Tuesday, for 13 hours the US
Senate will never get back, Rand Paul (Embarrassment-KY) fabricated a
fantasy and then portrayed himself defending America from it. What next,
filibuster a threat of attack by fire breathing dragons or chimeras?
Rand Paul is Elmer Gantry Fudd, a conman hunting elusive wabbits.
People who lead the gullible always require an enemy, a danger from
which they will defend the gullible. Let's call it a 'filiquester'
instead of 'filibuster' - another creation of Tea Party theater. It was
the Rand Paul Version of Joe McCarthy's "I have in my pocket the names
of communists in government." Have you no shame, Rand Paul? At least
John McCain and Lindsay Graham see RINO Rand Paul for the abject fool he
is and said so yesterday.
What 'logic' is there in a circumstance where a problem is recognized, one that delivers tragedy after tragedy, but then concludes the U.S. Constitution does not permit a solution?
No one respects the Second Amendment more than I do. Firearms - guns - are and have been an integral part of American history. From before the Revolutionary War to the Civil War, the Old West to World Wars – hunting, survival, self-defense. As a gun owner, one who collects as well as considers them a tool for home defense, I respect guns. Guns have been and remain a part of our national identity.
But times, people and society have changed. Nothing made that more evident than the morning of December 14, 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut and the senseless slaughter of 20 children, ages 5 to 7 years.
Those of us outside looking in can only imagine the heartache of the parents of Newtown, the families and friends of Aurora, the parents and families of Columbine, of Virginia Tech, those victims of mass shootings in malls in Colorado, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin, Maryland, Missouri, or the relatives of three people, one of them a 12 year old girl, killed in a college parking lot at Hazard, Kentucky only a few days ago – the list goes on and on.
This nation has for decades failed to address significant mental health issues, neglected societal issues and the result is repeated episodes of mass shootings. Those issues coupled with the easy access and availability of firearms present a danger to our citizens that must be addressed. It’s a dilemma and it deserves more than to be shoved aside on the premise our founding fathers would consider any measures to regulate access to firearms a violation of the Second Amendment. It’s time to act to protect our citizens, our children, to limit and prevent acts of violence like Newtown.
There are no easy answers – there are a lot of considerations. I believe banning weapons or their accessories is ineffective and pointless. But doing nothing is not an option. Kentucky did not send representatives to Washington to do nothing, to sit on their hands or to adopt a rigid, unreasonable and shallow interpretation of the Constitution.
I believe our representatives should act in our best interests and vote to:
1) Improve and fund mental health services;
2) Make sure students and young adults receive treatment for mental health issues:
3) Ensure coverage of mental health treatment;
4) End the freeze on gun violence research;
5) Close background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands:
6) Require background checks for all gun sales;
7) Require criminal background checks for all gun sales;
8) Require a waiting period before purchase of a firearm is concluded;
9) Give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute gun crime:
10) Create serious punishments for gun trafficking;
11) Help communities across the country keep 15,000 cops on the street;
12) Take action to help law enforcement avoid returning guns to the wrong hands;
13) Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime;
14) Analyze information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement;
15) Launch a national responsible gun ownership campaign; and
16) Put up to 1,000 more school resource officers and counselors in schools and help schools invest in safety. Doing nothing is no solution.
Doing nothing perpetuates the problem. Doing nothing is surrender.
I don't want 'more' government - I don't want 'less' government' -- I want a effin' government that WORKS!!! The worst congress in history, the least accomplished in history, the Tea Party 2010 Congress is leaving the flipping building!! Elections have consequences. America has discovered that tea is just another flavor of kool-aid and the Gadsden Flag is the Tea Party's dashboard plastic Jesus.
The Tea Party is the snookiism of politics in the form of popular constitutionalism, a political movement spawned from ignorance - oh, and slogans - slogan upon slogan upon slogan. Terms and phrases like 'smaller government' which is like putting a 4 cylinder in a Peterbilit; or 'limited government' with no clue what 'limited government' means even when John Roberts showed 'em with Obamacare.
Then you have those who claim to be patriots but when their faction loses elections they want to secede from the nation for which they claim patriotic feelings. It's way past time to call out the stupid - because, as I've said before - IF YOU DON'T FIGHT STUPID, STUPID WINS. See the 2010 elections and the Tea Party for examples - then flash forward to the 112th congressional end record. Best thing about it is this - there are less of them now and if we do the job right there will be less of them in Congress after the 2014 election.
John Boehner can't control the extremists in his own party, he's as weak as any speaker the nation has every seen. Now, less than 11 hours from the precipice, Mitch McConnell is twisting in the wind 'negotiating' with Joe Biden. When there's no middle ground to be reached. Oh, there's talk about supplemental legislation to 'soften' the landing -- but that's not enough. There must be a 'cleaning of house' in Congress.
What Democrats have here is an opportunity -- an opportunity to expose clearly, once and for all, the know nothing intransigence of the Republicans as run by their extremist fanatic wing, the Tealiban. Next week there's the opportunity to propose legislation lowering taxes on the 98% -- and see if the Republicans will vote against that. Next week there can be a vote to extend the payroll tax holiday, to invest in infrastructure, to fund education and grow the economy. Next week -- there's an opportunity to bring sanity back to Washington DC while at the same time crushing the plague of ignorance become a political movement - the Tea Party plague.
John Boehner is likely the single most impotent Speaker of the US House this nation has ever known. He can't bring his caucus together to agree that Thursday is Thursday. The Tea Party Problem won't permit a deal, he pulled back on his offer already made, the rush to the Fiscal Cliff continues and the Tea Party legislators, many on their way out, a few just entering, have neutered Boehner.
The Tea Party is the equivalent of the Peoples' Temple of Jonestown fame,a cult, and Ron Paul is the Rev. Jim Jones encouraging fools to drink the tea flavored kool aid. Ron Paul is chanting: "How very much I've tried my best to give you a good life. But in spite ..... All I think (inaudible) from the hands of the enemy. Hurry, my children. Hurry." And when we look back at the Tea Party Downgrade II, the Tea Party Great Depression II -- and the weakness that is John Boehner, it's not really a blame game - it's the nation holding the Tea Party and those who are aligned with them responsible. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Michele Bachman -- all of them are true believers - let them drink the tea flavored kool aid.
The Tea Party - a Republican Problem that is negatively impacting the rest of this nation, a plague that exacerbated and continued the damage done by the Bush Administration and his enablers in Congress.
The Tea Party is a George W. Bush apologist group. Oh, they've tried to distance themselves from Bush by noting his spending, but they embrace those very policies put in place by Bush that did the damage, particularly the failed fiscal policy of the Bush tax cuts. Never mind Bush had no energy policy, no banking policy, that deregulation was the hallmark of his administration, that he blundered into two wars, diminished our stature globally -- the list goes on. The Tea Party apologizes but pushes for more Bush.
The major error is to equate 'Tea Party' group think with 'conservatism.' Nothing could be less accurate. The Tea Party is a gelatinous mass -- there's not one but many small groups. If one falters or blunders publicly, the others distance themselves from it. There's no consistent principle - oh, there are slogans - but the Tea Party is long on slogans, short on principle and as for solutions, they offer none.
Today the perception is the Tea Party is in ebb, that recent electoral setbacks are a sign of the end. If only it were so. However, just look at Congress. The Fiscal Cliff is directly ahead and this nation is heading at breakneck speed for the precipice. Why? Why would the nation speed over the Cliff to higher taxes, higher unemployment, a 5% drop in GDP, more recession, possible inflation and so much more? Simple -- it's because, unlike the 1966 T-bird that flew over the Grand Canyon in the movie, in this dysfunctional congressional version of "Thelma and Louise" we're unwilling passengers in a TEA Bird recklessly guided by extremists of the TEA Party who use economic terrorist tactics to hold America hostage to the Tea Party's agenda to maintain Bush era failed fiscal policy. Policy they equate with conservatism.
The Tea Party, it has been said (and I agree) is a movement based upon ignorance and represents the Snookism of American politics. I would equate it with all the cultural value of the '70s Gong Show. Americans must stand UP to the lunacy of the extremists - because they are dangerous, dangerous to themselves and others. They represent a group mental disorder, a plague of paranoia and schizoid behavior.
What the Tea Party is NOT is a positive force in American politics, discourse or progress. From Rand Paul's toilet problems to Michele Bachman's submission to her husband, Marcus, and her desire for a New McCarthyism, the Tea Party is a Republican problem and represents symptoms of America's problems, not solutions.
Finally, the Tea Party may be down, but it's not out. There's work left to be done to cure the Tea fever.
Let it be known, I am pessimistic about any deal that will prevent the nation from driving 'Dukes of Hazzard Style" full speed off the imminent Fiscal Cliff. Certainly the few sane Republicans, Democrats, finance figures, the President and even John Boehner know that when we do disaster will strike in the form of Recession, high unemployment, a hit to the stock market, more foreclosures, less revenue for government to decrease the deficit and debt, higher taxes on the middle class, greater burden on the social safety net that will be diminished by automatic cuts, less funding for the military resulting in even more unemployment --- but, hey, gas prices will likely drop to $1.75 per gallon when business demand dries up. The American Action Network, described as 'center right,' has produced an ad in which " ... former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin
warn(s) of dire economic consequences if Congress fails to reach an
agreement to avoid going over the fiscal cliff. "This isn't a
media creation — this is a real threat to the American economy. Going
over the cliff means a decline in GDP of nearly 5 percent. That's
something that's agreed upon by business leaders, economists and even
the Congressional Budget Office," he says in the web ad. "If we go over
the fiscal cliff we have a recession and we will not get America's debt
problems under control.""
But odds are we're going over anyway. Why? Because Tea Party simpletons and their simplistic economic theory applied to government will likely not have it any other way. We've seen it before -- remember the Tea Party Downgrade? Tea Party intransigence coupled with their 'theory' resulted in a credit rating drop by S&P as well as higher credit costs, economic uncertainty, a threat to national and global stability -- such intransigence reduces the Tea Party extremists to no more than economic terrorists holding Americans hostage to their agenda, an agenda that will only do more damage and nothing to repair any damage done over the last decade by other reckless leaders in our own government. The Tea Party and extremist Republicans will hold middle class, working Americans hostage in their efforts to alter Medicare, destroy Obamacare, diminish Social Security -- and call it 'freedom.' That payroll tax holiday? Gone. Bush tax cuts? Instead of simply raising taxes slightly on the 1% there'll be a raise in taxes across the board for everyone. Why? Because 'Job creation trickle down,' proven failure that it is, is sacrosanct for the extremists.
To know the future all one has to do is examine the past --- and all one has to do is look back at 2011's debt ceiling fight to foresee the future. Joe Walsh and Allen West are still in congress in the House of Representatives, most of the incumbent and incoming senators and congressmen signed Grover Norquist's idiotic pledge - and even though some Republicans in the Senate are distancing themselves from that pledge, Walsh, West and Thomas Massie embrace it (Massie has pledged to vote to drive off the cliff).
There will be a compromise in the Senate, and that gives some slight hope the House will do 'something' -- but it's very slight. Mitch McConnell will not be able to prevent, should he choose to try, some Republicans from voting with Democrats in the Senate to reach compromise. Conversely, John Boehner, who would compromise to avoid the Cliff, will not be able to bring his Republicans to the table. He's cornered. The Tea Party, Norquist's shreds, unwillingness to deal, pet agendas -- Boehner's effort will be like herding cats -- but more difficult.
Hang on - it's going to be a bumpy ride over that Cliff and at the bottom we'll find the Tea Party Depression.
The Democratic Party through representatives and candidates must continuously interact and explain and communicate WHY that specific group should vote Democratic - not just during elections when the approach of a candidate to an ethnic institution, i.e., a predominantly Black church, is not dissimilar to the approach of a salesman on a used car lot and elicits some of the same reaction in the cornered 'customer.' We must maintain the WHY so as to EARN the votes of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian- Americans -- so as to EARN the votes of AMERICANS.
The one warning in this story I've linked to comes, albeit unintentionally, from Michael Steele: "How the heck do you win if you don't engage in the conversation?" I fear that in this most recent election the Republican failure to engage African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, Asian- Americans was a greater factor in their loss than the Democratic effort to engage was in their win. ENGAGE!!!
Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/11/23/2418376/black-voters-look-to-leverage.html#storylink=cpy