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.
It's no secret I've been more than pessimistic about any deal to avert our going over the Fiscal Cliff. Between the continued presence of defeated Tea Party legislators who won't be out of power until after the deadline and those who've entered office promising to drive us over the cliff (e.g., Tom Massie, who's expressly stated he'd vote for driving over the cliff) there's no reason to be anything other than pessimistic. Boehner's Plan B didn't get enough votes to get out of the House, and that was a proposal to increase taxes at $1 Million income - why would we think there's enough to get out of the House at $250K or even $500K? To quote a top Democratic aide, "What I want to know is: if Boehner couldn't get $1 million through the House and now McConnell is caving at $450,000, then how does Boehner deal with this?"
"It's the same 40 to 50 chuckleheads that have screwed this place up all year," complained retiring Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio. Boehner has “done everything to make nice to them. Bring them along. It hasn't mattered. I don't fault him. He's done his best." In a last hurrah, Allen West and Joe Walsh with the help of Massie - the Chucklehead Chorus - continue to act as domestic terrorists - the Tealiban- and hold Americans hostage to their small box of crayon economic theories. We can only hope more responsible legislators in the next congress will be able to repair the damage done.
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.
Posted by oversight on December 31, 2012 at 02:30 PM in 2012 Presidential Election, , Current Affairs, George W(Worst President in American History) Bush, Good Government, Kentucky Political News and Commentary, Peasantville - a Rightwing Vison for America, The Dangerously Stupid Right, The Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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.
Posted by oversight on November 28, 2012 at 08:24 AM in 2012 Presidential Election, Current Affairs, George W(Worst President in American History) Bush, Good Government, Kentucky Political News and Commentary, Peasantville - a Rightwing Vison for America, The Dangerously Stupid Right, The Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
The worst thing the Democratic Party could ever do is take for granted a voting bloc - e.g., the votes of African - Americans. Lines of communication, interaction, understanding must be maintained!! The simple understanding that Republicans and the TEA Party are negative to your future and you should vote Democratic for that reason is not enough.
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!!!
Over a year ago extremists of the Tea Party held the middle class tax cuts hostage to their agenda of furthering the same policies put in place by George W. Bush that helped bring about the Great Recession. The destabilizing effect, the lack of certainty, the damage to American economic stature and the global perception of a weaker United States caused by Tea Party intransigence, resulted in a downgrade of America's credit rating for the first time in our history.
Today another threat of economic crisis, the Fiscal Cliff - another result of right wing extremism and intransigence. The result? Higher unemployment; $600 billion removed from the economy; a tax increase not only for the 2% but for everyone, including the middle class; the repeal of the payroll tax holiday resulting in another 2% increase for both business and wage earners; and the across the board mindless cuts to spending that will leave no one unscathed. Grover Norquist's goal to destroy America? If it's up to the Tea Party then "Mission Accomplished."
At least Thelma and Louise only drove themselves over that cliff - the Tea Party is quite content to drive over the cliff and take us with them.
Posted by oversight on November 20, 2012 at 05:51 PM in 2012 Presidential Election, Crooked Corporations Practicing Enronomics, Current Affairs, Kentucky Political News and Commentary, Peasantville - a Rightwing Vison for America, The Dangerously Stupid Right, The Economy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
It's bitterly amusing to watch the GOP's convulsions these days in the wake of Obama's landslide victory over Romney. Finger pointing and blame, head scratching and remorse. Karl Rove's epic 'are you lying to yourself or Fox viewers' moment - priceless. Five out of six contested gubernatorial races go to Democrats, Allen West, Joe Walsh, Mourdock in Indiana and Akin in Missouri and so many other right wing/Tea Party types go down in defeat as Democrats pick up House and Senate seats. But now- now we have Bobby Jindal multitasking in his attempts 1) to talk the GOP off the Cliff of extremism and away from the drag of the Tea Party; while 2) discussing and planning in broad daylight how the Republican Party is going to con working people, Hispanics and the 47% into voting for Republicans - in other words, how to con the many to vote in the interests of the very wealthy few.
Health care, education, the economy, national security, immigration -- these are face cards in politics and if played correctly the player wins. But for a lesson in how not to play those cards, Mitt Romney did it best and the Tea Party just sat in the corner playing a whole different game with blunt scissors and paste.
Health care -- a major problem ignored by the right, the same old failed 'free market' solutions floated yet again, myth to repair reality.
Education -- a student loan crisis in the form of student loan debt now in excess of national credit card debt while college costs are exploding making higher education more and more inaccessible.
The economy -- this is special. The Republicans, the Tea Party and Romney all went back to the George W. Bush playbook and trickle down cum Job Creation. Bad strategy as it comes only 4 years after the epic fail of those policies in the form of September 2008 and the Great Recession. But this is capped by insult - "don't look at that man behind the curtain" exposed. The DISDAIN with which the right looks upon the rubes in continuing to portray failed fiscal policy as solution and expect the rubes to beleive something different would happen. (Of course, there are those who seek comfort in believing such fallacy - they attend Tea Party meetings)
National security -- bin Laden is dead, Al Qaeda on the run, the Taliban in disarray and the GOP in tatters. Terrorist organizations -0; Obama 332. But there's always Benghazi -- Benghazi played by Rep. Peter "Chicken Little' King for whom sky fall is not a movie but a cry of alarm and Benghazi played by Sen. John McCain for whom integrity today is just a word without substance. These two and so many right wing columnists pushed by Fox News have been playing Benghazi Clue for weeks now - 'it was Colonel Mustard with complicit Obama and Hillary in the kitchen with a candlestick made by Al Qaeda at Langley while Petraeus was sleeping with both Broadwell and Kelley." Here's the rub - in doing these contortions of logic and fantasy, Fox and King and MCain and all those who engage in such drivel are ENHANCING any advantage our enemies might enjoy from the sad events in Benghazi. The myth that the GOP is superior in national security, exploded and exposed by the Blunder in Iraq and the Poochscrewing in Afghanistan (as well as the snatching of defeat from the Jaws of Victory in 1991), is not to be resurrected from any ashes because it was, is and will always be known as myth.
Immigration -- Marco Rubio is to the GOP what black shoe polish was Al Jolson. Joe Arpaio playing Bull Connor, Arizona playing Montgomery, Alabama circa 1963 and along comes Mitt Romney to play multiple roles depending on what day it was and what he thought the audience wanted to hear consistency and principle be damned -- and immigrants should vote for Republicans? This subject is special -- 50% of doctoral candidates are foreign students and when they finish their studies they go back home and that's a brain drain (but one wonders why more Americans aren't given the opportunity to excel as doctoral candidates). But then there's the contradiction of so many who use immigrant labor and want to ease visas for that purpose (and those are the same people who don't want to pay taxes but demand the deficit/debt be paid off quickly). Now, place this issue in the context of Storm Front supported/militia threatening/secession advocating extremism -- and, please, explain to me why Hispanics would ever vote Republican/Tea Party.
To Bobby Jindal -- thinking Americans aren't buying what you're selling. And the Tea Party, that bloc of unthinking Americans, can't sell it either.