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Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Shame on You

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[Cross-posted at Sunshine State Sarah]

Since starting my blog, I’ve regularly engaged in research of online videos regarding Florida politicians and political topics. It’s been an easy way to stay on top of the latest current events, very educational…and occasionally eye-opening.

It takes only a short amount of time watching videos before themes start to appear.

We all know that Marco Rubio and Allen West are great, passionate speakers, but I’ve also learned a lot watching Cliff Stearns lead oversight committee hearings and give interviews regarding fiscal issues. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is heavily involved in South Florida community activities, as well as being a strong and courageous advocate on national security issues.

Then – sigh – there’s Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Florida Democrat e...

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Wasserman Schultz is well-known for her opinionated nature, and a personality that her supporters probably view as tough and feisty, but I honestly often find to be shrill and annoying. (See, for example, her whining in February that Republicans needed to stop using the term “ObamaCare.”)

Well, during the last few months, I’ve noticed a theme in Wasserman Schultz’s videos. When she’s not tossing childish insults at Republicans, she loves to talk about her friends – correction, Wasserman Schultz loves to talk about one of her friends – Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who, as you know, is recovering from a gunshot wound to her head from the Tucson shooting.

Immediately after the horrifying events of January 8th, many members of Congress gave interviews where they shared stories about Giffords, how much they enjoyed working with her, how very well-liked she is, how they were praying for her recovery, etc.

Giffords’ continued improvement is nothing short of miraculous. For the most part, the media has backed off and left her and her family in peace to focus on her treatment. In the past few months, I’ve pretty much only seen stories about Giffords when the family has officially released a statement.

However, for some reason, Debbie Wasserman Schultz cannot seem to help hurling herself in front of a camera to talk about Giffords. Google for yourself and see how many interviews she has given on the subject. In my opinion, the frequency with which Wasserman Schultz continues to talk about Giffords seems odd and inappropriate, if not downright creepy. I can’t help but get the sinking feeling that Wasserman Schultz is showing something bordering on enthusiasm in discussing her injured friend.

This video, posted on March 18th, is the one that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVgzJDQ9Tm0[/youtube]

This video is labeled as a “video update” on Giffords but it’s really a campaign fundraiser. Yes, a fundraiser: the link requests contributions to Giffords’ reelection campaign account and also to a fund that supports other Democrat Congressional candidates. I can’t be the only one who finds this in horribly poor taste.

To draw in sympathetic viewers who are concerned about Giffords’ recovery, and then ask for campaign contributions…well, that just seems sick.

I don’t know any of these people personally, and I’m not going to question the authenticity of the claimed friendship, but for crying out loud, I can’t ever imagine using a friend’s injury as a conversation starter to ask for a campaign donation!

Remember, they are not asking for contributions for medical care for Giffords, or anyone else injured on January 8th. They are not asking you to help other victims of violent crime, orphaned children in war-torn countries. They are not asking you to donate to save the rainforest or abandoned puppies. They are asking for money for political campaigns. WTF.

Ignoring for the moment the completely disgusting effort to use Giffords’ injury to elicit donations for other candidates, if I analyze this situation as a political consultant, I just cannot see how there is any urgency to fundraise for Giffords’ campaign at this point. There are many more risks in looking crass and attempting to profit from tragedy, as well as being unable to satisfy worries that Giffords may not be up to running for office again yet.

Whether or not Giffords runs for reelection is not a question that needs to be answered right now, and it shouldn’t be. She has many months to go before that decision must be made, and I am sure that if she reaches the point in her recovery where she does want to run for reelection, the announcement will be national news and contributions will pour in from all over the country. Giffords’ 2012 campaign, if it happens, will be easily and quickly funded.

Moreover, as much as I smile every time I get called a “Republican operative” or “partisan hack,” I think that the Republican Party ought to just let Arizona’s 8th Congressional District go…unless Giffords decides not to run for reelection. I’m not going to grant hand-me-down sympathy to an open seat, but if Giffords decides she wants to run for reelection, I don’t see any benefit to running someone against her. Frankly, I also can’t see any chance of a Republican victory for that seat. It would be a complete waste of money and – fair or not – make the Republican candidate running against Giffords look like a heartless jerk.

As for Wasserman Schultz, I’ll be cheering for anyone and everyone running against her. I hope she gets a serious primary challenger, and I hope whoever becomes the Republican nominee just knocks the stuffing out of her at the ballot box. Excuse me and my violent rhetoric, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been an embarrassment to my state for a long time, and her shocking behavior attempting to turn the attack on Gabrielle Giffords into political profit ought to be the last straw for South Florida voters.

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Wealth is not Created at the Top: It is Only Devoured There

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The UK has left the EU and we can argue about the minutiae of Wealth until we’re blue in the face. But the overriding factors are apparent and in one of the richest countries in the world it is shocking that so many people can’t even be sure if they are going to be able to eat enough today or provide for their loved ones.

These days, politicians from the left to the right assume that most wealth is created at the top. By the visionaries, by the job creators, and by the people who have “made it”. By the go-getters oozing talent and entrepreneurial-ism that are helping to advance the whole world – Opinion by 

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… across the spectrum virtually all agree that wealth is created primarily at the top and so entrenched is this assumption that it’s even embedded in our language. When economists talk about “productivity”, what they really mean is the size of your paycheck. And when we use terms like “welfare state”, “redistribution” and “solidarity”, we’re implicitly subscribing to the view that there are two strata: the makers and the takers, the producers and the couch potatoes, the hardworking citizens – and everybody else.

Bankers, pharmaceutical giants, Google, Facebook … a new breed of  rentiers are at the very top of the pyramid and they’re sucking the rest of us dry

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In reality, it is precisely the other way around. In reality, it is the waste collectors, the nurses, and the cleaners whose shoulders are supporting the apex of the pyramid. They are the true mechanism of social solidarity. Meanwhile, a growing share of those we hail as “successful” and “innovative” are earning their wealth at the expense of others. The people getting the biggest handouts are not down around the bottom, but at the very top. Yet their perilous dependence on others goes unseen. Almost no one talks about it. Even for politicians on the left, it’s a non-issue.

To understand why, we need to recognise that there are two ways of making money. The first is what most of us do: work. That means tapping into our knowledge and know-how (our “human capital” in economic terms) to create something new, whether that’s a takeout app, a wedding cake, a stylish updo, or a perfectly poured pint. To work is to create. Ergo, to work is to create new wealth.

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But there is also a second way to make money. That’s the rentier way: by leveraging control over something that already exists, such as land, knowledge, or money, to increase your wealth. You produce nothing, yet profit nonetheless. By definition, the rentier makes his living at others’ expense, using his power to claim economic benefit.

But here comes the rub. Most rentiers are not as easily identified as the greedy banker or manager. Many are disguised. On the face of it, they look like industrious folks, because for part of the time they really are doing something worthwhile. Precisely that makes us overlook their massive rent-seeking…

CONTINUE READING HERE:

The problems we face are that the politicians are firmly in the hands (pockets) of the uber wealthy. We live in a corporate plutocracy and those holding all the wealth and therefore power have no intention of changing the status quo, even if it isn’t sustainable. They remind me of bacteria (or cancer) devouring the host body more and more even though eventually it will kill them too.

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Donald Trump Forgets Important Lesson From Grandad:

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Harper’s Magazine reprints an interesting letter from US President Donald J. Trump’s own grandfather that may get you thinking. Here is it then:

The Emigrants – By Friedrich Trump – From a letter written in 1905 by Friedrich Trump, Donald Trump’s grandfather, to Luitpold, prince regent of Bavaria. Trump had been ordered to leave Bavaria for failing to complete mandatory military service and to register his initial emigration to the United States twenty years earlier.

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Prince Luitpold rejected Trump’s request for repatriation; the family later settled in New York. Translated from the German by Austen Hinkley.

Most Serene, Most Powerful Prince Regent! Most Gracious Regent and Lord!

I was born in Kallstadt on March 14, 1869. My parents were honest, plain, pious vineyard workers. They strictly held me to everything good — to diligence and piety, to regular attendance in school and church, to absolute obedience toward the high authority.

After my confirmation, in 1882, I apprenticed to become a barber. I emigrated in 1885, in my sixteenth year. In America I carried on my business with diligence, discretion, and prudence. God’s blessing was with me, and I became rich. I obtained American citizenship in 1892. In 1902 I met my current wife. Sadly, she could not tolerate the climate in New York, and I went with my dear family back to Kallstadt.

The town was glad to have received a capable and productive citizen. My old mother was happy to see her son, her dear daughter-in-law, and her granddaughter around her; she knows now that I will take care of her in her old age.

But we were confronted all at once, as if by a lightning strike from fair skies, with the news that the High Royal State Ministry had decided that we must leave our residence in the Kingdom of Bavaria. We were paralyzed with fright; our happy family life was tarnished. My wife has been overcome by anxiety, and my lovely child has become sick.

Why should we be deported? This is very, very hard for a family. What will our fellow citizens think if honest subjects are faced with such a decree — not to mention the great material losses it would incur. I would like to become a Bavarian citizen again.

In this urgent situation I have no other recourse than to turn to our adored, noble, wise, and just sovereign lord, our exalted ruler His Royal Highness, highest of all, who has already dried so many tears, who has ruled so beneficially and justly and wisely and softly and is warmly and deeply loved, with the most humble request that the highest of all will himself in mercy deign to allow the applicant to stay in the most gracious Kingdom of Bavaria.

Your most humble and obedient,

Friedrich Trump

… Well then. Long ago, yes.. Still applies? You tell me.

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