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Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Day 192. 

Yesterday we heard from our beloved leader as he gave a speech about Islam in Saudi Arabia.  He called on all Muslim states to “weed out this evil” of terrorism.  He said they should force all of the terrorists out.

Then we heard Mike Pence, his empty suite vice president talk about “tolerance” towards opposing views on college campuses.  Pence decried the intolerance towards speakers on college campuses around the country.

I find both of these comments to be very disturbing.  I find both of these comments to be extremely prejudiced.  Not because they were given by so-called “conservatives” but because of the lies they were telling and because neither of these “leaders” of our country actually practice what they preach.

We all know that terrorism and intolerance are both evil.  We all know that terrorism is also an outgrowth of intolerance.  Especially when you talk about religious terrorism.  In the Middle East and other parts of the world, there are Muslim Extremists who are totally intolerant towards other religions and as a result they engage in serious terrorism.

That is evil in anyone’s definition of the word.  They are not interested in anything except their own fanaticism and thus are willing to kill others simply because they don’t believe the same thing as these fanatics.  They need to be rooted out.

However, they are not alone in their religious terrorism practices.  We have plenty of religious terrorists right here at home.  The problem is that no one in the political world wants to talk about it and no one wants to do anything about it.  Especially our president and vice president.  Rather, they are encouraging the practice of religious terrorism in our country because this terrorism isn’t the result of Islam, it its the result of Radical Christianity.  It is also the result of “conservative” intolerance.

As it turns out, the State of Texas has become our own version of a Caliphate of hate towards anyone who does not follow the Radical Christian Terrorist beliefs.  They are not alone either.  They are joined by states like Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and others.

The real danger is that these Radical Christian Terrorists are not all private citizens.  The real problem is they are actually in control of these state’s legislatures.  And, they are not afraid of their Radical Christian Terrorism being found out.  They are quite open about it and are very proud of it.

In the Caliphate of Texas, they are in the final days of their legislative session and are working very hard to pass their terrorist agenda into law.  And, their head terrorist is the governor and he is very willing to sign any terrorist bill into law.

At first they tried to pass an anti-LGBTQ law.  But that got stymied in their own legislature.  So, they have decided to tear the bill into parts and “add amendments” to necessary legislation so they can get their terrorist agenda into the law books.

Of course, they are masquerading these laws in the agenda of “Religious Freedom”.  Which tells you immediately that it is nothing more than a terrorist agenda.  The first big bill was HB 3859, that will allow state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away applicants on religious grounds, denying parents who are LGBT, or even those who are Jewish, Muslim or atheist. It passed the Texas House and is now moving through the Senate, causing a great deal of concern because similar bills have been passed in other states, including in South Dakota this year.

This bill is nothing more that an open attempt to refuse the adoption of needy children to anyone who is not considered by these terrorists as “straight, homosexual, Christian” parents.  Then there is the insidious attempts to write discrimination into must-pass bills that have already been debated. An amendment added at the last-minute to a nursing care bill, HB 2950, for example, would bar the Texas Board of Nursing from punishing discriminatory actions if they are committed in the service of a nurse’s “religious beliefs.”

Under this amendment a nurse could cite his religious beliefs as a reason to refuse to care for a gay patient on the grounds that he believes homosexuality is a sin or is against his faith.  Likewise, a nurse who believes that men are the head of the household could breach client confidentiality to disclose a woman’s medical condition to her husband against her wishes.

Another amendment added to HB 2561, a pharmacy services regulatory bill, pharmacists could opt-out of the practices that are standard among pharmacists across the country, based on personal religious convictions. For example, a pharmacist could decide not to fill a prescription for hormone therapy for a transgender customer, claiming doing so goes against his or her religious beliefs about gender. Or, a pharmacist could use religion as justification to refuse to serve African-American customers because she believes the Bible mandates the segregation of the races.

There are two other bills that would regulate legal services, SB 302 and SB 303, that now have amendments which allow for religious refusal by state-licensed attorneys. If these bills become law with these amendments an attorney could deny his or her duty to inform a client about his or her rights in a divorce proceeding, for example, even trying to talk the client out of getting a divorce, all based on the attorney’s religious objection to divorce.

It is not hard to determine the true intent of these pieces of legislation.  They are intended to discriminate against and to scare all people in Texas who are not white conservative Christians.  These amendments and laws are intended to hurt people that the terrorists in the Texas State Legislature don’t like.  They are written and proudly put on display for all to see their intolerance against everyone not a white Christian.  In short, they are open displays of intolerant terrorism.  There is no other reason for them.

If you are going to write me that if you don’t like your lawyer, pharmacist, or nurse, get a different one forget about it.  If you are that intolerant of others, then you should not have chosen such a career in the first place.  There is no room in professions like these for intolerance.  Additionally, actions like these are in violation of the Ethics Oaths these professions are governed by.

Then we have another perfect example of intolerance on full display which is nothing more than a terrorist act.  This one comes due to the idea that the City of New Orleans is removing Confederate statues from the city.  This action is being taken after a vote of the city council.  Naturally, the white supremacists are up in arms and complaining the city is removing “our heritage” from city property.

In an attempt to stop other cities from taking such an action, the Louisiana Legislature is trying to pass a law that would make it ‘illegal” to remove such statues unless there was a “ballot” issue where the majority of the people vote to remove them.  Another attempt of a state legislature telling local governments what they can and cannot pass in their own jurisdictions.  Meaning, only the state can control a city’s monuments with the city paying for them, of course.

But the worst example of intolerant terrorism came not from anyone in Louisiana, but rather than a Missouri legislator.  On Saturday, Karl Oliver, a Republican member of the state’s House of Representatives described the “destruction” of Confederate monuments in Louisiana as “heinous and horrific” and compared leaders in that state to Nazis.

He said in his tweet:

The destruction of these monuments, erected in loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific.  If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, “leadership” of Louisiana wishes to, in Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historic monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED!  Let it be known that I will do all I can to prevent this from happening in our state!

I find it ludicrous when any so-called conservative calls someone else a Nazi when they are trying to rid their community of white supremacist symbols.  After all, it was the Nazis who epitomized white supremacy.  Which tells me that erecting white supremacy symbols is more Nazi-ish than removing them.  Especially when the City Council votes to remove them.  They are the representatives of the city residents.

Plus, everyone who has followed my writing knows I consider these “white heritage” nuts to be traitors to our country.  They are more interested in pledging loyalty to a failed, losing party of a war, than to the country of which they claim to be patriots.

But, their view is the only view that matters to them, therefore, it is supposed to be the only view that matters to us.  That is the full definition of intolerance.  And, it is terrorism if you tell people if they disagree or remove a confederate statue, they should by lynched.

Far more Americans have been killed by Radical Christian Terrorists in this country than any other group, including Islamic Terrorists.  The difference is that when a Muslim commits a horrible act, it is automatically called terrorism.  When a Radical Christian Terrorist commits a horrible act, it is called a “one-off” or that person has “mental problems”.

And, both our beloved leader and our vice president are mum on all of this Radical Christian Terrorist activity.  See, you don’t have to “kill” someone to be considered a terrorist.  You merely need to make them afraid of going out on the streets, or in their own home, or know that they can be discriminated against simply because they are different.

The laws being passed in the Caliphate of Texas and other Republican controlled states are forms of terrorism because they formally make discrimination “legal”.  You won’t hear beloved leader or our vice president voice any condemnation of these acts either.  Beloved leader got elected because he ran a hate campaign.  Our vice president signed such terrorism laws while he was Governor of Indiana.

If beloved leader is really interested in “weeding out terrorism” he needs to begin at home.  If he really wants to make terrorism something to be afraid of carrying out, he needs to crack down on the Radical Christian Terrorists in our country.

If pence is really interested in ending intolerance, then he needs his own “come to Jesus moment” and start condemning the very laws that Texas is passing and the ones he signed into law in Indiana.

I am not holding my breath about either of these cowards doing anything different.  They are part of the radical Christian terrorists and they are very proud of that fact.  All of this is proof of the conservative Republican agenda to remove all non-white, non-Christian people from the country.  They want a white only, Christian only country.

Only once they get it, they will work to eliminate the Christian sects they don’t like either.  So, you are in the crosshairs too.  Unless you are part of the Radical Christian Terrorist organization.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 182. 

When Mike Pence went on television and defended Mike Flynn on his phone calls to the Russian Ambassador, and then it turned out to be false, everyone claimed that Flynn had lied to Pence.  That Pence was being left out to hang because of that horrible man Mike Flynn.

The media, and especially the Conservative Christian Cult, immediately ran to Pence’s defense saying he had been lied to and that was the only reason he said what he said.  What he had said was that Flynn never discussed sanctions with the Russian Ambassador.  Only, he did discuss the sanctions.

This was not the only time Pence lied to the American people.  If you remember during the debate with his opponent in the campaign, he repeatedly said he never made derogatory comments favoring Putin over President Obama.  Only, there was miles of video of him doing just that.

You must also remember it was Mike Pence who was the head of the transition team after Gov. Christie had been fired by trump.  It was during this transition that Flynn made those phone calls.  It was during this transition that Flynn was writing op-eds in favor of a country he was taking money from without registering as a foreign agent.

He was the man in charge then, and now he is acting like Sgt. Schultz and claiming “I know nothing”.  It turns out that he did in fact know about Flynn’s activities including acting for the Turkish Government, but figured it was “no big deal”.  Then, the truth came out about Flynn, Pence was very angry at Flynn in public.  But, there was an amazing lack of anger towards his boss who knew about the lies before Pence claims to have learned about them.  Making me believe he knew all along.

Now, we have the fiasco about the firing of James Comey as Director of the FBI.  Again, Pence is being shown by his supporters to be a lackey that was hung out to dry.  That is a false narrative, and here is why.

First, the trump team tried to put all of the blame for Comey’s firing at the feet of Deputy Secretary of State Rosenstein.  They claimed that he recommended Comey be fired over his handling , of all things, Hillary Clinton’s email investigation.  Yeah right!

Pence was on Capital Hill the morning after and he said:

As has been stated repeatedly and the President has been told, he’s not under investigation. There is no evidence of collusion between our campaign and any Russian officials …

Let me be very clear that the President’s decision to accept the recommendation of the deputy attorney general and the attorney general to remove Director Comey as the head of the FBI was based solely and exclusively on his commitment to the best interests of the American people and to ensuring that the FBI has the trust and confidence of the people this nation.

Well, yesterday in an interview with Lester Holt, trump told America the real reason he fired Comey, and it had nothing to do with the Rosenstein memo.  It also turns out that Rosenstein did not “go to the White House” as trump’s team had claimed, it was trump who called him to the Oval Office.

He told Holt that he had already made up his mind to fire Comey and the recommendation didn’t matter, he was going to fire him anyway.  Then he said that he had to fire Comey because Comey was “showboating”.  Yeah, that is real good reason to fire someone.  He is getting more positive press than you are.

Additionally, trump poured gasoline on his own fire.  he said:

In fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out just what trump is saying here.  He is telling us that he fired Comey because of his leading the investigation into the Russia hacking and any possible links to that and trump’s campaign.

He even said that Comey told him at a dinner in January that “you are not under investigation.”  He also said he directly asked Comey to tell him if he was under investigation during two separate phone calls later and said the Comey assured him that he was not.

The weirdest part came when he told Holt that he could prove he has no connections with Russia because he has a “certified letter from a well established law firm” saying he has no connections with Russia.  Oh boy, we can all breathe a sigh of relief now.  Who would have thought that this “certified letter” is proof.

The problem with all of this is that trump, Pence’s boss, just said that Pence once again lied to the American People on national Television.  He said that he did not fire Comey because of the Rosenstein memo, but that he just wanted to do so because the Russia thing was a made up story.

Then last night, former associates of Comey had a different version of the dinner.  They claim that Coney told them that trump had asked Comey for his “loyalty” during the dinner.  And, when Comey refused to give that loyalty, trump persisted.  Comey told his associates that he promised honesty but would not promise his political loyalty.  One reason this story is very plausible is because of what Kellyanne Conway said about the firing.  She said that “the president expects loyalty form people in his administration”.  That falls in line directly with the story about trump asking for loyalty at the dinner.

Finally, it has been reported also that Pence was involved in the whole firing mess from the beginning.  He was supposedly part of the team that discussed the firing.  So, for him to give the lie he did on Capital Hill is an obvious attempt to obfuscate the whole story.

All of this is evidence that Mike Pence is not the patsy everyone want to believe.  He is neck-deep in the whole mess, and is even an active participant in it.  That is why he showed no anger at his boss over the Flynn episode.  He obviously knew he was lying to the American People when he said Flynn had no discussions bout sanctions.  And, he knew about the warning Sally Yates gave the White House shortly after he went on TV to lie.

Which begs another question.  What if anything did Pence know about the Russia Hacking and any possible collusion with the campaign?  And, when did he know it.  Are we to believe that the Vice Presidential candidate and the head of the transition team was in the dark?  I don’t think so.

Now his boss just threw him under the bus again, or at least that is what we are meant to believe.  I don’t think Pence was thrown under the bus again, he knew exactly what he was saying was a lie and didn’t care.

You know when someone who is supposed to be this wonderful, ethical guy is not if he won’t confront his boss for making him look like a liar.  You know he is not ethical when he refuses to say he was “set up” and did not intend to say anything that could be seen as a lie.

You know because an ethical person would not only confront his boss, but if he did not receive answers, including a public apology, that ethical person would resign his position.  An ethical person won’t work for a pathological liar.  But, apparently, Pence is not an ethical person.  Apparently Pence is just as much a pathological liar as his boss is.

The other thing that could be even more frightening is that Pence decided to hang around because he believes that trump will get himself impeached and he, Pence, would become president without having earned the position.  That would make Pence very dangerous to our beloved leader and the nation.

Stop shedding crocodile tears for Mike Pence.  He is just as deep in this mess as our beloved leader is.  He is just as guilty as our beloved leader is in lying to the American People.  For all of his phony behavior as being this wonderful “religious, God-fearing” man, he is just as corrupt and just as unethical as his boss.  As the sisters used to tell us in grade school, “you can go to hell for lying just like you can for stealing.”

Remember, he was the Governor of Indiana who signed their version of “We Hate Gays So You Can Discriminate Against Them” bill.  I don’t consider that being very “religious” or “God-fearing”.  That is pure hate towards people different from you.  Not Christian at all!

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

 

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Day 174. 

Beloved leader has nominated a person for Secretary of the Army, and I hope this clown burns instead of becoming head of the Army.  The name is Mark Green.  He is also a State Senator in Tennessee.  Beloved leader could not have named a worse choice if he tried.  Or, maybe he did try to name the worst choice.

Unfortunately, Green is an example of what I believe to be the real evil we all face in the world today.  That is Religious Extremism.  Green has introduced and/or supported bills that openly discriminate against LGBTQ.  He is also famous for saying the transgender is a disease and that he hates it so much because it is “my duty to crush evil”.

I suggest that if it is his duty to “crush evil” he should head to the nearest interstate highway, wait for a truck to come by, and fall in front of it so his evil will truly be crushed.  Harsh?  Maybe.  But he is a perfect example of just how evil religious extremism really is.

It doesn’t matter which religion you wish to talk about.   Religious Extremism is evil all by itself.  It causes terrorism.  It causes discrimination.  It causes division among people.  It is the worst form of evil there could possibly be because they hide in the fact that they are “religious”.

All across this country you see evidence of this evil playing out in laws.  You see so-called “Freedom of Religion” laws that are nothing more than discrimination laws aimed at certain groups.  These laws have only one purpose.  To make one group’s religious beliefs the law of the land so their version has total control over the lives of everyone else.

There are several states that do not protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, employment, or even medical care.  It is possible in many states for a gay couple to get married on Saturday, post their pictures on Facebook on Sunday, and get fired from their jobs and thrown out of their apartment on Monday.

All in the name of “religious liberty” for the extremists.  If they claim “religious beliefs” as their excuse to discriminate, that is just fine with the extremists.  As Green would say, they are simply “crushing evil”.

There are members of Congress that want to introduce and pass a bill called the First Amendment Restoration Act.  It is simply another “you can discriminate against those stupid gays if you claim religious beliefs and no one will be able to sue you for it”.

Back in February, beloved leader was rumored to sign an Executive Order that mirrored the provisions in this hate filled bill.  Now, it is rumored that he plans to do the same thing tomorrow at the National Prayer Breakfast.  Instead of “protecting the LGBTQ community as he promised in his campaign, he is going to demonize them to gain support of the religious extremists.

During the campaign, he often used the term “Radical Islamic Terrorism” to place blame for all of the terrorism in the world.  He claimed that he would defeat it and that President Obama never would because he would not use the term.  However, one term that is never said by anyone, except maybe me, is “Radical Christian Terrorism”.

When members of a black church are murdered in that church, it isn’t Radical Christian Terrorism, it is a looney person.  When an abortion doctor is murdered in his own church, it isn’t Radical Christian Terrorism, it is a “lone wolf” with mental problems.  When Muslims are beaten on the street by Christians, it isn’t Radical Christian Terrorism, it is just some angry people taking out their frustrations.

The Republican Party has survived by clinging to the Radical Christian Extremists and allowing them to use their form of terrorism against the rest of the country.  They even applaud the actions by these terrorists.  Just listen to Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity.

Then, the other day Joel Richardson, author of apocalyptic Christian books claimed that all of the protests against beloved leader is the result of Satan.  He claims that people are not angry that beloved leader is an idiot and ruining the lives of millions of people, he blames Satan for causing the protests.

No, clown, it is people like you that Satan have influenced.  It is people who hide behind phony religious claims to discriminate, hate, and harm others that are the ones being influenced by Satan.

I was raised in a Christian family.  I attended private Catholic Schools through High School.  And, what I have seen from these religious extremists is anything but Christianity.  How can you claim to be Christian and not follow the teaching of the person who you claim to be your “Lord and Savior”?

I am often told by people that they know they are going to heaven because they have accepted Jesus as “My Lord and Savior”.  Yet, in daily practice, they continuously fail to follow the very teachings of the person they claim to love so much.

How can you claim to be Christian if you hate and want to discriminate against people of color?  If you really want to see the irony in all of that hate, Jesus was a person of color.  He was not a white man.  He had dark skin just like all of the people who lived in the region where he lived.

How can you claim to be Christian and still be willing to discriminate against anyone?  How can you claim to “love the sinner but hate the sin” as your excuse to discriminate against people?  That goes against his teaching that you should “not judge others”.  Be declaring that you can discriminate against LGBTQ community you are guilty of judging others.

How can you claim to be Christian and use terms like “users and takers”  How can you hate those unemployed and/or poor if you claim to be Christian. Wasn’t it Jesus who said “behold the birds of the sky.  They neither sow nor work the soil.  Yet, the father provides for them and how much greater are you than they”?

That doesn’t sound like someone who is advocating hard work.  As a matter of fact, the man did not hold a job himself.  He walked around the countryside preaching and hoping others would feed him and his 12 Apostles.

No, you cannot be Christian and discriminate, hate, and harm people who are different from you.  You cannot be Christian and believe that we are to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves” and hate, discriminate, and harm others.

I know that I have only used Christian teachings here, but that is because I know them better than other religions.  The fact of matter is that it doesn’t matter which religion you belong to, extremism is evil.  Extremism is only a tool used to acquire power over others.

Unfortunately, there is one political party that is very willing to appease this extremism in the name of votes and political power.  They are just as guilty of being evil as the extremists they want to appease.  That party is the Republican Party and they now control both Houses of Congress and the White House.

Our beloved leader has proven that he is just as guilty of this hate as the extremists he wants to court.  He has named the most openly racist person in my lifetime to be Attorney General.  He has named an extremely corrupt person to head up Health and Human Services.

In supposedly keeping his promise to drain the swamp, he has surrounded himself with Goldman Sachs heads.  The very bank that set up and led the economic collapse in 2008 by breaking banking laws and then getting away with it.

He has an open white supremacist as his chief political strategist.  He has named a corrupt man who is in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry to head up the EPA.

These moves have all been applauded by the so-called Conservative Christian Cult.  A group of religious extremists who want to establish an theocracy in our country and demolish our democracy.

When it comes to religious extremism, there is not morality.  The atheists I know have stronger morality than all of the Conservative Christians I know put together.  And, I know a lot more Conservative Christians than I do atheists.  Which I believe shows just how evil religious extremism really is.

With all of this in mind, it is essential that Green not be approved to become the Secretary of the Army.  We cannot allow such an extremist to have control over the best army in the world.  How can someone who claims that by discriminating against the LGBTQ community is “crushing evil” be in charge of a fully integrated Army?

How can we expect him to ensure that if a member of the Army who is LGBTQ is attacked, beaten up, or killed, he will do anything to punish the culprits.  How can we not expect that he would just say they were “crushing evil”.

But, that is the country we now seem to live in.  We live in a country where the religious minority are very willing to push their own beliefs on everyone else by getting their puppets in Congress to pass laws to codify their phony religious beliefs into our laws.

There certainly is real evil in the world.  That evil comes in the form of religious extremism.  As long as we have a Republican Party that is too willing to pass legislation to appease that religious extremism, we will continue to have a divided country.  It is the responsibility of Congress to pass laws to protect everyone in the country.  Including people who are different.

We are supposed to live in a secular country.  We are allowed to speak our minds.  We are allowed to believe in any religion we choose or none at all.  We live in a society that is supposed to protect the rights of everyone.  These Religious Extremists are fighting very hard to eliminate all of that from our lives.  They are fighting very hard to take control.

Sorry, but the real dangers to our way of life is not the so-called LGBTQ agenda.  It is not socialism.  It is not secularism.  It is Religious Extremism.  And, in this country, that means mostly, but all, Radical Christian Extremism.

These people are the ones behind things like the Muslim Travel ban.  They are behind the legal discrimination laws.  They are the ones behind the false freedom of religion laws.  They are the ones behind the killing of the separation of church and state.  Radical Christian Terrorists have killed more Americans since 9/11 than any other terrorist group.  Think about that for a minute.

We need to recognize this true danger to our way of life.  We need to put a stop to the Radical Christian Terrorists who are quietly and radically trying to change our laws for their own personal grab for power.  They are the true evil that our country faces every day.  They are the true terrorists that we face every day.

Please, believe in the religion of your choice.  Don’t believe in any religion if you don’t wan.  But, stay away from the extremists and help us defeat their true evil.  Otherwise, we will all lose and even you will fid yourself in their crosshairs.   Remember, evil is forever busy.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

 

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Day 171. 

The first 100 days of beloved leader’s presidency are finally over.  In those 100 days about the only thing we learned about beloved leader is that he is a total clown with no idea of what the hell he is doing.

The three main items about trump we have learned are Bluster, Incompetence, and Complete Ignorance.  If those are his three main traits, we are all in deep shit.  Included in those three traits is one more.  He is an absolute lousy negotiator.  He couldn’t negotiate his way out of a men’s room.

But, don’t just take my word for it, look at each trait individually.  The day after his inauguration, he complained that no one was giving him credit for “having the largest crowd in history at my inauguration”.  Photographs of his inauguration proved otherwise, but what the hell, he believed it so we should.

Just last night at a rally in Harrisburg, PA he bragged that the crowd set an “all-time record for the arena and that there are thousands of people standing outside who couldn’t get in”.  Only photographs showed the arena was not at capacity.  It holds about 7,000 people, and photographs from the event show about 15 percent of the seats were empty.

Look, there was a large crowd there.  They were even loud and supportive of beloved leader.  But, his bluster couldn’t allow that to come out, he had to openly lie to the people in the arena who could see it was not full.  Yet, they still cheered him and agreed with him.  I guess the arena was never full for any event in its history.  If that is true, then he was right when he said it was an all-time record setter.  If that is not true, then neither is his comment.

He loudly tells us that he is for the “little people”.  But, his first executive order was to increase the cost of mortgage insurance for first-time home buyers making it harder for them to get the mortgage they need.  I am sure all first-time home buyers are thanking him for his support every time they write their mortgage checks out costing them $500 per year more than if he had not signed that stupid order.

Then he allows his EPA chief to let Dow Chemical’s pesticide that affects the development of brains in children and fetus’ to be used on food crops.  This pesticide was banned from food crops under the last administration, but who cares if you child’s brain developes like it should.  Dow Chemical’s profits are far more important than your children’s development.

The EPA has also taken down all of the information about climate change from its website.  It thinks that there is no such thing as climate change so why bother with putting up all of that scientific information that shows they are wrong.

Then under his incompetence, we only need to look at all of the vacancies in the Federal Government.  Of the roughly 459 positions he is required to fill, less than 60 of them have been filled.  There aren’t even any nominations announced for the remaining vacancies.

Additionally, his empty suit Rex Tillerson said that he expects to lay off over 2,000 state department employees.  Beloved leader apparently doesn’t believe that an active state department with real professionals can stop wars.  Which is exactly what their job is.  As whimpering dog Mattis over at Defense actually said “if we don’t have an active State Department, I will need a lot more bullets”.  Even whimpering dog knows we need a State Department that engages with the world.

During his time in office, our beloved leader has managed to piss off our allies like Germany, England, France, Canada, and even Australia.  All the while he is praising the murderer Putin for being a “great leader” as trump likes to call him.

He and his administration told the American People that “we are sending a great armada to the South China sea to show North Korea we mean business”.  Only, that “great armada” was actually heading for exercises with the Australian Navy thousands of miles south of the South China Sea.  The Commander-in-Chief and his whimpering dog Mattis didn’t even know where his fleet was or what they were doing.

Mattis even told us that they made the announcement because the exercise was cancelled so they had to give a reason for cancelling it.  Only, it wasn’t cancelled, and the Vinson and her fleet didn’t head towards Korea until it was over.  How incompetent can you be?

In Syria, his administration said they didn’t mind that Bashaad was in power and that it was up to the Syrian people to decide if they should get rid of him.  Then, Bashaad used chemical weapons on his own people.  So, trump launched a handful of missiles at one of Bashaad’s air bases with very limited results and bragged about being “presidential” over the incident.  He claimed that he had to send the missiles because of the pictures of all of those “beautiful babies” he saw being gassed.  Yet, he won’t let any of those “beautiful babies” to come here to get away from the war.

Then we get to his total ignorance.  We have been staring down North Korea for about 70 years.  Beloved leader seems to want to draw another “red line” in the sand over North Korea.

North Korea has artillery aimed at and in range of Seoul where about half of South Korea’s population lives.  So, in order to show we mean business again, he ordered that a missile defense system be installed in South Korea.  Sounds reasonable especially considering we have over 30,000 troops stationed in South Korea.

Then, he fell back on his gangster mode and claimed that he told South Korea that they should really pay for the missile defense system.  He seems to have left out the part where he would pull it out if they didn’t pay, but the possibility remains loudly in the minds of the South Korean people.

Then, to make matters even worse, he said he would tear up the trade agreement we have with South Korea.  This ignoramus doesn’t understand just how bad he is making relations with one of our best allies.  Does he really think that the South Koreans will be so “strong” in supporting our moves against North Korea if he is going to “tear up” our trade agreements with the South?

Additionally, there are Presidential elections going on in South Korea since their last President was removed from office over corruption charges.  Does he really believe that the winner will be the one who calls out the name trump as a “great leader”?  Rather, it would appear that the winner will be the one who defies and distances themselves from trump the most.  Boy, isn’t that a smart way to win friends.

But, let’s be fair.  He has accomplished a lot in his first 100 days.  He failed to get his Americans Without Health Insurance Act passed because he is a lousy negotiator.  That is a positive for the country.

He was able to get his nomination to the Supreme Court approved.  Of course, his patsy Mitch McConnell had to change Senate rules to achieve that, so it really doesn’t count as a “victory” to me.

He has made “town hall meetings” for his party members almost unbearable.  As a matter of fact, many of his party’s members won’t even hold town halls anymore because they are afraid to face angry crowds.

He has placed a gag order on the employees at EPA so you can never find out about the real effects of climate change or the “sweetheart deals” that Pruitt is making with the fossil fuel companies.

He has removed worker protections from companies who do business with the government.  So if a contractor is guilty of sexual harassment, unequal pay for women, or has a horrible safety record, we won’t know about them and they will get to keep their contracts.

He hired, and then was forced to fire, an unregistered foreign agent to be his National Security Advisor.  Before he was fired, Flynn sat in on highly classified briefings even on briefings that were about the countries for which he was an unregistered foreign agent.

A total of 15 people of his administration have either been fired, resigned, or withdrew their names from consideration for high level posts.  That surely is a record for a president in his first 100 days.  And, we all know how much he loves records.

He has signed more executive orders in his first 100 days than any other president since World War II.  Remember when Republicans claimed that executive orders were nothing more than “a political overreach that flew against the Constitution”?  Funny, we don’t hear the same thing from them now that beloved leader is using executive orders instead of actual legislation.

Finally, he has managed to become the first president who is the subject of a counter espionage investigation concerning his campaign’s collusion with Russia in hacking our national elections.  He managed that in his first 100 days.

All of this shows that we probably have the biggest asshole sitting in the White House in our nation’s history.  The only thing he hasn’t done, yet, is follow his hero Andrew Jackson’s lead who tried make the east coast all white by shipping out all of the Native Americans who lived there.  Only, trump will ship out all Mexicans and Muslims instead of Native Americans.

He has named a fossil fuel company puppet as the head of the EPA.  He has named a public education hater to head up the Department of Education.  He has named an openly proud racist as our Attorney General.  He has placed former Goldman Sachs heads in positions to run our budgets and finances.  You know the company that was the lead in destroying the economy in 2008.

He named a person to head up the Department of Energy who doesn’t even know what the department does, and wants to “get rid of it” anyway.  He fired every District Attorney and has yet to fill one of those vacancies.

He gave a speech about not “tolerating anti-Semitism” in our country, but won’t name one White Supremacist or Neo-Nazi group as domestic terrorists.  Of course these groups all say they are acting as real Christians.  As he liked to say during the campaign, “our president won’t even say the term domestic Christian terrorist”.

The first 100 days of beloved leaders’ administration are finally over.  I won’t blame you if you think it has felt more like 100 years instead of days.  We are saddled with a do-nothing blusterous, incompetent, ignorant idiot in the White House.  Every time he gives a speech using his tele-prompter, I get the feeling I am listening to a first grader reading “see   spot   run”.

That is what we have learned about trump during the first 100 days.   The only question left is will we even have a country left by the 2018 elections?  Considering the first 100 days, that is a reasonable question to ask.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 165. 

The latest yelling about a war on free speech” comes after the University of California at Berkeley cancelled Ann Coulter’s speech for what they say are “safety concerns”.  We must remember that there is a group of anarchists that have caused violence during speeches at Berkeley before.  Maybe, the university is right, maybe it is wrong.

The question really isn’t about why the speech was cancelled, but whether or not it is another “battle” in the war on free speech.  I guess that depends upon our definition of free speech.  Which makes us look at just what free speech is.

We have seen lots of cases where this so-called war on free speech could be used by both sides.  But, it is the fringes on both sides that use the free speech argument the most.  In just the past year or so, we have seen many people blasted for their opinions on different issues.  We could call those attacks as a war on free speech.

There was a big problem when Milo Yianapolis tried to give a speech at Berkeley.  We also saw and heard all kinds of attacks against Kapernick just because he chose to kneel for the national anthem as a protest in favor of Black Lives Matter.

Those attacks are still going strong, and many conservatives are very happy that he seems to be having a problem landing on new team.  Couldn’t we call that a war on free speech?

Free speech is one of our fundamental rights a citizens.  The speech we use is not limited to “correct” speech.  I have written before that even hate groups like the KKK or the American Nazi Party have a right to hold rallies.  That is what free speech is all about.

Even still, there are limits to our free speech rights.  We do not have a right to cause disturbances or riots from our speech.  We do not have a right to cause public safety concerns with our speech.  For example, we cannot simply yell “fire” in a crowded theater just for fun and claim free speech.

We are even seeing this play out in the courts right now.  Three protesters at trump rallies are suing the trump campaign, their supporters, and trump himself for inciting violence at his rallies.  Even one of the accused trump supporters has said that he was encouraged by trump to attack the protesters.

The odd thing is trump isn’t really arguing against the claim of inciting violence, he is arguing that he cannot be sued because he is president.  You may argue that protesters do not belong at a political rally.  But, if that is the case, what about your free speech argument?

In 1968, I attended to protest at a rally for George Wallace in Chicago.  During that campaign, Wallace took great joy at protesters disrupting his rally because it put his name in the headlines.  He ran into a problem in Chicago that time.  Whenever he used his hate speech towards the protesters, they sarcastically cheered his hate.  As a result, no one was “thrown out” and there were no “violence” headlines at the rally the next day.  Needless to say, Wallace kept getting angrier and angrier as the night went along.

We are hearing that people like Bill O’Reilly are victims of liberal attacks just because he is a conservative and liberals are trying to shut up conservatives.  The argument goes that sponsors were bullied to pull their ads from his show by liberal extortionists.  They claim that liberals just wanted to stop a conservative from expressing his views.

That argument is bogus.  O’Reilly thought that his position allowed him to abuse and harass women.  He thought he could get away with it because he was “famous” and that meant he could do whatever he wanted.  Just like beloved leader bragged about in that Hollywood Access tape during the campaign.

Then you have the Kapernick argument.  If you are claiming that O’Reilly shouldn’t have been fired because he is a conservative, then Kapernick should be left alone too.  If you wrote a letter or complained openly about his protest, than you are doing to him exactly what you complain liberals are doing to O’Reilly.  You are trying to silence his political views.

Conservatives have tried to paint the Black Lives Matter movement to anti-American activities.  Even calling them “terrorists” on Fox News more than once.  Where is the cry about waging a war on free speech?

The biggest problem we have with our right to free speech is the speech itself.  In the 1960s protesters were met with violence.  Many times they were attacked by police just because they were protesting.  That was really the case in the Civil Rights movement.  But, the anti-war protests against the Vietnam war faced similar attacks.  As Mayor Richard J. Daily famously said on television: “The police are not there to cause the violence, they are there to preserve the violence”.

That sentiment still goes a long way today.  When violence breaks out over a conservative speech, the rioters are trying to “suppress conservative views”.  When violence breaks out when a liberal speaks, then the liberals are just a bunch of anti-Americans trying to cause trouble.  Yes, the same can be said in both directions, but today it mostly comes from the right.

In order to have a proper discussion and/or debate over issues, we need free speech.  We need to hear both sides of the argument and then decide which direction the nation should go.  However, we also need to have rational debate.

Ann Coulter is not better than any other right-wing fringe wacko.  The pundits try to place her more in the main stream, but her speech and her writings are anything but mainstream.  She has never had a good word about anyone who isn’t white, Christian, and conservative.  She is a white supremacist nationalist who hates anyone who is not white and wants to keep any non-white out of the country.  That is not mainstream.

Still, she is entitled to her opinions.  However, others have a right to their opinions, and if they decide to show up and peacefully demonstrate against her then they are exercising their right to free speech.  Yet, that isn’t how her supporters see the world.  They see the world as she can say whatever she wants, and no one can protest against her.

In our history, we had the fringe wackos on the left do the same thing.  There have been times when they argued they were right and everyone was wrong and therefore any protest against them should not be allowed.  Today, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.

Before you take sides in this so-called war on free speech, remember it works both ways.  You may feel like the victim today, but the other side was the victim before.  The only answer is for each side to understand that hate speech of any kind is not really political speech.  It is hate speech pure and simple.

Both sides have a right to say what they want.  I am not advocating for a ban on any form of speech.  However, if anyone is wanting to give a speech, they should expect blowback from those who disagree.   If you are not willing to accept that blowback, then you shouldn’t be giving a speech in the first place.

You should also be careful of what you say.  Yelling from the podium words like “get ’em out of here” or “I will pay for your lawyers” can and should be considered incitement to violence.  That is what the suit against trump’s campaign is all about.

We have a right to free speech.  We also have a responsibility to control our free speech.  You cannot have it both ways.  If you claim your side has a right to free speech, you cannot deny free speech to the other side.  If you agree that you can protest against a speaker, then you cannot argue the other side doesn’t have the right to protest against your speaker.

For example, when something like the resistance movement protests against your leader, you cannot simply call them “paid protesters” to dismiss them.  Neither can you reject someone’s right to give a speech, even if you disagree with the content.

The oddity to me is that Berkeley is known as the birthplace of free speech from the 1960s.  That same birthplace cannot tamp down on conservative views either.  Free speech must be allowed so anyone can express their views.  Yes, public safety must be taken into consideration.  We do not need violence just because some is giving a speech.

The point is that there really is no “war on free speech”.  There is simply a politicization about what free speech is all about.  That is the real problem we face today.  Free speech actually shows us where our problems lie.  It puts on full display the evils and the corruptions that we face as a nation.

The discrimination problems we face today are the same as we faced 100 years ago.  They are bases on race, sex, national origin, color and sexual orientation.  Immigrants are hated, especially if they are immigrants of color or non-Christian religion.  It is the same as it was throughout our history.

Instead of stopping these speeches, we should simply show up and peacefully protest against the views we disagree with.  We should let our voices be known as well.  That is the best way to stop the spread of hate and the formation of an authoritarian government.  When free speech is controlled by the government, we all lose.

Free speech can be controlled in many ways.  Not allowing a speech to take place is one form of controlling it.  Another way is to label the protesters as anti-American.

Protests are a form of free speech.  Marches are a form of free speech.  And, yes, hate is also a form of free speech.  In order for our democracy to survive in troubling times, we need to fight hate speech, but not with violence or trying to silence it.  We need it to be heard so we know how to fight it.

Throughout hour history, hate has eventually lost in the fight for our nation’s soul.  There is no reason why we should expect it to win this time either.  Unless we go off the rails and try to silence dissent.  Fight hate with love and we will win.  Fight hate with hate, and we all lose.

 

 

 

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Day 140. 

I know that a lot of people may take exception to that question.  I also know that the knee-jerk reaction is “what the hell is he talking about?”  I hope both assumptions are correct, because it is time we have a real discussing about this issue.

I have been around for some time, and I have seen politicians come and go.  I saw the Civil Rights fights that led to the Civil Rights Bill.  I saw the conflicts that led to the Voting Rights Act.  I was part of the anti-war protests over the Vietnam War in the sixties.

I watched George Wallace bring his bigotry to the national debate with his independent run for the Presidency.  I watched as the old Dixiecrats all began to fade away the leave government either by retiring or dying.  I served under five different presidents with varying views of civil rights.  But, everyone of them loved America and American democracy in their own ways.  Even Richard Nixon.

Things were getting better.  Life was getting better for everyone.  Americans were beginning to feel good about themselves again.  Then, something happened and I cannot put my finger on exactly what that was.   In my view it started with Ronald Reagan.  It was Reagan who started coining the term “welfare queen”.

When Reagan was President, we had Iran Contra where his administration broke a real law by selling guns to Iran in order to raise money to fund the Contras in Central America which was breaking another law.

Several of Reagan’s people wound up in jail over the incident, but Reagan escaped untouched.  Then after Bill Clinton was elected, things got real nasty.  Clinton was actually impeached because he had sex with an intern in a consensual relationship.  What was his “impeachable” offense?  He lied about it, like every Republican who also got caught in affairs.

George W. Bush took us to war.  I didn’t have a problem with the war in Afghanistan since that was where the terrorists who committed the atrocious act of 9/11 were.  However, that wasn’t good enough for W.  He wanted to take out Iraq too.  As a result, it turns out he lied about getting us into the war.  He said over and over that Iraq had weapons of “mass destruction” and that was the justification for his war.

After the war, we found out that he did lie to us because Iraq did not have any weapons of mass destruction.  It was “proven beyond a reasonable doubt” that the President lied to the American people to start a war and kill hundreds of thousands of people.

The Republican Party began using lies as the only way to speak to the American People.  In the past, they used to wrap it up in “patriotic” language.  They would say things like “I am only dong what the American People want”.  or, “That is what the American People elected us to do”.

And they proved all of this was a big lie too.  When the Sandy Hook massacre took place, 70 percent of the American people wanted reasonable gun control laws.  The one they most wanted was a universal background check law.  The Republicans voted it down with “I am only doing what the American people want” lie.

We have started seeing more and more legal discrimination laws being passed, especially at the state level.  Republican state after Republican state are passing anti-abortion laws, voter restriction laws, anti-LGBT laws, and anti-local rule laws.

They have been trying their best to masquerade these laws as “liberty defense” bills.  For example, they claim that the anti-abortion laws are not intended for anything but “protecting woman’s health”.  Bullshit, they are intended to make safe and legal abortions unlawful.

They tell us that we need Photo IDs in order to vote.  Then they look at the types of photo IDs people have and the ones that are mostly used by non-whites or by the elderly or by young people, become not “authorized” as proper photo ids.  Then just to make sure no one can get around this, they shut down the government services, like Driver’s Licenses offices is areas that are primarily minority.  Making them drive or hitch a ride up to 250 miles to get the ID required to vote.

They pass laws they call “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” claiming that “Christians are being persecuted”.  They claim these laws are necessary because Christians cannot act like Christians anymore and everyone is “picking on us”.

But when you look at the laws, you discover the only purpose of them is to allow people to legally discriminate against any minority they want under the guise of “religious belief”.  They mainly targeted the LGBT community and tried to make it possible that a bakery could discriminate against a same-sex couple and not sell them a cake for their wedding.

Under this hateful behavior, they claim that if a baker must sell a cake to such people they would be “endorsing” the same-sex marriage.  BULLSHIT!  That is like saying that if you sell a cake to a member of the Chinese Embassy, you are endorsing Communism.  Or if you sell a cake to a member of the Iranian Government visiting America, you are endorsing the Iranian political agenda.

The only reason for these RFRA laws is simply to allow “government sponsored discrimination” against minorities.  Maybe they were only targeting the LGBT community, but every minority faces the same hate under these hateful laws.

Republicans claim they are the party that “wants government out of our lives”.  They claim to be the “small government” party.  Only their actions show otherwise.  When it comes to ensuring their pet projects get to see the light of day, they are more than willing to let government tell you what to do.

During the ongoing fight over the ACA, Republicans say they want the government out of the way and not get in the way of you and your doctor.  But, they are more than willing to tell doctors what they can and cannot do if a woman wants to talk about abortion or birth control.

Several Republican states passed laws “requiring” ultrasounds before an abortion could be performed.  Not because they were necessary for the woman’s health, but because they showed the fetus and they hoped that would change people’s minds.

They pass laws, like in Utah the other day, that are very dangerous to women’s health and even their lives.  They passed a law that says doctors “must inform women that after the first of two medications to perform an abortion is given, she can change her mind after the first medication was given and the abortion would be reversed”.  That is absolute nonsense and very dangerous to the health of the woman.

They pass laws like HB2 here in North Carolina.  This bill has several effects on our citizens.  First it mandates who is female and who is male.  It then says that you can only use a bathroom that matches the sex on your birth certificate.  It also says that local governments, like the city of Charlotte, does not have the power to modify this law in any way.

It does not recognize the LGBT community as a protected group under the Civil Rights laws.  It is still legal for a company to fire you simply because you are an LGBT person.  No other reason, just because you are gay.  But, Republicans say they are protecting “civil rights” of all of our citizens.

There is a push to reverse this horrible law, but the “compromise” they are announcing today is not very good and keeps in place the rule that local governments cannot pass their own laws or protecting LGBT from being fired just because they are gay.  The only reason this repeal is even being considered is because the Republicans are afraid the NCAA will lock them out of hosting any part of the tournament through 2022.  Since this law was passed by our Politburo the state has lost about $3.1 billion.

Republicans claim that women’s health care is very important to them.  Yet, they have been on a mission to destroy women’s health issues in insurance.  They have been making it difficult for women to get coverage for birth control in their “standard” health care coverage.

They have been going after Planned Parenthood for decades.  They don’t like the idea that you can get an abortion at Planed Parenthood.  So, they are lying to the American people telling them that Planned Parenthood is using federal dollars to perform those abortions.  Only that is untrue and illegal.

They latched onto the phony “sting videos” that claim that Planned Parenthood was “selling body parts” of fetus tissue after an abortion to “make money”.  The videos were proven to be heavily edited and fake.  That didn’t stop Republicans.  They insisted that Planed Parenthood be investigated.  So, many states did just that.

Problem came up.  After dozens of investigations, it was discovered the Planned Parenthood was not “selling baby parts” and they were doing absolutely nothing illegal.  The thing was someone was doing something illegal.  The people who made the videos.

In Texas, the City of Houston brought charges against them.  Felony charges.  Then just this week, California charged the makers of the video with 23 felony charges!  So, Republicans demanded investigations, but now that the only crimes found were by the people who made the videos, they are mysteriously silent.

Still, in the Americans Without Health Care Act that crashed and burned last week, one of the biggest things and most loved part of the bill by Republicans was the defunding of Planned Parenthood.  Again, Republicans say, “that is what Americans sent us to do”.

Only 70 percent of the American People do not want the government to defund Planed Parenthood.  7 in 10 people know that the services that Planed Parenthood offer are only offered by them.  Poor women and poor working women get their health care from Planned Parenthood.  Including cancer screenings, STD prevention and treatment, birth control, and a whole host of other services.

Did you know for example that unwanted pregnancies and abortions, especially among teenaged women and poor women are at their lowest in decades?  Did you also know that these women get birth control form Planed Parenthood and if you remove those services, unwanted pregnancies will increase.  How can you care about women’s health when you want to allow more unwanted pregnancies rather than fewer.

When you look at the whole picture, you have to wonder why today’s Republicans hate America and American democracy so much?  What indoctrination did they go through in order to become so anti-American?

In 2016, it was shown that Russia interfered in our elections.  But, even with this very serious problem, Republicans don’t seem too interested in getting to the bottom of the problem.  They are definitely putting party ahead of country.  Why?

Well if you are a conservative, you claim they are following “conservative principles”.  But, Ayn Rand had no “conservative principles” she only had selfish principles and Ryan is a huge follower if her principles.

If you are a Conservative Christian you will claim they are “protecting” Christian values.  I don’t know any true “Christians” who believe we should abandon the weak and the poor and the sick.  So there are no Christian values in their laws.  Only hate.

If you are a “small government” Republican you will claim they are trying to get government off of our backs and let us live in freedom.  Only,the laws they are passing have nothing to do with individual freedom.  They onely increase discrimination on minorities and favor corporate profits.

These factions of the Republican party are kidding themselves.  Today’s Republican Party is interested in power, and not for the People of America.  They are interested in their power, and mostly in the power of the American Corporations.  They want an Oligarchy.

That is why it is so easy for them to lie and lie and lie.  It is the reason they won’t answer a direct question with a direct answer.  Our current Republican beloved leader claimed he would work for “the average American”.  But, so far, he has only worked for corporations and the Republicans love him for it.

Today’s Republican Party is interested in destroying our democracy.  They are interested in removing civil rights for the people.  They are interested in destroying the middle-class because they are a threat to the oligarchs.

Today’s Republican Party is more enthralled with the way Putin runs Russia than in keeping our country a free country under a great Constitution.  They see the Russian Oligarchs getting richer and richer at the detriment of every other Russian, and that is what today’s Republicans want in America.

Somewhere along the path of our nation, the Republican lost their way.  Somehow they emerged out of a forest, and we discovered they were a lot more greedy and power-hungry than before.  Hate, greed, and discrimination are the Party’s mantra and their religious creed.

Are these the reasons why today’s Republican party hates America and American Democracy so much?  Are they the reasons this Republican Party has passed more intrusive laws against average Americans than any other party in our history?  You don’t do that if you love you country.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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Day 136. 

You can point to a lot of reasons that the American Without Health Care Act failed.  For one it was a really bad bill.  Secondly, the president can’t figure out that dealing with over 400 people in the House is not like threatening some other contractor that he fails to pay.  Third, Ryan is a lousy leader.

But most importantly, you can look at the Republican Party as the major fault.  And, I am talking about something that began years ago.  Things started becoming really partisan under Ronald Reagan.  But, once Barak Obama was elected President, things really went from bad to worse.

That fact that a black man could actually win an election and become President was too much for the wacko fringe of the Republican Party.  They started organizing under different banners, but the one that stuck out was the Tea party.  With huge money backers like the Koch Brothers, this movement gained momentum.

In 2010 the ultra-conservative nut jobs known as the Tea Party started pealing off seats in the House.  In 2010, the Republicans took control of the House and things started to get worse and worse.  Obstruction became the normal political practice of the Republican Party.  No matter what President Obama wanted, it would be voted down or simply ignored in the House.

This became the entire policy of the Republican Party.  After the Sandy Hook shooting and 70 percent of the country wanted universal back ground checks on gun purchases, the House said no.  When the Senate passed a bi-partisan Immigration Reform Bill that was really good, the House put it in a drawer and it has remained there since.

These actions were not because any of the bills that reached them were bad, it was simply because the House made a concerted effort to declare that nothing that was supported by President Obama would see the light of day.  There would be no hearings, no discussions, and especially no votes.

The Republican Party simply rolled over and let the wackos take charge of their party.  They allowed the so-called Freedom Caucus run Boehner out of town.  They failed to fight back for the principles that the majority of Republicans in the country stood for.  Instead, they let the wacko fringe begin to dictate policy.

They could have stopped all of this simply by talking to the Democrats in the House in order to get things done that would move the country forward.  In the past, they were able to work with the Democrats and there were compromises in legislation that helped everyone.

However, the party stuck to a Reagan Era rule known as the Hastert Rule that said no bill could go to the floor of the House without the party ensuring passage without Democrat help.  That was a huge mistake.  As a result, the wacko Freedom Caucus found themselves with way too much power for their little number of members.  The Freedom Caucus has about 40 members in total.

Only, that number of people is just enough to kill any bill they don’t like.  If a bill is going to help anyone but rich people in the country, the Freedom Caucus simply says no, and the bill fails.  If the party reaches across the aisle, the Freedom Caucus starts complaining that they are RINOs and fires up the country’s fringe against the party.

This whole mess came to light this past week.  In their absolute hate for the Affordable Care Act, a bill one of their own wrote in the 1990s, they ran on the “promise to repeal and replace” the ACA.  They have had seven plus years to put together a plan that would replace the ACA.  Only, the Freedom Caucus wackos would not support anything but a repeal with no replacement.

Being too afraid of the caucus running to Fox News and complaining about how establishment Republicans are trying to pass a health care bill that helps poor people, they simply sat on their hands and did nothing.  They complained and complained about the ACA.  They did everything they could to undermine the bill.  They did everything they could, except write a decent replacement bill.

Then came the election surprise of 2016 and donald trump became our president.  Here they were with control of both Houses of Congress and a Republican, well sort of a Republican, sitting in the White House.  Repealing and replacing the ACA was going to be a slam dunk.

Only they didn’t have anything to replace the ACA with.  They never even bothered to write a plan.  They showed their total incompetence when it comes to actually governing.  As a result, Republican leadership locked themselves in a closet and wrote a bill in secret.  Then a couple of weeks ago they held a Press Conference to show off their work.

The bill had some things that most Republicans loved.  They did away with the mandates in the ACA.  They cut way back on the subsidies intended to allow poor people, poor working people, and the elderly get health insurance which would have either thrown people off their health care or make it so expensive they would pay half of their income to keep it.  And, of course, they eliminated the taxes on the rich and corporations that paid for the ACA.  And, finally they were going to gut Medicaid.  Everything was smelling like roses for Ryan and his leadership team.

But, as usual when Republicans are in charge, something happened on the way to the Forum.  First, people found out that they were going to be severely hurt by the plan, especially trump supporters.  They would either lose their insurance or see their premiums go through the roof.  Then it was figured out that up to 24 million people would lose their health coverage mostly due to the gutting of Medicaid.

That was bad enough.  People started showing up at town hall meetings and blasting their Representatives for taking away their health care.  They demanded they vote against the bill.  But, that was just the tip of the iceberg.

The Freedom Caucus showed just what freedom they were interested in.  Freedom from poor people.  They dug in their heels for one reason only.  The tax credits that were in the bill to help people actually purchase health care coverage.  Forget that these tax credits were miserly compared to the subsidies, it was still something that the “little people” could use.  Their whole philosophy on health care is that it is a privilege not a right and if you can’t purchase it on your own, simply get sick and die.

Republican Moderates went into a tizzy as well.  They started realizing that the bill would surely mean they wouldn’t get reelected.  They started to realize that the old white people they counted on to keep office would be the big losers and that would certainly mean a loss in their next election.

Ryan and company were in trouble.  They started negotiating with the two different groups one by one.  They even relied on trump and his “great deal making” abilities to help them out.  Ryan and his cronies talked to the moderates, and trump would bring along the Freedom Caucus wackos.

The problem was every time Ryan made a promise to the moderates, the right-wing wackos dug their heels in deeper.  When they made promises to move even further right to appease the wackos, the moderates said no even louder.  In order show how things are done, trump sent his hitman, Steve Bannon to speak with the right-wing wackos.  Rather than speaking with them, Bannon threatened them.

A presidential threat of support or taking away support in the upcoming elections would usually work.  But, with trump’s approval rating at just 36 percent, the wackos were not afraid of him.  In the end, the Republicans had to pull the bill without even a vote.  The wackos claimed victory.  The president blamed the democrats who were never even asked to participate in the process.  Ryan said that “governing is hard, but we were really close”.  No shit!

I don’t care if you like Nancy Pelosi or not, but she had some good advice for Ryan and the president.  She said” You don’t pick a date for a vote and then try to ramp up support.  You get the support you need and then hold a vote.”  The one thing about her is that when she was the Speaker of the House, she knew how to get legislation passed.  Something Republicans apparently forgot how to do.

After the calamity of this loss for the Republicans, trump said that Ryan did all he could and he doesn’t blame him.  Only on Saturday, trump told his followers on twitter to watch a Fox News show that night.  The show was Judge Jeanine.

During the show, she directly went after Ryan and said he should step down immediately.  She went after Reince Priebus for having just as much blame as Ryan.  She claimed that trump had no blame in this disaster.  So much for trump backing Ryan.  Obviously, Judge Jeanine is backing the wacko fringe.

This is what happens when a political party puts party over country.  It happens when a party decides to complain and not rule.  It happens when they allow the fringe groups of the party take control.  In the name of obstruction and hate the Republican Party made a pact with the devil and they are now seeing just what that pact has done to its soul.

Instead of looking for ways to work with Democrats for the last eight years, they sold their soul to the wacko fringe groups in order to gain numbers to they could get power.  Now that they have power, they are being defeated by those very people they thought would make life beautiful.

The problems Republicans are facing in the House and Senate are of their own making.  The very fact that our president is trump, is all because Republicans sat quietly back and let the wackos into the mainstream.  They made a pact with the devil, and now they are paying the price for that pact.

This is not going to end with the Americans Without Health Care Act either.  The whole mess over climate change, the environment, education, the economy, North Korea, Iran, Russia, and a whole host of issues will meet the same fate if Republicans keep to partisan politics instead of governing.  The wackos are driving the policy of the party in these matters as well.

If the Republicans are really interested in moving the country forward and governing in a way that will help the average person on the street, they need to cast off of their fringe wackos and start to talk to the Democrats.  They will need to understand that compromise is the best solutions for the country.  They need to get over their hate and start to act like reasonable people wanting to do the best they can for the American People.

Until Ryan and his cronies in the party understand this simple fact of life, we will continue to be held hostage by the wacko so-called Freedom Caucus.  True Republicans with real policies for the country need to grow a spine and fight back against their own fringe groups.  In normal times, I might think this would be possible.  However, since the Republican party is more interested in power than they are in governing, I don’t expect anything reasonable to come from them.

It is a very simple fact.  Republicans will not be able to govern until they wipe out their opposition.  That opposition is not the Democrats, it is the wacko fringe of their own party.  Unfortunately, they don’t have the will or the courage to take them on.

As a result of their cowardice, the shirts keep marching along!

 

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