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!!!!

I thought America was the melting pot.

      I find it odd that the melting pot that is America so easily judges different races or creeds. my ancestors could not have come here if people always thought this way. Most Americans wouldn’t be here if this was the policy of our nation. Most Americans are a motley mix of other creeds. my ancestors came from Sicily and Northern Ireland in the late 1800s. I would not be here if this perverse ideology were also accepted as a government policy. most of us would not. that is something we the people should keep in mind.

            Many conservatives went bonkers over the Coca-Cola commercial where different people were singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. isn’t that people showing how much they love America? What does it matter what language it is sung in, they are singing the song. Showing their love of America. Is that not a form of Patriotism, Nationalism? It is unacceptable because they sang it in a different language? I personally think that is an incredible show of respect< they learned the song to tell those that don’t speak English how much they love America. Never mind the fact that Coke did it for attention and not to promote diversity. Coke has been all over the media, people threatening to avoid all Coke products, to those supporting Coke. it was an excellent advertising campaign.

              How are conservative politicians finding the time to focus on this. According to conservatives the nation is a mess, the ACA is a disaster and President Obama is a lawless President. I am a liberal Democrat, but I do not follow President Obama blindly. why not question the Monsanto Protection Act, the TPP, the Keystone Pipeline, or even his support of fracking. enough time has been spent on the manufactured crises of Benghazi, the IRS, or any of these other bologna the GOP is focusing on. Where are our good paying jobs? What is your plan to replace the ACA? Not an outline, but a plan. Enough is enough.

          We are not, nor were we ever a perfect society. I would like to think historically we have learned from our mistakes. Being unable to embrace the diversity that is America sends a disturbing message. It says to me that only white English speaking people need apply, we are only accepting our own. I believe in legal immigration as much as President Reagan. I think in the past it was easier to become a citizen, the questions asked most naturalized Americans don’t know the answer to. We need to find a way to improve immigration and its enforcement. But deporting everyone does not seem like the answer. Hopefully we find a reasonable answer here. I would hate to see America take away the same chances my family had.

Does the Republican party really mean what they do?

             Many of the things the Republican party are currently doing are inherently unAmerican. The Constitution seems only to matter when it helps their corporate masters. The lobbyist, Koch Brothers, ALEC and the NRA are some very prominent puppet masters. The will of the majority has been pushed to the side. Do Republicans even realize what they are doing?

Take Gun Violence. Instead of pursuing a possible solution they spout out the rhetoric they are fed by their puppet masters. All the numbers shown by independent researchers directly contradict the numbers put forth by the NRA. The areas with the highest amount of guns tend to have a very high crime rate. About 5,000 people have been killed by gun violence since Sandy Hook, yet Republicans refuse to do anything about gun violence. The public wants action, yet Republicans stall and protect the money.

For 2 years Republicans complained about President Obama and Democrats not creating enough jobs, despite Republican efforts to thwart any type of job creation. They have held the House for 3 years, yet have not created any jobs. They denied the Obama Jobs Bill and the Veterans Jobs Bill, yet have passed 44 anti-abortion measures and another 90 religious bills. They say they want the corporate tax lowered, yet when President Obama offered it, they refused. They refuse to help the average American.

Republicans seem to enjoy holding Americans hostage with the debt ceiling. The debt ceiling enables us to pay the bills we have already incurred. They raised it 7 times for Bush 43 and another 7 or so for Reagan. This is the first time a President had to fight to raise the debt ceiling. The last time Republicans did this it resulted in a credit downgrade for the U.S. Are they truly willing to default on America’s bills to further their agenda?

Then we have the way Republicans talk about race. Anne Coulter referred to President Obama as ‘Putin’s Monkey” several times in an interview. Another Republican Senator called Latinos “wetbacks”. A Republican leader in Pennsylvania said the Voter I.D. laws were put in place to prevent minorities from voting. This is not what are forefathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution. It is not for our representatives to pick and choose from.

Do Republicans really expect to be taken seriously? They keep pushing the will of the people to the side for corporate interests and then try to tell us all the good they are doing. They are slimming their voting pool. Democrats already outnumber them, their actions are pushing more people away. They talk about a broken system, they broke it. They are also prospering because of it.

Republicans are harmful to America.

                    Republicans have gone out of their way over the last 5 years to make President Obama look bad. In the process they have hurt the American people and the way the rest of the world views us. It is a party of whiners who throw pity parties when they lose and do not accept anything unless it agrees 100% with their party agenda.

They are against Immigration Reform. They subscribe to the theory that all of them should be deported. In fact Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney believed in self deportation. They do not agree with a Path to Citizenship, saying it is amnesty. Didnt Ronald Reagan do Immigration Reform somewhat like this?

Republicans have obviously declared war on women. They refused to vote for VAWA, because it protected Native Americans, among other things. State after state governed by Republicans have declared war on Reproductive Rights. One restrictive Abortion ban after another, yet there has been a grand total of ZERO jobs created by the Republican majority in the House.

Supporting banks that hurting homeowners through illegal practices. Siding with the NRA on the Gun Control issue. Railing against the Supreme Court DOMA decision, voting to repeal the ACA 37 times. Cutting funding for embassy guards then blaming the Benghazi incident on Hillary Clinton. This list of offenses against the people of the United States goes on and on.

Democrats, while not anywhere near perfect, have done a lot more for the people than Republicans. Republicans conservative agenda hurts America and every state they are in the majority. If women’s uteruses were jobs women would be safe from Republicans and their lobbyist masters.

Democrats insist on Path to Citizenship.

                House Republicans and Senate Democrats insist that they will not agree to any Immigration Bill that does not have a Path to Citizenship.  They want to ensure the 11 million immigrants living here illegally have a way to citizenship. 

Lawmakers drew their line in the sand. House and Senate Democrats insist on Citizenship. They are going to meet stiff resistance from House Republicans. Republicans do not want to “give” citizenship to illegals. Conservatives who control the House will go above and beyond to prevent this. Republicans say they Democrats insistence on the Path to Citizenship they will end up with no Bill at all.

Some Republicans are open to allowing geust workers or some other legal status, but not citizenship. They favor citizenship for people brought to country as youths, military veterans and certain other types who have lived here for years and contributed to society. Immigrants are good enough to work for Republicans but not be citizens.

House Republicans are deliberating how to deal with the Senate Immigration Bill. The Senate passed the President Obama backed bill 68-32. The Senate Bill spends $46 billion to secure the border, requires employers check worker’s legal status, expandd hundreds of thousands of visa programs to allow high skilled and low skilled workers in the country. It also establishes a 13 year Path to Citizenship for illegals, provided they pay fines and meet certain conditions. Republicans forced the $46 billion in border security or they wouldn’t pass the bill.

Republicans plan on holding the Debt Ceiling Hostage again, the Ryan Budget is their demand.

                 Even though in March Speaker of the House John Boehner acknowledged that there is not an immediate debt problem, Republicans plan on holding the Debt Ceiling hostage again. They demand that the Ryan Budget be put in place or they will vote against the Debt Ceiling. This is unprecedented in American history.

Until 2011 no political party had the votes or the intent to stop the President from raising the Debt Ceiling. Which will cause a lowering of our borrowing ability and cause problems economically worldwide. Despite the National Debt being lowered and our slow but steady climb out of an economic abyss, the Republicans seem more than willing to sendvus back there. This is a House that refuses to vote on the Senate Immigration Bill and Student Loan Rates. The do nothing Congress led by Republicans seems to want to hurt America.

The Paul Ryan Budget, a cruel joke against middle class and poor Americans. He cuts Food Stamps and other parts of the SNAP program by $125 billion, while giving larger tax breaks to the wealthy and big corporations. It is a joke of a Budget Proposal that promotes Austerity, but only in the programs that help poor Americans. Austerity doesn’t work. Paul Ryan’s budget repeals the ACA yet uses the savings to balance the budget. That is unlikely to work.

President Obama and Democrats caved last time on the Debt Ceiling to save America’s credit rating. They better not cave this time or Americans will suffer worse than before. Republicans are again holding the American public hostage in order to forward some backwards agenda that benefits 3% of the population. To forward a corporate agenda, because a lobbyist paid them to do so. The Republican party’s disdain for President Obama is destroying any credibility they ever had. Now to retake the House and push them further down. 2014 is the year of the Progressive. For that we need to thank Republicans for their actions.

What happens when a Congressman doesn’t listen to the NRA?

           Senator Pat Toomey is beginning to see the answer to that question. Toomey a Republican from Pennsylvania helped author the Manchin/Toomey Gun Bill, which of course was shot down, against NRA wishes. Before this he had an A rating with the NRA. Who are the NRA to rate any of our Senators? They are a lobbying group.

The Virginia based National Association for Gun Rights is running a smear campaign against Toomey for that Bill. The Bill required background checks on all gun sales, internet, gun shows and the classifieds. Current law only requires background checks on sales conducted by Federally licensed dealers. They are trying to connect Toomey with President Obama. They are attemptimg to connect him to the manufactured IRS, Benghazi and the NSA scandal. All of which have been proved fruitless. But Toomey is a conservative Republican who is on tge other side of most issues with President Obama.

Toomey now sees what Democrats deal with during each election cycle. Each election cycle the NRA and NAGR go into full attack mode. Portraying anyone who disagrees with their lobbying stance as trying to rob people of their Constitutional rights. All these Senators were trying to do was create sensible gun laws that might help prevent another massacre like Sandy Hook. Lobbyist attack Democrats for going to the bathroom the wrong way. This is what they mean when they say corporate America, politicians owned by corporations and lobbyist groups.

Republicans now on the other side of these attacks, now aren’t so convinced that Super-Pacs are right. They are also questioning the Citizens United decision. They haven’t felt the full effect of lobbyists and corporations trying to get you out of office. Maybe now Campaign Finance Reform can get done. Maybe this will help break the gridlock and help Gun Reform and Immigration Reform get done. But then again any Republican that goes against the grain finds themselves on the outside looking in. The Republican party looks to regress any progress made in America, how else do you explain their support of the Supreme Court gutting the Civil Rights Act. Republicans are beginning to dislike the system they created, it is now hurting them.

Why isn’t Congress even talking about Gun Control?

             On December 14, 2012 a man entered Sandy Hook Elementary School. He went on to shoot 26 people, includ ing 20 children. He used an AR-15, with 30 round magazines. After this happened Democrats and President Obama were intent on passing some sort of Gun Control Reform passed. They were stopped by the NRA and the money they used to lobby Republican Senators and even a few Democrats.

The Manchin/Toomey Bill was bipartisan legislation that improved universal background checks and prosecuted anyone found guilty of creating a gun registry. It wasn’t perfect but it was an improvement over our current system. It was stopped ghost because of a loss in a Filibuster vote, 54-45, 5 Republicans voted yes and 5 Democrats voted no. That was the end of the Gun Control conversation.

Now 7 months after Sandy Hook the conversation is dead. About 4,500 people have been killed by gun violence since then. More children have killed with guns then terrorist attack deaths on American soil in that time. Yet we seem to have accepted defeat and conceded to the NRA and the Koch Brothers. Our form of government was defeated by corporations and lobbyist. Democracy in this case seems to have failed us.

To put this in perspective, you have to register a car and get insurance in order to drive it. You don’t have to do either to get a gun. To buy a house, you have to have an inspection, they thoroughly look into your credit history and you have to have insurance. None of the above for guns. Republicans are against sex education for kids, but are fine giving them a gun. To me this is perplexing. Guns are meant to kill people, homes and cars are not.

So why aren’t we talking about this? Is it tge manufactured IRS and Benghazi scandals? Maybe the focus on Immigration Reform? Maybe Congress just doesn’t care? Whatever the reason, it needs to change. It us a discussion we need to have. The Second Amendment meant more when we were establishing ourselves as a country. Not so much now. My question is for Congress. If we don’t address Gun Control now, then when?

Immigration Bill makes it through Senate, but can it get past the Hastert Rule.

              The Senate has passed historic immigration legislstion. It offers the hope of American citizenship to millions. It also promises a military style surge to secure our pourous border. The vote was 68-32, 8 more than needed to send the measure to the House.

                Prospects are not nearly as high for the Bill to pass the House. Many Conservatives are opposed to any type of Immigration Reform, or any reform that May help the 97%. Not that the Bill didn’t meet any roadblocks in the Senate. Last minute Republican amendments to the Bill almost brought it crashing to the ground.

Vice-President Joe Biden presided, and Senators cast their votes from their desks. Both steps are usually reserved for momentous votes. The Bill, which was a high priority for President Obama, would be the most sweeping changes in decades to the nation’s immigration laws. The last time there was Immigration Reform was during the Reagan administration.

One major roadblock to the Bill passing the House is the Hastert Rule. The Hastert Rule is a Republican party made up rule that states, a law cannot pass without the majority of the majority party voting for it. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner in this case, invokes the rule. Boehner has threatened the Immigration Reform Bill with the Hastert Rule. In order to pass the Bill 118 out of 234 Republicans need to vote for the Bill. Regardless of a majority vote, the Bill cannot pass without the majority of the majority party voting for it.

Democrats have pushed hard to pass this Bill, as well as the Gang of 8. For a Republican party that call themselves fiscal hawks, but wantb to spend billions more on border security. That is fine to be a budget hawk everywhere, but not just on policies Republicans don’t like. Increasing border security will cost billions, billions that need to be found. Don’t cut from social welfare programs to militarize our border.

The Hastert Rule, Republicans way of ensuring minority party can’t pass a bill without the majority of the majority party.

              The Hastert Rule was started in the mid 90’s. It actually originated with Speaker of the House Gingrinch, who supported it, but Speaker of the House Hastert was a very vocal supporter of the rule, so that is why it bears his name. A Bill cannot pass the House wothout 218 votes, but under the Hastert Rule, which is not an official rule, even if you get that amount it won’t pass without the majority of the majority party voting for it.

It is the Republican way of removing any power from the minority party. Even if the minority party gets enough Republicans to help them pass the Bill, the Hastert Rule will stop the Bills passage. Republicans have 234 seats in the House of Representatives. Democrats would need 118 votes from Republicans to get the Bill’s passage. It takes the majority vote out of the question because the majority party doesn’t support it.

It is just like the Republicans to make passage of Bills near impossible. Speaker Boehner is thinking about using the Hastert Rule to stop Immigration Reform from passing. It was a bipartisan bill that Republicans screwed up by adding ridiculous Amendments to. They were Amendments that they knew Democrats wouldn’t support. This is another Republican ploy to bring gridlock to our government. This is just another Bill the do nothing Republicans stopped from moving forward.

If Speaker Boehner invokes the Hastert Rule it is the cowards way out. Instead of doing the hard thing and looking for compromise they choose the easy way out. Anything to stick their thumb in President Obama’s eye. Despite the importance to our country, this I’d another Bill that I’d dead in the water. This is why government has ground to a halt in America. Avoidance.