"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hard Right Stance on Gun Control is Fueled by Fear

NRA, GOA, gun lobby, conservative talk radio/sites, Fox News pundits are all pushing Fear of the Federal Government as the reason to oppose any reasonable gun control

This morning this blog is back up -- for how long no one knows or even if anyone else can see the blog since it was taken down after a complaint on Terms of Service which made no sense, but then when you consider the subjects I have been covering with being anti-NRA, anti-RNC, and anti-Congress, it makes sense.  I have started posting on Voices from the Heartland here on blogspot during this time DfS has been down.  BTW  I am contemplating taking Voices to a paid website in the near future.

We have a class in this Country of hard right who only believe Freedom of Speech belongs to them starting with the conservative talk radio pundits led by Rush Limbaugh and Hannity, most of the hosts on Fox News Channel (not counting Shepherd Smith or Greta), conservative websites/bloggers and paid harassers who go from site to site posting their hard right conservative talking points.  Truth doesn't matter to these people, it is the hard right conservative narrative.  

When it came out that Reagan had pushed for the Assault Weapons Ban, he became a RINO.  The same thing happened to Justice Scalia when he said that the 2nd amendment didn't give you the right to own military style weapons and that the militia of the Constitution is the National Guard/Reserves of today so now he is a RINO.  In 2004 when the Assault Weapons Ban was going to be allowed to expire by Republicans, President Bush couldn't fathom why they were allowing it to expire so he became a RINO and most likely why he had so much trouble with the Republican Congress when he was re-elected as he made the NRA mad.  

This graphic was linked on Twitter to show exactly what they are talking about when they say Assault Weapon according to the NY Times:

CSGV 18 Jan
Outstanding new graphic from the : "What Makes An Assault Weapon." RT this widely.

The NY Times posted this picture with their article which I have excerpted the last few paragraphs below to show the term Assault Weapons originated:
“Assault rifle” was first used to describe a military weapon, the Sturmgewehr, produced by the Germans in World War II. The Sturmgewehr — literally “storm rifle,” a name chosen by Adolf Hitler — was capable of both semiautomatic and full-automatic fire. It was the progenitor for many modern military rifles. 
But the term “assault rifle” was expanded and broadened when gun manufacturers began to sell firearms modeled after the new military rifles to civilians. In 1984, Guns & Ammo advertised a book called “Assault Firearms,” which it said was “full of the hottest hardware available today.”         
“The popularly held idea that the term ‘assault weapon’ originated with antigun activists, media or politicians is wrong,” Mr. Peterson wrote. “The term was first adopted by the manufacturers, wholesalers, importers and dealers in the American firearms industry to stimulate sales of certain firearms that did not have an appearance that was familiar to many firearm owners. The manufacturers and gun writers of the day needed a catchy name to identify this new type of gun.” 
Yesterday's "Gun Appreciation Day" originally co-sponsored by a white supremacist group turned out to be comedy with five people shot at gun shows due to 'accidents' when people shot a loaded gun and five people got hurt.  You couldn't take this stuff up that a gun dealer pointed a gun he had purchased, shot, and it hit someone as there was a bullet left in the gun after the clip had been removed.  Abject stupidity and yet these are the people who want to own military style guns with large clips.  Don't get the large clips except the talk show circuit and websites have convinced some people who are not the brightest bulb in the pack that the Federal Government is going to send the military to attack them.

Why are the hard right conservatives led by Senator Rand Paul trying to stir up these people who believe what they say and could be a threat to our military and police officers around the Country if they perceive they are doing something that bothers them.  We are not dealing with common sense, we are dealing with people who do cling to their guns and try to be all macho like they are some kind of a gunslinger.  Do they have the temperament that if someone made fun of them open carrying a gun, they might take it out and shoot.  Common sense people don't carry guns to go shopping.

Then there is the NRA an organization who has lost touch with being an organization that supports hunting, gun safety, and reasonable laws.  They are now hard right money makers as the lobbying arm of the gun/ammo manufacturers.  Today someone will pay $4,000 for a gun that is worth about $600 because of the increased demand for guns since this Country elected its first black president, the gun manufacturers have increased the price for guns knowing those who scare easily into thinking this Country is going socialist or communist because of President Obama are going to pay the price.  Some of these people would live on beans to buy a gun.  When you see someone post that their guns are before family because it is the only way to protect them, you realize you most likely are not dealing with someone with a full deck.

What is the scary part is that these people consider themselves patriots and the federal government is the enemy which brings us back to Ruby Ridge, David Koresh and Waco, and then their shining triumph according to Timothy McVeigh when he planned to kill as many federal workers as he could with bombing the federal Murrah Building in Oklahoma City.  He and his partner(s) not only killed federal workers but also young children who were in the day care center.  Yet even today there are some loons in the militia who consider what McVeigh did as the right thing to do.

The worst part is that members of Congress just not conservative talk shows and websites are touting the President is not legitimate, the Federal Government is coming to take your guns, new laws are Unconstitutional as the President has no right to sign Executive Orders on gun control and the list goes on and on all in order to stir up the hard right so they can line their pockets with money from the NRA, GOA, and gun/ammo manufacturers who support their campaigns/sites.  After all, both sides have to do four hours of fundraising every afternoon and don't want to shut down the NRA/Gun Lobby dollars and that includes Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) who is balking at tougher filibuster requirements who is in the hip pocket of the gun lobby so it cuts both ways.

Now will see how long this stays up!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

NRA is Extremist and Hypocritical on Gun Free School Zones

After Columbine Shooting, NRA Supported Gun Free School Zones It Now Opposes

How many issues on 23 executive orders did the NRA support when they were a rational organization and not extreme.  The CEO who profits from Bushmaster sits on the NRA board -- conflict of interest?  You betcha

Mother Jones now has the paperwork on how the NRA elects its board -- guess you could say that regular NRA members have very little say:

NRA Report of the Nominating Committee, Sep 2011
After reading the 23 Executive Orders, I have a hard time coming up with where the lunatics think that Obama is taking away gun runs or doing a power grab.  There is obviously a reading comprehension problem from the hard right.  Worse then that are the Republicans calling for the President's impeachment who obviously don't have a leg to stand on and frankly are so far over the top that constitutional lawyers are scratching their heads on the news shows (except Fox) wondering where they came up with their sentiments after reading the 23 EO's.

Some recent Tweets from Twitter:
NRA tries to get scientists fired for researching gun safety. That's how much they don't give shit about your kids.  
RT : RT : Liberal Extremist Ronald Reagan Helped Pass the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban Rt  

If you liked the NRA's 30-second video attacking Obama's daughters, you'll love the 4 minute version   
Larry Ward, Gun Appreciation Day Founder, Says Armed African Americans Could've Prevented Slavery ... via
The NRA would have supported some of Obama's gun proposals...in 1999.  
can pass comp legislation now & have shape it, or wait 2yrs4 SPEAKER to do it.”~
Then there is the usual trash from Limbaugh:
Rush Limbaugh To Caller: "You Know How To Stop Abortion? Require That Each One Occur With A Gun"
Rush Limbaugh Responds To Universal Checks On Gun Sales: "We Still Have Not Had A Background Check On Barack Obama"
Hope the people from the districts that some of these Republicans represent who are calling for impeachment are very proud of their Representative.  If it was me, I would be furious.  Don't think that the GOP in the House in 2014 are going to have to worry about who to elect as Speaker.  They keep up their extremists attitudes and they will be saying Madam Speaker again to Nancy Pelosi.  If they think only Democrats are disgusted, they have their heads buried in the sand if they think Republicans are not even madder at how they make the Republican Party look today.

I can see President Obama right now telling the NRA supporters in Congress to "Please Proceed" because they are on the losing end of this fight as the American people are speaking out even in Red States, in cities, in rural America, and all across the Country because we have had with business as usual on gun control and the contention gun control will not save lives.  How do they know?  If you look at Sandy Hook, the shooter would not have access to assault rifles or large magazines and his doctor would have been required to turn him in for mental health issues.

This is only a small example of Republicans who have gone over the top along with Sen Rand Paul who is not pictured here but says this about Obama:
Speaking with CBN News, Paul remarked, “I’m against having a king. I think having a monarch is what we fought the American Revolution over and someone who wants to bypass the Constitution, bypass Congress — that’s someone who wants to act like a king or a monarch.”
Way to go Kentucky with electing Rand Paul to the US Senate to go with McConnell.  Disgusting bunch of Republicans who don't have a clue how mad they have made longtime Republicans.
Regardless of the facts, the movement to impeach Obama over these executive actions is spreading from fringe conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and taking hold among lawmakers and Republican activists. Here are five people calling for Obama’s impeachment:
Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX)

Stockman plans to introduce articles of impeachment, calling Obama’s anti-gun violence efforts “an existential threat to this nation.”
Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL)

Following Stockman’s lead is Florida Congressman Trey Radel, who said impeachment “should be on the table” and falsely claimed that Obama wants an executive order to “ban guns.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Gohmert, a Tea Party favorite who recently claimed an assault weapons ban would have to include hammers, charged that the president’s action is “illegal” and grounds for impeachment. “The American Revolution was all about fighting such a monarchy — and that is not what the Constitution anticipates. It’s not something a Constitutional president would do,” Gohmert lamented.
Former Attorney General Edwin Meese (R)

Edwin Meese, former Reagan Attorney General and current Heritage Foundation official, is also taking up the call for impeachment. In an interview with Newsmax, Meese claimed Obama may have “really tried to override the Constitution itself.” Congress, he said, would have to take action, “perhaps even to the point of impeachment.”
Larry Pratt

The head of Gun Owners for America urged Republican lawmakers to stop being “spectators while the country is being torn apart” and impeach Obama. Pratt also attacked all gun safety laws as “the most pagan of paganism” because they assume guns and other “inanimate objects as possessing their own will.”
Welcome to the new Republican Party where no one in power will speak up to these guys preferring to stay silent.  Time to vote them out in 2014!

President Obama's Common Sense "Now is the Time Plan" for Gun Control in the United States

I went to the White House website to read the President's plan, Now is the Time, and understand even less how Rubio and others on the hard right can be making their comments against the President and this plan.  Here are the 23 executive orders from the White House:

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.
2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.
3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.
4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.
5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.
6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.
7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.
8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).
9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.
10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.
11. Nominate an ATF director.
12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.
13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.
14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.
15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies
16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.
17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.
18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.
19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.
20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.
21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.
22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.
23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health. 

Will someone tell me how these common sense Executive Orders are taking guns away from owners and affecting their 2nd amendment rights?  Makes anyone attacking the President on these Executive Orders look really stupid.  It would behoove members of Congress not to rush out with dumb statements before reading what was proposed.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said on Wednesday that President Obama's newly announced plan to reform the nation's gun laws would not have stopped the school shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn., accusing the administration of "targeting" gun owners.
“Nothing the President is proposing would have stopped the massacre at Sandy Hook," Rubio said in a statement. "President Obama is targeting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens instead of seriously addressing the real underlying causes of such violence. Rolling back responsible citizens’ rights is not the proper response to tragedies committed by criminals and the mentally ill."
He is being laughed at in the media because the 23 executive orders signed by the President are all common sense and supported by the vast majority of Americans.  How does Rubio and others like Rick Perry know that gun control measures wouldn't have stopped the Sandy Hook massacre?  Maybe the shooter couldn't have bought the large magazines or his mother not been able to purchase assault weapons or his doctor would have turned him in for mental health issues.

If one life is saved by these measures, then that is one more person who owes their life to President Obama for being willing to stand up to the Gun Lobby and members of Congress who are in their hip pocket.  American people in overwhelming numbers support the President and the new gun control measures that should be passed into law including a lot of gun owners.

President Reagan signed the original Assault Weapons Ban yet he was a supporter of the 2nd amendment.  President George W Bush never understood why the Assault Weapons Ban was being allowed to expire and he lived on a ranch.  Yet the attacks are all against Obama which seems to fit the mantra that anything Obama proposes some GOP in Congress are automatically against without even bother to read what is proposed.  Their attacks on the President are turning off large amounts of Republicans now including Joe Scarborough who had a lot to say on his Morning Joe show about gun control and how the NRA is its own worst enemy.

Sandy Hook massacre of first graders has brought people out of the woodwork who stayed silent in the past on gun control now demanding something be done and done now.  The largest amount of Americans ever (over 80%) support comprehensive gun background checks and want the gun show loophole closed.  Before Sandy Hook it was around 50%.  Times have changed but the NRA with Wayne LaPierre have not recognized that fundamental shift by the American people.  NBC has some of the details on this shift in their article:
While some of Obama's long-expected proposals - like universal background checks - garner overwhelming public support, the outlawing of certain types of weapons may be less of a slam dunk for lawmakers eager to appease constituents.  
A recent poll from the Pew Research Center showed that a majority of Americans -- 55 percent -- back a ban on "assault-style weapons," with 40 percent saying they don't approve of a ban. But a partisan breakdown shows that only about four in ten Republicans support such restrictions, compared to a broad majority of Democrats.  
Democrats in Congress have already voiced doubts about the feasibility of the president's most ambitious proposals.  
"We're not going to get an outright ban" on assault weapons, Democrat Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York bluntly said yesterday.
 "[Senate Majority Leader] Reid has said he doesn't know whether he has the votes (for an assault weapons ban)," she added. "There's heavy lifting, so are we going to waste time on heavy lifting? Or are we going to try to work on doing something that could actually get passed?"
Supporters are more optimistic about background checks and magazine restrictions.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy announced Wednesday that his panel will hold its first hearing on issues relating to gun violence on Jan. 30. 
In his remarks Wednesday, Obama anticipated opponents' reactions to his proposals.
"This will be difficult," he said. "There will be pundits and politicians and special interest lobbyists publicly warning of a tyrannical all-out assault on liberty. Not because that's true, but because they want to gin up fear or higher ratings or revenue for themselves, and behind the scenes they will do everything they can to block any commonsense reform and make sure nothing changes whatsoever." 
That pushback began earlier in the week, culminating in high tempers on both sides Tuesday night after the National Rifle Association released an ad criticizing Obama's dismissal of the gun lobby's proposal to increase armed security in schools.  
"Are the president's kids more important than yours?" a narrator asks in the short ad. "Then why is he skeptical about putting armed security in our schools when his kids are protected by armed guards at their schools? Mr. Obama demands the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, but he's just another elitist hypocrite when it comes to a fair share of security." 
Related: White House calls NRA 'repugnant,' 'cowardly' for invoking president's children in ad 
The ad prompted outcry from observers who said the First Family should be off limits for such advertisements, while NRA backers say their focus is on school safety rather than on the president's daughters themselves.  
"Whoever thinks the ad is about President Obama's daughters are missing the point completely or they're trying to change the subject," said spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. "This ad is about keeping our children safe. And the president said he was skeptical about the NRA proposal to put policemen in all schools in this country. Yet he and his family are beneficiaries of multiple law enforcement officers surrounding them 24 hours a day." 
White House spokesman Jay Carney shot back that the ad is "cowardly."  
"Most Americans agree that a president's children should not be used as pawns in a political fight," he said. "But to go so far as to make the safety of the President's children the subject of an attack ad  is repugnant and cowardly."
When I saw the NRA ad using the President's children last night, I knew the NRA was on the losing side.  I know people who were finally tipped over the edge and are now calling for gun control because that ad woke them up to the fact the NRA went from an organization promoting gun safety to an extremist organization under LaPierre who puts profits for gun/ammo manufacturers over safety of Americans.

The Democrat NRA members better think twice before they say they cannot pass an Assault Weapons Ban in Congress because their constituents may have other ideas.  (Update) I would recommend that Democrats look closely at NY Democrat Carolyn McCarthy after her statement and push even harder for AWB.  She lost her husband to gun violence but doesn't believe Congress will act:
"We're not going to get an outright ban" on assault weapons
Why not?  Is she saying that members of Congress will not vote how their constituents want but how the NRA wants them to vote?  If that is the case, they need booted out of Congress.  The arrogance of members of Congress on both sides who think they don't have to listen to constituents (all of them) but do have to listen to lobbyists don't have a clue how mad the American people are becoming.  When 63% of Republicans think their members of Congress are out touch, it says that those safe GOP seats may not be so safe from Republican voters.

The biggest question of the day is whether Congress will listen to all of us who vote?  Will Republicans in Congress side with the hard right and NRA or with the American people to save lives?   The jury is out on what they will do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Senator Schumer (D-NY) Announces His Support for Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense; Neocon Heads Explode

Hagel vs. Neocons

Posted on Jan 13, 2013, Steve Sack, Cagle Cartoons, The Minneapolis Star Tribune 
This morning after hearing that Senator Chuck Schumer, D-NY, was now supporting former Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, I figured it was more than both had the same first name.  I did see that in a comment making fun of the neocons.   After the Schumer announcement, decided it was time to look into some background of why the Republican neocons had gone so far overboard with their attacks on Hagel making some Senators like McCain, Graham, Ayotte, and Corker look like fools.

How much are some of these Senators bought and paid for by the Defense industry who pushes neocons to do their bidding because with war comes big profits.  That is why I thought this cartoon from Cagle Cartoons was perfect for this post today.

Knew McCain was mad after Chuck Hagel slammed Sarah Palin: "It's a stretch to say she's got the experience to be President".  Frankly that was one of the smarter things Hagel has said.  He was 100% correct as it turned out.  He also opposed the surge in Iraq which McCain wanted.  Showed me then that Hagel was his own man and would put Country over Party.

The question of this nomination has been "Why do neocons detest Hagel?" which I typed into my AOL search.  Found this article from Barrie Dunsmore, a retired ABC News diplomatic correspondent.  After reading his article, it made perfect sense:
Dunsmore: Why the neocons don’t like Hagel 
Editor’s note: This op-ed by retired ABC News diplomatic correspondent Barrie Dunsmore first aired on Vermont Public Radio.  All his columns can be found on his website, www.barriedunsmore.com. 
Weeks before Chuck Hagel was announced as President Obama’s choice to run the Pentagon, a campaign against Hagel was launched by neoconservatives led by William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard magazine. Kristol is not just any neo-conservative. His father was known as the godfather of the movement of intellectuals whowere once part of America’s Far Left — who in the 1960s began flipping to the Far Right over their disenchantment with American liberalism. Irving Kristol used to joke that a neoconservative was “a liberal who had been mugged by reality.” 
One feature of neoconservatism is that it advocates an aggressive, hard-line foreign policy. Another, is that it is strongly pro-Israel and historically has had close ties with Israel’s current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Those two policy goals came together when neocons in George W. Bush’s administration pressed for the invasion of Iraq....
The opening shots of the campaign against Hagel were that he was not supportive of Israel. This past week Elliot Abrams, a noted neocon in the Reagan and Bush administrations, went so far as openly calling Hagel an anti-Semite. Abrams cited remarks Hagel once made, critical of the scare tactics of the “Jewish lobby” in Washington. Hagel now admits he should have said Israeli lobby because Christians, especially many evangelicals, are also strongly pro Israel.As Carl Bernstein of Watergate fame put it this week, being critical of the current hard-line Israeli government, doesn’t make one an anti-Semite. 
Actually, earlier this week two top officials from the current Israeli government praised Hagel for his record of strong support for Israel. So what is going on here
But I believe most Americans, including most American Jews, would find a negotiated outcome in Iran far more preferable than another Mideast War — a war most likely to be even more costly than Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

Excerpt:  Read More at VT Digger.com
How has the neocon short-sighted view of invading Iraq worked out to make the Middle East safer for Israel?  IMHO the Middle East is in more turmoil then it has been in years.  Have the neocons with their zeal for war and support of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu  upset the balance in the Middle East?  War isn't the answer to everything.
They (Bush neocons) wanted to show the world that with the end of the Cold War, America was the top dog and would not hesitate to use force to protect or advance its interests. And the overthrow of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein would make the neighborhood safer for Israel.  
The neocons received a huge blow to their chances of defeating Hagel for Secretary of Defense today with this announcement that Hagel had won over Key Democrats including Senator Schumer:
Hagel Wins Over Key Democrats In Defense Secretary Bid 
By Hayes Brown on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:28 am 
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) — rumored to be a potential roadblock in the confirmation of Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense, today announced his support of Hagel’s bid — following a lengthy meeting between the two. 
Schumer was thought by many to be a bellwether on whether coordinated attacks on Hagel’s stance on Iran and Israel by neoconservatives were having the desired effect. In the aftermath of a ninety minute meeting between the two on Monday, Schumer made clear that the smear tactics of the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin and others had not swayed his decision, announcing his support in a prepared statement
Based on several key assurances provided by Senator Hagel, I am currently prepared to vote for his confirmation. I encourage my Senate colleagues who have shared my previous concerns to also support him. [...] 
I know some will question whether Senator Hagel’s assurances are merely attempts to quiet critics as he seeks confirmation to this critical post. But I don’t think so. Senator Hagel realizes the situation in the Middle East has changed, with Israel in a dramatically more endangered position than it was even five years ago. His views are genuine, and reflect this new reality.
In his statement, Schumer also noted that Hagel provided assurances on his commitment to female and LGBT service members, another concern of several members of the Senate. 
By announcing his support, Schumer joins Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) in firmly stating their backing of Hagel in the coming confirmation fight. “After speaking extensively with Sen. Hagel by phone last week and after receiving a detailed written response to my questions late today, I will support Sen. Hagel’s nomination as secretary of Defense,” Boxer said in a statement.
Read More at Think Progress.org 
Since President Obama announced Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense some of the dumbest comments have come out of Republican Senators against the nomination.  One of my favorites was Senator Corker (R-TN) questioning  Hagel's 'temperament' when you have John McCain in your caucus along with others which made me laugh.  It only took Sen Corker (R-TN) a little over a week to be brought back on board the 'smear campaign' against Hagel being run by McCain and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for the neocons and big defense contractors who depend on wars to make a lot of money.  The more conflicts the better for the Defense industry who pull the chains of Senators/Representatives when they want their way.  In this case, Hagel would be one of their worst nightmares which makes him the perfect choice.
GOP Senator Now Questions Hagel’s ‘Temperament’ 
By Rebecca Leber on Jan 13, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel received bipartisan support after President Obama nominated him for Secretary of Defense last week. Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who served with Hagel on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also praised him as someone he is “very open to” for the nomination: “Certainly his name coming forward is one I’m very open to. I had good relations with him while he was in the Senate.” (my bold) 
But this Sunday, during an appearance on This Week, Corker echoed the criticism of the smear campaign against Hagel, and raised vague concerns about his “temperament”:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS (HOST): You had some positive things to say about Senator Hagel when his name was first floated. You said he had a good relations on the Senate foreign realtions committee. Do you see anything that should disqualify him fromt he Pentagon post? 
CORKER: Well I think like a lot of people the hearings are going to have a huge effect on me [...] You know, I have a lot of questions about just this whole nuclear posture abuse. Those are things that haven’t been discussed yet. Obviously people have concerns about his stance towards Iran and Israel. But I think another thing, George, that’s going to come up is just his overall temperament, and is he suited to run a department or big agency or a big entity like the Pentagon. 
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you have questions about his temperament? 
CORKER: I think there are a number of staffers who are coming forth no just talking about the way he has dealt with them. I certainly have quesitons about a lot of things.
You have a Senator (Corker) who supported Hagel before he was against him bringing up the temperament issue with no background except some anonymous staffers versus former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell, and former top U.S. ambassador Ryan Crocker who have announced their support.  Seems to me that the three heavy hitters trump Corker's comments he seemed to pick out of a hat provided by McCain and Graham.

Then there is the usual puppet of McCain/Graham, Kelly Ayotte, who joined the criticism of Corker.  Imagine that -- does she ever think for herself?  Her Benghazi's attacks on the Secretary of State Clinton and UN Ambassador Rice were beyond disgusting and showed a lack of integrity as she followed along with anything McCain/Graham had to say without bothering to check facts.  Speaking of McCain/Graham, what is up with Lindsey Graham?  Is he that worried about his reelection that he comes out with McCain now making the strangest comments I never thought he would make.  He has joined the hard right which is a shocker.  The McCain puppet Ayotte is now promoting Iranian propaganda instead of Benghazi to oppose Chuck Hagel:
Senator Promotes Iranian Propaganda To Oppose Chuck Hagel 
By Igor Volsky on Jan 13, 2013 at 9:49 am 
This morning, during an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Republican Senator and rising party star Kelly Ayotte (NH) cited Iranian propaganda in explaining her opposition to President Obama’s nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. 
“I have not made up my mind,” Ayotte began, before warning that Hagel has not expressed sufficient commitment to using military force against Iran if it develops nuclear weapons. She then pointed to Iranian propaganda, noting that the country “reacted favorably” to his nomination:
AYOTTE: Iran, this week, kind of reacted favorably somewhat. There were statements that were favorable to his nomination, in fact, they said they were hopeful that with his nomination, they hoped that we would change our policies. What I want to make sure is that Iran is actually not hopeful, but they are fearful as a result of our nominee from a Secretary of Defense perspective, because I think that will cause them to stop marching toward acquiring a nuclear weapon, not hope that we’ll change our policies, they need to change their policies.
On Tuesday, the Iranians responded to the Hagel nomination and used it to take a backhanded slap at the United States, saying, “We hope there will be practical changes in American foreign policy and that Washington becomes respectful of the rights of nations.” Unfortunately, neo-conservatives — desperate to derail Hagel — jumped on the propaganda from Iran’s foreign ministry to make their case.
Hagel has warned against the consequences of war with Iran, but has stated that his position is “fully consistent with the policy of presidents for more than a decade of keeping all options on the table, including the use of military force, thereby increasing pressure on Iran while working toward a political solution.” As a senator, Hagel also voted in favor of several rounds of targeted sanctions against Iran including packages in 1998, 2000, and 2006.
Now we have a United States Senator, Kelly Ayotte, using Iranian propaganda against the Hagel nomination which should give his nomination even more credence.  Do you know how sad that is that a US Senator who was the NH Attorney General doesn't understand propaganda and how foreign countries use it to influence people like her?  Iranians know if they praise the nomination, the neocons will go nuts, and they were right.

Once again, Bloomberg News comes along with the background on what is driving the neocons to launch attacks on Chuck Hagel.  Leave it to Al Hunt to give the facts you won't find from the mainstream media where some like to play it both ways sometimes missing the facts along the way.

From Al Hunt, Bloomberg News:
“This battle has not as much to do with Chuck Hagel or any comments he made on Israel,” says Joseph Nye, a former top Defense Department official who teaches at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. “This is about re-litigating major changes in foreign policy.” 
Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who has supported most Obama administration Cabinet nominees, should have credibility when he assails the choice of his former Senate colleague. “Chuck Hagel is out of the mainstream,” Graham says, “on most issues regarding foreign policy.” 
Nonetheless, Graham and other critics, in particular the so-called neo-conservatives who dominated Bush’s first term, obfuscate the central issues with dubious, duplicitous charges. 
Hagel is accused of being anti-Israel. “He would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense toward Israel in our nation’s history,” Graham charges. 
More antagonistic than the third defense secretary, George Catlett Marshall, who once told his commander in chief, President Harry Truman, that he’d vote against his re-election if the U.S. recognized the state of Israel? 
Hagel once carelessly referred to the “Jewish lobby” to describe the powerful pro-Israel lobby in Washington. That prompts neo-cons such as Elliott Abrams, who served in foreign policy positions for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, to call him anti-Semitic, an outlandish fabrication. 
In two Senate terms, Hagel voted for every measure containing aid to Israel. He is a critic of some of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin’s Netanyahu’s policies; so is President Barack Obama. 
In contrast to Hagel -- or the president -- they express few reservations about intervening in places such as Syria or carrying out a military strike against Iran’s nuclear capacity. In the Middle East, they are unswervingly pro-Israel. 
These policies require an ability to simultaneously take action in multiple trouble spots, which means a beefed-up Pentagon budget, and more forces and weapons.   
“They (Obama and Hagel) believe in a more efficient, as opposed to just a greater, use of American power,” says Nye, who supports Hagel, with whom he served on the Defense Policy Board. 
He sees the Nebraska Republican, out of sync with his own party today, as emblematic of President Dwight Eisenhower’s foreign policy of the 1950s. “Ike felt that forces of occupation in poor countries where they are not welcome are losing propositions,” Nye says. (Eisenhower’s granddaughter has championed Hagel’s nomination.) 
Graham’s charge that Hagel is “out of the mainstream” is refuted by the nominee’s roster of supporters, including prominent Republicans such as former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, former homeland security chief Tom Ridge and former Defense Secretary Bob Gates. Hagel also has the backing of leading Democrats, including former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and top defense experts in the Senate, Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Carl Levin of Michigan, along with more than a dozen former top generals and prominent ambassadors, including six who served in Israel. 
The public, on issues ranging from the value of the Iraq war to remaining in Afghanistan to the size of the defense budget, appears more in tune with Hagel than with the neo-cons. Israel has strong support; an attack on Iran doesn’t. 
The nominee will be confirmed and a healthy debate over these matters might show the public who is the more mainstream: Hagel or Graham. 
Excerpt:  Read more at Bloomberg 
If you want more proof of the hypocrisy of some Republican Senators look no further then Graham's comments on the surge in Iraq.  He doesn't have a problem with John Kerry as Secretary of State who also opposed the surge in Iraq like Hagel and others but he has a problem with Hagel for not following the party line?   
The Nebraska lawmaker’s conversion to opponent of the Iraq war rankles neo-cons, especially his criticism of the troop surge in 2007. “I’ll have a hard time supporting anybody to be secretary of defense who believes the surge was a foreign policy blunder,” Graham says.Yet Graham says he supports the nomination of Senator John Kerry to be secretary of state. 
The Massachusetts Democrat opposed the surge, as did Republican senators such as Susan Collins of Maine and Norman Coleman of Minnesota, as well as Democrats such as Joe Biden  of Delaware, Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois.
This lends more credibility to what I am hearing that this anti-Hagel crusade is coming out not only the neocons but also out of the Defense industry who are afraid Hagel will start cutting the fraud, waste, and abuse that is rampant in the DoD.  He knows where some of it is buried like in sole source contracts to major defense contractors.  Chuck Hagel is not going to be bullied by US Senators like Graham or McCain or by defense contractors.  IMHO necons are going to be on the outside looking in which is why they are attempting to derail the Hagel nomination.  Halliburton may have to work to get contracts with Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense.

With the announcement by Chuck Shumer that he is supporting Hagel for SecDef, the nomination should have no trouble being approved by the Senate.  Lindsey Graham would be smart not to put a hold on this nomination as 63% of Republicans according to Rasmussen think Republicans in Congress are out of touch.  That should send shock waves through the GOP, but today's GOP has gone so far hard right playing up to the Koch Brothers and other hard right groups, that those 63% of us don't matter.  Maybe they will sing a different tune in 2014.

Monday, January 14, 2013

President Obama Chastises Rubio and the GOP, "We are Not a Deadbeat Nation!"

Now we have a first term Senator Marco Rubio thinking he can say whatever he wants to the President and the Country and no one is going to strike back.  He found out today that President Obama didn't like his
'deadbeat nation' comments as they are untrue.  In fact, I find Rubio's comments disgusting from a group of Republicans who don't want to raise taxes for any reason.  This man was given all kinds of help during the years because he was Hispanic and now calls the Country a 'deadbeat nation' when it is the GOP who wants to shut down Government and not pay bills?

When some of us supported Rubio for Senate, we thought we were supporting an honest man, but we were wrong.  He is nothing more then a Tea Party puppet who has no core value system left saying only what it will take keep from being primaried which makes him a wimp in my book.  He has lost my total respect along with other Republicans who have become part of the 'my way or no way' crowd bowing to the Koch Brothers Tea Party.

Stand with President Obama in taking on Republicans on the debt ceiling.  Some of the GOP comments out of the House are mind boggling showing a level of stupidity I cannot believe including Marsha Blackburn putting shutting down Government on the table to teach Obama a lesson.  Who elects these people to Congress?
'Deadbeat' Nation  
It caught a lot of people's ears just now when Obama said, "We are not a deadbeat nation." What some may not know is that he's referring to Marco Rubio, who used the phrase in a Jan. 6 letter to Obama. That letter is worth a quick review. 
Rubio wrote: 
As I wrote in The Wall Street Journal in March 2011, I will oppose a debt ceiling increase unless such an authorization is accompanied by a real plan to tackle our debt. Ideally, such a plan would feature both pro-growth elements and spending restraints, including fundamental tax reform, regulatory reform, meaningful cuts to discretionary spending, a balanced-budget amendment, and reforms to save Social Security and Medicare. 
If we had done this in mid-2011 when we last debated the debt ceiling, we could have set America on a path to economic growth and prosperity. This would have led to more jobs and, in turn, to more duly employed taxpayers generating more growth-driven revenue to help us pay down our debt. Instead, you failed to lead, punted the tough decisions and, in doing so, our credit rating was downgraded for the first time in our history. It's a tragic reality but, on your watch, more and more people have come to believe that America is becoming a deadbeat nation inevitably heading toward a European-style debt crisis.
This of course is dishonest and silly. Note that, while Obama accepts both revenues and cuts, Rubio has no room for revenues. "Fundamental tax reform" means cutting taxes, just as "reform" to Social Security and Medicare means cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Also, I shudder to think what condition this economy would be in if we'd done this in mid-2011. Austerity hurts. I think most Republicans actually know this deep down, although it's not clear in Rubio's case how intelligent he is. 
Anyway the phrase "deadbeat nation" is going to have a lot more resonance coming out of Obama's mouth than in Rubio's letter. He has managed to turn the phrase around on the GOP.
Watch Obama make his "deadbeat nation" comments and issue a challenge to Congress.

General Colin Powell on Meet the Press about Hagel, Racism, GOP

Yesterday as I watched this interview with General Colin Powell I was taken back to the first time I heard him speak many years ago.  He hasn't changed -- he still puts Country over Party and speaks his mind.  The Republican Party should be reaching out to more individuals like Colin Powell not calling him names or dissing him for speaking the truth.  Anyone saying that members of the Republican Party do not use racist language against minorities is not facing reality.  Some of the crap that came out of former NH Governor Sununu one Romney's co-chairs or former AK Gov Palin was so far over the top of racist remarks that it left me speechless.  

Would say the Republican Party has no place for those comments but calling people names has become a way of life with some of the hard right acting like only they can determine who is a Republican today.  The attacks on Powell after his comments were to be expected but the vitrol has been way over the top.  Today you cannot say anything against the GOP but they can say whatever they want against you.  They are going to lose big in 2014 if the hard right keeps this up as a lot of us who have supported Colin Powell for years support him now and agree with him on the State of GOP.  I even posted on Twitter that the day Colin Powell leaves the GOP is the day I follow him out the door.  

This interview from Meet the Press shows General Powell to be honest, articulate, ethical, and a man who puts Country over Party which is a way of life for him.  David Gregory on the hand hand is not even close to being like Tim Russert as a moderator and at times you had the feeling that Powell was talking way over his head and he wasn't comprehending.  I would give Powell an A+ for his interview and for telling it like it is -- great to have someone not afraid to give facts even when they know it will irritate some.  Truth has a way of winning in the end.

Well worth the time to watch/listen to this interview with Colin Powell:

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Overview of General Powell's comments:
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who is a Republican, is lashing out at a “dark vein of intolerance” in his own party, which he says is being created by people like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu who use racial code words and “slave terms” to attack President Barack Obama. 
During a Sunday interview, NBC’s David Gregory asked Powell why he continued to consider himself a Republican after supporting Obama and taking moderate policy positions. “I think the Republican Party right now is having an identity problem, and I am still a Republican,” 
Powell explained. “In recent years, there has been a significant shift to the right and we have seen what that shift has produced: two losing presidential campaigns.” “When we see that in one more generation that the minorities of America — African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Asian Americans — will be the majority of the country, you can’t go around saying, ‘We don’t want to have a solid immigration policy, we’re going to dismiss the 47 percent, we are going to make it hard for the minorities to vote,’ as they did in the last election.” 
“There is also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the party,” he continued. “They still sort of look down on minorities. How can I evidence that? When I see [Palin] saying that the president is ‘shucking and jiving,’ that’s a racial-era slave term. When I see [Sununu] after the president’s first debate, where he didn’t do very well, says that the president was ‘lazy’ — he didn’t say he was slow, he was tired, he didn’t do well — he said he was lazy. Now, it may not mean anything to most Americans, but to those of use who are African Americans, the second word is ‘shiftless’ and there’s a third word that goes along with it.” 
Powell went on to slam Republicans for “the whole birther movement.” “Why do senior Republican leaders tolerate this kind of discussion within the party?” he wondered. “I think the party has to take a look at itself. It has to take a look at it’s responsibilities for health care, it has to take a look at immigration, it has to take a look at those less fortunate than us.”
General Powell used this interview to say what many of us who did vote for Obama and are Republican have been saying about some of the racist comments during the campaign against Obama by the Romney camp and his supporters.  They are still doing it today without regard to facts as they listen to Rush, Hannity, Beck, and Fox News who are turning into pockets of hate in the media which frankly is getting scary.  Sometimes they are dealing with irrational people who are not all there and could be set off like a match.  Is this all for making money or do they really believe what they say which is even more frightening?

President Obama was elected by over 5M more votes but you would never know it from listening to those House Republicans who still think they are in charge of everything in the Government including today talking about shutting down Government is an option.  Tell that to my mortgage company if the Civil Service Retirement check doesn't arrive.  Today's House Republicans are controlled by the hard right and it shows in votes like on Hurricane Sandy where they voted against funds but those same GOP Reps voted for funding of natural disasters in their home states.  They don't care at all about people only their bottom line and make sure they don't face a challenge in the primary.  They have no backbones and continue to put Party over Country as they bow to the likes of the Koch Brothers, Club for Growth, and other hard right.  Bunch of wimps with no backbone which I have stated before but if the shoe fits wear it.

Now there is a new group, "No Labels" which has been co-founded by Republican Mark McKinnon with help from former UT Governor Jon Huntsman and former WVA Governor and current Senate Democrat Joe Manchin who has been a proponent of putting Country over Party.  On the Morning Joe show from this morning which is posted below, Manchin showed his shock and frustration of how little the parties work together in the Senate.  Scarborough and Huntsman talked about being conservatives at one time but not today because of the shift to the hard right.  Their comments about Colin Powell are correct.  Well worth the time to see what this group "No Labels" is advocating:

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From the Washington Post comes these details on the relaunched group "No Labels" with Manchin/Huntsman as co-chairs:

NEW YORK — Fiscal cliffs and debt ceiling fights are out. Problem-solving is in.
Members of Congress, governors and mayors from across the political spectrum joined more than 1,000 political activists Monday under the No Labels banner, calling for a series of reforms in Congress to address fed up voters and dysfunctional politics. Only weeks after a polarizing election and big fight in Congress over taxes and spending, they said Washington needs a new attitude. 
“There’s a huge mistrust back there. There’s a feeling that we all don’t want to do something that is constructive, the only way we’re forced to act is with these manmade crises,” said Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif. “That’s no way to govern the country.” 
The gathering reflected a push from lawmakers in both parties to claim the political middle as voters increasingly view government as bitter and paralyzed. It came ahead of grappling in Congress over raising the nation’s debt ceiling, which is expected to be reached in February, along with fights over delayed cuts to defense and domestic programs and the need for a new spending plan to prevent a government shutdown. 
Digging in over debt, Republicans in Congress have demanded spending cuts in exchange for increasing the debt ceiling but President Barack Obama has said he won’t negotiate, raising the possibility of another showdown. 
About a dozen members of Congress, wearing orange No Labels lapel pins, joined with West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, a Republican who unsuccessfully sought his party’s presidential nomination last year, to decry a poisonous atmosphere in Washington. Organizers said they hoped to attract about 70 members of Congress from across the political spectrum to agree to meet regularly and try to work with each other. 
“The dysfunction of Congress makes our own nation dysfunctional,” said Huntsman, who was joined on stage by Manchin under an orange banner emblazoned with the words, “Problem Solvers.” Huntsman and Manchin, who worked together as governors, each heaped praise on each other in an appearance that almost looked like the makings of a presidential ticket.
Organizers said presidential politics is not in the offing here, pointing instead to a number of reforms to make government function more properly. 
Excerpt:  Read More at the Washington Post
Can you see Republicans in the House buying into these changes recommended by "No Labels" group?  I know I cannot see most of the obstructionist/stubborn GOP House Members agreeing to these five simple remedies.  Heaven forbid they have to work a five-day week!  Personally like the part of not getting paid without a budget which also affects the Democrats in the Senate.

  • Require Congress to work five days a week instead of the typical late Monday-Thursday schedule
  • Demand an annual address to Congress on the fiscal condition of the nation 
  • Withhold congressional pay if lawmakers fail to pass a budget
  • Force an up-or-down vote on presidential appointments within 90 days of a nomination
  • Change to the rules for filibuster in the Senate that allow the minority party to stall the process on bills and nominations that have fewer than 60 votes.
The House GOP last year was the worst for taking lengthy vacations I have ever seen while failing to do their job.  If the Congress does not enact these reasonable changes, then it is time to vote them out in 2014 and elect some people to Congress who understand they represent all the people of their district or state not just partisans.  Have to admit that Republicans in the House/Senate have taken it to a new low.  Thought Democrats were bad over the years with one-party rule in Congress but they were novices to what we are seeing today out of a lot of Republicans in Congress who truly are bought and paid for by major donors like the Kochs and use insider information leading to their millionaire status and votes in favor of what the lobbyist who tip them off want.  

Many GOP today have no qualms of putting Party over Country so not to get primaried.  Time to send them to the unemployment line starting with the group talking about shutting down Government which means not paying the bills they rung up and putting it on the backs of the people who work or are retired from the Government along with seniors.  Send them to the unemployment line in 2014 and then stop the benefits because they are fired by the American people not laid off.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Why are Conservative Pundits/Websites Inciting Violence with Lies on Gun Control?

UPDATE - 3:13 p.m., 1/12/13:  Looks like we were not the only ones questioning the comments of Yeager about going out shooting people if gun control was passed according to Raw Story:

The CEO of a weapons and tactical training company has had his gun permit suspended by the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security after he published a video on YouTube in which he threatened to “start killing people” if President Obama pushes forward with increased gun control, reported News Channel 5
James Yeager, who heads the Tennessee-based company Tactical Response, issued a video Thursday in which he said, “I was mad when I said it” and “probably allowed my mouth to overrun my logic” but does not retract his statements. He admits he cut his controversial video by eliminating the part where he says he will “start killing people.” He claims he does not “condone anybody doing anything rash” or “committing any kind of felonies, up to and including aggravated assaults and murders, unless its necessary. Right now, it’s not necessary.”
Could this be the beginning of sanity and common sense returning to the discussion of gun control?

On the weekend of the President's Inauguration and the celebration of Martin Luther King, along comes the hard right gun extremist with their "Gun Appreciation Day" which could not be more inappropriate, but it shows how the statement 'clinging to guns' is appropriate.  The hard right is going to celebrate "Gun Appreciation Day" on January 19th while some of them are calling for a revolution if there are any changes to gun laws?  NRA at work?
The Obama administration has shown that it is more than willing to trample the Constitution to impose its dictates upon the American people,” said Gun Appreciation Day chairman Larry Ward in a press release.  (My Note:  Is 'dictates' a code word from the hard right?)
Some of these people believe they have the right to own and use any type of gun or firearm including having a tank or bazooka in their backyard.  How do I know?  Been in heated discussions with them for years on sites and even in person here in Oklahoma at a GOP meeting.  Some on a website I used to belong wanted to set up machine guns on the border and gun down anyone coming across which even was too much for the owner of the site who took down the thread -- afraid of law enforcement was my guess.

I imagine the gun toting hard right will be up early on the 19th to celebrate "Gun Appreciation Day" and probably shoot off a few shots into the air.  Never figured out shooting bullets into the air to celebrate because what goes up, come down.  I wouldn't be caught outside on New Year's Eve for any reason at midnight and neither would my dog.

The language of revolution that we are hearing out of talk show hosts like Hannity and others is mind boggling:
Hannity Says States May Secede If "Radicalized, Abusive Federal Government" Continues On Its Path 
Hannity: "If [Secession] Is So Radical, Then Read The Declaration Of Independence. It's A Radical Document"
A little background is in order on secession which Hannity seems to have missed:

Why all the revolutionary language talk when the Supreme Court ruled with a majority opinion in an 1869 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Texas v. White, to consider. The ruling in essence declared that a state can’t secede. following the Civil War that states cannot secede from the United States.

Found this article from the Business Insider very interesting on ability of states to secede:
In the wake of President Obama's reelection, residents in a host of states have expressed a desire to "secede" from the United States.
You can find petitions for the idea on the White House's website.
The concept crops up after most U.S. elections — you'll recall some Vermonters asked to secede after President Bush's reelection in 2004.
But can states actually secede?
Not without a fight.
And we all know how that ended. 
Are there any modern examples of states attempting to forcefully ignore federal law? Say, failing to implement school integration? Arkansas tried that in 1957, and failed
What about Texas, which according to legend retains its own special secession clause? Supreme Court Justice Salmon P. Chase settled that question all the way back in 1869:
When, therefore, Texas became one of the United States, she entered into an indissoluble relation. All the obligations of perpetual union, and all the guaranties of republican government in the Union, attached at once to the State. The act which consummated her admission into the Union was something more than a compact; it was the incorporation of a new member into the political body. And it was final. The union between Texas and the other States was as complete, as perpetual, and as indissoluble as the union between the original States. There was no place for reconsideration or revocation, except through revolution or through consent of the States.
The White House shot down these petitions to secede this week according to CBS:
The White House politely shot down the secession petitions circulating on the White House petition website late Friday, dashing the hopes of malcontents who have submitted petitions to allow their states to withdraw from the union in the wake of President Obama's reelection last November. 
"Democracy can be noisy and controversial. And that's a good thing," wrote Jon Carson, director of the White House's Office of Public Engagement. "Free and open debate is what makes this country work...But as much as we value a healthy debate, we don't let that debate tear us apart." 
Carson offered the would-be secessionists a history lesson, explaining that the Constitution guarantees "the right to change our national government through the power of the ballot - a right that generations of Americans have fought to secure for all. But they did not provide a right to walk away from it."
He also invoked the sad history of the Civil War as a cautionary tale for those who would so casually seek a repeat of our bloodiest conflict, writing, "More than 600,000 Americans died in a long and bloody civil war that vindicated the principle that the Constitution establishes a permanent union between the States." 
"So let's be clear," Carson wrote, "No one disputes that our country faces big challenges, and the recent election followed a vigorous debate about how they should be addressed."
"We will need to work together - and hear from one another - in order to find the best way to move forward."

People like Hannity are inflaming the hard right who by all accounts have some people who wouldn't think twice of taking to the streets with armed insurrection.  He is feeding that fear among some unbalanced people who frankly are scary to regular citizens of both parties.  Talk about unbalanced, here is one for you from none other than the NRA's Wayne LaPierre:

NRA's Wayne LaPierre Used Right-Wing Media's Nazi Comparison To Warn Of "Mass Executions Of Gun Owners" 
Conservatives in media have been quick to draw comparisons between the Obama administration's reported proposals to crack down on gun violence and the actions of Adolf Hitler to suggest that President Obama will engage in firearm confiscation. These historically inaccurate comparisons owe part of their genesis to the National Rifle Association, which has compared proposals to regulate firearms to orders during the Holocaust. 
In his book, America Disarmed: Inside the U.N. & Obama's Scheme to Destroy the Second Amendment, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre likened the United Nations Small Arms and Light Weapons Destruction Day, held on July 9, 2001, to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels' order that books authored by Jews be publicly burned.
LaPierre then suggested that the burning of guns could "help set the stage for mass executions of gun owners" just as Goebbels' order precipitated the mass killing of Jews. 
My first take was that LaPierre is psycho but then a friend said "crazy like a fox" and on a second look, she is probably right.  He is a lobbyist for the manufacturers of guns and ammo at $1M a year so what better way to sell more weapons and ammo then play the Joseph Goebbel's card along with just like Hitler and Nazi Germany, the Federal Government is coming to take your guns.  What a load of Bravo Sierra when you can equate, enforcing background checks on all gun/ammo sales with taking your guns.  Now that is a reach and a flat out lie.

If the gun show here today at the Fairgrounds is any indication, plenty of gun/ammo sales are being transacted with no background checks or I was told even a verification of ID.  That is freaky!  Why is the NRA opposed to background checks of any guns bought at gun shows?  Right now private owners can sell with no ID/background checks.  That gun show loophole needs closed like yesterday.

The New York Times' Charles M. Blow gives more information on the Revolutionary Language being used in the United States today.  Why all the hate rhetoric?  Is it because the Republican white southern males lost another election to a black for President?  That is the way it seems as southern Senators like Lindsey Graham and now Jeff Sessions don't like anyone that Obama nominates for his cabinet with Graham's attacks on Hagel for DoD and now Sessions attacks on Lew for Treasury Secretary. What is going on with the southern white males who are against anything that Obama is for?

When President George W Bush was nominating people to be in his cabinet, Democrats were told by some of the same people to sit down and shut up as the President has a right to nominate who he wants including the wife of the Majority Leader at the time Mitch McConnell.  The word went out that you don't filibuster cabinet appointees -- now with the shoe is on the other foot, the GOP won't hesitate to filibuster.  The word Hypocrites comes to mind.

This article from the NY Times says it all about all the rhetoric wanting people to take to the streets and my biggest question is why advocating this is not being a traitor?
Revolutionary Language 
ublished: January 11, 2013 
Listen closely.  
That sound you hear is the sound of a cultural paranoia by people who have lost their grip on the reins of power, and on reality, and who fear the worst is coming.

And they are preparing for it, whatever it may be — a war, a revolution, an apocalypse.
These extremists make sensible, reasonable gun control hard to discuss, let alone achieve in this country, because they skew the conversations away from common-sense solutions on which both rational gun owners and non-gun owners can agree.

These people, a vocal minority, have extreme fears — gun confiscation, widespread civil instability, a tyrannical government — from which they are preparing to defend themselves with arsenals of weapons and stockpiles of ammunition.

If you pay attention to the right-wing’s rhetoric, you can hear a string of code words that feed the fears of these people and paralyze progress.

A collection of conservative groups have declared Jan. 19, during the weekend celebrating President Obama’s inauguration and Martin Luther King’s Birthday, as Gun Appreciation Day.
Andrew P. Napolitano, a Fox News analyst, said in a video posted Thursday on the network’s GretaWire blog: “Here’s the dirty little secret about the Second Amendment, the Second Amendment was not written in order to protect your right to shoot deer, it was written to protect your right to shoot tyrants if they take over the government. How about chewing on that one.” 
He went even further in a piece in The Washington Times, saying that the Second Amendment “protects the right to shoot tyrants, and it protects the right to shoot at them effectively, with the same instruments they would use upon us.” 
Who are Napolitano’s tyrants here? Is this government takeover theoretical, imminent, in progress or a fait accompli?
As the Southern Poverty Law Center said in a Spring 2012 report, the number of so-called patriot groups surged after Barack Obama was first elected president. 
“The swelling of the Patriot movement since that time has been astounding,” the report said. “From 149 groups in 2008, the number of Patriot organizations skyrocketed to 512 in 2009, shot up again in 2010 to 824, and then, last year, jumped to 1,274.” 
(According to the center, “Generally, Patriot groups define themselves as opposed to the ‘New World Order,’ engage in groundless conspiracy theorizing, or advocate or adhere to extreme antigovernment doctrines.”)  
The center also points out: “Fears of impending gun control or weapons confiscations, either by the government or international agencies, also run rampant in antigovernment circles. As a result, many antigovernment activists believe that being well armed is a must. The militia movement engages in paramilitary training aimed at protecting citizens from this feared impending government crackdown.”
That’s why it is both shocking and predictable that James Yeager, the C.E.O. of a Tennessee company that trains civilians in weapons and tactical skills, posted a video online Wednesday (since removed but still viewable at rawstory.com) saying he was going to start killing people if gun control efforts moved forward. He said, and I quote: 
“I’m telling you that if that happens, it’s going to spark a civil war, and I’ll be glad to fire the first shot. I’m not putting up with it. You shouldn’t put up with it. And I need all you patriots to start thinking about what you’re going to do, load your damn mags, make sure your rifle’s clean, pack a backpack with some food in it and get ready to fight.” 
Again, calling the “patriots” to arms is, I think, no accident. 
Chew on that.
Excerpt:  Read More at NY Times 
James Yeager comments on killing people sent chills up my spine after looking at his eyes which are cold.  Taking to the streets to shoot people seems to be something he would be happy to do from his comments.  What makes these people tick?  Are they so far gone that they cannot reason and believe anything they are told by the right wing media even when it is lies?  Could it be they this racist because we have a black President who they don't consider to be legitimate and the far right pundits play off of this hate to get them stirred up even more to make more money?

Whatever is causing this hate needs to stop now before something tragic happens in this Country and more people are killed.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with background/ID checks on sale of guns/ammo.  Might want to look at anyone who declares that the 2nd amendment guarantees them the right to buy any weapon with no checks.  Even Conservative Justice Scalia doesn't agree a person has the right to buy any weapon they want and the Government has no right to enact gun control laws:
Congress arguably screwed up when it let a ban on many semiautomatic weapons expire back in 2004. 

But in a 2008 opinion that struck down Washington D.C.'s handgun ban, Justice Antonin Scalia suggested the Second Amendment shouldn't stop the U.S. from barring certain weapons.
Scalia, a strict interpreter of the Constitution, said there's an "important limitation" on the right to bear arms. 
"We think that limitation is fairly supported by the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of 'dangerous and unusual weapons'," Scalia wrote, in an opinion first cited by UPI over the weekend. 
Scalia reiterated that sentiment in July of this year when he told Fox News Sunday that the Second Amendment leaves room for federal gun control legislation.
Read more:  Business Insider
When you get statements like this from Justice Scalia who is very conservative, you know the likes of the NRA leaders, Hannity, and Patriot groups are on the wrong side of history.