Friday, December 10, 2010

Mr. President,


Why does it seem so much harder for you to work with your own party (yes, it can be like herding cats) than it is for you to try to work with the party of ‘NO?’

It seems reasonable to think that after multiple examples of the rejection of your attempts to reach across the aisle (including Republican proposed items in a bill you’re working on, only to get 0 Republican votes for said bill) that you’d realize that your efforts are not just not working, they are being sneered upon by the very folks you’re trying so hard to work with.

Our party did not lose the majority in the US Senate (for the next session of the US Congress), but we did back further away from the super majority that stupid parliamentary tricks require for bills to pass. We did lose the majority in the US House of Representatives, but the party of ‘NO’ does not have a veto proof majority either; a recipe for legislative stalemate for the next two years.

The Democratic Party sustained these loses because you did not walk on water in your first two years as President; expectations are almost always set way too high. You did not lose these seats in the legislature because you did not extend a hand across the aisle often enough; indeed the hand you did extend was ridiculed far more often than it was ever grasped.

Getting angry at your supporters is not an explanation of why you don’t try to work with us more often than you have tried to work with the ‘NO.”

The point for negotiation with health care was single-payer, not the public option.

Why isn’t there an investigation into the previous administration’s torturing of the legal process to justify torture, or the false pretense (apparently known to be false from the start) for starting a second war; insufficient effort in the first, reasonably justifiable, war.

Why weren’t mortgages put under the purview of the Bankruptcy Courts and tax exemptions for mortgage interest eliminated as a precondition to bailing out Wall Street? It was, after all, the incredible risks taken with mortgage based investments that Wall Street used, while government regulators were encouraged to sleep (during the W administration, as it was in the Reagan administration), to bring the US economy, nay the world’s economy, to the edge of fiscal self-destruction.

Why is it so difficult to believe that the best you could do for job creation in these United States of America is to eliminate tax incentives for companies that have moved their entire manufacturing capacity out of the country?

Why is it so hard to understand that all the tax breaks from the previous administration should be allowed to expire, avoiding the perception of catering to wealthy individuals and corporations while addressing the federal deficit? Let the ‘NO’ explain to the nation why the rich are more important than working poor or unemployed folks; ‘Trickle Down’ economics has already had 30 years of spectacular failure. It is not making life hard for working poor and unemployed people when all the tax breaks expire, because their lives already are difficult!


Congratulations on the successful bail-out of GM and Chrysler. Also, congrats on what progress was made on health care in the first two years of your administration.

The next two years will be a legislative stalemate, because the shifting numbers in the US Congress allow the ‘NO’ to be ever more intransigent; not because we, your supporters (Democrats and Independents; you don’t win with just insider support), don’t appreciate what you’ve done.

Thanks, for reading this far down the page.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Opportunity Wasted!

The Democrats and their Progressive allies stand accused of ramming our liberal programs through the US federal government and upon the American people. Unfortunately, too many folks just don’t (want to) understand how guilty we are not!

We have the White House. We had both houses of the US Congress. Our president, whom I still support, chose to try and build bipartisan coalitions with those same Republicans who had clearly and repeatedly demonstrated that they had no interest in forming. That reason, almost exclusively, explains why so many things were left undone.

We had six years (January 2001 to January 2007) in which the Republicans were in control of the federal government (President, US Senate and House of Representatives). The Republicans talked extensively about reducing the size and expense of said federal government, while growing it and the federal deficit massively. Still, the only thing they were able to accomplish was to bring the US economy to the edge of a second great depression.

We, the American people, will now spend two years stuck in ‘Park.’ Fortune smiled upon us when the Republicans did not get a majority in the US Senate, and we retain a Democratic president; we are stopped, not jammed into ‘Reverse’ as was the case from 2001 to 2007.

It is important to remember that education and hard work got us to where we are today: the world’s largest (by far) economy, and the world’s only super power (as a former Reagan administration official and professor at Rice University stated, “we are not first among equals!”).

It is government that builds common carrier infrastructure (e.g., roads, bridges, railroads, airports, seaports, telecommunications and power distribution, etc…). It is the government that provides public servants like: teachers, military, police, fire and emergency medical personnel, etc.; also providing the facilities they use.

It is government that makes sure that clean water flows when you turn on the faucet, lights light when you flip the switch, toilets empty when flushed and that you don’t revisit said toilet contents when you travel to lakes, rivers and sea shores.

In short, it is the government that makes sure that society is civil, clean and available to all the public all the time. If you desire to cut government out of your life, the first question you must ask is: “What do you want to give up?”

Those who believe Progressives and Democrats

might fade quietly away,

would, once again, demonstrate

how little thought’s involved in their day.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Economy!

The economic recovery from the near depression, which started in December of 2007, has slowed. Companies are reported to be, “flush,” with plenty of cash, yet they’re not spending the money on developing their companies (capital expenditures) or hiring new employees.

Why not?

The talking heads of business journalism say it is because the companies are uncertain about the future.


There is not now, nor has there ever been, a crystal ball; certainty about the future. The real reason is that the companies want a republican majority in one, or both, chambers of the federal legislature. Republicans have encouraged the regulators to stand by and trust businesses to do the, “right thing.”

This approach has given us: the failure of the entire Savings and Loan industry (mortgage providers) in the late 1980s; Enron; World Com; the failure of two, of three, US auto manufacturers; BP; a trip to the edge of depression in 2007 (driven by bad home mortgages failing: known as sub-prime mortgages from their initiation); $10.2 trillion in federal deficit by January 20, 2009 (the day before President Obama was sworn in); etc…

Is this what you, the voter, want returned to political power?

Why would you want that?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A few quick perspectives...

First, the economy is stuck, not growing/recovering, because the consumer is not consuming these days. The experts are speculating wildly as to why this is, because the answer (that a surprising number of said experts already know) is unpopular; denied.

When manufacturing, customer and back office services jobs are being moved overseas, jobs in the USA are eliminated. These former employees, with no job/paycheck, were also known as customers. The newer, really low cost employees (who live in the countries where the jobs are moved) are not being paid anywhere near enough to consume like the Americans they replaced.

Consumers are 70% of the American economy, and this sector will remain comatose till equivalent new jobs become available to them.

Second, immigration problems will not go away until the USA is no longer a desirable destination. Fear mongers say foreigners (Latinos) are swarming across our unsecured (southern) borders, then taking our jobs and committing lots of crimes. Jobs are not being taken by these foreign invaders; employers are actively seeking out these hard-working, low cost laborers once they are here in the USA.

Meanwhile, immigration auditors from the Obama administration are actively demonstrating how easy it is to check an individual’s ability to seek employment in the USA, and how many employers have not taken these simple steps. The hypocrisy becomes apparent when one is able to determine how many of the fear mongers are benefiting from the work done by these hardworking illegal immigrants.

As to the crime wave allegedly being propagated by these illegal immigrants storming across our borders, FBI statistics indicate that crime rates have consistently trended lower recently in the border regions of the USA.


A simple point to remember is that everybody in the USA is, or is descended from, an immigrant; indigenous populations included. None of these immigrants asked if it would be o.k. before coming to the USA, and none need ask now!

Homer Simpson said it best: “DOH!”

Monday, June 7, 2010

Constitutional, U.S. and TX, details...

There are some who would try, once again (there’s always someone not happy with how history has been documented), to rewrite the story of the United States of America. This is just a short refresher on what I feel are salient points from the past; precedent for the future.

In 1775 the second Continental Congress convened in colonial Philadelphia and produced both of the following documents:

1. The Declaration of Independence (announcing the creation of these United States of America);

2. The Articles of Confederation (creating a weak central government that was to coordinate the activities of the 13 new States).

Those who propose a smaller, less intrusive, federal government have somehow forgotten that that has been tried and declared a failure here already.

1787 was the year that saw another convention in Philadelphia, PA. This one came to be known as our Constitutional Convention, after a document (similarly named) emerged. The U.S. Constitution replaced the Articles of Confederation creating a stronger, more workable, central government for the USA.

1836 was the year that Texas declared its independence from Mexico. Ten years later the Republic of Texas had serious debt and was facing a difficult dispute with Mexico about the southern border; Mexico claimed the Nueces River as the border while Texas claimed territory further south, to the Rio Grande. Upon acceptance of the U.S. offer of statehood, the border war shifted from Texas vs. Mexico to the U.S. vs. Mexico: the Rio Grande became the border.

The noise one sometimes hears about Texas seceding from the United States should be balanced with the notion that, as an independent nation, border defense (amongst a multitude of other things) becomes our solitary responsibility once again. Such lonely and expensive pursuits have been tried and found wanting.

Some elements of the U.S. Constitution have been bandied about of late, so some details need to be clarified.

The Bill of Rights, Amendment Two, reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The aforementioned Amendment relates back to The Constitution, Article 2, Section 2/1:

The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States

It is a mystery to me how one comes to believe that somewhere in those words a singular noun or pronoun exists, let alone the idea of defining an individual’s right to, “keep and bear arms.”

This is where Texans find the individual’s right to, “keep and bear arms.”

The TX Constitution, Bill of Rights, Article 1, Section 23:

RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS. Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime.

The US and TX Constitutions are amendable documents, because none of the originators thought they were able to foretell the needs and circumstances the future might create.

We have, in these United States of America, created a formidable union that attempts to allow for all the potential fallibilities and foibles of humanity while assembling a whole that accrues the strength that is the sum of all its parts. We can’t, don’t and won’t always agree on all the details associated with the continuity of such an immense conglomeration, such as are these United States, but we must try to come together and make our best effort.

We must work together to invest in, maintain and improve that which we’ve inherited, so that future generations can have the power of opportunity that we were given by our ancestors.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Taxes, Texas

It is difficult not to see tax problems in Texas as local problems, because it was intentionally set-up to appear as such. The County Tax Assessor/Collector’s office has the primary responsibility for determining, collecting and distributing property taxes. Sales taxes are collected at the time of purchase, by the vendor selling a taxable item.

The vast majority of that tax money is bound for state coffers. The state of TX does not have its own revenue stream, and is hiding behind local collection agents when the state’s revenue problems are discussed.

This is a shameful fact that will be largely avoided by the state’s incumbent elected officials attempting to get re-elected this year. Why? It’s because, taxes (talk or action) are not the stuff of successful political campaigns.

Unfortunately, the recent economic turmoil, combined with the structural budget deficit (created intentionally by a special session of the legislature in 2006), will cause state coffers to come up well shy of the funds needed to continue to pay for even the reduced, in the 2003 legislative session, activities of the state’s agencies.

I have made suggestions to rectify the state’s problems with its indirect, and intentionally insufficient, funding in my blog post "Taxation suggestions for Texas" published in January, 2009.

TX: State of the State!

A quick and disturbing brief on the state of the state of Texas, containing excerpts from state Senator Eliot Shapleigh’s web site and Dr. James Moore’s “What’s Left of Texas” published on The Huffington Post. Links to both sites are listed below.

Eliot Shapleigh, a state senator from El Paso, compiles a report each legislative session called "Texas on the Brink." Skimming it will provide more than enough data to show just how functional the Republican leadership of this state has been since 1994. Here are a few embarrassing tidbits about Texas that Rick Perry doesn't want the rest of the nation to know so he can start planning his little fantasy of national politics.

1) 49th in teacher pay
2) 1st in the percentage of people over 25 without a high school diploma
3) 41st in high school graduation rate
4) 46th in SAT scores
5) 1st in percentage of uninsured children
6) 1st in percentage of population uninsured
7) 1st in percentage of non-elderly uninsured
8) 3rd in percentage of people living below the poverty level
9) 49th in average Women Infant and Children benefit payments
10) 1st in teenage birth rate
11) 50th in average credit scores for loan applicants
12) 1st in air pollution emissions
13) 1st in volume of volatile organic compounds released into the air
14) 1st in amount of toxic chemicals released into water
15) 1st in amount of recognized cancer-causing carcinogens released into air
16) 1st in amount of carbon dioxide emissions
17) 50th in homeowners' insurance affordability
18) 50th in percentage of voting age population that votes
19) 1st in annual number of executions

Shapleigh's little book of horrors comes fully footnoted to avoid being attacked by partisans. His staff gathers data from the Census Bureau and Texas government agencies.

Stephen M. Wyman

Candidate: State Senate, district 5

The candidate’s, my, blog:

The candidate’s website:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why BlueBoomerHD?

The time has come to explain the name of my blog: BlueBoomerHD. HD is HeavyDuty, an alias used since my father-in-law gave me that nickname, shortly after we met. Blue is referring to the disappointment felt when contemplating the actions of my generation, the BabyBoomers.

Our parents worked, sacrificed and saved to make the nation, and the world, a better place than it was when they became the responsible adults of their generation, as their parents (our grandparents) had in their time.

When the Boomers came of age we noted that we were inheriting a nation that was quite probably as rich and powerful as any in history. Too many of us recognized that that treasury could pay for many a fine party, and that we had the capacity to do some serious butt-kicking. Altogether too often, when we wanted to, that is what we did.

That is why President Obama won the most recent Nobel Peace Prize, because he was not W. The new administration is engaging the rest of the world in a non-threatening manner that had been so lacking in the prior administration.

Many in my generation view the wealth and power we inherited as just the way it ought to be, and take these things for granted! There’s no time to consider that what’s been given us requires responsible operation and maintenance. To say nothing of creating, planning, installing, operating and maintaining what will come next. These are the boring details! Ignore them long enough and these boring details will come back to haunt us and our descendants (you know: kids, grandkids, etc…).

There are some in our generation who want very much to rectify what has been done, and get back to the legacy of, “leaving a better world!” I’m Blue now, but I’m not going to let the circumstances that made me this way stand the test of time.

Feel free to join me. As long as we draw breath there is hope!