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Archive for the ‘Terrorism’ Category

I just don’t know what the right-wing is thinking.  Or, if they are thinking at all.  We have seen the right-wing go completely off the rails.  This isn’t really anything new, the right-wing goes off the rails quite a lot.  But, things seem to be getting worse rather than better.

The other day at CPAC Gov. Scott Walker said he is ready to take on ISIS as President because he “took on 100,000 union protesters” in Wisconsin.  He also said that Ronald Reagan firing the air traffic controllers who went on strike in the 1980s was “the greatest foreign policy decision in my lifetime.”

I am sure that all workers out there who belong to the dwindling unions are very happy to hear how they are the same as ISIS or that fighting them has something to do with foreign policy.  How could we have ever let unions form in this country since, as Gov. Walker seems to think, they are foreigners trying to damage America?

We also heard all of the so-called “front-runners” for the Republican nomination compare themselves to St. Ronald Reagan.  However, if Ronald Reagan gave a speech at CPAC today, he would be booed out of the place.  All of these wackos seem to forget that Ronald Reagan was not interested in a balanced budget.  He ran very high deficits.

They all seem to forget that Ronald Reagan did not fight against abortion as these radicals have.  Yes, he professed his belief in god, but he was willing to let the Roe v. Wade decision stand.  In many ways, Ronald Reagan was a lot more of a “social liberal” than they seem to remember.  Even some of his past policy advisors agree Ronald Reagan would not stand a chance at CPAC.

Everyone at CPAC railed against ISIS and Sharia Law.  The all espoused how ISIS must be eliminated, and they all seem to think it will be easy, and outlaw Sharia Law everywhere.  Hell, last November, Georgia even had an anti-Sharia law initiative on the ballot.

Yes, the right-wing has gone off the rails again.  The Tea Party and their allies in the Conservative Christian Cult are trying to start another “crusades” against Islam throughout the world.  All the while they are quietly trying to set up their own version of a “theocracy” right here in America.  According to their “agenda” if you are not Christian, you should not have any rights.

In California, this has been taken to one of the most extreme measures you can think of.  See, in 1911, California changed their constitution to allow ballot initiatives.  All you need to do is pay $200 to file your initiative, then get signatures from 5% of the total votes in the last gubernatorial election.

Well, one lawyer in California ponied up his $200 and submitted a really dangerous initiative.  He calls it “The Sodomite Suppression Act.”  Yes, it is exactly what you think it is.  He wants to outlaw all forms of same-sex sex.  But, outlawing it is not enough for this wacko.  His bill says “that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

It also says:

No person shall distribute, perform, or transmit sodomistic propaganda directly or indirectly by any means to any person under the age of majority. Sodomistic propaganda is defined as anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman. Every offender shall be fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life.

His “law” makes it illegal for a “sodomite” to hold public office or even work for a government agency.  There is a lot of other stupid stuff in it, but one that really stands out, if you aren’t sick enough already, says:

The state has an affirmative duty to defend and enforce this law as written, and every member of the public has standing to seek its enforcement and obtain reimbursement for all costs and attorney’s fees in so doing, and further, should the state persist in inaction over 1 year after due notice, the general public is empowered and deputized to execute all the provisions hereunder extra-judicially, immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability.

And why does he think this is so important?  Because he believes that if this law is not passed, we are all doomed to follow in the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah.  His justification for this idiocy says:

Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating-wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God…..

He even stipulates that this law must be posted in “all public schools.”

ISIS is a barbaric and cruel group of wackos trying to establish their personal beliefs on a region of the world.  We all know that.  They are dangerous and most people think something needs to be done about them.  The debate is over what and how this “something” should be.

Okay, even if I agree with that, can someone please explain to me how this “initiative” is any different from ISIS and their policies?  Can someone please explain to me how “executing” gays in this country is any different from ISIS killing non-Muslims in Iraq?  The simple answer is you cannot explain the differences because there are none.  Both groups are “terrorists,” as far as I am concerned.

This initiative is just another step in the “theocracy” that the Conservative Christian Cult wants to unleash on America.  The only difference it this goofball isn’t trying to sugar-coat it.  If this type of hate continues, the word “sodomite” will be replaced with “Muslim” or “non-White” or “non-Christian.

I wonder which speaker at CPAC will be the first to say anything against this “initiative.”  I am rather wondering which one will be the first to endorse it.

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Tomorrow Benjamin Netanyahu will give his speech to a joint session of Congress.  We have heard a lot of talk about the speech.  Boehner, who invited him, is defending his actions even thought he broke protocol in his invitation.  Democrats are furious about the speech with some threatening to boycott it.  Netanyahu’s opponents, and even some Israeli hawks are against the speech.

One has to wonder exactly what John Boehner is trying to accomplish with his invitation.  Some believe he is trying to help Netanyahu win his election that is being held in two weeks.  Some believe that he is just trying to “embarrass” the President.  Others believe it is an attempt to derail the nuclear talks with Iran.

After reading everything from both sides of the spectrum, I have come to the conclusion that John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak at a joint session of Congress because he does want him to win the election in two weeks.  This is important to Boehner and the Republicans because they have one very real fear in common with Netanyahu.  They all fear peace.

I believe that if Netanyahu would actually negotiate with the Palestinians, recognize the Palestinian State, and stop throwing up settlements in the Palestinian territory we might actually see peace break out in the region.  Not only that, but if the Palestinian State was recognized, many of the arguments that other Arab countries in the region have against Israel may also fade away.

Allowing the Palestinians their own self-run state would let Israel stop looking like an aggressor.  It would allow Israel and the Palestinians to work together to maintain peace between the two states and even help the economy of both countries to grow.

Unfortunately, Netanyahu has shown no inclination of accepting the Palestinians right to their own state.  That continues to cause a bigger rift between the two parties and allows the radicals on the Palestinian side to fight against Israel by arguing that Israel is the aggressor.  Whether or not that is a valid argument it works to recruit more fighters to the radical side.

Of course the biggest fear for both the Republicans and Netanyahu is that the nuclear talks with Iran may actually come to a positive end.  The Republicans and Netanyahu claim that any deal with Iran will only mean they will be able to build their bomb.

I would not support any deal with Iran without very strong verification policies in place.  We do have to remember that Iran in the past claimed it wanted to wipe Israel off the map.  But, the Soviet Union also promised to “bury” us too.  It was only through diplomacy with Russia that things finally calmed down, even before the fall of the Soviet Union.

One only needs to remember Netanyahu’s speech at the U.N. with his hastily drawn bomb showing how Iran was so close to building an atomic bomb.  I wonder if he will bring it out for this speech as well.  I am certain he will argue that Iran cannot be trusted.  He will argue that any deal with Iran is against the interests of Israel.  I am also sure that the Republican side will erupt in applause when he does.

You would think that “peace in the middle east” would be a good thing.  You would think that everyone would consider that if all sides agree on creating peace that the radicals would lose their poster points for recruiting.  But since Netanyahu and the Republicans share an absolute hate towards Islam, they don’t want peace in the region.  If there is peace, you don’t have any justification to “wipe out” your enemies.

I am not stupid.  I know that reaching a point of peace in the middle east is not going to be easy.  I also know that steadfastly arguing against any diplomacy that may take a step in that direction is stupid.  Hawks all around the world believe that diplomacy is a form of appeasement.  That is ridiculous.

Benjamin Netanyahu has been as much of an impediment to peace in the region as the radical Palestinians have.  If he wasn’t, we would be seeing talks between Israel and the Palestinians.  He refuses to negotiate with them.  Israel has the right to exist as a country.  I believe that the Palestinian State also has a right to exist.  Mutual recognition of the rights of each state would go a long way towards creating an environment where peace is possible.

However, Netanyahu does not want peace.  If he gets it, he may lose power.  That is something that he is unwilling to risk.  So, he accepted the invitation from Boehner in order to help Republicans stop peace in its tracks.  Republicans don’t want peace either.  They don’t want anything to get in their way of a New Crusades against Islam.

That, I believe is the real reason John Boehner invited Netanyahu to speak at a joint session of Congress.  We have already seen too many times that foreign wars take the spotlight off how much you are trying to screw your own people over.  This is just another case of the “tail wagging the dog.”

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At precisely 0000 hours (midnight) tomorrow night, the Department of Homeland Security is going to run out of money unless Republicans can get their “stuff” together.  The Republicans who want you to believe that they are the only ones interested in protecting our country from terrorists, are about to let the one department charged with protecting us from terrorists run out of money.

I am not overly concerned about terrorists running amuck in the country, however.  We all know that about 200,000 members of the various agencies under DHS will continue working.  They are considered “essential” personnel.  However, they will be working for an IOU from the government instead of actually being paid.

This tragedy is all tied to immigration reform.  Our immigration laws are archaic at best and need to be reformed.  Two years ago the Senate passed a bi-partisan Immigration Reform Bill and sent it to the House.  It has been languishing in John Boehner’s desk drawer ever since.  This was truly a bi-partisan bill.  Even 14 Republican Senators voted for the bill, and several Republicans were involved in its creation.  Should have been an easy task for Boehner to pass it in the House.

But, once again John Boehner proved that he is only interested in having the title of “Speaker of the House” rather than acting like one.  His bellicose comments about immigration reform are just another example of his unwillingness to “govern”.  He is too afraid of the Tea Party wackos in his caucus to try to pass any meaningful legislation.

After over a year of Boehner derailing a vote on the Immigration Reform Bill, the President issued an Executive Order detailing some changes in the deportation policies.  The Republicans went bonkers, as expected.  Whether or not you think the President’s actions was an overreach or not, I do not think so, is irrelevant.  Something has to be done about our Immigration Laws.

The President’s Executive Order does not make it easier for people to cross the border.  It simply lays out a plan for those already here with U.S. Citizen relations to remain without fear of deportation.  It also gives them a pathway to seek “legitimacy” as the Republicans would say.  It is not amnesty as Republicans are telling everyone.

As a result of this “fight” the Republican House passed a funding bill last year that put the DHS on the spot.  They funded every department of the government except DHS for a full year.  They funded DHS only through tomorrow and the Senate went along.  Then they passed a bill funding DHS but only if the Executive Order was withdrawn.

Naturally, the Senate Democrats filibustered the bill in that chamber.  So, now Mitch McConnell wants to pass a clean DHS funding bill and introduce a bill that would withdraw the Executive Order.  But that puts John Boehner in a corner.  He still has to contend with his wacko fringe group.  And, since he is loath to actually lead and fight the wackos, the idea of a clean bill passing the House is up-in-the-air.

The only way Boehner will be able to pass a clean DHS funding bill in the House is to use the Democrats to get the votes needed.  Although he did use them a few times in the past, that is also something that Boehner is loath to do.  He is afraid that if he goes to the Democrats to pass a clean funding bill, he will face another coup in his caucus.

All of this nonsense was avoidable.  If John Boehner had allowed a debate and vote on the bi-partisan Senate Bill, it would have passed the House.  I am sure there would have been amendments added by the fringe group, but those would have been worked out in a joint committee between the House and Senate.  There would have been no need for the President to issue his Executive Order in the first place.

With the Immigration Reform Bill actual law instead of collecting dust in Boehner’s desk drawer, we would not be in this situation right now.  The other day Boehner said about the DHS funding bill they sent to the Senate: “We did our job, now it is time for the Senate to do theirs.  This will pass if the Democrats stop saying “no” to everything.”

That is really rich coming from a man who has been sitting on the “fix” to all of this for two years!  John Boehner is the worst Speaker of the House in my lifetime.  He makes Newt Gingrich look like a reasonable man.  However, the Citizens United case in the Supreme Court added fuel to this flaming issue.

This is the kind of thing that happens when money is allowed to control politics.  These fringe wackos that Boehner is afraid of are financed by the likes of the Koch Brothers and others.  Their money has polluted and corrupted our political process to the point of stagnation.

Even still, it is John Boehner’s job to “govern” in the name of the People of the United States.  Something that, apparently, he is loath to do as well.  This whole dilemma was manufactured because John Boehner is more interested in holding the title rather than being the Speaker of the House.

There is no other reason for us to be in the predicament we are in over DHS funding.  Even big business and the Chamber of Commerce favor the Senate passed Immigration Reform Bill.  To stop this mess, all John Boehner needs to do is dust off the Senate Bill and bring it to floor of the House.  But he won’t.

I don’t use this word lightly, but John Boehner is basically a coward.  That is why we are waiting to see if there will be a partial government shutdown come midnight tomorrow night.

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So, according to Rudy Giuliani the President does not love his country.  The President does not love you.  The President definitely does not love Rudy Giuliani.  The reason this is so is because the President wasn’t raised like you.  Nor was the President raised like Rudy Giuliani.  You know what?  He is right.  The President was not raised like Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani likes to talk about his father, Harold.  He likes to tell how he was raised loving this country.  But, there are a lot of things that Giuliani likes to leave out of his stories.  He also likes to say how he would defend our country.  In one speech he said:  “I would go anywhere, any place, anytime, and I wouldn’t give a damn what the President of the United States said, to defend my country. That’s a patriot. That’s a man who loves his people. That’s a man who fights for his people. Unlike our President.”

I admit that truly sounds like someone who loves his country.  But there is also something that he leaves out of this narrative as well.  Let us take a look at the public record of how Rudy Giuliani was raised, his definition of “love”, and his patriotism.

Rudy Giuliani was raised by his father Harold.  A fine upstanding individual who loved this country and everyone in it.  Except, he was arrested and spent time in Sing Sing Prison for holding up a milkman.  He earned his living as a bat-wielding enforcer for a loan-shark operation which was operating out of a bar owned by Rudy’s uncle.

To show his love for this country, Harold, who was arrested under an alias, made sure the draft board knew that he was a convicted felon in order to avoid serving in World War II.  Additionally, five of Giuliani’s uncles found ways to avoid serving in the war too.

Not to be outdone, Rudy, while serving as a clerk to a Federal Judge, received about a half-dozen deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War.  He even got the judge to write a letter to the Selective Service to get him a “special” exemption from the draft.  So much for “going anywhere, any place, anytime to defend my country.”

On the other hand, the President’s grandfather and uncle both served in World War II.  Obama’s uncle was present when the concentration camp at Buchenwald was freed.  What he saw there apparently affected him so much, he reportedly spent six months in the family’s attic after being released from service.

Giuliani’s definition of “love” has some explaining to do as well.  Did you know that Giuliani’s first wife was his second cousin?  Did you also know that he received an annulment from that marriage because “she was his cousin?”  As a matter of fact, the priest who helped him get his annulment was actually Giuliani’s best man at the wedding!

When he was mayor of New York City he divorced his second wife.  See, he was already dating his third wife at the time.  According to records, he and his entourage of six or seven cops traveled 11 times to her Hamptons getaway at a taxpayer cost of $3,000 a trip.

Then, just to show his true love, one morning he left Gracie Mansion, the mayors residence in New York City, and announced in a televised press conference that he wanted a separation from his second wife and mother of his two children.  Watching the press conference was the first time that his wife had heard of his desire for a separation.  Now that is love.

Giuliani later doubled down on his remarks by declaring that the President was brought up by a communist grandfather.  He also claimed that his comments weren’t “racist” because The President’s mother and grandparents were white.

Giuliani also stated that the President was “more of a critic than he is a supporter of America.”  That is an odd thing for a security salesman to say since he told a group of consulting clients in Tijuana in October “America needs to stop lecturing other countries and start working on how to stop drug use in its citizens,” shifting the onus for the Mexican drug trade onto us.

Or, how about the time he was a consultant for the government of Qatar, the country his friend and FBI director Louis Freeh accused of hiding 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed before the attack. That’s the ultimate triumph of money over memory, since he’s still talking, as recently as a week ago, about the 10 friends and 343 firefighters he lost on 9/11.  Now that is love of one’s country!

So, I say to Mr. Giuliani that you are correct.  The President was not raised like you were.  He was not raised by mobsters in New York City.  The President did not have three wives, one of which was his cousin.  Nor, does he come from a family of draft dodgers.  Rather he comes from a family that honorably served their nation in a time of need.

This is one time that I like agreeing with Mr. Giuliani.  I would not want a President who has the “upbringing” that Rudy Giuliani had.  I would rather have one with President Obama’s “upbringing” instead.  But, don’t worry Rudy, the President isn’t the only one in America who doesn’t “love” you.  I don’t love you either!

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It has been six weeks since Republicans gained control of both houses of congress.  And, after a grueling whole six weeks of being on the job, they have taken another week-long vacation.  In those six weeks, they managed to pass two pieces of legislation through both houses.  One deals with veteran mental health help, and the other is the Keystone XL Pipeline authorization.

One of the biggest problems with the Republicans is that they took over Congress without any game plan.  Oh, they said they had some obscure policies, but they have no game plan on how to get things working in their “New Congress” as they called it.  The other problem is that they are taking a week off without doing anything on DHS Funding.  When they return, the will have four days to get the department funded.

However, that is not likely to happen.  Democrats have remained unified in their opposition to the House Bill that funded DHS but removes all of the protections for up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from being deported.  Including the Dreamers.  Boehner said just before leaving for his vacation that “the House did its job.  Now it is up to the Senate to do theirs.”

Even Senate Republicans have expressed concern over the House’s bill.  They don’t see it as anyway to “govern” as they like to say.  As a result, the bill is languishing in the Senate due to a Democrat filibuster.  So, Mr. Boehner says that the Senate should change the rules and eliminate the filibuster.  The filibuster was the favored method of “saying no” to the President when Democrats held control of the chamber.  Republican Senators are in no mood to change the filibuster rules.

So, the heads of the DHS are starting to seriously plan on how to function without any money after next week.  Even though this administration has deported more undocumented immigrants than the previous three administrations before them combined, the Tea Party wackos are still not happy. As a result, the one department responsible to stop undocumented immigrants from entering the country, is responsible to deport undocumented immigrants they do catch, is supposed to stop terrorists from entering the country, and is supposed to stop our ports from being attacked by foreign shipping is going to run out of money.

The other story that is not gaining much press is the fact that the Republicans in the House are passing tax breaks again increasing the budget deficit another $300 Billion.  Whenever Republicans talk about funding programs like Head Start, Food Stamps, WIC, even Social Security and Medicare, they always say that “it must be paid for.”  Yet, when they want to pass these tax cuts, they don’t “have to pay for them.”

The first of these tax cuts doesn’t sound like a big deal.  What they are trying to do is make permanent some temporary tax cuts aimed at helping small business earning up to $2 Million.  These cuts allow these small businesses to immediately write off equipment purchases up to $500,000.  This is one of those temporary measures that has passed about a dozen times in the past.  The House Republicans want to make them permanent.

The biggest problem with this is that it is nothing more than a ploy to destroy comprehensive tax reform in the future.  Both parties want to overhaul the tax code.  Yet, by changing the tax code piece-meal the Republicans are trying to eliminate things that can be included in the bargaining over how the tax code can be overhauled.

Rep. Sander Levin said:  “The gist of that ploy — take a number of provisions separately, make them permanent, separately make them permanent, and don’t pay a dime for them, not a dime.  Not having to pay for $800 billion worth of tax [cuts] made permanent would make it easier for Republicans to lower taxes, especially on higher-income taxpayers, carrying out further their trickle-down tax policies.”

By reducing revenue to the government, Republicans are planning to make sure that items favored by Democrats and the American Public cannot necessarily be protected in any future tax code reform talks.  Like mortgage interest deductions, child tax credits, and earned income tax breaks.  Furthermore, reduced revenues will allow Republicans to complain about the deficit being too big and take a sledge-hammer to other programs like Head Start.

The plan is to create a deficit bigger than what we already have, and use it as an excuse to eliminate the programs you hate.  You can then safely go after Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.  That old faithful argument of the deficit being too big will hold more water, they believe.  Even though you created the bigger deficit through irresponsible “governing.”

As a result of the criticism, Paul Ryan took a page out of Boehner’s book and criticized the Democrats for wanting to “pay” for these tax cuts.  He said:  “If you dare try to make these things that we all agree on that need to stay in the tax code permanent, it’s ‘You’re not paying for it; it’s a budget buster; you’re being irresponsible; you’re jeopardizing tax reform.’ Process, process, process.”

In other words, “how dare the Democrats use the same arguments we use all of the time to strip the social safety net from the American People when we try to cut taxes.”  As Ryan says “process, process, process.”  Only they don’t like it when what they argue about all of the time is used to call them out for their own failed policies.

We have lived under the sewage of “trickle-down economics” for 40 years.  It has failed us miserably.  We have lost over 5 million factory jobs overseas.  We have become a nation of an economy built on part-time workers in a “service” economy.  Middle-class wages have stagnated while the rich get richer.  Deregulation caused the latest economic crash that was the worst since the Great Depression.

Yet, Republicans are still trying to get us to “buy into” their “trickle-down” economy.  There has been no “trickle-down” for over 40 years.  There will be no “trickle-down” in the next 40 years either.  “Trickle-down” and “Supply Side” economics are nothing more than hocus-pocus economics.

We are six weeks into the “New Congress” and we are already facing a partial shutdown of the government.  The very department that actually is responsible to “protect our borders” is facing a shutdown simply because Republicans cannot agree on anything among themselves.  We have already had two tax cuts passed by the House and more are on the way which will only increase the budget deficit.  And, Congress is on vacation, again!

That is Mitch McConnell’s and John Boehner’s definition of “governing!”

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Fifteen days and counting.  That is how much longer the Department of Homeland Security will have funding.  On March 1, the DHS will be forced to “shut down” because it won’t have any money left.  There is only one reason that DHS is about to run out of money.  The Republican Party has made funding DHS a political game.

This is all over the President’s Executive Order about immigration.  The Republicans want that Executive Order done away with, and they don’t want to fund DHS until it is.  As a result, the House passed a bill funding DHS only if it undoes the Executive Order.

In the Senate the Democrats have filibustered the bill.  There are not enough Republican votes to override the filibuster, so the bill is essentially dead in the Senate.  The weird part seems to be that the Republicans cannot even get together on who is to blame if the DHS funding runs out.  For example, Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois had said from the beginning:  “I think the defunding action leads us to a potential government shutdown scenario which is a self-inflicted political wound for Republicans.”

However, in order to shed light that he really thinks the Democrats are to blame, yesterday he told a bunch of reporters:

“The Republicans — if there is a successful attack during a DHS shutdown — we should build a number of coffins outside each Democratic office and say, ‘You are responsible for these dead Americans,’” Kirk said Tuesday.

Kirk also told POLITICO: “In the end, eventually the lap-dog media — of which you guys are probably all members of — is unable to call it for what it is: just pure politics to try to hurt the Republicans. I think Democrats mistakenly feel a shutdown is a scenario which advantages them.”

So Senator which is it?  Even he can’t make up his mind.  Even after trying to pin the hypothetical deaths of Americans on the Democrats, he basically threw up his hands and said that the whole Republican strategy is a mistake, and urged his leadership to cave to the President.

I guess you can argue that if the Republican strategy is a mistake, you cannot blame the Democrats if DHS shuts down at the end of this month.

Then there is the faux Speaker of the House, the infamous Mr. Boehner.  Boehner threw a hissy fit yesterday even using mild obscenities.  He won’t admit that the strategy is a mistake, but rather tries to make the Democrats the villain.  I almost fell over laughing when I heard him say:

This can get done if the Democrats would just stop saying no to everything.

That is really rich coming from him.  Just a little recap of his own inaction in the past by refusing to allow votes on little pieces of legislation like:

  • The Bi-Partisan Immigration Reform Act passed by the Senate almost two years ago.  Which by the way, if passed would not have resulted in the Executive Order in the first place.
  • The Transportation and Infrastructure Bill which would have created millions of middle-class paying jobs across the nation.
  • ENDA which would make it illegal to fire someone just because they were gay.  And, would have prevented Gov. Brownback in Kansas to strip LGBT protection in that state.
  • The Fair Pay Act which would ensure that women be paid the same salary as men who are doing the exact same job.

Those are just four bills that were not even allowed the courtesy of a vote in the House in the last six years!  Besides, only the Transportation and Infrastructure Bill would have cost the government any money.  But, it would also have brought more revenue into the government through taxes those getting the jobs would be paying.

Now he has the audacity to claim that the Democrats are the ones who always say no?  Just because they are stopping one very bad piece of legislation?  That is very rich indeed!

Ever since January 20, 2009 the Republicans have been the party of NO!  They have refused to work with the President on any piece of legislation that would benefit the American People.  Their strategy was as Mitch McConnell said on inauguration Day: “to make this President a one-term President.”

So, I guess the shoe is on the other foot now.  Even if the bill were to get to the President’s desk, there is no doubt in my mind that he would veto it.  And, there will not be enough votes to override the veto.  That is what happens when someone decides to play politics with the security of our nation, which is what the Republicans decided to do.

As it looks right now, in fifteen days we are going to be forcing tens of thousands of employees in the DHS to continue working without pay.  Oh, they will be promised that they will get it back once the Department is fully funded, but there won’t be any guaranties.  I would not be surprised if conservatives tried to tie their back-pay to overriding the Executive Order too.

The reason these men and women will be forced to work without pay is because they fall under the category of “essential personnel” and cannot just stop working.  People in the Border Patrol, ICE, and the USCG, to name a few, will all have to keep working even if they don’t get paid.  I wonder if Mr. Boehner or Mr. McConnell will write a letter to the creditors of these employees to ensure they don’t lose their houses or cars while they are working without pay.  I doubt it.  No one ever did before.

But we have to remember that using the American People as pawns in their political games is standard operating procedures in Republican circles.  At the start of this session of Congress in which the Republicans control both houses, we were told by Boehner and McConnell that we will see how well they can “govern.”  After five weeks in power, I would have to give them a Grade of “F”.

Just so the two of them know, governing is not playing politics with legislation.  Governing is working with the other side to get something meaningful done.  They refused to work with the other side for the last six years, and they are refusing to work with them again.  That is not governing.

At this rate we will see another useless Congress for the next two years.  But since that is what we have had for the last six years we shouldn’t expect anything else.  In the meantime, DHS funding is being held up for pure political reasons.  Security of the nation be damned!

 

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During the mid-terms last November, we heard an awful lot about “following the constitution” by Republican candidates.  They harped about “freedom” and “liberty” as if those were things that somehow lost favor in our democracy.  Many others harped about the “law of the land” and other such wise words.  None were more vociferous than the candidates in Alabama.

However, all of that wonderful talk about upholding the Constitution turns out to be nothing more than poppycock!  Right now in Alabama, there is a mass disobedience of the Constitution.  It is even being led by the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore.

You may ask who is Roy Moore.  Roy Moore was first elected to Chief Justice in 2000.  In 2003, he refused to follow an appeals court ruling that a mammoth 2 ton and a half ton monument to the Ten Commandments be removed from the courthouse.  Law suits were filed against the monument claiming it violated the Constitution’s prohibition against religious endorsements.  The U.S. Appeals Court for the 11th Circuit agreed and ordered Moore to remove the monument.  He refused.

In its ruling the court linked Moore’s actions to the “position taken by those southern governors who attempted to defy federal court orders during an earlier era,” citing the actions of former governors Ross Barnett of Mississippi and George C. Wallace of Alabama in trying to block campus integration and protest marches during the height of the civil rights movement.  It wrote:

Any notion of high government officials being above the law did not save those governors from having to obey federal court orders, and it will not save this chief justice from having to comply with the court order in this case.

A state ethics panel unanimously voted to remove Moore from the bench later that year.  They said:

This court has found that Chief Justice Moore not only willfully and publicly defied the orders of a United States district court, but upon direct questioning by the court he also gave the court no assurances that he would follow that order or any similar order in the future,” the ethics panel wrote. “In fact, he affirmed his earlier statements in which he said he would do the same.”

Unfortunately, that did not preclude Moore from trying again for the top court office.  He successfully ran again in 2012.  In his victory speech he claimed “I have no doubt this is a vindication.”

Which brings us back to today.  A U.S. Appeals Court ruled that Alabama’s law against same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.  Yesterday, Alabama was supposed to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.  Even the U.S. Supreme Court refused to give a stay against the ruling just yesterday.

However, only 12 counties issued marriage licenses to gay couples.  The rest refused following Justice Moore’s orders.  In a letter late Sunday night Moore told the state’s probate judges to ignore a federal judge’s ruling that same-sex marriages could proceed and told them not to issue marriage licenses.  He further said:

Effective immediately, no probate judge of the state of Alabama nor any agent or employee of any Alabama Probate Judge shall issue or recognize a marriage license that is inconsistent” with a constitutional amendment and a state law banning same-sex unions.

So, once again in a state that claims to “uphold the constitution” another right-wing wacko in charge is defying the constitution simply because he hates the idea of same-sex marriage on “religious” grounds.  Except that this wacko is supposed to be the Chief Justice of the state’s Supreme Court and swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United Sates.  If you are wondering if Federal Law supersedes state law, Article VI of the Constitution states:

This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

This mess in Alabama is just another example of religion interfering with secular law.  Once again we have “religious believers” denying civil rights to a group of people just because they don’t like them.  I will even go so far as to say this is nothing less than terrorism again.

The Conservative Christian Cult is continuously complaining about Sharia Law.  This is a perfect example of the Cult enforcing their version of Sharia Law on the rest of society.  It is just as dangerous and vicious as Sharia Law practiced in Muslim countries.  There is absolutely no difference.

Before you start talking about the murders of the “non-believers” under Muslim Sharia Law, what will stop the Cult from implementing the same atrocities if this continues?  I believe the answer is “nothing.”  We live in a country where our civil liberties are supposed to be protected by laws and the courts.  Moore is one of those people who believe that only his favored people should be protected and not everyone.

Whenever you hear Republicans talking about “upholding the constitution” you can simply look to Alabama to realize that it is all a bunch of crap!  It is the conservatives, not the liberals, who are violating the constitution!  They are out to establish a Conservative Christian Theocracy in our country and as far as I am concerned it falls under the category of Religious Terrorism!

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