Hobby Lobby, religous freedom or force fed religion.

      The Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision was a big in a few ways. First it proved that Supreme Court Justices should not be a lifetime appointment. Second it showed how far our country has strayed from what we are. Third it showed a complete disdain for the protections the United States Constitution afforded us. It all showed the Conservative wing celebrating a “victory” over the common folks.

The First Amendment of the Constitution states; Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free excersize thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peacably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. What does this mean? Do we the people still have said protections?

Making no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free excersize thereof. That would mean that no religion shall be protected over the other by states or federal government. Basic, simplistic view. Everyone is free to practice any religion they would like. Republicans like to say that we are a Christian nation, which as stated violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. They say prayer should be allowed in school and creationism taught, not all but many. But the only prayer they want in school are Christian prayers, all others be damned. Christian right wingers believe abortion is a sin and contraceptives are abortion. That statement has been lambasted by anyone who is a doctor but a degree means nothing in that discussion.

Republicans claim they are the protectors of our Constitution and that liberal Democrats want to rip it to shreds. Anyone with half a brain can see the obvious, Republicans do not care about the Constitution. I realize i have gone off topic but this will come together, I hope. In Republican lead states across the nation our right to peacably assemble is being stomped upon. People arrested and disgraced by the GOP while a criminal like Cliven Bundy and his group of hooligans walj away scot free. Armed people stopping a government agency from enforcing the law, supported by Republicans. Freedom of Speech is stomped upon dailly and being able to redress Government is a joke. Republicans are trying to take away our government voice, the right to vote.

Now not only is a corporation regarded as a person, they also can force their religious beliefs on their employees. Before the ACA was put into effect, Hobby Lobby offered health insurance plans that had access to birth control. Not only that, but much of their inventory is bought from China. China is notorious for its abortion rate. I think with those two sentences I established Hobby Lobby’s hypocracy. Why did Hobby Lobby’s stance change? I dont have the answer but anyone who isnt blind realizes how much the Republican base hates President Obama. Is that the reason? Who knows? But why now? Why did the Supreme Court rule directly on party lines?

How does my employers religion effect my health care decisions? Is that religious freedom? For the employer, yes but where is ours. How does my employers religion outweigh mine? If this ruling is correct; then if i worked for a Muslim company I have to adhere to Shariha Law. Or a Satanist for instance. Or would my choices be mine then? I am paying for a portion of my health care, as well as visits, meds or anything else Dr. related. How can my employer come between myself and my doctor? These questions arent answered yet but I have a feeling this ruling will have unintended consequences. I do not think these justices had the foresight to see what would be around the corner.

Whatever your opinion of religion is, you are entitled to it except when it comes to your employer. This is a idiotic interpretation of our Constitution. Ee have seen some awful rulings coming from this Supreme Court. Please remember you are free to practice your religion but your employers is more important.

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.

The Republican party’s all out attack on Women, minorities, the poor and the U S. Constitution.

                 This is a very difficult time in in American politics. One party calls the other Marxist, socialist and unAmerican. Yet while saying these things they attack Americans fundamental rights, voting and the First Amendment. The Constitution seems not to be the sacred document we thought, it is being treated like a 7 graders essay.

The party in question is of course the Republican party. They believe in and support the Second Amendment, but stomp all over people’s religious freedom by forcing their religious beliefs on others. They are attacking people’s right to vote because they can’t win a presidential election. Several Republican lawmakers have said the new Voter I.D. laws will cause less people to vote. Which of course works in their favor.

They are essentially telling the citizens of America that their opinion doesn’t matter. They do this although they hold a publicly elected office. Since we the Constitution was written Americans have had the right to vote, white men did. It took many, many years and the hard work of the Civil Rights movement to get African Americans the right to vote. Women couldn’t vote until the 1920s. That proves that our Constitution is a fluid document, open to change. Republicans like to think otherwise.

President Obama and Democrats alike are fighting new Voter Laws nationwide. They are defending our all of our Constitutional rights, not just the ones lobbyist pay them to protect. While fighting these laws and trying to improve the economy, Republicans have an all out assault on Womens Reproductive Rights. The hell with Roe v. Wade and the U.S. Constitution that protects these rights. Women, minorities and the poor have been the targets of the new Republican party. Their attempts to protect the 1% hopefully will prove their undoing in the 2014 election and others there after.

Governor Rick Perry and his special Anti-Abortion session.

                   The Texas legislature is currently working in the midst of another special session. This special session, like the last, was convened by Governor Rick Perry to further his anti-abortion agenda. This session will end on July 31. Republican lawmakers in the Texas legislature have been proposing one anti-abortion bill after another. So much for Wendy Davis’s 13 hour Filibuster and the people who helped at the end.

3 Texas Republicans filed a measure that would criminalize abortion services after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. That typically occurs at about 6 weeks of pregnancy, many women do not even know they are pregnant then. The measure to ban abortion at 20 weeks effectively shuts down the majority of the states abortion clinics. The legislature gave final approval to that bill last Saturday and Governor Perry signed it into law Thursday morning.

Evidently the 20 week ban was not enough for several Republican representatives. Phil King, Dan Flynn and Geanie Morrison filed HB59 the same day Perry signed the 20 week ban. The Texas legislature has already denied minority Democrats their Constitutional rights during these special sessions. Now they have made it more difficult for the public to attend, using smaller facilities. Security was confiscating tampons and maxi pads while letting people with guns in. So now women’s feminin products are more dangerous than guns. Maybe Texas should change the state name to NRA.

These radical heartbeat laws are even dividing the pro-life community. They criminalize the vast majority of abortions and also mandate invasive ultrasound procedures for women seeking abortions. The only way to detect a fetal heartbeat so early in pregnancy is to use a transvaginal probe.

North Dakota became the first state to pass a 6 week abortion ban. It is the strictest abortion ban in the country. It is being challenged in the court for overstepping Roe v. Wade. Republicans insistence on ignoring a Constitutionally recognized law shows their contempt for the U.S. Constitution. The Republicans war on women is distracting from them helping to create jobs, help the economy or anything that the American people really want.

The heartbeat ban is a trigger provision. It cannot take effect until Roe v. Wade is overturned. If the law is struck down HB59 will immediately go into effect. Several other states also have trigger provisions in the hopes of quickly banning abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The Republican party wants smaller government, but wants access to women’s uteruses. It is a strange way of forcing religious beliefs on the people. They claim these rules are for women’s health, but the evidence shows otherwise. Unfortunately this is what the Republican party has become. The only way to change it is by voting them out of office. Prove to them that Democracy is stronger than money, manufactured scandals and all the other junk they through ou there.

Banks win a legal battle against LIBOR lawsuits.

             Banks recently won a major legal battle against LIBOR lawsuits. A Federal Judge dismissed LIBOR lawsuits agsinst 16 banks, mostly because the plaintiffs couldn’t remove all of the obstacles to show how they have been harmed by violations of the U.S. Antitrust Laws. JP Morgan Chase and of course Bank of America were 2 of the banks.

This goes bank to the 2012 LIBOR scandal. It was admitted that banks were manipulating this key interest rate, which effects everything from municipal borrowing to derivatives. The court apparently doesn’t care, Republicans don’t care. So who really cares?

The people who were harmed care. Municipal borrowers and counterparties in derivative trades were harmed. But showing how theg were harmed is the problem. LIBOR rates of different durations were generated everyday. It hit investors and borrowers worldwide a tiny bit at a time. How woukd this be added up? The estimates in how much banks would pay in LIBOR lawsuits range from $7.8 billion to $176 billion.

In the cases dismissed, the plaintiffa included pension funds and money managers like Charles Schwab. They argue that they were cheated on bond income because LIBOR rates were to low during the financial crisis. Barckay’s, UBS and the Royal Bank of Scotland have payed out $2.5 billion to settle charges that they were manipulating rates.

LIBOR determines the benchmark rate at which many of the world’s largest banks are able to borrow money. It is done by surveying representatives from 18 major global banks. The rate impacts short-term interest rates for a variety of financial instruments and investments.The lawsuits claim the defendants colluded to artificially suppress LIBOR for the benefits of individual traders.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the economic reach of larger finacial institutions has had an inhibiting impact on prosecutions against banks. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat and Charles Grassley, Republican, cited Holder’s comments when they pushed for tougher settlements in cases against banks. That is a welcome departure from Republicans normal unending support of big banks. Republicans are the banks personal lobbyist. Maybe it is time for Too Big To Fail to find themselves in jail.

Governor Rick Perry has called another special session, another attempt to force his ideals on women.

                  About a week after State Rep. Wendy Davis filibustered for 13 hours and the people helped stop more Anti-abottion legislation, Governor Rick Perry called another special session. He is determined in his Pro-Life opinion to stop women from having abortions. He spoke about Texas appreciating the sanctity of life right around the same time Texas killed its 500th person with the death penalty.

Texas is again doing away with the 2/3s majority vote in an attempt to undermine Democrats. He and his Republican cohorts are determined not to lose again. They are pulling out all of the stops. This special session will be a month long and they are starting on HB2 immeadiately. They also need to get it done beford midnight regardless of the number of speakers. The room it is being held in is not large enough for a of the lawmakers and citizens. These are some of the Democrats concerns.

It seems that Governor Perry does not care about the will of the people. He continues in his quest to alienate voters through his totalitarian way of running the state. The Filibuster that stopped the original bill is going to be hard to repeat. This has become the Republican partys issuevof choice. They have abandoned creating jobs, helping the economy, in fact doing anything constructive in order to control Womens reproductive rights.

While Republicans spout off about the 2nd Amendment and how their party protects the U.S. Constitution they stomp all over our 1st Amendment rights. In the United States we do not have a State Religion, in fact it is illegal for the government, state, local or federal to force religious beliefs on anyone. The Texas Governor is guilty of this as well as the whole Republican party. Apparently they misinterpreted tg e Constitution.

Pennsylvania Voter I.D. Law is going on trial.

                  Pennsylvania’s long side lined Voter I.D. Law is going to court to determine its Constitutionality. Critics who say the Law violates voters’ rights convinced a Judge to bar enforcement during the 2012 election. The Law requires voters to show a photo I.D., which if is paid for becomes a voter toll. The Judge issued temporary orders based on a narrower context. The trial is set for July 15 in the Commonwealth Court to determine if the Law is Constitutionally legal.

It most certainly will take a long time for there to be an outcome. Lawyers in the case say Commonwealth Court Judges most likely wilk weigh in after the trial. Both sides expect the loser to appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. If the state prevails voters in Pennsylvania will be forced to present a photo I.D. before casting a ballot. If the Law is overturned voters will see little change at the polls.

The Plaintiffs lawyers – the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia, the ACLU of Pa., the Advancement Project and the Washington D.C. Law firm of Arnold and Porter- have asked the court to bar enforcement of the law until the case is fully resolved. The states legal team of includes lawyers from the Attorney General’s office, Governor Tom Corbett’s Office of General Counsel and the private law firm of Drinker, Biddle and Reath LLP.

The Law approved by Republicans who controlled the legislature and signed by a Republican governor has created quite an issue among voters and Democrats. Republicans in the State Legislature said that thus law wouod ensurs Republican victories in future elections. If the Voter Photo I.D. has to be paid for it violates the U.S. Constitution. You cannot make a citizen pay to vote and impede them from voting in any way.

Republicans realize they cannot win elections with theur current ideology and their obstructionist ways. They use gerrymandering, which is illegal, and Voter Restriction Laws to force their way into office. Rather than adjusting to what the People want they are trying to force their ideals down our throat. From Gun Control to Prayer in School they are misinterpreting and stomping all over the Constitution, with help from lobbyist and groups like ALEC. Voting to choose our leaders is the foundation of American Democracy, the Republican party doesn’t have a right to take that away because they don’t like President Obama. Put your ideology in line with the people and your chances of winning improve exponentially.

Republicans kill the Veterans Jobs bill, good enough to die for them but not good enough to help.

                  To put it blatantly, the Republicans screwed our veterans again. Last one was a few months ago when the Republican Sequester killed the Military Tuition Assistance Program. This time is even worse and a serious thumb in the eye of our veterans. This time they stopped the Veterans Jobs Bill by forcing a budget point of order vote. Senate Majority WHIP Dick Durbin (R-Il) requested a motion to waive the budget point of order. The budget point of order was raised by Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Al). Democrats need 60 votes, but only got 58.

Sessions said in a floor speech Wensday “This violates the Budget Control Act, there is no dispute about it. The Bill will not even go through the House and it violates the Constitution because it says revenue bills must be started in the House and this is a revenue bill.” Why does the House insist the Senate and President Obama present budgets when that is obviously unConstitutional. According to Senator Sessions the House is violating the Constitution willingly in doing so.

The Veterans Job Corp Act would have created new job training programs to help veterans find work in targeted fields. Fields such as natural park conservation, historic preservation projects, police work and firefighting, among others. Senator Scott Brown, Dean Heller, Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe were the only Republicans who voted for the waiver, in a 58-40 vote.

The $1billion bill would have paid for itself over the next decade. Republican Senators say the bill allows for more spending at the Veterans Administration than what was agreed to in the Budget Control Act. This is thec reason they raised the point of order vote. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Ok) said these types of bills are part of the problem of the growing National Debt.

S.3457 was returned to the calender, leaving H.J. Res. 117, the 6 month spending resolution passed by the House last week, as the only business left in the Senate before the Election recess.

Senator Patty Murray (D-Wa) said “This point of order puts a price on what we are willing to provide our veterans and it says not a penny more. It’s a point of order that not only kill our ability to pass the bill, but that could also affect nearly every other effort we make to improve the lives of veterans moving forward.” She also said ” At every turn, we have sought compromise. But instead of meeting us halfway, we have been met with resistance. Instead of saying yes to the nearly 1 million unemployed veterans, it seems the other side have spent the last week and a half seeking out any way to say no.”

This a disgusting act on Republicans part. They practice a form of selective austerity. Tax cuts are another form of spending because they cut revenue. Republicans, Tea Party and conservatives are unwilling to raise taxes on the wealthy or close Corporate Tax Loopholes, tax havens and other forms of tax avoidance that cost us hundreds of billions of dollars a year, but will kill a $1 billion dollar bill for veterans that will pay for itself in 10 years. Lobbyist obviously have Republicans in their pocket. Our soldiers are good enough to die to make these greedy pigs rich but are not good enough to help. Shame on you Republicans, you are despicable.

                 

Governor Rick Perry calls a special session to force through new abortion laws.

                    Governor Rick Perry called a special session to talk about redistricting. Most political observers predicted that the special session would soon turn into a huge fight over abortion. Guess what, they were right. Perry, on Tuesday, added legislation relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities to the special session call. They also added consideration of mandatory life sentences for 17 year old capital offenders.

In a Tuesday press release Perry was perfectly clear which of the issues he is most concerned with, writing in part; The horrors of the National Late Term Abortion industry are continuing to come to light, one atrocity at a time. Sadly, some of those atrocities happen in our own state. In Texas, we all value life and we worked to cultivate a culture that supports the birth of every child. We have an obligation to protect unborn children and to hold those who peddle those abortions to standards that would minimize the death, disease and pain they cause.

The anti-abortion bills on the table are extensive. One bill would require every clinic that provides abortions or even prescribes the abortion pill, to conform to the standards of an ambulatory surgical center. Another Bill would drastically limit access to medical abortions by forcing the woman to have a sonogram before hand. They would have to take both pills in front of a doctor and see their physician for a follow up in 2 weeks. They are medically unnecessary and designed to make medical abortions harder to get. Perry is bullush on the bill that bans abortions at 20 weeks.

The last session before the special session was marked largely by the fact that no one on either side wanted to fight about abortion. All of these bills were killed in committee or petered out on the House and Senate floors. By temporarily changing the legislative rules of procedure the bills have a much better chance of passing. The Lt. Governor plans to suspend Senate procedural rules that give Democrats a strong voice in legislative debates.

Sadly this is going on in all states governed by Republicans. Anywhere they have the majority they are pushing nullification and amping up the Anti-Abortion fight. Democrats seem powerless to stop them, even though they have the U.S. Constitution on their side. That is the one arguement that can end this insanity. According to the Constitution Federal law is the law of the land and nullification is illegal. President Obama is attempting to dissuade these lunatics, but they hate him and can’t see reason.

The 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constition.

           The 16th Amendment passed Congress on July 2, 1909, ratified on February 3, 1913. Article 1, section 9 of the Constitution was modified by the 16th Amendment. It goes as follows;
       The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

                  Basically it says that it is up to Congress to set the amount of taxes and collect them. How the money that is taxed is made does not matter. It will not be split up between the states and the census and amountvof people will have zero effect on how the tax system works.

That sentence holds a small bit of information about an extremely large issue. Tax Reform, how should it be done? As I stated above Congress has the power to set the tax levels. They are responsible for the revenue that keeps our country running. There is no mention of lobbyist or outside groups in the 16th Amendment. Nor is there a mention of outside groups helping to set the tax levels. I also didnt see any mention that Congress had the right to take an anti-tax pledge with a lobbyist. So Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge means nothing.

We have established that the Republican trickle down economy doesn’t work. In fact ot has horrible economic consequences, look at the state we were in 2008. We were hemorrhaging jobs, the housing market crashed, Stock market was trashed and banks were going belly up at an alarming rate. We can also agree that austerity doesn’t work. Look at Europe and look at how the Sequester slowed job growth. Obviously you cannot cut your way to prosperity.

If there are any millionaires out there who made their millions solely by cutting spending please speak up. What us needed is a balanced aporoach. Yes we should make cuts, but a least dollar for dollar with tax increases. Right now it us about 6 dollard spending cut to 1 dollar in tax increase. That will not get us where we need to be. Unfortunately Republicans will cut off their nose to spite their face. They cannot see logic because of their vile hatred for President Obama.

Apple recently was in the news for Tax Avoidance. That was $6-$9 billion in taxes that wasn’t collected. In 2010 GE did not pay a single dollar in taxes, I paid more that GE. How many more companies are doing this? How many billions of dollars in tax revenue are not collected because Republicans do not wantva fairer tax code? The extreme Republicans, Tea party members want to abolish the IRS and pay little or nothing in taxes. Our founding fathers knew taxes were essential, why don’t Republicans?

President Obama’s agenda is working. We are digging out of the recession despite Republican obstruction. The stock market and housing market are both recovering. Our debt ceiling crisis has been pushed back by several months by his measures. Imagine where we would be with Republican help. Unfortunately all they have to offer is vitriol.