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.

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.

Another mass shooting, let’s start the blame game.

                Aaron Alexis went on a shooting rampage at the Washington Navy Yard yesterday. At about 8:20 in the morning he opened fire, killing 12 and wounding another dozen. This is a man who had a history of violence. He was even arrested for shooting at a work crew. But because he was never convicted he was able to get a gun. So now the blame game starts.

A person who knew Alexis said he played violent video games a lot, for hours at a time. So Call of Duty must have been the reason he shot these people. Of course he learned how to shoot a real gun by playing this game. It also gave him the ability to plan his attack and sneak the weapons in. I think the people who make these games should be held responsible. This is a cop out. I play violent video games, many people I know play them as well. I do not know any mass murderers.

Maybe it is violent movies. They are desensitizing our society. So watching Taken 2 must have caused him to do it. He learned everything he needed to know from that movie, as well as the mental ability to pull the trigger. It is not as easy as a Hollywood movie makes it out to be. Sadly this is another cop out. These movies do not cause mental disorders or even cause the act to happen. Do they exacerbate the situation? Possibly, maybe even probably. But are these the true issues.

Alot of the problem lies with our inability to change anything. As a society we are angry. To change anything causes waves of anger and protests. Media protagonists make the situation much worse. Firing up fringe elements of society and inflaming hatred for anyone who disagrees with them. Is this the cause, maybe not this case, but it is another possibility. We as a society need to be careful how we approach these type of things. The instability of a person is more likely to be pushed over the edge. In an era of mass media knowing everything about the shooter and very little about the victims sends the wrong message.

An already polarized society is made worse by the polarization in government. Our elected officials, Republican and Democrat alike are guilty of making the situation worse. Democrats pushing for more social safety nets and Republicans pushing for everything the Majority of Americans don’t want. The NRA makes it worse with saying how the government intends to take everyone’s guns. How the Second Amendment is there to help overthrow tyrannical government. This most definitely exacerbates the situation.

So how do we fix the problem? There is not one solution. We need to make access to guns a little more difficult. Walking through Walmart and seeing them sell Assault weapons is very unsettling. We need comprehensive gun reform, as well as stronger mental health standards. We need less anger in government and more focus on the victims. If we stop making violent video games and movies would the violence stop? No, for some reason we seem to be a violent society. If violent video games and movies had so much to do with this, why don’t other countries have the same amount of mass shootings? They care for theur people and help take care of them. They are not societies that bury the poor, they help. Maybe if we weren’t a top down nation, we would be a little better off.

Bloomsburg Fair in northeastern Pennsylvania bans guns, then changes rule because gun owners threaten to boycott the fair.

               The Bloomsburg Fair banned guns at its 157 inception.  Gun owners took to Facebook to threaten to boycott a tradition in Pennsylvania. Why do these people need their guns at a fair? What about the normal people who do not carry guns? The fear a person having a gun causes for others, it is absurd to have a gun in a public place. Why does the Second Amendment trump all other parts of the Constitution?

What if someone gets killed by a nut job with a gun? If the fair gets sued, does the lawsuit now fall on this group? What if it is another group of kids that get shot? These people have no compassion for anyone else. Having people walk around with guns in a place with as many as 20,000 a day. What if the gun gets stolen and the theif shoots someone? I know it is a lot if what ifs, but the job of the fair is to mitigate risks.

So once again gun rights trump common sense. It seems to be the only Constitional Amendment that matters to people. The First Amendment was stomped all over constantly by the Republican party, but the gun nuts don’t care. Don’t touch my guns, but force religious beliefs on me, take away my voting rights and my freedom of speech. This is what our great nation has come too. The hilarity of it is that most of these gun nuts dont even know the full Second Amendment. If you are offended by this, tell me the complete Second Amendment.

The gun nut comments may bother some, but why does your right to haveca gun trump my right to feel safe. The numbers the NRA gives about gun owners stopping break ins are seriously skewed. The numbers are much lower than they give. Sadly the NRA is a lobbyist for the gun industry, not a group with no financial interests. So if course anything they give is skewed. Democrats and President Obama tried new gun control laws but were stopped by a Republican filubuster funded by the NRA. So once again big money triumphs over the will of the people.

You need to register your car and get insurance for it, but not for a gun, which is built to kill. You need homeowners insurance as well. Sadly a portion of the American public outweighs the rest because of money. Money has led to Americas fall from the top and it will topple our political system. It will soon be a Fuedal Society governed by corporations and protected by gun owners. The rest will be indentured servants.

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.

Martin Luther King Jr., his dream has stalled.

             50 years after Martin Luther King Jr. incredible speech, civil rights seems to have hit a wall. It is not the will of the majority that has become a stumbling block, but the will of a small but growing group of zealots. These zealots are intentionally stalling American progress, for the sake of power.

Today there are some elected leaders who are just as bigoted as those that fought the 1965 Civil Rights Act. Rand Paul said he supports it, but owners of restaurants and stores should not be forced to serve people they don’t wish to. That statement makes you think he wants to head back towards segregation. The Republican Party supports voter restriction laws that intentionally target minorities. They call themselves purists and Constitutionalists. So do they want the 3/5s law back in place or to take away a womens right to vote.

The Voter I.D. laws a especially focused on minorities in larger cities. These are places where people do not normally drive, therefore many do not have photo I.D.s. A Republican official in Pennsylvania said it would ensure Republicans would win Pennsylvania. Their hopes were that it would remove about 800,000 urban votes. President Obama won Pennsylvania by about 800,000 votes, give or take a few. So in order to regain power they are willing to wipe out 50 years of progress for a group of people treated horribly by the white majority.

Democrats have not fought nearly hard enough to keep MLK’S dream alive. It is a fight that they cannot lose. It destroys progress from a half century in the time it takes to write a bill. Why would anyone sacrafice the rights of the people they represent to be in power? Aren’t we supposed to be the shining example of Democracy for the world to see. We are the example for them to follow. But this is how we treat our own. If they are allowed to remove these rights from people who fought so hard to get them, what will stop them from taking mine because I don’t make enough money. Corporate Feudalism is not our system of government, we are a Democracy by all the people, not just the chosen few.

Martin Luther King Jr. speech was an incredible example of the true American spirit. In the 50 years since we have seen some of his dream come true. We have our first African-American President, an African-American Attorney General and segregation has d gone to the history books. But the last 5 years alone show the shaky ground upon which the Civil Rights fight stands. A Conservative agenda has tried to gut everything that so many have worked so hard for. I hope to see MLKs dream a reality in my lifetime, but our progress seems to have been ground to a halt. I hope my children see the dream come to fruition.