Government shutdown, the Republican way of throwing a temper tantrum.

             The last time Republicans refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling our country had its credit rating downgraded. Why does a political party refuse to compromise?  President Obama has tried to work with Republicans since day one, despite Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders making him a one term president their number one priority. Obviously hurting the economy or making Americans suffer doesn’t get in the way of their attempts to accomplish this. They lost, President Obama is in his second term. What is different?

Republican demands are simple, get rid of the ACA and do things our way or we will shut the government. Many of these Republicans voted to expand the debt ceiling 7 times under George W Bush. The same Bush who oversaw the largest jump in the National debt, from a surplus to about 11 trillion. They voted for the Bush tax cuts, which added about 2 trillion to the debt and 2 unfunded wars. But when President Obama is in their they become fiscal hawks. Where were you when the train derailed?

So why are we here? Why is a government shutdown looming? Each continuing resolution the Republican led house has passed is attempting to defund or change the ACA. What Republicans won’t tell you us that the plan to repeal the tax on medical machines for hospitals or other offices, a 2.32% tax by the way, will cost the government about $28 billion. The President tried to get Republicans involved in the ACA process but they refused, saying they would stop it. They didn’t, it is the law of the land, found Constitutional by the Supreme Court. So are Democrats and President Obama wrong for not negotiating on the debt limit? NO!!! They already tried, Republicans didn’t want to.

The GOP is worried about their corporate sponsors, those that lobby and pay for their services. They do not work for the Democratic majority. Unfortunately this is the society Republicans want. They want the gap between rich and poor to continue and they want American people in debt. It is a version of a Feudal society. They do not believe in Democracy or the Constitution they state they protect. They are willing to hurt the country for a Corporate formed ideology, what is referred to as a ruling class.

On Friday I listened to Mitch McConnell and his cohorts speak after a vote. One was speaking about President Obama and Democrats need to adjust their energy policy. It came from a man who recieved $700,000 from Natural Gas and Oil companies since 2006. As well as a party that recieved over $23 million in donations from the Oil industry since 2007. They recieved 88% of all donations from the Oil industry in that time. So as they say the proof is in the pudding. Look at the numbers and think about why Republicans are willing to shutdown our government and risk our economy.

New Fracking Bill being introduced will eliminate hazardous chemicals loophole.

                   As any normal person knows Fracking is very contreversial. Fracking is well known for polluting natural water and land areas. There are at least 23 known carcinogens used in the Fracking process and 5% of all wells fail immediately. The failure is caused by a leak in the concrete. The Natural Gas Drilling Industry refuses to recognize any of this. They are also not required to list the chemicals used because of an exemption in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).

U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa) and U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Ca.) introduced a bill to end the chemical exemption. The Closing Loopholes and Ending Arbitrary and Needless Evasion Regulations Act (CLEANER) takes aim at eliminating the hazardous waste exemption. The Bill currently has 43 co-sponsors, all Democrats. The Bill faces an uphill battle because of the Republican majority in the House.

The RCRA was amended to exempt waste from the production and development of oil, natural gas and geothermal waste. This has allowed the Fracking Industry to run amuck. They have destroyed whole habitats, as well as families drinking water in everyone of the 34 states they are currently drilling in. Republicans have defended the Natural Gas Drilling Industry high and low. They have gone so far as trying to remove the Federal EPA from their state. They have knowingly lied to the press, releasing contaminated water tests to homeowners and telling the press that there was no pollution.

The industry has spent millions of dollars on lobbying. Governor Tom Corbett (R-Pa) has recieved about $1.5 million dollars from the Natural Gas Drilling Industry. When a lawmaker recieves that much money from an industry, how can they be expected to make the correct decisions for the people. I thought it was illegal to recieve money from a business that you would make legislation for. Conflict of Interest. But for now the Fracking Industry has a free pass to pollute our water and destroy our environment. It is good knowing someone is trying to hold them accountable.

New Gas Drilling Legislation on Governor Corbetts desk weakens negotiating rights for landowners.

            New Oil and Gas Drilling Legislation seriously weakens landowners negotiating rights with Fracking Companies. The National Association of Royalty Owners said last minute changes to a Senate Bill would allow drilling companies to use decades old mineral leases to force current landowners to accept Marcellus Shale drilling under their property.

Trevor Walczack, Vice President of the association’s Pennsylvania chapter, said Corbett shouldn’t sign the bill. Although his group normally favors oil and gas drilling. Unfortunately Governor Corbett’s history suggests he will side with Natural Gas Drilling Companies, he has sided with corporations more often than not. Walczak said the bill would ultimately be similar to forced pooling. A drilling company can force some landowners to accept drilling if many of the surrounding households have agreed.

The Legislation would apply to people with existing oil or gas leases. Heirs to leases signed many years sgo for traditional drilling would be forced to accept fracking. Which can extend under neighbors lands and the neighbor would be forced to accept Fracking on their land as well. Fracking has led to a Natural Gas boom in Pennsylvania and millions of dollars in royalties for leaseholders.

Pollution caused by Fracking has been well documented in States that have had Fracking for several years. Water from a faucet catching on fire, cancer clusters, headaches among many other symptoms from the pollution. The EPA does not have clearance to check the chemicals used for Fracking. But samples taken have shown at least 23 known carcinogens. Governor Corbett has basically let these Natural Gas Drilling companies to drill in Pennsylvania tax free. Republicans and Democrats in the State House and Senate have been at odds about Fracking for quite some time. It figures our Pennsylvania lawmakers would try to take away citizens negotiation rights. Why not pollute and make billions while not paying a dime? That is where this is headed.

Austerity, the Republican destruction of our country.

      Austerity measures have been used for several years in Europe. The Austerity measures have crippled many of the economy’s. Greece is a shining example of the damage Austerity does. They needed to be bailed out by the rest of the European countries. There were protests because of the measures that were being taken and the effect it was having on the people.

The fact that Republicans do not see the example Europe set for us is disturbing. Republicans only wish to use Austerity on programs they don’t like. The Austerity measures they fight for are a blatant attack on the poor and middle class. They support cutting aid to the SNAP program but refuse to raise taxes anymore. The Bush Tax Cuts have cost us over $3 trillion, their support of Corporate Welfare cost us $200 billion in 2012 alone. Food Stamps cost us $80 billion a year and for every dollar spent on Food Assistance Programs returns $1.84 to the economy.

They want to cut safety net programs, yet found a 5.8% increase for the Pentagon, which isn’t even asking for it. They want to cut Food Stamps by 25%, yet find another 3% to help subsidize fossil fuel programs. While doing that they want to cut the alternative energy budget in half to $1 billion. These cuts are selective and aimed at businesses that do not contribute to Republican campaigns.

Austerity itself doesn’t work, but selective Austerity has less of a chance of working. The Sequester itself has been a drag on our economy and jobs. It seems as if Republicans are pulling for failure, anything to hurt the Democrats and President Obama. The fiscal and foreign policies of the last administration has done some irrepairable damage to our country. It is going to take many years to repair what can be fixed and a balanced spending cut , tax raising policies. Otherwise we will be stuck in the mud for many years.

2014, the year we remove Governor Corbett from office.

              Governor Tom Corbett took office in 2010 and no one really knows how. I don’t know anyone who voted for him. Pennsylvania generally votes democrat. We voted for President Obama by about 6% points. Corbett has a pretty spotty record since taking over as governor and he is behind in the polls to any Democratic challenger.

He has cut funding to education, instead of taxing Natural Gas Drilling, which could easily make up the money for education. He has been implicated in receving illegal benefits from these companies. He has also recieved over $1 million from Natural Gas Drilling Companies since becoming governor. Under his watch Pennsylvania is ranked 49 in the country in job creation.

His once popular privatization of the State’s Liquor Stores is losing steam. His Pension Reform Plan has been deemed unconstitutional. It seems every move that he makes is wrong for the state. As a typical Republican he is blaming the people for the lack of jobs, saying that companies cannot hire people because they cannot pass a drug test. He is out of touch with his constituents.

Democrats in the state have attempted to keep his radical agenda in check. Voting to keep his more extreme measures in check, while attempting to work with him on his more bipartisan bills. His attempt to give education money back the year before election stinks of desperation. Hopefully our state votes intelligently this time around and removes One Term Tommy from office. He is in office to help corporations make more money and protect them from responsibility. Just look at the Frackers who are free to do as they will. This is Corporate Pennsylvania now.

Climate Change Deniers, follow the money find the truth.

             In his second inaugural address, President Obama said it loud and clear. We need action to fix our climate crisis and we need this action now. A few hours later the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (NRSC) said that they did not believe in climate disruption. Actually saying that they would attack Senators who took action on the climate crisis.

              After a year in which millions of Americans felt the harsh effects of climate change, from droughts to wild fires to Superstorm Sandy- this is not just an illogical thought process, it is a horribly irresponsible position to take. But of course in politics if you follow the money, you understand the position. Oil and Gas corporations are among the NRSC biggest monetary backers. The committee has received more than $5 million from oil and gas interests in the last 4 years. Excommunicate Mobile, Koch Industries, among others have been funding far right organizations that have been attacking clean energy and climate change while propping up anti-science climate deniers. While it is not just fossil fuel companies fueling this denial of climate change, they are donating more than others. Some of the NRSC top donors are FedEx, Home Depot, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Wells Fargo.

                  The secretive Donors Trust has given millions to denying climate change. An analysis by Green Peace reveals Donors Trust has funneled at least $146 million to more than 100 climate change groups.  Some of the recipients were Americans for Prosperity, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, the Heartland Institute and the Competetive Enterprise Institute. One of tie Committee for a Constructive Tomorrows main activities is running a website that acts like a clearing-house for articles that try and discredit the science behind climate change. They also launch personal attacks on people like Al Gore or climate scientists.  Many of these anti-climate change organizations were funded for the express purpose of spreading disinformation.

        The majority of American people recognize that climate change is real. But once again the Republican party thinks that taking a position that is totally out of line with the American people and the future of our planet is a winning strategy. Democrats recognize the peoples wants and work towards making the realistic ones a reality. Republicans believe money means everything despite all their recent strategies proving fruitless.

 

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Climate Change Deniers, follow the money find the truth.

             In his second inaugural address, President Obama said it loud and clear. We need action to fix our climate crisis and we need this action now. A few hours later the National Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee (NRSC) said that they did not believe in climate disruption. Actually saying that they would attack Senators who took action on the climate crisis.

              After a year in which millions of Americans felt the harsh effects of climate change, from droughts to wild fires to Superstorm Sandy- this is not just an illogical thought process, it is a horribly irresponsible position to take. But of course in politics if you follow the money, you understand the position. Oil and Gas corporations are among the NRSC biggest monetary backers. The committee has received more than $5 million from oil and gas interests in the last 4 years. Excommunicate Mobile, Koch Industries, among others have been funding far right organizations that have been attacking clean energy and climate change while propping up anti-science climate deniers. While it is not just fossil fuel companies fueling this denial of climate change, they are donating more than others. Some of the NRSC top donors are FedEx, Home Depot, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Wells Fargo.

                  The secretive Donors Trust has given millions to denying climate change. An analysis by Green Peace reveals Donors Trust has funneled at least $146 million to more than 100 climate change groups.  Some of the recipients were Americans for Prosperity, the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, the Heartland Institute and the Competetive Enterprise Institute. One of tie Committee for a Constructive Tomorrows main activities is running a website that acts like a clearing-house for articles that try and discredit the science behind climate change. They also launch personal attacks on people like Al Gore or climate scientists.  Many of these anti-climate change organizations were funded for the express purpose of spreading disinformation.

        The majority of American people recognize that climate change is real. But once again the Republican party thinks that taking a position that is totally out of line with the American people and the future of our planet is a winning strategy. Democrats recognize the peoples wants and work towards making the realistic ones a reality. Republicans believe money means everything despite all their recent strategies proving fruitless.

 

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