Category Archives: current news

Fifty Shades of Grey Bestseller Banned in Florida and Other Places

Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James

Fifty Shades of Grey author E L James (Photo credit:

You wouldn’t think anything would be too hot for Florida but evidently the bestselling erotic novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” is too hot for some Florida libraries. Some Georgia and Wisconsin libraries have also followed suit and banned the book in some of their public libraries. According to Florida Today the Brevard County Public Library system has removed copies of the book from its 17 libraries. They claim they bought some copies before they realized what the book was about. Hmm…I wonder if they thought to ask the public, who supports the public library through their taxes and fees, if the public wants the library services director removing books the public evidently wants to read, judging by the huge waiting lists of general public for the book at libraries all over the country.

Brevard County libraries had a waiting list of 200 people waiting for the book. The people waiting for “Fifty Shades of Grey” were sent notices telling them sorry, the book has been pulled from the shelves. I imagine some of those waiting even had gray hair, what with the population of Florida and all. Some may have even read Lolita, The Kama Sutra and even The Tropic of Cancer. All considered rather racy, and all can be loaned out from the Brevard County Public Library. Imagine that. Librarians in at least four Florida counties have declined to buy the book even though hundreds of people have asked for it because they claim they either don’t have the money to purchase them, or the reviews of the book have been poor or the book doesn’t suit their community standards. I love the community standards reasoning, as if the public library is in charge of setting the standards for what the community can read, rather than the community setting the standards for what they want to read. The book isn’t for everyone but I thought book censorship was dead. I’m much more interested in the backstory of how it became the “it” book for millions of readers.

The “Fifty Shades” books are actually a trilogy of three books. They are books about bondage, sex, love and they even have a plot. They have sold over three million books so far and are in the first three spots on Amazon’s best seller list and the top three spots on the New York Times best-selling books list. I think it is a snooty attitude by some libraries because the books were self-published originally as an e-book by the author. Some book snobs think if a book wasn’t traditionally published by one of the big six publishing houses then they must be lesser-than, regardless of content. But author E.L. James published her e-book herself and it became so popular through word-of-mouth that publishers came calling after the fact and so did Hollywood with a movie deal.

I could care less what the content is, anytime someone takes their writing into their own hands and doesn’t wait around for some publisher to accept it or reject it, and tell her to change it and pays her a small advance against royalties and then takes forever to even print the damn thing, I commend her. This is what publishing should be, where the writer/creator has the control and the masses push it to the top. Big time publishing houses have been asleep at the wheel for quite a while now. Thanks to e-readers, self publishing, indie publishers and the little writers that could–they are rising to the top of the publishing food chain. Thank God.

You can purchase the 50 Shades trilogy at Amazon;  and pass it around to your friends. I’m an affiliate so I get a very small commission if you click through my site and purchase. I’m sure used copies are available as well.


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My Encyclopedia Britannica Set is Dusty but Not Forgotten


Britannica (Photo credit: SimCity0x50)

The Encyclopedia Britannica is ceasing publication of its print, dead-tree edition and will continue with just their digital online edition. I know in my head this is progress and probably makes economic sense for both consumers and Britannica but in my heart? I will miss the 32-volume printed edition that I haven’t laid eyes on in years, collecting dust in boxes in a closet because my set is as outdated as me. I even remember as a very young child learning how to spell encyclopedia from Walt Disney’s Jiminy Cricket via some goofy sing-songy bit on the after school Disney show. I couldn’t read yet, but I could sing/spell encyclopedia.

The Encyclopedia Britannica has been around since 1768, and was first published in Edinburgh, Scotland. A new set costs $1400, and it seems they have had plenty available in their warehouses these last few years. I don’t know if ceasing publication will drive the price up of used sets, think of the shipping costs of buying a set on Ebay? While Britannica has been in the digital world for many years, officials at Britannica said the print edition was just becoming impossible to maintain and keep up-to-date and of course there is the physical delivery of the huge, heavy sets. While they haven’t stated it, with the resources of Wikipedia and Google at your virtual fingertips you would be hard pressed to open an encyclopedia for information anymore, let alone pay a fee for their online encyclopedia.

When I was a kid my parents couldn’t afford to buy a set from the Britannica salesmen that rang our doorbell on a regular basis in my Chicago neighborhood and tried to get you to buy them on the monthly plan. My dad wasn’t a monthly plan type of guy, so we used the encyclopedias at the library. If a school assignment called for a paper on Paul Revere, a teacher could expect every kid in class to have the same information, taken from the same big impressive burgundy book, with only vague differences depending on writing style. If you waited until the last-minute to write your assignment, as I often did, you had to wait for hours at the library to get the specific alphabetized book you needed because other slackers were using it.

By the time my youngest brother got to school, my folks had a little more expendable income and my brother got his own Encyclopedia Set (the rat). He didn’t have to take the bus to the library as he had his own source materials right at his fingertips. The youngest kid is always spoiled of course and since he was the “brain” of the family he would sit around reading the encyclopedia as his light reading. Who does that? Certainly not my sister or I who only cracked an encyclopedia under intense pressure to perform a knowledge based task. Years later as an adult I bought a used set from a thrift store for next to nothing. I don’t even know why, I just wanted them, I loved books anyway and just liked the way they looked. Maybe I thought having them would make me look scholarly.

While I feel bad for employees of Encyclopedia Britannica, I can see that the whole world has gone digital–or will, it’s progress of course, but for us in the older generation it is bitter-sweet. A lot of my memories are tied to old stuff which is why I’m still hanging on to my old Encyclopedia Britannica set, my grandfather’s Kodak Brownie camera, my Sony 8-track, my old LP’s and my record player. If for no other reason than when I am long gone, younger generations of my family can say things like; “Wow, you mean they had to turn pages?” And then find out my old “stuff” is worth a ton of money.

(Just got this Encyclopedia Britannica interactive science library; earth, space, humans for the grandkid (age 5) complete with highlighter talking pen; It’s totally cool, he’s learning but he thinks he’s playing and that is what is important. Never knew they had anything like this until I started looking up stuff for this post. I am an Amazon affiliate so I do get a tiny commission if you purchase through my link but where ever you may find it, its a terrific idea for kids.)


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Susan G. Komen VP Karen Handel Better Race For The Pink Door

English: Mahindra 6030 Turbo tractor in downto...

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UPDATE: I wrote this blog on Sunday, February 5, on Monday, February 6, Karen Handel  “resigned” from Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. I can’t confirm if the door hit her in the a– on the way out. 

The Huffington Post is reporting they found an inside whistle-blower at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure breast cancer charity, that has proof that Karen Handel, Komen’s vice president for public policy drove the decision to defund planned parenthood. While the deep-throat informer couldn’t hand over the goods, the Huffington reporter was allowed to view enough evidence (emails etc.) and interview the source who said Handel was heard stating “If we just say it’s about investigations, we can defund Planned Parenthood and no one can blame us for being political.” Handel, Republican politician for years and a strong anti-abortion advocate, must have missed the memo about not mixing politics and ideology with women’s health. Or the one about cancer not caring what your political affiliation is, it kills people from all walks of life–even agenda driven Republicans. Komen for the cure shouldn’t be concerned with pro-choice or pro-life just pro-cure. And that it what the “public policy” should be at Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

Komen for the Cure officials have spent the last four days lying to the public about their charity. They used buzz words like “our mission” and “new directives” to tell us that they couldn’t possibly continue to fund a group (Planned Parenthood) that was “under investigation.” When the person calling for the investigation was a Republican Congressman. In the meantime they were still going to continue funding Penn State (their research hospital) which happens to be under big-time Federal investigation. Bank of America is also a huge sponsor/partner of Komen, and they are under various State, Federal and you-name-it investigations.

Planned parenthood has gotten millions of dollars donated in the last few days, including a huge amount by the New York Mayor. The rest was given by 10,000 private donors that know an attack on Planned Parenthood is simply an attack on poor women. The Komen funding earmarked for Planned Parenthood was never used for abortions it was used for breast exams and mammogram referrals. The huge backlash on Komen, from the well-known and the unknown, especially on Facebook and Twitter caused them to reverse their course yesterday but their message that they would continue to allow Planned Parenthood to apply for funding struck some as unusual and cryptic wording.

The next time you are inclined to Walk for the Cure, keep in mind that the Komen Republican/anti-Planned Parenthood/sorority/marketing club puts a heavy emphasis on “cause” marketing so you will purchase their pink spatulas, pink socks and pink KFC buckets of chicken (very healthy for cancer patients or anyone). They slap pink on everything from tractors and cars to hats and water bottles–for a price of course. They care far more about their “brand” and being the biggest cancer charity as evidenced by their law suits against small charities that tried to use the words “for the cure.” According to Charity Navigator 21% of their donations/income is spent on cancer research and prevention and the rest on salaries and “administration.”

The head of Komen makes $500,000 a year plus traveling expenses and she always flies first class. Handel’s salary is reportedly, $400,000. Because of this fiasco, Komen hired a “crisis management team” this week because the staff and board can’t quite get on the same page with their lies. I sure wouldn’t want my donation to go for paying for a crisis management team as opposed to real help to real women with cancer. But then, I never bought into all that pink crap, it’s a ruse to make people think they belong. They are an elitist, arrogant charity that needs to kick a few butts out the pink door–and even then they have a long way to go to regain public trust. You would think the Komen foundation particularly, being a women’s charity for breast cancer would understand the power of women but they misjudged, because they were focusing on their non-charitable agenda.

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The National Anthem: The Pro Singers Just Don’t Get It

American Idol 's Katharine McPhee performs the...

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Last Year at the 2011 Superbowl, with millions of people watching, Christina Aguilera decided to add her rendition of The National Anthem to the archives of flubs by trying to make the song “her own” with a few change-ups and an entirely missed line.  Her viewers and listeners were less-than-thrilled with the Grammy winner’s performance but her “people” blamed it on nerves. This is a woman who is used to performing at sold-out venues of thousands, so nerves is unlikely. Not being well-prepared and/or messing around with a perfectly good melody and not-quite landing the notes shows more at work here than “nerves.” Tons of internet polls said Aguilera’s botched anthem was an unforgivable mess.

More recently, rock singer Steven Tyler , frontman for Aerosmith, decided to take-on The National Anthem a few days ago at the Ravens-Patriots football game. He didn’t change many lyrics but somehow I don’t think America was quite ready for the “Screeching Star Spangled Banner.” You could hear the boos of the crowd over the screeching and he has received non-stop criticism since the event. But, I ask you? Why would they ask a rocker to sing the anthem anyway? It’s not exactly like the guy has a velvet voice to begin with.

There is of course, a long history of less-than-perfect National Anthem performances from American Idol winner Scott McCreery to Cyndi Lauper. But perhaps the worst of all anthem performances was back in 1990. Rosanne Barr (a comedian) who put on the worst non-funny performance by a non-singer and is oddly still alive to talk about it. It actually hurt her career because she was basically making fun of the National Anthem. She now lives on a farm in Hawaii, presumably far out of earshot of humans, thank God.

I can’t sing a note, but my hearing is so far, well within the average range. I might not understand the nuances of tone and range, but I do know the average American does not want singers altering the lyrics and melody of their National Anthem. They don’t want a “stylized” version of it, they don’t want a new beat and they generally like to have it sung with feeling and heart. Just like this version sung by a young high-schooler from a Chicago suburb, who is not a professional singer–but undoubtably will be, because she gets it. This is how the National Anthem should be sung:


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Eight votes? But Do Iowa Caucus Votes Really Count?

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a GOP p...

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For anyone of us who ever said or even just thought “My one vote doesn’t really make a big difference, it’s just one vote out of many and I don’t really like any of the candidates anyway,” think about eight votes. Yes, as crazy as it seems only eight votes came between a winner and loser last night at the Iowa Republican Caucus. I mean that is Kate + 8 minus Kate (always a good thing) Eight Maids A Milking, Adam Sandler’s Eight Crazy Nights movie and eerily enough this 2010 documentary; “8: The Mormon Proposition.”  Yeah, I’m sure the eight is a sign from God or some high-up Latter-Day somebody.

So, when the more than 1700 Iowa caucus locations finally hand-tabulated their votes by 2 a.m. this morning, Mitt Romney received 30,015 votes and Rick Santorum got 30,007. Both ended up with 24.6% of the vote. Hardly enough for a good Iowa corn-boil. And considering Romney outspent Santorum 50 to 1, it was actually a good show for Santorum. The rest of the candidates were pretty-much busy trying to pretend how “Iowan” they really were and well, that didn’t work out too well for them, although Ron Paul did much better than expected, coming in third.

Imagine you lived in Iowa and you were on your way to vote in the caucus and you got sidetracked by going to a movie, talking on your iPhone, texting, eating dinner out, having a few beers or visiting friends. If just eight people did that, it could have totally changed the outcome of the caucus vote. But, it probably will not matter or ultimately change the outcome of who eventually becomes the Republican nominee. In 2008, Mike Huckabee won the Iowa Caucus but John McCain became the nominee, George H.W. Bush became President with only 18% of the Iowa vote and Clinton won in 1992 with 2.8% of the Iowa vote.

But, in the political scheme of things although $40 million was collectively spent in Iowa by the potential candidates, the whole scenario still smacks of running for the city council. With CNN and MSNBC trying their hardest to make it out to be a big deal with their flashy caucus graphics, panels of pundits sitting around with not much to say, and television hours spent waiting for the vote counters to finish, It’s still Iowa. A state that has older demographics, mostly white with under 5% of the people voting. It’s not a true representation of all voters at all and yet they have this power of the caucus. Yes, they have very nice people in Iowa but there are more independent voters than either registered Republicans or Democrats. So, why the heck would they be considered a cross-section of America for Republican or Democratic caucuses? Beats me, their midwestern charm, work ethic and integrity is far above any of the politicians they vote for.

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Top 10 People Or Things I Don’t Want To Hear About In 2014

an old post card

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1. Anything Kardashian. I don’t want to hear about their “reality” shows, or their having or not-having babies, their clothing lines, purse lines or lines on their faces. Their boyfriends, husbands, ex-husbands, marriages, divorces, diets, weight gains, sex tapes or general whining about anything. I need a total break from ALL things kardashian–for the rest of my life would be good.

2. Big banks. The only thing I ever want to hear a too-big-to-fail bank utter is; “I’m sorry I screwed up the entire economy, and we will drop our bonuses and a portion of our profits into the laps of the American people as restitution.” Aside from those words I want to hear nothing from these greedy charlatans in 2014.

3. Congress. These people are an embarrassment. Unless they make BIG strides in voting for measures that will actually help the American people, the economy and the jobs front then they need to crawl back under their rocks. I don’t mean a small token vote that will give us a little help for a few months, I mean an actual plan for Americans that puts us first, not them. If they won’t do it, I don’t want to hear any more of their crap whining in 2014–or crying, either.

4. Pseudo journalists. I don’t really need to read the same news story 100 times with no new info. The prevailing wind in journalism lately is taking an already over-done story and changing the words around and making it “your own.”  I guess they call it “spinning.” I call it plagiarism and lazy. I’m sick of this pretend journalism and would love for it to go away in 2014  (ha, ha, fat chance).

5. Twitter freaks. Some idiots on Twitter have turned a once fun, helpful , and sometimes insightful form of communication into a Twitter-robot-boring-marketing extravaganza of lifeless comments and shameless self-promotion. These people need to disappear into the oblivion of cyber-space. What twits.

6.  Pundits. So, everyone with a mouth is a pundit. All it really amounts to, is a person with a point of view. Pundits are not in a secret Mensa club, or even a semi-smart club. It is not a lofty title saved for people who actually have insight, experience and knowledge of a topic anymore. Let’s face it if everybody on Fox Network is a pundit, the term is meaningless. Pundits go away in 2014.

7. People who write books, and call themselves authors–who aren’t.  Just because you eat doesn’t mean you can write a cookbook. If you’re 25 your memoir is short-lived and if you’re Snookie from the Jersey Shore, or an aging star looking to make a few bucks, yes, you can write a book or use a ghostwriter–but that doesn’t mean it’s good. It would be great for the landfills and trees of the world to have less of this garbage clogging up the system in 2014. I won’t even get into the people who write 10 page e-books that they self publish, charge $1.99 and tell people they are published authors. Yes, I love short stories and essays but they need to be really, really good.

8. Women that have babies and get rid of the baby weight in three days. I’m way beyond this age but the Hollywood set seems to be telling women of childbearing ages that you can have a baby and almost like a shot of botox–instantly get rid of the baby weight. And they act like this is normal. When these narcissistic women are the ones that are not normal. Once again they focus on style and looks over substance and smart, emotional and physical health.  My wish for 2014; shallow people go away.

9. Politicians that say they get it, they understand, they’re just like us, they too used to be poor, they want the same things we do, they want to turn the country around and blah, blah, blah. Plain and simple; they are liars. They need to go far, far away in 2014 and/or simply be voted out of office.

10. The sad stories that are becoming the norm. This is America, not some third world country with no resources, no education and no freedom. It is preposterous that the U.S. Government lets Wall Street, big pharma, insurance companies, oil companies and any large business with money–dictate U.S. laws and policy. It is far more than a travesty of justice, it is a sign of a country in crisis, a country in despair and a country that has leaders that put themselves first above all else. I hope to God I don’t have to hear about any more sad stories in 2014, but I know in my heart–it is a dream.

(Wow, my blog is really a rant today with all my whining so I am going to go and read this book; called “What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions. It’s super popular and I want to find out why everyone is buying it. The reviews look amazing and it should take my mind off whatever my mind needs a break from. I am an Amazon affiliate so if you purchase through my link I get an “absurdly” small commission.


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The Ghost of Black Fridays Past

Black Friday (1940 film)

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$2 waffle maker Black Friday shopping fight I watched this Black Friday shopping video in utter shock (click on link at beginning of this sentence to see it). Then the sadness set-in as I realized how horrid, inhuman, barbaric and utterly disgusting the whole situation was. People acting like animals over $2 waffle makers points to an abysmal picture of Americans as-a-whole. This video is all over the internet for all the world to see. Here are the ugly Americans at their worst; greedy, ill-mannered consumers that will stop at nothing to purchase crap.  A $2 made in China piece of garbage waffle iron that probably has the expected life span of a week.

In other “fun” Black  Friday events yesterday, A woman who allegedly fired pepper spray at other customers during a sale of Xbox video consoles  has surrendered to authorities according to Los Angeles police. The woman  allegedly caused minor injuries to 20 shoppers at a Los Angeles-area Wal-Mart.

The attack took place about 10:20 p.m. Thursday shortly after doors opened for the sale. The store had brought out a crate of discounted Xbox video game players, and a crowd had formed to wait for the unwrapping. The woman began spraying people in order to get an advantage. Did she really get an advantage? No one seems to know if she ended up with an Xbox after all and it is unlikely she could use it in jail when she most likely will be charged with 20 counts of assault.

In a quite serious Black Friday event, a robber shot a shopper who refused to give up his purchases outside a San Leandro, Calif., Wal-Mart store, leaving the victim hospitalized in critical but stable condition.  What ever happened to the rule, if a robber approaches you, give him whatever he wants or you could end up dead? Is dying worth anything that Wal-Mart could possibly have?

Back in the simple 1970’s and 80’s when people were nice and polite and seemingly not crazy shoppers, I stood in a black Friday line a few times waiting for department stores to open at a normal time (9 am) for a couple of requested items on my children’s Santa list.  One year I stood patiently in line for an unattractive doll with its own unique name and birth certificate. It was called a Cabbage Patch Kid and it was the only thing my daughter had on her wish list. The dolls were in short supply and moms everywhere were on the hunt but I never saw a fight, or a push or an unkind word in my search. I ended up driving an hour away from my home to a friend’s Ace Hardware where he had three of the dolls and saved one for me. He said no one really thought of Ace as a place to purchase dolls and they had been on the shelf for a few days. I think he thought I was a little crazy for going on and on and thanking him profusely.

Another Black Friday moment had me standing in line at Sears for $2 plastic Star Wars figures (of course they are worth a lot now) to complete a Star Wars set complete with a carrying case. My son never asked for a lot for Christmas and it was my mission to find Darth Vader and some of the harder to find figures. Once again it was mostly moms shopping and we were all standing around a huge bin of Star Wars charactersshouting out the names of the characters we found to other moms in need of certain characters to complete a set. We were all helping each other and I walked away with a complete set, as did others. We were laughing, joking and actually having fun. No pushing, shoving, grabbing, pepper spraying or shooting. Not an ugly American consumer in the bunch–evidently a much kinder and gentler crowd and time. Ah, sometimes the good old days–are good.

(Amazingly I found a Cabbage Patch Kid here; It is the 30 yr. celebration doll that is similar to the one I stood in line for. I think I’ll get for my 38 yr. old daughter as a memory. I am an Amazon affiliate so anything you purchase through this link will net me a small commission.)


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Hey Herman Cain: You Got Problems? ‘Blame Yourself’

Pizza man's here! . . . Herman Cain - Cartoon

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Herman Cain was recently quoted in a Wall Street Journal  interview criticizing Occupy Wall Street protesters stating, “don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and are not rich, blame yourself.”

It boggles my mind that this fountain of knowledge pizza-man was in essence, telling the people who have been hurt by the financial crisis through no fault of their own, that they were in fact, to blame. The classic blame the victim stance  from a not-so-classy ex-pizza CEO running for the Republican nomination for President.

When the Cain circus first came to town many people thought he was a breath of fresh political air. Here was a guy who had no political background or knowledge, did not necessarily have command of the English language, knew nothing about those foreign places like China etc. and had a simplistic 9-9-9 economic fix that would cost the most needy more money. That fresh air has quickly grown stale.

In the last few weeks no less than four women have stepped forward and accused Cain of sexual harassment that allegedly happened years ago, when he was head of the National Restaurant Association. Three of the women did so anonymously and one came forward complete with a press conference and attorney/spokesperson by her side.

Cain and his camp were very slow to respond to these allegations, refusing to talk to reporters about the issue for days. He kept telling reporters he wanted to “stay on message” and “don’t bother asking.” When he evidently regrouped and got all his Republican ducks in a row, he had a press conference himself yesterday and stated none of the events ever happened. He is of course, calling four women with similar stories liars. Two of the women had been paid off years ago by the NRA and signed agreements to not speak on the issue as they had been employees. This action alone would lead reasonable people to think their could be some truth to the accusations.

It is not uncommon for powerful men, bosses and those in control of others to use that power in unethical and demeaning ways. I do not know if Herman Cain did what he was accused of but four women stating they have had similar encounters with him certainly shows a pattern of behavior that would be unbecoming a President of the United States.  And if the allegations are true, he would also be guilty of lying to the American People, which might not be such a stretch from what we are used to with our present politicians.

If Herman Cain has done anything even  remotely close to what his accusers are saying, then he needs to get off his platform and go back under the rock he crawled out from.  As his approval ratings dip and his Republican nominee chances get slimmer by the day, I wonder who Herman Cain will choose to blame for his probable political fall? “Blame Yourself.”

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Congress Approval Rating and National Unemployment Rate at 9%

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A New York Times/CBS News poll broke the news this week that Congress’s approval rating is 9%.  Coincidentally, 9% is also our national unemployment rate for September and most of October, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment figure seems almost eerily connected to our do-nothing-for-jobs Congress and their bottom-feeder ratings as they spent this week in session, once again doing nothing for jobs or the economy. It’s like some weird “here is a nine for you too Congress since you won’t recognize and do anything about ours.” Of course, 9% is only the national average jobless rate, some states like Nevada, have a 23% unemployment rate.

They did however, pass a really important bill in the House that would issue commemorative coins for Baseball Hall of Fame. Also, just so you don’t get the idea that they can’t accomplish anything at all together in a big way, the commemorative coins issue was passed overwhelmingly.  See, when the chips-er coins are down and the issue has nothing to do with Obama or jobs or the economy, Republicans can unite and really make a difference.

Remember that old saying about getting out of something what you put into it?  I think our Congress is actually reaping the rewards of what they have, in fact, done for the American people, our jobs and the economic situation.  I think 9% is actually pretty high but of course who knows how many friends, relatives, lobbyists, insurance companies, banks, other corporations etc. were included in the poll (oh wait, corporations aren’t people I hope they didn’t get polled).

Even though the House is a Republican strong hold right now, many polls are showing that the majority of American people, regardless of party affiliation have made it crystal clear they support President Obama’s Job Act, temporary band-aid or not, because it is at least a plan for doing something for jobs and the economy and they feel he is trying.  But, the Republicans are blocking it in Congress and have yet to come up with their own plan other than a big NO because they can’t possibly vote on an Obama plan, even if it will help the American people. Their plan seems to be politics first, people last. I wonder how low their rating can go?

Since the Republicans now seem to represent everything the American People hate about the economy, it is only a matter of minutes before they will represent everything the American People hate. When you become a politician for all the wrong reasons and you vote as a block not to help your own constituents and the American People, you will not only end up humiliated by a 9% approval rating but sooner rather than later–no job.


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Is 9-9-9 wrong, wrong, wrong ?

Caricatures: GOP Presidential Debate Participa...

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Ask any political PR person and they will tell you it’s great to have a catchy, roll-off-the-tongue, memorable catch phrase associated with a candidate. Unless that catch phrase is doomed to conjure up bad memories like trickle down economics or read my lips; no more taxes among many others. Herman Cain, of Godfather’s Pizza fame (he is the ex-CEO) and the Republican flavor of the month vying for their nomination to be the candidate for President, has such a catch phrase; 9-9-9.  While their field is plenty crowded with Gingrich, Romney, Perry, Bachman, Paul and others too numerous or insignificant to mention, none of them have the edge on the catchy 9-9-9 phrase that has defined Cain’s campaign. But, is it wrong to throw the rich, middle class and poor into the same tax barrel? Or, is it just plain stupid?

On Cain’s own website,  he says his 9-9-9 plan will “fix” the economy. It would abolish our entire tax code including any loopholes or tax credits (like the earned income tax credit for low-income earners) . His plan calls for 9 percent corporate tax, 9 percent personal income tax and 9 percent national sales tax. Cain says it would be simple and fair. I must be missing something here, I don’t see the “fair” part.  There would be no tax on capital gains or dividends so once again the rich get richer. Some of the rich that pay 28-35 percent taxes on their income would pay 9 percent and the 30 million Americans that presently pay no federal income tax because they don’t make enough to do so and are at or below the poverty level will pay 9 percent under Cain’s “simple” plan. All Americans will also have to pay 9 percent on consumer goods for gas, food and medicine etc. which of course, hurts lower-income people far more than the rich.

Since Cain’s plan is for everyone including businesses, all corporations that presently take advantage of every loophole known to mankind and typically end up paying on average 26 percent in taxes, will get a nice slash to 9 percent. Do you think they will take the tax cut and turn that windfall into jobs? Or will the greedy corporations just pocket the windfall and give their CEO’s bigger bonuses? I have my own answer on that one and it doesn’t involve helping others or aiding the general economy.

I am no economist. I don’t hail from a think tank and have a hard enough time balancing a check book but I do know that a catchy slogan does not an economy fix make. This plan is yet another idea from an ex-corporate CEO that still thinks like big business. Making the rich, richer and the poor, poorer is not my idea of “fair.” As it says on Herman Cain’s front page of his website in big block letters; “Let’s Get Real”. I can’t wait until he, or any other politician actually does–but I’m not holding my breath.


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