Thursday, December 13, 2012

What did the GOP learn from 2012 Election?

Apparently nothing. A lot has been written and discussed on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and News Channels on the election post-mortem, particularly what went wrong with the GOP. We learned that women, Asians, Hispanics, non-white males, young people and basically everyone other than (old) white males hate the GOP. Well, according to all of the pundits anyway. And maybe “hate” is too strong of a word...well, actually, not really. So what happens when you get your butt kicked? You review the tape. You see what mistakes you made. Did we not expect this particular play to happen? And if we did, why did we still screw that play up anyway? That's exactly what the GOP has done. At least that's what they've said they've done – they have supposedly reviewed the tape. And others have done it for them as well. And what do you do after a bad loss, you fix the mistakes you made and improve on the things you did well. The only problem is that you really didn't do much right. You lost because you had a lot of mistakes. A LOT.

So, what has the GOP done to rectify their problems? Let's see. Leadership is the same. Preibus will probably be RNC Chairman again. Their message – whatever that is – is not getting out. They are losing the PR battle once again. On one hand they talk a good game about reaching out to Hispanics, which they NEED to do if they ever want to win a national election, and pretty soon if they want to win in solid Red states that will soon be in play – like my state, Georgia. But, on the other hand, you have Ann Coulter going off on Hispancs as being lazy among other despicable things, and in my state, Georgia HB87 is moving forward after being stuck in court, and you actually have the Republicans in the Golden Dome giddy about it. Nice job on the Hispanic Outreach GOP. Excelente.

And now on to the Fiscal Cliff. The GOP leadership in the House, and Boehner specifically, is losing the PR battle. Purging the conservative voices from committee leadership positions is not helping the conservative cause. In fact, #FireBoehner has been a top trending hashtag on Twitter since his purge of fiscal conservative House members (Rep. Justin Amash and Rep. Tim Huelskamp) from the important Budget and Financial Services committees. President Obama is enjoying approval ratings not seen since the capture and death of Osama Bin Laden. An ABC News-Washington Post poll released Tuesday indicted that nearly half of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the negotiations versus the quarter of respondents who approved of Boehner's. And in a Wall Street Journal/NBC survey released late Wednesday, three-quarters of Americans say they would accept raising taxes on the wealthy to avoid the cliff. Here's the thing though, raising taxes on the "rich" (successful) does not solve the nation's huge $16 trillion debt and chronic budget deficits.

Obama refers to Clinton-era tax rates, yet we hear nothing from the GOP requesting Clinton-era spending in return. Balance, as defined in the President’s plan, consists of $4 in tax increases up front for every $1 in loosely defined spending cuts promised down the road. We have a spending problem in Washington and the President's plan simply does nothing to address this. Nice job on the improved messaging GOP. Not.

So, again I will ask the question what did the GOP learn from the 2012 Election? Nada.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Obama and the GOP on Immigration

So I get this email from Adrian Saenz, Obama's National Latino Vote Director regarding Immigration.
Omar --

I wonder sometimes if the Republican presidential candidates realize there's a cost to what they say.

Even more than usual, they've been falling all over themselves lately to get Tea Party support by scapegoating immigrants.

If he wins the nomination, Mitt Romney will have managed to position himself farther to the right on immigration than any presidential nominee in recent memory by saying he'd make all undocumented immigrants in the United States leave.

On Tuesday, Rick Perry was proud to announce the endorsement of Arizona anti-immigration crusader Sheriff Joe Arpaio, saying that if he becomes president he'll "detain and deport every illegal alien who is apprehended." And a day before, Newt Gingrich came out in favor of a new South Carolina law that allows police to demand the immigration status of anyone they pull over.

With the Iowa caucuses less than a month away, the GOP candidates are desperate for their party's right-wing support -- and it's becoming clearer every day that they're willing to demonize millions of people to get it.

Had enough?

Join me in sending a message to the GOP that their words have a price for the immigrant community and the rest of the nation, and we're not going to stand by and let them divide us.

Among the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants the GOP candidates are quick to cast off, there are grandparents, mothers, and fathers who have been here for decades and who have contributed to our communities, paid taxes, and even put their lives on the line to defend our country in the armed forces.

"Rounding up" and deporting them all without any consideration for who they are or how they've become a part of our country would undo threads that tie our communities together.

That's not the America you and I believe in. We believe that instead of dividing or excluding folks, we're strongest when we're in it together.

That's why President Obama wants comprehensive immigration reform that will help us abide by our laws while respecting our heritage as a nation of immigrants.

He supports the DREAM Act so that children of immigrants won't be punished for the actions of their parents, and he's directed the Department of Homeland Security to prioritize the deportation of criminals, rather than DREAMers and family members of veterans or active duty members.

There's going to be a clear choice in this election, and it's up to us to let the GOP know that we won't stand by as they attack our communities in their desperate race for Tea Party votes.

Fight back against the GOP candidates using Hispanic families to try to score political points:



Adrian Saenz
National Latino Vote Director

It is full of half-truths, however he is right about some of the things the GOP is saying. Nevertheless, what he neglects to mention in his praise of Obama is the fact that Obama should be recognized as the Deporter-In-Chief in addition to Where-Have-All-The-Jobs-Gone-Chief. The Obama Administration has deported more than 1 million immigrants during his term -- more than any other POTUS during the same amount of time.And the height of the hypocrisy is in his closing sentence of "Fight back against the GOP candidates using Hispanic families to try to score political points." Obama is the one trying to score political points by hoping Hispanic families do not realize that his actions are much louder than his rhetoric.

The GOP is not off the hook either. Except for Gingrich, Johnson and Huntsman; the remaining Presidential candidates have been pandering to the extreme wing of the GOP. Rick Perry while governor of Texas was pro-immigrant, but has done an about face for some reason and is now talking about the unrealistic deportation of the approximate 11 million illegal immigrants. Seeking and accepting the endorsement of Sheriff Joe Arpaio is alienating Perry and the GOP further from Latino immigrants. There is a fringe element of the GOP that appreciates the tough talk on illegal immigrants. These are the same folks who believe our government is spending too much money and believe in domestic security. I too believe in these things, however I do not think illegal immigrants are the cause of runaway spending. As for national security, I believe in secure borders but not just to our south with Mexico, but to our north as well with Canada. I know the drug cartels from Mexico get all the headlines, but terrorists can easily slip into our country from the north and through our ports as well.

I belong to an organization Cafe Con Leche Republicans who has sensible solutions to the illegal immigrant problem that most people if they researched and truly understood the issue from an unbiased perspective would agree there are solutions that are fair and equitable. Check us out at

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Debt Ceiling Cynic

So now that this debt ceiling "show" is over, I wonder how much (if not all) of it was orchestrated for the American public? The political grandstanding by both parties, the Obama speeches, the behind closed door negotiations -- that apparently the media was privy to -- the deal-to-no deal, and the last minute "compromise" was great showmanship. I mean, isn't that what Americans do well -- put on a good show? Personally, I think this was all a big plan to herd the sheeple into thinking the negotiations were tough but it is in the best interests of the country. They are making it seem like we were so close to defaulting -- which would never happen -- but compromise was made and we are on our way as a country, to living within our means. Really??? In what alternate reality do you think potentially cutting $2.8 trillion over 10 years...OVER 10 going to solve our fiscal problems?

I am certainly no mathematician, but even I can figure out that this is a sham -- a wool pulled over the American citizens eyes. Heck, I will give them the benefit of the doubt...I'll round it up to cuts of $3 Trillion. So, $3 Trillion divided by 10 years is $300 Billion. Right? $300 Billion divided by 12 months is $25 billion. Right? Ok. Now comes the fun part (not really)...In February 2011, the US posted its largest monthly budget deficit in its history at $223 Billion. The good news is that in June that figured improved markedly to ONLY a deficit of $43.1 Billion. The bad news is that it was the 33rd straight month in the red. So, what happens to month-after-month of continuous deficits? Let's put it into something you and I can relate to:

Suppose you spend more money this month than your income. This situation is called a "budget deficit". So you borrow (ie; use your credit card). The amount you borrowed (and now owe) is called your debt. You have to pay interest on your debt. If next month you spend more than your income, another deficit, you must borrow some more, and you'll still have to pay the interest on your debt (now larger). If you have a deficit every month, you keep borrowing and your debt grows. Soon the interest payment on your loan is bigger than any other item in your budget. Eventually, all you can do is pay the interest payment, and you don't have any money left over for anything else. This situation is known as bankruptcy. That is where we are today folks.

So, going back to the math and our great compromise. What does $25 Billion per month in cuts really do when you are constantly having deficits at least 2x that amount? So far this Fiscal Year (October 1 to Sept 30) as of June 30 2011, the Treasury Department has spent $386 billion on interest payments to the holders of the National Debt. That comes out to almost $43 Billion per month on interest payments alone. So those $25 Billion in "cuts" will do nothing when we are paying almost double that in interest payments on our debt. How does that great compromise sound now?

I think it was all a show by our politicians who love the their power and are colluding with each other and the White House to keep us under their thumbs. They wanted the American people to get nervous about the debt ceiling negotiations and worried about default or credit downgrade (which may happen anyway) and then at the last minute...voila! They have saved the day by increasing the debt ceiling and compromising on budget cuts that sound impressive but really are not. They avoided once again making the hard decision on the Entitlement programs which are the biggest fiscal problems we currently face. In the end, the politicians do what THEY do best...argue, name-call, and "compromise" for the sake of the American people...and so they can remain in power and start campaigning for their next election.

I say throw the bums out for good!!! What say you?

Monday, July 25, 2011

I am Hispanic AND a Republican

I am a first generation Cuban American born and raised in Miami now living in Marietta, Georgia for the last five years. I am a God-fearing Christian. I am anti-abortion. I am fiscally conservative. I support free market capitalism even with some of its inherent flaws. I believe in limited government. I believe in a strong military. The flag flies in my home every single day of the year. I believe America is exceptional…not because of our military power, but because of the people from all walks of life who have emigrated from different countries and come here for the freedom and opportunity to become whoever they want to be. I am anti-Communist. I am anti-Socialist. I am a Republican.

I believe in self-reliance. I believe in compassion and support for those in need to help get them on their feet, however not to be their legs AND feet forever. I am anti-union. I think unions may have served their purpose for worker’s rights a long time ago, but today they serve no purpose other than destroying companies like Eastern Airlines and the auto manufacturers for their own greed. I support Entitlement Reform – we have no choice since the numbers do not add up. I believe that while we have the best physicians and hospitals in the world, our healthcare delivery system is broken. I am anti-Obamacare. I believe competition makes everything more efficient, affordable and better. I support the Fair Tax. I abhor the IRS. I am a Republican.

So, why is it that I can have all of these views and be considered a strong conservative Republican, yet have the following views and be considered a RINO???

I support secure borders. Not just to the south, but to the north as well. I support Comprehensive Immigration Reform. I support the DREAM Act. I believe E-Verify is government intrusion into business. I believe in a guest worker program. I believe the Republican Party is making a HUGE mistake with the Immigration issue. I am Hispanic, Latino, Cuban. I am a Republican.

Why is it that as a Republican, we need to agree with everything the Republican Party says or does? And if we don’t you are considered an operative for the Democratic Party or some George Soros-led organization. This is a microcosm of today’s all-or-nothing society. You are either with me or you are against me; and if you are not with me I am picking up my toys and am going home after I insult you. By the way, the Democratic Party is no different – actually, they are quite worse. But that is for someone else to worry about. I am a Republican.

You can be all of these things and have these beliefs and still be a Republican -- they should not be mutually exclusive. So, until there is a political party that has ALL of these core principles that I espoused including Comprehensive Immigration Reform, I am a Republican no matter what the Tea Party says.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!!

So, you'll probably hear that for the next several weeks...until it annoys you if it hasn't already. Nevertheless, let me be the next one to wish you a new year of good health, much love and happiness, and unlimited laughs. I for one, think we do not do enough of laughing...I mean laughing like when you watch Modern Family or Something About Mary....

Anyway, thank you for being a part of my life. I made new friends and became better friends with a lot of you in 2010 and I hope that in 2011 I continue to learn from you and become a better person (father, friend, son, brother, etc.) because of it. I know the last few years have been challenging for a lot of has been for a lot of people across this great country. So, my hope for you and yours is that 2011 is everything you want it to be. Take time to reflect on the great things going on in your life and be thankful for them. Make a plan for 2011 and what you want to accomplish. Make it realistic. Make short-term goals. Revise them. Go back to them often to make sure you are on-track.

I hope that one of your goals is to make a difference in someone's make this a better place for our children and our children's children. Stand up for what you believe...and more importantly, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Be vocal, be active, be a difference-maker. I plan to!!!

God Bless You!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Rapid Fire Randomness Vol 1...Music Edition

Satellite Radio rocks...but it confirms I have least when it comes to music.

Listening to a Counting Crows song on said Satellite Radio and thinking how the hell did the lead singer hook up with Courtney Cox AND Jennifer Anniston...I'd be really pissed if I found out it was at the same time!!

So SIRI goes up b/c the rumor is Howard Stern is re-upping for 5 more years or something like that...who cares? It's not like he's made a big difference either way -- SIRI is still burning cash...but I do LOVE my Satellite Radio!

Speaking of cash...Am I the only one who never has any on me? Ever. Maria thinks so. Please help me with this argument...I'm not lazy, am I???

I've used my debit card to buy gum and a bottle of water at the gas station on more than one occasion...well, it does cost over $1 now for a pack of gum you know...

On a side note, however, it is a good way to get cash back somewhere without having to pay the $2 charge at a non-account ATM...unless you are a BOA customer...those ATM's are everywhere.

If anyone ever decides to make a Layne Staley or Alice In Chains biopic I have the perfect guy to play him in the movie...

Freddie Kruger, aka Robert Englund! Right?! Tell me he is not a doppelganger for Layne Staley.

What a waste Layne Staley was, because Alice In Chains rocked!!

Speaking of wasted favorite Nirvana song is Come As You Are; Lithium is right behind...1A and 1B.

So, I was very disappointed to find out that Mumford & Sons are not Irish...can't you picture sitting in an Irish pub -- in Ireland of course -- watching them play? Perfect. But, At least they are not French!

I really fucked it up this time, didn't I my dear? Didn't I my dear?

Speaking of the Irish...I hope UM beats them down...although I will admit I am not very confident -- these current players at the U are soft.

Ireland is on my bucket list of places I have to visit before I die...

One of my top-5 all time favorite guitarists because of his unique sound and style is from an Irish band, although he is not surprisingly (again)...The Edge. Plus, it's a pretty cool name for a guitarist.

BTW, The Unforgettable Fire is one of my all-time favorites. Very underrated. Extremely so.

Rounding out the top five in no particular order: Alex Lifeson (RUSH), Robert Smith (The Cure), Andy Summers (The Police), Eddie Van Halen (duh?).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Screw you Kardashian's

Let me get straight to the point; I hate taxes! There, I said it. I feel better already. I wish it were that simple. But did you know that as of 2009, the tax code is approximately 67, 204 pages, about twenty times the size of a Harry Potter book, and much less entertaining. So, with all this talk about extending the Bush tax cuts or not; unemployment up today to 9.8%; extending unemployment benefits forever, etc. the thing we ought to do is reform the tax code by eliminating the income tax and implementing the Fair Tax. By the way, I support the Fair Tax!

Since that is not going to happen overnight (if it ever does), what should we do today? It's not a zero-sum game solution. Nevertheless, both Washington and Wall Street operate in that manner, which probably explains why the entire system is rigged. But I digress...So, the Democrats want to limit the Bush tax cuts to those individuals making less than $200,000, or couples making less than $250,000; while the Republicans want to extend all Bush-era tax cuts and make them permanent for even the 2% of households earning more than $250,000.

I hate the IRS and hate the income tax I have to pay to those SOB's every year on top of what gets deducted from my family's paychecks every other week. But $250,000 doesn't go very far when you have 3 or more children, private school, groceries (don't tell me there isn't inflation) and extra curricular activities (sports, music lessons, etc.). It doesn't go very far at all even if you have none of these things but live in San Francisco or New York City. Lincoln, Nebraska with $250,000 in household income is A LOT different than $250,000 in Manhattan, New York. I dare someone challenge me on that. Heck, I submit that $250,000 in Marietta, GA is different than the two cities I just mentioned. The point is that looking at a static household income like that is part of the problem. With the Fair Tax it doesn't matter how much one makes or where you live.

It shouldn't be viewed as a zero-sum game by the politicians. Good ol' Chuckie Schumer (D-NY) should know better than to say the Republicans want to "Give tax breaks to millionaires". Last time I checked millions had seven digits, not six. And like I said about New York City...So, this is where I tread lightly...I can't believe I am going to suggest this but this country is so screwed that we need to make some sacrifices, so I say tax the rich! Make them pay their fair share. However, my definition of rich is much different than the politicians or elites that debate this stuff. I am talking about wealthy, uber rich individuals and households. Especially people like Paris Hilton and The Kardashians who provide no value to society. I dare someone challenge me on this too! I'm talking about people that make more than $1,000,000 in annual income. I call that rich, no matter where you live.

I can hear the argument from my Republican friends that small business owners fall into this bracket and they are the engine of the economy and if the Bush-era tax cuts expire for the wealthy that jobs will be affected. In the past, this would be my argument as well because those are the talking points of conservatives. I listen to Hannity, Limbaugh much less, Neal Boortz and others. I agree with a lot of what they say. But I'm not dumb and take what they say as gospel either. Let's not kid ourselves -- both sides have their talking points. I agree that small businesses are the engine of this economy and they create more jobs than large companies. I want to be my own boss more than anything, so I'm coming from what I think is a fair and educated support for taxing the uber rich.

So, back to the argument of small business owners being hit hardest. Most small businesses are S-Corporations or Partnerships. S-Corporations and Partnerships do not pay income taxes. Instead, income is passed through to its owners and taxed on their individual income tax returns. Owners of pass-through entities receive income from their businesses in primarily two ways. The first way is through salaries and wages, and the second is through K-1 distributions. Salaries and wages are reported on W-2 Forms and are subject to withholding, social security, Medicare, and federal and state unemployment taxes. K-1 distributions are reported to the shareholder on Schedule K-1, and are not taxable, nor subject to withholding or payroll taxes. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center analyzed IRS data in March 2009, looking to see how many wealthy tax filers could say that half of their income or more came from business income. The center found that, among the wealthiest filers -- the top 1 percent -- only 32.5 percent earned more than half their income from business-type income. The percentages for non-wage income were even smaller among taxpayers earning less. In conclusion, do many wealthy tax payers report types of business income that might be from owning a small business? Sure. But it's impossible to tell how many meet the definition of what most of us think of when we think of small business owners. Other data indicate that among all tax payers who might be small business owners, most would not see taxes go up if the Bush tax cuts for the highest earners are allowed to expire.

What I am suggesting, besides scrapping the whole tax code, is to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for everyone making less than $1,000,000 in annual household income for two-years. Increase the tax rate for anyone who is on The Kardashian's reality tv show or any of those Housewives reality shows or anyone that does not contribute any value to society like Kate Gosselin. Increase the tax rate to 50% on Hollywood actors who make terrible movies yet get paid more than $5 million for it. Increase the tax rate to 75% on Hollywood actors that not only get paid a lot of money to make terrible movies but also hold telethons for other countries and insinuate that Americans (not Democrats of course) are arrogant and selfish and think that America is exceptional. This is tax policy that I can believe in. Besides, I think I just solved the fiscal mess by raising taxes.

If that fails, there is always another option. Fair Tax!!!!!