Friday, May 31, 2013

Taking Some Time Off

Family visiting along with outside work before more storms hit the area - cannot wait until summer gets here officially and these storms stop.  Tired of taking about 40 pots of flowers from the deck into the sun porch with bad weather predicted with hail.  Guess I shouldn't complain as it is great exercise.  The drought is broken and the lakes are filled. So far so good with no real hail arriving to decimate my garden like several years ago.  Keeping my fingers crossed that this is the last night of nasty thunderstorms with potential rain and tornadoes in Oklahoma.  We have had so much rain that it is like I can sit here and watch my grass grow.  Mowing twice a week is a little much.  It does look pretty and green but for someone who loves sunny days and low humidity the last weeks have been anything but sunny and low humidity.

Hoping for the people of Moore who are still going through the rubble that this is the last of the nasty weather with winds.

Have a Good Weekend!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Michelle Bachmann Will not Seek Reelection

Bachmann is so proud of herself to sponsor the 37th repeal vote of Obamacare  - how stupid can a person be.  Is that her claim to fame?  Sponsor a bill that has no chance of getting enacted?

Cannot repeat those words enough that Bachmann is going to be gone from the House as they bring a smile to my face.  She may be one of the most obnoxious Representatives who helped found the Tea Party Caucus to give the hard right a voice which is now destroying the Republican Party.  Her numbers were in the tank for 2014, there is a looming investigation that now has the FBI involved, and her opponent in Minnesota, Jim Graves, almost beat her last time as a first time candidate.

From Huffington Post:
All the haters who say that Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has a "thin legislative resume" are totally forgetting that time she sponsored H.R. 923 (110th), which congratulated "the State of Minnesota on its 150th anniversary and the contributions it continues to make to America's economy and heritage." How else would you have known that Minnesota was 150 years old? 
See, Michele Bachmann raised awareness 
Other than that, sure, Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan are essentially correct when they say that Bachmann "has never had a bill or resolution she’s sponsored signed into law" and "never wielded a committee gavel, either at the full or subcommittee level" and that her "amendments and bills have rarely been considered by any committee, even with the House under GOP control." 
But, you know, details. There's still a chance between now and the time she leaves office on Jan. 3, 2015, Bachmann might sponsor something that becomes law. Isn't there? You never know what could happen! Minnesota is 155 years old now, for instance.

Michele Bachmann's Complete Legislative History (source:

Bills Sponsored 58
Referred to Committee (aka: went nowhere)53
Reported by Committee (Got out of committee)1
H.R. 850 (112th): To facilitate a proposed project in the Lower St. Croix Wild and Scenic River, and for other purposes.
Agreed To (Simple Resolution)

H.Res. 373 (111th): Expressing support for designation of the month of September as “National Hydrocephalus Awareness Month"
H.Res. 923 (110th): Recognizing the State of Minnesota’s 150th anniversary.
H.Res. 789 (110th): Honoring public child welfare agencies, nonprofit organizations and private entities providing services for foster children.
Passed House

H.R. 45: To repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and health care-related provisions in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010
Signed Into Law
Bachmann has a big fat 0 for bills signed into law.  The only one she sponsored that passed the House was recently for repeal of Obamacare which anyone with a brain knows it is DOA in the Senate.  Taxpayers have been paying her over $170,000 a year for this record?  We got shortchanged big time with Bachmann especially since we had to put up with all her nonsense including her video she was quitting at the end of this term..

John Avalon of The Daily Beast may have the one article that made me burst out laughing at what he had to say about she was not forced out of the race due to FEC/FBI on-going investigation where former aides are testying -- it is classic which I have highlighted below:
She wants the world to know that “this decision was not impacted in any way by the recent inquiries into the activities of my former presidential campaign or my former presidential staff. It was clearly understood that compliance with all rules and regulations was an absolute necessity for my presidential campaign.” 
In a word: bullshit. The Office of Congressional Ethics investigation into her presidential campaign that was first disclosed by The Daily Beast is due to release its initial report soon. If it looked like Bachmann would be vindicated, she would have persisted in running for a congressional seat that had been gerrymandered to increase of her chances of representing a state that looks primed to easily reelect Al Franken to the Senate. This decision smacks of lawyer’s counsel—get out now before the boom comes down, and perhaps people will listen to your final signoff. 
There is, inevitably, a rambling quality to an eight-and-a-half-minute monologue. This is Bachmann's hostage video to reality. The staff decision to back her vocal track with faint Springsteenesque music was a tell—the video would have seemed ever odder without it. Bachmann was at turns defensive and defiant and bucket-list ticking, talking about her excitement at taking a plane to London to attend Margaret Thatcher’s funeral, her co-sponsorship of the 37th attempt to overturn Obamacare (“which passed in the House”), and her philosophically contradictory commitment to bring federal tax dollars to her district to build a regional airport and rebuild a bridge. Note to Bachmann: you didn’t build that.
(See video at The Daily Beast of her most outrageous moments NOTE:  Must have had a hard time putting together as she has so many outrageous moments)
Over her eight years in congress, Bachmann quickly achieved notoriety because of her cavalier disregard of facts (her staff told me she gets most of her information from WorldNetDaily) and her impulse to play mini-McCarthy (routinely accusing political opponents of being anti-American) and then turn around and play the victim card to raise millions of dollars online from a national conservative populist base that saw her as plan B to Sarah Palin. 
There is an impulse at the end of things to search for a redeeming quality, a handshake even between opponents for past battles well fought—and no doubt by midday someone will be offering a Slate pitch to go alongside the glossy partisan media farewells. But without attempting to characterize her personal life, the way Bachmann chose to use her time at the podium of public service was a disgrace.  
She degraded national debate, consistently chose fearmongering over facts, and exhibited every impulse of the demagogue and the ideologue. If she ever bothered to do her homework, she could have been dangerous. Instead Bachmann will stand as a sad cautionary tale, a curious footnote used to explain the reality-show auditions of the 2012 GOP presidential primaries, now all part of her reel tape as she attempts to get what she always really wanted: a Fox News contract.
Her attacks for the Koch Brothers and Romney at the debates were disgusting because they had no basis in fact. When you use the hard right World News Daily as a source, your credibility is shot. Perfect person for Fox News since the credibility of Fox News is nil just like Bachmann's!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

President Obama Puts Americans First in Disasters Over Politics

Thank you President Obama for caring about all Americans.  Oklahomans with the recent tornadoes saw it first hand with the President's visit on Sunday.  FEMA was on the ground in Moore rapidly with search and rescue and then other resources as President Obama signed the emergency declaration right away.

Tears: Obama wipes away tears after hugging Plaza Tower Elementary School
 Principal Amy Simpson in Moore, Oklahoma, May 26, 2013
Read More at Daily
When I joined Republicans for Obama last summer it was because I saw what had been accomplished by President Obama and his Team on a wide variety of issues.  There was one issue that stood out in disaster after disaster which has been the quick response from FEMA to the communities who have suffered a natural disaster. What a contrast to FEMA under the Bush Administration which was a nightmare not only with Katrina but other natural disasters.  FEMA didn't get their act together until Barack Obama became President and appointed Janet Napolitano as Secretary of Homeland Security and  Craig Fugate as Director of FEMA.  There is no politics with his visits - this is about him as President and his looking out for all Americans.

The White House, Washington
Good morning --

On Sunday, I was in Moore, Oklahoma. Today, I'm headed to the Jersey Shore. Those two communities are separated by half a continent but united by a common sense of purpose. Like Joplin, Tuscaloosa, and New Orleans, they are home to people who've seen nature at its worst and humanity at its best. And they're filled with those who have made the choice to rebuild after disaster, to come back stronger than ever.

The scene on the ground this weekend was one we all know too well: homes wrecked and neighborhoods devastated. But the memories I'll take away from Moore will be of people standing tall, of neighbor helping neighbor, of survivors working to ensure that no one suffers through tragedy alone. And that too, was strikingly familiar. I could have been back in Brigantine Beach after Hurricane Sandy. I could have been in Joplin in 2011.

It's because of those past experiences in places like New Jersey and Missouri that I have faith that Moore will emerge from the wreckage of this tornado stronger than ever. And that's in part because I know that they won't undertake the road to recovery alone. This was a national tragedy, and that demands a national response.

If you want to help, the best way to support those affected by this storm is to make a financial contribution to the voluntary organization of your choice. The best way to volunteer is to affiliate with an organization that is already providing support to survivors.

We've set up a page to help steer you in the right direction. Check it out to get started:

Thank you,
President Barack Obama

President Obama set the right tone for Oklahomans in his speech following his tour of Moore.  Natural disasters like Hurricanes Sandy and Katrina or tornadoes that hit Joplin, MO, and now Moore for the third time are too much for states to handle as the Federal Government can mobilize so many more resources.  I was one of the ones ready to do away with FEMA after their mismanagement on Katrina, but now under Obama they have shown what a tremendous resource they are in times of disaster in the states.

Was proud of Obama and Governor Christie of New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy destroyed so much of New Jersey as they put politics on the back burner even as Romney and Republicans got mad at Christie for hosting the President.  Today Obama is back in New Jersey with Governor Christie to tour the Jersey Shore and other places to see the progress that has been made.  Jersey Shore is now open for the summer and the State of New Jersey will be seeing the results in their tax revenue.  There is still a lot of rebuilding to do but they are making great progress in New Jersey.  This picture of the two is from the Jersey Shore today:

Obama is not meeting with the most likely Democrat for Governor to oppose Christie today because this is about him being President and meeting with the Governor of New Jersey on recovery efforts not as a Democrat.  That is something I have admired in the President for a long time and one reason why I supported him in 2012.  If I had it to do over again, I would have supported him in 2008 but I swallowed the GOP koolaid which has turned to vinegar now.

The response of the Oklahoma delegation toward President Obama has been beyond disgusting since the night of the Inauguration in 2009 when Sen Coburn met with other Republicans to map out how to obstruct the President.  We witnessed Sen Inhofe make a fool of himself over Secretary of Defense Hagel's confirmation and then Benghazi.  Just days before the tornado hit, Tom Cole was infuriated over the IRS scandal which turned out to be a joke BTW only 1/3 of conservative groups have been scrutinized while  2/3's of liberal groups were put under the microscope of IRS.  Cole is friends with Issa who has a real sketchy background and should have never been named to investigate anything. 

On the night of the Moore tornado, President Obama called Cong Cole after he had talked to Governor Fallin asking how Cole was doing since he lives in Moore.  He promised that FEMA would be there to help out - that was an understatement as they moved in rapidly and now have dump trucks removing debris.  With all the knowledge of the attacks against the President by the whole Oklahoma delegation, he shoved that to the side to come to Oklahoma Sunday as the President of ALL the people to see first hand the devastation and what needed to be done.  Then he promised the people of Oklahoma that the Federal Government will be helping out for the long haul.  

Some people in Oklahoma are slowly waking up the reality that Obama is standing with Oklahomans while part of our delegation led by Coburn sees no need for the Federal Government to be involved.  Some of the hard right legislators used the Baptist Prayer Service Sunday night for photo ops for their campaigns.  Guess the Baptists forgot that not all of Oklahoma are Baptists.  

Time for Oklahoma to fully wake up and realize that the hard right agenda is not good for the State or the Federal Government and vote for common sense candidates for office.  Time to throw out anyone associated with the Tea Party. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Relief Efforts for Survivors of Moore, and other Tornadoes in Oklahoma

How to Help: Give to the Red Cross

The best way to help Oklahoma disaster victims is to go online to make a donation at and designate that gift for Oklahoma Disaster Relief. 
Donate | Volunteer | Assist OU Families | Buy Relief Shirt
This Memorial Day as we honor our veterans, here in Oklahoma the American Legion headquartered in Indianapolis has donated $1 million to help veterans who lost their homes in the Moore tornado.  Veterans from around the Country are in Moore helping out their fellow veterans recover.

It has been nothing short of amazing to watch people come from all over to help Moore start the clean-up effort after the first days of search and rescue.  University of Oklahoma under the leadership of President Boren has been on the front lines with providing rooms on campus, a staging area for supplies and rooms for the search and rescue people who are here in the area.
The University of Oklahoma has housed over 600 individuals to date, including displaced families, members of the National Guard, as well as members of Urban Search and Rescue Teams from across the country.  For individuals who have continuing shelter needs, the emergency housing hotline is: 405-325-2511. Please call ahead as space is limited.
The University is also providing meal service and a common area for displaced individuals and recovery crews at Couch Cafeteria. 
This video from OU Athletic Director says it all about OU and how it is such a part of the community and the State by helping with the start of clean-up in Moore:

Yesterday as I was watching the Big 12 Baseball Championship game and all through the tournament the Big 12 kept asking people to give to the tornado victims fund that has been set up at the Red Cross.  The Big 12 donated to the Red Cross.  Commissioner Bowlsby had this to say:

The conference announced a $200,000 donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund on Wednesday. 
“The Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship is a long standing fixture in Oklahoma City. Additionally, the state of Oklahoma and its wonderful people are integral parts of our league,” commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. 
“Our hearts go out to those affected by this terrible tragedy and this donation is one small way to provide relief to a city that has supported our membership so well over many years.” 
Additionally, Kansas, TCU, Texas Tech, Baylor, (WVU) and OU players were spotted out donating goods to the victims and all teams will wear a helmet decal to honor Oklahoma this weekend.
University of Oklahoma baseball team went to Moore to help on Wednesday instead of taking batting practice.  They ended up winning the Big 12 Championship yesterday and will auction off their blue t-shirts this week to raise funds for the tornado victims.  Coach Galloway is wearing the blue shirt under his uniform in the picture above.

The OU Foundation is looking to help victims of the tornadoes with OU ties:
The Help OUr Neighbor Fund has been created to benefit OU faculty, staff and students who lost homes or property in the recent tornadoes in the Oklahoma City area. Any and all donations received in this fund will go directly to those students or employees whose homes and property were lost. All gifts are tax-deductible. Thank you for your support and considering helping those members of our OU family who have lost so much in this tragic incident
Over the weekend, OU was host to the Texas A&M women's softball for the Super Regional.   fans donated $4,800.32 to the United Way in two Super Regional games!  Texas A&M softball brought  $4685 it raised and a 30-ft truck carrying donated items to the Super Regional.  OU's rallying cry for the Super Regional was Playing for Moore Than Ourselves
West Virginia's Baseball team was here for the Big 12 Championship early when the tornado hit so they went on a shopping spree at Walmart for the Moore tornado relief:

OU's various sports teams, coaches, faculty, and administrators have been out helping victims of the tornadoes that hit first on Sunday by Lake Thunderbird and then in Shawnee and on Monday afternoon the F-5 hit Moore.  We just had a group of Sooner athletes return from Haiti who have been going down to help every year since the earthquake devastated that country.

A group of dozens of OU athletic personnel, from athletes to administrators, helped residents in the tornado-ravaged Heatherwood neighborhood. Their mission was largely manual labor, with some morale-boosting mixed in, too.

OU athletic director Joe Castiglione on Saturday missed his softball team's Super Regional game and his baseball team's Big 12 Tournament semifinal. 
For good reason. He was needed elsewhere. 
A group of dozens of OU athletic personnel, from athletes to administrators, helped residents in the tornado-ravaged Heatherwood neighborhood. Their mission was largely manual labor, with some morale-boosting mixed in, too. 
“This is my home,” said offensive lineman Bronson Irwin. “This is my state. I always want to help people if they need help.”
Saturday, a busload of Sooners got busy helping clean up. Among them were Irwin and quarterback Trevor Knight, and assistant coaches Jay Norvell and Tim Kish  

Very impressed with the college athletes today who are so quick to jump in and help people in need.  We saw up close and personal this week here in Oklahoma.  Our Country is in great hands in the future with today's young people who put service first.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Huge Tornado Hits Moore, OK

The tornado that went through Moore was six miles north of my home.  The devastation is so bad because the tornado was 2 1/2 mile wide which moved extremely slow.

Will have more tomorrow about the tornado that hit Moore.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tornado Outbreak in Oklahoma Late Sunday Afternoon, May 19, 2013

Oklahoma broadcast media goes live yesterday as chance of tornadoes coming to the ground out of the wall clouds increased.  Video is included today to show what storm chasers were seeing on the ground and in the air.

Always turned to Channel 9 when I hear there is bad weather in the area because they have storm chasers available to go along with a helicopter that chases the big tornadoes.  For those who don't live in our area, thought I would include the video taken by one of the Storm Trackers, Bobby Payne, as he tracked the storm starting in Edmond: - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

This tornado that touched down in the Edmond area was the beginning of the tornadoes touching down in Central Oklahoma destroying home after home in rural areas of this part of the state.
Severe weather produced multiple tornadoes that tore across central Oklahoma, Sunday afternoon. The first tornado touched down near 15th St. between Coltrane and Bryant in the city of Edmond. Damage and debris was reported by News 9 storm chasers. Scanner reports indicate damage in the Thornebrook housing area. One home had its 2nd floor ripped off. 
Mercy Hospital released the following statement concerning the damage sustained to their Edmond facility, still under construction: "Mercy Edmond I-35, our facility under construction in Edmond, sustained damage from today's tornado including broken windows and roof damage. All utilities have been shut off. No one was on site at the time the tornado hit. No one has been injured."
Quite a few of the weather forecasters here are graduates of the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology which is part of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences which is located with NOAA which consists of the National Weather Service, Radar Operations Center, Storm Prediction Center, National Severe Storms Laboratory, Warning Decision Training Branch on the southern part of the OU campus.  Gary England, Chief Meteorologist at Channel 9, also gives us the weather forecast before every home football game on Sooner Vision so his ties at OU run deep.

We have storm trackers in from around the world in Norman right now.  Late afternoon yesterday James Cantore of The Weather Channel left the Edmond tornado tracking into Carney to join the storm trackers following the one that hit at Lake Thunderbird area in way east Norman and moved on to the Shawnee area.  That wall cloud was huge, mean and nasty looking as it passed over Norman with multiple vortexes.  After the warning hit my cell phone, it looked even nastier as it headed east.  You could see it from my front door after our sirens stopped and you could hear the ones in east Norman still going off.  We had a very small amount of hail with heavy rains for about 15 minutes if that.

When you drive around Norman, you see the vehicles the storm trackers drive plus the ones with all the electronic equipment on their vehicles.  Hardly a day goes by when you are out, you don't see at least one vehicle ready to track a storm.  They are prepared to have a repeat late this afternoon as the dry line refuses to move through from western Oklahoma and we still have the humidity today.  Don't remember running my air conditioning this early in May.  It is a time for windows being open.

Knew it was tornadoes were close when the sirens went off in Norman from another storm to the south as I live a little over a block away from the new sirens which only go off when tornadoes are in your area not the whole county now.  One great thing about living here is that Channel 9 and others track the storms by streets and we get the latest equipment tested on us.  These new sirens would wake you from a sound sleep.

The video from Lake Thunderbird was an amazing display of nature as the tornado increased in size over the Lake which sits in east Norman:

This is destruction that came from that tornado that started over Lake Thunderbird.  Unfortunately, one of the people brought to Norman Regional has now died.  Complete homes were leveled with some homes left with little of what was their homes only minutes before the storm hit.  This was one of the homes hit by that tornado:  

May 20, 2013
Tornado tears through county 
By Jessica Bruha The Norman Transcript 
NORMAN — A spring storm packing a single tornado ripped across far eastern Cleveland County on Sunday evening, carrying hail, strong winds and injuring at least six persons, with three in critical condition. 
Officials report there were no confirmed fatalities in Cleveland County related to Sunday’s storm. 
Six patients were transported to Norman Regional Hospital. Five patients were transported by EMSStat, and one was transported by a park ranger from the east Norman/Little Axe/Newalla area, NRHS media relations coordinator Kelly Wells and Norman Fire Deputy Chief Jim Bailey said. 
Wells said some patients were injured from flying debris, some were trapped under homes and others were sucked out of their homes. More patients were expected to arrive overnight as Norman Regional paramedics continued to search the area for survivors. 
Bailey said emergency crews will continue to search throughout the night with the main focus on the east side of the lake where most of the damage occurred. 
Sheriff’s officials reported that much of the damage in Cleveland County was along Indian Hills Road between 168th Avenue Northeast and 192nd Avenue Northeast. 
Road closings, Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Meghan McCormick said, included Indians Hills Road and 168th; Franklin Road and 192nd; 149th and Harrah Road; Harrah and Rolling Oak; and 192nd to 149th Street. 
Several people lost their homes on 156th Avenue Northeast and East Franklin Road.
“I saw the tail of the storm coming toward me, so I drove to the casino,” resident Kenneth Lastinger said. 
The only thing left standing was his porch. As he sorted through debris in his yard, he said was glad his dog was able to weather the storm. 
“He made it through in the demolished, blown-away house,” he said. “Praise the Lord.”
A friend helping Lastinger said the dog was hiding behind a hill when they found him. Pages of the Bible were scattered all across the property from Bibles Lastinger collected, he said. 
As for Sunday night, Lastinger said he had a friend bringing him a tent and a generator to keep out on the property for as long as it’s needed. 
“It happens. It’s never happened to me, but now it has,” he said. 
Read More at the Norman Transcript
In the Shawnee area a semi truck was thrown off the overpass.  This video from Channel 9 shows the devastation in the Shawnee area and the truck that was thrown on to the State highway below near Fire Lake Casino along I-40:

This whole area of Central and Western Oklahoma owes a debt of gratitude to our local news stations who have put money into their storm tracking and radar to bring us up to date weather when there is bad weather in the area.  Channel 9 (CBS) was on the air from the beginning to aftermath last night.  Channel 4 (NBC) and Channel 5 (ABC) also had storm trackers out with wall to wall coverage.

First time I saw Channel 9 in action was the Moore tornado that was one mph short of an F-6 which tore through about six miles from where we lived.  We had just been transferred to Oklahoma and had little to no knowledge except what we saw in the movie Twister.  BTW part of Twister was filmed in this area including the bridge at Lake Thunderbird.  The more data that is collected from the instruments, the more scientists can learn about tornadoes at the NOAA complex at OU which also includes people from around the world.
There was a family in a large shelter that had the second store of their home blown in the storm shelter.

Fortunately, they was enough space for a hand to get a cell phone out and call 911.  Now makers of storm shelters are going to have to find a way to get cell coverage out of their storm shelters.   Have never seen coverage like we have in Oklahoma but hearing other places are now adapting the Oklahoma way of reporting the movement street by street.  When Channel 9 personnel says take cover underground, you know the storm is a major bearing down.

Because of our early warnings and the coverage we get from our local media, the amount of injuries and loss of life is fairly small once again.

One more afternoon to go through and then they said we shouldn't have any more worries until this weekend.  Someday I will get everything planted - hopefully tomorrow!

Stay safe to anyone in a tornado target zone in the Country today and stay tuned to your local media.

Friday, May 17, 2013

This Week Three Phony Scandals from the GOP, Vote to Repeal Obamacare by House GOP, and Farm Bills Cutting SNAP Kept Media Busy

It is TGIF which means the House work week ended on Thursday as they only work three days a week under Republican Leadership.

Yesterday in acceding to demands of their new GOP Freshman, Speaker Boehner and House leadership agreed to waste more tax dollars taking another repeal vote on Obamacare which they know is going nowhere.  The Speaker has the backbone of a noodle bowing down to the Tea Party like Bachmann demanding a vote.  The same Michelle Bachmann who is under investigation for campaign violations in her Presidential race.  BTW,  two aides have turned on her.

This week also brought about the public release of the Benghazi emails which Republicans never thought President Obama would allow to happen.  CBS learned that the Republicans had doctored the emails the White House had given Congress earlier in order to make the Administration look bad.  Imagine that, the most unethical House in many years doctored emails they released to the media.  Then there was Jonathan Karl of ABC who talked like he had the emails when he had a synopsis provided by a GOP staffer.  When is the media going to realize you cannot trust this GOP in the House or Senate.

My favorite of this week was Boehner running out to the microphone to condemn Obama and demand people go to jail for the IRS targeting of Tea Party non-profit applications.  He should have waited as his home town Cincinnati IRS was responsible.  The acting head of IRS resigns/fired and some Republicans complain.  House Republican Leadership never ceases to amaze me at how little they bother to investigate before opening their mouths and getting egg on their face time and time again - slow learners?

Then there are the little details the Republican House Members left out while going after Obama for targeting Tea Party groups and comparing it to Watergate - IRS also investigated liberal groups trying to claim the same non-profit status especially under Bush.  Guess that was okay in the GOP because that was against the 'nasty liberals.'  IRS oversteps all the time which Republicans with a thinking brain would know.  Some IRS agents even seem to take pleasure in making their targets uncomfortable.

Now maybe the tax code can be rewritten to tighten up on criteria to be used under 501(c) for an organization applying for non-profit status in order to hide the source of political donations which is the opposite of what the GOP want.  Their whole purpose of the outrage was to make Obama look bad but once again he comes out of top.  Republicans were not counting on Obama and Democrats agreeing that IRS had overstepped and it needed to be stopped.  GOP misjudged Obama once again!

Then there is the feigned AP scandal which you find out goes back to a law passed after 9/11 called The Patriot Act which gave the FBI the right to investigate and subpoena.  You guessed it - Republicans passed the legislation and Bush signed it into law.  That doesn't keep today's loony hard right from still going after Obama.  A little common sense tells you that when AP outed a double agent thanks to info from inside the Government, the government has a right to investigate and determine where AP emails were going as they followed up on a national security leak.

President Barack Obama defended the Department of Justice's national security leak investigation that involved obtaining Associated Press phone records. 
"Leaks related to national security can put people at risk," Obama said Thursday at a White House press conference. "And so I make no apologies, and I don't think the American people would expect me, as commander in chief, not to be concerned about information that might compromise their missions or might get them killed." 
It was the first public comments from the president about the justice department's controversial decision to subpoena reporters' phone records. Investigators were looking into media leaks about a Yemen-based plot to bomb a U.S. airliner.

Another failed scandal to join the other two as the GOP attempts to go damage Obama who is not running in 2016 no matter how many conspiracy theories the hard right put together.

Charlie Cook in an article today comes along and tells Republicans to quit attacking President Obama openly:

Republicans Should Go Easy on Obama, At Least in Public 
As a tactical matter, a subterranean campaign will score more direct hits on the president. 
Read more 
Now Cook wants them to do a subterranean campaign to score more direct hits on President Obama?  What kid of advice is that?  Is Cook advocating that the GOP do more phony attacks to harm Obama but only under the radar?  First of all, Cook doesn't know this group of Republicans whose whole lives revolve around being first to run out to a microphone to get out their side and attack Obama.  Secondly, they couldn't handle not talking to the media so much because then they would have to work.  Maybe if they were not media hogs they would have time to pass a jobs bill or two during their 3-day work week.

This week we had the Senate and House Agriculture Committees voting to take away money from the SNAP food program which helps children and families put food on the table.  Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) has vowed to put the money back in the bill when it comes to the floor of the Senate.  It is a Democrat controlled Senate Committee with a vote of 15-5 passed the bill out of the Committee which Senator Donnelly (D-IN) detailed on his site:
The Bill makes significant cuts in the SNAP program, and Democrats proposed an amendment to restore funding. “Tightening our belts around the waists of our children is not a shared American value,” said Senator Kristen Gillibrand of New York. While the amendment was not adopted by the committee, the issue of cuts in food and nutrition programs, which account for 80% of the Farm Bill’s price tag, is expected to be a major point of debate when the Farm Bill reaches the Senate floor.
Unlike the Senate Farm Bill that passed last year, the commodity title this time around included target prices. These were placed in the bill to satisfy peanut and rice growers in Southern states. Kansas Senator Pat Roberts blasted the concept, calling it a step backward in farm policy, “Why should these two commodities be allowed to dictate that all others should have to have target prices when we don’t want them.” Senator Thune of South Dakota offered an amendment to remove target prices from the commodity title; it was rejected by the committee. 
Another attempt to remove target prices for all commodities except rice and peanuts was also rejected. Committee Chairman Stabenow said the commodity title, as written, is fair to all producers, “We have a balance that strikes the right set of issues.”
Why are Senators putting target prices in the bill for peanut and rice growers in Southern states?  Is this going to raise the price to consumers?  With the exception of the huge cuts to SNAP and $20M a year to the 2501 Outreach, the bill is being supported by Rural Coalition and other Farm Groups.  Rural Coalition had this to say:
- Let your Senators and your Representatives know what is important to you! You can reach them by asking for their office through the Capitol Switchboard at: 202-224-3121. Ask to speak to their Agriculture Legislative Assistant. Urge them to restore of full funding of $20 Million a year to the 2501 Outreach and Technical Assistance Program for Socially Disadvantaged and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers; and also to Protect Funding for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).
For further information on the Farm Bills from the House and Senate, please check out the links at Rural Coalition.  Both Houses have passed farm bills out of Committee to the floor.  Will the bills get out of both Houses this year or will the House end up stalling the bill again and not take a floor vote?  Will the Senate Republicans filibuster the bill to cause farmers/ranches will have to wait another year for a real bill?  The jury is out as we are in a wait and see mode now from both Houses on the Farm Bill.

Speaker Boehner has refused to appoint conferees to a joint committee on the budget after the Senate finally passed a budget. Republicans in the House have been using not passing a budget against the Senate for several years.  Now the Senate has passed a budget, the House has gone silent.  Will Boehner also refuse to appoint conferees to a joint committee on the Agriculture bills if they do clear both houses?

These were some of the Highlights/Lowlights of the week where I would say the final tally on scandals was GOP 0 - Obama - 3 in the final tally for the week.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Admiral Mullen and Ambassador Pickering Challenge Rep Issa (R-CA) on his Flip Flop on Their Benghazi Testimony

How can Republicans continue to lie on Benghazi and the media continues to back them up starting with ABC where Jonathan Karl should be fired for lying about the Benghazi emails he never saw.

When I read the letter this morning after following the link in my email from the Foreign Policy Update email, I just chuckled to myself.  To think that Issa (R-CA) and Chaffetz (R-UT) thought they could get the best of Former Chair of Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen not to mention Ambassador Thomas Pickering made me burst out laughing.  Not on their best day could those two GOP House members get the best of Admiral Mullen or Ambassador Pickering which is why they were chosen to head the investigation into Benghazi.  Mullen and Pickering have respect from both sides of the aisle for the work they have done over the years.  Issa and Chaffetz remind me of annoying little dogs nipping at the ankles of the people who actually work for a living running the Government unlike the 3-day work week Republicans.

Then there was this response before the Benghazi attack from our Ambassador in Libya Stevens when asked if he needed more military:
Chris Stevens was offered additional military security and said no. Stevens was leery of militarizing the diplomatic mission there.
There is one little detail of the GOP doesn't seem to want to talk about -- cutting security funding for embassies around the world.  That is what makes it so amazing that they wonder why more Americans will not get on their bandwagon to attack President Obama on Benghazi.  Republicans are not facing reality that their sanctimonious rhetoric is not playing well with a majority of Americans.  Would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Issa received this letter from Admiral Mullen and Ambassador Pickering!
Mike Mullen and Thomas Pickering agreed to testify on Benghazi. In a letter released this morning, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen and Amb. Thomas Pickering have agreed to testify before a House panel investigating the attacks in Benghazi and the Obama administration's response. Mullen and Pickering served as co-chairs of the Accountability Review Board, charged by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with independently assessing what happened in Benghazi. But the letter says the two do not want a closed-door hearing, but a public one. 
To Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, from Mullen and Pickering: "Recently, you seem to have changed your position on the terms of our appearance, apparently asking for a transcribed interview behind closed doors. In our view, requiring such a closed-door proceeding before we testify publicly is an inappropriate precondition. Moreover, notwithstanding what your understanding may be, Ambassador Pickering did not agree to such a closed-door proceeding; his sole focus has been on testifying in an open hearing. If you and he were talking past each other, that is unfortunate." 
The letter also berates Issa for public comments about the ARB: "In the past weeks, members of your Committee have publicly criticized -- in both an open hearing and in the media -- the work of the Accountability Review Board. Having taken liberal license to call into question the Board's work, it is surprising that you now maintain that members of the Committee need a closed-door proceeding before being able to ask ‘informed questions' at a public hearing. The Benghazi Accountability Review Board is perhaps the most transparent accountability review board ever." 
May 16 reply by JDStuster

But political calculation or not, the e-mails in and of themselves don't change the fact that the military did not have forces close enough to make a difference. And twice, Ambassador Chris Stevens was offered additional military security and said no. Stevens was leery of militarizing the diplomatic mission there. As Fox and McClatchy reported this week and others have before, then-Africom Commander Gen. Carter Ham had phoned Stevens and asked if the embassy needed a special security team from the U.S. military. "Stevens told Ham it did not, the officials said. Weeks later, Stevens traveled to Germany for an already scheduled meeting with Ham at AFRICOM headquarters. During that meeting, Ham again offered additional military assets, and Stevens again said no, the two officials said."

A defense official told McClatchy: "He didn't say why. He just turned it down." And: "The offers of aid and Stevens' rejection of them have not been revealed in either the State Department's Administrative Review Board investigation of the Benghazi events or during any of the congressional hearings and reports that have been issued into what took place there. Stevens' deputy, Gregory Hicks, who might be expected to be aware of the ambassador's exchange with military leaders, was not asked about the offer of additional assistance during his appearance before a House of Representatives committee last week, and testimony has not been sought from Ham, who is now retired." Read McClatchy's Nancy Youssef's story, here. 
 AP's PDF of all the e-mails, here.
Sign up for Foreign Policy National Security Newsletter, here to get the latest information sent to your email.

How can Republicans continue to lie on Benghazi and the media backs them up starting with ABC where Jonathan Karl should be fired for lying on the emails.  Seems it is okay to lie about anything involving Obama when the facts make him look good.  Today Rove is saying Obama has been weakened by the scandals but he is dead wrong - this President and his followers are fighting back against the lies and feigned outrage by the GOP in Congress who run to microphones without facts.  Obama already knows he cannot trust Republicans in Congress as they have proved over and over again they put their Party and re-election over what is good for the Country.

Brief a House Committee and it makes the nightly news even on closed hearings.  The GOP staffers of these committees are just as bad as the Republicans they work for as their chances of keeping something classified is almost slim to none.  The GOP in Congress and their aides wanting to destroy Obama is putting our National Security at risk which they don't seem to mind if they can score points against Obama.  I am one about to be ex-Republican who is fed up with lies from Republicans to score points with wealthy donors and hard right to keep their jobs of fleecing the American people with their 3-day work week and numerous vacations.  No facts necessary just the GOP Talking Points so they can run to a microphone is all they seem to care about today.  Who makes up the Talking Points they use?  Is it Rush, Fox News, or Rove for the wealthy donors?

My money is on Rove this time for the talking points and advice to GOP in Congress after his comments were picked up by Huffington Post.  This from the Fox analyst who thought Romney could win with heavily Democratic Cleveland still out in Ohio and had his meltdown.  Typical Rove blaming the scandals on Obama knowing full well the GOP is manufacturing them with little facts but a lot of rhetoric.  This is right out of the Rove playbook which makes me think he is behind a lot of this like Benghazi, IRS, and AP with the rhetoric by the right.

There is a solution which is going to take hard work by a lot of people -- vote the Republican obstructionists out of Congress in 2014 and get the Country moving forward.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Republicans Wasting Tax Dollars on Scandals not on Jobs for Americans!

There is an old saying that says 'just give me the facts!'  Today's Republicans work with a narrative not facts so feigned scandals against the Obama Administration are more important then the economy and jobs for the American people.

In the world of Republicans wanting to run to microphones immediately to attack President Obama and the Democrats, there are times they are a little too hasty in condemnation of a whole Administration like in the IRS scandal where they speak without facts.  Heard my Congressman on the news railing against abuses by IRS yesterday but I don't seem to remember him saying that when the IRS went after AARP or any of IRS witch hunts under Bush.

Boeher should have thought twice before saying someone is going to jail because chances are he wants to jail his own constituents according to a CNN email that just broke the following:
Acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner Steven Miller has said his agency has pinpointed two "rogue" employees in the agency's Cincinnati office as being principally responsible for "overly aggressive" handling of tea party requests for tax-exempt status over the past two years, a congressional source told CNN today. (my bold and highlighted)
According to a report by the IRS inspector general released yesterday, the agency developed and followed a faulty policy to determine whether the applicants were engaged in political activities, which would disqualify the groups from receiving tax-exempt status.
The controversial practice began in early 2010 and continued for more than 18 months, the report said, declaring that "the IRS used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention." 
This was Boehner earlier today using the GOP Talking Points as they want the scandal to reach President Obama.  Spineless Speaker gets a backbone to go after rogue employees of IRS in the Cincinnati office which he did not know when he made this ridiculous claim to send them to jail.

No matter what the very idea IRS gives non-profit status to political organizations no matter the party should have taxpayers up in arms.  It is a means to launder money to political campaigns without revealing names.  There is a reason that some moderate GOP are afraid of the Tea Party -- being primaried is #1!

From Raw Story a short time ago:
Boehner on IRS targeting: ‘Who is going to jail over this scandal?’
By David Edwards
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 11:08 EDT 
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Wednesday took the unexpected step of calling to imprison someone in the U.S. government after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) admitted inappropriately scrutinizing tea party groups to determine if they had abused their tax-exempt status. 
“Now my question isn’t about who is going to resign,” Boehner told reporters. “My question is who is going to jail over this scandal?” (my bold and highlight)
“There are laws in place to prevent this type of abuse. Someone made a conscious decision to harass and hold up these requests for tax-exempt status,” he later added. “I think we need to know who they are [and] whether they violated the law.”
“Clearly, someone violated the law.” 
In an interview on Monday, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) had said that if Boehner “were a woman, they’d be calling him the weakest speaker in history.” 
Click Here to watch this video from CNN, broadcast May 15, 2013.
Think it is hilarious that the rogue employees come from the hometown of John Boehner.  Also sounds like that Cincinnati office hasn't changed.  We went through a audit for our home in Beavercreek, Ohio, years ago after getting a bill saying we owed almost $10,000 but when everything was finished, they owed us over $1,200 and the lady who handled the audit in Dayton said Cincinnati auditors like to pick on Federal Employees.  Will never forget it - she stopped two more audits for us in the following years before the transfer to So California where we had zero audits.  So happy to see the Cincinnati IRS office getting a black eye even after all these years!

Then on the Benghazi front, Jonathan Karl of ABC News had to admit that he didn't really have the emails he said he had access to but we all misunderstood he never say he had them even though he even led ABC to think he did.  Now ABC admits they never read the emails.  You cannot make this stuff up - our media is getting more corrupt not less in their reporting.  No one can ever accuse the so-called mainstream media of being biased in favor of Obama as they might as well be Tea Party with the unfounded attacks they keep leveling at The President.

As many have stated this is whole Benghazi talking points was a turf war between State and CIA.  What threw me for a loop and got me thoroughly disgusted was this:
Dick Cheney: Benghazi ‘One Of The Worst Incidences I Can Recall In My Career’ 
By Hayes Brown on May 14, 2013 at 10:27 am 
(Credit:  AP)

Former Vice President Dick Cheney weighed in on Benghazi last night, saying the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Libya was “one of the worst incidences” he could recall.
Read More at Think Progress

What a piece of work Dick Cheney has become to even compare Benghazi to the likes of 9/11, USS Cole Bombing, Khobal Towers in Lebanon for starters.  There are a lot more attacks that were much worse then Benghazi under Bush including losing so many military during the Iraq War that Cheney lied about the WMD's in the build-up to take out Saddam.  US also took forces away from the Afghan theater which hurt our efforts there.   Wouldn't believe one word out his mouth after he left Halliburton to become VP because he didn't like the other candidates and then Halliburton made tons of money off the Iraq and Afghan Wars.

Maybe we should be asking what Dick Cheney knew before the attacks on 9/11?  Cheney cannot even travel to parts of Europe as he could be arrested on war criminal charges and now he is on the air saying Benghazi is "one of the worst incidences" which defies my common sense.  Cheney is out of his ever loving mind to make such a statement and then keep repeating.  Not living in reality!

As for the AP story, reporters/news talk shows hosts rallied around AP with no facts except for what AP said.  AG Holder didn't know about it but that didn't stop GOP and some reporters calling for him to resign.  There is a major leak, AP reports what the leak said putting people in harm's way, but then objects to phone records being subpoenaed in a classified investigation.  Mind you they only wanted who they make calls not what was said.  With today's lack of ethics with journalist and their bad reporting, they have no room to complain.  Some of the journalism we are seeing inside the beltway and NYC cable news show that facts don't matter to a lot of reporters as they try to make the story fit the narrative.  You can thank cable news for a lot of this as they report false news over and over in order to be first to report.

Three scandals the Republicans with their wealthy donors want to end up at the White House and President Obama are all failing with the American people.  They know a witch hunt when they see one of Republicans with this lapdog media trying to go after President Obama as well.  Did Republicans learn after Clinton and his Impeachment?  Obviously not since the Impeachment word is being bandied around by some Senators led by Inhofe (R-OK) and Chaffetz (R-UT Rep) without any basis in fact.  When GOP decided to obstruct, they were serious.  Didn't work as the American economy is coming back in spite of the GOP.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

GOP Outreach to Minorities is Abject Failure as Former FL GOP Hispanic Outreach Director Switches to Democrat

Today if President Obama said the sky was blue, the GOP would probably launch an investigation into whether he was lying. 

The letter from Pablo Pantoja, former FL GOP Hispanic Outreach Director, who switched to Democrat says it all about the rebranding of the GOP and its outreach to minorities -- both are abject failures.  Rhetoric of outreach doesn't cut it when you have GOP leaders who still believe in the Southern WHITE Male strategy of the Republican Party.
Former Florida GOP Hispanic outreach director switches to Democrat
By Alex Leary (May 13, 2013) 
The DNC tonight circulated this note from Pablo Pantoja, who was at one time employed as the RNC's Hispanic outreach director in Florida but has now switched to Democrat, citing "the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today." The change was reported on Kevin Cate's blog
As we reported last August, Pantoja quit his RNC post, apparently frustrated with the outreach effort. 
From: Pablo Pantoja
Subject: From Republican to Democrat
Date: May 13, 2013 5:57:11 PM EDT 
Yes, I have changed my political affiliation to the Democratic Party. 
It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them. 
Studies geared towards making – human beings – viewed as less because of their immigrant status to outright unacceptable claims, are at the center of the immigration debate. Without going too deep on everything surrounding immigration today, the more resounding example this past week was reported by several media outlets. 
A researcher included as part of a past dissertation his theory that “the totality of the evidence suggests a genetic component to group differences in IQ.” The researcher reinforces these views by saying “No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.” 
Although the organization distanced themselves from those assertions, other immigration-related research is still padded with the same racist and eugenics-based innuendo. Some Republican leaders have blandly (if at all) denied and distanced themselves from this but it doesn’t take away from the culture within the ranks of intolerance. The pseudo-apologies appear to be a quick fix to deep-rooted issues in the Republican Party in hopes that it will soon pass and be forgotten. 
The complete disregard of those who are in disadvantage is also palpable. We are not looking at an isolated incident of rhetoric or research. Others subscribe to motivating people to action by stating, “In California, a majority of all Hispanic births are illegitimate. That’s a lot of Democratic voters coming.” The discourse that moves the Republican Party is filled with this anti-immigrant movement and overall radicalization that is far removed from reality.  Another quick example beyond the immigration debate happened during CPAC this year when a supporter shouted ““For giving him shelter and food for all those years?” while a moderator explained how Frederick Douglass had written a letter to his slave master saying that he forgave him for “all the things you did to me.” I think you get the idea. 
When the political discourse resorts to intolerance and hate, we all lose in what makes America great and the progress made in society. 
Although I was born an American citizen, I feel that my experience, and that of many from Puerto Rico, is intertwined with those who are referred to as illegal. My grandfather served in an all-Puerto Rican segregated Army unit, the 65th Infantry Regiment. He then helped, along my grandmother, shatter glass ceilings for Puerto Rican women raising my aunt to become the first Puerto Rican woman astronomer with a PhD in astrophysics (an IQ of a genius as far as I’m concerned). Puerto Ricans, as many other Americans still today have to face issues of discrimination in voting and civil rights. 
 Regardless of what political affiliation people choose, my respect for some remains. I don’t expect all Hispanics to do the same (although I would hope so) but I’m taking a stand against this culture of intolerance. 
 I am also making a modest contribution (here: to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for the efforts in helping protect the rights of immigrants and civil liberties in general. 
 With warm regards, 
Not only do we hear the rhetoric of we have to get more whites to vote Republican, but Pat Buchanan, former Reaganite, has a plan to keep the GOP White.  Little Green Footballs has this article on Buchanan's strategy, Pat Buchanan Calls for 'Southern Strategy' Against Latinos.  You could say that hate against a particular group is an isolated incident from the Republican Party but it is not as former AR Governor Huckabee is saying that Evangelicals will leave the GOP if the Party supports gay marriage.  This is the same person who wanted to quarantine anyone with HIV/AIDS.  It is all part of the hard right "my way or no way" mindset.

Members of the Senate like Senator Inhofe (R-OK) are throwing around the "I" word against President Obama on Benghazi and IRS.  Someone on Twitter yesterday turned the "I" word back on the GOP to mean Idiot which fits.  When you have Senators like Sessions (R-AL), Grassley (R-IA), and Cruz (R-TX) submitting some of the nastiest, heartless amendments to the Immigration bill, the GOP outreach into minority communities is failing by epic proportions.  That doesn't even include the whites in the Republican Party who believe everyone should have equal rights and it it not exclusive to white male voters.

Today if President Obama said the sky was blue, the GOP would probably launch an investigation into whether he was lying.  This is how insane the anti-Obama rhetoric has become with Benghazi, and now IRS.  Why wouldn't IRS investigate all the non-profit applications and use key words to put them in piles.  Imagine that, IRS is doing their job while the Tea Party wants tax exempt status when they spend a lot of Koch money to primary GOP candidates who are not hard right.  The GOP of the Koch Bros seems to only want purist in the party - the rest of us are not welcome.  Only staying GOP for 2014 to vote in the GOP Primary.  I would be an Independent in a nano second if I could still vote in a primary but Oklahoma has closed primaries.

Would say Pablo Pantoja is the tip of the iceberg of people leaving the GOP with minority ties or those who are fed up with the 'hate' rhetoric toward our President along with anyone who doesn't look or think like the hard right starting with women.  When so many Congressional Republicans voted against the VAWA, you know the Party is in trouble.  Out of the OK delegation only my Congressman, Tom Cole, voted for the act.  When a Party doesn't see a need to protect children by refusing to even pass a simple background check on guns or stop gun trafficking, you have a Party that is imploding.  How many children have to die of gun shots before the NRA is tossed out of Congress as a lobbyist group and huge donors to the Republican Party?

The bills, amendments, and rhetoric coming out of today's Republican lawmakers make me cringe.  In some states, the legislatures are passing laws saying they don't have to follow gun laws by the Federal Government and will arrest any Federal Agent trying to enforce them.  What would happen to minorities in these same states where the hard right is taken over because they have empathy for no one except their fellow hard right, gun toting, arrogant jerks who don't believe they have to obey the law.  GOP now has Klan and the white supremacist movement on their side which says it all about their 'Southern strategy' movement now underway to get more white voters.   Absolutely disgusting!
Pablo Pantoja Turns Democrat: RNC Florida Hispanic Director Cites GOP 'Intolerance' In Making Party Switch
The Huffington Post  |  By Posted:   |  Updated: 05/14/2013 12:07 am EDT
Less than two months after the Republican National Committee announced a multi-million dollar campaign to improve minority outreach, one of its state Hispanic directors is leaving the Republican Party altogether. 
In a letter released by The Florida Nation on Monday, RNC State Director Of Florida Outreach Pablo Pantoja announced that he is changing his political affiliation to the Democratic Party.
"It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today," he wrote. "I have wondered before about the seemingly harsh undertones about immigrants and others. Look no further; a well-known organization recently confirms the intolerance of that which seems different or strange to them." 
Back in March, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced that the organization was investing $10 million to send hundreds of workers into Hispanic, black and Asian communities to improve standing with voters. Here in May, questions continue to linger whether a line of amendments proposed by Republican voices will derail immigration reform, and subsequently dampen chances for improving relations with minority voters.
Pantoja is not the first Republican in the Sunshine State to recently change their party affiliation. Back in December, former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist moved over from the GOP to the Democratic Party, hailing how he was "proud and honored" to make the switch. Democrats eked out a 2012 presidential election win in Florida, with President Barack Obama defeating GOP challenger Mitt Romney by less than 75,000 votes.
After 2000, it seems like 75,000 votes is a lot in Florida.  IMHO, President Obama would get more votes today with the attitude of Republicans we are seeing in Congress.  Thought they were obstructionists before but now they feel free to trash and hate people who don't agree with them.  Minorities and women are fair game to this bunch of Neanderthals who wouldn't know the truth if it hit them in the face.  
Pablo Pantoja is a big loss for the Republicans in not only Florida but around the Country.  He is an America from Puerto Rico with a stellar background who has finally had it with the Republican Party which could lead to a lot more defections:
Former Hispanic Outreach Director Pablo Pantoja (announced April 16, 2012) Central Florida regional field director on Romney's Florida primary campaign. Worked for the RPOF as a Victory field director in Central Florida from Sept. 2010, and more recently as coalitions director from Jan. 2011. Florida Division of Emergency Management, 2008-10. Served in the Florida National Guard and is an infantry combat veteran, Kuwait/Iraq, 2003-04. M.S. in political science from Florida State University. B.A. in Spanish from Florida State University. Originally from Puerto Rico. 
When you start losing people with Pantoja's background, you have a Party on life support.  Looks to me like that GOP prefers to be the minority party in the Senate so they can block bills at will.  After 2014 elections, the 60-votes required to pass legislation needs to be sent to the trash bin of history as an abject failure as the Republicans have abused the system with their stubborness and obstructionism.  New rules for filibuster or should say the old rules need implemented.  In this case the minority is controlling the agenda and laughing about what happened when Majority Leader Reid (D-NV) actually believed Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) who has the credibility of a gnat.

Never too early to get involved in the 2014 elections to Keep the Senate Democrat and turn the House back to Democrat in order to move the Country forward.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Benghazi is Not This Huge Cover Up - More like a Turf War Between State and CIA

Twenty changed words in a turf war between State and CIA does not rise to high crimes and misdemeanors required for an Impeachment of the President.  

What part of the President is not Secretary of State or Director of the CIA do the Republicans not understand?  When I first heard that Inhofe had gone after Obama again, I just shook my head and thought 'here we go again,' but then learned he brought up the "I" word for impeachment and declared Benghazi cover-up was worse then Watergate since he used it was the worst ever.  What kind of convoluted thinking would lead a sitting Senator to make such an insane remark.  The Republican took away millions for funding security at the consulates and embassies in budget negotiations since they didn't see the necessity for upgrades to security but that doesn't count as Republicans are always right and Obama is always wrong.

In this case, the GOP and some of the media are so far overstepping that I cannot believe what I am seeing.  Inhofe has just proved that he shouldn't be reelected and should retire.  He has been in Congress (House and Senate) too long IMHO.  Twenty changed words in a turf war between State and CIA does not rise to high crimes and misdemeanors an impeachment requires.  Inhofe knows full well he is blowing smoke to keep hard right from coming after him in the primary would be my guess.  If he really believes this crap, then it is time for him to resign as he has failed his oath - started with the lies about Hagel and then Benghazi and now has thrown in IRS who Obama has no control over.  See the details of the IRS picking on the poor Tea Party groups founded by the Koch Bros at The Pink Flamingo Blog. Obama is furious that IRS targeted anyone as he stated in his press conference.  That doesn't count either as Republicans are brainwashed to not believe a word President Obama has to say.
On Thursday, Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) accused President Barack Obama of overseeing "the most egregious cover-up in American history." He added that "people may be starting to use the 'I word'" before long. 
Former Arksansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) also said on his radio show this week, "I believe that before it’s all over, this president will not fill out his full term. As bad as Watergate was because it broke the trust between the president and the people, no one died. This is more serious because four Americans did in fact die. And President Obama has yet to explain why did they die.”
As for my opinion of Huckabee, I could fill up a book of why I have zero respect for the man as he governed to the left of Clinton as Arkansas Governor, increased taxes and fees more than Clinton, and was against home schooling as Governor before running for President when he pushed home schooling for starters.  The former televangelist has the credibility of a gnat IMHO.

Today President Obama in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Cameron had this to say about Benghazi:
He (Obama) angrily dismissed continued questions over September's insurgent attack in Libya that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans.
"There's no there there," Obama said. "The fact that this keeps on getting churned up, frankly, has a whole lot to do with political motivations." 
Obama continued, "We dishonor [the attack's victims] when we turn things like this into a political circus,"

This video from the Face the Nation interview with former Bush and Obama Secretary of Defense Gates on Raw Story says it all about the Republican witch hunt on Benghazi as they obviously lack knowledge of how the military is used around the world:

Found it interesting that SecDef Gates said exactly what I would have expected him to say that he would have done the same thing.  The military is not a robots you can send anywhere you want at will.  There are plans for contingencies but you cannot snap your fingers and move any military from place to place like Republicans seem to think.  Shame on Inhofe who understands full well how the military works to be part of this circus against Obama.  Gates nailed the Republican witch hunt:.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates told CBS News that Republican lawmakers who are blasting President Barack Obama’s administration for failing to take military action during last September’s surprise attacks in Benghazi have a “cartoonish” view of the military. 
“I listened to the testimony of [Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta] and [Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Martin Dempsey],” Gates explained to CBS host Bob Schieffer in an interview that aired on Sunday. “And, frankly, had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were.” 
“We don’t have a ready force standing by in the Middle East — despite all the turmoil that’s going on — with planes on strip alert, troops ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. And so, getting somebody there in a timely way would have been very difficult, if not impossible.” 
He continued: “And, frankly, I’ve heard, ‘Why didn’t you just fly a fighter jet over and try and scare them with the noise or something?’ Well, given the number of surface to air missiles that have disappeared from [former Libya dictator Muammar] Gaddafi’s arsenals, I would not have approved sending an aircraft, a single aircraft, over Benghazi under those circumstances.” 
Gates pointed out that others had suggested that the military could have sent in Special Forces or some other small group. 
“Based on everything I’ve read, people really didn’t know what was going on in Benghazi contemporaneously, and to send some small number of Special Forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on on the ground, I think, would have been very dangerous,” the former defense secretary observed. “And personally, I would not have approved that.” 
“It’s sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces. The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm’s way. And there just wasn’t time to do that.”
Republicans wanted then SecDef Panetta to authorize troops to be immediately sent to Benghazi when there was no plan and possibly put more troops in harm's way?  That is what it looks like they are saying which shows they wouldn't think twice of sending young men and women into combat like in Iran or Syria if they had the chance.  Thank God that we have a President who is much more level headed then the Republican GI Joe wanna be's in the Senate and House.  There is no common sense or integrity about telling the truth left with the Republicans in Congress except for a few people.  Figure there must be a few Republicans in Congress scratching their heads to what they are seeing as well.

Inhofe, Cruz, Paul, Graham, and others are an insult to anyone's intelligence who understands how the military works.  Shame on them for their overcharged rhetoric which is getting people all worked up over nothing.  Media loves to tout any scandal on both sides which is why I have turned off cable news from both the right and left.  I am for McCain's a la carte cable menu bill - can pick what channels to watch on my cable.  With the internet so handy to find out what is happening maybe the cable news channels have outlived their usefulness.  Breaking News on a weekend -- forget cable news as they are into their canned stories for the weekend.

One question that seems to keep coming up:  "Is Benghazi all about taking out Hillary Clinton before she decides to run and Obama is collateral damage which makes the GOP happy?"  Only thing that makes any sense to this whole circus deal with Benghazi.