Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Justice Thomas' Refusal to Recuse Himself on Issues His Wife is Involved Should be Grounds for Impeachment

Why does SCOTUS exempt themselves from the Federal Judicial Code of Conduct when they should set the standards for all Federal Courts?
But the United States Supreme Court has written its own rules, and specifically exempted itself from the federal Judicial Code of Conduct. Common Cause did a lot of work on this in 2010 and 2011. Here's the money quote:
Federal law requires a justice to recuse himself when: He knows that…his spouse…has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy…or any other interest that could be substantially affected by the outcome of the proceeding.
Those rules are mandatory for all federal judges except the United States Supreme Court who are to voluntarily recuse themselves.  These judges are appointed for life with no rules of conduct so they are free to do what they want.  When you read how Clarence Thomas has ruled in favor of his wife's pet causes that she is getting paid to lobby, you want the Federal Code to apply to all Federal Judges including the Supreme Court Justices.  It is obvious that SCOTUS is incapable of policing itself. Honor system to recuse is not working as we are witnessing from Clarence Thomas and also Anthony Scalia.

From Slate:
To be fair, what Breyer and Kennedy said was that the justices do abide by the federal judiciary's ethical code. They just do so voluntarily. The justices each make decisions about their own recusals because, well, it's personal. But the fact that it's so personal is precisely the reason the justices should not. The mentality that legal ethics are for other judges is part of what is leading to the declining public regard for the judiciary.
Agree 100% that Justice Clarence Thomas should be Impeached!  He long ago forgot his oath as a Justice of the Supreme Court in order to play up to the Koch Brothers at various events and to support his wife's hard right lobbying and groups where she is getting paid.
July 31, 2013 09:00 AM
Impeach Justice Clarence Thomas
By karoli 
In 2011, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas gave a speech to the Federalist Society where he defended Ginni Thomas' activism, saying he and Ginni "believe in the same things." Toward the end, he said they were "equally yoked" because they both were defenders of liberty. 
That's a lovely sentiment, but when placed in a larger context, particularly with regard to her current activism with the likes of True the Vote, the Daily Caller, and the entire Groundswell team, it's an extreme conflict of interest. 
Clarence Thomas is only one example of the conflicts in which our government is awash, but his is an egregious one. 
In his 2011 profile of Clarence Thomas, Jeffrey Toobin defined his role this way:
The implications of Thomas’s leadership for the Court, and for the country, are profound. Thomas is probably the most conservative Justice to serve on the Court since the nineteen-thirties. More than virtually any of his colleagues, he has a fully wrought judicial philosophy that, if realized, would transform much of American government and society. Thomas’s views both reflect and inspire the Tea Party movement, which his wife has helped lead almost since its inception. The Tea Party is a diffuse operation, and it can be difficult to pin down its stand on any given issue. Still, the Tea Party is unusual among American political movements in its commitment to a specific view of the Constitution—one that accords, with great precision, with Thomas’s own approach. For decades, various branches of the conservative movement have called for a reduction in the size of the federal government, but for the Tea Party, and for Thomas, small government is a constitutional command.
Let's just get this out of the way right now. When a sitting Supreme Court justice is married to a woman who received nearly a million dollars from a wealthy Texas billionaire to oppose the Affordable Care Act in a high-profile fashion, the answer shouldn't be that spouses are entitled to do whatever they want. 
There are circumstances where they can't do what they want, and one clear one is a situation where their spouse is going to rule on a related case. No other federal judge would be permitted to hear or issue opinions about cases where his or her spouse is publicly acting as advocate for one side or the other. 
It's unethical
Read More at Crooks and Liars about how Clarence Thomas should be impeached since he refused to recuse himself on cases where he wife was an activist.  
Out of the groups who have commented so far about a conflict of interest for Justice Thomas with his wife, Ginny Thomas, the one from Media Matters nails it and why Thomas should have recused himself:

Ginni Thomas also actively coordinated Groundswell's efforts to assist in the attacks on voting rights precedent, doing so in the months leading up to the Supreme Court's infamous 5-4 conservative Shelby County decision. In communications with voter suppression groups, such as True the Vote, that sought to "reframe" voter ID laws because they are "already lost & equated with racism," Ginni Thomas demanded to know who "are key working group members on ELECTION LAW, ELECTION REFORM and THE LEFT'S NARRATIVES, Groundswell???" (emphasis in original). It is this unapologetic Groundswell involvement in cases that were actively pending before the Supreme Court that reveals Ginni Thomas is continuing the ethically dubious right-wing activism that raised so many red flags previously
Can guarantee if Thomas was a liberal judge doing the same thing as Thomas, conservatives would be calling for his resignation immediately.  One thing I am learning is that conservatives are very quick to run out and bluster even if facts are not on their side as they use a narrative.  Now we know a lot of those narratives come from Groundswell of which Ginny Thomas is a primary member.

Will someone please start the drumbeat to impeach Clarence Thomas from the SCOTUS due to his ruling on cases where he has a conflict of interest.  If you notice he always comes down on the side of his wife and the Koch Brothers.  Looks like the Kochs have bought two SCOTUS -- no wonder Citizens United was such a crappy ruling.

Time for the American public to demand that SCOTUS abide by the same Code as all other Federal Judges.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Groundswell Members in Collussion with Republican Leadership in House on Scandals Against President Obama

(Groundswell) Group members are the water-carriers and action arm of the billionaires' tea party. Listen to the full 20 minutes of that audio (below), or read the transcript here to see just how destructive they intend to be.

After hearing the audio and reading the transcript, my breath is taken away at how far this group of hard right will go to win elections and hurt this President along with the Country.  I knew it was bad from the comments we have been witnessing out of what used to be some fairly sane people but today sound like hard right nutcases.  The transformation has been stunning to those of us who know some of these elected officials.  Now the picture is becoming clearer.  Groundswell which is made up of various individuals and groups seem to have no conscience, empathy, or ethics as anything goes in their world to win.  They have bought and paid for Republican officials at the highest levels and have access that only most people dream about because of their alliance with the wealthy billionaire donors of the Republican Party. 

This investigative piece of journalism by Crooks and Liars will have Part II tomorrow: 
Covering Ginni Thomas' involvement to see whether Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas engaged in unethical conduct or colluded with his wife and her associates.
Crooks and Liars was able to obtain the audio of the Groundswell meeting on 8 May which shows this group, Groundswell, plotting with leaders of Congress to take out the President via scandals.  Isn't there a law against this?  If not, there should be.  Must have been really bad in the meeting for someone to leak this audio recording showing the collusion between Groundswell and Congressional leadership:
When David Corn broke the Groundswell story last week, the general reaction among the politerati was a shrug and a giggle. Even influential NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen called it "no big deal.
But audio of a May Groundswell meeting obtained by C&L from a source who wishes to remain anonymous reveals Groundswellers met with top Congressional leaders to lobby for a select committee endowed with subpoena power to investigate the White House. Lobbying may be too mild a term, since they really are plotting with those same leaders to invent very real scandals with very real investigations in order to sink the country into a mire of inaction and sabotage the remaining years of President Obama's term. 
Messaging is a part of their activity, but there is also an entire set of marching orders and demands made by this group and granted by Congressional leadership. It isn't limited to the Benghazi 'scandal', and it may not be limited to Congress.

By and large the mainstream media have become complacent and lazy for the most part reporting talking point papers instead of actual investigation.  The slack fortunately has been picked up by places like Crooks and Liars, Mother Jones, Politicususa, Talking Points Memo, Think Progress, Raw Story, and others who work hard to get to the bottom of the story making sure they have the facts not spin.  

Media Matters is one of the best sites for showing the facts when it comes to broadcast news.  One of my first stops every morning to see how badly Fox News blew it from the night before.  When Murdoch or should I say Roger Ailes took Fox News so hard right, most people were not prepared.  Some of the hard right still watch, but most people I know don't turn on Fox.  My line in the sand with Fox News was actually lines drawn in the sand by Geraldo during the Gulf War to show where our troops were at on his map he drew.  Haven't watched since - Fox News was never any good a breaking news so no reason to turn them on and get irritated.  

When I looked at Mother Jones to find out who the members of the Groundswell group are, I was shocked at some names like Blackwell, former Ohio Secretary of State, Mark Tapscott, Editor of the Washington Examiner from Moore, OK, just north of me, and the wife of Justice Thomas.  What didn't shock me was having a former (?) aide to Sen Cruz involved.  Rand Paul needs to take note that Cruz has one-upped him.   The meetings of Groundswell are held at Judicial Watch in Tom Fitton's office.  Am sure you don't want to know my real feelings about Fitton from years ago on a website.  If he said the sky was blue, go check.
One of the influential conservatives guiding the group is Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a columnist for the Daily Caller and a tea party consultant and lobbyist. Other Groundswell members include John Bolton, the former UN ambassador; Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy; Ken Blackwell and Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council; Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch; Gayle Trotter, a fellow at the Independent Women's Forum; Catherine Engelbrecht and Anita MonCrief of True the Vote; Allen West, the former GOP House member; Sue Myrick, also a former House GOPer; Diana Banister of the influential Shirley and Banister PR firm; and Max Pappas, a top aide to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). 
Among the conveners listed in an invitation to a May 8 meeting of Groundswell were Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of Breitbart News Network; Dan Bongino, a former Secret Service agent who resoundingly lost a Maryland Senate race last year (and is now running for a House seat); Leonard Leo, executive vice president of the Federalist Society; Sandy Rios, a Fox News contributor; Lori Roman, a former executive director of the American Legislative Exchange Council; and Austin Ruse, the head of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Conservative journalists and commentators participating in Groundswell have included Breitbart News reporters Matthew Boyle and Mike Flynn, Washington Examiner executive editor Mark Tapscott, and National Review contributor Michael James Barton.Catherine Engelbrecht "facilitated" the May 8th Groundswell meeting. Engelbrecht is the president and founder of True the Vote, a Texas group dedicated to challenging voting rights among the poor, students, and minorities. In addition to their regular work attacking sections 4 and 5 of the Voting Rights Act via lawsuits, Engelbrecht was the media go-to person for the media on the phony IRS scandal. That story broke on May 9th, after the Benghazi hearings had more or less fizzled out the previous day. 
There was wave after wave of headlines about these so-called scandals. Some people wrote about what an awful week the White House had. It wasn't coincidence. It was orchestrated and planned by this group of people, who had the will and the power to secure the participation of people like Darrell Issa, John Boehner and more.
True the Vote led the charge to sue the IRS and serve the highest-profile plaintiff among the "aggrieved" groups. Yet this audio recording shows their president "facilitating" a clearly partisan, right-wing activist group meeting of people who claim to be fighting a "30-front war." No big deal? When is the last time anyone you know could ring up the Speaker of the House and the Chairman of the House Oversight Committee and take a face-to-face meeting in the wee hours of the evening with approval from the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice?
Meet the members of Groundwell at Mother Jones
Speaker Boehner and Chair Issa need to be removed IMHO after hearing this report on the two of them from Jerry Boykin and Frank Gaffney in the 8 May meeting.  They are nothing but sellouts.  All you have to do is listen to Boehner on the Northern Keystone Pipeline he is pushing and understand he stands to make millions off his investment to know honesty and John Boehner do not fit in the same sentence:
At 3:45, Jerry Boykin advises the group of the meetings he and Frank Gaffney had with Speaker John Boehner and Rep. Darrell Issa concerning Benghazi on the evening of May 7th about how the Benghazi investigation is progressing. This was the night before the last Congressional Oversight Committee hearing was held on Benghazi, where the so-called whistleblowers were to testify. 
In the late-night meeting with Gaffney and Boykin, Boehner advised both that they needed to allow the regular order of committee meetings to play out before he would push for a select committee. Issa told him the same thing. Boykin and Gaffney reported this to the group, along with a promise that there "would be answers." Both reiterated that they and former Rep. Allen West were very concerned about the lack of a military response and assured the group that "what we'll find today is that Hillary Clinton made some egregious decisions and the president was basically absent from his post and did not make the decisions that as the Commander-in-Chief he should have been making...because he was focused on some other things." 
They further assured the group that they weren't backing away from their demands, but instead they "kind of have a pledge from...Issa and the Speaker." 
I am sitting here in shock about Groundswell and how they have bought and paid for members of Congress as the go-between with the wealthy donors.  Wondered who was the go-between and looks like Mother Jones and Crooks and Ladders have scored a direct hit - Groundwell.  Their group includes Ginny Thomas, wife the Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who IMHO should resign if his wife is going to be part of this extremely partisan group because it has the appearance of impropriety of a sitting Supreme Court Justice based on some of his writings.

During the meeting, True the Vote made a presentation (document below) about their plan to attack groups who are actively working to protect voting rights around the country, particularly after the Supreme Court gutted most of the protections. Code-named "Hydra", True the Vote argues that the left is undermining voting rights, and must be stopped, by hook or by crook.
Crooks and Liars was able to obtain True the Vote's Plan to Attack Voting Rights which brings me right back to Clarence Thomas who was one of the five votes to destroy a portion of the Voting Rights Act and his wife works with the head of True the Vote trying to suppress voting rights of minorities with their Hydra Plan.  If that is not a conflict of interest, I don't know what the words mean.
The efforts of this group (Groundswell) should not be marginalized, given that what they are saying is repeated in the halls of the House and the Senate on a daily basis. It isn't just right-wing crazy people being crazy. These are activists with contacts in high places who are using those contacts to strip people of their rights, to invent scandals to undermine the President at every turn, and to marginalize Hillary Clinton if she should choose to run in 2016. Those are just a few of their goals. They have power and they're not afraid to use it.
What will Crooks and Liars reveal tomorrow?  

Monday, July 29, 2013

House Republicans Declaring This Week 'Stop Government Abuse' Week

House of Representative GOP Leadership who set the calendar to work 126 days with 239 days off  in 2013 while declaring this week 'Stop Government Abuse' Week is laughable.  Biggest abusers in DC are House Republicans who are nothing but a group of unethical obstructionist with a penchant for lying who refuse to compromise on anything.

As a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) for over 30 years, found this email from the NARFE President Beaudoin very interesting as it details the legislative agenda for this week.  It is absolutely disgusting how this do nothing House has acted from the beginning of the year refusing to even bring up jobs bills or sensible legislation as they continue to obstruct the President's agenda.  The Republicans in Congress treat Federal Employees like 2nd class citizens and have since the Republicans took back the Congress with the Contract with America in 1994.  Only for four years under a Democrat House in recent years did much get accomplished.

Last laugh to me was the article in the last NARFE magazine about Members of Congress and their staffs losing access to FEHBP on January, 2014.  They will have to go with exchanges which leaves most of red state members out have to enroll in an ACA health programs:
The ACA requires that the only health plans the federal government may make available to
Members of Congress and certain congressional staff as a benefit of their federal employment are health plans created under the ACA or offered through health insurance exchanges, as created by the ACA.29 The Director of OPM has resolved a lack of clarity in the law as to the effective date of this provision by concluding that this provision will not be effective until the health insurance exchanges become operational.
The big question is whether the hard right GOP in the House will try to raise our rates we pay for Federal Blue Cross and Blue Shield under FEHBP since they will no be eligible come the end of the year.  No wonder the House wanted to delay implementation of ACA for another year so they could keep their old insurance.  

When you read the Hotline, you can tell the disdain the Republicans in Congress hold for federal employees.  The number of bills that sit there every year that could help federal employees die in the GOP House.  It was really bad under President Bush during the times they had a GOP House and Senate.  His Administration set in motion hiring all the contractors at even great numbers which in today's dollars costs more then federal employees as their salaries have become stagnant.

Federal employees  are expected to work five days a week, 52 weeks a year with leave of 10, 15, or 26 days for vacation depending on years service.  Everyone gets 13 sick days a year and nine paid holidays.  Right now many Civil Service are furloughed with no pay one day every two weeks to meet sequester demands.  

At the same time the House of Representatives is working 126 days with 239 days off  in 2013 while declaring this week 'Stop Government Abuse' Week.  Don't know about you but I think the abuse is coming from the House Republicans who have abused their oaths and what they were sent to Congress to accomplish - make Government work instead of being obstructionist refusing to compromise.  Why are members of the House getting paid so much for working so little - minimum over $170,000 a  year plus expenses?  When do they take a pay cut like they are causing Civil Service to with with sequester?
NARFE Legislative Hotline – July 26, 2013
Message from NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin 
“During the week of July 29, the House of Representatives plans to unveil and vote on a series of bills targeting the federal government and federal employees as part of a ‘Stop Government Abuse’ week. The bills are designed more to take cheap rhetorical shots at the federal government and its workforce than to solve real policy problems. It is disappointing that the House will be wasting its time voting on bills with little chance of passage by the full Congress when serious budget issues, such as avoiding the continuation of sequestration, remain unresolved.  Worse yet, it’s a bad sign for the country that the House views attacks on our nation’s public servants as a political win.” 
#1 House ‘Stop Government Abuse’ Week 
Although the official schedule has not been released, NARFE expects the House to vote next week on a number of bills, such as the “Keep Federal Bureaucrats from Ruining the Economy and Lowering Wages Act,” and the “Common Sense in Compensation Act,” neither of which safeguard the economy or employ common sense. If passed, Senate consideration of the bills is unlikely. Nonetheless, NARFE opposes the entire premise of the effort. Every day, millions of federal employees do important work on behalf of the United States. We should be applauding their efforts, not demeaning them. 
#2 House Committee Holds Markup on Postal Overhaul Legislation 
On July 24, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform approved H.R. 2748, the Postal Reform Act of 2013, by a party-line vote, with 22 Republican members voting in favor and 17 Democratic members voting against. The bill, introduced by Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-CA, “places the burdens of cost-cutting on the backs of the postal workforce while undermining the mission of universal mail service provided by the United States Postal Service,” NARFE President Joseph A. Beaudoin said in a letter to the committee. (Also access the letter on NARFE’s Home Page at by selecting “Postal Reform.”)
#3 NARFE’s Testimony on FECA
NARFE submitted testimony to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Workforce Protections as part of a hearing, “Examining the Labor Department’s Proposed Reforms to the FECA Program.” President Beaudoin’s testimony makes clear NARFE’s strong support of the income security provided by the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act to federal employees who suffered work-related injuries or illnesses. The testimony is available on our website. (On the Home Page,, select “FECA Reform.”) 
#4 Offer to Share the Workload, Contact Your Federation or Chapter President
NARFE has 1,319 chapters and 54 federations. Each has a president listed on our website. These leaders are planning meetings with representatives and senators during the congressional summer recess, August 3 through September 8. These five weeks are designated as “NARFE Grass-Roots Advocacy Month,” when leaders will need the help of every member. This is our opportunity to inform the many new members of Congress, remind many second-termers and re-educate long-time incumbents. In the August issue of narfe magazine, President Beaudoin’s column, “Silence Is Not Golden” (page 4), and Sarah Weissmann’s article, “Grass-Roots Advocacy Month” (page 6), call on each NARFE member to defend their earned benefits.

Federation presidents are listed at 
The gateway to finding chapter presidents by state or ZIP code is
Congressional gridlock and looming deadlines may produce the perfect storm. Appropriations are set only through the end of the fiscal year, September 30. A short-term continuing resolution could serve as a temporary reprieve from a government shutdown. However, the debt limit will be reached before year’s end, and a fresh round of brinksmanship has already begun. The Chained CPI could become an even more tempting piece of a “grand bargain” to pay for ending Defense Department furloughs. In any case, the stakes are high, and now is the time to let Congress know how you feel.

Obtaining the Hotline: Thank you for using the Hotline. This weekly legislative message is available to telephone callers (703-838-7780 and toll-free at 877-217-8234); posted on the NARFE website,; made available to requesting NARFE leaders; and sent to over 80,000 GEMS email addresses. Each delivery channel is a service of NARFE, the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association. Should you have any questions regarding the information provided in the Hotline, please email NARFE’s Legislative Department at or call 703-838-7760.
If you want to help out Federal Employees against this group of anti-Government hard right GOP in Congress, please feel free to listen to the Hotline and and then make your voices heard in Congress. Calling or writing my Reps from Oklahoma is a total waste of time but in some states you can make a difference.   Will never write Sen Inhofe (R-OK) again after his condescending reply to me earlier this year.

Please support NARFE if you are active civil service or retired as they are our voice in Congress since our Reps and Senators won't list to us, their constituents.  Too many people think NARFE is only for retirees but it is for anyone associated with Federal Civil Service including family members.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Drought is Officially Over in Norman, OK

Green Belt behind my home is flooded this morning like it is a river.  Our lake at the end of the green belt is two houses from me and overflowing causing the flowing water to look like a river with rapids from all of our rains overnight and this morning.

UPDATE from Norman Transcript:
At 9 a.m. today the Oklahoma Mesonet showed Norman receiving 3.99 inches of rain in the past 24 hours. The heaviest rain was reported between 5 and 7 a.m. 
Forecasters expected the rain to move out later this morning, leaving cooler temperatures this afternoon and evening. 
Norman Police encouraged motorists to exercise extreme caution while traveling the streets of Norman today.  Officers said a number of intersections and roadways were closed and impassable.  “For your safety, we urge you to obey all signs and barricades and please do not drive around them.  If at all possible, we would like to recommend that citizens simply avoid the roadways and flooded areas until the rain subsides and the roadways are opened back up for safe travel,” according to a release from Police Lt. Chad Vincent.

This is normall all green with no water but this morning looks like a river
Norman is flooded on streets this morning, streams are overflowing, and the drought has officially ended as far as I am concerned.  When I was in Sprouts this week, heard a lady talk about we still have a chance for the drought to hit this summer.  Rolled my eyes like are you crazy.  We were 16 1/2 inches above normal rainfall for the year and had rain this week before the overnight deluge.  Guess it is not necessary to water my lawn as I had a lawn treatment this week.  No need to water my garden or flowers either.  My neighbor and I across the greenbelt were visiting yesterday in the spot where the water is flowing with rapids.  Usually we get the ducks going down the stream when we get rain that causes the lake to overflow and then hoping back out to ride it down again.  This morning - no ducks or geese are going near that water in the green belt as it is flowing rapidly.

On the way to Urgent Care after getting flooded from their stream!
My son sent me the picture of the Beavers above.  There is a small stream near Urgent Care on 12th Avenue (Sooner Road) that I am sure is flooded.  Kind of sums up the morning.

This picture from my side yard shows the water is up to my fence lilne and a little under in places which is only the second time this has happened since we moved here in July 2001.  

Looking back toward the lake from deck, there is not usually water in the background.  My garden has never been this green at this time of year as you can see above with this picture from the deck.  Last year with the 100 degree days, I got maybe ten tomatoes all summer.  This year topped that number by 4th of July.  Can almost see my grass growing after these rains.  First year I have not had to water my lawn because of the amount of rain we are getting.  

Happy to see my stone retaining wall came through with flying colors I have been working on getting the steps in this week.  That's my pet project I designed and am finishing this summer/fall.  

Have a terrific weekend as we start to dry out (I hope).

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chairman Priebus Declares GOP is Party of White Conservative Christians

TODAY I am declaring that I am not longer a Republican and will be registering as a Democrat very shortly.  I refuse to be a member of a Party where the RNC Chairman declares the Party is a Religion.  Have never been a social conservative and unlike the RNC Chairman I am a tolerant person except for bigots and racists who I detest with a passion.  
Our party believes that life begins at conception. I think those are foundational issues that aren’t going anywhere but what I have said, which I don’t think should be controversy at all and I would think that Christians and pastors and everyone in between should agree that our principles have to be draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect and that’s not code language. That’s the New Testament so I don’t think there should be any problem with that thinking in our party.  RNC Chairman Priebus, 23 Jul 2012
Just got off the phone with the RNC giving them my more than two cents as I had a problem with what he said.  Kept getting passed from person to person to finally getting a voice mail that they will call me back - probably in the year 2020 after what I had to say.  Just a side note, the RNC has a petition to sign on their website to to Obama on jobs - guess Priebus was too caught up in the GOP is a religion to know the House GOP is the one that won't consider a jobs bill.  Glad I am not as dumb as they think we are.

Let me give you some of my background as a Republican which will explain why it has been hard to make the change and leave everything I have known behind:

  • Walked doors as a teenager for Barry Goldwater
  • Charter Member of the Ohio Teenage Republican Club
  • Member of the Young Republicans
  • Vice Chairman of County GOP
  • President of the Oldest Women's Club in Oklahoma
  • Precinct Chair
  • Consultant/Analyst/Researcher/Full-time Volunteer to various campaigns at National, State, and local level
  • Republican Blogger (Morphed into Progressive Blogger with this new site)

You can see that I was a died in the wool Republican from my days as a teenager.  My Uncle was the Secretary to the Ohio Republican Party and my parents and grandparents hard core Republicans.  That's how I got to see Barry Goldwater and had to skip school for the day as the Principal wouldn't allow us to go see him and miss school even with our parent's permission.  He said we would take zero's but he was overruled by the Superintendent who just happened to be our next door neighbor.

After taking a break from politics while working for the Air Force as civil service, I started getting involved again on our transfer to Norton AFB, CA.  Did a lot of volunteer work at the schools for my three kids so politics even then took a backseat until they were older when I became very active once again.

My break-up with the Republican Party started with the shift to hard right which I thought originally was just in Oklahoma but I was dead wrong as it is across the Country.  By the time the 2012 campaign came along I was really disgusted with what I was hearing in debates.  I was a Rudy supporter in 2008 and took a lot of grief for that since he was Pro-Choice and for Gay Rights.  When the Romney camp systematically got rid of candidate after candidate, I had no one to support because there was not enough money in the world to make me support Mitt Romney.  I am not a Libertarian so the minute I found out that Gary Johnson, their potential candidate, was a big support of Ayn Rand that did me in with him.  I liked him as Governor of New Mexico but I don't support Ayn Rand supporters.

Talked to good friends, talked to my brother, and then decided that I would join Republicans for Obama which meant I was still hoping that after Romney lost big that the Republican Party would go back to being normal.  I was WRONG as it went further hard right.  After being spotlighted on R's for Obama, I started getting some nasty email but it didn't faze me as I have been used to 'nasty' out of the "my way or no way crowd."  I have had my foot out the door since then.

I have no regrets for my action to make the move to the Democrat Party.  I have never been a social conservative  because I always said social issues belong in my home and community not as Federal issues.  I don't even believe that abortion or gay marriage would be a political issue so you can see where I no longer fit in the Republican Party.  As late as 1994, the Contract with America contained no social issues.  Now that is all changed with today's Republican Party where social issues are put over economic issues.  I cannot be a member of the Republican Party of religion who puts Christian religious beliefs as their core principles.  When Priebus said the 'New Testament' that left out a whole group of people.

Would imagine that I am not the only common sense Republicans who is disgusted at what has happened to our Party if the reaction I got on my comments on my phone call to the RNC was an indication.  Priebus is going to have the privilege of reigning over a Republican Party that is about to become a shadow of its former self.  Already I meet a number of people on line who are former Republicans and within a few days you can add me to that list.

The following article is the straw that broke the camel's back in my case as I was staying a Republican to vote against my conscientious objector State Rep in the primary and then switch.  There is no way I can last that long in a Party where I don't share their core principles of religion as the basis for their Party.

Had to grit my teeth to include the You Tube of Priebus because it puts his face on my website which irritates me to no end.  The Koch puppet is destroying the Republican Party as a viable Party.  I am livid that the National Committee and the State GOP Chairs allowed this to happen but then the religious right, social conservatives have taken over a lot of State GOP as we are seeing play out in the State Legislatures.  This interview by Priebus sent me through the roof and was told by a close friend to wait until today to read the article if I want to sleep - he was right.  I have been steamed since I watched the video which was painful since I have NEVER liked the Koch Brothers puppet Priebus from Wisconsin from Day One.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus Says the Republican Party is a Religion (Excerpt)
By: Hrafnkell HaraldssonJul. 23rd, 2013 
Talking to The Brody File on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) yesterday, Reince Priebus assured conservative Christians of every stripe that the GOP stands for God’s Own Party. 
After the catastrophic failure of God’s brand in 2012, College Republicans came up with a scheme to get more votes without budging an inch on socially divisive culture war issues. As Salon put it, “Seem Tolerant.” 
Priebus reassured his audience, however, that the GOP is “a party that embraces marriage,” and that he “is a chairman that understands that there’s only one sovereign God and that we ultimately aren’t dependent on what happens in politics, that what ultimately matters in our lives is that we’re salt and light in the world and that we’re honoring God in the things that we do every day.” 
There you have it. From the RNC chairman’s mouth. Priebus doesn’t want to seem tolerant. He doesn’t even like the word “tolerant.” 
Watch courtesy of Right Wing Watch: 
Brody: I want to talk to you about this way forward for the GOP. When you use that word “intolerant” in what the RNC put out, Evangelicals start to grab the Excedrin bottles when they hear “tolerance” because they think “oh no the GOP is changing and the whole gay marriage situation.” Why don’t you address this and maybe put evangelicals at ease, or can you put them at ease at all here? 
Priebus: Well, one hundred percent. I don’t know if I’ve used the word “tolerance.” I don’t really care fo for that word myself. I don’t have a problem with it. I just think it has another meaning politically that can go the other direction. I happen to believe that our principles are sound. I do beleive, and I still will tell you that our party believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Our party believes that life begins at conception. I think those are foundational issues that aren’t going anywhere but what I have said, which I don’t think should be controversial at all and I would think Christians and pastors and everyone in between should agree that our principles have to be draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect and that’s not code language, that’s the New Testament, so I don’t think there should be any problem with that thinking in our party. That’s all I’ve said. It’s not what you say, I think, it’s sometimes like our moms used to tell us, it’s how you say it; and I think that’s really the issue and quite frankly I think some of that has been overblown. I’m happy to address it but clearly myself and our party haven’t changed on those principles. 
Priebus: I happen to believe that our principles are sound. I do believe, and I still will tell you that our party believes that marriage is between one man and one woman. Our party believes that life begins at conception. I think those are foundational issues that aren’t going anywhere but what I have said, which I don’t think should be controversy at all and I would think that Christians and pastors and everyone in between should agree that our principles have to be draped in the concepts of grace, love and respect and that’s not code language. That’s the New Testament so I don’t think there should be any problem with that thinking in our party. 
If you’re looking at the evidence, what you will see is a party that embraces life, a party that embraces marriage and a chairman that understands that there’s only one sovereign God and that we ultimately aren’t dependent on what happens in politics. What ultimately matters in our lives is that we’re salt and light in the world and that we’re honoring God in the things that we do every day. I get that. I think our party gets that and there’s never been a movement away from that.
More from the article at
What is sad for Americans is that the Republican Party was not always the party of intolerance and hate. Social issues were not always foundational principles for the GOP. Our differences with the GOP were truly political rather than religious and the two had not yet become conflated in conservative imaginations. 
But now, what Priebus is telling us, is that the GOP is the party only of white conservative Christians, a “political” party whose only interest is in “honoring God” according to some narrowly defined, cherry-picked, and misrepresented (sometimes invented) biblical mandates.

When you read something like this from a Progressive website, you realize how hard right the GOP has gone because they realize it used to be political differences where the two sides would fight in Congress and go have dinner together because they were friends.  Today's Republicans in Congress especially the House are some the most mean spirited, nasty people I have ever seen who believe 'compromise' is a dirty word.  They don't care if they lose as long as they stand on principle.  You cannot deal with people like that as Democrats are finding out.

The last paragraph of the article at describes the Republican Party of today:

When Americans vote, therefore, they must recognize that the election is not between two political parties, but between one political party and a religion, a religion which, if it had its way, would ultimately do away with the political party in order that America become some dystopian, corporate-sponsored theocracy.
The Republican Party of intolerance that puts the Christian religion as its core principles goes against the Constitution which says quite plainly "Freedom of Religion" which means we do not have a state sponsored religion which is exactly what today's Republican Party wants after what Priebus had to say yesterday.

It is important that voters understand that today's Republican Party officials are all about making this Country a corporate-sponsored, Christian theocracy bought and paid for by the Koch Bros and other wealthy donors.  I have heard it too often not to believe it is true.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Speaker Boehner Threatens Democrats on Debt Ceiling from a Position of Weakness

Only three of the 12 annual spending bills have even been debated — by far the worst record since the GOP took over the House.   

Now the worthless Republican House with its inept and weak Speaker is trying to threaten the White House that they will not pass a budget ceiling increase without spending cuts.  What does Boehner think the Sequestration is which BTW is hurting our military readiness which the GOP House doesn't seem to care about.  Their austerity plan which includes sequestration is not working and hasn't worked from Day One.  Raise taxes a little and see how fast everything turns around.  Republicans in Congress voted for every debt ceiling of Bush, but now with a Democrat, black President they want to threaten what they are going to do instead of what is best for the Country.

Are Republicans prepared to shut down the Government?  After the debacle in the 90's you would think they would have learned, but today's Republicans are as stubborn as you can get and will cut off their nose to spite their face.   Obama's words "Please Proceed" to Romney during the debate keep resonating when I think of the GOP House.  House Republicans are truly are on a path of destruction that is going to leave them asking what they did wrong because they don't seem to be able to take responsibility for anything.

Rebranding is an abject failure in the Republican Party and no where is there a better example then the Republicans in the House of Representatives with their threats and attacks almost on a daily basis.  The hypocrites must have gotten their talking points from the Koch Bros and their various organizations to give them a backbone to stand up against the debt ceiling.

Believe the Koch's and other wealthy GOP donors are on the losing side when it is all said and done because the vast majority of the American people are on to their trying to tank this Country,  We are determined to defeat them and their wealthy friends who put greed ahead of what is best for the Country.  A good start will be throwing out the Republican obstructionist who keep threatening the President's agenda and what is good for the Country.  

If Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker again in January 2015, will Boehner if re-elected quit?  I don't think he can handle Pelosi as Speaker and frankly the Tea Party group he has played up to in the House will take him out as Minority Leader in a nano second.  Time for Boehner to retire like yesterday.  The Country deserves better then a Speaker who keeps making threats:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesday that the House would not vote to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts, setting up a potential fight with President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats. 
"We're not going to raise the debt ceiling without real cuts in spending. It's as simple as that," he said at a press conference. 
"I believe the so-called Boehner Rule is the right formula for getting that done," he said, referring to the notion that any increase in the statutory debt limit should be accompanied by an equivalent amount of spending cuts. 
The White House has insisted that President Barack Obama will not negotiate over the debt limit, which until 2011 both parties in Congress had raised without linking it to spending cuts. In 2011, House Republicans used the threat of the looming debt limit to negotiate the package of spending cuts known as sequestration. In January, the House voted to suspend the debt limit until May without concessions. 
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that the United States government has enough room to borrow through Labor Day
UPDATE: 4:00 p.m. -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) rejected the idea on Tuesday. "We are not negotiating on the debt ceiling," he said. "I don't know how many more times we need to say that."
Beginning to really like this new version of Harry Reid who is not afraid to stand up and be counted.  When he negotiated the filibuster deal with Senator McCain, it showed the wrong Republican was in charge of the Senate.  McConnell who cannot keep his word should be ousted from his Senate seat in Kentucky.  Been in the Senate so long he forgets what it is like to be a Senator of all constituents just not hard right Republicans and the wealthy GOP donors.

Speaker Boehner left himself wide open when he said on Sunday that Congress “should not be judged on how many laws we create” but “on how many laws we repeal.”  That was an idiotic statement to make which I have never heard in all my years around politics.

Challenged about Congress' low productivity, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the measure of success for Republicans should be how many laws they've repealed. "We've got more laws than the administration could ever enforce," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday. But so far this session, the House has also been notably unsuccessful in passing repeal bills that become law.
One thing Republicans in Congress are good at is wasting tax dollars.  Spending $3M of taxpayer dollars to defend DOMA before the Supreme Court or $40M+ to repeal Obamacare is a waste of tax dollars which could be put to good use.  Having to pass a Farm Bill without SNAP is more waste of our tax dollars as the House Farm Bill is doomed in the Senate without SNAP.  Never saw a House who passed more bills knowing they are going nowhere but the trash can then the Boehner/Cantor GOP House.  Republicans are not fit to lead in the House the way they act.

Knew it was only a matter of time before Major Leader Reid had a field day with the Boehner comments on Sunday.  I was not disappointed with his response above.
The House of Representatives is failing at its own goal to roll back laws and is “doing nothing” legislatively, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday morning. 
Responding to Speaker John Boehner’s comment on Sunday that Congress “should not be judged on how many laws we create” but “on how many laws we repeal,” Reid said Boehner and his leadership team aren’t even making headway on repealing laws, despite taking dozens of votes to roll back President Barack Obama’s health care law. 
“House Republicans are failing even by their own metric. They’ve replaced virtually nothing. So by the speaker’s own admission, they’re not getting anything passed and by his own analysis, they’re getting nothing repealed,” Reid said. “So they’re doing nothing.”
The latest from the media is that the Republican budget strategy in Congress is starting to unravel which should not be a shock to anyone as the head of the House Budget Committee Paul Ryan is all talk and little substance.  Because he talks a good game, the media swallowed what he said hook, line, and sinker when he was running for Vice President, but now are taking a closer look to find that just maybe Ryan and the truth are not friends as we are seeing with the budget.  Maybe the budget guru of the Republican House isn't such a guru after all.
Like an army that’s outrun its supply line, the Republican budget strategy in Congress shows almost daily signs of coming apart. 
The central premise, as sold by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, was that Washington could wipe out deficits in 10 years and protect defense spending, all while embracing the lower appropriations caps dictated by sequestration. 
Four months later, it’s proving to be a bridge too far. 
Only three of the 12 annual spending bills have even been debated — by far the worst record since the GOP took over the House.     (my bold)
Against their better judgment, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee have been required to cut important investments in science, community development and foreign aid. Senate Republicans are peeling off in protest — setting up a crucial procedural vote at noon Tuesday on the transportation and housing budget. 
Time is running short. 
After the August recess just nine legislative days remain on the House calendar before the next shutdown crisis Oct. 1. Already there are discussions of retreating into a stopgap continuing resolution calibrated to the post-sequester appropriations level of $988 billion. 
But this begs the question: Is the CR a bridge to a larger deal or just another ramp down to the “new normal” of sequestration that President Barack Obama, for one, will find hard to accept?
The month of August the Congress goes on recess and only has nine days remaining before the end of the fiscal year when they return.  The House Budget Guru Ryan only has three annual spending bills that have been debated so far out of 12 spending bills that encompass government agencies.  It is a travesty that the do nothing, 3-day work week Republicans have only debated three spending bills and one of them, the Farm Bill, had to have SNAP removed in order to pass.  This 3-day work week is an affront to the US Taxpayers.  I think that they should only get 3/5ths of their salary since they only work three days.  Nine days left in the fiscal year in September to pass the budget bills?  Not happening.

Years ago the date of the fiscal year was moved from 1 July to 1 October with a three-month transition period the first year.  It was done so Congress could get a budget passed and appropriated in an efficient manner.  Since the Republicans have been mostly in charge since 1994, it has been a joke as the House gets farther behind each year and we have more continuing resolutions.  Still cannot get over the GOP House passes bills without Democrat support knowing full well they are going nowhere.  What kind of leadership is that?  Pretty bad and way below the standards of what the American taxpayers deserve.

Now the GOP is sending their House Members back to their districts for August with their blueprint of what they are to say to their constituents.  Instead of being honest they are now all going to be talking from the same talking points paper.  Republicans think that is going to get them support from the middle of the road constituents - not happening.  Only the hard right Tea Party types will be happy with their obstructionists tactics.  GOP should have learned in the Presidential election when Romney lost big that going hard right was not a prescription for winning.  Obvious they still don't get it that they have a lot of disgruntled Republicans and former Republicans who will do everything they can to defeat them.

The 31-page document from the House Republican Conference, first reported by Roll Call, offers instructions to members for meeting with constituents, promoting the House GOP's agenda and garnering media attention. The document suggests many ways to gain visibility, including placing an op-ed (sample provided) in a local paper, running a health care forum for millennials and touring gas stations, grocery stores, hospitals and senior centers.
"We know that Washington is broken," writes Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), chair of the House Republican Conference, in the guide. "It spends too much, borrows too much, and takes too much. It targets people for what they believe. It chokes out jobs with more red tape, blocks new energy resources and makes our health care crisis worse. Our government is out of control." 

The guide suggests that Republicans hold private "meetups" with "women, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and milennials [sic]." (African Americans are not mentioned.) "A meetup event should be closed [to] press so everyone feels comfortable to candidly speak about the issues," it says. Before and after, however, the document encourages promoting the event to the media.
The nerve of the House GOP to talk about Washington being broken when they are one of the primary causes with their obstructionists tactics and refusing to work with Democrats for the good of the Country.  Today's House Republicans seem bent on destroying this Country with their 'my way or no way' hard right attitude.  We need to keep reminding voters that today's Republicans cannot be trusted as they will say or do anything to get re-elected.

How many women want to meet with a Republican today after how they treat women with their being against Equal Pay for Women, Violence Against Women Act,  Against Paid Birth Control, and for horrendous anti-abortion bills which get between a woman and her doctor.  My guess is not many.  Wonder if you have to check your cell phones at the door of these meet-ups since they are closed to the media.  It is duly noted that McMorrisRogers didn't bother to include blacks in these meet-up instructions which show the hard right Republican Party is about rhetoric not real change.

New polling is starting to show how Republican voters have doubts about the GOP progress on issues. That is probably the understatement of the year.  A lot of longtime Republicans don't trust the new hard right Republican Party and are pledged to helping Democrats win in 2014.  We are the problem the GOP wanted to go away since we wouldn't march in lockstep with the hard right and raised questions about going too hard right.  Now we are a bigger problem for them by supporting Democrats with all of our background and knowledge of how the GOP works in campaigns.  The GOP needs to be defeated soundly in 2014 for their obstructionists tactics and some of the laws passed in the states that are draconian which has driven the old base father from the GOP.
More than eight months removed from a 2012 presidential election loss, a new poll finds that GOP voters are still having doubts about their party's progress. 
An ABC-Washington Post poll released Tuesday finds that 52 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents see the right going in the wrong direction. 
That marks a 20-percent jump from August 2012, and a majority for the first time among six polls conducted since 1994, according to ABC News.
If you are not registered to vote, please register as soon as possible as we need as many votes as possible to throw out the obstructionist GOP from Congress and get the Country back on track.  

Monday, July 22, 2013

GOP House Passage of Farm Bill Without SNAP is Perfect Example of GOP House Favoring the Wealthy over the Poor

"But when you take food out of the mouths of babies and you prevent a bill from going forward that addresses our food banks and our nutrition needs and the rest for our country, what are you thinking?  Or are you thinking?" (Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Floor of House before vote on Farm Bill without SNAP, 07/11/2013)

Was it true the only way to pass the Farm Bill was by removing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly Food Stamps) from the bill so Republicans would pass the bill?  The answer is a resounding 'YES.'  What good is a Farm Bill without the SNAP Program?  It is hard to believe that Republicans in the House have become so cold, calculating, and callous that they refused to pass a Farm Bill with SNAP in the bill.  What kind of people are these that would take food out of the mouth of children yet make sure their wealthy farm donors and some of their members continue to get their subsidies?

As we all know this House Farm Bill is DOA in the Senate and would NEVER be signed into law by the President so why are Republicans once against wasting our tax dollars to pass a bill that is going nowhere?  Is it possible that leadership doesn't think their new base is on board with their reelection?Their new base of Tea Party (40% Mormon), social conservatives, libertarians, militia, and John Birchers don't seem to care about what happens to the GOP unless they are voting for bills to repeal like against the Affordable Care Act which they are doing again this week.  House is not passing jobs bills in deference to their new base along with many other bills.  GOP leadership of Boehner and Cantor won't even name people to negotiate with the Senate on the Budget bill of Paul Ryan's.  Are they they that afraid of being primaried that they sell out the poor, the working class, women, veterans, seniors, etc?  If they are that scared, then Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor should look for a new line of work.

A lot of the former Republican base is more then willing to help Democrats defeat Republicans in 2014 to take the House while keeping the Senate.   A big push is needed to defeat Republican state office holders and the GOP Legislatures who are passing the ALEC/Koch Agenda which is good for the wealthy and bad for the middle class and poor.  You will not find a clearer distinction between the two parties then the House Farm Bill where only Republicans voted for the stripped out SNAP version and Democrats all voted against the bill.

House Democrats who voted against this bill are now on the offensive against the 14 Republicans who opposed SNAP but voted for their own subsidies in the Farm Bill:
House Democrats are targeting Republicans who receive farm subsidies but opposed a stripped-down farm bill with no food stamp assistance. 
Fourteen GOP lawmakers have received a total of $7.2 million in farm subsidies, according to the available data since 2004, but all voted for an amendment that would have decreased the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program according to a report Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) is releasing Monday. 
“It’s outrageous that some members of Congress feel it is OK to vote for their own taxpayer subsidies but against critical nutrition assistance for 47 million Americans,” Miller said. “It’s bad enough that the House of Representatives didn’t pass a farm bill that included authorization for sorely needed nutrition programs, but to see members of Congress approving their own benefits at the expense of the working poor is a new low, even for this Congress.   
The farm bill originally included funding for SNAP, but when it failed to get enough votes in the House in June, Republicans stripped food stamp funding from the bill to gain enough GOP support for passage. In July, on a partisan vote, the farm bill passed without food stamp funding. 
Only one of the 14 members listed in the report, Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), voted against the bill when it included SNAP benefits but for it once SNAP was removed.
Excerpt:  Read more at 
Politicusas. com has more details on how the votes for the Farm Bill enrich corporate farmers along with the 14 members of Congress who get farm subsidies but voted for the Farm Bill that did not include the SNAP Program:
Don’t worry, Republicans did exactly what you imagine they would do in this instance. Now that they got rid of the hungry people, they took their new FARM Act and figured why not give most of the $196 billion to big agro business
Republicans tried to claim that the passage of the farm provisions was done to help family farms, but this Farm Bill is loaded with pork and handouts for the wealthy and corporations. Farmers with incomes over $250,000 will receive one third of the crop insurance money. This Republican House passed windfall for millionaires and corporations comes at a time when net farm income is projected to reach it highest level since 1973. 
These Republicans are:
Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX)
Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-TN)
Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO)
Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA)
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Rep Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Rep. Kristi Noem (R-SD)
Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Rep. David Valadao (R-CA)
Representative Miller’s office noted, “14 Republican members of Congress, who each voted for a Farm Bill that excluded a nutrition title for the first time in four decades, have received more than $7.2 million in government farm subsidies, or an average of $515,279 in handouts. At the same time, they have a combined net worth of as much as $124.5 million, according to public records. 
In stark contrast, the typical household receiving aid under the farm bill through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has a gross monthly income of only $744, and their average monthly SNAP benefit—which every member detailed in this report voted against extending— is just $281.” 
Miller called this a new low, even for this Congress, saying in a statement, “It’s outrageous that some members of Congress feel it is ok to vote for their own taxpayer subsidies but against critical nutrition assistance for 47 million Americans. It’s bad enough that the House of Representatives didn’t pass a Farm Bill that included authorization for sorely-needed nutrition programs, but to see members of Congress approving their own benefits at the expense of the working poor is a new low, even for this Congress.” 
A new low, indeed. Welfare for the wealthy, redistribution for the elite, and nothing for the rest of the country. Republican austerity explained in action.
The House passed their modified version of the Farm Bill by a vote of 216-208.

Out of the 216 Republicans votes to pass the Farm Bill without SNAP were also four Republicans who get farm subsidies who sit on the Agriculture Committee who voted for a Farm Bill without SNAP:
Lucas, Chairman, Ag Committee (R-OK), Fincher  (R-TN), Neugebauer (R-TX) and Noem (R-SD)
To show their disdain for the bill, 0 Democrats voted for it. but the Democratic displeasure went beyond no votes with mounting a campaign to oust 14 Republicans over their vote to sever the SNAP from the bill in order to pass.  Twelve Republicans voted withe the Democrats against the revised version of the Farm Bill that left out the SNAP:
Amish (MI)
Cook (CA)
DeSantis (FL)
Duncan (TN)
Franks (AZ)
Gingrey (GA)
Huelskamp (KS)
Jones (NC)
LoBiondo (NJ)
McClintock (CA)
Salmon (AZ)
Sanford (SC)
Not Voting were six GOP and five Democrats with Republicans, Broun (GA), Campbell (CA), Hunter (CA), Rogers (MI), Schweiker (AZ), and Shimkus (IL) not voting.  

Pelosi Floor Speech Calling on House Republican Members to Oppose the Farm Bill
July 11, 2013, is a must read below:

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi took to the House floor today to call on her colleagues to oppose the House Republican Farm Bill. Below are the Leader’s remarks:

“Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.  Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding and for his tremendous leadership on behalf of feeding the American people.  It seems a very fundamental thing, biblical in nature, family-wise – a very important priority for all of us, except maybe not in this House of Representatives.    
“I want to thank Congresswoman DeLauro for her relentless, persistent advocacy to feed the hungry in our country.  But I rise today and I thank them over and over again.  I once again thank the Congressional Black Caucus.  When they came to the floor today to speak in the manner that they did against this legislation for the values of our communities, they spoke not only for the Congressional Black Caucus and for their constituents, they spoke for America.  They spoke for America.  They have fought this fight over and over again.  The inference to be drawn from their leadership on this is not that the black community is the community that benefits from food stamps, some people in the community do.   
Overwhelmingly they're people in your districts, in rural America.  They're people in rural America who really need us to pass this legislation.  You are taking food out of the mouths of your own poor constituents.

“Poverty in America, poverty.  I’m saying the word on the floor of the House: poverty, poverty, poverty, poverty.  Poverty in America seems to be a word that people get nervous about.  Poverty in America among our children is something shameful.  But it is a reality.  And it has an impact on children, to have the uncertainty in their lives that poverty brings.  And when that poverty says to those children, ‘one in four of you are going to sleep hungry tonight,’ that's just wrong.  It is wrong for America, it is not consistent with our values, it does not represent the sense of community that makes America strong and that makes America great.   
“Our democracy is as strong as we are as a people, and the middle class is the backbone of America.  The aspirations of all Americans to become part of the middle class is what we should be addressing in this Congress.  And what are we doing?  [For] 190 days we have been in this session and no jobs bill yet.  The leadership of the Republican Party says they want regular order.  They want regular order.  They passed a budget bill over three months ago.  The Senate passed a budget.  The regular order would be to go to conference, get rid of the sequester, and to proceed with a bill to invest in America – Mr. Hoyer’s ‘Make It In America,’ invest in innovation in America, build the infrastructure of America, create jobs and to do so in a way that builds community, strengthens the middle class, [and] grows our economy with jobs. 
“The distinguished leadership of this Republican Party in the House says they want regular order and they have respect for their committees.  Well, the Agriculture Committee, in a bipartisan way, in a bipartisan way, passed a bill out of committee.  I didn’t like the bill.  It wouldn’t have been a bill that I would have written, but it was – the Republicans had the leadership, Democrats cooperated, a bipartisan bill came out of committee.  The rumor was, I guess it was just a rumor, but it floated that they would respect that bill if they could come out with a bipartisan bill, it would be taken up on the floor. 
“The bill we have here, the little we know about it because it emerged in the middle of the night, bears no resemblance to the bill that came out of committee.  Actions of the Republican leadership have been disrespectful to the committee process.  Actions of the Republican leadership have been disrespectful to the committee process, so don’t hand us the regular order argument.  The audacity to split off the nutrition parts of this bill is so stunning, it would be shocking – except this is a house of shocks.  
“I would say it was one of the worst things you’ve done, but there is such stiff competition for that honor that I can’t really fully say that.  But when you take food out of the mouths of babies and you prevent a bill from going forward that addresses our food banks and our nutrition needs and the rest for our country, what are you thinking?  Or are you thinking? 
Or are you thinking?  
Read Full Speech of Minority Leader Pelosi's Floor Speech on the Farm bill that passed the Farm Bill 216 - 208 with not one Democrat voting for passage of the bill.  

Friday, July 19, 2013

Today's Republican Party has been Taken Over by the Hard Right, Libertarians, John Birchers, and Tea Party

First came Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves, then Teddy Roosevelt in the early part of the 20th century who some now call the first 'Progressive' who believed in saving the environment, and then Dwight Eisenhower (Ike) who decided all children had a right to the same education and integrated schools in American starting in Arkansas.  Today those 'Progressives' could not be elected as Republicans.

The article from Politicususa, Conservatives are Terrified by America's Rising Surge of Liberalism,  by Sarah Jones made me chuckle.  The very thought that a liberal or progressive would have a worthwhile agenda doesn't compute in their brains.  They have swallowed the koolaid that only 'conservatives' know all the answers and that Obama and the Democrats are ALWAYS wrong.

Know all about the pushing of the Conservative agenda or thought I did because I was a conservative before the Koch Bros Tea Party took over the GOP and the Party went hard right.  Never was a social conservative even years ago it put me in the moderate column.  Huge supporter of National Security and have discovered so are a lot of Progressives starting with President Obama.

There is no better friend to our veterans, military, and their families then the Obama's.  The First Lady, Michelle Obama, has made so many visits to our military installations that the MSM ignores.  The families love her because she talks one on one and really cares - nothing phony about her.  Her outreach into the military community has earned her accolades from people I know who never thought she would do such a tremendous job working with the families.  When you hear spouses who testified before Congress talk, they you about how they were welcomed to the White House by The First Lady before going to Congress.  She put them at ease.

Our environment has a true friend in the White House today with the push toward renewable energy.  Have had some ask if he is the second Teddy Roosevelt who is now deemed the first Progressive by the hard right -- trust me that is not a compliment.  Now conservative are afraid the American people are buying into saving the environment and wants to call  us all liberals.  That is one badge I would proudly wear as a conservationist.  I would rather err on the side of the environment then have my head buried in the sand.

Bartlett who was never one of my favorites has it all wrong because President Obama is a strong leader who actually doesn't care who gets the credit as long as it passes and it works.  He will listen to ideas from a lot of different people which IMHO makes the best leader possible.  He looks for issues that benefit all Americans just not a political party which makes some liberals angry as we see from time to time with Chris Matthews, MSNBC, and his meltdowns when Obama doesn't do what he thinks he should.

Bartlett has made me realize that I stopped being a conservative a long time before I would admit it to myself.   Now I find myself supporting a progressive agenda after living in a city that believes in renewable energy, recycling, and fix infrastruture which are all three missing in the conservative movement of the day.  Norman welcomes people from around the world to our town and want them to feel welcome while at The University of Oklahoma.  When we first moved here, we lived across the street from a Petroleum professor from Venzuela.  Around the corner was a professor from South Africa.  We have over 100 foreign students every year on campus so we are a multi-national city.  

Mayor Cindy Rosenthal who was just elected to her third term as Mayor is overseeing the growth of Norman in a responsible manner.  Bartlett wouldn't do well with our Mayor and the fact we are a 'tree city' supporting renewable energy, smart grid with smart meters, wind power, and CNG to run our fleet of city vehicles along with a huge upgrade to our infrastructure thanks to the stimulus dollars and bonds passed by city residents.   Guess you could call us a progressive city in Bartlett's world.  Environmental friendly  for Norman residents is very high on the list of the Mayor, City Manager, and City Council.  Some conservatives call us 'liberal' in Norman but if this is what being 'liberal' is all about, count me in!
Strong liberalism is on the rise, Bruce Bartlett announces rather sadly in the Fiscal Times, as you would expect for a supply-side economics expert who was a policy adviser to Reagan. Liberalism is on the rise, it’s going to take over just like conservatism did, because people like liberal ideas like a minimum wage and taxing the rich, he tells us. 
But before Bartlett gets to the super sad part about how conservatives have no ideas and liberalism might just get somewhere if only they had a strong leader, Bartlett has to drag liberalism-in-action through the mud, chock full of the usual FDR resentment (“free stuff” isn’t written anywhere, but you can hear the whispers). He opines, “One can argue about how liberal Obama is, but it is obvious that he has not been a transformational president. It is clear that the energy remains on the Republican side with almost all policy issues debated within a conservative framework.”
This is how Republicans comfort themselves, but it’s actually not accurate. The framework of a policy argument is not set by the President; it’s a cultural matter, as all policy debate really is. Yes, Democrats and liberals need to do a better job of reframing issues if they want to win hearts and minds. The media is stuck in the stone age when Republican frames were all the rage. 
But also, Obama has been very liberal via an incremental approach to long term paradigm shifting. Only someone who hasn’t actually read what was in the stimulus thinks Obama isn’t liberal, and isn’t enacting a very liberal agenda. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone. Republicans would really freak out if they knew.
Michael Grunwald’s “The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era” breaks it down:
As ambitious and far-reaching as FDR’s New Deal, the Recovery Act is a down payment on the nation’s economic and environmental future, the purest distillation of change in the Obama era. 
The stimulus has launched a transition to a clean-energy economy, doubled our renewable power, and financed unprecedented investments in energy efficiency, a smarter grid, electric cars, advanced biofuels, and green manufacturing. It is computerizing America’s pen-and-paper medical system. Its Race to the Top is the boldest education reform in U.S. history. It has put in place the biggest middle-class tax cuts in a generation, the largest research investments ever, and the most extensive infrastructure investments since Eisenhower’s interstate highway system. It includes the largest expansion of antipoverty programs since the Great Society, lifting millions of Americans above the poverty line, reducing homelessness, and modernizing unemployment insurance. Like the first New Deal, Obama’s stimulus has created legacies that last: the world’s largest wind and solar projects, a new battery industry, a fledgling high-speed rail network, and the world’s highest-speed Internet network.
But it’s a comfort to Republicans to pretend that Obama hasn’t fundamentally changed America, that he’s been inept. 
Ironically, Obama has been a better fiscal leader than any Republican of late. He’s shown restraint, responsibility, integrity, and character. He paid for his healthcare reform program – a program based on a liberal idea but implemented using competition as its foundation. Is Obama moderate? No, but he’s wise and has a solid temperament. He is not an extremist, a fact which does not preclude being a strong liberal unless you only see liberals as they were stereotyped in the 1960s. Obama picks up on good ideas and he doesn’t care where they come from. This causes many to view him inaccurately based on that one idea.
We are running monthly surpluses today thanks to President Obama and Democrats in Congress who had the foresight to see what needed to be done to help the Country move forward.  Think how far we would be if the obstructionist Republican conservatives in Congress had come on board to work with President Obama instead of fighting him every step of the way with obstruction.

When you have a party that meets the night of the inauguration in 2009 to plot strategy to block anything Obama attempted to do to help the Country, you have a party devoid of ideas and ethics.  Today's Republican Party is shallow with little empathy for those less fortunate.  Instead of reaching out to help, they want to throw the poor and less fortunate overboard by cutting foodstamps, healthcare, and minimum wage for starters.

Conservatives have allowed themselves to be run by the Libertarian/John Birch Koch Bros and other wealthy donors for years.  These people don't have the best interest of Americans at heart but their bottom line as they want to accumulate even more money.  Being one of the richest people in the world is not good enough as they want to run the Country with their agenda where the wealthy gets richer thanks to no regulations or minimum wage while the middle class and poor get poorer.

Very happy with my choice to become a Progressive supporting public education, programs that help those less fortunately, our veterans and military, women's rights, civil rights for all, the environment, immigration reform, affordable health care, and the list goes on as we move forward not backward like conservatives want to do today.

First came Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves, then Teddy Roosevelt in the early part of the 20th century who some now call the first 'Progressive' who believed in saving the environment, and then Dwight Eisenhower (Ike) who decided all children had a right to the same education and integrated schools in American starting in Arkansas.  The Republican Party has a rich heritage that has gone the way of the dinosaur thanks to the hard right shift brought to the GOP by the Libertarian, John Birch Koch Bros who have taken over the Republican Party.  Leadership of the GOP failed to see what would happen when giving social conservatives and Koch Bros Tea Party a seat at the table as they were more concerned about raking in the dollars for the GOP any way they could.

Shift to the hard right is destroying the Republican Party of Lincoln, Teddy, and Ike.  More and more Republicans are shifting their allegiance away from the Republican Party to the Progressives like President Obama who have the ideas on how to make things better.  They are tired of the 'stuck on stupid' mode of the 50's GOP.