2014, a year closer to the end of America?

         The title may seem conspiracy like or even reactionary, but it is not far off base. If we honestly look at some of the things that transpired this year, you have to admit that this isn’t our parents America. The land we live in has fallen quite short of what I thought we were. But this is a disappointment I have gotten used to. Republican and Democrat blaming each other, while both are suckling Wall Streets teat. More insane nut bags threatening our “monkey” President Obama, because his skin color is bothering them. Conservatives pining for the time when white American men were the only people who mattered. Cops not just being bullies, but now shooting and killing unarmed black kids, then saying they felt threatened. Then trying to understand how an adult justifies shooting 12 times at someone running away, while my 10 year old daughter tells the grown up it is wrong. Cops using an illegal choke hold to kill a guy who was selling “loosey” cigarettes, only to hear more adults justify it. Then trying to explain to my 10 and 13 year old kids what is wrong with these people without calling them dumb. This list can go on and on. But seriously, what the hell is wrong with us?

            Everyone screams that things need to change, but when your voice is heard the majority sit home. The American society has failed. We are in general a weak and lazy group. Not all, as I said in general. To show our unhappiness we sit home, to show our social disobedience, we sit home. Sitting home and not participating seems to be the universal answer. America is the way it is because of US, WE THE PEOPLE CREATED THIS MESS. Our apathy has left a shell of a nation for my children. When we can change something, we do not because the devil we know is better then the devil we dont. Unfortunately we have left the fox in the henhouse, we stopped paying attention. Now everything seems corrupted, anyone with the tiniest bit of power has eaten the poison apple. Who cares, no one was watching them. Cops are beating black kids, don’t break the law. Killing black people, don’t break the law. But a black kills a white and all hell breaks loose. Politicians, even the ones where I live are under investigation for being corrupt.

           I love the freedoms I have but I have been negligent of my responsibilities as well. As a democracy, we are responsible for the actions of our representatives, we stopped telling them what to do because they quit doing it. If I stopped doing my job, I would get fired. CONGRESS SHOULD BE FIRED!!! 9% approval yet 94% reelected, what is wrong there. This apathy goes right into how people think. It is easy to hate and be bigoted, doesn’t take any thought. Simple minded people hate people based on color and creed. Stupid and loud people hold a lot of power in this country. How did we allow this? Money is some cases, because in some warped world money means intellegence. Laziness in others, why debate a dumb person, they will never change. We all seem to listen to the loudest speaker, typically the most ignorant person in the room. So this because our education system failed us or just because we lost faith in everything?

             I don’t have any answers. I can’t tell you what is right or wrong. I can tell you that my convictions are changing. I have always been a very liberal Democrat. The liberal part has grown stronger, I believe we need to help one another, foster a sense of community and continue to help the weakest among us to rise above where they are. We are a wealthy country who needs to commit resources to our infrastructure, education, homelessness and better health care, as well as mental health. We need to reel in the police, educate, better training and better mental health screening, as well as holding them accountable for their actions. The same needs to be done with our leaders on all kevels, state, local and federal. As well as TV and radio personalities who spread vitriol and lies. Time for all to be held accountable for their actions. That is a start. To improve our government, term limits for House, Senate and Supreme Court Justices. Time to remove money from politics and deny personhood of corporations. Even the playing field, end lobbying. The Democrat part has been called into question. I agree with them more, but they are also guilty of putting money before the people.

         In general 2014 was another year we failed our children. I will not anymore, my children will see that I believe it is time to stand. There is a movement in this country, it has been building slowly but it is building. I think it will reach a crescendo soon and we will see massive change. It is a dangerous and beautiful time to be alive. We will take our country back. We need to reverse the trend and improve in all aspects. If not America Jay be doomed to fail. Happy New Year! HAPPY NEW AMERICA!!!!

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2014 midterm election, voter apathy or a GOP strategy?

                So the 2014 midterm election ended with a Republican runaway.  They gained the majority in the Senate and gained more seats in the stagnate House.  Congress had an 11% approval rating yet 96% of incumbents retained their seats.  I find it very odd that people were so unhappy yet kept the same people in office.  If anyone thought the Republican strategy would change,  that they might work with President Obama, joke is on you.  Senator Lindsey Graham called him a child in an interview.  Seems the citizens of American did what the GOP wanted,  stayed home on election day.

Is this a master plan by Republicans? No, it is being perpetuated by the party but their marching orders come from the Koch brothers and groups like ALEC or the NRA. The plan seems very complicated but it is not. Very simple, how can a party with a very large deficit in membership beat a party with the larger membership? First they had to win at the state level. When they did that, the began to redistricting or gerrymander. Gerrymandering is the process of breaking up voting districts into more favorable districts for the party in charge. The Supreme Court ruled that Gerrymandering was illegal, but why would laws stop these crooks.

Step 2 was a little tougher. Once they took over the states and gerrymandered the districts they needed to keep moving up the ladder. The gerrymandered districts allowed Republicans to win seats in predominantly Democrat areas. Once they gained seats in the House, the majority, they started pushing voter ID laws in their States. These laws are intended to limit the votes of minorities. Many minorities do not have the proper ID, in some states people that voted for years were no longer allowed to vote. They shortened early voting, voting hours, absentee ballots went missing in several states, voter registrations went missing, people were turned away and Democrat votes turned into Republican votes. All of these laws for a .0002% rate of fraud over the last 10 years. Republicans have said from different states that they needed to limit voting in order to have a chance to win. These are the so called protectors of democracy.

At the same time all this was happening in 2010, still happening today, the billionaires went to court in the Citizens United case. They won the right to contribute as much as they want without anyone being able to track their political spending. The last estimate I saw, the Koch brothers spent over $300 million on the 2014 election cycle alone. Many of this us dark money, which is extremely hard to teach, but is traceable. It is said that Republicans and Democrats get the same amount of money. The upfront money we see, Republicans had about a 20% advantage on. Where as dark money it is estimated anywhere between a 60% to 150% advantage. Most of this money comes from single donors. If you believe money has nothing to do with elections, you couldn’t be further from the truth. The candidate with most money wins 94% of the time.

The last part, which probably should have been the first part, is the main stream media. For instance, 2 of the most popular conservative news sources Rush Limbaugh and FOX NEWS are the 2 most unreliable news sources. Limbaugh is estimated to lie approximately 75% of the time and FOX News tops them at about 85% of the time. Approximately 250 newspapers are owned by 7 conservatives. News channels are complicit as well. Instead of covering anything going right, they went with Ebola and Is is. They played the Republican scare tactic game. So the plan was later out.

Through all these things they routed a Democrat party whose President lowered the deficit, GDP, unemployment, the unemployment rate is at 5.8%, gas prices and health insurance. There would be more jobs of not for Republicans led by Mitch McConnell voting against the Veterans Jobs Bill and the Jobs Bill. This Republican party is not here for the people, they are there for those with the paper. Democracy is not dying a slow death, it is being murdered right before our eyes by enemies dressed as Patriots.

What does Ebola mean for America?

                  We are currently in the middle of a potentially huge Ebola scare.  It is a disease most of us know little or nothing about.  Going into this,  all I knew was that there was not a cure for it.  I heard it could only be passed through saliva or blood and couldn’t be passed if you didn’t show symptoms.  I will touch on the little I know in a bit.  What I really want to approach is the effect  this disease will potentially have on the country and it’s psyche.

First off I find it despicable that anyone would try to score political points off of this. Democrat, Republican or Libertarian, any using this for political gain should be thrown out of office. Rush Limbaugh should be kicked off the air for creating a panic, instead of trying to help calm people by feeding them facts. The media is blowing this out of proportion in attempt to gain more viewership at the expense of creating a panic. This issue is being handled horribly on all fronts. I think we should feel the people facts so they can make an educated judgement on where they land on how to handle this. But not in America.

What does this an for Americans? This disease if it becomes a pandemic can be the undoing of over 200 years of hard work. This disease could be our undoing. We have representatives saying to outlaw flights from certain countries, to box up any and all that show a symptom and are spending time looking for a scapegoat instead of a solution. The last I knew, 1 died from it and 2 others are infected. Is this our version of the zombie apocalypse? Will this run rampant through our country? How many will die before big pharma releases a cure? How many are already infected? Will we fall because of this? The government shutdown and sequestration cut the CDC emergency response budget by over a half billion. Are we even in a position to properly handle this? This is a game changer, this could possibly change America forever. How do we react?

I know it seems like I am pushing the panic button. I am just throwing out possibilities. We as a people are not prepared for this. There is a lot of ball dropping to allow it to get where it is. Now we need to act, to help one another. The nurses that helped the original patient, helped other patients, had contact with other doctors and nurses, as well as the public and had contact with their families. It only creates a larger net when you add in all the people that they contacted. How bad can this become.? We have all seen movies, this honestly could decimate us.

As I said before, Ebola has no cure. There is a potential it could mutate and become an airborne pathogen. The other ways it spread are still true. The symptoms of Ebola are as follows: 101.5°fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and unexplained hemorrhaging. Symptoms typically show between 2 and 21 days but are usually seen by 8-10. This is what I found in 5 minutes.

What does this mean for us? I think we will try harder to pay attention to little outbreaks in small countries. Be more health conscious. Support plans that do not cut important programs. Be done with fear mongering and those who cause it. We are by no means out of the woods yet. But I think we will come through this a better nation. Stay safe and don’t believe the hype.

What is the cause of polarization in American politics today!

        Polarization in politics refers to the divergence of political attitudes ideological extremes. Most discussions about polarization refer to political parties and Democratic systems of government. Typically polarization results in moderate voices being silenced. The extremes in both parties take the lead, which ultimately causes the same in the population. In our political climate the Right Wing extremists have demonized compromise, referring to it as weakness. the polarization in our current political climate has ground our Democracy to a halt. This in turn has hurt the middle and lower class Americans. It has damaged any attempt to fix our infrastructure or deal with anything of political significance. Hopefully i can succinctly describe the cause of polarization today.

       Gerrymandering, also known as redistricting has had a bit to do with it. when a sitting representative feels safe from the other side they tend to double down on more extremist views. This is a way to pander to a base. Gerrymandering is illegal in the United States. instead of drawing districts in lines that make sense, the districts are drawn to keep Republican districts safe by splitting up strong Democrat sectors. This has been on full display in states where Republicans are sitting in the majority or as Governors. In several states despite a Democrat winning the majority of the votes they lost the states because of the redistricting. As i said this was found to illegal many, many years ago, yet still happens.

           Lobbying is another humongous cause.  The Sunshine Rules which came into being after Watergate created more transparency in committee meetings and recorded votes, also opened them up to special interest groups and lobb
yist. Which made it easier to figure out which Congressman were on the fence and needed a little push. This truly opened our Democracy up to the oligarchy our government has become. A perfect example of this phenomenon is when President Obama and Congress (Democrats) started working on the ACA. In the first week about 300 lobbyist from the health insurance industry descended on D.C. Look at who received these donations, it is public record, and you will understand the incredible disinformation about the ACA. Then throw the Citizen’s United decision into the mix and everything spins completely out of control. If anyone tells you that decision didn’t effect our Democracy is either lying or lives in a box. The candidate who raises  the most money wins 94% of the time. Obviously money has a very large effect on our Democracy.

          Last but not least, the Media has pushed our representatives farther left or right. As a Liberal I wholeheartedly believe it is more Conservative media then Liberal media pushing the extremism. I watch both  sides and identify with little, if any thing the Conservative media says or believes. Republican Darrell Issa, who I personally believe is a disgrace to his Continue reading “What is the cause of polarization in American politics today!”

Hobby Lobby, religous freedom or force fed religion.

      The Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision was a big in a few ways. First it proved that Supreme Court Justices should not be a lifetime appointment. Second it showed how far our country has strayed from what we are. Third it showed a complete disdain for the protections the United States Constitution afforded us. It all showed the Conservative wing celebrating a “victory” over the common folks.

The First Amendment of the Constitution states; Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excersize thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. What does this mean? Do we the people still have said protections?

Making no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free excersize thereof. That would mean that no religion shall be protected over the other by states or federal government. Basic, simplistic view. Everyone is free to practice any religion they would like. Republicans like to say that we are a Christian nation, which as stated violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. They say prayer should be allowed in school and creationism taught, not all but many. But the only prayer they want in school are Christian prayers, all others be damned. Christian right wingers believe abortion is a sin and contraceptives are abortion. That statement has been lambasted by anyone who is a doctor but a degree means nothing in that discussion.

Republicans claim they are the protectors of our Constitution and that liberal Democrats want to rip it to shreds. Anyone with half a brain can see the obvious, Republicans do not care about the Constitution. I realize i have gone off topic but this will come together, I hope. In Republican lead states across the nation our right to peacably assemble is being stomped upon. People arrested and disgraced by the GOP while a criminal like Cliven Bundy and his group of hooligans walj away scot free. Armed people stopping a government agency from enforcing the law, supported by Republicans. Freedom of Speech is stomped upon dailly and being able to redress Government is a joke. Republicans are trying to take away our government voice, the right to vote.

Now not only is a corporation regarded as a person, they also can force their religious beliefs on their employees. Before the ACA was put into effect, Hobby Lobby offered health insurance plans that had access to birth control. Not only that, but much of their inventory is bought from China. China is notorious for its abortion rate. I think with those two sentences I established Hobby Lobby’s hypocracy. Why did Hobby Lobby’s stance change? I dont have the answer but anyone who isnt blind realizes how much the Republican base hates President Obama. Is that the reason? Who knows? But why now? Why did the Supreme Court rule directly on party lines?

How does my employers religion effect my health care decisions? Is that religious freedom? For the employer, yes but where is ours. How does my employers religion outweigh mine? If this ruling is correct; then if i worked for a Muslim company I have to adhere to Shariha Law. Or a Satanist for instance. Or would my choices be mine then? I am paying for a portion of my health care, as well as visits, meds or anything else Dr. related. How can my employer come between myself and my doctor? These questions arent answered yet but I have a feeling this ruling will have unintended consequences. I do not think these justices had the foresight to see what would be around the corner.

Whatever your opinion of religion is, you are entitled to it except when it comes to your employer. This is a idiotic interpretation of our Constitution. Ee have seen some awful rulings coming from this Supreme Court. Please remember you are free to practice your religion but your employers is more important.

Fox News wins right to lie in appeals court, 11 years ago.

         In 1996 Fox News sent 2 reporters out to do a story. When the reporters returned with their story, Fox News wanted them to report blatant lies which the reporters refused to do. The reporters won a 6 figure sum in court for being unlawfully terminated.  Fox News then filed an appeal. In February 2003 a Florida Court of Appeals overturned the original decision and unanimously agreed with Fox News that there was not an existing rule in the United States that required them to report the news TRUTHFULLY.

Bill O’Reilly paid lawyers to argue that it is Fox News right under the First Amendment to distort or falsify the news. So over the last 11 years the most watched news network has been feeding their viewers egregious lies. Why would a news outlet want to report untruths? Do you think they are trying to push their agenda on their viewers by distorting the news? Sadly those who watch Fox News swear by it. They take what is said on there as gospel. How much is actually true?

How many times over the years have Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Glenn Beck or Shepherd Smith shaped opinion with lies? Despite GDP growing rather than contracting Hannity continued to say that President Obama’s policy were hurting the economy. That despite overwhelming evidence that disputes his assertions. Why did Hannity further the biryher movement despite the President showing his birth certificate. Even after multiple fact checkers proved Hannity smear as false. But Fox News is Fair and Balanced. Right?

Bill O’Reilly insists that Attorney General Eric Holder is involved in the dismissal of criminal charges against the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation. Despite it being a different administration that did so. He also denies telling viewers that President Obama hid news about Benghazi motives because he was running for reelection. Another outright lie. Then he said that no one on Fox News ever said you would go to jail if you didnt buy health insurance. Another blatant lie. This list goes on and on. I wanted to list examples, not have them overrun the point of this story. But it easily could have been overrun by examples.

As far as I know Fox News is the only news outlet that fought for the right to lie to their viewers. MSNBC has held several of their talking heads responsible for their actions recently. Requiring on air apologies, as well as the talking heads stepping down. Republicans run to Fox to spout their lies. They are never called out on them despite calling Democrats liars during interviews. I watch Fox News for a few minutes here and there just to see how and what they thinking. It is very disturbing to know that a news channel can fudge the news to further an agenda.

If we allow news outlets to shape the news to fit their agenda, how can we hold our elected officials accountable? How many Fox News viewers hate the President because of lies Fox News told about him? This is why we are in an era of such hyper-polarization. Instead of reporting news they feed the hate. How does that help America?

Government shutdown is the leadup to raising the Debt Ceiling.

         First to be clear, the Debt Ceiling is for bills Congress already incurred. It allows us to pay the bills Congress already approved. Under George W. Bush the Debt Ceiling was raised 7 times. That is under a President who took us from a surplus to about $10 trillion debt. He ran up a $15 trillion bill. Where were the Republican fiscal hawks then. Sadly many were ok with this spending.

The extreme right wing of the Republican party, the Tea Party, have pushed a very extreme agenda. The word compromise means surrender to them. They have made it a mission to destroy our government. My way or the highway is not how the Democratic process works. To use dramatic methods to extract every last thing you want is undemocratic. No one ever gets everything they want in the democratic process, they compromise and get the best of both sides. This is why Congress is in gridlock, the refusal to negotiate in good faith.

It is ignorant to blame President Obama for this shutdown. In fact Michelle Bachman said that they were happy with the shutdown. Other Republicans said theg were giddy about the shutdown. Why we President Obama give away the house when Republicans are coming back for more in a few weeks. Republicans are attempting to extract some now and more in the Debt Ceiling negotiations. Democrats are letting the Republican party show their lack of empathy for the American people.

From April until now, Democrats attempted 18 times to negotiate to avoid this shutdown. They were filibustered by Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Mike Lee and several other prominent Republicans. Republicans have said they will not budge on Debt Ceiling negotiations. Despite the fact they already approved the spending. Very hypocritical stance. They keep mentioning the choice was President Obama’s. What they dont say is that there never was a choice. There was an ultimatum. Do this or we shut down the government. Now the GOP is scrambling to save their tarnished image, which is unsavable.

This is just setting the table for the next showdown in a few weeks. Republicans are making a spectacle of everything in order to polarize the country more. We will be in this same spot or worse in a few weeks. Our economy is taking a severe hit from this shut down. I believe Republicans thought President Obama would blink and negotiate the ACA. They took a calculated risk and lost. Sadly they weren’t smart enough to set up a way out of the mess they put us in. Just don’t move from manufactured crisis to another. Govern intellegently, think about the people. Stop spreading disinformation. The ACA is the law, help people learn it.