Marshall in the Middle

Friday, July 29, 2011

Are the Democrats Playing Cat and Mouse ?

I still don't get something.  Why don't the Democrats work with the moderate Republicans to work out some sort of deal that might work to raise the debt ceiling?   Why are we all hostage to this group of Tea Party freshmen?  I have a theory that the Democrats are actually "hoping" the debt ceiling won't be raised so that the whole of the American public will be howling for the removal of all Republican  heads.

You see, they're smart because they see what's happening now is just like what happend with the health care law that Obama decreed back in 2009.  In 2010,  the Democrats were squashed by the electorate which is now very heavily influenced by the Independents.  Why?  As an Independent, I can tell you why I voted Republican... it's because I was disgusted by Pres. Obama's obsession over the Health Care bill while the country languished in a very serious recession.  So, how do you think I feel about this fiasco that has played out in DC this past few weeks?  I am seething, and the Republicans are coming off as the bad guys.  "We are determined 'cause we're just right and we want our way no matter what the consequences are and we want it now."  Such immature, selfish, self centered children.  They are an embarassment to the greatest country in the world.  

I don't think the Republicans have figured out what's going on yet, but it will become abundantly clear when they lose the House of Representatives and much of the Senate and the Presidency.    This lack of compromise does not bode well with Americans, in general.  The Republican's are letting their right wing fringe hold them and America hostage.  Once the dust settles, I don't think it's going to be pretty for them.   God help us as the Democrats run the show again.  Maybe they (the Democrats) will have learned a lesson and they'll rule with wisdom,and plurality, and fairness, and decency..... but I doubt it.  So... it's back and forth we go. 

In my humle opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sense of Fair Play Missing from the Republican Party

As the entire "debt ceiling" debate rumbles along I have found myself feeling a real distaste for the Republican party.  It  seems to have been taken hostage by the "Tea Party", demanding all that it wants but with no intention of allowing the other side any gains according to what is important in their heart.   Normally a bully demanding all he or she wants with no consideration to giving ground to the other point of view has no consequences except that there is simply no deal.  Unfortunately, in this case the consequences could be quite dire, and their inflexible stance could cause serious economic consequences.  If nothing else, they are making many, many people nervous with their resistance to fair play.

Our country was founded on compromise and July 4, 1776 would not have happened if not for compromise.  Throughout history we have thrived at every critical stage through thoughtful and fair negotiation with one great exception now known as the Civil War.  Americans don't like a lack of fair play and no matter what part of society you might be in, compromise is essential otherwise we paint ourselves into a corner of isolation.  We cut off personal or business opportunities.

Such is the case of the debt ceiling negotiations.  The Democrats and President Obama have demonstrated a willingness to give up some programs and cut others in the interest of reigning in the deficit and to satisfy the Republican's rightful demands for action.  Now, as in all negotiation it is the other side's turn to give up something important to them.  In this case, an increase in revenues. 

The Republicans refusal to see the other side 's point of view and their rigid stance against any form of revenue increase demonstrates an immaturity and partisan politics that to much of the American public is repugnant.   The Republican House members may feel cocky and purposeful at the moment, but this stiff resistance to compromise while simultaneously frightening the American public may ultimately result in a permanent fracture of the trust between Republican political leaders and the American public. 

In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Sunday, July 17, 2011

USA Titanic Part 2 : " Iceberg Straight Ahead, Why Aren't They Turning?"

On April 10, 2011,   I  wrote a blog titled the "USA Titanic" (which sank on April 12, 1912...so this was two days shy of the 99th anniversary of that fateful night...... didn't even notice that when I wrote it !).    In that blog I compared our economy to the doomed ocean liner  heading towards an iceberg with a crew at the helm unable to agree on what to do, and nervous passengers (international investors) eyeing the lifeboats warily. 

To reiterate..... here is the main part: 

"There aren't enough life boats and the ship is taking on water and it's only a matter of time before the passengers, better known as the world currency market run around in a circle looking for a safe haven lest they drown in the freezing waters of the United States federal deficit. This all because our government can't develop a realistic plan that includes cuts in some sacred cows such as medicare, medicaid, social security and the military along with an increase in tax revenues. We're still taking on water, and the Captain and his crew are walking around in a daze mumbling about nation building, health care for all, no new taxes and tea.  God help the USA Titanic as it heads towards an iceberg and all anybody can do is argue over which way it should swerve while they sip their tea. Dump the tea and just turn, damn it !"

Well, here we are three months later, and I'm afraid the iceberg has been spotted for some time now, but part of the crew has decided that the iceberg might not really hurt the USA Titanic after all.    Now we have some Republican Congressmen  (or Tea Party congressmen, not sure of the difference anymore) demanding everything they want or "no deal" on the raising of the debt ceiling.   "The iceberg is only a scare tactic of Captain Obama."  Huh?  The USA Titanic is unsinkable?    I am not an economist (and neither are any of these people), but considering what happened to the economy in 2008 with the default of so many banks, what the heck is going to happen when the federal government defaults?  Nothing?  Who's going to save the US Treasury?  This is a serious risk these people are taking.  A political game of "chicken" with no regard for the consequences.

But let's take a hard look at where this iceberg came from and consider what exactly is at the core of its cause.   What really grew the iceberg to such dramatic effect?   

 To be fair, I agree that President Obama has only just recently "come to Jesus" on the federal deficit.   But Obama has only been in office for 2 1/2 years., and he has demonstrated a willingness to make some pretty dramatic cuts to satisfy the Republicans.  Now, if  we go further back, I think it's logical that  a major part of this deficit is really due to the two wars we have been fighting.  The grand total so far is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.7 Trillion since 2001, and climbing by the day.  Some peg it even higher than  $4 Trillion.  So, what did our government do to cover this cost?  They maintained a massive tax CUT !  We've all conveniently ignored  this little detail.   But, the wars still have to be paid for... and now it's time to pay.  It is only logical that we have higher taxes to pay for $3.7 Trillion dollars spent.   Where else is it going to come from but an increase in taxes?   Throughout history wars have been fought by taxing the population.   It's only here in America that we decided we could spend our way out of the expenses of war.  Let's call it  "Voo-doo" war payments.

The logical thing to do is close all the loopholes available now to everybody,  let the Bush tax cuts lapse and any deficit that is not covered would come from a flat tax for everybody.  Once the debts are satisfied, the taxes come down.  End of story.   This is the right thing to do.  We all benefit from the protection of our country,  never mind the details of the wars.  Everyone is looking at what should be cut, but am I the only one that thinks we need to also be paying for what we got?  We need to pay that money back. 

So, there it is.  Cut, cut, cut spending as much as possible, AND raise taxes for the war our government waged.  Such dramatic effort and aggressive action will calm the world's financial markets and we can all get back to the happy business of making money.  Economies should flourish without the uncertainty of the world's largest economy teetering on depression.  Teetering into depression because its government is ruled by two bickering babies known as the Republican and Democratic parties.   

The iceberg is very real, and even the lifeboats won't do much good if we ram right into the damn thing.  "This ship can't sink !"  "Aye, she's made of iron sir, I assure you.... she can sink".  Turn !




In My Humble Opinion,

Chuck Marshall

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Casey Anthony Murdered Her Daughter

For the last several months, I have purposely avoided the Casey Anthony trial because from the beginning it seemed way over- examined.   A judicial circus.   I don't like public spectacle because after all  there are  murders every day and they don't get the entire world's attention.   Usually it's a waste of time and an excercise  in frustration, and the whole thing reminded me of the OJ Simpson case.  But there I was on Saturday and Sunday, glued to my television watching the prosecution and defense close their case.   I was wrapped up and swallowed whole by the hyperbole just like everybody else.  I wish I had stuck to my guns and ignored the whole stupid thing.  This is what I get....  one more loss in confidence in our government's ability  to govern.  This time it's not the legislative or the executive, it's our warped system of justice.

So there I was., like most people,  examining Casey Anthony and evaluating her reaction to the testimony.   I was considering how it seemed like a rock solid case against her.  She killed her daughter and the fact that she lied about her location seemed like a very obvious clue.  String her up !  The evidence, to me, was that compelling. 

Today the news hit like a ton of bricks. "not guilty"., and not even a lesser charge... totally "not guilty".  What ?  How could they have come to such a conclusion:?    I know we're going to hear from the talking heads on the networks that the prosecution didn't have a strong case.  That most of the evidence was circumstantial.  That there was still "reasonable doubt" in the minds of the jury.   But, really..... short of having her fingerprints on Casey's neck or a video of her taping the duct tape to her face, I don't see what else could have been shown to prove her guilt.  What do juries expect these days to prove to them guilt of the accused,  "beyond reasonable doubt"?     

To the Jury I submit; 

1)  Casey Anthony's daughter was missing for 30 days and she did not notify the authorities, at all... ever, it had to be brought to the attention of the authorities by her worried mother, the child's grandmother.
2)  Casey Anthony lied about her daughter's whereabouts at first,  by blaming her absence on a person that does not even exist.
3)  The defense's alternate theory had her father covering up an accidental drowning by making it look like a murder.....?
4)  She borrowed the neighbors shovel around the time Casey is believed to have been missing.
5)  The duct tape was connected to her household.
6)  Her mother called 911 mentioning that her daughter's car smelled "like death".
7)  The body was found blocks from her house with nothing but items originating from the Anthony household.
8)  There are bountiful videos of Casey Anthony partying, and celebrating while her daughter was still missing.  She had a tatoo put on her arm stating "Bella Vita", "Happy Life". 
9)  The physical evidence did connect the deceased child to Casey's car trunk. 

There is a point in meteing out justice where we have to allow for common sense to guide us in how we draw conclusions.  The only logical conclusion as to why a person would lie about the location of someone else who was in their care,  is that the person is hiding something.   This is doubly true if the accused lied for over a month and never had an alternate story with any veracity.  What happened to the missing person here?   Her body was found.  She was found dead.  How ever she  died,  the person who lied is responsble.  That's "beyond reasonable doubt". 

The jury's decision to  acquit this murderer is a travesty of justice and does us all a disservice.  I should imagine that any person out there who entertains the idea of murdering another human being must feel emboldened to do so now.   All that has to be done is that  you cover your tracks well enough and reduce everything around the case to being "circumstantial"  in the eyes of an exhausted, dim-witted jury. 

I listened to a radio talk show host talk about how this was an acceptable verdict because the jury was "defending the constitution".  No sir, a jury is required to mete out justice.  At least it should be, right?   The innocent victims of our society have been reduced to courtroom antics, judicial jousting in the name of "defending the Constitution".  I don't think the framers of our constitution were striving for a society where murderers could go free because the process of convicting them became so convoluted.   When this process takes precedence over what is "right" and "fair" and "logical", then we have all lost sight of justice in the name of the very process of justice.  This jury, today did great damage in my mind, to the idea that I live in a fair society where justice is served.  This was not justice.  This was a travesty. 



In My Humble Opinion.

Chuck Marshall