Is John Boehner really the most “do-nothing” Speaker of the House in history?

June 12th, 2015

gavel1As we look at John Boehner and what he has accomplished as speaker, or rather not accomplished, I believe he is the most “do-nothing” Speaker of the House in history. Recently he opened the 114th Congress by using more taxpayer dollars to call for the repeal of Obamacare/Affordable Care Act…again, for the 56th time!

Is Boehner right? Should Obamacare/ACA be repealed? Maybe. However, in the five years the Republicans have had to work on a replacement or suggestions for the ACA, they have come up with nothing but a nine page document that neither funds healthcare nor tells how many people it would serve.

Some facts Boehner should consider:

Fact 1: Millions of Americans have signed up for the ACA. If repealed, millions would lose their health insurance. Any serious illness would cause many people to face bankruptcy or death because of lack of care.

Fact 2: Insurance companies are for the ACA because their profits have increased substantially since it was signed into law. In addition, hospitals that were going bankrupt because people couldn’t pay their bills are now becoming more financially stable.

Fact 3: Many Republican governors are beginning to see the value of supporting the Medicaid Expansion and the ACA.

Some facts voters should consider:

Fact 1: Prior to the passage of the ACA, (December 10, 2008) Boehner bought numerous health insurance company stocks, including tens of thousands of dollars in Cardinal Health, Cigna, and Wellpoint, according to Peter Schweitzer, author of Throw Them All Out: How Politicians and Their Friends Get Rich Off Insider Stock Tips, Land Deals, and Cronyism that Would Send the Rest of Us to Prison. Boehner also purchased shares in the Big Pharm companies Amgen, Johnson & Johnson, Forest Labs, Covidien, and Pfizer.” At least two of those stocks — Cardinal Health and Wellpoint — are up over 100 percent since Boehner’s investment. Pfizer is up over 50 percent. None of the stocks is down.[1] This “insider trading” was considered illegal, but Congress struck down that law for them.

Fact 2: He has voted to repeal the ACA numerous times, tried to sue Obama when ACA was not implemented fast enough and now is threatening to sue Obama again.

Fact 3: As leader of the House, he has not shown that he can lead. Boehner cannot bring his caucus together nor get any reasonable legislation passed. The Republicans continue to fight amongst themselves while the far right extremists inadvertently destroy the Party; and therefore our country’s two-party democracy.

Fact 4: Instead of sending a good budget to the Senate, Boehner sent a bill to secure our homeland with amendments that he knows won’t pass the Senate nor be signed by Obama. Through these actions he is jeopardizing our national security.

Fact 5: With Congress’ approval rating at 13 percent, his legacy is being tarnished by his continual groveling to lobbyists and rich donors, his total disregard for his Ohio constituents, and disregard for the needs of the country.

Fact 6: Boehner frequently golfs with lobbyists, and sleeps in a plush two-bedroom apartment rented for him by John Milne, a Beltway lobbyist. He has shown he will do anything to win an election and retain his position as speaker.[2]

Fact 7: He recently invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu to address Congress behind President Obama’s back. Boehner’s actions were out of line and could provoke a rift between Israel and America. While both Israel and the U.S. are opposed to the visit, it is still scheduled.

Fact 8: Boehner continues to say: “I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change…But, I am astute enough to understand that every proposal that has come out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy and killing American jobs.”[3] 98% of scientist disagrees.

Fact 9: A true effort put towards reversing the effects of climate change and global warming would increase jobs, decrease unemployment, and help the American economy. Building wind farms, doing research to discover new energy sources, etc. are just some of the ways jobs would be created.

Fact 10: Boehner along with other Republicans continue to block funding to rebuild our infrastructure. By blocking the funding, they are actually costing Americans good paying jobs while making the US less competitive in the world market. Republicans do not like to raise taxes but, as elected officials, the Republicans need to put what’s best for the country in front of their party mantra. A small gas tax would fund this project, not increase the deficit, and put millions to work.

Fact 11: In Boehner’s state of Ohio:

  • 42% of Ohio’s roads are in poor or mediocre condition.
  • Driving on roads in need of repair costs Ohio motorists $1.685 billion      per year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs – $212 per motorist.
  • 9.1% of Ohio bridges are      considered structurally deficient.
  • 15.9% of Ohio bridges are      considered functionally obsolete.
  • 45% of Ohio’s major urban      highways are congested      resulting in wasted time and additional fuel costs for motorists.[4]

You’ve now read through a series of facts. Did Ohio make the right choice when they elected Boehner? Is he really serving the people? Or, Is John Boehner really the most “do-nothing” Speaker of the House in history?

As a “Speaker of the House” is he helping our country by revisiting the same issues over and over rather than moving forward? As a “Speaker of the House” is he helping the country by trying to sue a two time elected President multiple times? As a “Speaker of the House” is he helping by interfering in world affairs? As a “Speaker of the House” is he helping by holding on to old Republican ideas rather than creating progressive ones?

We the people must demand more of our elected officials. We must vote for candidates that will work together and move our country forward rather than hold it back. Until then, expect more of the same from Boehner and his colleagues.



[1] BOMBSHELL: John Boehner Busted in Major Corruption Scandal, Conservative Tribune, January 6, 2015

[2] The Crying Shame of John Boehner: He’s a lazy, double-talking shill for corporate interests. So how’s he going to fare with the Tea Party?,Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stones, January 5, 2011, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/matt-taibbi-the-crying-shame-of-john-boehner-20110105#ixzz3Qtbd3xVP

[4] 2013 Report Cart for America’s Infrastructure, Current Condition of Ohio Highways, Roads and Bridges, Ohio Roads & Bridges, Ohio construction Information Administration,  http://ocianews.com/ohio-roads-bridges/

 

Mitch McConnell, Really!

June 12th, 2015

oldman1Mitch McConnell failed on his pledge to make Obama a one-term president, but he did succeed in obstructing the passage of many bills that would have grown the economy and helped the American people. Since 2007, McConnell has used the filibuster 413 times as minority leader. Despite the Republican Party’s roadblocks, our economy has been growing: there has been declining unemployment, lower gas prices, a soaring stock market, and a decreasing deficit.  McConnell, however, credits these accomplishments to the newly elected Republicans even though they have only been in office for a few weeks. Really Mitch!

Due to poor voter turnout the Republicans took control of both houses and McConnell finally got the power he so desperately craved. He savors his new title: majority leader of the Senate. Now he has the chance to use his power to show Americans that he can lead, govern, and accomplish things as Harry Reid did. Now he has the chance to work together with Obama and live up to his campaign promises of compromise and moving America forward.  Unfortunately, his actions are proving otherwise.

Mitch immediately started to chip away at women’s reproductive rights, to take healthcare away from the needy, to oppose raising the minimum wage, to continue to gut voters’ rights, to dismiss immigration reform, to repeal bank regulations, and to contest jobs bills and infrastructure repairs.

He, like many Republicans, still wants to keep their own constituents from getting healthcare, while Congress enjoys a “Cadillac” policy. Even though Kentucky Governor Beshear has confirmed that more than 500,000 residents have taken advantage of Kynect, the healthcare program funded by the ACA (or Obamacare), McConnell blatantly lied to voters saying they could keep Kynect even if he repealed the ACA. His hatred for Obama far exceeds his love of his fellow Kentuckians.

Mitch also wants to take away Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, a livable wage, and veteran benefits. Why doesn’t he want to help the poor and close the growing income gap amongst the American people? Unlike most employees, Congress sets their own salary, raises, vacations, and job description, rather than their bosses — the voters.

If he and other Republicans think a family can live on the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, which amounts to approximately $15,000 a year for a fulltime worker, then I suggest we cut their pay to that amount. Think of all the money the country would have if Congress and their staff all made just $7.25 an hour?

In addition, McConnell continues to block infrastructure policies that even include fixing disastrous roads and dangerous bridges in his own state. He is preventing millions from working. Instead he supports the construction of the Keystone Pipeline with full knowledge that it is environmentally dangerous, doesn’t create but a handful of jobs, and the U.S. doesn’t even get the oil. The country takes on all of the risks with the pipeline, but none of the rewards. The rewards go to individual oil and gas lobbyists, oil barons like the Koch Brothers, and senators like McConnell.

Furthermore, Mitch doesn’t support theories on climate change because in his words, “he is not a scientist.” He chooses not to read briefs on the climate, listen to reports from meteorologists, or watch the extreme weather patterns that are currently emerging. In a recent study, more than 10,800 scientists said that the global warming we are experiencing is manmade. Two disagreed. The Republican Congress, Mitch, and the potential Republican presidential candidates’ actions (or rather inaction), all support big oil as opposed to our planet, ocean life, and drinking water.

Mitch McConnell told the voters he would compromise on the campaign trail but, has not budged since he has been elected. Instead of embracing and building on Obama’s policies, where the U.S. has experienced 58 months of continued economic growth, Mitch wants to revert back to the policies under George W. Bush. Has he forgotten that those policies collapsed our economy?

Like many Republicans, Mitch disregards the wishes of those who put him in office. They gerrymander districts, suppress voting rights, and continue to support Citizen United rather than repeal it. These steps insure their continued reelection and the flow of unlimited campaign funds from a few billionaires.

Due to poor voter turnout in 2014, the Republicans took control of both houses. In 2016, if Democrats stay home and do not come out to vote, they might lose the Presidency too.

 

Republicans Control both Houses of Congress; Democrats the Presidency: So What Does the Future Hold?

June 12th, 2015

capitol1After the 2008 election, Republicans vowed to do everything to obstruct President Obama and keep anything he supported from passing. When they lost again in 2012, they doubled down on this philosophy. Unfortunately for the country, this strategy, coupled with falsehoods about Democratic programs and the Democrats cowardly showing in 2014, Republicans now control both the House and the Senate.

The question facing Republicans now is what to do with this power. If they continue their obstruction and do nothing, they will not be able to shift the blame to Obama and the Democrats. If they yield to their conservative base, Obama will veto whatever they propose and two more years will pass with nothing being accomplished. If they work with Obama, their conservative base will rebel causing internal turmoil and damage to their brand going into the 2016 election.

On the other hand, the Democrats have to prove to their once loyal base, that they still stand for middle class values, job creation and strong financial reform. Their quietness in 2014 and lack of support for their president was a huge tactical error. As Obama angers the Republicans by passing immigration reform, opening diplomatic relations with Cuba and maybe vetoing the Keystone Pipeline, the Republicans have to prove they have workable ideas that will create jobs, improve the economy for everyone and that they can govern and get things done.

Thus far, they haven’t done that. The Republicans are once again trying to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits. They want to dismantle ACA funding, and are again attacking women’s health and choice issues. They plan to greatly reduce Homeland funding, except to send more troops to the border and deport all undocumented people. They want to cut the NASA budget to unworkable levels, have put no women in charge of any committees in Congress except administration, and want to again deregulate Wall Street so that taxpayers are on the hook for risky behavior, rather than the banks and brokers.  And they say, “This is the new Republican Party.” So what are they doing that is new and different? NOTHING. They continue to block, obstruct, lay off, deregulate, deprive the needy while assisting the wealthy, and pass nothing of significance like infrastructure measures or job bills.

To win the White House in 2016, each party needs a good candidate. While there are dozens being talked about in the Republican Party, only a couple would probably put up much of a fight. A total conservative like Ted Cruz or a bully like Chris Christie will only attract extremists, not a majority. Mitt Romney is a two-time loser; Rick Perry had an embarrassingly poor showing in 2012; and Jeb Bush has to disassociate himself from his very unpopular brother, and show that another Bush in the White House would not create a dynasty.

Rand Paul has to attract enough conservative voters to get through a primary. Marco
Rubio wants to be president, but his wishy-washy ways have endeared him to very few Floridians, let alone other states. Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum want to turn the government into a theocracy, not a democracy.  Donald Trump thinks he would be a great president, but he is in a very small minority who believe that.

Scott Walker might be a good candidate if labor unions don’t organize against him and the deficit he has grown in his own state with his radical ideas aren’t seen as a big negative. Dr. Ben Carson would like to be president, but the Republicans nominating a black man is highly unlikely.

Fearing Hillary Clinton will top the Democratic ticket, the Republicans have scrambled to come up with some potential female candidates such as Kelly Ayotte, Jan Brewer and Nikki Haley.

While Hillary will most likely be the Democratic nominee, Bernie Sanders is thinking of running as well. His middle class values, outspoken commonsense and experience will capture a lot of attention from far left Democrats, especially if he added Elizabeth Warren to the ticket.

With all those possibilities still pending, I have a couple of words of wisdom for both parties.

To Republicans: show the American people you can get things done that help them. Don’t block Obama, but find ways to compromise with him without adding unpassable amendments to otherwise good legislature. In other words, show some leadership, do your job and govern.

To Democrats: stand up for your values and with your president. Right now, I think the Democrats are broken, don’t stand for much, and are afraid of everything. My advice is to demonstrate a strong backbone, hold the Republicans accountable for their actions or inactions, and give Democrats a reason to vote in 2016.

What is America? A Republic? A Democracy? An Oligarchy? A Plutocracy? A Theocracy?

June 12th, 2015

constitution2I’m not sure what America’s form of government is anymore but, it is definitely not a democracy.

A Democracy provides every legal citizen of a certain age with the free and equal right to participate in a system of government that elects representatives of the people by the majority of the people, who promise to do the will of the people.

The Electoral College, gerrymandering, photo IDs and other voter suppression tactics are just some of the practices that keep America from being a democracy. In Bush vs Gore, the Supreme Court gave the election to Bush even though Gore received more than a half million more popular votes. When the person receiving the most votes isn’t the winner of the election, then that country is not a democracy.

A Republic is a form of government in which power resides with the people, and the government is ruled by elected leaders who govern according to laws designed to help citizens. If we believe this definition, then we are not a Republic because our elected leaders no longer rule by law or by what their constituents want. Instead, our officials rule by the wishes of corporations and billionaires.

An Oligarchy is a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes. Some American politicians seem to want this form of government. After the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Citizens United, the United States became a country where money replaced free speech and corporations replaced people. Today, average people have less rights and less control over their government. While big corporations and wealthy donors, along with Wall Street, are free to influence elections, write legislation and destroy our country for their own selfish and greedy interests.

America appears to be headed in the direction of Plutocracy. This form of government believes a society should be ruled by its wealthiest members. The Supreme Court has allowed a flood of money to buy our elections, rather than the will of the people. Income inequality is growing, the middle class is disappearing, and Republicans continue to block raising the minimum wage for hard working Americans. Women don’t make equal pay for equal work, and CEOs make insane compensation, while workers are pushed for greater productivity for less money. The rich are getting richer, while the poor are barely living paycheck to paycheck.

A Theocracy is a government ruled by or subject to religious authority. If those on the conservative right get their way, they will destroy the very foundation our ancestors died for. Our country was based on freedom of religion and the separation of church and state. But the recent Hobby Lobby case has blurred those lines. The Koch Brothers and others are funding local elections to school boards in order to establish a creationism curriculum vs an evolution or scientific explanation. They want their religious beliefs to be the basis for our laws and government.

Socialism is
an economic concept that advocates public ownership of all resources. The Republicans have accused President Obama of creating a socialist society. But by definition, that is false. Even the Affordable Care Act is not government owned, and is supported by independent insurance companies that are publically owned by shareholders, not the government. The government doesn’t own the resources in this country, private enterprises do. The government does play a role in our society by providing security (police, fire, military), infrastructure (roads and bridges), and education (pre-k thru 12th grade) for all children but, that is not socialism. It is just governing effectively and doing the job they were elected to do. In the last few Congressional sessions our elected officials failed to do their job and pass any meaningful legislation, but they didn’t fail to collect their government-issued paychecks.

A Welfare state is a concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. While we are not a welfare state, many Americans feel a strong obligation to help the less fortunate with needed assistance such as food stamps, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Many of these programs have been funded by the recipients. The majority of those receiving these benefits are disabled, veterans, the elderly, and the very poor, many of whom work one or more jobs but, still can’t afford necessities and medical care.

How can Americans continue to fight to spread democracy around the world, when much of the Republican agenda is taking freedom away from our own citizens?

I believe America needs to focus on uniting and reclaiming its own democratic form of government, before they impose “American ideology” on others.

 

 

The Presidents of Mount Rushmore: Could any of them win the election today?

June 12th, 2015

One of the nation’s renowned historic sites is Mount Rushmore, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It took 14 years to carve Mount Rushmore, cost just under a million dollars, and has nearly three million visitors a year. The four presidents whose faces are carved in this famous mountain are George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

The “Father of Mount Rushmore,” Doane Robinson, wanted to create an attraction that would draw people from all over the country to his state. He met with artist and sculptor Gutzon Borglum in 1924 and 1925 to discuss the project. Robinson then proceeded to work with President Calvin Coolidge, Congressman William Williamson, and Senator Peter Norbeck to gain support in Congress for the funding necessary to proceed. Congress agreed to match up to $250,000 to finance the endeavor.

Carving began in late 1927. Over 90% of Mount Rushmore was carved using dynamite, removing approximately 450,000 tons of rock. The finer details were done by jackhammer and hand chisels. In 1933, Mount Rushmore became part of the National Park Services. Borglum continued to work on the impressive monument until his death in 1941. The monument was dedicated on October 31, 1941.

The Four Presidents on Mount Rushmore are…

George Washington (1732-1799), our first president, is the most prominent figure on the mountain. Washington, considered the “Father of our Country” led colonists in the American Revolutionary War to win independence from Great Britain. Washington fought to insure our democracy. Today, that democracy is being threatened by extreme conservative ideology and radical politicians who want to serve only the elite at the expense of the masses. I wonder if Washington was on the ballot today, would he be elected?

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), our third president, purchased the Louisiana Territory from France in 1803. This land cost $15 million dollars and doubled the size of America. He authored the Declaration of Independence and laid the foundation for our democracy. Currently, organizations like Citizens’ United choose to circumvent Jefferson’s democratic process by allowing big donors to buy elections.

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), our 16th president, was determined to abolish slavery and preserve the union during the Civil War. He wanted our country to remain united and help African Americans get more rights. Unfortunately, today his Republican Party sees the country and the treatment of African Americans differently than him. They want to take rights away from them, including suppressing their right to vote. Lincoln would never win the nomination of his party in 2016.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th president, provided extraordinary leadership as the country entered the economic growth and challenges of the 20th century. He was instrumental in negotiating the construction of the Panama Canal that linked the east and the west. He was known as the “trust buster” for his tireless efforts to end large corporate monopolies and championed the rights of the common man. Today his Republican Party fights against laborers, women, raising the minimum wage and equal pay for equal work for men and women. Do you think he would be nominated in 2016? If so, do you think Roosevelt would accept the nomination and represent the current Republican Party values?

Who do you think Doane Robinson would have chosen for “Mount Rushmore” if it were being sculpted today? Do you think there are other presidents who are Mount Rushmore worthy?

I can think of several presidents who didn’t change the world but, accomplished a lot during their term. Franklin Delano Roosevelt implemented the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA). This act improved working standards by eliminating unfair competitive practices. It improved the workplace by creating uniform labor rules and business procedures including the minimum wage. The Fair Labor Standards Act eliminated unfair exploitation of children by establishing labor laws. FDR was also responsible for abolishing prohibition, creating the FDIC, and crafting the Civil Works Program which put many unemployed people to work repairing roads, parks, airports and other structures. Obama’s job program incorporated many of these work programs that would have spurred our economy as it did in FDR days, but the Republicans blocked it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s greatest single achievement was signing the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956. The Interstate System has been called the Greatest Public Works Project in History. It changed America by connecting millions of motorists by roadways, generating construction jobs, and providing better transportation for goods and services.

Lyndon B. Johnson was credit with creating the “Great Society” legislation, which included laws that upheld civil rights, public broadcasting, environmental protection, aid to education, and the eradication of poverty. He tackled poverty, specifically, by creating Head Start, food stamps, Work Study, Medicare, and Medicaid. He established the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts to support humanists and artists. He also signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In addition, Johnson appointed Thurgood Marshall, the first African American, to the Supreme Court.

John F. Kennedy asked Congress for $7-9 billion to fund a space program that would put a man on the moon and return him safely by the end of the decade. While he didn’t live to see it, his dream became a reality in 1969. In a delicate diplomat maneuver, Kennedy avoided a potential nuclear war with Cuba and Russia by establishing a naval blockade around Cuba. He also established the Peace Corp where 210,000 volunteers have served in more than 135 countries.

Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War and lessened communism‘s quest for world domination. He stood resolute against the Soviet Union, telling Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” in Berlin. He developed “Reagonomics” which value is fiercely debated between fiscally conservative Republicans and fiscally responsible Democrats. After cutting taxes numerous times, Reagan discovered that policy created deficits rather than spurring the economy. Additionally, he reauthorized the Voting Rights Act of 1965 for another 25 years, fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers who illegally went on strike, and appointed the first women, Sandra Day O’Connor, to the Supreme Court.

If a fifth president was added to Mount Rushmore, who do you think it should be?

Where are the Democrats and their values?

December 5th, 2014

donkeyIn the recent mid-term election, Democratic voters failed to show up at the polls. Who abandoned the party? The voters, the leaders or the candidates?

The answer: all of the above.

Who thought that it was a good idea for the candidates and current Democratic office holders to remain silent while the other party deliberately presented false information? Which party strategist thought that it was a good idea to remain silent and not to talk about Obama’s enormous accomplishments over the last six years? Who thought that it was a good idea for the Democratic leadership to remain silent and not to tell voters:

• That there was 55 months of job growth under Obama versus multiple years of job loss under Republican leadership

• That even though the economy is doing better, it isn’t doing as well as it could be because Republicans continually block job bills that could put millions back to work rebuilding America’s decaying roads, bridges, etc.

• That Democrats strongly support scientists and their work to stop the man-made destruction of our planet by controlling air and water quality, but the Republican Party does not even address the issue

• That Republicans want to proceed with their oil and gas donors’ plans to construct the Keystone Pipeline, even though it would damage the environment and have minimal job growth

• That the millions of people who have healthcare and access to doctors outside of the emergency room for the first time, would lose their coverage if Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act

• That Republican governors blocked Medicaid Expansion in numerous states, keeping their state from getting billions of federal dollars in addition to bankrupting many hospitals

• That Democrats are fighting for a minimum wage increase, while Republicans are opposing giving employees a raise

• That while Republicans say they want to lower the deficit, they consistently increase it under their leadership in contrast to Democrats who decrease it when in office

• That old white Republican men feel that controlling women’s health decisions, economic equality and family planning is their job, not the woman’s right

• That Democrats fight for the programs American citizens want and need such as Social Security and Medicare, while Republicans want to privatize them, and eventually eliminate them.

Just 36.4 percent of eligible voters, a 72-year low, decided our future for the next two to six years this past mid-term election. These decisions, made by only one-third of American voters, will enhance the lives of the top two percent of Americans, keep wages low, equality absent, and any worthwhile legislation from passing. Where were the other remaining two-thirds of Americans on election night?

It’s not surprising to me that the Democrats lost…they chose a losing strategy. But, I was surprised and disappointed by voter turn-out. Every adult American citizen must realize the importance of exercising their right to vote. Every adult American citizen must vote even if they believe their vote does not matter. A red state cannot turn purple without the addition of blue. This last election, only one-third of the country spoke. The majority were vocal, passionate conservatives who always come out to vote…rain or shine.

Many races were razor-thin victories; yet the Republicans boasted about how they were sent to Washington to pursue their conservative agenda. I don’t blame Republicans for savoring their win. I blame Democrats for surrendering the victory before the battle even began. Democrats conceded that it was a mid-term election with an unpopular president and rather than stand by him they took a “woe is me” attitude. What we need to remember, and remind the Republicans, is that Obama was sent to Washington by a far greater number of people.

And while the Democrats would have spent money helping grow the economy, the far-right Republicans are spending taxpayer dollars for a useless lawsuit against Obama, making laws they know Obama will veto, talking about impeaching him even though they know they can’t, and even thinking about shutting down the government again. They aren’t, however, making plans to pass anything that will actually help the country.

The Republicans didn’t win the 2014 mid-terms; the Democrats lost because of voter turn-out, apathy, poor leadership, ill-advised strategies, and most importantly, by not standing up for Obama and the Democrat Party’s principles.

The Republican Dictionary

October 29th, 2014

elephantAbortion: a∙bor∙tion n. Decision old white men think they should make rather than the pregnant woman, her family and doctor

Budget: budg∙et n. Something nobody in Congress wants to make, but everyone wants to talk about

Constitution: Con∙sti∙tu∙tion n. The most important document our country has because it contains the Second Amendment allowing militia groups and anyone else the right to have arsenals of weapons including assault rifles and large magazine clips anywhere they want

Compromise: com∙pro∙mise n. Accepting things you want, but not accepting anything else; getting 100% of what you want
Cooperation: co∙op∙er∙a∙tion n. Working solely with members of the Republican Party, especially Tea Partiers, to pass bills that only advance the Republican philosophy and agenda

Democracy: de∙moc∙ra∙cy n. Something America used to have, but that politicians are causing us to lose; increasing the power of the Republican Party to serve the job creators, not the takers, so they can restore our Republic

Democrat: Dem∙o∙crat n. A person whose political views don’t make sense and who shouldn’t be allowed to vote

Ebola: E∙bo∙la n. A deadly disease that politicians and the media are using to fear monger

Entitlements: en∙ti∙tle∙ments n. Programs like Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security that waste money, provide a safety net and cause dependency on welfare and government; creates laziness and focuses on veterans, the disabled and the elderly, rather than job creators

Equality: e∙qual∙i∙ty n. Giving rights and fair treatment to everyone who deserves it and believes as you do; Republicans know giving everyone equal rights is not a good idea

Facts: fact n. Statements the GOP often prefers to deny than believe

Fantasy: fan∙ta∙sy n. Imagining things that don’t exist, such as not having a black president

Forgetfulness: for∙get∙ful∙ness adj. Convenient lapses of memory such as when you forget who won the White House in the last two elections

Gender gap: gen∙der gap n.; Statistical differences in the votes of men and women that illustrate why women shouldn’t be allowed to vote

Government: gov∙ern∙ment n. A group of people elected to make laws and govern, but once in office, believe that less is better when it involves the environment, taxes, safety net programs, and job creation, but more is necessary when it involves women in the bedroom

Idea: i∙de∙a n. A thought; Republicans don’t need any new ones, they can keep using those of the past

IDs: IDs n. A legal way to claim fraud in a voting system that doesn’t have any; a way to suppress the vote of those who don’t agree with your message or views

Inequality: in∙e∙qual∙i∙ty n. Equality is socialism, so disparity is good for democracy

Infrastructure: in∙fra∙struc∙ture n. The large-scale public transportation system that just exists, therefore no one needs to finance projects to repair roads and bridges or create new ones

Law: law n. The principles set out in the Bible that should also be binding for our country

Liberal: A belief by the media and Democrats who think Ted Cruz, Stephen King or Louie Gohmert are wrong in their views

Logic: log∙ic n. Getting what I want, when I want it, regardless of the needs and wishes of others, is just commonsense

ringsMarriage: mar∙riage n. A union between one man and one woman…period

Math: math n. A creative budgeting system that can add two plus two, but not necessarily get four

Minorities: mi∙nor∙i∙ties n. Second class citizens who should be blocked from voting

Non-politician: non∙pol∙ti∙cian n. People, who are not elected, but who are big supporters of Republicans like Donald Trump, Ted Nugent and the Koch Brothers

NRA: NRA n. An organization that grades House members on their views on gun rights and gives most Republicans an A+

Obstructionist: ob∙struc∙tion∙ist n. Deliberately causing delays and impeding progress by Republicans like Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Ted Cruz so Obama can’t accomplish his agenda

Oligarchy: ol∙i∙gar∙chy n. When a small group of people control the government because they know what is best for everyone

Personhood: per∙son∙hood n. Acknowledging that more rights should be bestowed on a miniscule, second-old egg that may or may not become a human embryo than to an adult woman

Perspective: per∙spec∙tive n. Seeing things from only your own viewpoint because you know opinions of others who might disagree are wrong

Privatization: pri∙va∙ti∙za∙tion n. Transferring ownership from government run facilities to successful businessmen because they know better than the government how to run a business so it will make a profit for them and shareholders

Pro-Life: pro∙life adj. Mandating that women who are pregnant, regardless of the circumstances, give birth and get married so that there is a traditional family unit for the child
Republican: Re∙pub∙li∙can adj Republican Party; n. Someone who thinks they should rule America even if they have to rig the election to win; winning is what matters, not how you play the game

Scientist: sci∙en∙tist n. People who aren’t Republicans who know about climate change

Stupidity: stu∙pid∙i∙ty n. Whatever a Democrat or liberal media person thinks, not what someone like Joni Ernst, Sarah Palin or Michelle Bachman would say

Supreme Court: Su∙preme Court n. Highest court; ruling with purist ideology and proud of their conservative, versus constitutional, positions

Tantrum: tan∙trum n. What children do when they don’t get their way; filibuster is what Congress does

Taxes: tax∙es n. Amount of money a job creator has to pay to the government rather than being able to keep it and create more jobs

Theology the∙ol∙o∙gy n. Ruling America by religious principles and Christian ideals

Truth: truth n.; Statements conveying the way the GOP would like things to be; anything that will rally the base

Veterans: vet∙er∙ans n. People who are proud to fight wars for America’s democracy and who we take care of when they return by finally allocating more money to the VA

Voters: vot∙ers n. Anyone who is 18 can register and cast a ballot even if they aren’t qualified; voters should only be white men, married women, and those who believe in conservative values

Wage: wage n. Compensation for work that depends on the type of job you have–that is why CEOs should make more than 350 times what a worker makes

War: war n. Invading others for oil, to spread democracy, or to wipe out terrorists is okay

Welfare wel∙fare n. Money given to lazy people that gives them no incentive to work, while incentivizing corporations for their work is good business

NOTE: This dictionary contains mostly nouns and a few adjectives, but no verbs as the Republican Party takes no action.

Republican Governors Questionable Behavior

October 10th, 2014

vote2While some Republican governors’ behavior is criminal, others are morally and ethically wrong. Below are some of the choices made by our brilliant elected officials…

Hardworking California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger not only impregnated his wife with their fourth child, but also had an affair with his maid, Mildred Baena, and impregnated her.

In June 2009, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford simply disappeared for six days. A bewildered spokesman said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. But what he did was fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina to be with his mistress, Maria Belén Chapur. He elected to abandon his position without notice or communication with his office, for almost a week. Apparently some voters don’t think extramarital affairs are that bad. After his term as Governor ended, the voters chose to elect him to Congress to serve SC’s first district. What message are they sending by electing him again?

During the 2012 election cycle, Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett bragged about implementing a new voter ID law that would ensure Mitt Romney was elected president. Since then, he has done nothing to help PA’s economy, the law was overturned by a federal court, and Romney did not win the Presidency.

Florida Governor Rick Scott, who has been mired in corruption associated with his tenure as CEO of Columbia/HCA, cut education funding and a high speed rail project. He also publicly denied global warming and the impact it will have on his state. In spite of his unpopularity, he vowed to spend $100 million to hold onto his job…makes you question his motives?

Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan pushed through a “right to work” law in his union-dominated state and enacted a tough abortion bill – both laws passed in a lame-duck session in late 2012. I wonder: do laws that can only pass in a lame duck session really serve the people who elected them?

John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, ruled with conservative ideology that led to an unpopular law restricting collective bargaining rights for public workers. The restrictive law was subsequently overturned by Ohio voters.

In 2014, a number of Republican Governors faced problems

Governor Chris Christi’s “Bridgegate” involved the closure of the George Washington Bridge to get back at a political opponent. While this scandal hasn’t been directly linked to him…it makes one question how and why it happened under his rule.

Just this month, former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, was found guilty of 11 counts of bribery, fraud and corruption; his wife Maureen, guilty on eight counts. Convicted of accepting lavish gifts from businessman Johnnie Williams for political favors including Williams paying for their daughter’s wedding, going on shopping sprees together and borrowing his Aston Martin “James Bond car” for vacations.

While the GOP might love Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s actions against labor and unions, not everyone agrees. He is marred by prosecutor investigations for illegally coordinating with conservative groups, special interest groups and a campaign committee. Charges were brought against a major campaign donor, one of his appointees and three of Walker’s close aides were indicted on felony embezzlement charges.

In August, Texas Governor Rick Perry was indicted for one count of abuse of official capacity and one count for coercion of a public official. Perry, both ignorant and arrogant, when asked “what his charges were?” answered his question, with a question: “bribery?” Afterwards, he created t-shirts with his mug shot. Are these responses presidential?

Democrats aren’t saints either

Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy had a prolific and brilliant career. He was on the path to the presidency. But, when he was involved in the car accident and drowning death of Mary Jo Kopechne, he chose to leave the scene of the accident, and not report it until the next day.

In 1987, Gary Hart was the frontrunner to win the democratic nomination for president. Unfortunately, when his extramarital affair with model Donna Rice surfaced, that goal was unachievable.

John Edwards had dreams of being president, but poor judgment and sexual indiscretions crushed that ambition. Edwards, not only had an affair with filmmaker Rielle Hunter, as his wife was dying of cancer, but he fathered a child with her. Later, in an attempt to cover up an extramarital affair following his 2008 campaign, a North Carolina grand jury indicted Edwards in 2011 on six felony charges of violating multiple federal campaign contribution laws. Edwards admitted the affair, was found not guilty on one count, and the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining five charges.

Bill Clinton had his affair with Monica Lewinsky and Congressman Anthony Weiner texted unwanted photos of “his wiener” to multiple women.

New York’s Eliot Spitzer had at least seven liaisons with prostitutes over a six-month period. Investigators estimated Spitzer paid up to $80,000 for prostitutes over a period of several years, while serving as both attorney general and governor.

Maybe it’s time to stop voting for incumbents. Maybe it’s time to use a moral compass rather than a high-dollar portfolio to decide who we elect to office.

Inequality for All: The Republican Goal

September 8th, 2014

people1As inequalities increase in America over the next couple of decades, life for some will become bleak. Income inequality is just one aspect of the fight for inequality for all. It extends into inequality in education, healthcare, voting, wages, women’s rights and sexual orientation. If the Republicans have their way, the top 1% would control everything and everyone. The Koch Brothers would literally own much of the country, deciding on your kids’ education, your families’ healthcare and your future.

If these inequalities become the normal way of life in America, these actions will create an austere country in which the American Dream will be dead. It would be replaced by long work hours for little pay. No chance of advancement. Owning a home or sending your child to college would no longer be an option for most.

Free elections encouraging everyone to vote would be a memory, instead reverting to the days when only white, male landowners could vote. Originally, the U.S. Constitution did not define who was eligible to vote, allowing each state to make that determination. In the early history of U.S., most states allowed only Caucasian males—who either owned property or, had taxable incomes—to vote.[1]

With fewer well care programs and healthcare services available, people’s lifespan would decrease. More diseases would infect the previously healthy society, and slum conditions would spread contaminated conditions resembling third world countries.

How did we get to this point?

Elected officials and corporate CEOS need to realize that massive inequalities have consequences. By lowering taxes on the wealthy, not closing corporate loopholes, and allowing corporations to avoid paying taxes, government revenues will be depleted and government services will no longer be available.

Do we want to live in a country where there are inadequately staffed police and fire departments that aren’t able to control crime or destructive fires? Where libraries vanish, national and state parks become extinct and schools decline…a place where former middle-class neighborhoods, as well as shantytowns, become dilapidated.

The loss of the tax base will partially be caused by tax inversion schemes allowing companies to locate their headquarters in foreign countries to avoid taxes while enjoying the benefits of America. Today, one in four companies pays no taxes. Additionally, many large profitable corporations, such as GE, not only don’t pay taxes, but they actually get subsidies paid to them…with your tax dollars.

Business taxes now make up less than 10 percent of federal revenue, and in some years as little as 6.6 percent. That is sharply down from the years after World War II, when about 30 percent of federal revenue came from corporate taxes… Only 6 percent of businesses are traditional corporations subject to the corporate income tax, according to the Congressional Research Service. That is down from 17 percent in 1980. The result is that less than half of the government’s business income comes from corporations, down from about 80 percent in 1980.[2]

Between 1979 and 2010, real median income of 99 percent of Americans increased by a lowly 36 percent. During the same period, real earnings of the top 1 percent grew by an astonishing 280 percent. One-quarter of income growth in the United States from 1979 to 2010 flowed to the top 1 percent.

As the Republicans continue their war on labor, negotiating for better wages and conditions is eluding most workers. Higher salaries and benefits are flooding to executives, while workers, who are losing their unions and bargaining strength, are barely able to pay their mortgages.

As corporate executives bask in their wealth, they are failing to realize that without the multitude able to buy their products, their companies will falter. The stock market will eventually realize that sales are dropping, which will trigger a downward spiral to oblivion.

With nothing being spent on crumbling infrastructure, it becomes difficult to get from home to work to entertainment venues. Without roads and money, not enough people are buying automobiles, tires, batteries and gas. The automotive industry will collapse, and with it many other industries.

Inequality in income, education and personal freedoms will destroy America if it continues at its current pace. Republicans are fostering inequality in wages for women when they don’t support equal pay for equal work legislation. They are bankrupting the country when they don’t raise minimum wages so laborers can earn a living. As more and more Republican governors take funds from school budgets, schools are closing and textbooks are limited resulting in only the elite getting a world-class education.

Yet the so-called fiscally responsible Republicans have no problem spending money to send Americans to war, but they don’t want to take care of them or help them find work when they return. Showing no biases, they continue their stand on inequalities for all, including our wounded warriors.

Climate change is a scientific fact, but not to the far right. Legislation to help protect our planet and preserve it for our children is overridden by those who support big oil, drilling and fracking everywhere. Not concerned with tainting the water that nourishes crops and cattle, or annihilating a rural communities’ water supply, their only concern is feeding the big oil industry with more drilling. Inequality for many, oil profits for a few.

By continuing to cater to the rich who don’t want to impose reasonable regulations on Wall Street, Republicans continue to propel the injustices of the past. The corruption and the fraud that made the rich richer and collapsed our economy continues to be unrestrained. The lack of proper financial and labor regulations are two major reasons inequality is growing in America, not by small steps, but by leaps and bounds. Those people who were able to invest in the stock market the last five years, saw unprecedented profits; those who couldn’t, continue to struggle.

As the president works to level some of these inequities, the Republican Party threatens another costly government shutdown or wasting time and precious resources suing or impeaching Obama. Americans need to vote in 2014 to make sure these disastrous scenarios don’t come to pass.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_rights_in_the_United_States

[2]http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/08/28/businesses-find-ways-to-avoid-corporate-taxes-but-a-fix-seems-unlikely/

Sidebar

Top 10 Corporations with Inequality Income Disparities

McDonald’s average hourly worker wage: $7.73
McDonald’s CEO hourly compensation: $9,247 (1,196 times the average worker wage)

Starbuck’s average hourly worker wage: $8.79
Starbucks CEO hourly compensation: $9,637 (1,096 times the average worker wage)

Dollar General average hourly worker wage: $7.67
Dollar General CEO’s hourly compensation: $7,720 (1,007 times the average worker wage)

Gap Inc. average hourly worker wage: $8.67
Gap Inc. CEO’s hourly compensation: $8,209 (947 times the average worker wage)

T. J. Maxx average hourly worker wage: $7.85
T. J. Maxx CEO’s hourly compensation: $7,256 (924 times the average worker wage)

Target average hourly worker wage: $8.35
Target CEO’s hourly compensation: $6,882 (824 times the average worker wage)

Walmart average hourly worker wage: $8.86
Walmart CEO’s hourly compensation: $6,898 (779 times the average worker wage)

CVS Caremark average hourly worker wage: $8.81
CVS Caremark CEO’s hourly compensation: $6,777 (769 times the average worker wage)

Best Buy average hourly worker wage: $9.78
Best Buy CEO’s hourly compensation: $6,517 (666 times the average worker wage)

AT&T average hourly worker wage: $13.28
AT&T CEO’s hourly compensation: $7,412 (558 times the wage of an average worker)

http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/2013/1212/CEO-vs.-worker-pay-Walmart-McDonald-s-and-eight-other-firms-with-biggest-gaps/Best-Buy

Study by NerdWallet

The Republican Clown Car

September 8th, 2014

car1elephantcircusCongress, Everyone loves a circus! We are dazzled by the trapeze artists, awed by the elephants, amazed by the aerial acrobats and astonished by the high-wire daredevils. The clowns and clown cars always bring laughter and a smile to our faces, well, until now…

Today, when the words “clown car” are spoken you don’t think about Bozo or Ringling Bros., but rather Republicans thinking of running for president. Like the circus, the Republican clown car just keeps adding more and more clowns to it hoping to excite and attract audiences. Unfortunately, the clowns they are adding are Chris Christi, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Michelle Bachmann, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and the legendary Mitt Romney.

Similar to Barnum & Bailey, these disruptive Republican clowns are a constant driving force of the “show”. Their interruptions, pranks, and antics are unchanging and can be witnessed at every performance. But, beware of the “Tea Party” car. It’s running amuck, scaring the audience with radical moves, and putting everyone in danger.

Like touring circuses, our American circus also utilizes three rings — The Executive Branch, the Senate and the House. The main ringmaster, President Obama, stands in the center ring. Like former ringmasters, he wants to introduce, excite and describe activities happening in the other rings. But, when he sees the disarray in the “House” ring, the lack of showmanship and performance, he is unable to move the show forward for the American audience.

Speaker Boehner attempts to control the actions in his House ring, but the clowns have made the whole show a laughing spectacle. People from around the globe watch our circus and are amazed not by our aerial feats, but rather, the dysfunction of the House. While the circus infrastructure is crumbling, no one wants to invest or upgrade the equipment.

In our third ring, Senator Harry Reid has the majority of his group working to give the people what they want. But during his performances, a cowardly villain, Mitch McConnell, interrupts each act and ruins the show every chance he gets. Whenever a new act is introduced, he tries to block it from the show.

At each performance, he attempts to announce new acts, but is constantly challenged by his troupe. Each of America’s rings is meant to perform simultaneously and harmoniously. Our current circus show however, presents just the opposite.

This Republican circus is not entertaining and has cost the American people more than the price of their tickets. In touring circuses like Ringling Bros., trapeze artists are protected by safety nets. But in our American circus, the Republicans no longer want to provide a safety net for the poor or elderly. They don’t want to provide healthcare to their workers should one fall or become ill. They want to lower people’s wages and charge service fees so they can make even more money. If their performers can’t afford food, that’s too bad; they will just have to work harder and for longer hours. With big sponsors like the Koch Brothers, the owners don’t worry about their investment or if the show might close early.

The problem is that for most circuses, after a couple of weeks, they move on. But in our American Circus, the Republican ideology and clowning will stick around indefinitely unless we hire new performers who want the show to go on!