Bob Higgins

What is the Middle?

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on November 9, 2012
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OK My friend you’ve given me a lot to deal with but I’ll take a swat at it.

1. I never said Bush actually had the mandate. I’m just saying that is probably why he said that. Obama certainly does not have the same situation to be able to claim a mandate since the Democrats don’t control all of congress.

We can argue all day (and the media mavens will go on for months) whether the President received a mandate. Finally it makes no difference, he was reelected to a second term, picked up a few seats in the Senate, some state legislatures and the Dems received about 12 million more congressional votes than Republicans. Call it what you like. I like mandate.


2. There is no doubt that we hand out too much of the treasury to corporations who in turn hire more people to lobby for more money. It is a ridiculous waste of the public’s money and needs to stop. Unfortunately that would require hiring a lobbyist to try and kill their own job. Not going to happen. True government reform is needed… not just in campaign funding but in the entire system. Term limits that would not allow someone to be groomed to be a career politician who is owned by special interests is a good start. Removing all SuperPACs is another step. PACs can be used but only for issues… not for candidates. You want to run an add about allowing gay marriage or abortion? Great. You don’t run an add saying that Obama is pro-choice or that Romney hates women or gays.

We have term limits, they’re called elections. Remove the polluting power of corporate money and the people will decide who stays or goes without interference. The major problem with term limits is that as these elected officials rise and fall due only to the passage of time the power inherent in the office transfers to unelected staff people and legislative aides who continue on as part of the office furniture and they absorb the power. Within a few cycles we will have a congress answerable to no one but lobbyists and their filthy lucre. Yes, I know, but much worse.

Corporations are not people, money is not speech. Eliminate the absurd ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and super PACS are neutered. I think we have eleven states on board so far to amend the constitution to sweep this dangerous concept out the door. (more…)

Skip the Bearded Lady, Go Straight to the Big Top

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on November 8, 2012
Bearded Lady

Bearded Lady

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My friend, and I mean that, I value your opinion but I think you’re wrong to toss your vote aside to the Fit of Pique party.

You wrote:

I think last night’s election was not an endorsement for Obama but a message to republicans that people are tired of the rhetoric with nothing to back it up. Fiscally conservative? Not a chance. Socially conservative? That is not what the country cares about anymore.

Where you see none I see a mandate from a solid majority of voters of half or more of the states in the union for a return to more liberal policies and a demand for tangible results. These voters gave us a majority in the electoral college that George Bush never enjoyed. People on both sides of the public divide want a strong economy, full employment, safety, security, jobs, quality education, health care, and many other necessary basic services. The argument is how to get it done.

We can well afford a return to and strengthening of the New Deal policies that led us to all of the above conditions and successfully maintained them until the private profiteers, the opportunists, the financial buccaneers and the Chicago School with their trickle down voodoo convinced the weak minded, spineless and venal in Washington to give away the public treasury. (more…)

Malala Wanted to go to School so They Shot Her.

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on October 11, 2012
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Malala Yousafzai

Malala Yousafzai

Just when I believe that I’m beyond outrage a story like this hits the news.

What kind of animal would attempt to assassinate this girl?

The Taliban has claimed credit, as if credit is a word that can be applied to such an insane and cowardly act as the murder of a child in the name of some supposed deity or a half baked system of religious law.

Taliban, al Qaeda, KKK, Holy Rollers of the Purple Sage, it doesn’t matter who. They’re all delusional authoritarian cowards, ever poised and ready to commit the unspeakable in the service of their imagined gods.

I guess every religion has its extreme nut cases. In the last several days I’ve read several stories about deranged religious zealots right here at home: (more…)

Dealing with Republicans: The More Things Change…

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on October 6, 2012

Harry Gets a Laugh at the Trib’s Expense

Seldom a day goes by that I don’t hear nostalgic lamentations from the left about “modern republicans.” It’s as if we have forgotten the near domination of American politics by Republicans from the civil war and the rise of the robber barons through the gilded age and the depression, being  interrupted only in 1932 with the election of FDR. They remain the same old GOP.

Republicans and Democrats (or reasonable facsimiles)  have been fighting the same battles over the same issues for much of our history. Republicans have always been Republicans. I’m more nostalgic for the days when Democrats didn’t try so hard to pass themselves off as Republicans. We have all too many of those critters in the party today.

As an illustration here’s Harry Truman speaking on the stump for Hubert Humphrey in 1948:

Harry S. Truman: Address in St. Paul at the Municipal Auditorium October 13, 1948 (more…)

Romney: Bring Me the Head of Big Bird

Posted in Politics by Bob Higgins on October 5, 2012

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Mitt Romney the fearless vulture capitalist boldly stated during the first debate that if elected he will take out Big Bird.

I guess it’s reasonable for him to want to counter the macho credentials the Obama administration acquired in the bin Laden raid but I think they’re setting the bar a bit low.

If Obama were to announce US intentions to put a man on the far side of the moon would Romney counter by sending a limo to La Jolla for foie gras?

Romney Fires Big Bird

Yo, Mitt…Downsize this! Image: Addicting Info

His target? Federal funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and its high value figurehead Big Bird.

CPB is hardly a major item in the budget. ($445.2 million for FY 2012)

The elimination of this half billion dollar investment in public broadcasting would reduce the $1.5 trillion federal budget deficit by less than 3 ten-thousandths of one percent, while having a profoundly negative effect on local communities. (more…)

Rise as an Army and Reelect the President

Posted in Election 2010, Politics by Bob Higgins on October 4, 2012

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On Tuesday a friend asked if I intended to watch last night’s debate and I told him probably not. I’ve watched Romney and his privileged prep school routine for years. He wears a smirking upper class disdain for his inferiors (which covers just about everyone) like body armor or more self righteously, like temple underwear and you can read on his face the pompous knowledge that the rest of us are not similarly attired.

I knew going in that nothing would happen in this debate that would change my vote to reelect the president. I told my friend that I would read the transcript the morning after. Being a political junkie I cheated. I watched but switched to the ball game, to an old movie, to a book every ten minutes or so. Whenever the dismal droning of the misinformation and posturing of the “debate” began to grate on my nerves I was able to find respite in the remote.

Reading the transcript this morning I quickly learned that my expectations were borne out by the reality of this ratings circus. A circus that was carried by every network and financed by the same corporate money that fuels these interminable election campaigns. There was nothing to learn here, nothing was said that hasn’t been repeated over and over for the last two years of sound bites, mendacious political ads, and media fueled public backbiting that we have somehow come to accept as the democratic process. (more…)