The Republican government shutdown.

           I spent yesterday awestruck at how people would blame President Obama for this shutdown. As odd as it sounds these people are saying Republicans are doing the right thing. Shutting down the government to shutdown a law you don’t like is incredible. The ACA is law and that will not change. Why is helping people get affordable health care such a problem?

Republicans want to negotiate, at the last minute. The 18 times Democrats tried to negotiate and go to conference since April were apparently not good enough. Republicans shot it down everytime. Why negotiate at the last minute? To fool gullible Americans into thinking they care. They are not negotiating, they are trying to force an issue through hurting the American people and economy. That is not governing, I don’t know what it is. Sadly people buy into this.

Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and all these other right wing radio host spread hate. They dislike President Obama’s policies, so they spew vitriol in order to polarize the public that listens to them. They spread lies about the ACA, which host Chuck Todd said the main stream media does not need to correct. Isnt the media a vehicle for the public to learn the truth or is it just a vehicle to spread Republican rhetoric. Sadly it seems to be the latter. They, those who are closest to the mess that is Congress know the truth. But the truth doesn’t seem to matter.

The American public is being duped by a party of hate. This is a party that was against medicare, social security, food stamps, extending unemployment, the Veterans Jobs Bill and VAWA. Isn’t it obvious that these people do not care about the American public. These are the people who give rich farmers free money, $200 billion to corporate welfare and believe corporations are people that aren’t governed by the same laws as people. This is a party controlled by corporate interests. The Tea Party was created by the Koch brothers, who have ties to the NRA and ALEC. How is that grassroots?

Republicans were giddy about shutting the government down, their own words. Michelle Bachman came out and said how proud she was of the stand they are taking. Do they not realize they lost the election? The people spoke, overwhelmingly in favor of the ACA and President Obama. Get over yourselves and move on. Govern our country and stop holding the people hostage. America does not negotiate with terrorists. Especially ones in our own government.

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.

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.

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.

The true travesty of the Trayvon Martin murder.

               The true travesty here is that a 17 year old boy had his life taken from him. He could have been a doctor, a lawyer, the next Martin Luther King Jr. or even a criminal. Who could say? But he was robbed of the chance of being any of those things. I do not know him personally,  but that is not necessary to know it is horrible that his parents don’t get to see him grow into the man he could be. As Trayvon Martin lies in his grave, his murderer walks free with the murder weapon.

George Zimmerman walking free is a slap in the face of all law abiding citizens. Those who follow the rules and don’t use some corporate law to get away with murder. He banked on the fact that a young African-American boy could not get a fair trial in that area even in death. Instead of trying George Zimmerman, they seemed to be trying the victim, Trayvon Martin. If African-Americans were not disenfranchised before, many surely will be now.

Many refuse to recognize this as a Civil Rights issue. Saying a man protected himself against a suspicious character. But this decision shows that it is ok for a Caucasian to kill African-Americans with little fear of being prosecuted. The issue here is that every life is sacred and you only get one. For any man to murder someone outside of protecting their home and walk is inherently unAmerican. We have police for a reason and vigilante justice is against the law.

Part of the travesty is how this truly revealed the bigotry hidden in the Republican party. Democrats and progressives alike believe George Zimmerman should have been convicted. This truly showed how many Americans believe they are superior because of the color of their skin. It even showed that in politicians. It also showed how Republican politicians put lobbyists and groups like ALEC and the Koch Brothers before the people. It also shows the race agenda of these powerful lobbyist groups. We need to join together to vote these bigots out in order to set America on its true course. All men are created equal, even a 17 year old walking with an Arizona Iced Tea and a bag of skittles.

Tea Party threatens to abandon Republican party members that they see as to moderate.

            The extremist group known as the Tea Party is threatening their own party, instead of just the nation as a whole. Compromise is apparently a dirty word to the Tea Party. Even though our Democracy has been built on compromise, Tea Party members refuse to do it. Any Republican party member who will work for all the people is too moderate and needs to go.

The Tea Party likes to portray themselves as a grassroots organization. That could not be further from the truth. A grassroots movement is not funded by billionaires, the Koch Brothers in this case. The Tea Party are just an extension of the Koch lobbying arm. They seem to walk lockstep with the Kochs on just about every issue.

The Tea Party and other Republicans say government spending needed to be cut. The odd part is that Red States, Republican run states take more government money than Blue states, Democrat run. Red states get more government money back than they pay and Blue states pay the government more money than they recieve in return. So the Tea Party realistically want to cut their own people off. Corporate Welfare, supported by the Tea Party, outspends Social Welfare and Foodstamps $200 billion to $80 billion. Not to mention their support for Military spending, which s higher than the next 10 countries combined. The Tea Party doesn’t want cuts to these programs.

The sad part here is that the Tea Party hates President Obama. The more you talk or debate Tea Party members their hate seems to be based on his color. The Tea Party tends to support the Constitution in ways that benefit them. They seem to have a very nonsensical view of the Constitution. Most don’t know the full 1st and 2nd Amendments. They only know the parts that they have been told. Sadly our country has been held hostage by an extremist group and their religious fervor. What really seperates the Tea Party from Al Qaida or the Taliban?

This isn’t my grandparents America.

                 Our grandparents would not recognize the America we live in. The Government has let the people down now more than ever. Fracking is causing pollution to water and air across the country and Natural Gas Drillers are not being held responsible.

Because of an exemption in the Clean Water Act, Natural Gas Drilling Companies don’t have to report the chemicals they use. The Federal EPA does not control what happens in states, that is left mainly to the states EPA. Across the country the EPA was pressured to stop their investigations. Corporate money has shown its true hold on our government in the Fracking issue.

President Obama, who I am an ardent supporter of has done nothing for these Americans who are suffering. Democrats have done little more and Republicans share more of the guilt than any party. The lack of action from the Obama administration really bothers me. I know Democrats are not perfect, I have said so on many occasions. But this is an issue they should be perfect on. To let a government agency like the EPA be shutdown by corporate interests is inherently wrong.

The people have lost their voice in many cases. We lost it to lobbyist throwing money at Legislators and then pulling their puppet strings. The people don’t control our government, large entities like the Koch Brothers, ALEC, NRA and Exxon Mobile seem to control our everyday life. The Supreme Court exacerbated this problem with their Citizens United decisions. Corporations have the rights of people, but don’t get punished like the people when they break the law. The corporations have had their thumb on our head long enough. It is time for this to change.

Governor Corbett and unConstitutional GOP Policies wastes time and money.

              Another of Governor Corbett’s landmark policies was determined by the Commonwealth Court to violate the Pennsylvania State Constitution. His Human Services Block Grant Program got hit this time. Ths 2012 program, was said to give counties flexibility to spend Human Services funds where they most needed them. There was also another 10% slashed from their budgets.

Apperently it was so flexible in its interpretation of State Law that it went outside the bounds of the Constitution. Court reviews of laws presented by Governor Corbett and the Republican party are quite normal over the last 2 years. The Voter I.D., Act 13, stripped municipalities of the ability to establish their own zoning regulations. The elimination of the Adult Basic Health Care Program. It provided Health Care for working Pennsylvanians and partially paid for tabacco settlement funds. Republicans first attempts at reapportionment were all found unConstitutional.

Governor Corbett’s lawsuit against the NCAA was dismissed. His plan to privatize the Pennsylvania state lottery was rejected by the attorney general. The truth is the laws Governor Corbett is trying to pass are a waste if taxpayer money. The Governor’s office has spent almost $3 million on consulting firms for the lottery alone. If House Republicans would allow fair debate in the House these expenses could be avoided. During both the Act 13 and Voter I.D. debates, Democrats brought up the issue of Constitutionality only to be rebuked.

If Corbett’s liquor privatization and pension schemes get signed they will likely see court. Governor Corbett, just like Republicans nationwide care little for what the people want. It seems as if the Constitution only matters if it works in their favor and if not they stomp all over it. It is just a matter of time before they overwhelm the people and we are governed by the Koch Brothers.

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?

Texas vigilante law allows the use of deadly force to retrieve stolen goods at night.

                A Texas jury aquitted a man for the murder of a woman he hired as an escort. His lawyers claimed he used deadly force after she refused sex. Ezekiel Gilbert shot Lenora Ivie Frago in the neck on Christmas eve 2009. She denied his request for sex and wouldn’t return the $150 that he paid her.

               Under Texas law, an individual is authorized to use deadly force to retrieve stolrn property at night. Gilbert’s lawyers cited that provision as justification for his actions. They say Frago had stolen $150 from him by taking his money and not delivering sex. In a police interview played for jurors, Gilbert nevered mentioned anything about theft. Frago, who was 21, was critically injured and died several months later. Her occupation seems to have altered the jury’s decision. I don’t think they would have ruled in his favor if she was not an escort. Add the fact that he had to find her for any of this to occur and it seriously clouds the verdict.

While Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, which made headlines because of the murder of Trayvon Martin, authorizes the use of deadly force without having to retreat in defense of one’s person or home. Texas’ law goes well beyond this. Ot allows the use of deadly force in protection of any tangible or movable property. The Texas law not only authorizes the use of deadly force to retrieve stolen property at night but also during criminal mischief at nighttime. Deadly force is even authorized to prevent someone who is fleeing immeadiately after a theft during the night or a burglary or robber, so long as the individual reasonably thinks their property cannot be protected by other means. It seems as if the Texas legislature thinks we should return to the Wild West.

This law allows individuals to become vigilantes, which is illegal. It allows them to impose the death penalty for crimes that would not warrant the death penalty. Even with Texas law making vigilante justice legal, it is difficult to see how Gilbert’s behavior can be justified. Especially given that escorts are not entitled to deliver sex under the law and delivering sex for money is illegal.

While it is similar to Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law, which was supported by the NRA and the Koch Brothers, the Texas law goes even further. Texas and the Republucan majority in the state government further and further away from sanity. The Koch Brothers and the NRA have their fingerprints on these laws all over the country. These are the type of laws that move us backward in history. The NRA has their hands so far in the Republican party’s pocket they can scratch thrir knee. Democrats have to stay vigilant and united to stop these laws before they happen and possibly remove money from American politics. President Obama wants gun control and Republicans do the complete opposite in their obstructionist way.