Archive for Special Comment

Fed Up: Special Comment by my 76-year-old friend

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fed up

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 76, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings of frustration about the state of politics and our dysfunctional Congress. I am more than happy to oblige, especially because I feel the same way.

This rant reminds me of one I did awhile ago: We have no choice. It might be time to revive that one.

Now on to "Fed Up." But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

FED UP

Like most Americans, I'm FED UP with the dysfunctional government we have.

I'm FED UP that there is a segment within the Republican caucus that refuses to compromise.

I'm FED UP that Republicans have more loyalty to a pledge they signed with Grover Norquist, to never raise taxes, forgetting the oath they took when sworn into office.

I'm FED UP that Republicans in Congress would rather spend government funds on phony investigations than pass a jobs and infrastructure bill, that would create jobs for millions of people, which would move our economy forward.

I'm FED UP with all the hate and racism that exists in our country.

I'm FED UP that the leaders of the Republican Tea Party don't denounce the use of racist remarks, hateful signs and pictures, displays of the Confederate Flag at rallies they attend in Washington D.C. and in their home states.

I'm FED UP with the disrespect shown President Obama and the office he holds. This has been going on since Joe Wilson yelled "You lie!" during a speech President Obama was giving to a joint session of Congress.

I'm FED UP that, after five years, there are still Americans who don't consider President Obama an American citizen or a Christian.

I'm FED UP with a party that lost a national election in 2012, that tries to use a government shut down and threat of default on national debt to force their ideology on Americans-- which the people had rejected-- and in the process, cost the country $24 billion.

I'm FED UP that a political party felt shutting down the government was a good thing, and brags about it and is threatening to try it again in 2014.

I'm FED UP that there are members in Congress who got elected with the sole intent of destroying the government.

I'm FED UP that the Republican Party is trying to defund and kill the Affordable Care Act, knowing full well it can't be done, in the process wasting more government funds.

I'm FED UP with members of Congress willing to cut funds that help those Americans in need while continuing to provide subsidies to farmers and oil companies, plus they refuse to close tax loop holes that benefit the rich.

I'm FED UP that states have or will enact laws to suppress the voting rights of Americans, when voter fraud doesn't exist in the country.

I'm FED UP that states have passed laws that don't allow women to control their own bodies.

I'm FED UP that the Evangelical Christians wanting to impose their religious ideology on all Americans and want to bring down the wall separating church and state.

I will continue to be FED UP, until these issues are addressed, or we will remain an extremely divided country pulling in different directions.

It's sad thing to say, but we are becoming a government, that unless one party controls Congress and the presidency, the chances of any important legislation getting done is almost nil.

That why it is extremely important for Democrats to vote in 2014 if we want to retain control of the Senate and possibly gain control of the House. Americans better begin to wake up and learn; the foundation of our democracy is being threatened by the radical right and it must be addressed.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

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Informing the uninformed on #Obamacare, this time a cancer patient: Special Comment by my 75-year-old friend

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ignorance

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 76, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about the Affordable Care Act. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

Eye Opening Experience

The other night I went out to dinner with another couple to our favorite family-owned Italian restaurant. We have been customers for over 13 years, and during that time have gotten to know the family and workers on a personal basis.

While having dinner, I was discussing Obamacare with my friend when the waitress, who has worked at the restaurant for at least 10 years, approached and wanted to ask us about the health care law.

She said she'd heard a lot a negative things about the program and had no idea what to do. Being customers for so many years, we knew the waitress had undergone a double mastectomy about three years ago.

We asked her a series of questions:

* Did she have medical coverage? Yes, but through a special program for cancer victims.

* Did her husband have medical coverage? No, has a pre-existing condition.

* Did her children under 26 years old have medical coverage? No.

* Was their joint income below a certain dollar level? Yes.

We told her that under Obamacare, her whole family would be covered, even those with pre-existing conditions, including children up to the age of 26.

In addition, her family would most likely be eligible to receive a subsidy due to her family income level, which will lower the yearly premium costs. We also informed her about annual exams she will be able to have where no co-pay was required.

She was unaware of any of the information we told her. We advised her how to find out about the various health insurance programs available in the state of Nevada along with how to find more information. We offered our services if she had any questions in deciding the type of programs that would meet her family needs, the premium to be paid, and any possible subsidy available.

Until this happened I was really unaware, on a personal basis, how uninformed Americans are about Obamacare and the benefits that are available to them. It was an eye opening experience for me and made me wonder how many other Americans are totally unaware of the Affordable Care Act and how it can benefit them.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

AND SPEAKING OF INFORMING THE UNINFORMED: I'm collaborating with @CACalls on a new BLUNT video. We're looking for short videos, NO MORE THAN 30 SECS, in which YOU answer the question "Why Do I Love Obamacare?" We must receive them no later than next Wednesday. Details here. This is an opportunity to stop complaining about negative Obamacare press and do something.

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We Still Have A Long Way To Go: Special Comment by my 75-year-old friend

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bad grammar english is our language

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 75, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about how immigrants are treated in this country. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

We Still Have A Long Way To Go

On Monday, July 15th, Major League Baseball, as part of its All Star Game festivities, had the Home Run Derby. The event was won by Yoenis Cespedes, Cuban born, who plays for the Oakland Athletics.

Part of the event included an interview with Aroldis Chapman, also Cuban born, and a member of the Cincinnati Reds. As the winner of the Derby, Cespedes was interviewed after the event. Both interviews were bilingual and was broadcast on ESPN.

I will admit, I didn't watch the Home Run Derby or the bilingual interviews, although I did watch a replay of the Cespedes interview.

On Tuesday, I saw the following headline on Deadspin site, "People Were Angry About ESPN's Bilingual Interviews of Cuban Players".

I read several of the tweets that were part of the article. The comments were vile, upsetting and very disturbing and made me wonder, what is it with Americans these days? Have we become this angry and hateful about immigrants in our country? Please read some of the tweets, but I will warn you before hand, it's not an easy read and hard to stomach.

Aroldis Chapman and Yoenis Cespedes were both born in Cuba. Chapman defected from Cuba in 2009 and began playing for Cincinnati in 2010. Cespedes defected from Cuba in 2011 and began playing for Oakland in 2012.

To expect both Chapman and Cespedes to be able to speak English in a relatively short period of time is unreasonable. For all we know they both may be able to understand and speak English, or may be learning English, but they may not be comfortable doing so in an interview.

Some tweets remarked that baseball is America's pastime. This was the same line used by whites in 1947 when Jackie Robinson became the first black major league baseball player. It was like going back to baseball being a white man's game only.

Baseball is an international game being played in Japan, South Korea, China, Mexico, Central America, South America, Canada, Netherlands. Americans should feel proud, that an American game has been adopted by many countries around the world, whose players have been able to make it to American major league level.

On opening day in 2013, 28% of major league baseball players were foreign born from 15 countries and territories.

I remember when the country was all wrapped up in "Fernandomania." Fernando Valenzuela was born in Mexico and played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1980-1990. When he was brought up to the major leagues as a 20 year old, he couldn't speak any English and an interpreter was required not only for interviews, but also for conversation between manager, pitching coach and his catcher. No one raised any uproar over that.

The reason being, he was helping the club and making it a winning ball club. That's all baseball fans should be interested in, the contribution a player is making to a ball club.

Over the years, many foreign players needed an interpreter when they first came to the major leagues. As one American baseball manager said, who speaks fluent Spanish, some foreign players fear they would look bad if they didn't understand something in English or mispronounce words. All of this is very understandable.

While the people on Twitter who immediately attacked Chapman and Cespedes may have been unaware of their life experiences, time in the United States or how foreign players feel about being interviewed in a language they aren't totally familiar with, but as far as I'm concerned, from the language used by those tweeting, shows them to be nothing more than pure racists remarks.

Recent events have shown that our country still has a long way to go to rid itself of racism in America.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

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Then and Now: Special Comment by my 75-year-old friend

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then and now mcdonald's

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 75, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about how the political climate and conservative Congress members have (d)evolved over the past 50 years. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

Then and Now

I was married on Thursday, July 4, 1963, to a wonderful and beautiful woman. So today, I celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary and the birthday of our nation. When one reaches milestones like this, you think about all that has happened in your life during those 50 years: The birth of your children and grandchild, parents, sisters and other relatives, friends, career, the dreams you had when you were young.

It's an inventory-taking time of life achievements. I can say I'm very happy how my life turned out. Did I achieve everything I dreamed of, (becoming a pro basketball or baseball player...lol)? No I didn't, but most people don't achieve everything they desire when they are young.

On milestones like today, I also think about the changes I've seen in the past fifty years: in medicine, electronics, travel, automation, automobiles, life styles, costs of cars and homes, wars, civil rights and politics, to name some. I realized, in those fifty years, I have lived through some very interesting times.

When I got married, John F. Kennedy, was the first Catholic to be president, and as I celebrate my 50th, Barack Obama is president, the first African American president.

The other day, while discussing political events, a Twitter friend asked, "Are we seeing the very dark side of politics today?" and wondered whether it was as dark years ago. Afterwards I started to reflect, on the question, on what our government was like in the first few years of my marriage and what it's like today.

During the years of the 88th and 89th Congress (1963 - 1966), the Congress consisted of such members as: Mark Mansfield (D) Hubert Humphrey (D), Everett Dirksen(R), Barry Goldwater (R), Carl Hayden(D), Clifford Case (R), George Murphy (R), Jacob Javits (R), Abraham Ribicoff (D), Strom Thurmond (D/R), Karl Mundt (R), Margaret Chase Smith (R), Stuart Symington (D), John Lindsay (R) Bob Dole (R), Hale Boggs (D), Tip,O'Neill (D), Robert Kennedy (D), Gerald Ford (R).

During that period the following major legislation was passed:

* Equal Pay Act of 1963
* Clean Air Act of 1963
* Civil Rights Act of 1964
* Food Stamp Act of 1964
* Voting Rights Act of 1965
* Social Security Act of 1965 ( Medicare and Medicaid)
* Freedom of Information Act of 1966

The ability to pass such monumental acts was due to Democrats and Republicans working together and willing to compromise on issues when necessary.

In the 1970s, I saw the growth of the Christian Conservative movement. It was their goal to have graduates from their law schools become involved in school boards, politics, and the judicial system in order to effect changes in the areas of abortion, same-sex marriages, school prayer, teaching of creationism in schools and LGBT issues. I believe, we are now seeing the results of those goals by the various laws enacted or being proposed on both a federal and state level, covering abortion rights, SNAP (food stamps), and voting rights.

While many believe the Democrats currently in Congress are not as liberal or progressive as those in the 1960s., they still fight for the needs of the people.

When you look at the Republicans elected to Congress over the last few years: Rubio, Chambliss, Paul, Vitter, Inhofe, Coburn, DeMint, Lee, Issa, West, Walsh, Pence, Steve King, Bachmann, Ryan, Gohmert, Sessions, Cain, Price, Foxx, Duncan, Wilson, Cruz you realize how far to the right the Republican Party has moved when compared to the 1960s.

In 2011, Republicans became the majority party in the House, and since then, the Tea Party members have been unwilling to compromise on most major issues. As one Tea Party member stated, "Compromise is when the other side comes over to our side." A government can't function when one side isn't willing to compromise on issues. With the Tea Party members in the Senate, we have seen nothing but obstructionism, delayed approval, or non-consideration of open cabinet positions, judgeships and senior management positions.

In the last two plus years, we have seen numerous votes to abolish The Affordable Care Act, no jobs bills presented for consideration, phony scandal investigations, and bills presented that promote Christian Conservative religious ideology.

Is it any wonder, that we now have a totally dysfunctional government, with Congress having an approval rating hovering around 10%?

With the current make up and attitude of those in Congress today, I believe those bills passed during the 1960s would never have been passed or even seen the light of day. Last week SCOTUS struck down the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Republican are trying to cut down, eliminate, or privatize most the progressive legislation passed during the 1960s.

This "War On Women", is nothing more than the Christian conservatives forcing their religious values on all Americans. This is only the beginning; next will be the breaking down the wall separating church and state (praying in school and creationism) followed by censorship of what one can read or watch on TV or in the movies.

Many will say I'm overreacting, but Americans better wake up before its too late, because the Christian conservatives are our own home grown Taliban. They say we should be worried about Sharia Law coming into our schools, but what we should be more concerned about is the type of Sharia law Christian conservatives want to impose on America.

So in answer to my friend's question, YES, these political days are some of the darkest in my lifetime.

dear gop sick of your s--- smaller

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

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Sad Days: Special Comment by my 75-year-old friend

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congress senate vote against gun background checks

My impassioned “72-year-old”  friend (who is now 75, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about how many of our most pathetic Congress members have handled this country's tragic events. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Now for his Special Comment:

Sad Days

In my life time I have experienced many sad days for our country, some of these are, but not all are:

  • Assassination of President John F.Kennedy
  • Assassination of Martin Luther King
  • Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy
  • Tragedy of 9/11
  • Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy
  • Mass Shootings: Long Island Railroad (1993), Columbine High School (1999), Fort Hood (2009), Tucson, Arizona (2011), Aurora Movie Theatre (2012), Sikh Temple (2012), Newtown School (2012)
  • Boston Marathon (2013)
  • West, Texas Explosion (2013)

All of the above events resulted to death and injury of many Americans and non-Americans, that have affected and changed the lives of many people and our country.

I know, the way our government operates has changed over the years, with the growth of lobbyists and the amount of money in our political system; but yesterday I saw the death of my country that I was brought up to know and love.

Yesterday was another sad day for me and America. When over 90% of Americans favored a bill that would expand gun background checks of gun sales, made at gun shows and over the Internet, was defeated by a group of Senators who had more loyalty to the NRA and gun manufacturers than to the American people.

That group of Senators showed that the revered words of their most famous Republican, President Abraham Lincoln-- that we are a "government of, by and for the people"-- no longer has any meaning to them. To them we are now a government of, by and for the 1% and the big corporations.

To Rand Paul I say, the only props used in the gun legislation debate where you and the other Senators who voted against the wishes of your constituents to support the gun manufacturers.

We need to get back to the type of government that was expressed by President Lincoln. That can only be done by voting out members of Congress who don't represent their constituents and reverse the Citizens United decision. I have faith that this can be done and then enact sane and sensible gun laws, without taking away the 2nd amendment rights of Americans.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

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Conservative Buffoons: Special Comment by my 72-year-old friend

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guns cartoon US map smaller

My impassioned 72-year-old  friend (who is now 75, but who’s counting?), who goes by the Twitter name @42bkdodgr, would like to share his feelings about a few Republican gun-revering buffoons and their response to the Newtown massacre. I am more than happy to oblige.

But first, a personal note from 42bkdodgr:

Many of you may wonder why I chose to use the “72 year old friend” as the introduction to my Special Comments. I selected the moniker so readers could see that from my age and life experiences I give a different perspective to the issues of today.

Buffoons

Last Friday, an horrific event occurred in our country, where 26 human beings, 20 of them young children, were murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, by a deranged individual.

Like many of you, I shed tears over the weekend as we learned more and more of the facts as to what actually took place at the school. When I think about what took place and the horror those children, teachers and school official went through, I still tear up, even as I write this special comment.

But I get extremely upset, mad, angry, irate or whatever word that describes outrage, when I read and hear the remarks coming from the religious right and the right wing of the Republican Party regarding what took place at the school.

Consider the following remarks and statements:

  • James Dobson, Focus on the Family Founder, linked the shooting to turning back on God with regard to abortions and the institution of marriage. In effect linking Sandy Hook shooting to abortions and gay marriage.
  • The National Review in an editorial written by Charlotte Allen, suggested the shooting occurred because the school was totally run by women, suggesting if a man or men were teachers or administrators at the school, the killings would not have happened.
  • Then we have birther Orly Taitz blaming President Obama for the Sandy Hook massacre. Read this article and it will make your head spin. Why the media still covers her is beyond me. Her 15 minutes of fame should be over.

Huckabee in his remarks about God being removed from schools, forgets there is such a thing as the separation of church and state.

As far as Gohmert and Perry, I wonder what they would say if a student overpowered a teacher and took a gun and used it. Who would they blame? The teacher for not be strong enough? Would they expect a 100-pound female teacher to take on a male high school student?

Will getting a teaching degree or certification require taking Hand Gun 101 and Shot Gun 102?

No one seems to have taken into consideration the possible ramification of an armed school. It's like they want to take us back to the wild, wild, west.

The fact that Ms. Allen could make such a remark when six women gave their lives trying protect the students in their schools is disgusting and outrageous.

All of the above statements, were from buffoons pushing their own agendas and not really trying to address the issues that confront the nation. I hope the task force being headed by Vice Pres. Joe Biden can come up with the solutions that will prevent such tragedy from ever happening again.

Many thanks again for another thorough, relevant piece, @42bkdodgr. You often say what many of us are thinking and feeling, and we thank you for your unique perspective.

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VIDEO: Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on Mitt Romney's "Very Special" 47% Comment

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Ok, ok, HERE is tonight's Twitter Special Comment on Romney's Tape and his Fundraiser Who Stages Sex Parties

Leave it to Keith. That was encore-worthy.

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