hit with sharp stick number five. 

Sharp Stick Number Five: The Trump Candidacy
Which leads us up to the stick that landed in the Republican Party's collective eye: the unlikely candidacy of Donald J. Trump. Little did they know that Trump's hilarious, surreal, performance art level campaign, with his racist, misogynistic, birther-believing, homophobic, megalomaniacal statements and outright lies would appeal to the base: the new GOP base. The new GOP: a base full of haters that had been drawn to the party's sharp sticks numbers one and two, who took the tea party, birther-believing, racists and women-haters into their tent. And lo and behold, look who voted him in? Rrreince and Paul Ryan are suddenly surprised when 3/4 of likely Republican voters make the guy the GOP Nominee. Amazing. "Fox, come on into the henhouse. There's plenty to eat and we're happy to have you."

So, after playing with a big ol' bundle of those sharp sticks, are we really surprised when the GOP pokes an eye out? Here they are with Trump as the actual, official, genuine nominee of the Republican Party. Too late now, Rrrrreince and Paul. You've allowed your party to blind itself. There will be no brokered convention (sorry, Paul. Better luck not wanting the job next time), no way to redeem the soul of the party. Just a Trump candidacy. The people have spoken. Your people. Your base. The voters who actually go to the polls. As a Democrat, all I can say is a hearty thank you, Gentlemen. With a nominee like that, we don't need to explain to our base why we need to vote. Thanks for creating the biggest reason for Dems to get out to the polls in November. And a word of advice, Rrrreince: next time, don't play with sharp sticks.  

It's been a wild ride this year, my fellow Politicos. Any other sticks in the road that I've neglected to add to the bundle? Add your two cents below, and keep fighting the good fight. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

New Home for Momma Politico!

Visit my new home at!

Hey, there, my fellow Politicos! I have exciting news! Momma Politico has a new home, as part of the A World of Progress family. Please change your reader or rss feed to the new address, so you won't miss a single juicy political morsel! In addition to a bold new look, the facelift for the blog involves a slight shift. The longer I've been writing, the more I have become concerned with how the national news and actions of the political elite affect families like mine. And my outlook has become more focused on putting the spotlight on how those issues affect all of us, particularly on my Kitchen Table Politics feature on AWOP Radio. The blog will have a new title, Kitchen Table Politics with Momma Politico, but it's the same political commentary you've come to expect from this humble politico. I hope you'll join me in the new leg of my online adventure!

Thanks much to Kim G., great pal and publisher of A World of Progress and A World of Progress Radio. And my gratitude to Nunzia Rider, our amazing technical wizard, who designed the new page and archived everything, putting up with my non-techie questions along the way. She's a terrific writer as well, so click the link and check out her political voice.

And thanks, to you, my fellow Politicos, for sticking with me and supporting my efforts here and on the online radio machine. Your comments, support and enthusiasm have kept this Momma writing and tossing her political opinions into the world. My enduring gratitude to you - hope you'll follow me over! And as always, you can also find me in the twitterverse @mommapolitico.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Undercover Liberal Visits The Gun Show

Politicos, please note: This is a reposting of my original gun show post, to correspond with my A World of Progress Radio show segment on the same subject. Tune in to to listen to the segment at 4P/7E today or to listen to the podcast, or download us at iTunes. Enjoy!

When friends asked me if I'd like to go to the gun show at the local fairgrounds, I was hesitant. I mean, really? Just because I've learned to shoot recently doesn't mean I have to dive in head first into the whole subculture...but the more I thought about it, the more intriguing the offer became. It'd be like an undercover operation, a double-agent sort of thing. No one would have to know I'm a liberal, and for a mere ten bucks, I could check out the gun show: look around, ask questions, people-watch, pick up pamphlets, etc. Who knows what I would discover? I called my friends Melissa and Kelby to accept their offer, and we made plans for the next morning.

We rolled in at around 11:15 a.m., and the lot was already 3/4 full. Though the place had been open for three hours already, no one appeared to be leaving. We trudged toward the front to buy our tickets. Immediately to our left was an NRA booth, flying the American flag, with "Join NOW!" and "Protecting Your Right To Bear Arms" plastered all over the front. I wasn't quite ready for that discussion, so we bought our tickets. Two signs were posted prominently on the ticket window: "No Loaded Weapons Beyond This Point," (holy shit, what am I getting into?) and "Your wife called and said you can buy anything you want!" Apparently the latter is a little humor to take the edge off the former... After forking over $10, I am handed a ticket and we head in.

Even before we got inside the gate, out comes Davey-friggin'-Crocket, complete with fur hat and rifles cradled in both arms. "Okay, this is gonna be good," I whispered to Missy. She repied, "You ain't seen nothin' yet, Sister!"

And she was right. As we approached the entrance, a booth appeared in front of us, with a red and white banner stating, in bold letters, "CLEAR ALL GUNS HERE" - WHAAATT? Now, there's a line of text I have never read before. Apparently, you are welcome to bring your guns, large or small, as long as you stop and register them before entering. Guns are checked to make sure they are empty and on safety, and are registered as yours and tagged to prove your ownership. Wow. This is getting more interesting all the time.

The next sign? "No Cameras Allowed" Damn. Damn! Not even in the gates yet, and they've broken my little liberal heart.

So you've checked your gun and gotten in the gates. Now what? Immediately inside the fence from where you unloaded your gun is a seriously huge stand of ammo - all calibers, boxes piled on boxes piled on boxes, a good 3 feet deep and 5 feet high, actually forming the walls of the booth. I imagine that's so you can reload...scary thought. Ammo is cheap and flowing like water in this right-wing land o' plenty. You can even buy a hand-truck if you left yours at home. Bullets are heavy, you know...

We enter the first of three buildings, and there's most definitely a survivalist bent. Smack-dab ahead of us is a banner advertising food that will last 30 years or more. Because, you know, in these uncertain times, you never know when you'll need to hide in the comfort of your backyard bunker for thirty years. And why not have some great cuisine available? Beef jerky and other types of dried meat are plentiful as well; every flavor and every kind of dried beast you can imagine: standard beef, elk, venison and more. Nearby, you can buy actual MREs - Meals Ready to Eat, military rations. We even see a field kitchen for sale. Where do they get this stuff? No one will say.

As I am looking around, there are guns and gun parts as far as the eye can see. Rifles, pistols, guns from the 1800's until today, and, of course, more ammo. Oh, and toys. Yes, toys. Because, ladies and gentlemen, this is a family event. Bring little Johnny on down, in his head-to-toe camo, and show him what the Nazis used to wear. Buy him those clackers you had as a kid and a neat vintage lighter embellished with a "KKK Member In Good Standing" medallion (saw it with my own eyes. Swear to God.) Something for the little lady, perhaps? How about a hot pretzel, diet soda and a pink taser in a cute case?

Speaking of the customers at the show, well, I don't ever remember being surrounded by so many white people in a looooong time. Everyone was white. There were five African-Americans, and a handful of Hispanic dealers. There were a few skinheads in the crowd: young white guys, shaved heads, wearing the "uniform" of the movement. Another strange phenomenon was noticed by our friend Joanna. She's Asian, and wondered allowed what the deal was with the Asian dealers selling all the Nazi paraphernalia. "What is up with that???" she asked.

I couldn't believe the number and variety of guns for sale. Kelby was my safari guide for the day, explaining what guns I am seeing and what their uses are, the differences and the quality, which are overpriced and which are replicas, explaining every strange thing I encountered in this strange and foreign world. Everything from hunting rifles with beautiful wood stocks to semi-automatic weapons next to kits that can fix that. One dealer named Jerry quoted me a good price on an AR-15, complete with scope and my choice of clip - 20, 30 or 40 round, out the door for $1500. He gave me his phone number, and said he'd knock a hundred off if I came back to the show the next day to buy it. There were Glocks from World War II, and brand-new high-powered assault rifles. There were devices designed to get around the California law about the number of shells in a shotgun, and I found out which states honor Utah's and Florida's "Concealed Carry" permits. These folks were well-versed in what they could and couldn't get away with, and exactly how they could skirt the existing laws. For a price, they were willing to tell you how to do it, too. Fascinating.

The thing that amazed me most was that if you wanted something, almost anything, you could find it here. It really was a bit of a one-stop shop. You could outfit your entire para-military militia here. Need boots? They've got 'em. How about helmets? Uniforms, camos, flack jackets, bulletproof vests, you bet. Custom-fitted earplugs. Survival rations. Guns, ammo, black powder, empty shells (for you DIY ammo types). And manual and more manuals: how to convert guns into automatic weapons. Self-defense for the little lady. How to use artillery and mortars. Making your own survival shelter. You name it, you can find it here. Wow. Just, wow.

Yes, you heard me right when I said that I was offered a 40-clip to go with the weapon above. There were clips available for any weapon. Entire tables of extended magazines were available. Buy-Sell-Trade booths had tables thirty-feet long absolutely covered with the types of extended magazines that allowed Rep. Gifford's shooter to continue firing into the crowd and kill/injure so many innocent people. Needless to say, the furor over the recent tragedy has not spurred our legislature to action. Is the NRA really that strong? That's downright terrifying.

I didn't come across anyone who was willing to sell me a gun without a background check. When I asked, "How much for a background check?" every dealer told me that the background check would be through a local dealer. Maybe they didn't trust me asking the question. Do I look like that much of a liberal??? I'll have to have Kelby ask next time...

And then there were the security firms and gun safes. Don't get me wrong, if you are going to own a gun, I want you to keep it locked up. Tight. And a big, heavy-duty safe with a big-ass lock is a perfect place. I'm good with that. But in the middle of a place where every description of firearm is available, between booths filled with shotguns and ammo, semi-autos and concealed carry licensing courses, were these security firms. And every one was playing ominous music, showing videos of burglaries being stopped by their systems. They warned of home invasions, warned of the need to keep your loved ones safe.It seemed a little strange in the midst of all those guns that folks claimed were for home protection. If you're armed to the teeth for security, why would you need a security system? And them it came to me: if everyone else has guns, if all these folks crawling all over the gun show have guns, well, damn, you'd better have a security system! Which struck me as a sad commentary on American life.

I was a little disappointed by the political aspects of the show - only a few booths had the anti-Obama, Dems-will-sell-us-down-the-river bumper stickers and signs. I have to admit, I was looking forward to much more right-wing nuttery. But the right-wing nutjob booths did it up right. "All negative Obama dollar bills 3 for $5" (their emphasis, not if they had something positive?) stated a hand-scrawled sign. The entire arsenal of anti-Dem, pro-wingnut bumper stickers was in one booth, a bumper crop. Other booths had stickers and magnets for $1, touting the 2nd Amendment. Something for every price range, folks. But there was no one haranguing about the lilly-livered liberals. I guess they figured that everyone who would be there was of like mind.
The closest I came to catching any of that was the guy at the "Concealed Carry" permit booth, advising someone not to spend the money on a license in Nevada. "Now that we got back the Congress from the 'libruls', we're gonna make all the states honor each other's reciprocity agreements." Meaning, Boehner and the NRA will make sure we can carry concealed weapons everywhere...No wonder we all need security systems.

By building number two, I was fascinated by all the sights and new information. By building number three, I was overwhelmed by the people walking past Hitler and KKK paraphernalia as if it was a Justin Bieber t-shirt. I needed time to process. But don't worry, I'll be back. A week  later, I am already figuring out what I need to ask next time. Next time, I'll ask the guys walking around with the backpacks full of guns, with signs strapped to their backs advertising what they're selling, if a background check is necessary when I pay with cash. Next time, I'll strike up a conversation with the RWNJ at the bumper sticker booth. Next time, I'll ask the NRA how Obama's gonna take away our guns. I'll attend the gun show with loaded...questions.

Until then, fellow politicos, I'd like your suggestions on my next undercover assignment. What bastion of conservatism should I infiltrate next? I remain your humble servant, The Undercover Liberal: braving the places no liberals dare to go, bringing you the scoop on right-wing, conservative craziness.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Why I Lied: Radio, Politics & Cocktails! My Newest Adventure In Progressive Radio

My New Partnership -
Online Progressive Radio at A World of Progress Radio
Well, my fellow Politicos, I lied. I did, and I'm sorry. I told you that the new gig as Co-Host on A World of Progress Radio wouldn't interfere with my blogging duties here on Momma Politico. And in all honesty, I really didn't think it would. But as we all know, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions...

So, here we are, many months after Labor Day, and I am back and blogging again. Most of the time, it will probably be show-related, but you know me, my fellow Politicos, I'll never fail to spout off about anything I feel is important in regards to all things political. And it's good to be back with you, my friends.

You might ask, "How did this new venture come about?" Well, in mid-July, I was approached by a tweetpal named Kim G., who goes by @awop in the twitterverse. She had asked if I'd be interested in coming on her very first online progressive radio show to discuss the GOP attack on public schools. Well, Hell's Bells, how could I pas up that opportunity??? I told her she had the right gal, and we began to email, tweet and talk about what she envisoned for her first show. We seemed to get along famously, me with my Southern California style and her with her NC southern hospitality and charming drawl, and by the end of the week, I was running the switchboard, saying "y'all' and employed as Co-Host on A World of Progress Radio. Kim is a kind and generous-hearted soul, and I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference, fight the good fight and have this much fun - all at the same time!

It's been a fast and wonderful six months. We're there to promote the common good, as Kim would say, and to help those who keep fighting the good fight. We've grown a loyal bunch of fabulous followers on Twitter, and a great group of listeners, and gained some terrific contributors: Ashley Arrington, @arrington13, a smart cookie and our LGBTQ correspondent; Allie McNeil (no relation!) @watergatesummer, our faboo scheduler and 99% report correspondent; and our latest addition, Jordan Catapano, @GirlWalksIn2Bar, our brilliant cocktail correspondent and author of my fave gift of the season, This Girl Walks Into A Bar. My segments usually consist of Kitchen Table Politics, my view on the national events of the day and how they affect us all at our own kitchen tables, and The Undercover Liberal, in which I venture into places liberals dare not go and report back about my experiences. I'm having a blast, and really love working with such amazing folks. If you're interested in my latest joint venture, tune in on Sundays at 4 Pacific/7 Eastern, catch the podcast at that link anytime, or download our podcast on iTunes. (I know...we're on cool is that?) You can also follow my tweets as always at @mommapolitico and our show tweets @awopradio. Please follow us and show your support!

On the home front, Tweenie is learning to drive, and Little Man loves woodshop and works the snack bar in middle school. The Hubby and I are continually amazed at their brilliance and beauty, and marvel at how fast the time goes by. We just celebrated our 21st year of marriage and our 25th year together. Hard to believe, and still wonderful. The Christmas lights are up, and we'll decorate inside next weekend. Life is good, and we are fortunate enough to be happy, healthy and have jobs we enjoy. We're blessed in about a million ways.

And I am ever so grateful for your support, my dear Politicos! I beg your forgiveness, and I will do my best to be more faithful to my postings here as we go into the coming election year. (YAAAAAYYYY!!! Elections! My favorite time of year to be a nerdy-geeky-wonk!) More soon, and thanks for sticking with me as I explore this great new progressive radio medium. I hope you'll join us on the journey.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day And The Middle Class: Thanks, Unions!
Chances are, if you read this blog, my fellow Politicos, you go to work every day (or did, if you've retired or been laid off). I was brought up to believe that working for a living is a noble thing, an honest endeavor. As the daughter of retired Navy/union engineer and a nurse, I was brought  up to believe that if you work hard, you will be able to provide a decent life, a comfortable life, for yourself and your kids. And for my parents' generation, unions were a big part of what made that promise come true. Generation after generation, this promise held true: middle class families could make a decent wage, have health care for their families, own a home of their own, save for the occasional vacation, send their kids to college and retire to a modest life with a small pension from military service or their union. The American Dream.

Now, we have wandered so far astray from the possibility of that dream that my parents cannot fathom how we manage to make ends meet. And, frankly, sometimes we wonder, too. We go without much that they took for granted as a benefit of working hard. Most folks who bought homes when we did, that so-crucial core value of The American Dream, are upside-down in their mortgages, if they are lucky and haven't been screwed out of it by the loan remod industry (once again, let's put the fox in charge of the henhouse, because it worked so well with Wall Street). When you don't have equity, you have to save project-by-project to make any improvements to your home. That's challenging when you are trying to save for your own retirement, trying to make up for losses that a highly unstable economy served up in big, heaping portions (again, let's let greed regulate itself) and trying to raise 2.5 kids. The cost of health benefits go through the roof, if you are fortunate enough to have them at all - every 12 minutes, someone dies due to lack of coverage. And saving for the kids for college? Still paying off our own student loans, in an industry bubble that's about to hit as big as Wall Street did. (Listen to my interview with the makers of Default: The Student Loan Movie on A World of Progress Radio or subscribe to our show/download from iTunes.) The American Dream has now become a pipe dream for most of my generation.

What's attempted to put the American Dream into its final death throes has been the GOP attacks on working people in this country. Governor Scott Walker decided that he'd score some points within his party by eliminating the right to collectively bargain for teachers in Wisconsin. I really think he thought he'd be able to just run the table, and that voter apathy would allow him to mop the floor with the labor movement, effectively killing it off, for all intents and purposes. And from there, hey, he'd write his own ticket with the Republicans. A Senate seat, and, who knows? Maybe even a V.P. slot on the next ticket. Who could resist the guy that kicked Labor's ass, right? The world would be his corporate-funded oyster.

In the same way that Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld stated we'd be greeted as liberators in Iraq, there was an unexpected response to this attack on working people. The cakewalk to the V.P. slot wasn't as smooth as Walker had hoped. Remember this?

What made folks stand up for union rights? There were a million reasons. First off, Walker, being the idiot that he is, picked the wrong union to mess with. Think about it: everyone can remember a teacher that made a difference in their lives; the public understands how hard teachers work for their paychecks; and we teachers damn well know how to organize a large group of people - once you've handled a class of 34 unruly, hormonal fifth graders, well, any size group is manageable! (...Plus, we make killer signs. It's all those bulletin boards we've made over the years!) These are smart folks who serve our nation admirably, performing a service that our democracy cannot survive without: the education of our populace. Secondly, the Rethugs have screwed the middle class out of so much for so long, a tipping point had been reached. And thirdly, one word: solidarity. When you mess with one union, you are messing with them all. Teachers, teamsters, plumbers, police, sanitation workers, service industry folks: when they band together, the country can effectively be shut down.

And it is that brotherhood and sisterhood that we honor today, the integrity of the working folks of this nation, who will still stand by each other to fight for so many issues that we have come to take for granted today. Think about what the Labor Movement has brought to all our lives, whether we're a union member or not:
  • The five day work week, AKA the weekend!
  • Time and a half for overtime pay
  • Safety rules in the workplace
  • Minimum wage
  • Social Security
  • Medicare
  • Child labor laws (I still can't believe the GOP is working on this one....)
  • Sick days
  • Vacation pay 
  • Maternity/paternity leave
  • Pensions
  • Due process rights - you can't be fired without cause
  • Eight hour work days
  • Worker's Comp for on-the-job injuries
  • Health insurance benefits
  • Wage equity
  • And...The Middle Class
That these concepts exist is directly due to the unions of our country fighting hard to make them a reality. Of course, the Rethugs will continue to try to rid us of these burdens to corporate profit-making. We the people must continue to protect what little is ours - we need to fight the GOP attacks against unions, as they are, ultimately, direct attacks on the rights we hold dear (see list above). Unions may not be perfect. But they're still the only protection that working folks have against the pure corporate greed that runs rampant in our country more than ever before.

Enjoy the day off, if you are fortunate enough to have it. Have a barbecue with the family and your friends. And make sure the kids know it's not just another day off of school: today is a day to honor the working men and women of this nation, and the fact that our citizens still believe the list above is important for all people, not just the rich, not just for corporate America. The GOP will continue to chip away, and sometimes try the full-court press. All the more reason that we, the people, the working families in America must continue to fight back. Not just for ourselves, but for the rights of our children and grandchildren to have some semblance of that American Dream we're all struggling to reach.

Happy Labor Day. Fly the flag, as it's a national holiday and it is patriotic to support the working people of our country, no matter what the GOP and the RWNJs say. My thanks to all those union members, including my folks, who fought long and hard for the life we lead today. And thanks, unions, for giving birth to the Middle Class. We'll continue to fight the good fight to preserve it.

Don't forget, Politicos, to tune in every Sunday at 4 Pacific and 7 Eastern to hear my rants and ravings at A World of Progress Radio: Kim and I co-host with great guests, music, and my features, Kitchen Table Politics and The Undercover Liberal. Missed a show? Subscribe to our show on iTunes. You can follow us on twitter at @awopradio and of course, my own tweets @mommapolitico. Many thanks to so many of you who've already shown your support. And thanks to everyone for supporting online progressive radio!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lizz Winstead on @awopradio; Lonely Mitt Romney's Friends Are Corporations

Hey, there, my fellow Politicos! Just wanted to take a second to thank all of you for supporting my efforts over at A World of Progress Radio (@awopradio on twitter). My cohort-in-crime, Kim G., is a generous soul, and we share the same vision: fighting for the common good and highlighting the wrongs being perpetrated by the GOP's friends, the corporations. Our contributor, Allie McNeil, of @watergatesummer fame, was able to persuade THE Lizz Winstead, whom I loved on Air America Radio, to appear on our lil' ol' radio show this Sunday! (I know! I'm still pinching myself.) Lizz has always been a fighter of the good fight, and is obviously "good people" for so graciously agreeing to visit us at A World of Progress Radio.  I'll be interviewing the folks behind the film "Default," an expose of the student loan industry, and the bubble that's about to burst in that financial sector. They're fighting the good fight, too, and we're hoping to help them in our own small way.I hope you'll get to give us a listen this Sunday, at 4 p.m. Pacific and 7 p.m. Eastern. Please tweet me and let me know what you think of the show - always looking for good feedback from my fellow Politicos. ;)

Now, on to lonely little Mittens Romney. Did you see that clip? Mother of God. What the hell was he thinking??? I sit here speechless. I am honestly struggling to find words, which, as you know, my dear Politicos, is a near-impossibility. But I sit here, with our usual daily dose of Maddow on the TV machine, and on comes Mitt Romney, talking to a group on the campaign trail, about taxes. He was spouting, in his usual rich-guy way, about ways to pay for Social Security. And he makes a remark that is, just, wow. Wow. That's all I can say. Here, you take a look, and I'll wait here and try to contemplate what to say about this:

I know! I KNOW! I couldn't believe it, either! We have now gotten to the point that the GOP front-runners are no longer even trying to hide their agenda. "Corporations ARE people, my friend." Whoop, there it is...the Republican Party's core belief. We couldn't write this, folks, not even if we tried.

First, there was the Citizens United decision, in which corporations granted personhood by the most activist court in the land. And I thought that was blatant. But, no, apparently Mitt has decided it wasn't clear enough. So he just spelled it all out for the American people, in simple, no-nonsense, get rid of all that legal verbiage: "Corporations ARE people." Can't get much clearer than that. Jesus H. Christ, they're not even hiding it anymore. Oh, Mittens.

But here's the best part: Did you hear the crowd? They weren't just passively listening to Mitt and buying his bullpuckey. They were calling him out. Not just heckling, these good folks were tearing into him! They were laughing at Mittens, and they were righteously angry, and they were gonna tell him about it! "Tax the rich!" "Tax corporations!" "The money goes in their pockets!" Beautiful. Just beautiful. God bless them for speaking out. It's about time!!!

Y'know what? Those brave folks are not alone. Congress has the lowest approval rating ever. Ever. How low? 82% of Americans think Congress is screwing up. Of that amount, 72 % think it's the Rethugs' fault. Fox News rates it even lower in their polls! Yes, the American people are waking up. And we're not happy.The rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class is being crushed out of existence. What the GOP don't seem to get is that people have been working as hard as they can for the past 12 years. They've been doing everything possible to make ends meet, and there's no end in sight. So by God, working families, it's about time we got angry. It's about time we band together and speak out. And it's about time we call out Corporate America (read: The Grand Obstructionist Party) for the travesty they've committed against working class families. 

Today, Mitt Romney made it crystal-clear what the Republican Party agenda is: "Corporations ARE people, my friends." At least the only people who count. And maybe, just maybe, if the Dems take advantage of this opportunity to push jobs on the agenda, maybe, just maybe, we can come out of this recession still in possession of a middle class in this country.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fundamentalism and Faith Based Politics

Hey, there, my fellow Politicos! Please welcome the author of our guest post for this week, Political Packrat, a longtime follower and sharp Politico! I will be guest posting at her site over the weekend, so watch twitter for the post or come on by her blog for my latest. Thanks!

Guest Post by Political Packrat

It's not Muslim fundamentalists who are America's biggest problem these days.  It's right wing Christian whack-jobs who have taken America hostage and who, because of a point of view that celebrates faith at the expense of reality, just may destroy the country they say they love: not out of malice, but out of a warped world view.

This isn't the first time. The  Scopes Monkey Trial  pitted Christian fundamentalists against modern, rational thinkers  back in 1925.  In case you didn't know, Biblical literalists were around then too, trying desperately to keep evolution from being taught in the schools. The trial was a landmark case which resulted eventually in legitimizing Darwin and permitting evolution to be taught in America's public schools amidst much gnashing of Christian fundamentalist teeth.  Science and good sense triumphed in the end, though it was nip and tuck for awhile. 

But,if you are taught that science is the work of the devil and that intellectual curiosity will send you to hell as quickly as masturbation, then you are so threatened by a non-authoritarian world made up of all sorts of nuances, that you cling to absolute, black and white, simplistic thinking and a powerful, punishing God who will protect you if you do the right thing and destroy you if you don't.

So why am I not surprised that the same people who think President Obama was born in Kenya, evolution is a theory, global warming is a liberal plot, education (except at a good Bible College) is the work of the devil, and trust fund kids who earn more than $250,000 a year on their investments are " job creators," are willing to bring down the economy, not just of the United States, but of the entire world, in order to square reality with their whacked, fairy-tale view of the world. 

The brouhaha about raising the debt ceiling is what I am talking about.  The newly elected Tea Party congress-people are fighting fellow Republicans as well as the Democrats for power and most of them are -- you guessed it-- fundamentalist Christians  who really think they are doing God's work.

So, in the spirit of fellowship, I am turning off the TV and saying a prayer for the salvation of their little Tea Party souls and for the world economy.  God help us all and God help the United States of America. 

I agree with John McCain on this one. 

Guest Poster Political Packrat can be found at her blog,  or at @p2packrat on twitter. Your turn, Politicos - put your two cents in here at Momma Politico!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Momma Politico Is On The Air! How Progressives Are Banding Together Via Social Media To Fight The Good Fight

Social Media Jumble

First off this week, my fellow Politicos, I'd like to thank all of you who listened to my debut on A World of Progress online radio! Thanks to the generous spirit of my friend Kim, who is the publisher of the terrific progressive blog, A World of Progress, (follow her on twitter, too: @awopradio), I was invited to help her out and co-host her new weekly program. It all happened kind of quickly, but from the first time we spoke, I knew Kim and her AWOP family are my kind of progressives. She talked about how if everyone is doing what they can, whether it be blogging, tweeting, writing their legislators, what a huge difference that would make. Which is why she's doing her bit on progressive radio. We had so much fun on our test run, with Shelly, a great mom and liberal, just dishing the political dirt with like-minded progressives, that I couldn't wait for the show today. It was really a blast, and we actually had quite a few listeners for the first time out. We even had  "Breaking News" from our friend Nunzia Rider, AWOP's executive editor and Queen of the AWOP Chat Room!

If you haven't heard of BlogTalkRadio, well, you're missing the best thing since Milky Way came out with the bar that's just chocolate, caramel and no nougat. Have you had that yet? It's fantastic. I hated having to eat around the nougat...
Amazingly good. You must try it. (And, no, they didn't pay me either.) But I digress...

Anyhow, the BlogTalkRadio premise is that, using your computer and a phone line, you can host a radio show from your own living room. And I'll be damned if it didn't work! Check out our first podcast here (I'm on in the 2nd hour). Even the Little Politicos were cooperative and quiet, and The Hubby made room for my makeshift studio on the kitchen table - no wonder I love him! :) (And, no, I have not been paid by BlogTalkRadio - I was simply impressed with the ease of use and the fun we had.)

On the website, you have a full host screen in front of you - a switchboard for callers, a way to screen them, a place for sound bytes or recordings, and a way to tweet from within the screen. Another screen provides a chat room, which can be moderated or not as you wish. Even a countdown to air time and a cool "ON AIR" light, just like on WKRP in Cincinnatti! It was an easy interface to work and gave us what we needed to get the show on the air. Kim did make some herculean efforts, though - kudos, Girlfriend! She eliminated any audio delay, and conquered any tech issues like she'd been doing this thing her whole life. Impressive.

I was slated to speak on the GOP's attack on public education. Now, you know me, that means I spent a buncha time online doing my research. I had questions, and found some amazing, and some downright scary, answers. I was spread out all over the kitchen table, highlighter in hand and Sharpie behind my ear, pulling out salient points I wanted to bring out, typing up notes in Word, etc. Now I know why Rachel Maddow just spreads everything out on the floor - her "Paper Temple," as her staff calls it:
Because, honestly, trying to put everything in sequence and bring out the points you wish to discuss takes space...a lot of space! About an hour before showtime, I got it all organized, and then called in.

We met up online and found our way around the site: getting all of us connected, logged in, etc. We had done all we could do before showtime, so agreed to meet back in half an hour. Naturally, I spent the time revising my notes and research, labeling all the pages in Sharpie so I could see which pages referred to what, and just generally being nervous. Very nervous! What if we had no listeners? What if I blew it somehow in a public forum? I added a few extra water bottles to my kitchen-table studio in case of dry mouth...and before I knew it, we were listening to the countdown to air time. Kim cued up the intro music and off we went...

We did talk about the Rethug's war on public schools, and there were some great exchanges! But one issue led to others, and we talked about a myriad of issues. The first two guests couldn't hear those of us on the phone line due to technical difficulties...hey, what would a first show be without at least one little glitch? But Kim handled it beautifully, asking our questions about local North Carolina politics - it was interesting, and I learned quite a bit! The second hour was my segment, with a terrific mom and progressive named Shelly. The three of us spoke over each other a bit, but other than that, I think we did well. If you have a chance, please listen to the podcast and give us some feedback. We'd love to hear from you. We'll spit and polish things each week, as we refine the show and respond to listener feedback, so hearing from you, my fellow Politicos and loyal readers, is important!

But the hour afterward was what impressed me the most. I'd been tweeting all week about the show, and found out afterward a good number of my followers supported me by following @awopradio on twitter as well. If they didn't listen to the show when it aired, many helped by re-tweeting the messages I sent, and the link to the podcast, too. Friends from Michigan and Ohio tweeted me to congratulate us on the show, and added some of their own commentary - my twitter feed was hopping for a good hour and a half after the show ended. Several folks offered to retweet for us next week, and others wanted to follow me on Digg and StumbleUpon. And some went ahead and retweeted my last blogpost - so thoughtful. I had some great conversations with other progressives - some may call in next time, and others are happy to promote us. What was striking about the whole experience was how progressives from all over the country were able to have a conversation - whether via text, tweet, email or @awopradio - about what's going on in our country and were able to come together to support each other.

Social media can be isolating, at times, and even overwhelming. In this strange new world, how do I find time to tweet, text, Digg, Stumble, blog, Facebook, twitpic, Google+ or one of a million other new nouns that are now verbs??? But, at its best, social media can bring together the energy and intellect of progressives across the country, even the globe, to make a difference and band together to fight the good fight. And that's what it felt like happened today. And that's what we, as a progressive, left-leaning community have to keep in mind every day. That's the endgame. As Kim said, in her light little Texas/No. Carolina twang, "everybody doing the one thing they can" - that's where our power to change this democracy lives.

Loving the online radio, gotta say. And my undying gratitude to Kim from A World of Progress Radio for the great co-host gig - I am even more excited about the possibilities ahead! I had a blast today. Please do stop by A World of Progress - amazing blog, and some fantastic people like Nunzia onboard.

No worries, though, my fellow Politicos. I'll still be blogging and tweeting up a storm (all right, maybe just a light squall...I'm not that prolific!) and Momma Politico will continue to be alive and well. Hope to hear from some of you on what topics you'd like to see covered on the next show...and what you thought of the first one! And, as always, I'd love for you to put your two cents in: social media, blessing or curse? Isolating or unifying? You tell me, here at Momma Politico.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Debt Ceiling, GOP Bullpuckey, & The Amazing Race: Rethug 2012 Nominees...Really???

Tom Toles cartoons throughout- my fave Washington Post cartoonist - prolific, smart, and dead-on every time!
 Well, my fellow Politicos, I haven't been posting as regularly as I should, and I apologize for that -  thanks for all your email and tweets! (By the way, the rss feed hasn't been working since I went over to my custom domain name - will let you know when it's back in working order.)

But I have figured out why I have been so lax of late: I'm absolutely disgusted with all that's been going on for the last few weeks. I've just about had it with the GOP constantly ignoring  what's best for the country and their dogged persistence toward making things worse: simply so they can try and blame it on the present administration. It's like the doctor prescribing them antibiotics for an infection, and then never filling the prescription, let alone actually taking the meds. "But Doc, it didn't work!!!"

I know, I know, this is nothing new for the Rethugs (thus the name). But come on, people! This is obstructionism taken to its exponential max. Look at the whole debt ceiling "negotiations." I use the term "negotiations" loosely, because the debt ceiling business is not negotiation, in which each side compromises and finds common ground. No, the GOP strategy is more like a hostage negotiation, in which the captor expects us to meet all of his demands, and we just hope to get out of the room alive. Now, that's what we're dealing with here, folks.

Let's not even talk about constitutional issues, such as the following:
Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. (emphasis mine)
Okay, I lied. I have to talk about this. It's not rocket science, for Chrissakes...Damn, sure looks like the Rethugs are questioning big-time, if you ask me. Ask any high school civics class. You could even ask any first grader:
Me: "Hey, if I borrow a quarter from you, do I have to give it back?"
First Grader: "Um, yeah."
Me: "Why?"
First Grader: "Duh! If you don't, it's stealing!" (Looks at me as if I am an idiot...)
The debt ceiling is not about living within our means. (And I do agree, living within our means is important.) But the debt ceiling is about paying back what we've already spent. And even our forefathers, some 235 years ago, knew that, in order to sustain a country, there would be times we'd need to borrow money...and needless to say, that we'd have to pay it back. They actually spelled out in The Constitution that we had to repay our debts as a nation. What happens when you don't pay back those high-interest credit cards? They see you as a deadbeat and send collections goons after you. And when you borrow from a friend, and don't pay them back? You risk damaging or even ending your relationship with that friend. Just like the credit card company doesn't trust you anymore, neither will that friend. And neither will the U.S. have the "good faith and credit of the American government" to back up its borrowing if the GOP keeps fighting the debt ceiling discussions.

But it's bigger than that, this debt ceiling business. You all remember how when Wall Street was taking a dive and it began affecting markets worldwide? Well, imagine how us defaulting on our debt would affect the world economy, not to mention our own. But, see, that's exactly why the GOP want to screw this up for us: if they screw up our ability to repay our debts, we lose all the progress that's been made in the economy, and seriously debilitate the world economy, and then? The 2012 GOP bumper sticker will read: "Look What Happened on Obama's Watch!"  (Don't believe me? Check out this article about what Mitch McConnell calls his #1 Goal on Think Progress' blog today.)

That's why it's in the Rethug's best interest to play terrorist with our country's credit rating. That's why this obstructionism to the nth degree, the lack of bills through Congress, the hundreds of anti-abortion measures, the every-two-weeks-off schedule they decided to take for themselves (in addition to regular recesses) all play into their bumper sticker plan. "If we can make things worse while Obama's in office," says the GOP, "then we're a shoo-in for the next election!" We already know how good they are at staying on message and keeping their tin soldiers in line. As long as they are consistent, they think they can pull this off in 2012. This is simply the obstructionist plan to the extreme. And they're not about to fall shy of their goal - no matter what they have to do to get there. People who want power to preserve their money are desperate right now - the GOP will do anything to win, including sell this nation further down the river than it's ever been.
Which brings me to my favorite part of the GOP 2012 campaign: the likely nominees! See, they have to do something to make The President look bad, because they have NO ONE TO SPEAK OF TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT! Sorry for shouting, friends, but this field is a hoot, and it just keeps getting better! We are promised great hilarity over the next year or so with so many fabulously funny candidates. Let's take a look at the field, shall we?

Ron Paul: He's baaaack! Will the third time be the charm? Sadly, the guy actually makes sense at times, but has too many extreme views - just can't seem to get the GOP backing he needs. Too reasonable for the Rethugs, too whackadoo for Dem voters.

Mitt Romney: Ah, Mittens. Back once more, with your "Don't I look like Reagan?" hair and his "Remember the good times we had with Reagan? Can't you forget I'm a Mormon?" platform. Scary thing is, this guy can raise money like nobody's business. Flip-flopper extraordinaire.

Herman Cain: Well, if you can run a pizza chain, you can damn well run a nation, right??? They're so similar! Seriously, that's his whole campaign strategy. I want pizza. We could gain a lot of weight with this guy in office.

Michele Bachmann: Oh, I can wax poetic for days and days about this crackpot. She's Palin if she could put together a coherent sentence. I was just talking on twitter with a pal about how Tina Fey has plenty of job security - if you can do Palin, Bachmann is just a tiny stretch, sans glasses. Can you say "right wing nut job"?

Tim Pawlenty: 22/21 Ol' T-Paw is the guy that used to be a reasonable Rethug. He'd go on The Rachel Maddow Show and debate and discuss in a civil fashion. What happened to him in the last year? He realized that he damn well better knock off the appearances on MSNBC and start pandering to the base if he ever hopes to get the nomination.

Jon Huntsman: He's as middle of the road as it gets. Thing is, GOP won't support a moderate for president, especially if he continues to make those avant-garde, freaky campaign ads. Hope he sticks around, 'cause those are as amusing as hell! Starting to change views and court the base...dark horse, but could be in it for the long haul.

Rick Santorum: Aw, I feel sorry for Rick. Now when you google "Santorum," not only do you get something about which this blog refuses to discuss due to its high "Ewwwww!!!" quotient, but you get that a dog used him as a fire hydrant while campaigning. How do you spin all that? Sorry, Rick.

Rick Perry: One minute, Rick is fighting for his state to secede, the next he wants to run for President of the country from which he wishes Texas had seceded.
Seriously??? Make up your mind, Rick - you're either for the country or against it. Frankly, we're all rooting for you to leave and take Texas with you...Oh, and don't forget to pay back all that federal disaster aide we gave you.

Newt Gingrich: Newtie, my favorite. When he isn't giving Entrepreneur of The Year awards to, um, "gentlemen's clubs" for the mere price of $5G, he's having breakfast at Tiffany's and cruising in style.
So his campaign staff all left en problem. And, yes, the financial guys did, big whoop for Newt! He has promised to still run a helluva campaign. Oh, Newt. If we could only get you not to flaunt your wealth, you might stand half a chance.

Sarah Palin: Rarely have I mentioned this dingbat on my blog, because I think the media attention she already gets for doing absolutely nothing is obscene. Besides, as I've said, Tina Fey does a better Palin than Palin does. Quitter, illiterate, unable to speak in coherent sentences, and revisionist history writer, she seems lkie the perfect GOP candidate to me. Pleeeeease? Pretty pleeeeeeaaaase??? How about giving us Dems an early Christmas present? 

David Duke: Yes, that David Duke. The Grand Wizard of the KKK, white supremacist extraordinaire, contemplating a run against the first African-American president. And, no, I am not kidding. I wish I was. Not only that, but don't forget his prison term for mail fraud and tax evasion. When they used to say, "Any boy can grow up to be president," I'm pretty sure they didn't mean a criminal who led the KKK.

White House photo
I know exactly what you mean, Mr. President. A laughable field at best. And that's the best part of this election season: the absolute lunacy in the GOP field, the lack of a decent, plausible candidate. So you can now see why the Rethugs are desperate to cause The President as many problems as possible, to stop any forward progress on the part of the Dems.

I'd like to think that the American people are smart enough to see past that. But someone has to show them for what they are - the hostage-takers, the obstructionists. Time to start playing hardball, Mr. President, and to show these GOP fools for what they really are, to show why they are constantly shooting economic success in the foot. Time to point out these culture wars as GOP distractions from the issues and make it clear: we will stand up for the bulk of the nation's citizens, not the top earning 1%, and we will not defend the corporate interests against the middle class, and by God, we will expose the Rethuglican strategy for what it is, a plan to turn the nation into yet another corporation. As you enter into the debt meeting today, stand strong, Mr. President. No short-term solutions. Make them work for it, and do what the country needs for a change. Oh, and let loose a can of whup-ass while you're at it...we know you have it in ya!

By the way, my blogpal Kim will be premiering a liberal online radio show, A World of Progress, on Sunday, July 17th, 7:00 PM EDT. Give it a listen, or call in and have your say! Here's a link to get you started:  Please support liberal radio online! And spread the word, please. :)

And now, it's your turn, my fellow politicos! Who do you see as the front runner...or do any of them stand a chance? And should The President call the GOP's bluff on the debt ceiling? Put your two cents in here at Momma Politico!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Uncle Kelby Ships Out...Again: Keep Your Promise, Mr. President

Missy and Son, E, Say Goodbye (Again) to Kelby (
Growing up as the oldest of five girls, I always wished I had a brother. Then I met my dear friend, Missy and her hubby, Kelby. And our families became fast friends, all of us, and in what seems now like a moment in time, we became family. I can't tell you when that exact instant happened, but I know without a doubt one thing is true: we were all meant to be part of each other's lives, meant to be family.

If you're a regular around these parts, you've heard me talk about Kelby. Kelby was the one who decided that if I have a daughter that is as gorgeous as mine, I'd need to know how to shoot a gun. So when he returned from his last deployment, he took it upon himself to teach me how to fire not one gun, but a vast arsenal of weapons. With pretty damn good accuracy, actually. He's the one that started the dads versus kids Nerf war tradition. And he's the uncle who wants to take out anybody that hurts me or my kids, even after Tweenie accidentally punched him hard in the groin that time...thought he was going to pass out...ah, but that's another blog post for another time. The point is, he'd do anything for us, and we'd do anything for him and Missy. They're family.

So, once again, our family is sent off to Afghanistan.  Kelby just deployed again for eight months, and Missy has to watch her darling hubby head into harm's way less than a year since he returned. E has to see his Old Man go off to fight while he becomes the 12 year old "man of the house." Again. When I told the kids Uncle Kelby was to deploy again soon, Tweenie said, "What??? He just got back!" Little Man was outraged. "That's just not right, Mom. Why does Uncle Kelby have to go back again? It's not fair." To say he's loved around here is a vast understatement.

And I just don't know how Missy can be so incredibly strong. What keeps them all going is one simple thing: this is the last deployment. When Kelby gets back, he'll be ready for retirement. Just one more time, and never again will he have to leave his amazing wife for the 130+ degree temps, the MREs, the disposable toothbrushes and wet wipes in lieu of showers. One more trip, with the stories he keeps only to himself because he doesn't want to worry Missy. One more trip, and they can be done. That's the unspoken thought that keeps them going. But you'll never hear them complain. These are people who understand sacrifice, service to country, keeping commitments. Good, strong honorable people, who are being put through deployment after deployment, even after Osama is long-gone.

When he saw the tableau in the photo above, Little Man asked, "Why hasn't The President kept his promise, Mom? He campaigned on this. He was supposed to bring the troops home, but Kelby keeps getting sent back." I had no answer for my boy, who will miss the Nerf wars and wrestling with Uncle Kelby. I had no answer to give except what The President had to offer in his speech: he's bringing home 10,000 now, and a total of 30,000 by 2012.

Not enough. Just not enough. When my pal Mandi's hubby, Grant, has just returned stateside and they already have to star planning how to get the family through his next deployment (his battalion was relieved by Kelby's), a mere ten thousand is not enough. Ten battalions is not enough dads and moms, sisters and brothers, husband and wives,  and daughters and sons to bring home. This draw-down of troops barely brings us to pre-surge levels. Our Gal Rachel Maddow explains it far better than I could, as always:

2014 is too far away, and as Rachel said, we're only talking about a draw-down to below-surge levels. That leaves way too many of Kelby and Grant and their brothers/sisters in arms over there. It means too many repeated deployments for moms and dads. In a region that has been war-torn since time began, we are continuing to pour the majority of our resources as a nation into the coffers of warlords, building a black market economy in Afghanistan the likes of which has never been seen. It's time to call it a day and bring our troops home. I agree that much remains to be done. We've made things worse in the region, that's for certain. But let's leave the rebuilding to folks that actually know what they're doing: it's time for the U.N. to do the nation-building it is trained to do and share the financial burden with the rest of its members. Okay, so we'll still pay the majority of the costs and provide the majority of the personnel, but the costs won't be anywhere near what we're paying now.

And it's time to bring more than ten battalions home. Or even thirty battalions by 2014:

66,000 more to go. Now, I'm no Pollyanna - I realize that we'll probably have a permanent base there from now on. But 66,000 is not support forces. That's combat troop numbers. It's time to determine what our mission is for certain. And if it's time to draw down forces, let's see what that looks like financially. Here's how it looked in Iraq when we got down to support troops only:

Hell of a difference, huh? Now let's compare it to where we are now in Afghanistan: 
Uh, yeah. Exactly. Not seeing that nice downward slope yet. But it's time. Especially when we look at economic conditions here at home and where all that spending could take us. Particularly in an election year.

It's just time, Mr. President, and as my boy-o recalls, you promised. Take one more look at this picture:

That's their family portrait right now. And it's time that changed, Mr. President, not just for Missy and E., but for all of our families serving in Afghanistan. Bring Uncle Kelby home. And let's start putting our resources into doing great things at home: jobs, infrastructure, schools and teachers, health care, Social Security. Let's keep our promises at home, to this and the next generation.

Is bringing the troops to pre-surge levels enough? Do you have family and friend serving in the Middle East? Maybe you see it differently? (I am pretty close to my topic on this one.) Post a comment and put your two cents in here at Momma Politico.