"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)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Bo Inspects the 2012 White House Holiday Decorations

As I was looking for something to post today, I ran across this video of the White House Dog, Bo, which is just cute.  Tomorrow is the 1st of December, so I am about to start decorating my home for the holidays as many are across the Country.  Please enjoy this video:

Thursday, November 29, 2012

House Republican Committee Chairman are all White Males except One of Arab Descent -- No Women!

There is a reason that sometimes the GOP is called the Stupid Party.  House GOP has now lived up to that title.  Are they serious that they could not find one woman or minority to lead a House Committee?  (NOTE:  It has been pointed out that Daryl Issa (R-CA) who heads the Investigation Committee is of Arab descent.) Their Bravo Sierra about Women chosen for the House Conference made me burst out laughing as it is so lame.  The Conference does not control legislation and what bills are passed.  If you ask me, they gave these crumbs to women thinking no one would notice.
A House Republican leadership aide declined to comment on the lack of diversity in the party's committee leadership. The aide noted, though, that GOP leaders just put four women in party leadership. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash) is the new House Republican Conference Chair, Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kansas) is conference vice chair, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) is conference secretary, and Rep.-elect Ann Wagner (R-Mo.) will represent freshman members in party leadership.
To reelect the same leadership in the House that has been so obstructionists including giving a waiver to Rep Paul Ryan (R-WI) to continue to head the Budget Committee shows they have no plans to change their obstructionist tactics even though they lost 11 seats and only kept control of the House because of huge gerrymandering in the states.  The same gerrymandering they accuse the Democrats of doing but they took it to a new low.

Went to see the "Lincoln" movie several nights ago and was struck at how Republicans in those days were defending the rights of slaves to be free as President Lincoln was not sure that The Emancipation Proclamation would hold up in Court after the Civil War ended.  There were liberties taken with history as there are with all historical based movies, but this movie was powerful in the way the Democrats fought tooth and nail against giving slaves equal rights and the Republicans pushed the equal rights.  Some Republicans wanted the newly freed slaves to have voting rights which did not come until the next century.  Today it is the Democrats pushing Civil Rights and the Republicans pushing voter suppression to keep minorities from voting.

What happened to the Republicans of Dwight Eisenhower years where he started the integration of schools across America which was pushed by the Republican Party.  Martin Luther King was a Republican during Eisenhower's Administration.  In a little over 50 years, the Republican Party has gone so far hard right to an anti-minorities and women stance so that I don't recognize GOP of 2012.  In the 1950's, you would never hear about the earth being 5,000 years old or other nonsense that comes out of the creationists who seem to have taken over the GOP of today putting people on the science committee like Rep Paul Broun Jr. (R-GA) who believes in creationism.  What is he doing on the Science Committee?

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, we went to the Ed Noble Museum of Natural History on the University of Oklahoma campus.  It is highly acclaimed as one of the leading Natural History Museums in the United States with their vast collection of specimens.  The Museum takes you through at the beginning on how they categorize their finds and date the fossils that are found.  It is one of the most interesting places you can visit if you believe the earth is more than 5,000 years old.  In actuality, the earth and the other planets of our solar system are dated at approximately 4.5 billions years old.

The oldest rock formations on Earth are between about 3.8 and 3.9 billion years old., but there are older bits of more ancient rocks that were incorporated into these early rocks, and they date to something closer to 4.4 billion years old. These and other early materials are dated primarily using a variety of parent-daughter radiometric techniques, with the most effective for this time period being a lead-lead system. 
Since rock from the time of the Earth’s formation isn’t available (because it didn’t really exist or was gobbled up in the fiery beginnings of the big round ball) the preferred method of dating the Earth is to calculate the age of meteorites. The earliest meteorites essentially date the condensation of materials in the solar system into the planets, and thus, the date of these meteorites indicates the date of the early Earth. (The Earth existed prior to this condensation in the form of whatever parts of the early solar nebula would eventually condense into this particular planet, of course.) 
Personally don't want Creationism taught in the public schools because it flies in the face of science with the interpretation by evangelicals on the age of the earth being 5,000 to 7,000 years old.  That makes no sense at all.  Is that why so many Republicans are pushing charter schools so their theories can be taught since those charter schools are privately owned?  In Oklahoma the other year at the Convention, the GOP Platform wanted the Bible taught in public schools.  I was shocked that they had gone that far right but as I learned in 2012, it is not only Oklahoma Republicans but the National Party that has gone hard right even defining the meaning of the word rape and person hood.

Get the feeling that the Republican Party is regressing not moving forward after the 2012 election.  Will they remain the Stupid Party aligned with Grover Norquist who says no new taxes or will they wake up to the fact that Republicans are an endangered species if they don't change.  They cannot remain a viable party from the hard right where social issues rule along with their stance on illegal immigration.  America is moving forward and want the parties to work together for the benefit of all Americans not just the top 2% that the GOP leadership is protecting.

Has Republican Leadership in the House put major donors over what is good for the vast majority of Americans?  Sure looks like it.  Will they change and come to the negotiations in good faith?  Maybe it is 50/50 or even less.  All the House has to do is pass the Senate bill that keeps the tax cuts for everyone making under $250,000 and work out details on the people making over $250,000 later.  That Senate bill should have been passed immediately upon their return to Congress after the lengthy recess.  The very fact that the House Leadership refuses to budge and pass that bill shows that Grover Norquist still controls the House GOP when it comes to raising taxes.  The GOP has plenty of rhetoric they use all the time but are they really changing?  Sure doesn't look like they have any intention of losing their obstructionists ways anytime soon or being on the hard right of the political spectrum.

Are the American people going to have to wait until 2014 to get real leadership in the House and Senate from Republicans.  Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who is the Senate Minority Leader is still giving the same rhetoric like they won.  There were 23 Democrat Senate seats they had to defend and they held their seats plus picked up two seats which means of the ten seats the GOP had to defend, they lost two.  That is a huge loss.  In the House, they only won by gerrymandering as the popular vote went to the Democrat candidates.  Have Congressional Republicans learned their lesson?  From what I am seeing, I would say that would be a very loud NO!  In fact, I don't think the GOP has learned their lesson but are trying to put a new face on the same old rhetoric.

We need two viable parties in this Country but the Republicans are forcing more and more Republicans to leave the Party with their hard right stance.  The jury is out on whether they have the capability to track back to the center right and jettison the hard right.  If I was a betting, I would say that is not happening because the hard right seems to be going no where except to destroy the GOP by their hard right agenda where white males are superior to everyone.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Are the Benghazi Attacks By GOP Senators McCain, Graham, and Ayotte About Getting Scott Brown Back to the Senate?

Let me start off by saying that Former UT Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman has more common sense to go with his foreign policy experience in today's world, then the Republican trio of Senators McCain (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), and Ayotte (R-NH) put together who are ignoring the change of leadership in China as they continue to attack the UN Ambassador Susan Rice.  Why? This makes little sense until you realize that if Senator John Kerry was nominated and confirmed to be Secretary of State, then there would be an open Senate seat in Massachusetts.

Are their plans to have Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) who was defeated on Nov 6th, run for the Kerry Senate seat in a special election?  The Governor of MA can only appoint a temporary person to fill the seat until a special election is held  no fewer than 145 days, nor more than 160 days from the date of office vacancy.  With that scenario, the fog from the attacks on Rice by these three Senators is clearing.  Putting Party over Country is becoming a habit for the GOP in Congress.

Ambassador Jon Huntsman understands the leadership change in China has much more of an impact on the United States then the attacks in Benghazi.  Shame those three are ignoring the implications of new leadership in China:
For Huntsman, the debate over who massaged what talking points and when is a distraction. While not downplaying the deaths in Benghazi, he noted that there have been other foreign policy developments in the past month that have also demanded attention. 
"I heard endless chatter about Benghazi during the last several weeks and not a bit about the leadership changes in China," said Huntsman. "Now I needn't tell you which over the longer term is going to impact us as people. You've got once-per-decade leadership changes in China, whose economic and security policies will have a profound impact on the next generation of Americans."
Do I think this trio and other Republicans in the Senate would ignore what has happened in China with the change of leadership to keep attacking Susan Rice for their agenda to get Brown back in the Senate?  Absolutely!  Their attacks are so far over the top the three have become an embarrassment to the oaths they took as US Senators:
Oath of OfficeI do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God. 
The three have put Party over Country which we are seeing from a lot of Republicans in Congress today which is beyond disgusting.  When it comes to foreign affairs, their continual attacks are harmful to how the United States is perceived in other countries.  Looks like the attacks on Rice are being done by these three  in order to get their way for Kerry to be named Secretary of State.  The three Senators come across as mean spirited and hateful against Rice.  The three know full well she did not write the talking points she used from the intelligence community when she went on television to explain what was known at the time about Benghazi.  When UN Ambassador Rice and the Acting CIA Chief briefed the three yesterday, that wasn't good enough for them as they are continuing to attack.

If I was Obama, I would never put anyone in my Administration in the position of talking to those three Senators ever again.  As soon as the briefing by Rice was over, the three ran to the microphone complaining about what she said.  Does Ayotte know how dumb she sounds to be parroting McCain and Graham when she is a freshman Senator?  Guess they had to have someone as Sen Lieberman (I-CT) broke with McCain and Graham to support Rice on her comments.

It has become more obvious that the three have an agenda because Senator Lieberman (I-CT) is perfectly fine with the explanations.  The logical conclusion is the three bullies are doing this for a reason, and I would still be willing to bet it is pure politics to get Senator Kerry to become Secretary of State and Scott Brown back to the Senate. More and more people are saying the same thing after yesterday.  IMO many people didn't want to think this was the case, so they didn't say much.  Yesterday's remarks by the three GOP Senators immediately after their briefing by Rice finally brought out the concept that it was all about Kerry to State and Brown back to the Senate.  Cannot believe after being gone for almost a week from this blog that Benghazi is even an issue.

Don't know what planet McCain, Graham, and Ayotte are living on, but the people of MA are not stupid.  They see what is happening by the three.  I would peg Brown being elected in a special election to the Senate as slim to none.

From reading this article about Former Governor Huntsman on Benghazi and China, I am left with the reality that I am on his side of the Republican Party with others who are fed up with what we are seeing out of Republicans today especially on foreign policy.  If McCain, Graham, and Ayotte are trying to remain relevant, it is not working as they come across as arrogant and bullies against Susan Rice.  They are doing the Republican Party no favors and making a lot of us question why we are Republicans if this is an example of how they are going to act in the next Congress.

Huntsman has nailed in this article what many of us are thinking.  He has my vote if he decides to run for President again.  Former Governor and an Ambassador to China who is not afraid to work across the aisle sounds like a great candidate.  A lot of us have woken up after the election in 2012 that the GOP has gone too hard right and needs someone like Huntsman to keep the GOP from going down the path of the Whigs.
Jon Huntsman: Benghazi, Susan Rice Criticism Overblown
Posted: Updated: 11/27/2012 2:45 pm EST

Jon Huntsman Benghazi
WASHINGTON -- Former Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman on Monday urged lawmakers, including those in his own party, to temper their criticism of the administration's handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. 
Huntsman, who served as U.S. ambassador to China under President Barack Obama, said that it would have been nearly impossible for authorities to instantly obtain accurate intelligence about who was responsible for the September attack, which resulted in the death of four officials. Because of that, he said, recent criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice for not immediately declaring the attack an act of terror was either politically motivated or misplaced. 
"The issue of Benghazi, I think you can attribute to the fog of war, more than anything else," Huntsman said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "When you're in a wartime setting and you have an attack like that -- let's face it. No one is prepared for an attack like that. There is, as Robert McNamara used to say, there is a fog of war. And it takes awhile to sort through the details. And it doesn't do a whole lot of good for the political class to point fingers before you even know what was behind it. And you're not going to know that [immediately]." 
In offering up his assessment, Huntsman became the rare Republican to downplay the boiling controversy surrounding the matter. Rice went to Capitol Hill Tuesday to discuss her post-attack talking points with aggrieved Republican lawmakers. Early reaction suggested that she ran into a proverbial buzzsaw. 
Since then, it has become clearer that a terrorist faction in the country, believed to be affiliated with al Qaeda, was responsible for the attack. Graham, Ayotte, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others have suggested that Rice deliberately changed her talking points for the political benefit of the president. But a steady stream of evidence has pointed to a more benign explanation: that the intelligence community was not immediately comfortable calling the attack an act of terrorism and couched its language accordingly. 
"In the course of the meeting, we explained that the talking points provided by the intelligence community, and the initial assessment upon which they were based, were incorrect in a key respect: there was no protest or demonstration in Benghazi," Rice said in a statement. "While we certainly wish that we had had perfect information just days after the terrorist attack, as is often the case, the intelligence assessment has evolved." 
Rice added that there was no intention to "mislead the American people at any stage in this process."
Speaking from his home in Washington D.C., Huntsman called this a moment of unique, historic possibilities in U.S.-China relations. The new leader of the Communist Party, Xi Jinping, has more political flexibility than his predecessor, Hu Jintao, and he comes into office at a moment of acute pressure for both economic and domestic political reform, Huntsman noted. 
Calling for regular head-of-state negotiations between the U.S. and China and a toning down of some of the political rhetoric -- "You can't just designate them a currency manipulator without reverberations recurring on the other end," he said -- the former ambassador outlined the obstacles ahead. 
The goal for the Obama administration, he argued, is "helping China understand that in being on the world stage, there are greater expectations of the role that they will play. It is helping them understand that a weapon obtained by the Iranian government would result in tremendous instability in the region that would upend their raw material supply line. Sometimes it is walking them through things they never had to consider before because they're new to the world stage."
Excerpt:  Read the comments of McCain, Graham, and Ayotte at Huffington Post

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Time for all of us to give Thanks for our families, our friends, and this wonderful Country we are fortunate enough to call home.  The election is over and now we need to come together as a Country and do what is best for all Americans.  Be back next week as we have family coming in later this evening and the big football game is on Saturday against Oklahoma State here at Owen Field.

Our best wishes for you and yours to have a very Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy the weekend.

Boomer Sooner!

God Bless!

Sharon and Family

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pres Obama Says Thank You; Former Gov Romney says Obama Won because of Free Gifts

At the end of the day, you have what it was about from the beginning -- Obama caring about all Americans including the 47% versus Romney caring about the wealthiest and his southern strategy of earlier GOP campaigns to bring out the southern white vote.  Americans were not fooled as the majority of us knew which candidate cared about all Americans -- Barack Obama.  In the end, it wasn't even close with Obama getting 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206 with Obama getting over $3M more popular votes.  

As I watched this video after the election with the President thanking the people in Chicago, I was struck at the diversity of his workers in the main campaign office which is a microcosm of what we saw on the campaign trail -- young, middle age, older, men, women, minorities, and whites all working together to elect Barack Obama.  There is no one specific group who supported the Obama campaign but a lot of different groups who wanted to make sure that he was reelected and had a chance to finish what he started.  They knocked those doors in battleground states with a huge ground game.  Unions have discovered that a campaign needs people more then the money and were part of that ground game.  

Romney tried to buy the election with the big donors and Super PACs while Obama's campaign focused on a huge ground game to Get Out The Vote.  Obama campaign held a lot of fundraisers and brought in a lot of money from big donors along with the Democrat Super PAC but in the end, it was the millions of small donors who bought a piece of his campaign and worked hard to elect him that won the day.

When I got this in email yesterday along with another email to take a comprehensive survey about the campaign, it hit me that the President understands Americans by reaching out to all people of America not just a select few wealthy.  In fact he has very much at home in almost all situations except maybe having to deal with the Party of NO in DC.  Must be refreshing to get outside the beltway and deal with regular Americans not those inside the beltway who have a false sense they are the most important people who the world revolves around.  

As I watched this Thank You, I was reminded of how I felt waking up on the morning the day after the election with a smile on my face knowing I had voted for the right person to be President.  

In 2008, I supported John McCain who I wouldn't support today for dog catcher after his actions last week with his comments on Libya.  He is very bitter and you have to wonder what Romney promised him -- was it Secretary of Defense which he has wanted for years?   The fact is if he took over at DoD, the exit out the doors by senior ranking officers would be huge. 

As Romney made more of a jerk of himself this week with the 'free gifts,' it shouldn't have shocked anyone as he meant that 47% comment.  He is arrogant, pampered, and never wants to be told NO which the American people have done in fairly large numbers.  When you have a southern strategy in today's America to go after the white southern vote, you have a real problem.  Then toss in the Neanderthal thinking of the 50's and your problem becomes huge.  Women, minorities, gays, and anyone who doesn't agree with the hard right is supposed to sit down, shut up, and let them decide things.  News to Romney people -- it doesn't work that way.  Paul Krugman from the NY Times summed up the GOP under Romney/Ryan and today's hard right GOP:
There are, let’s face it, some people in our political life who pine for the days when minorities and women knew their place, gays stayed firmly in the closet and congressmen asked, “Are you now or have you ever been?” The rest of us, however, are very glad those days are gone. We are, morally, a much better nation than we were. Oh, and the food has improved a lot, too.    
Couldn't believe when I read yesterday, the Romney campaign depended on negative ads which they flood the airwaves and mailings to get their support and their money from smaller donors. (sarcasm)  That was a 50's/60's campaign outreach.  I can vouch for the snail mail as some weeks I would get 10-12 pieces of mail from the campaign which ended up in the trash.  I received two snail mails from Obama -- one with my bumper strip and one with a magnet for donating.  

Two campaigns run very differently -- Obama was in 2012 with using the internet to max out his potential base.  His emails asking for small donations was perfect as they asked for donations starting at $8, saved your information, and all you had to do was click on what amount to give.  Started giving $8 or $10 when Romney and/or his surrogates would irritate me with their comments which in many cases were tinged with racism or attacks on women, minorities, veterans, teachers, fire, police, civil service, and other groups.  Romney's campaign was stuck on the 50's/60's mentality of how to run a campaign with mailout letters, etc.  Not even fancy mailouts that local candidates send out but actual snail mail.  I was shocked at their lack of progress running elections.  Almost as dumb as the RNC sending out $1 bills asking for donations -- talk about throwing money away.

The Obama campaign couldn't have had a better campaign to have as an opponent then Romney/Ryan who had problems with the truth as they spouted Fox News/Limbaugh mistruths and outright lies.  They spent almost as much time fundraising in the last month as campaigning.  Ryan was pulled off the trail to go fundraise in the last month which was odd for a campaign spouting they were winning.  What gets me is that they believed the likes of Fox News, Rush, Rove, Morris, and their little group of people who said they were going to win big.  During the last two weeks, I kept wondering why the Romney camp was getting their information as people I knew were saying it was going to Obama and don't believe polls like Gallup.  Kept telling people that national polls mean nothing in the end but the state polls are what counts.  But even then some state polls were far off and missed the fact so many minorities were going to vote and women were turned off by Romney/Ryan.

My favorite outcome of the election was Missouri where Akin went down to defeat big time when polls showed it close right up until the election with McCaskill.  Turns out women didn't want to say outright they wouldn't vote for the Neanderthal but they showed on election day when he lost by over 15 points, they wanted no part of the hard right Akin who the Tea Party supported.

Over the months, I have had friends ask me how I ended up supporting Obama even though they knew I refused to support Romney after 2008 and vowed never to support the arrogant man.  I learned my lesson but many in the GOP did not and their 'he is such a nice man' mantra doesn't fly either when you have seen up close how nasty he can be at Town Halls when asked the wrong question.  

My path to voting for Obama started with my looking at former NM Governor Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, to support until discovering that he was also an Ayn Rand disciple like the Romney VP candidate Paul Ryan. That did it for me as I cannot believe these people  follow the writings of an atheist who writes fiction.  That decision not to support Johnson (couldn't have voted for him as OK GOP made sure he wasn't on the ballot) led me to Republicans for Obama where I found a home with like minded individuals who had decided that the GOP had gone too far hard right.  They had come to the conclusion that Obama was the better candidate then Romney had gone hard right who was 'severely' conservative.  

Many of the people there had supported Obama against McCain in 2008 which I can fully understand.  The people at Republicans for Obama are not hard right which made it even better.  None of the 'my way or no way' crowd was involved except for the occasional poster who posted to irritate people and actually made me laugh with their stupid postings that were right out of Rush and Fox News.

Then after being part of Republicans for Obama, I decided to ask the campaign how I could help in a Red State.  This election travel was out but I could use my blog to get out the facts to help elect Barack Obama for a second term.   Those doubts about supporting Obama at the beginning were quickly washed away as I realized that I had been swallowing the GOP/pundit koolaid about Republican candidates for sometime which when shown the light of day didn't add up.  All of a sudden when I saw the House stall the veterans job bill and the farm bill, I knew that the Democrats were right and the House GOP since 2010 had become the Party of "NO" even when it hurt the American people.  They didn't want good jobs numbers as it would help Obama.  You could say I woke up and frankly don't like what I was seeing out of many of today's Republicans who seem to have the integrity of gnat in Congress putting Party over Country.

Today as I was putting this together I found an article by Paul Krugman which sums up the state of today's Republicans IMO no matter what face they are trying to wear today -- that core of the GOP that is hard right is still driving the bus as I think you will see with the House Republicans in the days ahead.  This part of his article drives home what is wrong with the Republican Party today and their nostalgia for the 1950's:
The Twinkie ManifestoBy Published: November 18, 2012 
The Twinkie, it turns out, was introduced way back in 1930. In our memories, however, the iconic snack will forever be identified with the 1950s, when Hostess popularized the brand by sponsoring “The Howdy Doody Show.” And the demise of Hostess has unleashed a wave of baby boomer nostalgia for a seemingly more innocent time.

Needless to say, it wasn’t really innocent. But the ’50s — the Twinkie Era — do offer lessons that remain relevant in the 21st century. Above all, the success of the postwar American economy demonstrates that, contrary to today’s conservative orthodoxy, you can have prosperity without demeaning workers and coddling the rich.   
Squeezed between high taxes and empowered workers, executives were relatively impoverished by the standards of either earlier or later generations. In 1955 Fortune magazine published an essay, “How top executives live,” which emphasized how modest their lifestyles had become compared with days of yore. The vast mansions, armies of servants, and huge yachts of the 1920s were no more; by 1955 the typical executive, Fortune claimed, lived in a smallish suburban house, relied on part-time help and skippered his own relatively small boat.  
The data confirm Fortune’s impressions. Between the 1920s and the 1950s real incomes for the richest Americans fell sharply, not just compared with the middle class but in absolute terms. According to estimates by the economists Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, in 1955 the real incomes of the top 0.01 percent of Americans were less than half what they had been in the late 1920s, and their share of total income was down by three-quarters. 
Today, of course, the mansions, armies of servants and yachts are back, bigger than ever — and any hint of policies that might crimp plutocrats’ style is met with cries of “socialism.” Indeed, the whole Romney campaign was based on the premise that President Obama’s threat to modestly raise taxes on top incomes, plus his temerity in suggesting that some bankers had behaved badly, were crippling the economy. Surely, then, the far less plutocrat-friendly environment of the 1950s must have been an economic disaster, right? 
Actually, some people thought so at the time. Paul Ryan and many other modern conservatives are devotees of Ayn Rand. Well, the collapsing, moocher-infested nation she portrayed in “Atlas Shrugged,” published in 1957, was basically Dwight Eisenhower’s America. 
Strange to say, however, the oppressed executives Fortune portrayed in 1955 didn’t go Galt and deprive the nation of their talents. On the contrary, if Fortune is to be believed, they were working harder than ever. And the high-tax, strong-union decades after World War II were in fact marked by spectacular, widely shared economic growth: nothing before or since has matched the doubling of median family income between 1947 and 1973. 
Which brings us back to the nostalgia thing. 
There are, let’s face it, some people in our political life who pine for the days when minorities and women knew their place, gays stayed firmly in the closet and congressmen asked, “Are you now or have you ever been?” The rest of us, however, are very glad those days are gone. We are, morally, a much better nation than we were. Oh, and the food has improved a lot, too.    
Along the way, however, we’ve forgotten something important — namely, that economic justice and economic growth aren’t incompatible. America in the 1950s made the rich pay their fair share; it gave workers the power to bargain for decent wages and benefits; yet contrary to right-wing propaganda then and now, it prospered. And we can do that again. 
Excerpt:  Read More from Paul Krugman at the NY Times 

Friday, November 16, 2012

GOP Senators Tune Attention of UN Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice to Focus on Benghazi

What?  No Press Conferences for Senator McCain following General Petraeus testimony this morning?  Looks like McCain finally figured out he might have been wrong and the fact he skipped the briefings yesterday to attend the press conference was not a good idea:
Even Sen. John McCain, who has been one of Rice’s chief critics in the Senate, was largely mum on the subject following the hearing, opting instead to lambast the Iraqi government for freeing Ali DaqDuq, a Hezbollah leader connected to multiple American deaths.
State Department requested additional dollars to beef up security at our embassies and consulates but the increase was rejected in the House, but it is still the fault of the State Department?   Guess the State Department was supposed to manufacture dollars to increase security.

Time for Republicans to quit their grandstanding.  I said the same thing after 9/11 about the Democrats when the initial cooperation wore off.  Sure miss the days of Democrat Senators Sam Nunn and David Boren  when they actually did work together with Republican Senators Don Nickles and Richard Lugar.  

IMHO there were changes made to the Federal Government intelligence/investigative structure in 2004 following 9/11 that should not have been implemented.  Putting more layers of management has not helped:
The CIA and its responsibilities changed markedly in 2004. Before December 2004, the CIA was the main intelligence organization of the U.S. government; it was responsible for coordinating the activities of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) as a whole. The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 created the office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), which took over management and leadership of the IC.
Republicans and Fox News have way overplayed their hand on Benghazi and it looks like from some comments they haven't learned their lesson.  Guess we should be happy Republicans have backed off US Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice but what they need to quit doing is trying to manufacture a political witch hunt which has been ongoing since the Benghazi attack.  The worst part is that members of the Intelligence Committee know better when it comes to CIA intelligence that when it comes in the fog of an attack, the scenario of what happened can change over time. 
Republicans Tone Down Attacks On Rice, But Keep Focus On Benghazi 
“Clearly the security measures were not adequate despite an overwhelming and growing amount of information showing the area of Benghazi was dangerous and particularly the date of Sept. 11,” says Rubio. 
John Stanton BuzzFeed Staff posted

Image by Alex Wong / Getty Images 
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans Friday appeared to shift positions on the assault on the American consulate in Benghazi, moving away from political attacks on Ambassador Susan Rice to calls for further inquiries into substantive issues relating to security and intelligence gathering. 
For weeks Republicans have hammered Rice for claiming the attack was in response to an anti-Islam Youtube video during a Sunday show appearance following the incident. 
Democrats have bitterly complained that the assault on Rice, who they say was just repeating a CIA briefing — and whom President Barack Obama appears dead set on nominating as Secretary of State. Her defenders call the attacks purely political in nature, pointing out that her comments have resulted in no policy changes and that she was working with the information provided by the intelligence community. 
"Increasingly the focus is going to be on the fact that despite a growing and significant amount of information being provided to the state Department about the growing risk in the Benghazi area, they did not take adequate enough security measures," Sen. Marco Rubio said bluntly after a closed-door hearing with former CIA chief Gen. David Petraeus. "I think that’s what the growing amount of inquiry should be about in the coming days.” 
Indeed, Chambliss acknowledged that, “the problem with what Susan Rice said was not whether she stuck with the talking points, were they correct. They were. “ 
However, Chambliss did take issue with Rice’s decision to also tout the administration’s efforts against Al Queada given the fact that intelligence seemed to show they were involved in some way with the attack. 
“In fact, what the UN Ambassador stated was the talking points that had been given, approved, declassified to the House Intelligence Committee and that’s what she, I am told, restated,” said Sen. Bill Nelson, a member of the community. 
“So much of this confusion has arisen because of the difference between what is classified and what is unclassified,” Sen. Kent Conrad said. “When people are talking in a classified setting, they can say much more than they can say in an unclassified setting, the notes that Ambassador Rice was speaking from were from an unclassified setting.” 
“She used the unclassified talking points that were signed off on by the entire intelligence community,” Conrad said.
Excerpt:  Read More at BuzzFeed

Thursday, November 15, 2012

With only eight days since the election, politics as usual from the obstructionist Senate Republicans has started anew only much more bitter with the comments of Senators McCain and Graham.  They both sounded like the angry white man caricature on the TV sitcom, Archie Bunker.  That is all I could think of when they started spouting their hateful rhetoric against UN Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice.  McCain and Graham who demanded answers on Benghazi and a Watergate style investigation, held a press conference while McCain skipped the hearing on Benghazi that was providing more details.  They used the a press conference to attack UN Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice who they declared was a central player in Benghazi when she was not.  McCain went so far as to say he would filibuster her nomination to be Secretary of State.
Senator Ayote (R-NH) made a huge mistake in throwing in with these two angry Senators when NH is turning more blue.  The people of NH cannot be happy to see her standing there with their attacks on Susan Rice looking like a puppet of McCain and Graham:
President Obama defends Susan Rice against criticism from John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly AyottePosted by Ed O'Keefe on November 14, 2012 at 1:28 pm 
President Obama strongly defended U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice against attacks Wednesday by a trio of Republican senators who said she is ill-qualified to serve as secretary of state because of how she explained the roots of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. 
Bristling with evident indignation during a news conference, Obama said Rice has “done exemplary work” with “skill, professionalism and toughness and grace.” 
He then made a pointedly and almost personal challenge to Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) who earlier Wednesday said Rice is unqualified to lead the State Department because she appeared either misinformed or ill-prepared to discuss the attack on the U.S. diplomatic post in Benghazi,  on national political talk shows a few days after the attack. 
“If Sen. McCain and Sen. Graham and others want to go after somebody they should go after me,” Obama said. “For them to go after the UN ambassador who had nothing to do with Benghazi…to besmirch her reputation is outrageous.”
Obama said he hasn’t made any final decisions on who to nominate to Cabinet posts in his second term, but said that he would not hesitate to nominate Rice even in the face of Republican opposition. 
Graham responded to Obama’s comments by e-mail just as the press conference concluded. 
“Mr. President, don’t think for one minute I don’t hold you ultimately responsible for Benghazi,” Graham said in a statement. “I think you failed as Commander in Chief before, during, and after the attack.” 
Graham joined with McCain and Ayotte Wednesday to call for Watergate-style hearings on the Libya attack, while also saying they would block Rice’s nomination, if it occurs. 
“I am dead-set on making sure that we don’t promote anybody who was an essential player in the Benghazi debacle,” Graham told reporters. 
McCain added later that they would not rule out mounting a filibuster of the nomination. 
Excerpt:  Read More at the Washington Post
How can a sitting Senator like Graham make such a statement to the President of the United States?  Has he jumped the shark with the fact that McCain lost in 2008 and now Romney lost in 2012 to Barack Obama? Then there is this from Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast which made me chuckle as he nailed what happened in the President's Press Conference:
Ya Think Susan Rice Is Happy Today?

Did you watch the press conference? Wowzie, zowie, that was quite a throw-down at McCain and Graham. Of course they've had that coming for a long time in my view. 
McCain thinks he was elected president. He is a bully, and he must be spoken to like a bully. Also, this nonsense of his about a "Watergate-style" committee on Benghazi is an outrage. As the journalist Michael Cohen just tweeted: "So did John McCain call for a Watergate-style commission after 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11?" 
That language was as personal and direct and harsh as I've ever heard a president use about a couple of sitting senators. He is pissed. It'll be a bit of a letdown now if he doesn't nominate Rice to Foggy Bottom, which I'm still guessing he won't at the end of the day.

Here is the clincher to the whole McCain/Graham attacks about Benghazi as they held a press conference while McCain was skipping the Briefing on Benghazi in order to continue to grandstand.  McCain, when confronted about his absence, refused to answer:
McCain Skipped A Briefing On Benghazi To Hold A Press ConferenceBy Igor Volsky posted from ThinkProgress Security on Nov 15, 2012 at 10:51 am

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is demanding a special select committee to investigate the events leading up to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya and has held around-the-clock television appearances pressing for a complete review of the incident. 
But all of the senator’s media interviews and press availabilities may be interfering with his ability to gather information about the event. On Thursday morning, CNN’s Dana Bash reported that McCain chose to hold a joint press conference with Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) rather than attend a closed-door briefing about the attacks:
I have to tell you something that just happened on Capitol Hill, and that is our senate producer Ted Barrett just ran into John McCain and asked about something that we’re hearing from Democrats, which is John McCain is calling for more information to Congress, but he had a press conference yesterday instead of going to a closed briefing where administration officials were giving more information. Well, Ted Barrett asked John McCain about that, and it was apparently an intense very angry exchange and McCain simply would not comment on it at all. 
Excerpt:  Read More at Think Progress Security 
It did not go unnoticed by Maine Senator Susan Collins who was not happy at all with her fellow Republican Senator.  No wonder Sen Olympia Snowe (R-ME) is retiring.  Putting up with the Republican white male obstructionists like McCain/Graham in the Senate must have done her in completely.  Then there is Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) who has also been calling for more information on Benghazi who was also not at the Benghazi hearing.  Now it is confirmed that McCain puts being in front of the press to spout his attacks on UN Ambassador Susan Rice ahead of doing his job as a US Senator:
Republicans skip Benghazi hearing; complain about lack of information on Benghazi Posted By Josh Rogin   
This week, a number of Republican senators have strongly criticized the administration for failing to properly explain the circumstances surrounding the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Some of those senators failed to show up for a briefing on the attack Wednesday.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been the leading congressional critic of the administration's handling of the Benghazi attack and what he sees as the administration's lack of candor with Congress on the matter. On Wednesday, he pledged to block the potential nomination of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton due to Rice's statements on the attack. That drew a sharp rebuke from President Barack Obama at Wednesday's press conference. 
But although McCain had time to speak on the Senate floor and on television about the lack of information provided to Congress about the attack, he didn't attend the classified briefing for senators Wednesday given to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, of which he is a member. 
Committee ranking Republican Susan Collins (R-ME) called out McCain for skipping the briefing and said his call for a special committee to investigate the Benghazi attack was not necessary because the Homeland Security committee could handle it. 
Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), "who was there at briefing, and Senator McCain, who was not, are members of our committee, and I know they would play very important roles," Collins told Politico
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), another Homeland Security committee member who was on television complaining about the lack of Benghazi information, also did not show up for the Wednesday hearing. Paul did a CNN interview from the Capitol building Wednesday in which said he had questions about the anti-Islam video, the lack of Marines in Libya, and diplomatic security. At one point he says, "I don't know enough of the details." 
Excerpt:  Read More at The Cable 
Bottom Line is that it doesn't look like the Republicans in the Senate are any more willing to be reasonable then they have been for the last four years.  American people did not elect them to be obstructionists but to do the job of the American people.  Grandstanding before the media to attack the UN Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice with lies and innuendos to try and keep her from being Secretary of State doesn't say a lot about the character of McCain and Graham.  Are they tired of women as Secretary of State as only white males should be in power?  That is how they are coming across today.

In a press conference in the U.S. Capitol today, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., argued that Rice, currently the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, misled the American people when addressing the September 11 attacks in Libya, which resulted in the death of four Americans.
"Somebody has got to start paying a price around this place," said Graham. "I don't think she deserves to be promoted. There are a lot of qualified people in this country the president could pick, but I am dead-set on making sure we don't promote anybody that was an essential player in the Benghazi debacle."

There is even a more ominous signal coming out of these attacks on Rice.  Congressman James Clyburn from South Carolina spoke last night that he cannot believe that Senator Graham is part of this attack on Susan Rice because he considers him a friend.  Dr. Susan Rice comes from South Carolina as Clyburn knows her and her family well.  Is Graham playing to the bigotry of the GOP in South Carolina with his attacks on Rice?  If he is, then he has lost my full respect.  I hate to even think that but that is how this attacks.  I sincerely hope I am proven wrong.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Represent Us, Not the Money

Over the past few months, been asking myself what I could do in politics without getting involved in candidate campaigns.  Want to make a difference, but fed up with the big money in politics that is corrupting not only political candidates but members of the media.  I really do not want to register as a Democrat as I am lifelong center-right Republican who wants to see the two party system work.  That means something has to be done to move the GOP back to center-right away from the hard right big money, immigration, racist, secession, some militia, and other hateful groups that occupy that hard right today.

Since Republicans went over the edge after the Citizens United ruling with money flowing everywhere, it is time to get the Koch Money and other wealthy donors control not only out of the Republican Party but the Democrat Party as well.  Have to admit in this election the Republican wealthy donors far outpaced the Democrats with their donations to Super PACs including Karl Rove's two groups from which they did not get a very good return.  With all the big money that was spent on Republican candidates, they still lost the White House, the Senate, and shook up the House with Tea Party people going down and Democrats gaining seats.  Looks like the big donor tax rates are going up after all even though they were promised by Romney/Ryan and GOP leadership it would never happen.  The American people spoke in this election that they are tired of the wealthy with their low tax rates and loopholes.

From the beginning, I was against the SCOTUS Citizen United ruling which unleashed the mega donor money of the GOP to Super PACs which in turn spawned the lies and distortion ads to take out anyone who was seen as a threat to Romney.  We saw the effects of that unlimited money in action in Florida against Newt Gingrich in the primaries orchestrated by Romney/Rove which worked.  Those same tactics were deployed in the general but failed miserably against Obama who was ready for their attacks, distortions, and outright lies.  Karl Rove flushed over $300M down the drain with all his losses.  You would think he would have learned his lesson but he is back wanting to get wealthy donors to anti up so he can lobby Congress.  He is what is wrong about elections and lobbyists along with conservative media in this election who were nothing more then part of the Romney campaign.

Today I discovered how all of us can help return elections to the voters away from the big donors as I read about Represent.Us on Mother Jones this morning.  Decided to investigate and discovered it is a bi-partisan effort with a high-profile, bipartisan board of advisors that has been launched to get one of the most important bills passed that will affect our political culture -- the American Anti-Corruption Act which is only 11 pages long and sponsored by the Represent.Us campaign.

When you look at the Board of Advisors, you are struck with the fact that the board is truly made up of bi-partisan, knowledgeable people.  Then you see the perpetrator of one of the biggest scandals to hit Congress, Jack Abramoff, sits on the board.  He has served his time and has been speaking out against all the money in elections.  Perfect choice to restore his reputation is to be a member of this group.  When I saw the name, Trevor Potter, I knew this was a bill that was desperately needed:
The Act was crafted by former Federal Election Commission chairman Trevor Potter in consultation with dozens of strategists, democracy reform leaders and constitutional attorneys from across the political spectrum. Mr. Potter was one of the chief architects of the McCain-Feingold law. The Act would transform how elections are financed, how lobbyists influence politics, and how political money is disclosed. It is a bold, sweeping proposal that would reshape the rules of American politics, and restore ordinary Americans as the most important stakeholders instead of major donors. The Anti-Corruption Act’s provisions enjoy support from progressives and conservatives alike. Constitutional attorneys confirm that the provisions are constitutional. The Act is being championed by the Represent.Us campaign. Click here to support this campaign. 
These are some the first paragraphs I read that made me want to learn more:

Represent.Us is a fresh campaign to pass the American Anti-Corruption Act: a law that would overhaul campaign finance, impose strict lobbying and conflict of interest laws, and end 'secret political money. We are mobilizing millions of Americans — conservatives and progressives, young and old, every issue group fighting K Street, online and offline — to join this campaign. 
Represent.Us is not just building a movement to pass the Act. The campaign will use hard-hitting accountability tactics to unseat politicians who fail to endorse the Act. If passed, the Act will completely reshape American politics and policy-making and give people a voice.
Synopsis of the American Anti-Corruption Act:
Get Money out of Politics:
Stop lobbyist bribery, End secret money & Empower voters. 
1.  Stop politicians from taking bribes
Prohibit members of congress from soliciting contributions from the interests they regulate, and prevent them from benefiting interests that directly or indirectly spend heavily to influence their elections. 
Politicians routinely host fundraisers, and invite lobbyists to contribute to their campaigns. Members of congress who sit on powerful committees get extraordinary amounts of money from interests regulated by those committees. The result is a congress made up of politicians dependent on those special interests in order to raise the money necessary to win reelection. Politicians are forced to create laws that are favorable to those interests, often at the expense of the public interest.
2.  Limit super PAC contributions and “coordination” 
Require Super PACs to abide by the same contribution limits as other political committees.Toughen rules regarding Super PACs and other groups’ coordination with political campaigns and political parties. 
The Supreme Court's Citizens United and subsequent court cases ruled that SuperPACs have the right to raise and spend unlimited money influencing elections, so long as the SuperPACs do not coordinate with the candidate campaigns. Since Citizens United, we've seen tremendous coordination between campaigns and their Super-PACS, making a mockery of the "independence" that the courts thought would exist. SuperPACs have become extensions of the campaigns, and allow mega-donors to exert undue influence on election outcomes.
3. Prevent job offers as bribes
Close the “revolving door” so that elected representatives and their senior staff can no longer sell off their legislative power in exchange for high-paying jobs when they leave office. 7 years for all members and 5 senior congressional staff. (currently 2 years for Senate; 1 year for House; 1 year for senior staff) 
Today, politicians routinely move straight from Congress to lucrative lobbying jobs on K Street, in order to influence their former colleagues and friends. Senior staffers who work for congressmen do the same thing. This corrupts policymaking in two ways: members and their staff anticipate high-paying jobs on K Street, and routinely do favors to their future employers while still in Congress; and once out of congress they enjoy undue access and influence to members of Congress. The biggest spenders hire these influencers, and win policy as a result.
4. Call lobbyists lobbyists
Significantly expand the definition of, and register all lobbyists to prevent influencers from skirting the rules. 
Today, the definition of who is a lobbyist - and who is not - is weak. The result: members of congress and their staff, even when they are in the cool down phase when they may not lobby (1 year for US House members, 2 years for Senators, and 1 year for senior staff) work as "historical advisors" to skirt the law while receiving big money to influence policy.
5. Limit lobbyist donations
Limit the amount that lobbyists and their clients can contribute to federal candidates, political parties, and political committees to $500 per year and limit lobbyist fundraising.Federal contractors already are banned from contributing to campaigns: extend that ban to the lobbyists, high-level executives and government relations employees and PACs of federal government contractors. 
Lobbyists currently must abide by the same contribution limits (to candidate campaigns) as everyone else: $2500 per election. Lobbyists "bundle" these $2500 contributions with other lobbyists, and individuals working for special interests that seek to influence politicians. This adds up to serious money, and serious undue influence.
6. End secret money 
Mandate full transparency of all political money.Require any organization that spends $10,000 or more on advertisements to elect or defeat federal candidates to file a disclosure report online with the Federal Election Commission within 24 hours. List each of the organization’s donors who donated $10,000 or more to the organization to run such ads. This includes all PACs, 501c nonprofits, or other groups that engage in electioneering. 
Elections are being flooded with secret money funneled though "501c" organizations that are not required to disclose the names of donors. 501c's either spend money directly to influence elections, or make unlimited contributions to SuperPAC's. This allows secret political donors to flood elections with money, and influence outcomes.
7.  Level the playing field with a small donor tax rebate 
Empower voters by creating an annual $100 Tax Rebate that voters can use for qualified contributions to one or more federal candidates, political parties, and political committees.In order to be eligible to receive Tax Rebate contributions, candidates, political parties, and political committees must limit the contributions they receive to no more than $500 per contributor per calendar year or contributions from entities that are funded exclusively by Tax Rebates and small-dollar contributions. 
Nearly $6 billion was spent on the 2012 elections, and the vast majority came from big special interest donors. In 2008, less than 0.5 percent of Americans contributed $200 or more, and less than 0.1 percent of Americans contributed $2,300 or more. Politicians become dependent on this tiny percentage of the population. To change this, we need to dramatically increase the number of small donors to politics, so that politicians become dependent on everyday Americans and not moneyed interests. That's how we get politicians who actually fight for the general public.
8. Disclose “bundling”
Require federal candidates to disclose the names of individuals who “bundle” contributions for the Member or candidate, regardless of whether such individuals are registered lobbyists.
9. Enforce the rules
Strengthen the Federal Election Commission’s independence and strengthen the House and Senate ethics enforcement processes.Provide federal prosecutors additional tools necessary to combat corruption, and prohibit lobbyists who fail to properly register and disclose their activities from engaging in federal lobbying activities for a period of two years. 
Federal agencies routinely fail to enforce the anti-corruption rules that already exist because their leadership are appointed by those they are supposed to regulate. The result is a wild-west elections system, where even lax rules can be skirted or broken with impunity.
Sounds tough? It is. But this is why it will work 
Reform will only occur at a moment of crisis. We will harness public anger and demand for change. 
We must start with the people, not Congress, and gather an unprecedented coalition.
We must engage liberals, conservatives and independents. Highly visible spokespeople from all quarters will aid us. 
Politicians will only act if forced to by electoral pressure. We will unseat politicians who don’t cooperate. 
The solution must be comprehensive. Incremental reform won’t work: it has to come as a package. 
But we need your help 
Co-sponsor the Act 
Represent.Us Call to Action:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Conservative Republicans Bought into the Fox News and Conservative Pundit/Writers Koolaid of Lies and Spin

This video is one of the best synopsis of what went wrong with the Conservative media starting with the lies from Fox News which along with conservative pundits/writers created a bubble that some Conservative candidates or Conservative voters refused to leave.  They Conservative media is always right and Liberal media is always wrong.  All Conservatives needed to do was some of their own investigation to know the Conservative media was selling lies and spinning out of control trying to defeat Obama, but it failed as the majority of Americans were able to tell facts from fiction.  Was fascinated by the honesty on Current TV with this Eric Boehlert interview versus Fox News.

Over the last few months, I have found Media Matters to be honest in their critiques of the media because of the research they do into what is being said.  Found the Media Research Center of the right led by Brent Bozell to be less than truthful about what they found leaving out parts of interviews or comments which would take what was said in a whole different direction.  They had been my source for years but then I started doing the research and discovered their coverage of the liberal media was very slanted and not always factual which was a disappointment like so many other things from this election.
Eric Boehlert On The War Room: Fox News Sold Conservatives "A Bill Of Goods" On Benghazi And The Election  
From the November 12 edition of Current TV's The War Room:

This morning this clip from former Congressman Joe Scarborough came out from Media Matters which backs up what Boehlert said in his interview with Jennifer Granholm:

Joe Scarborough Advises Republicans To Recalibrate And "Stop Listening To The Conservative Media Complex"
From the November 13 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:

Former Congressman Joe Scarborough was part of the conservative group in Congress elected in 1994 that drove Gingrich nuts because they objected to Speaker Gingrich cutting deal's with Clinton before getting the GOP Caucus consent.  Scarborough is no left wing hack no matter how much some conservatives want to say he sold out.  He has not sold out but when wrong, admits it which is rare in conservative circles.  The attacks on Joe over the years by conservatives have been way over the top but that is how they vent their anger -- over the top without facts.

If you haven't guessed reading this blog by now, this is one former Conservative Republican who has had it with the hard right and their 'my way or no way' attitude which cost elections.  This group came out in force once again in the primaries to give the GOP some really bad hard right candidates -- Akin in MO and Mourdock in IN or Mandel in OH all running for Senate.  Mandel in OH reminded me of a little twerp who didn't have a clue what he was doing or saying as he refused to say what he believed on rape looking to his side for an answer.  Just wanted to wipe the smirk off his face every time I saw him speak.  Akin and Mourdoch should have been repudiated by the GOP but in the end the establishment supported both no matter their Neanderthal comments on rape trying to define what is rape which also the GOP VP candidate Ryan was a part.  Romney did one ad for a Senate candidate which was for Richard Mourdock and never disavowed him.

The Democrats had 23 seats to defend in the Senate and ended up picking up two while the GOP had 10 seats and lost two.  Bunch of Neanderthals running in the GOP along with their supporters cost the GOP the Senate.  Funniest numbers came out of MO where it was supposed to a very tight race with Claire McCaskill up until the election:
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, McCaskill had 54.7 percent of the vote, Akin 39.2 percent and the Libertarian candidate Jonathan Dine 6.1 percent, while GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney had 53.9 percent and President Barack Obama 44.3 percent. Another way of looking at it: 400,000 more people voted for Romney than for Akin.
Polls were way off in this race and shows that women were not giving straight answers to pollsters as they voted against Akin in big numbers.  Then there is this excerpt from former Bush advisor, Karen Hughes:

Karen Hughes, Former Bush Adviser: If Another Republican Man Talks Rape, I'll 'Cut Out His Tongue'Posted:  
 "And if another Republican man says anything about rape other than it is a horrific, violent crime, I want to personally cut out his tongue," she wrote. "The college-age daughters of many of my friends voted for Obama because they were completely turned off by Neanderthal comments like the suggestion of 'legitimate rape.'" 
While Hughes' language is quite graphic, the underlying advice appears solid. A host of Republican candidates who drew fervent criticism for their comments about rape ended up losing last week.
You would think that the hard right would have learned a lesson, but they are doubling down on the reason Romney lost was that he was not conservative enough which is Bravo Sierra.  America is mostly center right, center, and center left with the hard right totally out of touch with the majority of Americans as they called the rest of us moochers and takers after the election.

We will see shortly if the House leadership will go against the hard right in the House to forge a deal to raise taxes on those making over $250,000.  Time will tell who is running today's Republican Party and then this former conservative Republican who now is a center right Republican will make my decision on what I am going to do -- stay and fight the Neanderthals or throw in the towel and change my registration.  For now I am waiting to see how everything plays hoping to see some leadership come to the forefront and take the GOP back from the Koch Brothers and the hard right.  Don't even think it is a 50/50 chance.

 If the GOP doesn't change, they will forever be the minority party as Texas could go blue in the next few years along with some other states.  Those hard right Neanderthals white males will have no one to blame but themselves along with the conservative major donors like the Koch Brothers,  pundits/writers and Fox News who couldn't tell the truth about the election in 2012 or the President.  Turned out the major donors couldn't buy an election after all.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Obama sends Trump his College Transcripts!

Not Facing Reality: GOP House wants Romney Tax Plan Passed in Line with Norquist Tax Pledge

There is hope as a good portion of the American voters have woken up to Grover Norquist and his ridiculous 'no tax' pledge or he will primary you.  The Republican Party has given Norquist way too much credit to their own detriment with his pledge.  Very few backbones exist in the Republican Party today who are willing to stand up to Norquist.  Looks like the American voters understand very well based on the results that the no tax pledge is hurting our economy and are willing to see the 2% of the wealthiest people pay more in taxes and close the Bush Tax Cut loopholes for the wealthy.  Shame the Republican House Members do not understand what the voters were saying on November 6th.  They still seem to have their heads buried in the sand from their comments.

Without the redistricting and the gerrymandering by Republicans, the Democrats would have taken the House based on the analysis of the popular vote.  Imagine that -- Republicans doing the same thing they accused Democrats of doing (which they did).  Put the two parties at the state level in a sack on redistricting, shake them up, and whoever won the legislature in the state will be doing gerrymandering to get more House seats and keep the other side from winning more.  Neither side is looking out for constituents but their own personal gain IMHO.  The best news was the fact that the Norquist anti-tax pledge took a big hit:
Setting aside alleged scatological name-calling (by Grover Norquist), the election was an overwhelming rejection of the the political philosophy advocated by Norquist and his allies. 24 Republican Senate incumbents and candidates signed Norquist’s anti-tax pledge and lost. Linda McMahon (R-CT), Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), Treasurer Josh Mandel (R-OH), Secretary of State Charles Summers (R-ME), former Gov. Tommy Thompson (R-WI), considered top-tier candidates, were attacked by their Democrats opponents in face-to-face debates for signing Norquist’s pledge. They all lost.

55 Republican House incumbents or candidates who signed Norquist’s pledge also lost.
When I was first told that House Republicans want the Romney Tax Plan to be implemented, I laughed because I thought it was a joke.  I was wrong -- GOP House is advocating passing the Romney Tax Plan whatever that is as we never did get the details.  Are they too stubborn or dumb to understand that President Obama got over $3M more votes then Romney and votes are still being counted?  That means President Obama gets to set the agenda.

Just because the GOP swallowed the Fox News, Rove, Morris, and other conservative pundits/pollsters koolaid, doesn't change the fact that Romney never came close with Obama getting 332 electoral votes to Romney's 206.  What am I missing?  Arrogance and stubbornness of the GOP House?  They cannot be that naive to think that Obama is just going to sit back and let them tell him what to do.  Sources are saying that  Obama is about to take his case to the American people.  If the GOP wants to lose the House in 2014, all they need to do is keep it up with their obstructionist tactics. 
Congressional Republicans’ ‘Compromise’: Everyone Should Accept Romney Tax PlanBy Josh Israel posted from ThinkProgress Economy on Nov 11, 2012 at 1:25 pm
Seemingly ignoring that over than 3 million more Americans voted for President Obama than Mitt Romney on Tuesday, Congressional Republicans are moving quickly to embrace Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) call to adopt a tax “compromise” that is virtually identical to the tax proposal that Romney made the centerpiece of his failed campaign. 
The running theme this week is what Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the “Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale” that the country can increase revenues simply by lowering tax rates:
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA): On ABC’s This Week, Chambliss said, “Bowles-Simpson said, look, eliminate all these tax credits and tax deductions. You can generate somewhere 1 to 1.2 trillion in additional revenue. You can actually lower tax rates by doing that. And I think at the end of the day, what’s got to happen, George, we’ve got to get this economy going again.
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK): In a Friday column, House Budget Committee member Cole wrote: “However, raising tax rates is not the only way to increase revenue, nor is it the best way. Speaker Boehner has proposed comprehensive tax reform to raise revenue and lower rates. Eliminating inefficient loopholes and deductions will generate economic growth while creating a simpler, fairer tax code.
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX): In a Wednesday Tweet, House Ways and Means Committee member Brady opined: “Stronger economic growth from tax reform that lowers rates and closes loopholes will generate higher revenue to bring the deficit down.
Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA): In a letter to his Republican caucus, the House Majority Leader wrote: “What would be best is a fundamental reform of the tax code that lowers rates, broadens the base, makes America’s businesses competitive again, and reduces the burden imposed by taxes on work and investment.”
Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI): In a Wednesday press release, the House Ways and Means Chairman wrote: “There is a better path forward than simply increasing tax rates, and one in which both sides can claim victory. We can address both our jobs crisis and our debt crisis by focusing on tax reform that strengthens the economy. There is bipartisan support for tax reform that closes loopholes and lowers rates.”
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA): On Fox News Sunday, House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Price, a member of both the Ways and Means and Budget Committees, said “We can increase revenue without increasing the tax rates on anybody in this country.”
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says there will be no significant negative impact on the economy should the lower rates on the wealthiest Americans be allowed to expire. And the notion that lowering rates will magically create more revenue is indeed a right-wing pipe dream.
Then there are the comments of Cong Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) who doesn't think the GOP has to move back to center right from the hard right.  All they have to do is modernize the message?  She has to be kidding.  Take a look at the picture from Talking Points Member with the four female Congresswomen behind her.  Don't know about other's take, but those four women do not look very happy to me:

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the highest ranked House Republican woman, said Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union" that Republicans need to become more "modern" but not "moderate." 
"I don't think it's about the Republican Party needing to become more moderate; I really believe it's the Republican Party becoming more modern," she said. "And whether it's Hispanics, whether it's women, whether it's young people, the Republican Party has to make it a priority to take our values, to take our vision to every corner of this country." 
"I think it's more about the messenger and who's communicating our values to every corner of this country."
Does this mean that center right in today's vocabulary means 'moderate' to those on the hard right?  The Republican Party cannot win by staying hard right no matter the message.  Voters will see right through the hard right candidates as they did this time.  Using social issues hurt Republican candidates big time but the GOP seems poised to come right back and only redo how the message is delivered.  Keeping social issues front and center along with obstructing anything the President proposes and saying the President needs to adopt the Romney Tax Cuts is a sure prescription for disaster in 2014.

We need at least two viable parties and right now we have the Democrat Party and lack a true Republican Party as the Party went hard right in 2012.  The Republican Party today follows the lead of Rush and the conservative pundits along with Fox News which is a total prescription for disaster.  Don't know how many times that MSNBC would play a Rush clip of the afternoon, then Fox Tabloid News would pick it up, and the next day Romney/Ryan or Sununu would be touting what was said by pundits.  Shook my head more than once during this election cycle.  No wonder the Republicans including Romney, Gingrich, Rove, Morris, and Fox Tabloid News were shocked that Obama won handily since they are relied on a false premise that Romney was winning when he wasn't.  You cannot run a campaign in a bubble of only news you want to hear or you are going to lose which is exactly what happened to Romney/Ryan.

Did the GOP learn their lesson.  Jury is out but initial comments are saying NO!  Hope I am wrong, and the Party moves back to center right but I sure wouldn't want to take that bet.