AskCherlock http://askcherlock.com Politics-Opinions-Life Issues-Impact! Fri, 23 Dec 2011 18:19:40 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.2.1 Super PAC’s : The Best Government Money Can Buy http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/super-pacs-the-best-government-money-can-buy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/super-pacs-the-best-government-money-can-buy/#comments Fri, 23 Dec 2011 18:16:50 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12349

In 2010 the Supreme Court of  The United States  reached a landmark decision that  profoundly affected the way American office-seekers could conduct their political campaigns.  Simply put, the Supreme Court green-lighted the activities of so-called Super PAC’s, effectively allowing them to legally raise and spend unlimited amounts of money.  In essence, any individual or corporation can set up its own political action committee, apart from a particular candidate’s individual political action committee, and be totally exempt from the $2,500 contribution limit.  The idea was that Super PAC’s should be allowed to operate separately  from individual political campaigns, and should not be restricted from spending whatever they liked to say whatever message they felt was appropriate.  The predominantly conservative  Supreme Court ruled that anything less than the total removal of spending limits on Super PAC’s would be an infringement of Constitutionally guaranteed  “free speech”.  Although the court’s ruling looked good on paper, in reality it gave free access to super-rich individual and corporate donors to “buy” politicians, and effect the outcome of elections.

For many, many years it has been  no secret that money has a corrupting effect on political campaigns.  In order to limit the ability of deep-pocket donors from gaining unfair access to political decision-makers, Congress wisely passed legislation many years ago (before being out-maneuvered by the Supreme Court) that limited donations to $2,500.  The campaign contribution limits worked well for President Obama in 2008, allowing him to raise hundreds of millions of dollars by accepting small donations from a broad base of support.  As a result of this, Obama was not politically indebted to, or unduly influenced by, any single interest group.  Because of the Supreme Court ruling, those times are over!  The new age of the Super PAC’s has arrived, and the  battle for political power and influence will be determined by which candidate is backed by the most money.  It’s “titan versus titan”, and the politician willing to sell his soul to the highest bidder will wear the victor’s crown.

The power of the Super PAC is already being experienced in Iowa, with the emergence of the pro- Mitt Romney group, Restore Our Future.  This Super PAC , run by former Romney political operatives, is funded by Romney’s prior investment firm, Bain Capital, and has poured mega-bucks into ads smearing the record of  Newt Gingrich.  In the meantime, Mitt Romney has claimed no responsibility for Restore America’s media blitz, and has defended their right to speak freely on behalf of his campaign.  A similar Super PAC, operating without donation limits or restraints, has also engaged in a major smear campaign in Iowa on behalf of Texas Governor Rick Perry.  When it comes to Super PAC’s, the “fun” has only just begun, and woe be to any office-seeker who has not lined up the monied, special interests to support his campaign.

It is no wonder that politicians in America are so universally disdained by the general public, and that Congressional approval ratings are at an all-time low.  The vast majority of middle-class voters across the country know full well that regardless of political party, their own Congressman or Senator has probably been unduly influenced by the special interests that funded their campaigns.  If they weren’t willing to take money from special interest groups and Super PAC’s, they would not have had the funds to wage an effective campaign against rivals who were willing to sell their souls to the highest bidder.  Unfortunately, the citizens of America are now more than ever going to get the best government money can buy, and this bodes very badly for our country’s beleaguered middle class.

Rich

 

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Askcherlock Wishes You Happy Holidays! http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/askcherlock-wishes-you-happy-holidays/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/askcherlock-wishes-you-happy-holidays/#comments Wed, 21 Dec 2011 15:28:51 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12336

This time of year is filled with so many emotions. The happiness of being with friends and family makes all the necessary work a labor of love. We at Askcherlock have much for which we are grateful. After some serious health scares that turned out to be all right, we are thankful for good health, and send prayers and good wishes to those whose health may not be good. Please know you are in our thoughts.

We have met new people through this blog and other blogging venues. I hold each one of you close to my heart and thank you for blessing us with your presence in our lives. You have made us laugh. You have made  us think. You have given us courage, and you are each delightful in your own charismatic ways.

As we finish our holiday shopping, we do so with great joy in anticipation of children, grandchildren and friends with whom we celebrate. It is not about the gifts, nor about the money, though there was a Christmas many years ago that makes me cringe. I was a single mom, working and doing the best I could to support my children. As too many of you know, when finances are limited, your heart aches for your kids. I had brought home a much anticipated Christmas tree. The kids were anxiously awaiting so they could decorate. When I brought it into our humble (as in poor) home, their faces crumbled into frowns. “It looks like Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree!” Tears began to flow. Gifts were not plentiful, and ornaments for the tree were homemade by me, mostly cross-stitched little things with their names, and Christmas scenes. They cried a lot that year.

As time passed and circumstances changed it got better, much better. Now the house is replete with a gorgeous tree, dazzling ornaments, and presents for all. The difficult times make us better people when we keep in mind that brighter days will arrive. We must cling to that hope and I bear witness to the fact that it can happen.

So to all of you, we wish you the best this holiday season! Thank you for all you are, and for the friendships so graciously extended. We lost the treasured singer Etta James this year. Her memory will live on through her unique sound, so I share this memory and this song for all of you.

—cher

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The Lessons in Leaving Iraq http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/the-lessons-in-leaving-iraq/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/the-lessons-in-leaving-iraq/#comments Mon, 19 Dec 2011 20:09:44 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12325

Over the last week the U.S. military officially pulled out of Iraq after almost ten years of war and occupation.  The last of the remaining combat troops and equipment were moved across the border to Kuwait, and loaded on board vessels for the trip home to America.  There were no triumphant  speeches from American politicians, nor were there jubilant celebrations by the military for their great sacrifices and accomplishments.   However, in a dusty corner of a soon-to-be abandoned air base, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, along with a few Generals and a couple of hundred soldiers, simply rolled up the American flag, uttered a few words of encouragement,  and “got out of Dodge”.   The war in Iraq ended for the American military with a whimper.  In the meantime, not one Iraqi politician, nor a single Iraqi citizen or local newspaper praised America for sacrificing almost five thousand American lives and around $1.0 trillion in taxpayer funds for its “war of liberation”. The Iraqis simply wanted the American out of their country and out of their lives.

In a very real sense, this week marks a sad milestone in American history.  The lofty goals of bringing democracy to Iraq,  freeing them from  terrorism, and making the country a bastion  free enterprise in the Middle East never panned out.  In fact, the terrorism perpetrated between the ethnic groups in Iraq, which was largely kept in check by the regime of Saddam Hussein, was loosened to run rampant after Saddam’s demise.  Rather than freeing a nation from tyranny, the American military occupation only fanned the flames of deep-seated hatreds, and unleashed a new wave of violence.  During the ten years of occupation the Iraqi infrastructure was destroyed, the Iraqi economy was  ruined, and individual liberties were trampled upon by a new, U.S.-sponsored  dictatorship.  It is no wonder that the “victory march” out of Iraq by the U.S. military was not accompanied by the playing of brass bands.  In essence, the awesome power and might of the richest, most militarily sophisticated  country in the world was used to crush into submission a small, desert nation over ten long years. In the end, nothing of substance was accomplished.

With the war in Iraq finally over, the time has come for Americans to recognize that military actions taken against countries that pose no direct threat to American interests can create unexpected, and undesirable consequences.  For example, the military forays into both Iraq and Afghanistan have done nothing but push these nations further under the influence of Iran.  There is little doubt that the future will be rife with many opportunities and justifications for engaging in other military actions  in other far-off locations.   The strength and character of the United States as a world leader will not be measured in the future by the power of our military, but rather by our willingness to refrain from using military action to accomplish political objectives.  We must be ever-vigilant against becoming entangled in future conflicts that could lead to escalating violence and the threat of another world war.  It’s not too late.

Rich

 

 

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Stocking-Stuffers for Grinches and Biotches http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/stocking-stuffers-for-grinches-and-biotches/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/stocking-stuffers-for-grinches-and-biotches/#comments Sat, 17 Dec 2011 17:37:06 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12299

I am almost done wrapping Christmas gifts, so the only thing left to do is fill the Christmas stockings, virtual ones that is. Help me check my list and feel free to add or subtract if you like.

Newt Gingrich: Funny how that last name so resembles the name “Grinch.” Because Newt is such a war-monger, he gets a tiny GI Joe and some plastic tanks to play with. Maybe that will keep him from starting a nuclear war.

Mitt Romney: Mitt gets a pair of yellow flip-flops!

Michelle Bachmann: Any woman who smiles as much as she does during serious debates gets a Frownie Tee-shirt to help her remember that these are times when many people are hurting. Wipe that freaking smile off your face!

Rick Perry: This man gets Cliff Notes on how to keep your foot out of your mouth, plus a global map so he can learn geography and names of countries vs. continents.

Jerry Sandusky: I cannot call him a man but I will give him a free trip to a Harley convention where the big boys can take care of him.

Congress: I am giving them a one month pass to live in a middle class neighborhood so they can stand in line at the food bank and think of creative ways to balance an empty bank account. While they are gone, their homes will be foreclosed, pensions taken away, and they will have lost their medical benefits. Santa doesn’t like mean.

Some Female Acquaintances: You get reindeer doo-doo for mistaking my kindness as a weakness and trying to bully me into submission of your ridiculous ways. I will also attach a copy of  How to Win Friends and Influence People. Biotches, I know you by your names. Careful what you wish for.

 

Happy Holidays!

 

—cher

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Ron Paul : The Likeable Nut Job From Texas http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/ron-paul-the-likeable-nut-job-from-texas/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/ron-paul-the-likeable-nut-job-from-texas/#comments Thu, 15 Dec 2011 20:03:24 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12289

Only six months ago, who would have ever thought that eleven-term Congressman Ron Paul would have had a ghost of a chance in winning the Iowa caucuses, or even placing among the top three candidates in New Hampshire.  Well, it looks like the unthinkable just might happen.   It’s true that Paul has a very strong grass-roots organization in both Iowa and New Hampshire, but the Texas Congressman’s new-found popularity among conservative Republicans is about more than simply being well organized.  In fact, the best thing that Ron Paul has going for his presidential candidacy is not his strongly Libertarian political leanings, but that he is not Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich.  Republican strategist and CNN commentator Alex Castellanos hit the nail on the head when he said  “One thing we know about Republicans this year  (is that) they are disenchanted with their entire field of candidates”.  Mr. Castellanos’ assessment of the situation is certainly correct, and even more certainly a giant understatement.  Republican voters are more than just disenchanted with the second-rate field of political misfits and rejects, they are desperate to find a candidate with conservative credentials, that could excite the electorate and win over the all-important bloc of independent voters.  It looks like Ron Paul’s turn may have finally arrived.

One thing that is absolutely true about Ron Paul is that he never wavers from his political positions on the issues.  Unlike Romney and Gingrich, he refrains from pandering to various constituencies and interest groups in order to gain their political support.  In essence, Ron Paul says exactly what he means, and he means exactly what he says.  Of course, in the arena of American politics,  honesty will usually get a candidate absolutely nowhere, which is why Congressman Paul’s slow rise to near the top of the Republican pack is so interesting.  Unfortunately for the Republicans and for the rest of the country, Ron Paul may be an honest man, but his ultra-conservative brand of Libertarianism is completely out of step with the political views of most Americans.  Although most people recognize that the cost of the federal government has ballooned to unsustainable levels,  very few are willing to cut ten government departments and do away with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and unemployment compensation.   Sure, America has its economic and political problems, but turning back the hands of time by sixty or seventy years is definitely not the answer.

Similar to many of my fellow countrymen,  I kind of like Ron Paul as a basically decent guy, who is working hard and trying to do the right thing for America.  However, the idea of Ron Paul actually becoming the next President of the United States scares me to death.  There is no candidate, either Republican or Democrat, that would destroy the very fabric of the American way of life, and alienate America from the rest of the world, faster than Ron Paul.  He is, by any stretch of the imagination, the wrong man for the job and America knows it.  Paul may do well in the Iowa caucuses and maybe even in New Hampshire, but there is little doubt that the Republicans will throw him under the bus long before the convention.

Rich

 

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The Care and Feeding of Husbands http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/the-care-and-feeding-of-husbands-2/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/the-care-and-feeding-of-husbands-2/#comments Wed, 14 Dec 2011 16:47:39 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12280

Sharon Osbourne once said, “Always treat your husband like a rock star!” For those of us who have a husband, there is much to consider about the care and feeding of him. It’s not like taking care of fish, you know. Even if you are in a committed relationship, some of this may help you. I am no relationship counselor, so just take my considerations as coming from married woman.

1. Do not marry a rock star. I have been there and it wasn’t pretty. Think of all those rock stars whose relationships ended up on the rocks. If your man is in love with the mirror, either hide your pantyhose so he doesn’t try to wear them, or realize you will never be able to compete with ‘Himself.’ My mother used to refer to my father that way. “Did you know I put my Prince Machebelli bath oil in Himself’s bath water today?” I had to laugh because Himself had come home early one day to get ready for “a meeting.” Well, at least that is what he told my doubting mother. Since she knew he had no sense of smell (really!), she sabotaged his preparatory bath with more than a tad of this perfumed bath oil. Wherever he was going, and he had a dubious history, I’m sure he made a quite a splash.

2. Hide your Victoria’s  Secret catalogs. Face it; we can’t compete with those air-brushed bodies, so why give your husband ready access to those fab photos? Instead, order something sexy and surprise him unexpectedly one night. Put a dab of your favorite perfume on a light bulb and let it waft through the air as you make your entrance. Then quickly turn off the light, unless of course you are air-brushed.

3. Feed your husband lots of chocolates. They are good for the endorphins and will give him a happy high. Remember to do this on days when you have done something naughty, like putting your joint account over the limit. Then, be naughty…but nice!

4. Learn the game of football. What is more testosterone-filled than football? If you let him teach you about it, he will know that he is master of your knowledge base and you may actually enjoy it together. If you are a beginner, take your cues from him. Cheer when he cheers and rant when he rants. You can always ask why you did what you just did, but he will already be on the next play. Take notes secretly if you must and make sure munchies are at his fingertips throughout the game. Be prepared to give him a back-rub in the event his team looses. Hint: Warm baby oil works well.

5. Praise him. I am true believer in positive reinforcement. I must confess that my husband is good at everything, and I sing his praises all the time. I want him to know he is appreciated by the one who makes sure his socks are washed.

6. Cook his favorite meals. Let’s be honest here. A woman’s way of nurturing is often through her cooking. It is labor, of course, but make it a labor of love. If not, make reservations!

7. Remember this: One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure. If you think your husband is a treasure, let him know it. If you treat him like trash, some other woman will find him like a grabber at a flea market and take him—after all the work you put in.

—cher

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2012: A Look Into AskCherlock’s Crystal Ball http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/2012-a-look-into-askcherlocks-crystal-ball/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/2012-a-look-into-askcherlocks-crystal-ball/#comments Mon, 12 Dec 2011 20:57:05 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12267

As the year of 2011 rapidly draws to a close, it is time once again to gaze into the Askcherlock “crystal ball” to see what the year 0f 2012 will bring.

The Political Scene:  By the end of February, 2012 there will be three remaining Republican presidential contenders; those being, Gingrich, Romney and Paul.  Although Gingrich will prevail in the early primaries, the Republicans will finally come to their senses when they  realize that he may actually win the nomination.  Thereafter, Mitt Romney will “clean Gingrich’s clock” in the remaining primaries, and glide to an easy win at the Republican Convention. Gingrich will make for a good protest vote by the right-wingers in the first few primaries, but most people (Republicans and Democrats) basically hate his guts.  Not to be outdone by Mitt Romney, Ron Paul will run as an Independent candidate against Obama and Romney in November.  The results of the General Election will show President Obama beating Romney by less than a 5% margin, and Ron Paul capturing 8% of the vote.

The Republicans will get clobbered in the House of  Representatives races, and will lose at least twenty-five seats to the Democrats.  Unfortunately, Republicans will still maintain the majority of seats, and the country will suffer through another two years of John Boehner‘s Speakership. The Democrats will continue to control the Senate, but will not be able to muster up enough votes to overcome Republican filibusters.  In conclusion, nothing of substance will be gained by the elections of 2012, and the country will brace itself for another two, or perhaps four, years of political gridlock.

The Economic SceneAmerica will continue to slowly emerge from the Recession of 2008, and will show an anemic growth in GDP of about 2.5% for the year.  The Republicans will block all attempts to reduce deficits through revenue enhancing measures, and the Democrats will block all attempts to reduce deficits through cuts in entitlement programs.  The overall deficit for 2012 will increase by about $1.0 trillion dollars; somewhat lower than 2011 due to significant reductions in defense spending.  Largely due to a gridlocked political system,  no progress will be made in reducing unemployment, which will finish the year around 8.5%.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average will end 2012 at about 13,000, or a gain of around 6%.  The domestic real estate market will show little to no improvement because of millions of foreclosed properties remaining unsold.

The International Scene:  Revolution and turmoil will continue to spread across the Middle East, with dictatorships continuing to fall, and Islamic theocracies replacing them.  By the end of 2012, Iranian influence (supported by Russia) will grow considerably larger, as Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Afghanistan and Pakistan join in an alliance with Tehran against the West (including the U.S.).  Syria will not be stopped from its territorial ambitions due to threat of retaliation by Syria’s staunch ally, Russia.  Europe will spend much of 2012 attempting to solve its debt and unemployment problems, as Germany  slowly distances  itself from the influence  of the EU.   By the end of 2012, Germany will approach NATO with a request to increase the size of its military due to growing threats from Iran and Russia.

All in all, 2012 will not be a great year for the U.S. due to its inability to find political consensus.  Gridlock will continue to prevail in Congress, and potential adversaries will look to take advantage of the situation wherever possible.

Rich

 

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An Epidemic of Child Molestation http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/an-epidemic-of-child-molestation/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/an-epidemic-of-child-molestation/#comments Sat, 10 Dec 2011 20:06:33 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12256

William Butler Yeats wrote, “The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time.” Sadly, this is not the case for our youth today, nor it seems, has it been the case for our children for far too many years. Many of our children have not been allotted “time” to be innocent. The revelations and allegations about former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky have made us aware once again that children are far too often victims of prey. And this is certainly not limited to Penn State, or other college football teams. It is not even limited to the U.S.

This past week  Theoren Fleury, a former Calgary Flame hockey player, stated to reporters, “When are we going to finally take a look at this and say, ‘Enough is enough?’ ” Fleury’s former NHL coach Graham James pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Fleury between 1983 and 1985 when he was coaching Fleury.  Canadian Fleury went on, “Are our children’s lives worth nothing? Is their safety worth nothing?”

Beyond sports we can look to teachers who have been caught sexting their underage students. We can look at the Catholic Church that stood silent and in subterfuge while priests were molesting altar boys. We can look at babysitters who took advantage of those children entrusted with their care at day care facilities. For that matter, we can also look to Atlanta Bishop Eddie Long, the head of a mega-church, who has been accused of coercing young men in his congregation to have sex with him. Where does it stop?

I fear for children of today. If I were younger and knew all of this, I would probably decide not to have children rather than risk their innocence at the hands of these degenerates. When I was raising my children, I encouraged them to be active in youth groups at the church. I encouraged my sons to participate in sports. I had long believed that if children were involved in healthy, structured activities, they would fare better both as students and in society. Were they safe? Do I know everything?

I do know that child molestation appears to be turning into an epidemic. The institutions once trusted to care for our children are now on trial as destroying them, and some in these institutions are guilty by being silent and therefore complicit. We must look at these issues and from whence they originate. Should all children be home-schooled? Mine would have been if I knew this was happening.

I was watching a crime show the other evening. It involved the investigation of a child molester. One of the characters said that if he ‘caught this guy, he would cut off his testicles.’  His partner said, “That won’t work. It’s a disease of the mind.” Precisely. This is a disease that needs to be stamped out. Voices need to be heard without fear, shame, guilt, or ramifications. Our children deserve their “time” to be innocent. It is encumbent upon each of us to be certain that happens. This epidemic is spreading. Guard your children well.

—cher

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Gingrich: The Bottom of the Republican Barrel http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/gingrich-the-bottom-of-the-republican-barrel/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/gingrich-the-bottom-of-the-republican-barrel/#comments Wed, 07 Dec 2011 19:01:54 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12245

After the 2010 Congressional elections, when  Republican Party candidates scored impressive victories against their Democratic  rivals, the GOP developed a devious political strategy to win back the White House in 2012.  This strategy was pretty well summed up by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell when he stated that Republicans would abandon all attempts to serve the American people and instead, concentrate on whatever political ploys were necessary to defeat Barack Obama in the next election.  History has shown that McConnell and his Republican cronies have been true to their word. 

Since the mid-term elections the Republicans have voted against or filibustered just about every single legislative initiative proposed by the Obama Administration, and worked hard to ensure that the vast majority of middle class Americans would endure the maximum possible economic hardship.  There is little doubt that the Republican’s strategy to defeat Barack Obama has resulted in an all out war against the middle class.  After two years of standing in the way of job-creating initiatives, extensions in unemployment compensation benefits, and health care insurance reforms, the latest Republican “flavor of the month”, Newt Gingrich, had the gall to call President Obama the “food stamp” president.  Fortunately, the American people have seen through the GOP’s insidious attempts to bring economic ruin to their fellow countrymen, solely for the purpose of winning the next Presidential election.

Given the extent of the “punishment” that the Republican Party has inflicted on Americans over the last few years, it is no surprise that the slate of GOP presidential candidates has been less than inspiring.  In fact, many Americans, both Republican and Democratic, have not been too surprised that the Republican Party looked no further than the “bottom of the barrel”  for their next standard bearer.   The first Republican candidate to get thrown in the waste basket was Donald Trump, who advocated a military attack on Libya to steal all their oil.  The next candidate at the bottom of the barrel was Michelle Bachmann, who advocated letting the U.S. government default on its sovereign debt as a way to balance the budget.  After Bachmann, came good ole boy Rick Perry, who couldn’t quite remember all of the vital government agencies he would eliminate from the American landscape.  After Rick Perry, came businessman Herman Cain, who wasn’t quite sure whether China had nuclear weapons, and who was somewhat “zipper-impaired” when it came to the ladies.  After witnessing most of their “bottom of the barrel” front-runners crash and burn, the Republicans have now scraped the residue from the cracks at the very bottom, and come up with their new front-runner, Newt Gingrich.

Some people would say that it is beyond belief that the Republicans would have to dredge up their disgraced old work-horse, Newt Gingrich, to be the new face of the Republican Party.  After all, Newt has more baggage than US Air, and his arrogant, smarter-than-thou attitude, plus his truth-impaired rhetoric never fails to rub people the wrong way.  Yet here he is; scoring 15% higher than  Mitt Romney atop the latest Iowa polls.  The fact is that it is not beyond belief that Gingrich is the latest Republican front-runner.  He is, in fact, the best that the Party of No has to offer in a year where Republicans need a sacrificial lamb to pay the political price for  years of war against the American middle class.  I only wish that  it was Mitch McConnell being sacrificed for the misguided policies of the Republican Party, rather than a pathetic old has-been like Newt Gingrich.

Rich

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Of Angels and Peace http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/of-angels-and-peace/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/of-angels-and-peace/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2011 15:42:15 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12225

“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can fly only by embracing one another.”~~~author unknown.

As a Catholic child I was raised in the Church when Masses were still in Latin, and reverence was a mighty force. We were taught by the nuns that each of us has a guardian angel sent by God to watch over us and to keep us safe. We were to envision our angel sitting upon our shoulder, especially when we were afraid.

This certainly helped when I was convinced at the age of six that there were alligators under my bed! Inevitably I would call to my father, who then turned all the lights on in my room and held me by the hand as we looked under my bed together. No, there were no alligators. Back to bed I went, still unconvinced once the lights were out, but talking to my guardian angel until my eyes closed without fear, or perhaps by the enticement of exhaustion. When I became an adult and a fairly lapsed Catholic, there may have been an alligator in my bed, but that’s a story for another time.

These days, very much a grown-up and one who is at times bedeviled by changes all around, I find that I envision angels, guardian angels. They may not be upon my shoulder, but their essence, the spirit of them, is felt through words, deeds, and sometimes the quiet grace of their tolerance for me as I work through situations. We share bonds of friendship, some newly formed, and at least one that goes back years, now and was built on the phrase, “Pay it forward.” My love for these friends is abiding. Each one has a unique quality that sparkles in my mind. They are writers; they are poets; a few are artists and one is an artist with a fancy flair for cupcakes! They give me a sense of peace, these angels do, and my heart is better for knowing they are in this world.

We were meant to be interdependent on this earth in sisterhood and brotherhood. “We are each of us angels with only one wing.” So if we are to survive, these guardian angels that were sent to us for strength are the very reason we can put our wings together and fly. We embrace one another and once again we fly, even if we do not know Latin.

—cher

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The Iranian “Third Reich” http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/the-iranian-third-reich/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/the-iranian-third-reich/#comments Sun, 04 Dec 2011 18:53:52 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12204

In the early years of the 1930′s, all the signs were present that something extraordinary was going on in Germany.  The German people, impoverished by years of economic recession, and angry with the crushing burden of war reparations, began to turn their attentions to a charismatic ex-army corporal from Austria named, Adolph Hitler.  Desperate for a strong leader, and willing to believe the lies of Hitler and the  Nazi party, the German people abandoned all of the individual rights afforded them by the constitution, and put into power a maniacal and ego-centric dictator.  Within a decade, fifty million people had been killed, Germany and much of Europe had been utterly destroyed, and the maniacal dictator was dead by his own hand.  In the aftermath of  the blood and suffering of World War II, many historians have asked how the great powers of the world could have allowed Hitler to gain such power, and why was nothing done to stop the Nazi‘s while they still had a chance.

Biographers over the last sixty years have done a good job in explaining how Hitler and the Nazi’s came to power, but have not done such a good job in explaining why nothing was done to stop them.  Perhaps the simple answer would be that peace-loving nations will usually choose appeasement and inaction over war and bloodshed, and that the lies of the aggressor will usually trump the reality of truth.   In short, the nations of Western and Eastern Europe knew exactly what Hitler was doing long before the German Wehrmacht began its blood-thirsty war of conquest, but they chose to ignore the warning signs before it was to late.  The question today is whether another powerful nation, with a similar goal of world conquest, again rise to threaten world peace?  Unfortunately, the answer to that question is yes!

Similar to the political situation that arose in Nazi Germany, the people of Iran have abandoned all hopes of a democratic  form of government, and have given absolute power to an elite group of ayatollahs.  These Islamic clerics are neither elected by the people, nor are they accountable to the public for their actions.  They have gained for themselves total dictatorial powers, and may not be questioned by the Iranian media or the public under threat of severe punishment.  Armed with Sharia Law and the Koran (as opposed to Mein Kampf), the leaders of Iran have set their sights on the conquest of the Middle East and beyond.  After developing nuclear weapons capabilities and strengthening their conventional weapons systems, the Iranian dictatorship may first attack Syria and Lebanon, and then move on to the conquests of Iraq and Afghanistan. Turkey and Saudi Arabia may not be far behind. Using the threat of nuclear war, the Iranians will test the will of peace-loving nations to the West and to the East to stop their advances.  The question will, once again, be whether or not other powerful nations in the world will be willing to risk spilling the blood of their own countrymen to stop a rogue nation from conquering and imposing its will on its neighbors.

Now is the time for the powers of the world to unite in their demands for Iran to cease its quest for nuclear weapons, and to open its borders to international inspections.  History must not be allowed a repetition of the world holocaust caused by the unchecked rise of the Third Reich.  It must not be allowed to happen again!

Rich

 

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Death Penalty is Barbaric http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/death-penalty-is-barbaric/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/death-penalty-is-barbaric/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2011 17:35:33 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12185

In this day of supposedly advanced thinking and extraordinary leaps in technology, have we really come that far as a nation when many states still have the death penalty? It is a barbaric reaction to crimes, which are no doubt heinous. As a so-called civilized nation, we should not continue implementing the death penalty as proper punishment. We have advanced the use of DNA evidence, but far too late for lives wrongfully taken. The death penalty is inhumane and, at least in my opinion, far too easy in some cases for the perpetrator.

I have never been able to rationalize taking a life by murdering a murderer, for example. It goes against any modicum of social decency when we sanction a murder, and that is what the death penalty is. It is murder. Should we not lead by example in higher moral codes of conduct? State-sanctioned murder does not eliminate the fact that a life is taken in retribution as determined by society.

I would much prefer that one who has committed a capital crime be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and sans amenities like cable TV or computer access. Let them be alone with their thoughts in a bleak cell and allow their own nightmares to begin. And if they don’t have nightmares, at least they are locked away from society where they can do no more harm. Let us also remember that statistics have shown that the death sentence is not a deterrent to capital crimes and does not uphold the values of society. Some states are realizing that. Kudos to them.

On November 23, 2011, The Register Guard (Eugene, Oregon) praised Governor John Kitzhaber‘s recent announcement halting all executions, calling his conclusion that the “death penalty is morally wrong and unjustly administered” to be “right on both counts.” In their editorial, the paper noted that the governor’s actions are in line with other developments in the U.S. and internationally: “Kitzhaber’s announcement came as the tide is turning against the death penalty. Earlier this year, Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn abolished it in a state that since 1977 had wrongly condemned at least 20 people to death. At least 16 states — and 133 countries — now reject the death penalty.”  The editors encouraged Oregonians to engage in a “great debate” on the death penalty and seek a solution that “reflects Oregon’s values.”

For those who still believe that lethal injection is a humane way of implementing the death penalty, I suggest you watch the film, “Dead Man Walking.” Yes, it is fiction but the message is powerful. If you think that one simply goes to sleep upon a lethal injection the following may give you a different insight:

Dr. Edward Brunner, chairman of the Department of Anaesthesia at North-Western University Medical School, submitted an affidavit on behalf of death row inmates in Illinois in which he states that lethal injection, “create[s] the substantial risk that prisoners will suffocate or suffer excruciating pain during the three chemical injections but will be prevented by the paralytic agent from communicating their distress.”

While internal organs shut down and implode, the person receiving a lethal injection has their muscles frozen by part of the lethal concoction so that witnesses to their death cannot see the agony. It is made civil for the witnesses but it is still an inhumane act and it is barbaric.

For more information on this subject, I strongly suggest you visit this site http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/.  Make an informed decision and petition your state to eliminate the death penalty.

—cher

 

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Adele Takes Six Grammy Nominations! http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/adele-takes-six-grammy-nominations/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/12/adele-takes-six-grammy-nominations/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2011 16:24:28 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12170

Those who know me, understand my love of music. My tastes are very eclectic, from old standards done by Tony Bennett, to Blues done by the late Garry Moore, to Zydeco, Paul Simon and much more. This year, along with millions of others, I discovered the raw and sultry tones of British singer/songwriter Adele. I have put her songs on Facebook… after I added them to my iPod. I love finding new talent and Adele is unique in her style. Her album, “21,” was nominated for album of the year, and I couldn’t be happier. There is something about those Brits! From the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, they have transformed and shaped some of the best music of my life. And while I cannot vote for Adele, I serve you this offering of some of her music. Both of these songs were absolute hits and “Rolling in the Deep” was nominated for song of the year. You may find that you enjoy this singer as much as I do and onto your own iPod she will go!

—cher

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Sen. Toomey Fails the Super Committee & Fails Pa. http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/sen-toomey-fails-the-super-committee-fails-pa/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/sen-toomey-fails-the-super-committee-fails-pa/#comments Tue, 29 Nov 2011 19:57:45 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12159

Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, after less than one year in office, has managed to bring disgrace upon himself and his State by refusing to act in a bipartisan manner while serving on the so-called “Super Committee”.  The fact that the ultra-conservative Toomey got elected to the Senate in Pennsylvania in 2010, a state that voted for Barack Obama by a wide margin in 2008, was more of a backlash against high unemployment and difficult economic times, than it was the endorsement of his anti middle-class political agenda.  Unfortunately, the State of Pennsylvania will now have to muddle through another five years of Toomey’s attempts to further the interests of the “1%ers”, and to advance the destructive policies of the Tea Party

In order to advance his standing with the intransigent, Republican leadership of Mitch McConnell, Pat Toomey told the ABC program “This Week” that he wanted to change the formula for making $1.2 trillion in budget cuts mandated by a law passed in August.  The law, which allowed the U.S. government to continue paying its bills and to avoid default, was originally opposed by Toomey, who along with his Tea party cohorts, felt that a government default was preferable to raising the U.S. debt limit ceiling.  Now that the law is passed (over his objections), Toomey is determined to make sure that the forced spending cuts fall totally on Social Security, Medicaid and Food Stamps,  that the military budget is left untouched, and that higher taxes on the wealthy are not even considered.  Toomey is especially incensed that the formula passed by Congress in August calls for $600 billion in cuts to military spending.

It should come as no surprise that Toomey, along with many of  his fellow Republicans, are now breaking out in a major sweat over the distinct possibility that they will have to live with the repercussions of the deal made with Democrats last August.  Although legislators actually have until January 2013 to work out an agreement to avoid the automatic cuts, the chances are almost non-existent that the deeply divided Congress will agree on anything of substance prior to the November elections.  In other words, Toomey’s attempts to dump the entire “deficit problem” on the backs of the middle class is doomed to failure.

President Obama and the Congressional Democrats have scored a major victory for the American people by insisting that the military budget be cut by $600 billion, with another $600 billion in cuts to be made to domestic programs.  If Toomey and his Tea Party backers want to preserve the bloated military budget,  the Democrats would probably be willing to replace military cuts with tax increases on the wealthy.   If the Republicans continue to absolutely refuse to consider any “revenue enhancement” options to help balance the budget, President Obama can always let the Bush Tax Cuts expire at the end of 2012.

Senator Toomey has become the “poster child” for all that is wrong with American politics today.  He is willing to let the country go bankrupt rather than approve a debt limit ceiling increase, he is willing to destroy the middle class in order to enrich the wealthiest 1%, and he is unwilling to cut a single dollar from the bloated military budget.  As a long time resident of Pennsylvania, I sincerely regret what the Keystone State has inflicted on the Senate of the United States and on  the American people.

Rich

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Shopping Without Pepper Spray http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/shopping-without-pepper-spray/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/shopping-without-pepper-spray/#comments Mon, 28 Nov 2011 15:53:50 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12141

Let me first confess that I dislike shopping in malls. Perhaps I am agoraphobic and truly do have a fear of the market place. Given the incidents of this year’s Black Friday, can you blame me? People pepper-sprayed others so that they might grab that coveted treasure before someone else got the last. Hah! Don’t they realize that the closer it gets to Christmas, the better the deals? It’s all hype. The only good thing to come out of it is that this Black Friday may actually have been a boost to the sagging economy. I certainly want to do my part in helping the economy, so off I will go to the mall today.

The pushing, shoving, mob-mentality is overwhelming for even the most stable shopper. It is the Christmas season, after all, and there are gifts to be purchased for those dear to us. In order to accomplish that, given my predisposition against shopping and being pepper-sprayed, I have decided to arm myself with levity. That’s right; laughter is the best chemical and produces endorphins to ward off those evil-doers seeking to destroy my mall time and dwindle my spending.

How many of us have laughed at inappropriate times? It is infectious, and even more so when not appropriate. I recall the time when my Mom and I were at a funeral. It was hot in the old church that still had no air-conditioning, and there had been three, count ‘em, three days of Mass. During the last Mass, Mom and I were kneeling next to each other and were supposed to be praying, but we were exhausted from grief and an endless maudlin ceremonial put-to-rest of my 95 year old grandmother. My bet is that even my grandmother would have had a wee nip just to get through something like this.

So Mom and I started laughing in the pew, our heads down, sly glances at each other, and tears flowed from trying to stifle a laughter that wouldn’t quit. People behind us handed us Kleenex in sympathy for the tears we were shedding. We reached to take them without looking and laughed harder. It was the most fun I’d had in weeks!

So today as I become an intrepid shopper, I will not be armed with pepper spray. Instead, I will think of the hilarity of that time in the church and I will think about the video here. I dare you not to laugh!

—cher

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Bachmann Thrown Under Bus by Conservative Group http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/bachmann-thrown-under-bus-by-conservative-group/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/bachmann-thrown-under-bus-by-conservative-group/#comments Sat, 26 Nov 2011 20:35:13 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12124

In the world of Republican politics, there is no lack of conservative groups and media personalities  dedicated to enforcing “party doctrine”, and to controlling the purity of conservative thought.  Any Republican who is aspiring to win a seat in Congress knows full well that his/her every word and phrase will be parsed by the “Dr. Goebbels” of Republican Party purity, Rush Limbaugh.  Woe be to any candidate that strays from the ultra right-wing talking points, or dares to venture into the impure, mongrel and misguided realm of political compromise with the center (or, God forbid, the left).  Although Limbaugh is undoubtedly the Republican’s self-appointed Minister of Propaganda, there are also a  number of  outspoken, ultra-conservative groups  with large followings.  One of the most extreme adherents of Republican Party purity is known as The American Majority.    

The leader of the American Majority, Ned Ryun, in a demonstration of how right-wing groups like to eat their own young, recently called for Michelle Bachmann to quit her quest for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination.  This astounding act of betrayal by Ryun’s group came as a stinging rebuke of Bachmann, who is considered by many as the leader of the Tea Party Caucus in the House of Representatives and the champion of Right wing causes.  In fact, the American Majority’s call for Bachmann to step aside marks the first time that a well known Tea Party group has turned on one of their own.  According to Matt Robbins, American Majority’s Executive Director, Bachmann has become a liability to the Tea Party due to her obsession with herself, and her lack of ability to run a “serious” campaign.  Robbins also pointed out that Bachmann seems to have developed significant personnel and fund-raising problems, and that she seems to be primarily interested in selling books.  Ouch!

Needless-to-say, the Bachmann campaign has vehemently denied that their candidate is not serious in her quest for the nomination, and that she remains deeply committed to the core values of the Tea Party.  The campaign further asserts that the rebuke of Bachmann by the American Majority was primarily due to Ned Ryun’s unwavering support of Rick Perry.  Unfortunately for Michelle Bachmann, the American Majority appears to have found a new mistress.  However, regardless of the whims of the American Majority, it is unlikely that either Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry are going to last much longer as presidential candidates.  Support for either of these candidates by this ultra right-wing group of political extremists is unlikely to influence anyone in the mainstream of American politics.  In the meantime, Bachmann can go right on selling books until her political campaigns closes its doors, and the candidate takes her rightful place under the Republican bus.

Rich

 

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Thanksgiving: “God Bless The Child” http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/thanksgiving-god-bless-the-child/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/thanksgiving-god-bless-the-child/#comments Wed, 23 Nov 2011 19:29:10 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12090

In the midst of preparations for Thanksgiving this year, it is important to remember to those who may not have their own celebration. These are difficult times for millions of Americans. Unemployment benefits have expired for many and they now have fallen off the statistical charts. Some may not find a job in the near future no matter how sincere their efforts. It will be a steep climb up that hill and for those with children, an emotionally gut-wrenching time. How does one explain the loss of a job, a home, financial ruin in lost pensions, or the cost of last year’s Thanksgiving feast not being feasible this year to a child?

Billie Holiday sang, “God bless the child that’s got his own.” Rather than taking this literally, I take it as a somber reminder that too often, “Mama may have; Papa may have,” but our children, whether they are young children or young adults have done everything right yet struggle to stay afloat financially. Perhaps, taking this a step further, it may mean the children of our society, age-inclusive, young and old.

There are those who care not about the anguish of the many compared to the wealth of the few. Those of us who do care can donate to a trusted charity of our choice, volunteer at a soup kitchen, or perform a random act of kindness by leaving Thanksgiving dinner items on the doorstep of a family in need. Instead of thinking about politics, grassroots or otherwise, let us think about sharing love in acts of kindness from the grassroots of our hearts.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving. My hope is that we will share our blessings and spread the wealth of compassion and love.

—cher

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Disgraced Super Committee Fails to Act http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/disgraced-super-committee-fails-to-act/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/disgraced-super-committee-fails-to-act/#comments Mon, 21 Nov 2011 20:18:06 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12079

For anybody wondering how the approval rating of Congress (more like the dis-approval rating) could possibly get any lower than its current  9%, the question has finally been answered.  Today the so-called Super Committee, comprised of six Republicans and six Democrats, announced that they had failed to come to an agreement on how to remove $1.2 trillion in spending from the federal budget over a period of ten years. Although the Super Committee utterly failed to come up with a sensible plan for deficit reduction, the $1.2 trillion will still be cut from the federal budget according to a somewhat arbitrary formula worked out during the “debt limit” negotiations last August.  Since future spending cuts will occur anyway, the Super Committee has proven to be  a waste of time, and nothing more than a reminder that America is deeply divided over how to solve its financial problems.

To make things even worse, the two sides in Congress are now gathering along partisan lines to overturn  parts of the August agreement (or all of the August agreement) that doesn’t suit their particular way of thinking.  The Republicans are unwilling to accept the $600 billion that is to be cut from the defense budget, and the Democrats are unwilling to accept similar cuts to Medicare and other non-defense programs.  In other words, Congress is totally deadlocked on a course of action, and quite willing to let the country careen down a path toward almost certain financial disaster.  If Congress cannot agree on the relatively modest budget cuts of $1.2 trillion, how can we ever expect it to come up with a plan to reduce spending by the $3 or $4 trillion, needed to stop the growth in the national debt?

Congress’  failure to come up with a plan for deficit reduction will have an immediate impact on the American people and the U.S. economy.  The first impact, which is already being felt today, will be a huge sell-off by investors in the stock  market.  These investors, which represent the majority of 401K investments for average Americans, will lose confidence that American companies can continue to operate profitably in such a poisoned political environment.  In turn, American companies will refuse to hire new employees or to invest in new plant and equipment until a more stable and predictable business environment can be established.  The poisoned, partisan political environment in Washington will all but ensure that nothing will be done over the next year that will in any way relieve the suffering of millions of unemployed Americans.

The battle between the deeply divided political parties in America has become like a ten-round bout between heavyweight fighters.  Neither side is willing to give in to the other, and both sides are willing to take as many punches as necessary to win the bout.  Unfortunately, this fight is far from over, and may go on well beyond the elections of 2012.  The longer the fight goes on, the further America will travel down the road to ultimate destruction.  Our fate is in the hands of our elected officials, and they have chosen to “fiddle while Rome burns.”

Rich

 

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Reaction to Occupy: New Image for America? http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/reaction-to-occupy-new-image-for-america/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/reaction-to-occupy-new-image-for-america/#comments Sun, 20 Nov 2011 17:30:21 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12066

The video of Occupy protesters at UC Davis is almost too painful to watch. When I initially saw it, all I could think of was Kent State. Is that the direction in which law enforcement is headed? These are peaceful protesters with the right to “peaceably assemble” according to our Constitution. The police in this instance stated they felt threatened by the protesters. What an absurd statement.

Here we are, Americans, cheering for demonstrations in Libya and Syria and when demonstrations in our own country occur, people are pepper sprayed. A fine example of democracy in action, these police tactics. I have been to Occupy demonstrations, and as unhappy as the 99% are, they have shown peaceful restraint so that their message is not lost. I am sickened that this display of unwarranted police actions is what the world will see when Americans want change. America, heal thyself!

 

In an effort to be ‘fair and balanced,’ let me also show you Newt Gingrich‘s reaction to the Occupy movement. His statement, “Go get a job right after you take a bath,” shows his true lack of character and his inability to be a leader. Many posts have been done here about Newt Gingrich. Perhaps nothing exemplifies the man quite as much as his own statements which are very Nixonesque. Show us the jobs, Mr. Gingrich, and while you are being so self-righteous, show us what happened to all the money your company received for ‘not being lobbyists.’

—cher

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Gingrich Lies About Lobbying For Freddie Mac http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/gingrich-lies-about-lobbying-for-freddie-mac/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss http://askcherlock.com/2011/11/gingrich-lies-about-lobbying-for-freddie-mac/#comments Thu, 17 Nov 2011 14:53:30 +0000 admin http://askcherlock.com/?p=12056

Primarily due to his credible performance during the Republican debatesNewt Gingrich has risen rapidly in the polls for his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.  However, Mr. Gingrich’s rise into the top tier of presidential contenders may bring him some unwanted scrutiny for a very checkered history.  In fact, Gingrich is only the latest example of Republican presidential “front-runners” that have come under the media microscope for mis-deeds and mis-statements made in the past.  The political campaigns of Tea Party favorites Michelle Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain have all imploded after being exposed to the glaring light of media scrutiny, and perhaps Gingrich will become the next Republican candidate to fall.  Newt Gingrich, who is well known by the American public for his arrogance and sleazy political tactics, is now in the uncomfortable position of having to defend himself against charges of influence-peddling for monetary gain.

After lying to the public during the last debate about the huge sums of money that he received for lobbying efforts on behalf of  Freddie Mac, Gingrich asserted that the $1.5 million he received over a nine year period was for providing  advice as an “historian”.  Former executives at Freddie Mac strongly dispute Gingrich’s description of his role, saying that he was hired to strategize with his employer about identifying political friends on Capitol Hill who would help Freddie Mac through a difficult legislative environment.  In short, Gingrich was a “lobbyist in sheep’s clothing” for an agency that his own Republican Party was aiming to dismantle.  Michelle Bachmann summed it up well when she said “. . . money was taken by Newt to influence Republicans in Congress to be in support of Freddie Mac, while I was fighting against them.”

Although Gingrich has clearly lied to the American public about the nature of his involvement with Freddie Mac, he probably has not done anything illegal.  The most troubling aspect of Newt’s foray into the lucrative world of lobbying is not his penchant to put monetarygain over political ideology, but his willingness to lie about what he was really doing at Freddie Mac.  This episode is simply the latest chapter in the history of a smart, but very arrogant politician, who has spent his whole career twisting the truth and manipulating public opinion so as to enhance his own reputation and enrich his own bank accounts.  When it comes right down to it, Gingrich has no particular ambitions to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, only a drive to acquire power and wealth for himself.

Of all the rather pathetic group of Republicans that are pursuing their Party’s nomination, Gingrich is perhaps the smartest (just ask him, he’ll tell you), but also the most devious.  Republicans should not forget that the former Speaker of the House was convicted of corrupt practices for giving misleading information to investigators during a congressional ethics probe in 1999.  Since being pushed out of Congress in 1999, and since divorcing his wife in the midst of her battle against cancer, Gingrich has done everything possible to enrich himself at the expense of his own political party.  In short, Newt Gingrich is an opportunist politician of questionable character, who has proven to be unworthy of his Party’s nomination, and certainly unworthy of becoming President of the United States.

Rich

 

 

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