Posted on 23-01-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Terry Lee of Cedar City, Utah who claims to have chosen two employees for layoff because they voted for Barack Obama.
Lee justified his decision on the alleged expenses his digital forensics business would incur because of “Obongocare”. Of course he could not identify these costs and his 9 employee business is well short of the 50 employees required for a business to comply with the Affordable Care Act.

So in addition to being an asshole Terry Lee appears to be an ignorant twit. Draw your own conclusions as to what his choice of phrase for Obamacare reveals about the rest of his character.

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Posted on 21-01-2013
Filed Under (Current Affairs) by Rashtrakut

It is not an easy time to be a school administrator. The massacre in Newton highlights the risks kids face from mentally disturbed people with guns. Yet in a pattern that is profoundly tedious and disturbing, legitimate concerns are an excuse for a lack of common sense.

Over the last two decades schools have responded to safety concerns along with accusations of discrimination by taking the path of least resistance or thought. Zero tolerance policies have led to some really stupid decisions by administrators too petrified to exercise common sense.

This story from Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania has really left me pissed off. A five year old girl allegedly told a classmate that she would shoot her and herself with her “gun.” However, the gun in question was a Hello Kitty Bubble Maker. Someone seems to have contacted the Apparatchiks in charge of her elementary school who responded to a five year old behaving like a five year old by characterizing this a “terrorist threat”. It appears that a teacher may have told the bawling child that she could be headed to jail. Then these geniuses appear to have interrogated the five year old for three hours before contacting her parents. Then they suspended her for 10 days and required her to obtain a psychological evaluation. The suspension has now been reduced to 2 days.

To make it worse the parents of the child cannot enroll her in another school district because of the suspension branded into her record.

The school district has issued a typical mealy mouthed statement:

The Mount Carmel Area School District has investigated the issue and will continue to do so. When given the opportunity in the appropriate forum, we look forward to presenting information that will portray our school district in a more positive light….The statement continues, “The Mount Carmel Area School District takes the well-being and safety of students and staff very seriously. In discipline matters, all circumstances are taken into consideration when arriving at decisions. It is the vision of the Mount Carmel Area educational community to create a safe learning environment that nurtures the intellectual, social, emotional and physical well-being of each child.

This is insane. From the facts public so far the people who should have permanent reprimands in their record are the school officials and the teacher who may have traumatized the child with threats of jail time. It is unconscionable that school officials interrogated a child for so long before contacting the parents.

The parents are considering a lawsuit. I hope they follow up against these bubble headed Apparatchiks.

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Posted on 21-01-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

Well it is official. Barack Obama’s second term has commenced. After an informal swearing in yesterday (to match the constitutional requirement of January 20), the President delivered his formal inaugural address today (along with retaking the oath of office in public).  It appears Chief Justice Roberts did not botch the oath this time.

The tenor of the address is different.  The fiscal crisis has abated.  Even with the best efforts of the tea party wing of the Republican party to sabotage the economy, the recovery should continue.  As a result this address set out a progressive vision of the President’s goals in the second term.  Climate change, immigration, voting reform, gay rights, same-sex marriage and a slap down of Paul Ryan’s “nation of takers” by defending the vision of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security highlighted the speech.

This is a different President.  The hopey-changey stuff has been tempered by the reality of knee jerk Republican opposition to anything the President proposes.  The beltway media hacks will bemoan the lack of bipartisanship without the courage to assign the blame where it belongs.

So the term begins.  Hopefully something can be achieved before lame duck status kicks in and the 2016 campaign commences.

Video of the innaugural address is below:

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Posted on 03-01-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut

“Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events.” – Abraham Lincoln February 27, 1860

Lincoln could have been talking about the current members of the so called Party of Lincoln.

The fiscal cliff has been averted for now. But in two months the Republicans in Congress will hold the world economy hostage when it is time to raise the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling itself has nothing to do with government spending. It is a product of spending decisions made when Congress passes the budget and apportions money. For years it has provided an opportunity for Congressmen to pontificate on the deficit by symbolically voting to oppose raising the ceiling.

Things changed dramatically in the last two years when the nihilists controlling the Republican Party threatened to make a symbolic vote a reality. The result was the first ever downgrade of America’s credit rating.

Now smarting after losing yet another election and having to concede the tax issue to President Obama, the Republicans are threatening to blow up the economy if they don’t have their way. It is one thing to have a showdown when the budget is passed. However, the Republican posturing over the debt ceiling is akin to playing Russian roulette with the economy.  Every serious economist, including Republican policymakers and economists not held hostage to the tea party wing for electoral or financial reasons, acknowledge that the debt ceiling must be raised. The Republican politicians promising a hostage crisis have themselves done so in the past.

For now President Obama has indicated that he will not negotiate on this issue. Hopefully he will deviate from his past practice and hold to that pledge. After all America supposedly does not negotiate with terrorists. And make no mistake this is a terrorist threat by a bunch of irresponsible petulant politicians.

And yet the Republicans while proclaiming their desire for a dollar for dollar spending reduction for the debt ceiling increase have not actually identified these spending cuts. The Paul Ryan budget last year had a similar oversight. In the fiscal cliff negotiations the Republicans tried to put the onus on Democrats to come up with the specific spending cuts to satisfy the Republican desire for recession inducing austerity. Why? Because the entitlement cuts Republicans want are deeply unpopular. While Republicans want to shred the social safety net they also want to attack the Democrats for making the cuts, i.e. have their cake and eat it too.

America sorely needs a responsible opposition party. Instead it has a party that abandons its positions the moment the Democrats embrace them – e.g. cap & trade, health care reform. The Republicans are focused on protecting the wealthy while suggesting cruel and foolish “solutions” to cut entitlement spending like raising the eligibility age for Social Security and Medicare which do little to reduce the deficit and may actually increase health care costs.

If the Republicans continue in their intransigence it is time to consider the constitutional option or the coin minting option to raise the debt ceiling. America and the world economy cannot continue to be held hostage every time when the debt ceiling needs to be raised. This is not a legitimate political bargaining chip and the Republican Party should not be allowed to pretend that agreeing not to damage the economy constitutes some sort of sacrifice on their part. That is the conduct of terrorists. It is time to end this hostage crisis.

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Posted on 03-01-2013
Filed Under (Politics) by Rashtrakut
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