The Walmart cycle.

               One meme or article after another tells us to avoid Walmart. Which is absolutely right! They subsidize their company by paying low wages, thereby forcing their employees to receive Federal Benefits. That alone costs American tax payers billions of dollars a year. Not to mention the money they receive from Federal and State governments to build stores or warehouses in their areas or the tax breaks and tax havens they use to avoid paying billions of dollars in taxes.

The Walton family are worth a couple hundred billion dollars. While making these billions of dollars they bemoan employees who ask for a higher wage or the right to unionize. All the while purchasing product from China, a Communist dictatorship that not only manipulates their currency but also subsidizes their companies. The Walton maintain that if they raise pay, they have to raise prices. While saying this they reap profits that have rarely been seen in American history.

Now here is the conundrum. The average person making even $12 an hour is that they do not have alot of disposable income. Electric, gas, phone, taxes and even sewer have all seen precipitous increases, all while this person has been stuck at $12 an hour. A family of 4, with mom and dad both working, will in many cases qualify for Federal Benefits. The failure of corporations to raise peoples pay while making record profits has presented these people with a pickle. Do I shop at a cheaper store and get more or shop at more expensive and get less. Where does this leave them?

At a time when Americans need more help then at possibly any time in our history, we have also found ourselves in a period of hyper-polarization. While these people need help, Paul Ryan and Republicans want to cut Federal Benefits while cutting taxes for the wealthy. Democrats led by Elizabeth Warren are trying to extend unemployment benefits, raise taxes on the wealthy, reel in to big to fail and fix income inequality. Bernie Sanders, the only Independent who really matters, my little joke, is fighting along many of the same fronts as Elizabeth Warren. It has become class warfare. Rich saying the poor dont work hard enough and poor asking for a fair share. All of this while 47 million Americans are on Food Stamps because of low pay or no jobs.

Here is where it comes full circle. These people on the bottom end up shopping at Walmart because of their low pay. By shopping at Walmart they are putting people like themselves out of work, as well as giving the Waltons a false sense that their model is a good thing. The person shopping there doesn’t want to do these things, but what company can compete with a monolithic corporation like Walmart. Of course it would be another corporation. What option do these people have? Even if you dont shop at Walmart, the majority of products are made somewhere else.

The disrespect of the Republican party and their media.

              I took the time yesterday to watch Bill O’Reilly interview President Obama. I would say it was quite nice of the President to grant an interview to a man that perpetuates lies about him daily. Bill O’Reilly has complete disdain for President Obama and showed it by interrupting him continuously.  But it is hard to bully a man who will not let you.

When Bill O’Reilly interviews a conservative he lets them speak. Any liberal, Democrat or person who disagrees is attacked with impunity. I sometimes watch just to see how and what conservatives think. Most, not all, tend to bully their fellow debater. Cutting them off, speaking over them, not answering questions they are afraid of the public knowing the answer to or just plain changing the subject. Sadly this is the state of our government today. If you dont agree, you are the enemy, compromise viewed as weakness. Unfortunately this has caused our gridlock.

I watched Michelle Bachmann debate Bernie Sanders. It was a joke. A educated person debating a 5 year old. Michelle Bachmann used all the tactics above. When asked her stance on Social Security, she said she would gladly answer. Yet for some odd reason, she refused. She has over the years said some very questionable things. Why wouldnt she answer a question that many Americans want the answer to? Dont you think that is a bit conspicuous? Look at her record and that of Bernie Sanders. You will see who makes actual sense.

I then watched Paul Ryan in an interview. He said that President Obama is a lawless President. He said it is not the amount of executive orders but the scope. That President Obama is making laws and that is Congress’ job. But he stepped away from impeachment talk. If the President was lawless and disregarding the U S Constitution shouldn’t those sworn to uphold it hold him accountable? If he is lawless, should he not be impeached. Paul Ryan is another blowhard playing to his base.

Although this is a small thing, it drives me nuts. Conservatives refer to President Reagan, President Bush and Mr Obama. Neither of the first 2 are president anymore. President Obama is a sitting president. Afford him the same respect as Governor Romney, Senator Paul, this is disgraceful. President Obama was voted in by an overwhelming majority of people, HE IS THE PRESIDENT. Just because you disagree with his politics or are hurt by him being in office doesn’t diminish that he is PRESIDENT.

This doesn’t mean I agree with President Obama on everything he does. It does mean he is President, deal with it. Do not be disrespectful to the American people by hurting them to tarnish his legacy. We have been hurt enough by dirty bank practices and financial practices. It is time to stand with the people and the will of the people. But maybe your corporate sponsors wouldnt like that? You have to please your corporate masters.

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.

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.

Why has the Debt Ceiling become a political show?

             During Ronald Reagans time in office Congress voted to raise the Debt Ceiling 17 times. They raised it another 7 times under George W. Bush. The Republicans give President Obama a difficult time about, even at one point lowering the United States credit rating, just to make a point. Once again it is a point at the expense of the American public.

Contrary to Conservative news and radio show hosts and their audience, we are no longer in a debt crisis. Speaker of the House John Boehner and Republican wunderkind Paul Ryan both admitted that fact. As well as several other prominent Republicans. $2.5 trillion has been trimmed off the defecit over the next 10 years. That is a fact that is little known in Conservative circles. It is a combination of Medicare saving money, more tax revenue, cutting waste from programs, as well as cuts across the board, the Sequester.

The Debt Ceiling has never been taken hostage like this before. This is the first time in the last 75 years this has ever happened. In fact I believe this is the first time in history. This is unprecedented. It is a small minded attempt to force President Obama to capitulate to their demands. They are willing to again downgrade our credit rating to do this. This is verging on lunacy. This is not how to govern a country. Democracy is built on compromise. The Constitution was great men compromising. But these great men made slavery legal in our country. So all men are fallable.

Sadly this is just another dog and pony show to coddle their base. Democrats and President Obama have shown their willingness to compromise, Republicans will not because they are catering to a growing radical base. It is zealots whose understanding of the Constitution is limited who are forcing the polarization. The Representatives are fostering this hatred of people with different opinions.

The Debt Ceiling is raised to pay bills we have already incurred. Nothing else. Please do not be bamboozled by someone trying to forward their own agenda. The Conservative movement has turned a matter of practice into a personal attack on the President. When is enough, enough. Time enough has passed, get over your losses and govern our country properly.

House Republicans plan on holding nation hostage on Debt Ceiling, in order to get Ryan Budget in place.

                 House Republicans are drafting a Debt Ceiling playbook. They are calling it a menu of mandatory spending cuts to offer President Obama in exchange for raising the debt limit. The menu is a list of deeper cuts for President Obama to consider. If he goes small on cuts House Republicans will give him a short extension. But, for example, if he privatizes Social Security, House Republicans will likely raise it for the rest of his term.

President Obama said he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling. He warned Congress not to threaten the credit worthiness of the U.S. by holding the debt ceiling hostage. Not raising the Debt Ceiling was basically unheard of until President Obama took office. House Republicans fear the President will wait until the last minute and make a BIPARTISAN deal with the Senate. This will force the House to take a deal they don’t want or rightly be blamed for defaulting on the country’s obligations and causing a downgrade if the U.S. credit worthiness.

House Republicans are trying to sell this as a compromise. But their menu reads almost as a carbon copy of the Ryan Budget, which President Obama disagrees with. Democrats disagree with the Ryan Budget because of spending cuts, as well as large tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. They are not offering a compromise, they are issuing an ultimatum. They are setting their partybup for certain failure in the 2014 elections.

While the House is responsible for raising the Debt Ceiling, President Obama does not have to agree to anything. He will never have to run for reelection again. If he says no, Democrats can use it against Republicans in 2014 and like I said it will work against Republicans to go down this road.

John Boehner and Paul Ryan are playing a game of political chess. They believe they will avoid political fallout from another Debt Ceiling debacle if they pretend to give President Obama and the Democrats a choice. The option is which programs that help people to kill. House Republicans will probably cave at the last possible second, causing more of a problem than necessary. The last time President Obama tried to compromise with Republicans, they spit in his face. His strategy of waiting out House Republicans seems to be working. Why would he change it now?

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.