Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

John Boehner is out.  He finally got his wish to go back to Ohio and play golf, smoke cigarettes, and/or drink in peace and quiet.  I am not knocking him for any of these things.  It all sounds like a nice retirement.  Then, we have Paul Ryan elected as the Speaker of the House.  His primary message to the media is that the Republicans need to stop being the party of opposition and become the party of proposition.

But the actions of the party over the weekend, including Ryan, indicates that none of the Republicans even believes in the message.  We have seen the same tired politics they have tried for over 40 years.  Just updated to fit the scene today.

The first indicator was Ryan himself.  During his talking tour on Sunday, he showed just what kind of Speaker of the House he will be.  It is not one of proposition, but one or opposition.  When asked about immigration reform, Ryan said he could “not work with this President because we can’t trust him.”  He went on to say that the President “tried to go it alone.  He tried to make laws.  Presidents do not make laws, Congress makes laws.”

So, it can safely be said that we will see no movement on the critical issue of immigration reform anytime soon.  But, Ryan failed to point out a couple of things on immigration reform.  First, the President working with a bi-partisan group of Senators did pass a comprehensive immigration reform law.  That law has been languishing in House ever since it was passed in the Senate.  So, the President did not “go it alone” until he realized that Ryan’s own part of the legislature had no intentions of working with him.  As a matter of fact, Ryan said: “it would be ridiculous to work with him on this.”

Ryan vaguely said the he received the backing from the ultra-wing conservatives only after he promised not to bring up immigration reform in the House.  So, this isn’t the case of not being able to trust the President.  It is a case of not lying to our wacko wing of the party just to get the votes.  A bi-partisan bill passed the Senate years ago.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supports the bill.  Yet, Ryan won’t bring it to a vote because “he can’t trust the President?”  So, Party of Opposition:  1 – Party of Proposition: 0!

The second indicator from Ryan was when he was asked about Paid Family Leave for workers.  Ryan listed some “demands” before he agreed to take on the role of Speaker.  The biggest was that he would be able to continue to go home to Wisconsin and spend time with his family.  Now that sounds nice.  He loves the idea that he is seen as a good “family man.”

So, he was asked about whether or not he would be in favor of bringing up the Paid Family Leave act that also has been languishing in the House.  He said – NO!  He said:

Because I love my children and I want to be home on Sundays and Saturdays like most people doesn’t mean I’m for taking money from hardworking taxpayers to create a brand new entitlement program.

Problem, he wouldn’t be “taking money from hardworking taxpayers” he would be making corporations pay people for time they need with their families, like after giving birth.  But it get’s even crazier.  He went on to say:

I think it’s good to have balance in your life. And, you know, I’m from the X generation. As dads it’s probably different than the older generation, the way we operate in our families.

And I think people want citizen legislatures. I think people want you to be with the people you represent, seeing, talking, hearing, listening, empathy.  And I also think it’s important to be with your family on weekends.  I’m just talking about more time away.  I’m talking about exactly what I’ve been doing, which is being with my family, being with my constituents on Saturdays and Sundays.

Now ain’t that sweet.  He loves being with his family.  Yet, if you have a baby and take the 12 weeks of leave you are entitled to and would love to see that paycheck keep coming in, forget about it!  See, there is another problem here, from what I understand.  Since Ryan is claiming that he is going home to “meet with his constituents” I am not sure who is paying for all of those flights back to Wisconsin.

I may be wrong, but since he is claiming it is “work related” I believe we are paying for his time with his family.  Or, at least part of it.  If that is true, wouldn’t that mean that we hardworking tax payers are financing his “entitlements?”  If I am correct, Ryan wants to keep his “entitlements” but doesn’t think a new mother should have any “entitlements” like being paid for time off to take care of her family.  But, we forget, when it is for us, it is “entitlement.”  When it is for him, it is “perks” that his office “entitles” him to.  Party of Opposition: 2 – Party of Proposition: 0!

Then we have the Presidential Candidates on the Republican side showing just what their agenda is.  After the last debate on CNBC they have thrown a “hissy fit.”  Seems the questions asked by the moderators were just “too hard” for them.  Well, according to them, they weren’t too hard, they were “liberal mainstream media trying to ask ‘gotcha’ questions.”

Yes, I have to admit that telling a candidate that his numbers for his tax plan don’t add up and asking for his comments is a real “gotcha” question.  How dare a debate moderator ask a question about specifics of your plan!  So, the candidates, well most of them, had a nice “family” dinner last night to discuss debates going forward.  Don’t forget, the RNC has already cancelled the debate in February with NBC and Telemundo because of the last debate on CNBC.

Anyway, apparently, the “family” has some major disagreements.  As an example, Jeb Bush’s campaign manager Danny Diaz urged the group to reinstate a planned Feb. 26 debate with Telemundo after the RNC hurriedly fired off a letter to NBC News last week announcing plans to suspend involvement with the network’s future debates, including the February debate in conjunction with Telemundo.  However, Trump’s campaign refused to budge, with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski even threatening to boycott the debate if Telemundo was reinstated.

There was one consensus reached.  According to the Washington Post, no changes would be made until after the next debate which will be held on Fox Business Network.  According to one operative in the room, “people are afraid to make Roger (Ailes) mad.”  Which I find remarkable since the first debate was held on Fox News and candidates complained about their moderators.  Especially Megyn Kelly!  But since Fox is the Republican propaganda machine, I guess you don’t want to piss off the boss.

They did come to an agreement of sorts. They came up with a modest list of demands, including opening and closing statements of at least 30 seconds; “parity and integrity” on questions, meaning that all candidates would receive similarly substantive questions; no so-called lightning rounds; and approval of any graphics that are aired during the debate.

The campaign representatives also moved to take the Republican National Committee out of the debate negotiating process, calling for the campaigns to negotiate directly with the TV networks over format, and to receive information about the rules and criteria at least 30 days before each debate.  However, Reince Priebus, the RNC Chair said that the RNC was “still in charge of the debates.”  Oh, boy!

In the end, Republican lawyer Ben Ginsberg drafted a final letter to the networks by the end of the two-hour meeting with some notable demands:

  • “Will you commit to provide equal time/and equal number of questions to each candidate?”
  • “Will you commit that you will not ask the candidates to raise their hands to answer a questions
  • “Will you commit that you will not ask yes/no questions without time to provide a substantive answer
  • “Will you commit that you will not allow candidate-to-candidate questioning…?”
  • “Can you pledge that the temperature in the hall be kept below 67 degrees?”

So, everything is nice and calm among the candidates, right?  Not so fast.  At least one candidate is denying the campaigns have reached a consensus on how to handle the media and future debates at all. “First of all, there’s no deal in place among the candidates. So that’s erroneous reporting,” New Jersey Governor Christie said in an interview on Fox News. “But secondly, you know, stop complaining. You know, do me favor. Set up a stage, put podiums up there, and let’s just go.”

Then there is Ohio Governor John Kasich.  He doesn’t seem too thrilled by the Republican whining this weekend, insisting that he was not at all bothered by the CNBC debate or moderators. “In the third debate, they asked me a lot of questions and I didn’t feel anything was below the belt,” he told CNN on Saturday. “I don’t want to spend my time talking about the process of the debate. However they set it, I’ll show up and do the best I can to let people know who I am. So it’s just not something I’m focused on.”

Now we have Republican Presidential Candidates complaining about the debate process.  They don’t like being asked questions about specifics of their “plans” because they really don’t have any workable plans.  They want to blame that “liberal media bias” for their lack of substance.  And, they want the RNC out of the debate process.

What type of debate do you think the Republican Candidates really want?  Well, I think Ted Cruz summed it up very nicely.  He said:  “Could you imagine a debate moderated by Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin?”  The wacko wing of the party would love that.  But, I don’t imagine the rest of America would be holding their breath on the results of those three “moderating” a debate.  Party of Opposition 3 – Party of Proposition 0!

If you Republicans are serious about being a party of propositions, then I suggest you talk to us specifically about such things as immigration reform, climate change, tax reform, job creation, women’s rights, civil rights, voting rights, health care, terrorism, foreign policy and reasonable gun control.  Stop saying “no” to everything and tell us what your specific plans are.  Or, are you afraid we might reject your ideas once again?  Why is it okay for you to spend time with your families, but not us?  Hey, Jeb, you are the one who said we need to work more!

Okay, it has only been a few days since Paul Ryan became the Speaker of the House.  I understand that he needs to “consolidate” his role and all that.  But, when he says the Republican Party needs to stop being a party of opposition and become a party of proposition, I have a hard time swallowing those words.    The actions of his candidates for President and his own words tell the real truth.

The Republican Party doesn’t have any propositions to offer the American People that they will accept.  They keep complaining about the Democrats, the President, the media, and anyone else who is not a wacko conservative nut.  They really have become the “Know Nothing Party.”  Not because they won’t say what goes on in their meetings like the original party, but because they really know nothing about governing.

Paul Ryan said the Republicans need to become the “proposition party.”  NOT!

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We have had three Republican Debates so far.  After each debate, someone on the stage has wailed about the moderators, the media in general, and/or even the RNC.  I have written what some call scathing reports about the debates and their lack of substance, as well as their lack of truth.  I have been told that I am anti-Conservative.  Well, that isn’t entirely true.

I am more liberal than most people I know.  However, conservatism in and of itself is not evil.  I believe that conservatism and liberalism are both necessary to help us keep our feet planted on the ground.  We have had conservatism since the founding of our nation.  We have even had some conservative legislators who understood that conservatism can be just as bad, their words, as liberalism.  My father was a conservative.  But, he would not agree with what is going on in the party today.

No, what I am against is this crop of so-called conservatives.  This batch of Republicans who claim the “conservative” mantra are anything but conservative.  If you look at the history of conservatism, you will find some very distressing differences between todays crop and what conservatism was about.

For one example, conservatives always championed education.  They believed that a good education was the primary necessity for attaining the “American Dream.”  They understood that in order to move the country, and the economy forward, education was the lynch pin.  Without educated workers, there would be no progress.

Conservatives also were in favor of scientific research.  They were all in favor of the “space program” for example.  They knew that science was the key to new breakthroughs in medicine and everyday life.  They understood the necessity of protecting our air and water quality.  It was Richard Nixon that created the EPA.

But today’s so-called conservatives are against education.  They are against science.  The only thing they are concerned with is money.  Specifically, their money and the money of their donors.  Education budgets across the country have been slashed.  So-called “Charter Schools” have popped up in many states.  These are “for-profit” schools that are raping the public education funding and returning less than stellar education in return.  They also have a very nasty tendency to discriminate who can get into their “Charter Schools.”  Minorities are underrepresented and disabled children have very little chance to get in.  Yet, the companies running these schools are making millions off the taxpayer’s dime.

Today’s so-called conservatives absolutely hate science.  They are willing to break the law in order to replace scientific teachings about evolution and instead use “creationism” as the “true” science.  They hate the idea that corporations should be held responsible for polluting our air and water.  They refuse to acknowledge that our climate is changing for the worse and that if something isn’t done, most of our coastal cities will be underwater by the end of this century, if not sooner.

Conservatives in the past lived in reality.  Even President Eisenhower warned about the growing threat of the “Defense Industrial Complex.”  Today’s so-called conservatives love the Defense Industrial Complex.  Conservatives warned about getting into more “wars to end all wars.”  Today’s so-called conservatives love getting into wars and using America’s Power to remake the world into their view.

John Adams’ worst fear was that the rich would use their social power to deny other’s rights.  Today’s so-called conservatives are his worst nightmare.  They demean the First Amendment through their support of bogus religious liberties that suppress actual ones (the Christian florist, for example, does not commit a sin for having had gay clients any more than he has committed adultery for having had adulterous ones; any more than a Jewish waiter breaks kosher laws for having served non-kosher foods).

The historically outrageous claim that the United States was founded as a Christian nation finds even John McCain succumbing.  These so-called conservatives embrace the imposition of biblical law as constitutional even while they claim that the First Amendment protects communities against the building of a mosque (Cain); and while simultaneously arguing that Muslims shouldn’t be president (Carson).

Past conservatives warned against remaking society based on some ideological utopian thought.  They realized the messy fallout of such blueprints.  Yet, today’s so-called conservatives “merit-based society” is founded on just that kind of fantasy.  After more than a generation of supply-side economics that did not deliver, they cannot see concrete reality and are instead blinded by devotion to irrational models.

Religious conservatives might call this idolatry.  We’ve witness two capitalist experiments, for example – the more free-market American one and the social democratic one.  The latter has produced better results.  It has been piecemeal, pragmatic, and made concessions to reality (no nationalization of the means of production), as a good conservative would advise.  The economy has actually done better under Democratic Presidents than under Republican Presidents, including Saint Reagan.

Today’s so-called conservatives have added a moral overlay onto their economic models that betrays conservative wisdom.  Free markets, for example, were originally promoted for their productivity, not as a reward for the virtuous and a punishment for the vice-ridden.  Rather than speak of entrepreneurs as “self-made” (whom the resentful want to punish for their success) and as “jobs creators” (the taxation of whom is sometimes considered akin to theft), Adam Smith held them in contempt (well, he held us all in contempt on this score) and spoke of them with disdain.  It wasn’t their virtue that free markets tap, but rather their vice – their selfishness and vanity.  The “baubles and trinkets” that we pursue don’t make us happy, he surmised.  We seek them because we want to be admired.

Today’s so-called conservatives have added a religious tone to their arguments.  They claim to be adherents to Christianity, yet they are more in line with Puritanical theories.  Although they ignore the Puritan parts about usury and the allurements of wealth.  They are more inline with the Ayn Rand glorification of the powerful elites and selfish behavior.  That is why you hear so much about the “job creators” and in Trump’s case the winners and losers.

These so-called conservatives are very interested in putting the “blame” on anyone not like them.  What would Abraham Lincoln have to say about the immigration mess we face.  During his time, the Know Nothing Party wailed against Iris and Polish immigration in the east and against Chinese immigration in the west.  I wonder what Lincoln would have to say about the talk against Mexican immigration today.

Trump wants to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.  Carson wants to electrify it.  Presumably to electrocute anyone trying to get over it.  If you are thinking a wall would work, remember, the DEA has founds hundreds of tunnels under the border used to transport illegal drugs into the country.  What makes you think that “wall” wouldn’t be tunneled under too?

So-called conservatives want you to believe that if you are rich or poor it is “God’s Will” that you fall into those categories.  If you are poor, it must be because you are either lazy, or have done something against God’s will.  In other words, heaven is only for the rich since they have received God’s blessings on earth.

That is my interpretation of today’s so-called conservative movement.  The three debates we have suffered through have proven this theory.  They have proven that these so-called conservatives are really anti-conservative.   The problem is that the real conservatives seem to standing on the sidelines.  They don’t seem to be fighting back.  Are they giving up?

During a pre-debate rally in Ohio, John Kasich asked:  “Do you know how crazy this election is?  What has happened to our party?  What has happened to the conservative movement?”  He tried similar attacks during the debate.  I think the answer to his questions is that in favor of getting more power, the true conservatives have allowed the anti-conservatives to usurp their credentials and take over the party.

The mess that has become the Republican Party lies at the feet of true conservatives.  When any group, whether they be conservatives or liberal, allow a fringe group to usurp their credentials in the name of power, a mess will always happen.  It happened to the Democrats in the 70s and it is happening to the Republicans today.

I recommend that instead of the conservative cry of “taking back the country” from that mythical evil, they should be working to “take back their party from the real evil.”  That “real evil” are these anti-conservatives who call themselves conservatives just to get the vote.

I had this conversation with a friend who is conservative the other day.  He agrees with me on this one.  But, until he and the rest of conservatives fight back for real, we will continue to see this circus called the Republican Presidential Debates.  And, the country will continue to struggle as a whole.

For my liberal friends, conservatism isn’t the problem.  The problem is these anti-conservatives.  Unfortunately, liberals cannot stop this craze, but rather it is up to the true conservatives to stop it.  That must begin with new leadership at the RNC.  The current leadership is just as anti-conservative as these candidates are.

These people are not just anti-conservative.  They are anti-American and they are anti-Christian.  They only use the labels for their own personal enrichment and power.  Well, true conservatives, the American People are waiting for you to “take your party back.”  Do you have the courage to stand up to the crazies, or will we see more of the same?

If you really want to “take our country back for the people” you need to first take back your party from the anti-conservatives.

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This is turning out to be some kind of week.  Tomorrow Hillary Clinton will testify before the bogus Select Committee on Benghazi.  Paul Ryan is beginning to lean towards running for Speaker of the House, but only if his conditions are met first.  Joe Biden today said he will not be running for President in 2016.  And the current weak Speaker of the House, John Boehner is complaining that the President may veto a defense authorization budget beyond the debt ceiling and through 2016 because they won’t even talk to him about the rest of the budget.

The Select Committee, as we have learned, is nothing more than a side-show intended to keep Hillary Clinton from becoming President.  That has already been confirmed by several Republicans on live TV.  Another Republican neocon said yesterday that the testimony tomorrow is really a test to see if Clinton can lead.  According to this neocon, if she stumbles it proves she shouldn’t be President.  But, what if she doesn’t stumble and puts the GOP and their bogus hearing to the test?  Would that mean she should be President?  He didn’t say.  Besides, isn’t that another admission about the real purpose of this committee?

The weirdest one to watch is the Ryan “will he or won’t he run” circus.  At a Republican Caucus meeting last night, Ryan laid out his demands to say yes to being Speaker of the House.  These demands are:

  • The GOP moves from an opposition party to a proposition party.
  • Update House rules so everyone can be a more effective representative.
  • Unify as a conference now, not after a divisive speaker election.
  • Avoid giving up time with his family.

To reasonable people, these “demands” may seem logical.  He even looks like he might be interested in actually “governing” instead of just yelling “no” every time the Presidents proposes something.  He is even wanting to spend time with his family which is something you would expect a “family values” Republican would demand.

But, this is the Republican Party we are talking about.  Not reasonable people.  It didn’t take long for the Tea Party nuts, the Freedom Caucus traitors, or the right-wing media to explode in outrage!  But, that is what we have come to expect from these non-governing, power-hungry wackos.

First up was

Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., head of the House Tea Party Caucus.  According to the Washington Examiner, he called Ryan’s conditions for becoming the next speaker “entirely unreasonable.”

No other speaker I know of would ever have as much power as Paul Ryan asked for himself. Is he serious?”

Then he told the National Review that he was “put off” by Ryan’s “list of unmeetable conditions.”

What Paul Ryan is asking for is even more power and less responsibility than current House Speaker John Boehner.

Next up was Conservative talk radio host Mark Levin.  On his program last night he ranted against what he called the “Bushtablishment” forcing Ryan for Speaker onto the base.  He blasted Ryan as disqualified for being “the most radical Republican on the issue of immigration”:

The same people who lost election after election, the same people who lost congress in 2006, the same people who sought to stop Reagan from reaching the American people with massive landslides, the same people who have massively increased our debt, who have opened our border broadly, who sold out the First Amendment with McCain Feingold, those people, they now tell us only Paul Ryan can be speaker and no outsider should be president.

Of course the “family values” part of the bunch got into the act as well.  And, as you may have expected Laura Ingraham was the leading shriller.  She had a bunch of nice tweets for Ryan.

In one she tweeted:

George Washington left the luxury & beauty of Mt Vernon for Valley Forge. He even worked wkends & missed morning workouts for his people.

In another she tweeted:

Moronic argument–No one is forcing him to do the job. Keep your wkends & let someone else help save the country.

But the one I really like is from right-wing radio host Erick Erickson.  He never liked anyone not as conservative as himself, so he ranted:

House conservatives would be insane to agree to [Ryan’s] terms it is a terrible, terrible deal for House Conservatives.  If they go along with Paul Ryan, they will sign their own death warrant at the hands of Paul Ryan’s loyal lieutenants.

So, I believe it is safe to assume that the wing-nuts of the Republican Party are not in favor of going along with Paul Ryan and his demands to become Speaker of the House.  So, what else is new?  But, did you notice that no one said a thing about his first “demand?”

That demand was “The GOP moves from an opposition party to a proposition party.”  That is really is what is behind all of the rhetoric.  These people have no intentions to become a party of propositions.  They can’t be a “proposition party” because they don’t have any plans, policies, or ideas to propose.  They are only interested in saying “no” to everything.

They think that makes them unique as legislatures.  It doesn’t.  It only makes them even more moronic than they already are.  Imagine if we went back to a real two-party system where each side had to make actual proposals on how to move the country forward?  Wouldn’t that be nice?  State your policies and let the people decide at the polls.

However, the right-wing nuts are not interested in “moving the country forward.”  They know the vast majority of the American people would reject their policies.  They are only interested in grabbing power for a very small minority of white supremacists and religious bigots.  They have not put one idea or proposal forward since they were elected.  And, they have no intentions to start now.

These are the same people who want to eliminate civil rights, keep minorities, the elderly and the young from voting,   keep “women in their place,” wage war with anyone they want, close our borders to anyone who is not a white Christian, outlaw Islam in this country, shut down scientific research, privatize our schools so minority and poor children don’t get an education and outlaw abortion rights and homosexuality.  In other words, void the Constitution!

Paul Ryan is trying to come across as being a “reasonable man.”  If Paul Ryan were actually a “reasonable man” he would reject the Speakership out of hand.  There is no way any reasonable person can govern in the Republican Party because a handful of representatives won’t allow you to govern.

Yes, the circus has really come to Washington, D.C.  The problem with this circus is that the American people are being fleeced by anti-American bigots who think they should force their rules on everyone else.  The real campaign slogan for the Republicans should be “Damn Democracy!  Let Us Become The Dictators!”  It might not be smart politics, but it would be honest!

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The first Democratic Candidate debate is in the books.  Lots of people are declaring that Hillary Clinton won the debate.  I am not sure I am willing to go that far just yet.  I will say there were two very distinct losers.  Lincoln Chaffee and Jim Webb.

Poor Lincoln made himself sound like a “go along with the pack” type of politician when he replied to two answers with “I just got to the Senate and besides 90 others voted for it.”  Sorry Lincoln, that is not the type of person who should be sitting in the White House.

Jim Webb, was just as bad.  When asked about which enemy he was most proud of, he responded with a cryptic “I killed an enemy soldier in Vietnam.”  He also went off about guns and how politicians have body guards, so average citizens should be allowed to have guns to defend themselves.

Problem for Webb is that I did not hear a single person say that anyone’s guns should be taken away from them.  Yes, there was talk about “gun control” but not about “disarming” the public.  That is the same argument that the NRA and the Republicans have been using for years.  They claim “gun control” is the same as “disarming” the public.  Which it is not.

The one person I did want to hear from was Martin O’Malley.  I was hoping that he might shed some light on his policies.  He did come up with a couple.  The first was that we need a clean electrical grid not using fossil fuels.  I have been arguing that for a long time.  The other was his awareness that we need “gun control” to help prevent mass shootings.  He touted his record in Maryland where he was able to get some gun control legislation passed.

Other than that, he was somewhat unclear about the differences between him and the rest of the candidates.  O’Malley did not really hurt himself during the debate, but he really didn’t help himself either.  That may be a big problem moving forward for him.

That left Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to basically slug it out.  I said I am not ready to declare a “winner” because who won the debate will depend upon which side of the party you are on.  If you are on the far left of the party, you believe that Sanders won the debate.  If you are more in the center of the party, you believe that Clinton won the debate.

The real differences between the two is how they intend to go after Wall Street.  Bernie wants to break up the big banks, while Clinton wants to put in place more regulations and only break them up if they violate the new regulations.  It is a simple matter of “how” not “what” that each are advocating.

Clinton came off as a polished debater.  Sanders did not appear as comfortable on the stage as she did.  He even stumbled when it came to gun control.  That won’t sit well even with the far left-wing of the party.  It was said that Sanders did not really “prepare” for the debate.  At first, I didn’t believe that statement.  However, after watching him last night, I tend to believe he didn’t prepare.

The one thing that was in stark contrast between this debate and the Republican debates is the lack of the blame game.  In the two Republican debates, there were plenty of “guilty parties” that were the cause of our problems.  In the last night’s debate I found two “guilty parties.”  The NRA and Wall Street.

In the Republican debates, minorities, immigrants, women, young, non-Christians (especially Muslims) and the elderly are all “guilty parties” for what ails our country.  The truth was stretched last night on some issues.  But, the outright fabrication and made up facts very prominent in the Republican debates was not there.

Additionally, the democrats talked about things like climate change, education, and health care.  You never heard anything about those issues during the Republican debates.  But then, why would you talk about something you want people to not believe in the first place.  Even if your own Department of Defense calls climate change a grave national security threat.

What you did not hear is the Democrats trying to “out-Christian” the others.  Religion was hardly mentioned, which is proper.  We are looking to elect a President, not the head of a church.  Bernie was right when he said “America is sick of hearing about Hillary’s emails.”  But, I am very sick and tired of hearing about the Republican’s Religious Beliefs just as much.  If they want to head up a church, pull out of the race and start up your own church.

To put it bluntly, Mike Huckabee tweeted “America has a sin problem, not a skin problem.”  Well Mike, discrimination is a sin.  So stop supporting discrimination unless you like sinning!  Why not practice what you preach?  But, no, Huckabee is one of those “parents” who tell their children “do what I say and not what I do.”

The tweets that came from the other side aren’t worth even talking about much.  Mike Huckabee became racial in his tweets, and Donald Trump was too busy blowing his own horn about what shows he would be on today.  Nothing unexpected from them.

It is going to be interesting to see which of the two main candidates emerge from the Democratic side.  As I see it, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are the clear front-runners.  Martin O’Malley has a lot of work to do if he wishes to become a viable candidate.  Unfortunately, I see Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee as outsiders.  They failed to impress me with anything last night.

The only remaining shadow on this side of the race is Joe Biden.  Many of the pundits say that Clinton’s performance kind of locks Joe out.  That may be true, for now.  However, even though we all know that the Benghazi hearings are nothing more than a political scam, it is still possible that her email problem could hurt Clinton in the long run.

If that happens, the Democrats will need someone more in the Center of the Party to go up against Sanders.  Biden could turn out to be that candidate.  On the other hand, Clinton has a tendency to overcome these political games played by the right-wing.  If she can do that, then maybe Biden will sit it out.  Only time will tell.

In summary, last night’s debate actually gave us information about policies that the candidates hope to get enacted.  These candidates talked about problems and some of their solutions to those problems.  Something very sorely lacking on the Republican side.

I hate to say this, but one thing I did get out of last night’s debate, is that these candidates made the whole Republican Debate scheme seem like the real “kiddies table.”  But when all you have to offer is 40 year-old failed economic policies and a blame game, what else can you expect?


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There have been two very hot buttons that Republicans have been trying to push.  One is Benghazi.  All of the “investigations” into this matter have come up with nothing.  The Select Committee has been shown to be nothing but a political farce wasting tax payer money.

The other hot button is Planned Parenthood.  Problems arose with that the other day when Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the Planned Parenthood witch hunt admitted that he found that Planned Parenthood has done nothing wrong.  His investigation turned up nothing!  The same as multiple investigations in several states.

Today, Planned Parenthood, knowing how to use the media as well, said that it was no longer going to accept money for reimbursement of fetal tissue.  Which is legal by the way.  They now plan to donate the tissue without even covering their costs.  That kind of puts an end to the statement made by several Republican Candidates that Planned Parenthood has been “selling” baby parts.

Since these investigations have turned up nothing, I have a suggestion for these politicians.  Maybe it is time to investigate the Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPC).  I know that you have all heard about these centers.  They are supposed to offer “information” a woman needs to make the correct decision about whether or not to have an abortion.

These facilities masquerade as “clinics” and advertise free pregnancy testing.  Yet, all most none of them even have any medical staff at their so-called “clinics.”  There are no doctors, no nurses, no medical personnel at all.  What they really do is lure women into their “clinic” and bombard them with misleading, and in most cases, fraudulent information about abortion and birth control.

California is fighting back.  They passed a law, and the Governor has signed the bill into law.  This bill requires crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to put up some signage letting women know what they’re getting into.   The requirements in the bill are not onerous.  CPCs that are not medical facilities or do not employ medical staff, which are the vast majority of CPCs, are required to have a sign that says, “This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.”

All CPCs are required by this law to inform women of all their options with a sign or a handout that reads, “California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women.  To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].”

These provisions are intended to get women the “full information” they need.  There is nothing wrong with either of these provisions, that I can see.  If you don’t have medical staff at your “clinic” women have the right to know that you are not a licensed medical facility.

But, oh the wailing from these CPCs.  They are crying “foul.”  They have even filed a law suit claiming that these provisions violate their “right to free speech.”  Why would anyone consider these requirements to be limiting free speech?  Because these groups, and many others on the right, believe that lying to people is their “free speech” right!

See, the entire crisis pregnancy center system is built on lies.  They believe it is okay to lie to women in order to trick them into staying, or even in some cases into getting pregnant.   Some CPCs will tell women the chance of miscarriage is higher than it actually is, hoping women will take their chances rather than abort.  Some lie about how effective contraception is or minimize the chance of getting pregnant if you don’t use it, in hopes you’ll quit using birth control.

Most exaggerate the risks of abortion, or make up risks that aren’t real at all, trying to make the whole process seem like it will maim or kill you. (In reality, abortion is incredibly safe, about 14 times safer than actual childbirth.)

NARAL Studied California CPCs and found that lying was the norm.  They said lying was the most important tool that CPCs use to accomplish their goal of pressuring reluctant women to have babies.  As an example, here is a screenshot they obtained from the Los Angeles Pregnancy Services Website:


All of the information in this screen shot is false.  They are exaggerating both the miscarriage and accidental rates of pregnancy.  In other words, they are lying.  That is the “free speech” they say is being violated by the California Bill.  The fact that they will no longer be able to pretend to be something they are not, scares the hell out of them.  They might actually not get as many women coming in to hear their lies.

Even the handful of CPCs that avoid overtly lying to women about abortion and breast cancer, still use deceptive methods to lure in women.  These clinics actually try to present themselves as family planning clinics, looking very much like the kind of place where you can get medical care and possibly an abortion.  Yet, even though they rarely offer exams or medical care, much less have doctors or nurses on staff, volunteers will often wear scrubs to make women think they’re in a clinic.

The right-wing’s “free speech” right to lie has been going on for years.  The State of Ohio had laws that barred lying in political ads.  That went against the Susan B. Anthony list, an anti-choice organization.  See, they wanted to run ads falsely accusing Rep. Steve Driehaus of voting for public funding of abortion services. The state’s election commission found that their claims were false, and prohibited the ads.

Infuriated that they wouldn’t be able to lie in political ads, the Susan B. Anthony List sued claiming their “right to free speech” was being hindered by being forced to tell the truth.  Remarkably, they won their case and the law barring lying in political ads was overturned.  So now it is legal to lie in political ads in the State of Ohio.

So as you can see, using subterfuge is considered “free speech” by the anti-choice brigade.  Since every “good Christian” knows that lying is a sin, it is time for these “good Christian Republican Politicians” to open up investigations into groups like these CPCs.  If truth is really at the heart of what they are doing in the Benghazi and Planned Parenthood investigations, this should be a no-brainer.

On the other hand, they aren’t throwing snowballs in hell yet.

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The Republican Party is courting the Conservative Christian Cult like they were the answer to every problem that faces the world.  They court the “gun rights” groups like they will protect America from all the dangers of the world.  They argue against organizations like Planned Parenthood, who has saved millions of women’s lives, because they offer services that are hated by the Cult.

They are pumped up by Fox News which has been on an extremely divisive rant for years.  They are willing to side with wackos like Alex Jones when he says a military exercise is “just an excuse for the government to hunt down and detain conservatives.”  They argue for “religious liberties” and then say religions like Islam should be outlawed.

The 14 or so candidates left in the primaries for the Republican Nomination are all in step with these courtships.  They are all looking to move further right in order to get their votes and win the nomination.  They call it their “Southern Strategy.”

I have written several times that the Republican Party hasn’t come up with a new idea for the country in over 30 years.  That is proven every time a candidate talks about tax cuts.  When they talk about balancing the budget.  As a matter of fact, every time tax cuts and balancing the budget are brought up, the candidates show just how a-moral they really are.

This may take some time, but we really need to look at their strategies and their plans for destroying America.  Yes, I said their plans to destroy America.  Because that is exactly what they want to do.  They want to tear down our democracy and put up a theocracy, another name for dictatorship, in its place.

This country was founded on the basic principle that was stated in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.  That among them are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Those were very unusual words for their time.  Since the founding of our nation, those words were challenging to a struggling republic which turned into a democracy.  We suffered through the hatred of slavery.  We suffered through the pains of a Civil War in order to end slavery.  We suffered through the pains of segregation through the Jim Crow laws.  We found partial relief with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.

Since then, we have seen these acts diminish.  We have seen civil rights being denied to groups of people.  We have seen a rise in voter suppression laws to keep minorities, young people, and the elderly from voting.  We have seen hatred rise quickly and be justified by the far right-wing of conservatives.

We have heard the Republican Party become the one group that likes to tell you whom to be afraid of.  They like to say that all immigrants, Muslims, minorities, women, and gays are the real problem in our society.  They point out that immigration needs to be fixed, yet refuse to vote on any bill that comes up.  They even want to void the Fourteenth Amendment granting birthright citizenship.

They claim that “all Muslims aren’t terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.”  Which, of course, is nothing more than planting the seeds of hate towards Muslims.  One candidate even said a Muslim should not be allowed to be President.  Adding a “religious test” to the office that is banned by the Constitution he claims to love.

They have all proposed new tax cuts that naturally save the top 1% wage earners hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and placing more burden on everyone else.  They call this a “fair tax plan.”  They say that they want to “balance the budget” yet their tax plans all reduce revenue into the federal coffers.  Estimates from financial experts of all kinds say these tax plans will increase the federal deficit by some $10 Trillion over the next 10 years.

As a result, they know the only way to reduce spending is to eliminate the social safety net necessary for the poor, poor working class and the elderly.  But, even if they can eliminate these social safety nets, the deficit won’t be reduced because those savings will be earmarked for defense spending.

They want you to “support our troops,” especially when they send us to war.  Yet, they are continuously reducing the budget for the VA which is supposed to provide medical and mental health help when we return from those wars wounded.  They refuse to establish more VA Clinics to help relieve the overflow caused by the last two wars.  They simply want to throw our veterans to the trash heap once we served our purpose as cannon fodder for their ideological wars.

When a mass shooting occurs, they are very quick to point out that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  They always find an excuse like the shooter was “mentally ill” or some other nonsense.  Then they point out the murder rates in places like Chicago, Detroit, New York, and other cities.  They always bring up the Second Amendment as justification for their unwillingness to do something.

It is true that we, the people, have a right to bear arms.  But that doesn’t mean we, the people, have the right to own a cache of weapons that mirror the Army’s.  It doesn’t mean that every person, with a history of criminal background, mental health, domestic violence, or a host of other problems should be allowed these same weapons.

It is ironic that we need to take a test to get a driver’s license yet gun nuts say we don’t need a safety test or background check in order to own a gun.  They claim that driving is a privilege but owning a gun is a “right.”  On the other hand, remember that you didn’t need a driver’s license” to ride a horse or drive a wagon.  Isn’t driving a car a natural outgrowth of those activities?  Or, since transportation is a necessity, shouldn’t that make it a “right” too?

They always talk about “religious liberties.”  Yet, they do not mean all religions have the right to “religious liberties.”  Only “their” religions have that right.  That is what is behind the comments about Islam and that Muslims should not be allowed to be President.

But, even more devilish, “religious liberty” as defined by these people really means that you can discriminate against whomever you wish.  There is no law in this country that you have to obey if can claim that it goes against your “religious beliefs.”  It is this same “religious liberty” argument that gave us slavery and Jim Crow laws.

The Party is always talking about deregulation.  They don’t want any laws that will limit a company’s ability to fleece the public.  These regulations were put in place after the “Great Depression” as a safeguard to protect our economy.  They worked well for decades.  Once the Republicans began chipping away at these regulations, the economy finally collapsed in 2008 once again.  Proving these regulations were necessary, and are still necessary.

The Republicans are against a minimum wage.  They are not just against raising the minimum wage, they are totally against even having one in place.  They believe that corporations should be “trusted” to place wages at a livable rate.  Yet, we see hundreds of corporations paying below poverty wages to millions of American workers.  And even when corporations like Wal-Mart raises their pay, they immediately follow with cuts in hours or positions.

We are constantly pounded with the “taker” myth of our people.  They tell us that 47% of Americans are simply “takers” who want free stuff from the government.  They are simply waiting to get their “welfare” check.  At the same time, they want to cut corporate taxes.  Yet, there are lots of companies like Wal-Mart, McDonalds, Burger King, Big Lots, and  host of others that are receiving “corporate welfare” from the government.

This is proven by the fact that these companies pay their employees so low that the employees must use parts of the social safety net just to survive.  These companies each total an average of $1.3 Billion per year in costs to the government for these programs.  They are simply allowed by Republicans to fleece the American Tax Payer in order to keep their profits high and the billions flowing into upper management’s pockets.

What does this all mean?  You have to decide for yourselves, but to me it means that the Republican Party is morally bankrupt!  It means that the American People mean nothing to them, except more profits for them and their financial backers.  It means that the Constitution means nothing to them.  That they would love for that troublesome document to find its way to the paper shredder.

It means we have a major political party that wants to destroy our country.  We have a major political party that wants to win elections based on fear, hate, suspicion, and nativism.  They talk about us being in a “Christian” country, yet denounce every principle of the “religion” they claim to follow in all of their proposed policies.

When reason loses to fanatics, we have a real problem.  When cooperation and compromise become four letter words, we have a real problem.  Sorry America, but we have a real problem.  This problem is not the fault of the Democrats, President Obama, or liberals, or the majority of the American People.  To use their own words, it is the fault of demonic players who have taken over the Republican Party.

Our country faces some real problems.  We still have too many people going to bed every night hungry.  We have problems in our education system.  We have problems with gun crimes.  We have problems with crime.  We have problems with civil rights.  We have employment problems.  We have wage inequality problems.  We have lots of problems.  Blaming someone else for these problems is not the answer.  Dividing our people is not the answer.  Hate is not the answer.

The only answer is for us to come together and work as a country to fix our problems.  That means we need to compromise with each other.  We need to listen to each other.  We need to understand that we are all in this together.  If not, the crazies will continue to win and we will continue to suffer.

That means true Republicans need to retake their party from the demonic players that have taken over.  They need to show they love this country as much as we do.  The country these Republicans want, is not the country I served and love.

Dr. Ben Carson said the other day that Hitler was possible in this country.  He and his fellow Republicans should know.  They are espousing the same hate garbage Hitler did to get to power.

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What a week, and it is only Wednesday!  We have seen more things crop up lately that I am not even sure where to begin.  I will start by reminding you some of the Republican policies that they want to enforce on this country.

One policy is that companies should have a free hand in deciding how much to charge for their product.  They should also be given a free hand in deciding just how much their employees make producing their products.  They tell us we should “trust” companies to “do the right thing,” and that companies will find solutions to problems we face, including climate change.

They tell us that health care costs are too high.  They tell us that we have “the best health care system” in the world.  They are willing to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding.  They keep expressing their belief that “religious liberties” means you can do whatever you want as long as it is in line with your “religious beliefs” including discriminating against other people.

They are constantly claiming that the science is wrong on Climate Change, even though 97% of scientists tell us that it is not wrong but correct.  Then they tell the Pope to “leave science to the scientists.”  Maybe they should follow their own advice.

So, let me try to figure this whole week out.  Volkswagen was caught cheating on the EPA emissions tests.  Seems they sat down with their smartest people and came up with a software they placed into their diesel engine vehicles which showed lower emissions than was actually being emitted.

The case blew up when, in all places, West Virginia decided to test these “clean diesel” vehicles while actually driving them.  They discovered over 40 times the pollution being emitted than the company and their software claimed they were putting out.  This wasn’t a mistake.  This was a deliberate criminal act.  They “designed” the software to cheat on the test.

If you purchased one of these Volkswagens because you believed the claims about them being clean diesels, you were lied to.  You were cheated.  You are actually driving a car you thought was safe for the environment, but you are causing far more pollution than if you drove some other vehicle.

Remember, Republicans want us to “trust” corporations to do the right thing.  They want us to believe that corporations have the environment and your health at heart and will not do anything to make matters worse than they already are.   Remember, Republicans claim that you can take a company’s word on all matters.  Yeah, right!

The Pope is visiting our country this week.  Conservatives are having a hard time with this visit. On one hand, they love the Pope for his anti-abortion and anti-same sex marriage stances.  Yet they loathe him at the same time because he claims that free market capitalism paves the way towards “greed.”  That they don’t like.  They also loathe him because of his paper on Climate Change.

As usual, conservatives are “cherry picking” what is good and what is bad about someone else.  Some of the more radical anti-environment lunatics are going to boycott his speech to Congress tomorrow.  I say, good.  They weren’t going to listen if he brings it up anyway, so why waste time being there.

In his paper, the Pope used scientific data to show why he believes climate change is real.  He also went on to say that it “is our moral obligation to protect the planet that God has given us.”  That is the part that really has the conservatives up in arms.  How dare a religious leader tell us it is our moral obligation to save the planet?

His social agenda, which is based on the teachings of Jesus by the way, are so repulsive to conservatives we are hearing people like Ann Coulter say: “It is no wonder our Founding Fathers didn’t trust Catholics.”  How nice Ann.  I didn’t realize you were around with the Founding Fathers and know for certain they didn’t “trust Catholics.”  You aged nicely.

Still, these same conservatives should love this Pope as well.  Today his going to anoint a Spanish Missionary to the highest level of sainthood.  Problem is that this missionary is connected to all sorts of evils that were done to the Native Americans living in California at the time.  Including forced labor and torture!  I won’t be surprised if they start claiming the torture done to inmates at Guantanamo Bay was just condoned by the Pope since he is raising a torturer to sainthood.

When it comes to religious liberties, well, Dr. Ben Carson doesn’t believe that includes ALL religions.  He even went so far as to say the Muslims should not be allowed to be President.  He later tried to clarify that he was referring to any person who “puts their religion above the Constitution.”  Well, Dr. Carson what about Kim Davis?  Isn’t she putting her religion above the Constitution?  I haven’t heard you call for her resignation yet.  Or, is it because she claims to be a Christian, so that exempts her from “your standard?”

The Republicans claim health care costs are way too high.  And, for once they are correct.  Yet, they refuse to let Medicare “negotiate” the costs of prescription drugs with the big drug companies.  Medicare Part D recipients are at the mercy of drug companies “doing the right thing.”

We saw this week what that means.  One drug company raised the price of one of their prescriptions over 5000 percent.  It went from $13.50 per pill to $750 per pill.  This drug is intended to help HIV and Cancer patients and has been around for years.  Because of the announced increase, the average cost out-of-pocket cost for this drug went from about $1,000 per year to over $63,000 per year.

Yeah, that is showing how companies will “do the right thing.”  In fairness, the CEO announced he would roll back the cost of the drug because of all of the hoopla.  I still haven’t heard if he is rolling it back to the original cost, though.

By denying Medicare the ability to negotiate drug costs, we are overpaying millions of dollars in drug costs alone.  Why can’t Medicare negotiate prices?  We already pay the highest prices for prescription drugs in the world!  So, why can’t the largest government medical plan negotiate prices to save money?  Because, then you cannot claim costs are too high and we need to scrap the plan, that’s why!

While all of this is going on, we still don’t have a budget.  Republicans still refuse to “negotiate” with Democrats on getting a budget passed, and the real anti-American Ted Cruz is still trying to shut the government down.

What this all boils down to is that the Republicans want us to trust them with our future.  The very companies who they claim will “do the right thing” obviously won’t.  Unless you call gouging, lying and cheating the public in the name of profits as “doing the right thing.”  But, apparently we should still “trust” them.

I don’t know about you, but the more this circus goes on, the more disgusted I get with the Republican Party as a whole.  You may say that it is just the fringe element of the Party that is causing all of this mess.  But, it is the silence from the establishment of the Party that is allowing it to go on and on and on.   I have witnessed better leadership from a kindergarten student.

Simply put, the Republican Party is out of ideas.  It is out of integrity.  It is out of touch with reality.  Yet, they want you to put them in power.  I say that their ideals are being proved on a daily basis to be wrong for our country and our future freedoms.




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