The Jefferson Tree - A platform for debate and discussion of current events and politics...

Palestine Borders and Demographics Prove to be A Ghetto

Thanks to a good idea given to me by my partner here at STL, I started to research and analyze some geographic information regarding the Jewish land-grab in Palestine. I then followed by studying some demographic info on the Gaza Strip and drew some interesting conclusions. Here’s what I found: First, some great maps over at Wikipedia with adjoining historical context info and links portraying the boundaries of Palestine/Israel since the 1916 Sykes-Picot Agreement (The linked information could have you reading ...

Social Protest Lit: Ebenezer Elliot, “The People’s Anthem”

A poem from Ebenezer Elliot entitled The People’s Anthem from Book IV called “Out of The Depths.” This chapter is focused on man’s pursuit of remedy for social injustice: When wilt thou save the people? O God of mercy! when? Not kings and lords, but nations! Flowers of the heart, O God, are they! Let them not pass, like weeds, away! Their heritage a sunless day! God save the people! Shall bring crime for ever, Strength aiding still the strong? Is it thy will, O Father? That man shall toil for wrong? “No!” ...

Stephen Moore’s Ridiculous Anti-Clean Energy Rant

Hard right-winger Stephen Moore took a break from pushing debunked trickle-down economic policies to take a pathetic shot at clean energy.  Let the stupid begin. …radical Greens, one of the most influential political forces in America today… Seriously?  He goes on to mention the famed Sierra Club as one of these forces.  And where did they rank in 2013 on lobbying: 755.  In fact, if we look at the top 50 interest groups giving to members of Congress this year, no sign ...

Anti-Israel Policies/Actions Is Not Anti-Semitsim

There have been growing protests in Europe against the mass murder of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by the State of Israel. These actions are in response to the IDF killing 500 Muslims there with the vast majority of them being civilians. But what is troubling about these movements is, according to this article in the NYT, an anti-Semitic tinge has taken place at these protests. The story reads that in France: Several recent pro-Palestinian demonstrations in Paris have boiled over ...

Warren For President?

Today at the the annual Netroots Nation conference in Detroit, the nation’s largest gathering of liberal activists and organizers, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) reportedly drew an applause that Hillary could only dream of. According to NYT and Politico reports, Warren was a rock-star while Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic candidate for President, was absent. Warren’s populist talking points and her history of taking Wall Street to task (remember that Warren was an early advocate for the creation of a new Consumer Financial ...

Social Protest Literatue at Sparking The Left

Here at STL we are starting a new feature. In between our political-insight posts, I will start publishing excerpts or entire pieces of great literature that speak to crucial social and political issues which span the centuries. Though almost all in the Western tradition, the subject matters are transcendental. Now first to name my source, I am taking pieces from Upton Sinclair’s selected and edited collection “The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Great Social Protest Literature of All Time.” ...

Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Detained for Being Undocumented

I was first brought aware of Jose Antonio Vargas’ story last week in a piece he penned in Politico. He explained that he was in the Rio Grande Valley, in the city of McAllen, just north of the Mexican border. He was there to see first hand the tens of thousands of undocumented children, most of them from Central America, and observe how they were being treated. The trip was also used for a news conference appearance and vigil organized by United We Dream, ...

GOP Refuses Funding for Border Children Projects

A humanitarian crisis unseen before at our borders is becoming more and more urgent everyday at Rio Grande Valley, TX, and other Southwest locations. And yet the GOP is arguing over numbers. Yesterday President Obama requested an amount of $3.7 billion from Congress to help aid the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who illegally crossed the border from the Mexico side since October. They are mostly from violence-ridden Central American countries, like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Honduras has the world’s highest murder ...

Selective Outrage

War is hell.  All we have to do is look around the world to see its toll.  That being said, I don't understand the lack of outrage coming from this President and his administration other than that aimed at our one ally - Israel which is doing no more than trying to protect it's people from rocket fire and constant raids from Hamas. The fact that Palestinian civilians are getting killed is a tragic yet unavoidable aspect of this war.  Why ...

Why Are We So Full Of Hate?

What has happened to human kind?  No matter where you look we find ourselves surrounded by a world filled with hate. What puzzles me is how it's combined with political correctness.  Take this country where so many words are now frowned upon and even forbidden because they are hurtful to certain people.  Redskins, squaw, savage plus a whole lot applying to blacks, orientals and hispanics not to mention middle easterners.  Has it dawned on anyone banning the names has done nothing ...

Has Putin Over Reached Once Too Often?

My, oh my.  We've watched this man make mince meat of Obama over the past several years.  Each time you could see the smirk broaden and the swagger get more pronounced. He and his allies - Iran, China, Syria and North Korea were truly enjoying themselves. But as happens with a lot of bullies, they get over confident and suddenly everything around them collapses. I'm wondering if this is the case with the downing of the Malaysian passenger jet. With the death ...

If Only It WERE The Heat!

What a day.  A passenger plane has been shot down over Ukraine uncomfortably close to the Russian border. Hamas reneged on the humanitarian cease fire so Israel launched their ground offensive. Children still pour across the border while Congress dithers. It's now being reported parents are giving them birth control in case they are raped during the journey. Along that line former member of Congress, Todd Aiken, who once talked about legitimate rape and the idea that women's bodies protected them from becoming ...

Hannity's Histrionics

For a person who doesn't have much faith in the intellect of pundits, I wonder why I watch them so often.  I wonder even more why the cable outlets and networks that employ them don't take more care in who they hire. Many of them get on crusades that bear no resemblance to reality.  Sean Hannity is one of the most prominent. The night before last  he was on his Bowe Bergdahl kick demanding to know why he was returned to ...

Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?

If the President could run away from the border mess any faster I'm sure he would. It's being said it's because being seen in the setting of kids crammed into confined spaces with their scabies and lice would reflect badly on him.  It could even be his Katrina.  Well, maybe.  But who's fault is that? It goes to show his handlers aren't as smart as they think they are.  For one, drinking beer and shooting pool in Colorado, a state where ...

The Kids Always Went Home

Watching the immigration mess going full bore brought to mind a lot of things that have involved children from other nations.  The first thing that comes to mind is the Disney song It's a Small World After All that speaks to all we have in common. Hopes, dreams, all the warm fuzzy stuff. We've had exchange student programs where a student from another country lives with a local family to learn not only academics but what life in American and Americans ...

The Militia Is Coming, The Militia Is Coming!

That's all we need! News has it a call has gone out for militia, both unarmed and armed, to gather along the border to help private land owners protect their property in something called Operation Save Our Borders.  Terrific! Remember how well it went when militia turned out to help to  help Cliven Bundy in his fight over Federal grazing rights in Nevada?  It came within a hair's breadth of turning violent. I really feel for the border towns who are the ...

We have the greatest opportunity the world has ever seen, as long as we remain honest -- which will be as long as we can keep the attention of our people alive. If they once become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, judges and governors would all become wolves. Thomas Jefferson
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John Liming - American Liberal Times

Congress won’t get cost of living increase for fiscal 2014!


The new bill to reopen the government is as remarkable for what it does not contain as what it does:

We know now that in the sparse 35 pages of the bill to reopen the government – – – can you imagine something passed by Congress that is only 35 pages long?  I think that is a miraculous accomplishment all by itself. – – – but anyway . . . in the 35 pages of the bill to reopen the government there are a lot of good things:

Among the good things are reported to be money to help People in Colorado who have been victims of some pretty bad floods lately and money to help people who have suffered losses because of those big wildfires in California and everywhere that we have been watching on the news lately.

Then there is some money to help the Veterans Administration get caught up on some of the backlog of claims that had been building up.  Being a Vet myself, I really think this is a good thing!  We really need to pay more attention to doing what is best for our Veterans!  I think we might have done better than we have in this regard – – – a lot better!

I know a lot of those furloughed Federal Workers are going to be happy about the fact that the bill authorizes them to get their back pay for the time they were off work because of the shutdown.  I spoke to one computer programmer who works at a local Air Force Base where I live and he was very happy about this news.

There is something missing from the bill, however and I think it deserves a little mention here:

According to what I have been reading on various news sites, the members of Congress will not be getting any cost of living increases for the fiscal year 2014.

I cannot help but wonder how that item slipped by?

If you are wondering where I read that, it was in an article from “Reuters” entitled, “Bill To Spare U.S. Economy From Debt Crisis Also Delivers Favors.”

You can look it up and read it if you want to but I don’t have permission to link to “Reuters.”

It is interesting to me to note that in order to get to this bill I am talking about here, it cost us a shutdown of government and $24 billion dollars in taxpayer money too! – – - HERE.

I guess if what I have read in the past is anywhere near the truth, Congress hasn’t gotten any raise in their pay for the last four years.   Of course I am wondering how some of them can afford to live on the wage that reportedly approximates $174-thousand dollars a year in this tough economy in which we find ourselves?

Personally I have had to live on one-tenth that amount in my relatively uneventful life and I thought I was having it hard.

But maybe it isn’t all that bad about Congress not getting a cost of living increase for 2014 – – – did I hear somewhere that many of them are already wealthy to begin with?

Oh well – – maybe they can vote themselves an increase sometime soon.  While they are at it, I hope they vote an increase for me and my Fellow Americans too.

Or maybe we could all follow the old Right Wing formula of going out and using our self-sufficiency to bring our financial status up to that of the Congress.

If anyone out there has suggestions on how to do this and how to get the taxpayers to pay for it, I am all ears!

Picture above is from “FLICKR” and is used on this blog article via provisions of a CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE.

John Liming - American Liberal Times

Author: John Liming - American Liberal Times

I am an American Man, 72-years-old, and a Veteran of The U.S. Military. I have served honorably in both The United States Army (National Guard) and The United States Air Force for a total of seven years and three months active duty during what is now known as The Vietnam Era. I am a concerned citizen and refer to myself as "A Crazy Left Wing Liberal Nut Case with occasional Right Wing Conservative tendencies. I am particular fearful that we might get to the point, in our internal power struggles where we would be a One Party Nation.

7 comments to Congress won’t get cost of living increase for fiscal 2014!

  • Your article lis exclusively focused on the Congress, you seemed to overlook the wealthy amongst the Senate. As an example how did Harry Reid a lifetime public servant accumulate a net worth estimated to be in the range of $10 Million. Read about his tactics here

  • You got something against people being successful have you?

  • Just curious how he accomplished it on the pay of a civil servant, based on some of the apparently shady deals he was involved in all Americans should be equally curious. Or does he get a pass as a Democrat

  • Albrecht Schäfer Albrecht Schäfer

    This kind of partisan mudslinging isn’t helping anyone. We should stick to the content of the article and work with that.

    If I were to give a content-related comment, I’d say that it is imperative that a new budget that raises revenue and cuts spending be passed in order to prevent a deficit increase and help us reduce the debt. Some debt is good, but not $16.7 trillion

  • Albrecht,
    The reality is that Americas politics are partisan by nature, the nation is a two party one for all intents and purposes. Unfortunately some individuals take that to heart to the point that one of their own can do no wrong. This is the real problem. Harry Reid is a power hungry bum who has used his position to feather his own nest, on the other hand the Republicans have their fair share of crooks as well. I defend nor support either party as a whole.

    If Americas financial woes are to be solved it will not be by the likes of Harry Reid or Barrack Obama, spending under the current administration is at an all time high with the debt growing as much under this President as it did under all previous Presidents combined. Now some like to blame Bush for that, but we are 5 years and a bit into Obama’s presidency and there are no signs of the bleeding slowing down. When does thus guy plan to take responsibility? Better yet will the next President blame Obama or continue to point at Bush.

    The country needs leadership and hard choices, choices that will most likely not be popular. The fact is that the United States takes in all the revenue it needs to run the country, however toss in hundreds if not thousands of boondoggles like Solyndra , Lifeline, or and the money is squandered pretty quickly.

    What the American political system has become is an out of control leviathan attempting to control it subjects from cradle to birth, while those at the top improve their own lot in life. Unfortunately the alternative to a limited government is unlimited government, something that America is well on the way to having.

  • while those at the top improve their own lot in life. – - – and this is done never-failingly at the expense of everyone who is not on top – - something like in a country run by Royalty where the elite have all the wealth and everyone else in the country are serfs whose only acknowledged purpose is to serve the whims of the ruling class to keep them rich and to make them richer. A kind of feudalism if you will but more refined. A little bit like France just prior to the revolution or Czarist Russia before the storming of the winter palace.

  • John,
    There is a big difference between accumulating wealth through diligence, risk, and hard work in private industry versus a public servant using their position and inside knowledge of government workings to benefit financially. One is the “American Way” the other is unethical and criminal. I certainly hope for your sake that you can see the difference. As I have stated to you many times in the past, you don’t have to die on the sword for your party, if someone in it is doing wrong you can admit it. In fact if you truly support a party it is your duty to flush out the bad apples before they rot the entire barrel. Tell me, how seriously would you take a Republican that refused to admit any wrong doing on the part of Richard Nixon?

    If Harry Reid’s wealth was honestly acquired he should be forthcoming about that and release the information. After all wasn’t he the guy that stated ” he heard the Mitt Romney didn’t pay his taxes” and then when questioned on it further stated that ” it wasn’t up to him to prove the Mr Romney hadn’t paid taxes, it was up to Mr Romney to prove he had”.

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