Is there truly a cabal of wealthy people who secretly control America?

          This is an odd topic, although it is something that has been presenting itself to me more daily. Each day I watch news, read the paper, read on the Web or debate one person or another, it seems that this subject is slapping me in the face. The more I read, the more it seems I am being force fed garbage, something to keep me off the this elusive subject. The Internet is veritable smorgasbord  of conspiracy theories. The news and the papers are obviously controlled by the wealthy elite, so we only get the stories they want us to read. My ideas on the subject are in constant evolution and not 100% clear yet. I just want to present them, just to get them out and hopefully get some input from others. I also want some of these thoughts solid so I can always refer to it.

              I want to start with the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve is not controlled by the government, it is controlled by private bankers. Odd, right, one would assume that it was a government entity. For a period of time our dollar was backed by gold. That switched, I apologize  for being vague but I am not going in depth about this part, and money became backed essentially by the full faith and credit of the United States. It is made up out of thin air, it means nothing and comes from no where. That, you would think makes our dollar worthless, but it doesnt. Now every dollar that we borrow from the Federal Reserve, yes our government borrows money from private bankers, has to be payed back with interest. So every dollar created puts the United States further in debt to wealthy bankers. It creates a system of perpetual debt, leaving the super wealthy in control of our government.

            Let’s move to Citizens United next. This ruling by the Supreme Court allowed dark money to flood into our politics. Dark money is money that comes from unknown sources and cannot be accounted for. It also allowed individuals to contribute more to political campaigns and to be able to hide who it was contributed to. Let’s be very clear, this does not benefit the poor or middle class. I gave $15 to President Obama  in 2012 and $10 in 2008. There is a new bill Republican lawmakers are trying to pass that would triple the amount people could contribute without declaring any of it. Now interesting statistic I keep seeing is that 94% of candidates that raise the most money win. Now Congress had a 9% approval rating yet 94% were reelected. I hope you caught that anomaly as well. 9% approval is very very bad. Interestingly, just for example, the Koch Brothers contributed approximately $325 million, that is accounted for in the last election cycle. That is according to the Washington Post. Now how does that help the poor?

             Now to Voter I.D. laws. Who do voter i.d. laws affect? The poor of course! The rate of fraudulent voting of the sort Republicans are trying to stop is about .00002%. Does that really seem like something that would warrant this much action? Especially because Republicans have seemed reluctant to take any action at all. Why is this an issue? In 2008 when then Senator Barrack Obama was running for President, the poor overwhelmingly voted for him. His speeches motivated the country and helped assuage voter apathy. 93% of the African American vote went to President Obama and minorities  as a whole were generally in his corner. How can the wealthy elite keep their puppet in office if people vote? They cant. They had to do something, their lobbyist marched into our capital to manufacture a new issue. Voter fraud. By requiring I.D., people who live in inner cities and do not drive, nor have the finances to own a car could not vote. Unfortunately for the wealthy we were protected from poll taxes. But it didn’t end there, Republicans ended early voting or shortened it, closed polls early, created long lines by having less polls, machines switched votes from Democrat to Republican and they even used voter intimidation. In 2014, about 30% of the population or less voted. It seems they got their sheep back in the herd.

            Those are the big ones I wanted to cover. But here is more food for thought. The rolling back of part of the Civil Rights Act that helped protect minorities rights to vote in districts that have had past issues. Low wages and the decimation of Labor Unions. Unions were the middle classes great protector. The continual attempts to decimate the EPA. Saying the EPA makes it where business can’t compete because of regulations. The illegal foreclosures by banks, who paid a pittance of a fine and didn’t have to give the homes back. Bank executives getting bonuses while crashing the economy, destroying people’s pensions, 401 KS and decimating our workforce. No prosecution of any of these people who committed illegal acts, while our prisons are over crowded by poor people with Marijuana offenses. The complete control of the mass media, holding each to their own standards and showing a blatant avoidance of the truth. In fact, many tell outright lies more then they tell the truth, Fox News. The worse part of this is the absolute ignorance of so many Americans. The easiest way to make the middle class forget about the rich, is to make them hate the poor. We are so gullible.

          Is it a true conspiracy? Did I paint a clear enough picture? The answer to both, I don’t know. The idea is still coming together for me as I dig through more and more. It is a theory, but truth, not sure yet. This I will say. There is an eternal battle going on in America. At its root is income inequality, which is at its highest since the 1920s. The DOW Jones is setting records dailly, but we are only getting minimum wage jobs. Why? 95% of the wealth made over the last six years has gone to the top 5% of the population. Class warfare is undeniably one of the biggest issues in America. It seems as if the wealthy elite have clung to power for so long, that any perceived attempt to dislodge them from power will be met with fierce resistance. Even at the loss of our great country. Cabal or greedy men? They might be one in the same.

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!”

Where did our elected leaders go?

           In 2009 President Obama took over as our first African-American president. That was the day government shut down. The Republicans vowed that making him a one term president was there number one priority. They would do anything to make that happen. In their efforts to unseat him, they did irreapairable harm to America. They created a divide so wide that if you disagree with a conservatives point of view, you are a Nazi, a marxist, a socialist and a traitor.

Health care costs were raging out of control. Increasing about 200% since the year 2004. I did not have a copay in 2004, meds cost 10-20-30. By 2008 I was paying $65 a week and 20-35-55 for meds. Office visits went from $10 to $20 and specialists $25 to $75. The ACA was put into effect to stem the rising costs, help get the uninsured insured at a reasonable rate and stop people being denied for pre-existing conditions. Despite the President and Democrats trying to stem health care costs, which were crippling our manufacturing sector, Republicans railed against it. In fact they have voted 41 times to repeal it, costing us $60 million dollars with those votes, some fiscal hawks right. What is wrong with stopping people from losing their homes when they get sick. Shows who Republicans really work for.

Republicans attacked President Obama over unemployment. While at the same time shooting down his jobs bill, which would have created a million new jobs. They said the unemployment rate was to high. But when the president got it under 8%, they said the president doesn’t create jobs. Republicans took over the House in 2010, they have not created a single job. They are much more concerned with anti-abortion laws and religious laws. The president’s economic plan is working despite sequestration and continued Republican interference. If Republicans were willing to work with Democrats maybe their input would be in these bills, possibly even improving them.

Paul Ryan, John Boehner and several other prominent Republicans have said that there is no longer a debt crisis. Yet these so called budget hawks try to take the country hostage on the debt ceiling. First this is just for bills that Congress already approved. Why would they not approve money for spending they already approved? It is a domestic terrorist attack designed to further an agenda that caters to corporations, ALEC, the Koch Brothers and NRA amongst others. These is not what our forefathers envisioned when they wrote the Constitution.

President Obama’s decision to seek Congressional approval on Syria attack is brilliant.

             President Obama has been criticized for how he has handled previous attacks on the Syrian citizens. Most recently the Syrian government has used chemical weapons to kill about 1400 Syrian civilians and bombed a bus full of kids. Our war weary country is split on whether to help or not. Many Republicans have criticized President Obama, calling for U.S. military involvement and saying his planned bombings were a weak show of force. Then they criticized him for thinking about attacking Syria. He put them on the spot now.

Despite the criticism, none of the members of Congress are rushing back from vacation to help come to a decision. Congress comes back September 9 and works for 9 days in September. They want to debate the Syrian situation. Despite calling for a decision from the President, Congress wants to spend tine debating it. Democrats have been for the most part silent on the issue. Of course every talking head media fool was calling for immediate action, all now seem confused by President Obama going to Congress for clearance. Shows the true difference between Republican and Democrat Presidents, Democrats respect the Constitution, Republicans think they are monarchs.

Of course there is the moral issue. How do we, the worlds big brother and policeman for the last 50 years not immediately help those in need? How do we watch genocide? First of all, we allowed the genocide to go on in Tibet for many years. The Chineese decimated that country and their spiritual leader, the Dali Llama, is no longer allowed in the country. We as a country only help countries of strategical interest. Morally, all countries should be obligated to help. Britain voted not to. How many others will follow suit? No President has been able to calm the tensions in the Middle East. Religious fervor cannot be reasoned with, that is why this region will never be stable.

The sheer brilliance of President Obama’s decision is purely political. He put the Republicans who criticized his decision and non-decision on the spot. It is now on them, they can’t step back and criticize, they have to play a part in the decision. They are now on the hook for the outcome. The President no longer be the only object if hateful rhetoric. He has made it put up or shut up for his critics. Now we will see what is more important to Republicans, lobbyist, constituents or the proper moral decision. This should be interesting. Nice opening move President, lets see if the GOP can play chess.

George W. Bush, the President Republicans refuse to acknowledge.

               George W. Bush was President from 2001-2009, he oversaw the decimation of the American culture. He deregulated the Banking Industry,  Wall Street and just about anything else that had lobbied for his support. He oversaw the Housing Crisis, the Great Recession and a huge difference unemployment spike.

He started 2 wars that weren’t payed for and oversaw the largest foreign attack on American soil. He took a budget that was in the black and he created a National Debt that exceeded almost any created by an American President before this. He created more than half of the economic problems we still face today. The Bush Tax Cuts cost us about $4 trillion towards our National Debt. He created the polarization that exists in politics today.

He lied us into war. Not only did he lie but he provided false information to Congress. He did it again with the Banking and Housing Crisis. He gave out $750 billion to the banks without any rules or restrictions. None of the banks were required to pay anything back. The TARP funds President Obama gave out have all been payed back and he attempted to put restrictions on bonus payouts as well as CEO pay. He was unfortunately overruled by a pro-bussiness Congress.

According to Republicans Bush 43 did no wrong. He was in fact a patriot. To all Democrats including myself he was the beginning of Corporate America. Corporations got their foothold under Bush and it has continued to get worse through Republucan obstruction. In my opinion Republicans have sabotaged our economic recovery in order to hurt President Obama. That is not a sound economic policy. Nor is the Republican flat out denial of President Bush’s presidency. They got what they wanted with him, yet attempt to deny that is what they wanted. Sadly the only end in sight for these idiotic policies is the decimation of the Republican party.

John Boehner claims the American people don’t want a Congress that does anything.

              Another preposterous claim from the party that has cornered the market on absurdity. Speaker of the House John Boehner is trying to convince himself that his do nothing ways are acceptable to the American people. Just another insane claim from the Republican party.

               Congress has about a 30% approval rating on its best days. Yet Speaker Boehner and the Republican party are trying to convince the people or themselves. This Congress has done less than any Congress since the 1940’s. Even less than the one before this. They abuse the Filibuster in order to stall any bills President Obama tries to pass.

This is a Congress that refuses to even pass a law that forbids the sale of guns to a person on the Terrorist list. So they knowingly support the NRA in selling guns to terrorists. Democrats are furious about this, as well as the American public. So how does John Boehner come to the conclusion that the American public wants a do nothing Congress. Why is this party so deluded?

This is the same party that called President Obama a do nothing President. If the people want a do nothing Congress, why wouldn’t they want a do nothing President? Republicans arguements tend to fall in on themselves because they are based in lunacy. But keep beating the drum for Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell and Ted Cruz. They will successfully drive this country into the ground. Yes, their party will wave and cheer the whole way down.

Conservatives refuse to acknowledge Bush 43.

             Yesterday on Twitter I debated one, then several Republicans. Started off with one, then it became 6. I do not understand how their set of facts and truths are so different from mine. Nor do I understand how they refuse to blame George W. Bush for anything. I actually had one tell me that Bush was trying to fix the Banks, according to them he did not deregulate anything.

As the conversation went on, they blamed Bill Clinton and President Obama for everything that happened during Bush 43’s 2 terms. According to these people Clinton caused the financial collapse and housing market collapse. Bush did nothing to cause this, although he was President for 7 years when all of this happened. According to these people the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were run properly and there was no hidden agenda.

They blame President Obama for not creating jobs, but put no blame on Republican led House, although they shot down a Veterans Jobs Bill and a Jobs Bill. Collectively they would have created as many as 1.5 million jobs, effectively lowering the 7.6 unemployment rate and helping economy. They do not recognize this as happening. They attack President Obama about Benghazi, but say the 11 embassy attacks and near 60 deaths in Bush term were acceptable because we were at war. War on Terror is still in progress, not all embassy attacks happened in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The whole Republican party philosophy shows here. If they cannot convince you that act like young children. Yes it devolved to them calling names and cursing. If you disagree with their views, you are dumb, stupid, a terrorist and a Muslim. Apparently religious views are no longer protected by their beloved Constitution, which Democrats protect more. This is why Congress is in gridlock. Republicans have own facts and refuse to acknowledge any other views. In my experience many, not all are bigoted, short sighted people. It only matters when it happens to them. Of Trayvon Martin was their child, their opinion of him being responsible for own death would be different. We live in a country of many views and ethnicities, people need to be more open minded.

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.

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?

Supreme Court rules in favor of Big Business.

               A sharply divided Supreme Court made it more difficult for Americans to sue businesses for discrimination and retaliation. It led to one of of the Judges to call on Congress to overturn the courts action. The High Court ruled 5-4 in 2 major decisions.

                  The Court’s Conservatives ruled that a person must be able to hire and fire someone to be considered a supervisor in discrimination lawsuits. This makes it harder to blame a business for a coworkers’ sexism or racism. The Court then decided to limit how juries can decide retaliation lawsuits. It says victims must prove employers wouldn’t havectaken action against them but for the intention to retaliate.

In the first case, Maetta Vance, who was a catering specialist at Ball State University, accused a co-worker, Shaundra Davis, of racial harrassment and retaliation in 2005. Vance sued the school under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Vance said the University was liable since Davis was her supervisor. But a Federal Judge threw out her lawsuit, saying that since Davis couldn’t fire Vance, she was only a co-worker and since the University had taken corrective action, it was not liable fir Davis’ actions. The 7th Circuit upheld that decision and Vance appealed to the Supreme Court.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote both dissents for the Court’s Liberal wing. She said aloud in Court, “Both decisions dilute the strength of of Title VII in ways Congress could not have intended.” She also said the Supreme Court had corralled Title VII, a law designed to stop discrimination in work places.

But Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority opinion, said Davis must have the authority to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline Vance, in order for the University to be liable. He also said “We hold that an employee is a supervisor for purposed vicarious liability under Title VII if he or she were empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim. Becausr there is no evidence BSU empowered Davis to take tangible employment actions against Vance, the judgement of the Seventh Circuit is affirmed.”

The Conservative portion of the Supreme Court usually rules in favor of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a Republican lobbying group. These are obviously decisions that benefit big bussiness. Of course it is at the expense of the worker. Gutting Title VII removes most, if not all responsibility to protect their employees. Obviously it is up to Democrats to fix this, because Republicans and their corporate sponsors got a win. The people lost again.