Politics & Government


Except for the rich, of course

MH March 27, 2017

Oh, but Ryan/Trump Death-care just went down in flames in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives..

Ironically, it would have passed with only Republican votes except for the alt-right among them who didn't think the legislation was quite deathly enough.

The Kahn Con

MH August 8, 2016

Khizr and Ghazala Kahn are individuals. They are not all Muslims, or even most Muslims--any more than all Muslims are terrorists or wife-beaters or parents of a heroic son.

The Democratic Convention's use of the Kahns not-so-subtly implies that they stand for all Muslims. ("See, see, see! This is what Muslims are really like!") The Dems have merely turned bigotry upside down, defying logic and indulging in propaganda. Just like the ban-them-all people do, they have indulged in a big, illogical generalization. An untruth.

Well, it has worked. When linked

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to the unimaginable pain of losing a son, which the Kahns have endured, the underlying message resonates, regardless of bad logic and the slick use of the couple by my political party.

The Kahns seem to be somewhat assimilated to American life, although Ghazala's scarf remains as dictated by another culture. (An anti-democratic culture. A woman-oppressing culture.)

Oh Khizr! I too love those little Constitutions that you carry around. (I have a copy in my kitchen drawer.) But the question was inevitable: Are you convinced that the U.S. Constitution trumps Sharia law? (I suspect he is, even if that loyalty represents a change of heart from his youth.)

I feel obligated to remind Kahn and all Democrats that the text of that Constitution does not recommend open borders or suggest that the United States of America should commit cultural suicide.

Short-sighted Democrats are flirting with those unintended consequences. Unfortunately, it's a part of the Kahn.

"PC" Hulks Incrediby into "Probably Coo-coo"

. MH August 2015
Over recent decades, the social pressure of political correctness has been somewhat effective in nudging American culture toward sanity. Especially for women, I think. Even a bit against racism. Yes, language matters. But let's not get ridiculous.

Although Donald Trump is my idea of not-president--and though all women ought to shun him into lifelong celibacy--in his current forum (Republican candidate for supreme leader) he is probably harmless--or not.

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To cluck-cluck about how "offensive" he is may be getting silly. (It's those sober guys, reeking of right wing dignity and serious legislative misogyny that scare me. You know the ones. The Rubios and the Walkers who would joyfully murder a woman to save the zygote, a human-to-be that they would studiously ignore everafter its birth.)

Anyway, sometimes PC can send a person wretching to the first amendment.

In the September 2015 Atlantic, Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt ("The Coddling of the American Mind") cite a number of absurd PC examples from the college collection.

PC sometimes hulks goofy, sometimes "incredibly."




MH May 9, 2016

MH would like to suggest that Dems never again mention the name of the Republican presidential candidate.

Evermore he should be referred to as..


Don't waste your naming-calling breath on long words such as "misogynist." (He probably won't bother to look it
up. )

Gibson Votes Against Healthcare--Again

Sept. 13, 2013
On their 41st try in the U.S House of Representatives, Republicans tried to take away affordable healthcare from thousands of Americans.

People who can't afford healthcare sometimes die needlessly--or die younger than they ought to.

A vote against healthcare is a death-vote.

Our 19th district "representative" Chris Gibson joined the death-vote--again. Does this person represent you?

"Do not go gentle..."   Rage, rage   against the   lying of the right! ________________

(with apologies to D.T.)


  MH JULY 2012
LIES. Hooray!: Lies have become socially, politically, commercially fashionable--except perhaps in smaller circles where accountability is more cherished, or more regulated, or more difficult to perpetrate.

GOP lies are so brazen that there is obviously no shame attached to them. The liars no longer fear exposure. ("I lied. So?")

The party figures that voters are so forgetful, or so ignorant, or so desperately absorbed in survival that they have ceased to care. (Or the voter is a part of the 1 %, and they know a vote for the GOP is a vote for the 1%.) They figure that voters on their way to the

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voting booth may recall only the bumper stickers and the short-phrase-lies on which GOP millions were spent. (The President is a socialist; He wasn't born in the U.S.; Obamacare costs jobs; lies galore.) Repetition counts. Truth does not.

CHEATING & GREED. Oh good!: When Wall Streeters gleefully celebrated that they "tore the faces off" unwary investors, they tore up decency,
and Mama moved into the mansion in Greenwich.

It's all enough to make an old anti-religionist like me think that Calvin was right about a few things: mainly that there is powerful wickedness at work in the human animal.

Or maybe Mama has just lost her mojo.

Gibson 'on' Food Stamps

MH July 11, 2013

If you live and vote in House-of-Representatives, NY District 19, you may have received an exuberant email from Chris Gibson regarding the Farm Bill, HR 2642. He is thrilled. He claims a significant hand in its provisions. He voted for it.

District voters are accustomed to the broad, self-serving generalizations in these communications, but the latest rhetoric is particularly obnoxious in what it glosses over: Food stamps.

[Use arrows to cont.]

Now, we all love farms. (Except for the giant factory sort--the ones that make outlandish profits while abusing animals, soil, and illegal immigrants.) We don't even mind much that the Bill insures 90% of farm incomes at taxpayer expense; though we should probably explore the details.

But excising food stamps?

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Yes, the food stamp program (SNAP; linked for decades to farm legislation and traditionally supported by both parties) has been removed from the Farm Bill.

Excisors say that SNAP can be revived later in separate legislation. Just imagine what this Congress will do with the future of food stamps in separate legislation. (It rhymes with "mutt.")

Gibson's email says
"...this [the excision] in no way impacts
current or future beneficiaries of SNAP."

Really? Before the paragraph ends, among his amazing notions is
"...we could negotiate a new, bipasrtisan

Can you imagine a new bipartisan agreement on food stamps from the obstructionist, let-them-eat-garbage House majority and the fili-busted Senate?

Don't bet your breakfast on it.

Gibson Votes to Dismantle Medicare  

    [April 2011]
  SEE also Archives: "OUR
When voters of New York’s 20th district sent Chris Gibson to the U.S. Congress, did they know he was going to vote to dismantle Medicare? Well, he did. He voted for the Paul Ryan "Pathway to Prosperity," (!!) (H.Con.Res.34) which, among other
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things, would replace Medicare as we know it with vouchers to buy insurance from a private insurer. (If you’re lucky, the amount of the voucher will cover your health expenses. If not, tough bananas.)

If this is not what you-the-voter intended, I urge you to let him know by e-mail from his web site (http://gibson.house.gov)
or by telephone (518) 610-8133 in Kinderhook
(202) 225-5614
in Washington, D.C.

or at his next town hall meeting (as of this writing, not yet announced.)

  (April 2011)   MH



Chris Hayes Goes Anti-Liberal

MH June 19, 2014

Dear Chris,
From the time of your early TV nurture by Rachel Maddow, I've watched you with pleasure. I bought and read your book, Twilight of the Elites (see Book Reviews page). Ah, I thought, a good man. A civilized man. Someone who will always analyze carefully and offer a humanist, reason-based perspective.

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Last night I turned the channel away from you in amazement and disgust. My admired
liberal had disappeared, and in his place
was a name-calling embracer of the world's most dangerous, aggressive, democracy-hating, anti-liberal culture on the planet.

You mocked "Islamophobes." (See the silly liberal back bend pictured in the lavender cartoon on the right of this page?)

If you were to go to the most basic meaning and scrape away the pejorative implications of that word, we will confess: Many of us are indeed "Islamophobes." We fear anti-liberlism. We fear an authoritarian, woman-suppressing, superstitious culture,--a culture too often willing to do violence in the name of religion.

Wherever anti-liberalism lives (dictatorships, theocracies, totalitarian regimes, Tea-Party-Texas, Congress), lots of us fear them.

We also remember how up-front Hitler was in revealing his goals; and we are tempted to believe the Islamists who say they aim to take over the world. We have not forgotten Nine-eleven; and we"phobe."

Have you (Chris) now resorted to smearing reasonable, fearful people with

For very good reasons, you are loath to lump individuals together into some big, negative generalization. I am too. But there comes a time when a backward or wicked, dangerous culture must be tagged with a blunt, crude generalization--before it gathers enough strength to bomb the rest of us to eternity. (Do you really think Islam does not intend to take over the world?)

Of course, of course, there are many non-aggressive Muslims. In WWII, surely there were mild Germans, Japanese, and Italians. Sadly, their culture (the big, blunt generalization) pushed hard until the Allies were forced to bomb their decent people along with their indecents. (The tragedy of war.) Let's not appease Islam to that point!

The key to avoiding the clash of civilizations (WWIII) is to convince, educate, resist--not pet, join, or appease.

[Use arrows]

Oh Chris. True liberals do not pet, join, or appease authoritarianism in any of its permutations. And a true liberal could not allow a woman in her F-you-I-love-my-subjugation Muslim scarf on his program without challenging it on behalf of womankind everywhere.

Why? Why do that?



MH November 5, 2014

Did you vote for him, dear 19th-district Democrat? Sean Eldridge, that is.

I did. (I could never bring myself to vote for his congressional opponent, a radical, right-winger weariing phoney-moderate wool.)

But I was unhappy. Maybe you were too.

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The intelligence of voters in the NY 19th district was vastly underestimated--in fact, insulted. Wet-behind-the-ears Eldridge, sporting no qualifications whatsoever, seemed to assume he could waltz into the area and buy our seat in the United States Congress.

Yes, his stated positions were fine--solidly Dem. But talk is cheap; and though running for Congress is expensive, married-to-money is simply not enough quallification for high office. (You, reader, are of course aware that Eldridge is married to the very moneyed Chris Hughes.)

I know, I know. In some geographies, hog-castration is plenty of qualification for Congress; but that probably wouldn't work around here either.

What were we thinking when we encouraged this person to run? Anyone moderately acquainted with the district could have told you (and probably did) that this would not fly--or even crawl.

There is some evidence to suggest that Eldridge, who lost by 30 points, could grow into the role. Let's urge him to stay-put for a few years and run for the local board of educatiion or something. Should he prove effective, let him move on. If he "gets stuff done," as the President says, let him run for Congress.

Meanwhile, may he preserve his good looks, hone his considerable articulateness, get to know us, pass a few birthdays, and cultivate a little humility.


The Fact-deprived Vote

  MH June 3, 2012

If anyone with an income of less than $800,000 a year votes Republican, s/he is most assuredly fact-deprived--or seriously masochistic. It would be a vote to allow the rapacious 1% to grab even more from the rest of us, exacerbating an already obscene income inequality.

The drastic pulling-away of the moneyed class
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from the middle class was made even more vivid to me recently when I priced a NYC apartment similar to one where my family had lived for many years.

Since then, our income has more than doubled. The price of a similar apartment in that neighborhood is nearly 13 times as much. Middle-classers no longer welcome.

The 1% has already grabbed the best (and the next-best) of everything. Now the zillionaires are bent on buying up whatever part of the government they have not already purchased.

With government in their greedy hands there will be nothing left for the rest of us but revolution. People die in revolutions. Let's not do that. Instead, vote.

Rich-rule is regression to the savagery of the Middle Ages. Please don't vote for it.

BUSINESS WORLD! If you can't teach your fellows Honesty 101, just grin and bear it when the regulations come pouring down. Government doesn't cause regulation. You do.

Dodd-Frank, etc.

  MH Feb. 19, 2012

The Economist (Feb. 18--24, 2012) whines about Dodd-Frank legislation.

Businesses and Republicans love to mewl and fulminate against regulation
of any sort. And indeed the number of pages in Dodd-Frank and its potential for more are daunting. Why so many pages? Is it really because legislators are trying to gather more power to government?

Or is it because many corporations are so greedy, so prone to fraud, so eager to evade the law and find every loophole, so willing to exploit and abuse, that more verbiage,
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more sub-clauses, more reporting requirements become necessary to protect clients and fellow business people?

Financial chicanery often flies blissfully under the radar simply because figuring out what to do about it is so bloody boring. Who, besides government, has the time, resources, or persistence to do it ?

The general eagerness of corporations to cheat, maim, even kill for profit is obvious. At the moment, mortgage fraud may be most in the news, but let us not forget past horrors known or deliberately perpetrated by companies: the Bernie Madoff investing fraud; Beech-Nut sugar water sold as apple juice for babies; "let 'em burn" Ford Pintos; useless, counterfeit drugs marketed to people with life-threatening conditions, insurance companies that "take in" vigorously, then bully clients and resist the "pay out."

Business world! If you can't teach your fellows Honesty 101, just grin and bear it it when the regulations come pouring down! Government doesn't cause regulation. You do.


  MH Feb. 8, 2012
Planned Parenthood advocates should stop emphasizing how few abortions they do. It is one of the many good things they do!

Admit it, you apologists: You, and most of our population, are pro-abortion. Only a woman-devaluing mentality (Santorum, et al) would allow the banning of contraception or try to force a woman to bear a child regardless of the circumstances. (The most vocal of that minority, presumably, has no sexual activity of its own; or, if it does, it's only done illegally, with children.)

Say it out loud, PP. Hooray for contraception! Hooray for safe abortions!

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After his anti-woman vote in the House of Representatives (March 2011), I wrote to our 20th distrct representative, Chris
Gibson. Part of that missive I have dragged out of the Archives and re-printed below:

As you may have noticed, it usually takes two to start a fetus. The more potent sex drive of the human male probably makes him even more responsible for unwanted pregnancy than his female vessel. (Women seldom rape, for example. Women seldom sexually abuse children, or--I am guessing here--press really hard for sex.)

Biology, however, plus an anti-abortionist minority makes certain that is women who suffer for unwanted pregnancies. It is women only who are required to submit their bodies and their futures for punishment. The "life" in "pro-life" obviously does not refer to women!

"Blaming the woman" has been around since Eve. It is time for enlightened legislators to stop doing it. (Due to mistress-care, prostitute-patronization, serial affairs, and serial marriages, some legislators may have trouble finding time to devote to the problem. (I don't mean you, Congressman.)

  Do Republicans Care About Women?

  MH April 27, 2012

This year, the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act passed out of committee with ONLY DEMOCRATIC VOTES.

Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator from Minnesota (Huffington Post, 4/26/12) reports...
  According to a recent survey conducted by
  the Centers for Disease Control and
  Prevention, 24 people per minute are
  victims of rape, physical violence, or
  stalking by an intimate partner in the
  United States.
  Approximately one in four women have
  experienced severe physical violence by
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  an intimate partner at some point in their
  lifetime, and 45 percent of the women
  killed in the U.S. are killed by an intimate

Yeah, we all know that facts are of small concern to most Republicans.

But if you think the war against women comes only from backward Islamists, think again. It is vigorously prosecuted in the Republican Party.

If you are female, don't imagine that Republican decision-makers care an ort about you--except perhaps as a sex object, a baby-maker, unpaid servant, or (more important, perhaps) as a voter-against-herself.

JOBS The rich have been handed fists full of $$ for at least a decade. They have not created JOBS. They are unlikely to start now. TAX THEM.


  Sept 10, 2012
At the Republican convention, chants of "We did build it!" arose. (You remember. This comes from the deliberate misinterpretation of a language goof made earlier by President Obama--a sentence placed a bit too far from its referent.)

But what exactly is it that GOPpers have "built" in recent decades?

They have built public debt.
They have built an unpaid-for war.
They have built torture chambers.
They have built a culture of greed.
  [Use arrows to cont.]

They have built financial fraud, via deregulation.
They have built an obscene income gap.
They have built power bases for crackpot religionists, mentally challenged gun-toters, and male chauvinist pigs. (It's time to revive the phrase "male chauvinist pigs" as they are so numerous in the U.S. Congress and around state legislatures.)

Unfortunately, Democrats now will have to dismantle the whole structure--brick by wicked brick.

Ugh. Thanks GOPpers.


  Had you any idea there   were so many millionaires  and billionaires around upstate   NY for Chris Gibson to   "represent"?

  Laboring at the NY State Legislature

  MH Sept. 14, 2011

According to the Empire Center for NY State Policy, NY State Legislative salaries rank near the nation's top (for state legislators) at around $79,500.

According to the NY State Legislative Session Calendar, the 2011 session (Jan.--June) was scheduled for 65 days, averaging nearly 11 days per month for six months.

Open letter to Rand Paul

MH March 28, 2013


You don't seem like a stupid man. Yet one has to wonder about your small- government obsession.

The Founding Fathers were pretty canny about human nature. In writing the Constitution, their main weapon against human wickedness was the principle of checks and balances.
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In that era, there may have been a hint here and there of voracious, amoral and immoral corporations (the South Sea Co. comes to mind); but the Founders could not have foretold the anti-democratic powers that would accrue to big corporations in the times to come. Had they such foresight, surely they would have devoted a section of the Constitution to checks and balances on corporations.

The fact that many of these behemoths are willing to abuse and kill for profit is obvious. Government appears to be the only institution able to protect us from economic abuse and from products that create illness and death.

Why, Rand Paul, are you so eager to eviscerate it?



  E.J. Graff, resident scholar
  at the Brandeis Women's
  Studies Research Center.
  American Prospect, 2/2012

"...some people believe spiritual magic strikes when a sperm fertilizes and egg, divides into a blastocyst, or curls into an embryo. But theirs is a religious belief,
not a fact."

Who Represents YOU in the House of Rep.

  MH August 2012
Ideologue Gibson (as in Chris Gibson, our NY 20th district "representative" to the U.S. House of Representatives) has once again voted for rich-rule--that is, to extend tax cuts for the wealthy: H.R. 8.

The very title of the legislation, "The Job Protection and Recession Prevention Act," is a lie. "The Shove-More-Money-to-People-Who-Already-Have-Gobs Act" would be more accurate.
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I had no idea that there were so many millionaires and billiionaires in district 20 for Gibson to "represent." If you are among the greediest of them, Chris is your guy. Vote for him.

As for the rest of us, let's go to the voting booth and dump Gibson.

Gipson (Terry) & Women  

  MH March 7, 2012
Like all men who are secure in their manhood, TERRY GIPSON (no, not that anti-woman U.S. rep, Chris Gibson) is on our side!

Terry is running for NY State Senator in the 41st district, against Steve Saland (although the districts may be redrawn).


  NY Times 2/2012


"...birth control is not a frill that can be lightly dropped to avoid offending bishops."

"If we have to choose between bishops' sensibilities and women's health, our national priority must be the female half of our population."


  MH October 4, 2012
This morning's pundit-opinion seems to declare that, in last night's television debate, energetic Romney lies defeated Obama fact and logic.

What a sad indictment of American ignorance and judgment and, by extension, our American educational system.  

At the most basic level, it is education's job to instill in children a respect for established facts and to provide the skills for discovering and using them. It is government's job to struggle toward an economy that allows all citizens enough security and "leisure" to make use of those skills in choosing our leaders.


Mitch McConnell's Mug

MH March 22, 2013

Mitch McConnell (R. Senate) says Hillary Clinton looks as if she's from "a rerun of The Golden Girls." I don't think it was a compliment.

Like many male Republicans, Mitch obviously evaluates women mainly on the basis of their reproductive potential.

A person like Mitch, whose face resembles pink bread dough with raisins, should perhaps restrain himself.
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The mug of Mitch begs for a face-lift. (Maybe the surgeon, while close by, could throw in a brain-lift.)

Actually, doughboy, those golden girls look pretty nifty.

Anger, Hate,   Divisiveness

  MH Sept. 2012
You bet, GOP dude.

We are angry that you bash the poor.
We hate your woman-hating legislation.
We divide from your jungle economics.

  To join with you would be
  vicious and immoral.


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