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Labor unions, public and private, have been as loyal as any faction of the Democratic Party; so it seemed a good omen for future repeal or de-funding when the Obamacare-supporting AFL-CIO lost 40,000 ILWU members over that support. But then we discover that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union are only upset that the Affordable Care Act doesn’t grant their particular union a tax-waiver and socialize health care in America more radically.

In an August 29 letter to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, ILWU President Robert McEllrath cited quite a list of grievances as reasons for the dissolution of their affiliation, but prominent among them was the AFL-CIO’s support of Obamacare: Continue reading

Debt ceiling battle exposes the lie of those that claim most low income Americans don’t pay federal income taxes

File under the category that a rose by any other name smells as sweet

Outside Martha’s Vineyard, Americans are suffering the natural result of super-majority Democratic Party economic policies. Natural Law and history compel the expectation of one party Republican rule in Washington after next year’s elections, but only GOP super-majorities would have the power to repeal ObamaCare and other anti-job creation policies passed the first two years of President Barack Obama’s Administration.

One way to ensure that conservatives will not maximize their opportunity to duplicate the historic 2010 Republican landslide is to antagonize lower income workers generally favorable to the Democrats by continuing to insult their intelligence by insisting that they “don’t pay any federal income taxes.”

Paul Ryan, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity et al need to cease and desist from their semantic game, especially after the debt ceiling battle exposed the Social Security Trust Fund as a fiction and before the expected debate on tax reform begins as a means to avoid the sequestration of national defense when the Super-Committee is inevitably deadlocked on Thanksgiving Day.

Yes, presidents and congresses since the 1980s have incrementally exempted more and more income from federal income taxes. But the federal government taxes every dollar earned by low income workers under the “FICA”, i.e. Social Security rubric (as well as Medicare) and commingles those dollars with the “Federal Income Tax” dollars and other government receipts (and borrowed funds) to pay for all domestic and defense spending as well as Social Security payments.

There simply is no difference between the two and it is long past time for Republicans to quit talking out of both sides of their mouth on the issue.

Money taken out of one’s paycheck by Washington is no less taken out by differences in labeling. Those that continue to do so insult the working poor and qualify as Gore Lock Box Know Nothings.

 

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On Sunday, a group of Tennessee preachers will step into the pulpit and say the only words they’re forbidden by law from speaking in a church.

This Sunday, seven Pastors in Tennessee, 4 of which are in the Nashville area, will endorse a number of candidates for office in this district (TN-05). Among the candidates endorsed will be former Mayor Bill Haslam who is currently running for Governor of the state and David Hall, a businessman who is aiming to oust Rep. Jim Cooper from his Congressional seat.

The article linked above calls it IRS baiting. I call it reasserting our civil rights. The article author looks at this from a one sided view citing “a line between church and state.”

But many mainstream churches recoil from the idea of erasing the line between church and state.[…]

Other ministers and organizations have weighed in on the subject, including Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

Land said the church endorses many of the ADF’s initiatives, but “we think the mixing of the sacred nature of the church with the exceedingly worldly nature of politics is … unseemly.”[…]

Lewis Lavine, president of the Center for Nonprofit Management in Nashville, is familiar with the balancing act churches and other nonprofit groups must maintain when they stray near the political arena.

“We have separation of church and state in this country for a reason,” Lavine said. “There should be parameters, and there should be common sense.”[…]

The ADF’s polar opposites, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, issued a statement this week calling pulpit-based lawbreaking “the worst idea ever.”

“Clergy serve as spiritual advisers, not political bosses. Pulpit politicking violates federal tax law and offends the vast majority of church-goers,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, the group’s executive director.

“The nation is already bitterly divided over politics this year. … Now, Religious Right political hacks want to haul that divisiveness into America’s houses of worship.

Of course, calling political opposition, Religious Right political hacks isn’t the least bit divisive, is it? Oh no, not divisive at all.

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Updated and bumped: I’ve been informed that there is another candidate for TN-05 whose name is David Hall. Please follow the link made from his name and check him out.

In spite of its passage over the protests of the majority of Americans, the health care debate rages on in the states. The number of states challenging the legislation as unConstitutional now number 18. Tennessee isn’t one of them. In spite of Democratic Governor Phil Bredesen’s objections, Tennessee’s Attorney General Bob Cooper is questioning the constitutionality of the Health Freedom Act instead.

Cooper wrote in a legal opinion released Tuesday that the proposed “Health Freedom Act” sponsored by Republican Rep. Mike Bell of Riceville would likely be pre-empted by federal law, and that a requirement for the attorney general to mount a legal defense for the measure could violate separation of powers provisions in the state constitution.

His official opinion is here.

While not brothers, though I admit I haven’t looked very hard for a familial connection between our AG Cooper and our Representative Cooper, there are connections. For instance, the law firm for which the Attorney General once worked was among Representative Cooper’s highest donors coming in just under Caterpillar by $250. Another little tidbit is they’re both adjunct professors at Vanderbilt which was covered here for Rep. Cooper.

The Attorney General is also a native of Chattanooga, TN which is where Representative Jim Cooper first entered politics at the national level, TN district 04. Attorney General Cooper’s father was also a State Supreme Court Justice. Given Rep. Cooper’s positions on issues, a state attorney general with a working relationship connection to said representative as well as a same last name, one has to question just who is in charge of the state of Tennessee. Representative Cooper also has a brother whose claim to fame is this: Tax Informants Are On The Loose. Perhaps we should be changing the name of the state to Cooper rather than Tennessee.

Other states are hiring attorneys to fight the healthcare legislation. Should Tennessee follow suit by hiring an outside attorney?

Given Representative Cooper’s support for the legislation in spite of his Governor’s and Tennesseans’ objections and the Attorney General’s possibly questionable connections to said representative our choices look bleak. Meanwhile, said representative’s brother is advocating a tax informant program that smacks of communist regimes that rewards said informants.

“They” do say all politics are local.

Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey who is campaigning for Governor to replace Bredesen had this to say about the AG’s position:

Because the attorney general is appointed by the state Supreme Court, not the legislature or governor, Ramsey agreed that lawmakers cannot force Cooper to change his mind. But Ramsey said he hoped to find a lawyer who would represent the state free of charge if Cooper does not change his mind.

“That’s the reason that I’m passing this resolution, to make a statement that the General Assembly — both the House and the Senate when this passes both — wants (Cooper) to do that,” he said. “If he refuses to do that, then we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

November is just seven months away. We can work for regime change in Tennessee as much as at the national level. We need new blood rather than entrenched politicians at all levels of government. Tennessee deserves better than this. Perhaps, TN-05 is ready for a Republican representative for the district considering there hasn’t been one since 1875.

Here is a list of Republican candidates for TN-05:

Michael Barbuto (No website)
Brendan Finucane Jr. (No website)
Jeff Hartline
Vijay Kumar
Patrick Miranda
Cece Heil
Bob Ries
Robert Schwartz (No website)
Jared Scott
Lonnie Spivak
Al Strauss (No website)
Tracy Tarum

If you live in other districts in Tennessee and would like to know about Republican candidates in your area you can look them up from this link: http://www.politics1.com/tn.htm.

Over the next few weeks/months the plan is to highlight each of those candidates in separate articles. Mr. Miranda is the first and only one to date who answered questions I submitted to be included in the write up. It’s a nice set of questions to have answered but, if necessary, I’ll work without them. In the process of writing this post, the title for those articles is all wrong considering there are twelve candidates versus the five previously thought.

Incidentally, I voted for Kumar in ’08 though knowledge of him was sketchy. Desperation to rid the district of Cooper can lead one to commit such actions on faith rather than actual knowledge. That is NOT an endorsement. As I research these candidates, I’m looking for whom I will endorse as much as any of you Republican Tennessean readers. This election, one is hopeful that we will be better informed and better armed to make better choices.

Surely we can do better than a career politician like Jim Cooper who moved from one district in Tennessee to another, making claims of being a Blue Dog (conservative) Democrat while voting in legislation entailing massive spending, massive tax hikes, and massive deficits.

What’s more he voted for a bill of which he had little to no knowledge of its content. Nor did anyone else except for the authors.

How’s that hope and change working out for you? If you’ve had enough, please consider making a real change in Tennessee instead of voting in the same or similar players, ad infinitum.

This time it’s taxes. On the middle class.

“The whole point of it is to make sure that all ideas are on the table,” the president said in the interview with Bloomberg BusinessWeek, which will appear on newsstands Friday. “So what I want to do is to be completely agnostic, in terms of solutions.”

Isn’t that what he has said about everything from the bank bailouts to the auto industry takeover? Whatever will we do about another Obama broken promise?

But he will. And his promise of post-partisanship? Up in flames, the latest being the supposedly bi-partisan jobs bill which is being pulled because it’s too small.  It seems that everything Obama doesn’t want to do is exactly what he does. Indeed.

Never listen to a man’s (or woman’s for that matter) words. Words can deceive but the eyes don’t.

While he lectures the nation on fiscal responsibility, he goes on a spending spree with a proposed budget that racks up the U.S. another 1.6 trillion in deficit spending. Washington, D.C. is beginning to resemble nothing more than a bunch of teenagers with access to their daddies’ credit cards… without daddy’s knowledge.

How’s that hope and change working out for you Obama supporters? I’m finding it increasingly difficult to live on my change. Try feeding a family of five on $20,000/year less than what you made before Obama. For some families that $20k was their yearly salary.

I opposed the bailout from the beginning, in spite of what was said about what it would do. Looking back, I believe I was right. Nothing has changed since it was signed into law except the Treasury Department has new powers; powers it shouldn’t have.

Companies are lining up to get their share of the bailout fund and the treasury will likely call for more funds. None of these funds are going to be put into the hands of consumers. Instead they will be used to prop up failing businesses which are failing for various reasons. This is not capitalism. Sorry, but, it isn’t.

People are human and have some fault or another. Greed is one of those. Covetousness and envy are two others. Others are wrath, sloth, pride, and gluttony. Any one of these can lead to actions that are not good for the person or the people in his environment. When I hear talk about redistributing the wealth I get a picture in my mind of people who have worked for a wage, used those wages to buy goods or services, and now want their wages back because the people who received them are too rich.

In the real world it doesn’t happen quite that way. The government does it for you under the guise of giving back to the people who aren’t rich. The problem with that is the government plays the “middle man.” Anybody who knows anything about manufacturing, goods and services, knows the middle man has his cut, too. Bulk wholesale prices are far below the retail price, so when you buy those goods and services you’re paying for a lot of jobs on the way back to the manufacturer who initially offered the goods. So, the government becomes the middle man for redistributing what others created; in this instance wealth.

As the richer sectors of America are required to redistribute their wealth via the government, the government is the only one growing richer. Its cut of the wealth comes first. Unfortunately, they’re the greediest of all. The more they have, the more they want. What gets spent down is often the tiniest percentage of that wealth actually in the hands of the people for whom it was garnered in the first place. Rather than trickle down prosperity, we have trickle down poverty.

There is no longer any incentive for the rich to keep creating wealth as it is confiscated by the government. If they’re not creeating wealth, they’re also not offering jobs and expanding the tools by which they create that wealth. The rich become less rich as result, not just from higher taxation, but from the lack of wealth creation. It can be taxed only once… at least until they die and then it will be taxed again.

People are still losing jobs left and right. The government still plans morehardship adding to the economic woes and expects everyone to look to it for the answers. It’s funny how we’re supposed to look to a body of people, most of whom have never created any wealth at all, except for themselves, for the answers to prosperity.

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