Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Oklahoma State Agency Heads Get $40,000 to $50,000 Raises -- State Employees No Raises for Eight Years

It is unclear how many other state agency heads may have received large pay increases because agencies are not required to report the pay hikes to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services until August, said John Estus, spokesman for that agency.  Randy Ellis, The Oklahoman, who is a true investigative reporter

Just on the face of it, it is bad PR for the Governor and the Agency Heads but it is business as usual in Oklahoma -- move along nothing to see here.  Without Randy Ellis and his investigative reporting doubt if we would have known.   Almost speechless but not quite.  If I was a State Employee, I would be furious!

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin and other Republican office holders chose a Philadelphia Company to do a study on state government agency head salaries in Oklahoma where the cost of living is much lower?  This is who they chose:
Hay Group is a global management consulting firm that works with leaders to transform strategy into reality. We develop talent, organize people to be more effective and motivate them to perform at their best.
Why would they choose the Hay Group out of Philadelphia plus why would any State Agency in Oklahoma give a $40,000 or $50,000 pay raise to anyone when the state employees have received no raise in eight years?  The Governor's Office said -- it is because the study on raises for state employees is not finished.  What a cop-out.  Wish I could take back my vote for 2010.  This is insanity at any level but in the State of Oklahoma where we rank dead last or near last in many categories including teacher salaries.  The State School Superintendent wants to give a $2,000 raise to teachers who are ranked 49th in the nation for pay but after the $2,000 they will still be ranked 49th.  Yet we give the head of Tourism a $40,000 pay increase for being on the job 2 1/2 years.  The best one is the new Secretary of State going from $90,000 to $140,000 a year which is $50,000 salary increase for the former Speaker of the OK House.

Next question -- Where are the Democrat voices in this travesty?  So far I can find no comments out of Democrat Chair Wallace Collins.  I swear Republicans put him in office as he does next to nothing and you never hear a peep out of him no matter how great the travesty.  It is like Oklahoma Democrats have no voice in Oklahoma right now.  Republicans can do whatever they want and the State Democrats don't challenge them.  It is amazing to sit and observe the crickets out of the State Democratic Party. Yet they wonder why people don't switch who are totally fed up with the Republican Party?

To put this in perspective, regular members of Congress are paid $172,000 a year and maintain two residences with DC being very expensive.  Cost of living in OK is relatively cheap compared to other states and the new Secretary of State gets a $50,000 pay raise done by a study out of a firm in PA? You cannot equate salaries of Government employees with the private sector -- it doesn't compute for those that want to compare to oil and gas executive salaries to state Government.  No one deserves this type of pay raise - noted they went for the top amount recommended almost every time.

Where is the accountability to the taxpayers?  The whole process should be transparent and every Oklahoman informed of what the heads of agencies make.  Lt Gov Lamb was right to vote against this IMHO!  He was one of two honest people on the Tourism board appointed by the Governor so no one needs to say that she has no input as she and the legislature appoint the board members.    

State employees haven't had a raise in 8 years, yet the Boards of State Agencies appointed by the Governor are giving $40,000 to $50,000 raises which are obscene to heads of their agencies.  The new Secretary of State who works directly for the Governor is getting a $50,000 raise even though he was just hired.  BTW Chris Benge is the former Speaker of the Oklahoma House.

Oklahoma state legislature is one of the highest paid of surrounding states for four months of session every year and yet get year around healthcare provided by the State.  Thought Democrats were bad when we first moved here but the GOP has caught up and gone around them in wasting taxpayer dollars.  That tax cut never should have happened last session until schools are fully funded, infrastructure is fixed, and state employees get a decent wage among other items.  Discovering ALEC controls this state makes me shake my head.

FYI, Deby Snodgrass, who now heads tourism was part of the original consulting firm of now Congressman Tom Cole, known as Cole, Hargrove, and Snodgrass.  Is the picture clearer?  Anyone involved in politics here knows there are several factions in the GOP from the last Governor's race. Suffice to say that Snodgrass's former partner was not on the same side as the current Governor.

Still stunned at how high these raises are for heads of agencies we know about - who knows how high some others are because they don't have to report until August 2014.
Oklahoma agency heads granted five-digit pay increases 
Oklahoma Tourism Executive Director Deby Snodgrass was granted a $40,000 pay increase last week, making her the latest of several state agency heads to be awarded huge salary increases and sparking criticism from the Oklahoma Public Employees Association. 
By Randy Ellis Modified: October 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm • Published: October 28, 2013 
Oklahoma Tourism Executive Director Deby Snodgrass was granted a $40,000 pay increase last week, making her the latest of several state agency heads to be awarded five-digit salary increases and sparking criticism from the Oklahoma Public Employees Association.

Tom Dunning, communications coordinator for the Oklahoma Public Employees Association, said the raises are frustrating to rank-and-file state employees — many of whom have gone years without raises and been told by lawmakers that they would have to await the results of a compensation study due out in November before they would be given pay hike consideration. 
“These raises should only happen after the study is released and the state begins addressing front line staff pay,” Dunning said. “Raising top administrators' pay while their staff waits sends a message to staff that the top jobs are important and the other jobs are not. This just further demoralizes state agency staff, many of whom have not had a raise in years.” 
Besides Snodgrass, other state agency heads confirmed by The Oklahoman to have received large pay increases this year include Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Director Stan Florence, whose pay was increased by nearly $47,000 in June; Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Commissioner Terri White, whose salary was raised by nearly $40,000 in September; and state Banking Commissioner Mick Thompson, whose salary was raised by about $14,000 in May. 
Florence's salary went from $80,138 to $127,000, White's salary rose from $133,455 to $173,318, and Thompson's salary went from $137,239 to about $151,000. 
In addition, the salary of Oklahoma's secretary of state was raised from $90,000 to $140,000 when Gov. Mary Fallin announced last week that she had appointed former House Speaker Chris Benge to succeed Larry Parman in that position, said Michael McNutt, the governor's press secretary. 
It is unclear how many other state agency heads may have received large pay increases because agencies are not required to report the pay hikes to the Office of Management and Enterprise Services until August, said John Estus, spokesman for that agency. 
The Tourism Commission voted 5-2 last week to raise Snodgrass' salary from about $86,000 to $126,508. 
Snodgrass said she was grateful for the raise. 
“I am humbled and grateful to the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Commissioners for the trust and faith they have placed in me,” she said. “They have decided to increase my compensation to the midpoint established in the OMES Human Capital Management Division's Agency Director Salary Review.” 
“Tourism is a $7.1 billion industry in Oklahoma and continues to experience significant growth, year over year. It is the state's third-largest industry. I am honored to serve in this position and help fine tune this vital economic engine so the industry can go further and faster toward revenue increases and job growth that benefits all Oklahomans.” 
Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb cast one of the two votes against the pay increase. Lamb, who serves as chairman of the commission, said his vote was “no reflection on the job of the director or the tourism staff.” 
“They work very hard for the people, but I believe we should be very diligent in how we spend taxpayers' money,” Lamb said. “At this time with our state budget, and also with the current study that is taking place … with all the state employees, that gave me a little pause. And a greater pause and concern that I have is that we're currently in the middle of a state trooper shortage … and the trooper pay in the state is significantly low compared to the region.” 
Law enforcement is a “core function” of government and should get top consideration, he said. 
Many of this year's executive pay increases are linked to a study of agency director salaries done by the Hay Group, a consulting firm retained by the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services to recommend maximum and minimum salaries for each position. The Legislature directed the Office of Management and Enterprise Services to have the study done in HB 1717. 
Read More at The Oklahoman about this travesty
Going to take a while to get over this because it makes little to no sense to give that big of raises to state employees.  It is like taxpayer dollars are being used to buy support for the Governor's re-election campaign by making sure the agency heads are very well paid in a state with a low cost of living.  Note to boards -- Oklahoma is not on the east or west coast with high cost of living but you just gave out huge raises like we are.

Most people I have talked with since I found this last night are appalled and asking why would Oklahoma do this when they refuse to fully fund education or or infrastructure.  The Governor won't even allow a bond to be put to the vote of the people to provide safe rooms in our schools but she has no problem with huge pay raises for her appointees.  Something is wrong!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Air Force Academy Follows Constitution on Cadet Oath While Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family, Throws a Temper Tantrum!

Perkins says he wants to know “Who’s running the United States Air Force: General Mark Welsh or Mikey Weinstein?” It turns out who is running the United States Air Force is the United States Constitution, the document the Religious Right most loathes.

When the Constitution says "Freedom of Religion" the founders didn't say that we all had to worship the same God or worship a God at all.  They said we have the freedom to worship as we please. Shame the evangelicals never got that through their heads as they try to tell the rest of us how to think and lead our lives.  This is the latest in the campaign to make America all evangelical which will never happen. Perkins makes money when he goes after things like this.  Would be dollars are flowing into Focus on the Family this week to support Perkins fight against the Academy.  IMHO this is nothing more than a fundraising gimmick.

The Cadet Chapel at the Air Force Academy is beautiful especially when you come in from the north entrance and look at the Chapel against the Rocky Mountains.  No matter your faith, your religion, or no religious beliefs it is a beautiful structure that is just as impressive inside.  Some facts about the Chapel are listed below the picture.  The Academy as a whole is beautiful but this Chapel is magnificent!  If you are in Colorado Springs, please take the time to go visit the public areas of the Academy and take a tour - you won't be disappointed.

Soaring 150 feet toward the Colorado sky, the Air Force Academy Chapel is an all-faith house of worship designed to meet the spiritual needs of cadets. It contains a separate chapel for Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and Buddhist religious faiths, plus two all-faiths worship rooms. There are two main levels, with the Protestant nave on the upper level (seats 1200). 
The Catholic (seats 500), Jewish (seats 100) and Buddhist chapels are located beneath it. Beneath this level is located a large all-faiths room and two meeting rooms. Each chapel has its own entrance, and services may be held simultaneously without interfering with one another. 

The worship area known as the Cadet Chapel - Falcon Circle came about through a request from the Air Force Academy's followers of Earth-Centered Spirituality, an umbrella of traditions that includes Wicca, Paganism and Druidism. 
Note to Tony Perkins from Focus on the Family -- General Welsh is upholding the Constitution something the evangelicals of this Country more and more are ignoring unless it is the 2nd amendment which they have trampled on with their own version.  Guess Perkins missed the part that 'so help me God' is not part of the oaths at the Naval or West Point Academies.  
The West Point equivalent oath does not include the words "so help me God," said Frank DeMaro, a school spokesman. It states, "A cadet will not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do." 
Officials at the U.S. Naval Academy did not immediately return a call. "The Honor Concept" on the Naval Academy website includes similar proscriptions against lying, cheating and stealing but includes no religious reference.
Today it is no longer part of the AF Academy oath but we didn't hear him railing about the Naval Academy or West Point.  Is is because the AF Academy shares Colorado Springs with the religious hard right Focus on the Family that under Perkins has lost all sense of reality?

When I read this at The Examiner, all I could was think that the evangelical community has effectively jumped the shark and lost all common sense when Perkins is their spokesman who couldn't even get the facts right on George Washington:
Once again, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has deliberately attempted to confuse tolerance with religious persecution.
Tony Perkins still hasn't figured out that supporting any measure he disagrees with is not unconstitutional. 
Perkins, who had previously called President Obama's "pro-homosexual agenda" a "breach of trust", attacked Obama and his administration in his most recent fundraising letter for "colluding" with the Southern Poverty Law Center as part of some sinister plan to create a totalitarian government. 

"The President needs to be exposed for colluding with the SPLC to stifle debate on social policy issues by means of intimidation, fear-mongering, and spreading lies," he writes.  
"The majority of Americans do not agree with the President's leftist agenda to remake our country into a socialist state ruled by a totalitarian government bureaucracy. And the President knows this. So he is using—and abusing—his presidency to steamroll the American people and implement his radical vision for America." 
Perkins has been rhetorically at war with the SPLC since it designated the Family Research Council an anti-gay hate group in 2010.
In response to complaints from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the Air Force announced that the phrase "so help me God" at the end of the Honor Oath was now optional. 
Extra emphasis on that last word: Optional. As in cadets can still say "so help me God" if they elect to. 
Tony Perkins, however, asserts that the new policy is not only discriminatory to Christians, but disrespectful to George Washington.
"Anti-Christian crusader Mikey Weinstein recently probed the Air Force Academy," Perkins said on his radio show today. "The Air Force Academy Superintendent responded in 68 minutes, when he marked down his objections to the phrase, 'So help me God,' contained in the Academy honor code. ...
His (Weinstein) complaint this time was a poster that included the honor oath with the phrase, 'So help me God.' Lieutenant General Michelle Johnson said the oath is being reviewed because the Academy values an inclusive environment that promotes dignity and respect for all. 
"Really? Does that include those like General George Washington who initiated the phrase, 'So help me God,' or does that inclusion only make room for those who want to dismantle America's Christian heritage?" 
There's just one problem: There is no evidence whatsoever that George Washington ever said "So help me God" during his oath. James Madison excluded the words "So help me God" while working on a committee drafting an oath bill, and there is no documentation of Washington having added it back in. 
In fact, according to George Mason University history professor Peter Henriques, the first documented case of a President adding the words "so help me God" to his oath was that of Chester A. Arthur in 1881. 
Or, in a nutshell, Perkins attempted to attack religious freedom as religious persecution by presenting a myth as history: The political stupidity equivalent of a double-play.
The last paragraph made me chuckle as more and more we are finding the religious hard right like Tony Perkins using myths for facts.  Since when is following the Constitution, against Christianity.  Members of all religious faiths just not evangelicals can still use the words 'so help me God' if they choose but it doesn't mean every one is subjected to the same words if they choose to leave them out.  People like Perkins are acting more and more like dictators as time marches on.  It is their version of everything like someone died and made them king.  I don't need Tony Perkins and his ilk to tell me how to live my life or what to do.

This much to do about nothing which seems to describe the hard right of today!

Monday, October 28, 2013

'Worthless' GOP House About to Work Even Less Days in 2013!

"You guys are worthless!"  Hecklers to GOP Press Conference, 1 October 2013

Truer words were never spoken then calling this bunch of Republican Congressional welfare and drama queens worthless!   Taking a full salary when you work less then 1/3 of the time and passing so few bills makes them the worst Congress in modern history if not all of history.

Another week has started and House Republicans are already trying to figure out how to work even less days between now and the end of the year.  They are nothing more today then Congressional welfare recipients ripping off the American taxpayers for their salaries and expenses.  They are the most incompetent and annoying in history with their lack of passing legislation.  How they can rip off the taxpayers and then go back to their districts and face them -- wait a second -- most don't hold face to face Town Halls today so they don't have to face us.   They did have to face a few people at a press conference following their shutdown of Government which is priceless:

Guess this means no Immigration Bill, no Jobs Bills, no Veterans bills, etc., as they prefer not to vote on anything.  Should be no votes, no pay!  If any of us pulled this stunt on our jobs we would be fired but then we were be fired for drinking on the job like the GOP House was doing before that Saturday night vote on the shutdown.  No wonder they were happy -- they were drunk.  When you hear reporters talking about you could smell alcohol when they walked by, then you have a major problem. IMHO if they drink on the job, they should resign immediately.  Since the current GOP House Members have the ethics of a gnat, don't expect to see that happen.

From comes this gem:
Republicans are pondering canceling some of the remaining days in their session because they can’t come up with anything to do now that their efforts to defund ObamaCare, shut down the government and take us to the brink of default have failed. It’s not as if Speaker Boehner would actually allow a vote on real legislation, after all. 
Politico reported:
For the first time in months, House Republicans are facing no immediate cataclysmic deadlines, and GOP leaders are struggling to come up with an agenda to fill the 19 legislative days that are left in 2013. 
Need evidence? The House votes Monday evening and will finish its work week Wednesday. After that, the House is out of session until Nov. 12. Internally, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and senior Republicans aren’t discussing coming back early from the scheduled recess, but instead, they are wondering if they’ll cancel some of the remaining days in session.   
This shouldn’t be a surprise. The Republican-led House has set records for working fewer days and passing the least amount of legislation. In December of 2012, we reported that even though House Republicans are going to be in session for only 126 days in 2013, they are still demanding their full $174,000 salary. 
With that salary, House Republicans have wasted taxpayer money on pretend ObamaCare repeal votes, witch hunts over scandals they made up and fed to the press with lies, they wasted 24 billion on their government shutdown, and now they’re wasting more money on glitch hunts. They are not passing any actual legislation, however, which is their actual job. 
In July, we reported that this 113th Congress was historically lazy, having passed only 16 legislative items in six months. The 112th Congress set another historic low of 23 legislative items passed by the same time of year. “They made history as the most unproductive session since the 1940s (records only go back to 1947) for passing only 220 laws. For perspective, President Harry Truman labeled his Congress the “Do-Nothing Congress” for passing just 906 laws.”  
Excerpts: 
Following are more stories about the 'worthless' GOP House:
House Plans No Immigration Vote in 2013
House Republican leadership has no plans to vote on any immigration reform legislation before the end the year.  —  The House has just 19 days in session before the end of 2013, and there are a number of reasons why immigration reform is stalled this year.
GOP may vote again to delay Obamacare
The House Republican with direct oversight of Obamacare hinted that the GOP might, once again, vote to delay a critical component of the health care law. 
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) hinted Friday that the House might vote to delay the sign-up date for Obamacare. The current enrollment period lasts through March.
House leaders plot new fall GOP strategy
On Monday, House GOP chiefs of staff are meeting with leadership and the House Administration Committee on how members and staff will handle enrollment in the health care exchanges mandated under ACA. Boehner and House Republicans unsuccessfully pushed legislation that would end the government’s employer contribution to health care for lawmakers and aides. Now that they have to sign up, House Republicans face numerous questions on how to do so and who is covered. 
In the meantime, it appears that the House will — once again — vote to delay portions of Obamacare, setting up another fight with Senate Democrats and the White House.
Right flanks join to push conservative goals
Building on the foundation laid by tea party godfather Jim DeMint, the right flanks of the House and Senate have been getting together for months — or in some cases years — to design an agenda around trimming food stamp benefits, impairing Obamacare, hacking away at spending and other reliable red meat. The informal group is viewed suspiciously by establishment Republicans and those in leadership, but conservatives say there’s nothing to hide.   
“If they were secret, we wouldn’t have done it at Tortilla Coast,” said Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.), referring to a meeting at the Capitol Hill eatery with Cruz and other conservatives two days before a crucial debt ceiling deadline this month. “We were very transparent that we were talking to one another.”
Senior Republican aides in both chambers — often furious with the scheming of the new brand of congressional Republicans — describe the relationship between the right flanks in the House and Senate as dictatorial. They argue Cruz and Lee come over to the lower chamber and deliver legislative marching orders that are difficult to achieve, like insisting on defunding the president’s primary legislative achievement. Democrats are quick to seize on that tension, urging that “reasonable” Republicans show some courage and stand up to the right and joking of a “Speaker Cruz” pulling the strings in the House.
Welcome to the United States Congress where many Republicans have taken their oath and tossed it out the window.  They are not for all Americans but for the Koch Bros ALEC agenda and what they are told to do by former Senator Jim DeMint who now heads Koch Bros Heritage, Freedom Works, and other organizations of the Kochs.  The hard right ideology doesn't compute with most Americans who frankly think the Tea Party is out of control with their hard right agenda who refuse to face reality while not having any common sense.  The Koch/ALEC agenda can be summed up simply with more money for the wealthy, no regulations, destroying Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid while using unlimited campaign contributions to buy more Republicans to put them in Congress.   

Have to admit that the Koch Bros bought and paid for some of the laziest members of the Republican caucus I have seen to date and they want to put more in the House and Senate.  Just say NO to the Koch Bros Tea Party and their hard right candidates in 2014! 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cong Pete Sessions ($-TX) has Zero Class by Attacking the President in a Meeting!

Barack Obama has been a good president, but he is an even better person. Jason Easley

Couldn't agree more with Easley and why the Republicans are losing people like me every day because of their hate filled rhetoric toward the President, minorities, women, veterans, gays. etc.  It is so over the top that it lends credibility that some of it is racist toward the President.
Know one thing - I regret EVER working to elect any current Republicans - wasted my time and money on liars and people with no class as we witness every day.  Their mantra of accusing others of what they are doing is beyond disgusting.  When Cong Joe Wilson yelled "you lie" at the President during the State of the Union, I thought it was in poor taste but unfortunately, Pete Sessions (R-TX) topped that by a mile at a White House Meeing on the Shutdown and Debt Ceiling:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told his Democratic caucus last week in a private meeting that a top House Republican said to President Barack Obama, “I cannot even stand to look at you,” according to two Democratic senators who were present. 
The account was confirmed by two Senate Democratic aides who said they independently learned of the exchange from other senators. 
The two senators who spoke to HuffPost did not hear the Republican make the remark, but said a top White House aide who was present later told Senate Democratic leaders that the lawmaker who said he couldn’t stand to look at the president was Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Rules Committee. 
Reid then told the caucus about the incident on Tuesday and named Sessions, according to one of the two Democratic senators who spoke to HuffPost. Reid also told the caucus that he was “sorry” to have to tell them about it, per this senator, but gave Obama credit for his “dignified” response to Sessions. Reid reportedly told the caucus that Obama responded to Sessions by saying he understood that they disagreed on many issues and he respected their differences.
Will never venture into Texas again (used to live there) to help another Republican in the House or anyplace else in this Country.  This shows the low class of today's Republicans and the class of the President.  President Obama should not have to put up with these GOP idiots posing as Representatives.  I wouldn't make a statement like that to someone I detested no matter who it was. Shows Pete Sessions has zero respect for the Office of the Presidency.  Wish I could say his district would toss him but it is Texas and they have a low threshold for Republicans to pass.  Absolutely disgusting.

Must admit that I was one of those that figured the Durbin story was correct about what the GOP House Member had said to Obama - I just had the wrong GOP Member as I could see Cantor doing something like that but Sessions?  That shows how far right and negative the GOP is today in the House.  I couldn't see Kevin McCarthy or John Boehner saying that but others - definitely:
Sen. Dick Durbin’s claim about about the insult to the president was flatly denied by the White House, because this administration has a policy of ignoring and downplaying comments and events that could be viewed as racial attacks against this president.
Many people who follow politics, and understand the hatred that many congressional Republicans have for this president, suspected that Sen. Durbin was telling the truth. 
Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats Senators and aides have now confirmed the story.
Been saying there were more then 30-40 hard right that were holding up a deal on the continuing resolutions and the debt ceiling.  IMHO this confirms that supposition.  It is more like 2/3rds of the GOP Conference is now hard right.  Not one Texas Republican voted to reopen Government or raise the debt ceiling.  Shows how hard right the Texas delegation has gone starting with Sen Cruz -- good chance they will lead the way for a takeover of Texas by Democrats in the next four years as more and more Republicans get fed up with the hard right lunge of the GOP.

If I was a Texas Democrat I would be going after Sessions seat,  Unlike what the Texas GOP spins not every Texas Republican hates this President or are hard right.  The problem is that only the hard right is heard in the Republican Party today and the rest of us have been told to take a hike more than once.

Some of these GOP strategists that go on the cable news shows repeat GOP rhetoric with their stupid comments but then in order to represent the Republican Party today you would to be hard right yourself or stupid because people with common sense could never defend the GOP of today.

President Obama showed class while Rep Pete Sessions is a classless jerk which represents the GOP well today who cannot seem to get over they lost the election.  Here's to many, many more losses by the hard right Republican Party!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Judge Key Leaves GOP to Run as Democrat in San Antonio while FreedomWorks Matt Kibbe Details Plan for Tea Party Takeover of GOP

“My principles have led me to the Democratic Party,” Key said

When Judge Key of San Antonio says that the Republican Party has left him, that is probably the biggest understatement of the year.  There are thousands of us like Judge Key that can no longer call ourselves Republican after the hard right lunge of the Republican Party to a radical agenda that is going backwards in time to where minorities and women could not vote.  

From comments I have seen on the internet over the last ten years, the desire of many white male Republicans and third party members has been that only white males should be allowed to vote since all the Founding Fathers were white males.  Thought it was a joke gone wrong and treated it as such.  Lo and behold, they were serious and those people now are leaders in the 'old' Republican Party with 'old' ideas they still adhere to from the 'old' South.  Many still want to fight the Civil War and see if they can win this time.  In fact, they are acting like they are fighting a Civil War to take over the Country and put only southern white males in charge.  Many of them still consider Mitt Romney an epic fail as he may have been a white male but he was no southerner and governed more liberal then a centrist.  How he managed to convince people he was hard right is beyond me unless he was lying as Governor of Massachusetts.  Maybe he is just a liar all the way around. 

Judge Key tells the truth on what has happened to the Republican Party and how as a Party they have left him.  The hard right Platform approved at the Convention should tell any centrist we are not welcome in the GOP.  In fact, it should tell any fiscal conservative that if they are in a Red State and don't support social issues, they are not welcome.  Matt Kibbe, Head of FreedomWorks makes that quite clear in his interview on Chris Matthews last night (see video at Raw Story link below):
“We’re in the process of repopulating the Republican party with people that stand for something,”  Matt Kibbe
That statement sent me the roof along with his comments of upgrading elected officials from Red States which means hard right candidates instead of elected officials who work for what is best for all Americans not just the hard right.  No wonder people like Judge Key have finally had it with the GOP when they keep hearing elected officials like Senators Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, and Marco Rubio, along with Govenor Rick Perry, and Lt Governor David Dewhurst go totally hard right with their off the wall rhetoric.  All of them and other hard right GOP are supported by the Koch Bros FreedomWorks headed by Matt Kibbe and other Koch organizations like the Tea Party, Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation with their Heritage Action PAC along with numerous other Koch affiliated organizations all pushing the hard right agenda to end Government as we know it today.

If I lived in San Antonio, I would definitely be out working to elect Judge Key as a Democrat  His words are refreshing on how he sees the law.  Had enough ideologue justices to last a lifetime.

“I have tried to live a life of principles,” Judge Carlos Key says in the opening of his new ad. 
The Bexar, Texas County Criminal Court #11 jurist goes on to explain how intolerance in the Republican Party both on the local and national levels has convinced him to leave the GOP he once called home, and run for re-election as a Democrat: 
I can no longer be a member of the Republican Party.  
For too long, the Republican Party has been at war with itself. Rational Republican beliefs have given way to ideological character assassinations. Pragmatism and principal have been overtaken by pettiness and bigotry. Make no mistake: I have not left the Republican Party. It left me. 
I cannot tolerate a political party that demeans Texans based on their sexual orientation, the color of their skin or their economic status. 
I will not be a member of a Party in which hate speech elevates candidates for higher office rather than disqualifying them. I cannot place my name on the ballot for a political party that is proud to destroy the lives of hundreds of thousands of federal workers over the vain attempt to repeal a law that would provide health care to millions of people throughout our country.
Key is clearly referencing the government shutdown led by the refusal of Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and the House Republican “Suicide Caucus” to fund the Affordable Care Act, which has sunk the party new lows in several polls
He’s also alluding to recent comments by Republican City Councilwoman Elisa Chan that were secretly recorded during a meeting about San Antonio’s non-discrimination policies:
You know, to be quite honest, I know this is not politically correct. I never bought in that you are born, that you are born gay. I can’t imagine it. 
I don’t think homosexual people should do adoption. … You’re going to confuse those kids. They should be banned. 
If you wanted to choose that lifestyle, we don’t want to discriminate you, but you shouldn’t affect the young people. How terrible. … They’re going to be confused. You see two men go into a bedroom. You see two women kissing. Is that not confusing? It’s confusing. 
So disgusting. 
“My principles have led me to the Democratic Party,” Key said, before giving out his Twitter handle and website address. “I can only hope more people of principle will follow me.”
Turned Hardball on last night while finishing up dinner and ended up sitting down watching the interview with Freedom Works Matt Kibbe and The Daily Beast Michael Tomasky.  Kibbee laid out in detail the Tea Party plan to take over the Republican Party which you might as well say Koch Bros plan as they are behind all these groups.  He left no doubt about how they are going to challenge any GOP in a Red State that is not hard right.  There will be plenty of money to take on incumbent GOP who are not hard right enough according to Kibbe.  I know what I would do -- I would tell the GOP to shove it and do what Judge Key is doing -- run as a Democrat.

This interview with Kibbe is unbelievable -- arrogance personified along with disdain for any one who is not hard right.  

FreedomWorks CEO promises Chris Matthews: Tea Party will ‘upgrade’ southern GOP by 2014 (via Raw Story )
Despite reports that his group is nearly broke, FreedomWorks CEO Matt Kibbe predicted in an interview with MSNBC host Chris Matthews on Monday that his group would help Tea Party Republicans dominate the GOP within a year. “I think it’s a process…

Monday, October 21, 2013

Senator Rafael 'Ted' Cruz Set to Shutdown Government Again in January - Will House Members Follow Cruz Again?

“The Hastert Rule never really existed. It’s a non-entity as far as I’m concerned.” Former Speaker Denny Hastert
While less then 10% of Americans like Ted Cruz, he goes back to Texas and the hard right gives him an eight minute standing ovation.  The Republican Party can no longer claim it is only the Tea Party that is hard right -- it is most of the party that has shifted hard right.  Over 2/3rd's of Republicans in the House and Senate voted to keep the Government shut down and default.  That flies in the face of Speaker Boehner that it was only 30-40 Tea Party they had to answer to and why they allowed the shutdown to go on so long.  He finally had to accept the support of the Democrats to reopen Government and not default.  
Turns out Boehner was lying on another front as well -- the 'Hastert Rule.'  Boehner doesn't even talk to Hastert but maybe he should as the former Speaker always included the Democrats in discussions for the good of the Country while Boehner ignores Democrats unless he really needs them and then it is for the good of Boehner as Speaker first and the Country a distant second.  Republicans in the House keep touting the "Hastert Rule" but there is not such rule according to former Speaker Dennis Hastert:
The former Republican speaker’s ‘rule,’ that you can’t bring legislation to the House floor without a majority of GOP votes, is cited as the reason Boehner can’t end the shutdown. But Hastert tells Eleanor Clift it’s a ‘non-entity’—and ‘if we had to work with Democrats, we did.’ 
There’s been a lot said in recent days about the so-called Hastert Rule. It is cited as the main reason why House Speaker John Boehner won’t allow a vote to fund the government with no Obamacare strings attached—under the rule, no legislation can be brought to the floor without a majority of Republican votes. But the rule’s namesake, former House speaker Denny Hastert, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday, “The Hastert Rule never really existed. It’s a non-entity as far as I’m concerned.”
He explained that at the 2006 press conference where he is credited with instituting the rule, he was speaking generally and philosophically. A reporter asked if Hastert, who was having trouble getting an immigration reform bill out of committee and building support in the GOP conference, couldn’t get Democrats to work with him. The genial speaker replied that relying on the other party for the bulk of votes is “something I would not generally do,” a fairly benign statement, as he remembers it now, that appears to have morphed into an ironclad rule. “Generally speaking, I needed to have a majority of my majority, at least half of my conference. This wasn’t a rule. I was speaking philosophically at the time…The Hastert Rule is kind of a misnomer.” 
Now we can safely say that Boehner and his leadership team have been lying about the non-existent Hastert rule just like they are focus testing words to use so they keep using the same words over and over again.   Is this man, Senator Rafael Ted Cruz, the de facto Speaker of the House?

Below are examples of numerous stories around the Internet about Ted Cruz and his actions including after the Government re-opened and didn't default.  Looks like Cruz is ready to shut down the Government again in January.  Cruz has trouble with the truth and facts but people still follow the jerk. That is one reason why the GOP is losing more and more people.  Cruz IMHO is nothing more then a puppet of the Koch Bros and their puppet Jim DeMint of Heritage.  Just remember that Ted Cruz is now the face of the Republican Party and believes every Republican supports him even though he is the most despised man in the Senate by both parties.  His arrogance knows no bounds. 
Even a threat that he wanted police to investigate turned out to be from Twitter not from a phone call or mail.  How do we know one of his people didn't Tweet to get him publicity?  Thin skinned Rafael 'Ted' Cruz has a true arrogance problem that has been with the Cuban descendent for a long time.

Ted Cruz Is Just the Figurehead of The Koch/DeMint Destroy Government Conspiracy
It is completely normal for human beings to focus their rage and anger at one person whom they feel assaulted them; especially if they think the person jeopardized their country’s economic health and shut down their government. It is doubtful there are many decent Americans who are not outraged at Ted Cruz for his role in the government shutdown, and it is likely he relishes the increased attention as conservatives’ messiah. Cruz appeared to be the de facto Republican leader who shut down the government and threatened a credit default as leverage to eliminate the Affordable Care Act, but the teabag hero was little more than a figurehead of a much larger conspiracy whose real leaders are teabaggers Charles and David Koch and Jim DeMint. 
While Cruz-led Republicans are plotting their next fiscal crisis to avenge their failure to tank the economy unless the President and Democrats paid a ransom, the Koch brothers and DeMint have been waging a ferocious battle to take the health law down in the states as well as in Congress. Americans should make no mistake that Republicans and their masters the Kochs and Jim DeMint will go to any lengths to derail the health law, because when all is said and done, they intend to deprive Americans from having access to healthcare regardless the cost to the nation’s economy or the people they lust to dominate. 
Americans have a two-and-a-half month respite until Republicans in Washington enact their next fiscal crisis to eliminate the health law, but Virginia residents are feeling the full effect of the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity crusade to stop a key feature of the health law, Medicaid expansion, to deny poor Virginians access to healthcare. The primary target of the Koch-funded AFP is a long-time Republican tasked with leading a commission to decide if Virginia will expand Medicaid and provide the poorest residents with basic health care services. The man, Republican state senator Emmett W. Hanger Jr. reports he is coming under heavy fire from Americans for Prosperity and their army of operatives deployed to spread Koch propaganda that expanding Medicaid is tantamount to ceding America to Adolf Hitler.
Ted Cruz and the sedition caucus never intended to raise the debt ceiling.  The 144 Republican House members and 18 Republican Senators voted against reopening the government and raising the debt ceiling because default was their goal.  Sure, they wanted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. However, that was an added sugar coating to their objective of destroying our credit rating and ultimately, repudiating our debt. 
Debt repudiation originated with Confederates who resented taxation to repay the Union’s war debt, while the Confederate debt was repudiated. That resentment is why section 4 was added to the 14th Amendment of the Constitution that the Tea Party always says it loves, but prefers to ignore. 
Bruce Barlett explains the connection between the post-war South and today’s debt repudiators.
Republicans like to say that America wanted divided government, and that’s why they are in charge of the House, but Republicans fixed that. Americans no longer want the GOP in charge of the House. 
As a new CNN/ORC poll shows Republicans losing their only base over their ObamaCare shutdown and indicates that more than half of the country is not happy with Republicans holding majority power in the House, perennially wrong Ted Cruz is claiming that Senate Republicans are the biggest problem heading into 2014. 
Cruz told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash in an interview, “The single-most damaging thing that has happened to Republicans for 2014 is all of the Senate Republicans coming out, attacking the House Republicans, attacking those pushing the effort to defund Obamacare and lining themselves up opposite of the American people.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) doesn't want another government shutdown, but Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is already egging on the next one. A power battle brewing between the two senators is growing personal ahead of the next critical deadline.
Federal government funding expires again on Jan. 15 and the two influential senators are already on a collision course after Cruz's quixotic push to defund Obamacare fell flat in the recent budget debacle and badly damaged the GOP's standing before the party surrendered
"There will not be another government shutdown," McConnell said Sunday. "You can count on that." 
Cruz, by contrast, isn't the least bit chastened after systematically undermining GOP leaders and goading his party into a self-defeating predicament. In fact, he wants a do-over.
"I would do anything, and I will continue to do anything I can to stop the train wreck that is Obamacare," said the freshman senator, when asked if he'd risk another shutdown. "What I intend to do is continue standing with the American people to work to stop
Cruz Slams His Republican Critics: They Want To ‘Inflict A Bunch Of Harm’ On Americans For Political Purposes 
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) pushed back against Republicans who have criticized his efforts to shutdown the government in an effort to defund the Affordable Care Act, arguing that they are trying to harm the American people “and hope we benefit politically.” Cruz’s remarks signal a growing rift between conservative and more moderate establishment Republicans over how to combat President Obama’s health care law as uninsured Americans begin to enroll in coverage.
While some — including Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Tom Coburn (R-OK), and John McCain (R-AZ) — are urging the party to refocus on other issues, pointing to Obamacare’s rocky implementation as proof that the law will unravel on its own, Cruz, joined by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL) and groups like FreedomWorks and the Heritage Foundation, says that Republicans should seize future budgetary fights to defund the measure. 
This man says what a lot of us have been saying for a long time and while we are helping Democrats in 2014 to Take Back the House and Keep the Senate.  A lot of us want no part of today's Koch Bros hard right Republican Party.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thank You President Obama for Standing for the American People!

This President speaks for me today.

Brookings is now saying that the Republicans in Congress are more of a threat to this Country then Al Qaeda which I happen to agree. There has been $24B taken out of our economy because of the hard right Koch Bros Tea Party 'my way or no way' group in the House and Senate. The so-called leadership had to wait 16 days before they would tell the Tea Party faction to shove it and work with Democrats.  Shows lack of spine on the part of House Leadership!

Only 1 in 3 of the House GOP Conference voted to end the shutdown and avoid default by working with Democrats to end the stalemate. Is January going to be another replay of this crap?

This also shows that there are more then 30-40 hard right Tea Party holding up reopening of Government as only 87 Republicans voted to reopen and avoid default.  We had one Representative Tom Cole here in Oklahoma vote to reopen/avoid default but the other four hard right voted to keep Government shut. Not one Texas Republican voted to open the Government and avoid default.  It shows Texas GOP is firmly following Ted Cruz, the Freshman Senator who is so arrogant that he is scary, yet the hard right loves him.  He doesn't care about the America people only the fact that he brought in a lot of money in campaign donations and now has a much larger email list - might as well have said "To He** with the American people!"

President Obama thanks the Federal Workers while the GOP attacks them.  Says all you need to know as a Federal Employee, current and retired, who stands for us -- it is the President!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

House Republicans are Still Trying to Extract Demands via Blackmail with Debt Ceiling Default Looming

Senator Sanders (I-VT) once again tells it like it is about what is happening in this video:

Senator Sanders (I-VT) takes on the Koch Brothers and their support of Congressional GOP. Well worth viewing! The Koch billionaires taking on the American people over Affordable Care Act. Koch Bros want to repeal every piece of legislation that has been passed in the last 80 years that helps the middle class, seniors, and poor. Koch Bros want to abolish the minimum wage which says all you need to know about the hard right extremists Koch Brothers.

This picture says it all about the Republican hard right -- next time you hear someone from the hard right Tea Party claim to be a Patriot, tell them to shove it. Taking the Confederate flag to the White House as part of a so-called veterans march, says it all about the hard right Tea Party. Veterans are livid that they are being used by Palin, Cruz, Lee, and other hard right when a lot of the march were people from the Values Voter Summit who never served but marched like they did.

This flag in front of White House shows how low the Tea Party has gone with their un-American activities - guess they think we are still fighting the Civil War?

It is beyond disgusting what we are seeing out of the hard right so-called Republicans who are responsible for so many of us no longer supporting or helping Republicans.  We are taking our support, our efforts, and our votes to the Democrats to oust these lowlifes.  Taking the Confederate Flag to the White with being a symbol of slavey shows the hard right has no integrity or sense of history as they attack our President.

The Koch Bros and hard right have managed to destroy the Republican Party of our parents who would not recognize this bunch of jerks.  My Father fought in WWII, my Grandfather in WWI who was gassed in Europe and died when my Dad was five, our family served in the Civil War from SE Ohio fighting for the Country and an end to slavery, and my ancestors who were here before the Revolutionary War in Virginia fought for American Independence.  

My great, great grandfather wrote a letter to President Johnson after the end of the Civil War demanding that veterans of that war receive the benefits they were promised.  Come from a long line of activists it seems.  Been around the Air Force most of my adult life and our family has been moved around the Country over the years by AFMC.  Everyone we know from our travels around the Country for the Air Force is disgusted with the Koch Bros GOP.    

The fact that a majority of the House GOP wants to continue the shutdown and default on the debt is mind boggling. House GOP is torpedoing the Senate negotiations that were almost finished.  Boehner let it be known that he was not happy with the Senate negotiations.  Now McConnell has backed off until Boehner makes a decision.   House Republicans are still trying to extract demands via blackmail.  
We cannot trust the Republicans of today as they have no ethics, honesty or now patriotism as they put facing a primary threat from the Tea Party above the Country and all of us!  Will Speaker Boehner finally stand up to the hard right or will he continue to be spineless and allow this Country to default along with keeping the Country shut down.  He has been telling the media he was against the shutdown and won't let the Country default but does he have to spine to back it up by having Democrats join with a few Republicans to pass the Senate bill.  Is Boehner's Speakership more important then the Country? We are going to find out very shortly.  I sure wouldn't bet on Boehner getting a backbone.  

Update at 4:30 p.m.:  Heritage Foundation just told Tea Party not to vote for Boehner bill tonight so the Koch Bros GOPHouse has their marching orders as they are under the thumb of Ted Cruz and Jim DeMint not the American people.  

God help us all as the House Republicans are prepared to default and nothing we can do as the Koch Bros plan is put in motion by the GOP.  Koch's should be arrested and tried for sedition IMHO along with some others like DeMint who have been cheerleading the default.    

Monday, October 14, 2013

Enough Already - Time for House GOP to "DO THEIR JOB" - Vote for a Clean CR and Debt Ceiling Hike

This is my letter from Saturday to my Congressman Tom Cole, Republican from the 4th District of Oklahoma.  I have been sending him emails voicing my disgust now for two weeks but doubt if it makes a difference:
You are probably as tired of hearing from me as I am writing but you need to understand how many of the civil service I know feel about the attacks that have been coming their way from the GOP.  They are totally disgusted.  I can only speak for white collar civil service and the hours many of them put in over 40 each week because of cutbacks.  I was one myself and my husband had 33 years before retiring and there were times on source selection and other programs he worked through the weekend without additional pay. 
 There are many more like him at all the places we have been assigned and yet GOP members of Congress attack them as worthless and overpaid.   
The answer is simple - do your job - pass a Clear CR and Debt Ceiling Hike and then negotiate.  If you hadn't negotiated in bad faith earlier, this would not be a problem but when Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted - you tainted any further negotiations.  What makes the GOP cave to the Tea Party - we all know the answer to that -- lack of backbone and refusing to stand up for the American people.   
You are the only person of our delegation who even voted for VAWA so I know you are not hard right.  Please join Peter King in speaking up instead of going along to get along.  Our district deserves better.   
Not one penny should be going to members of Congress after 1 October when you cannot pass a budget and refused 18 times to go to Conference Committee on the Budget so you could shut down Government as a Conference.  Obvious from the Saturday night video you were enjoying the possibility of a shutdown just as much as the TP.  What happened to the Tom Cole I worked for to send to Congress? 
How would you like to be working and not getting paid or be a veteran and not sure you will see another check?  If the GOP lets this Nation default all of you should resign immediately for being too stupid to pass clean bills and stop wanting something in return. 
GOP according to Boehner got 98% the last time so now you want more?  That veterans bill was a sham cutting $6.1B more then agreed.  The GOP Conference doesn't have a clue about the oath they took as you take the Nation toward default. 
Do your job! 
After I sent this, I discovered that the GOP in the House had changed the rules at the last minute to make it near to impossible for the Democrats to bring anything to the floor as they decided everything had to go through Cantor.  This is NOT what our founding fathers envisioned.  The House is supposed to represent the people but the GOP House only represents the wealthy and the hard right of the GOP like the Tea Party, social conservatives, and religious to name a few.  The rest of us in red districts are not represented by today's Republican Representatives until we live in the NE where you still find a few common sense GOP compared to the Red States.

This video says it all and shows a contempt the Koch Bros GOP House has for the American people to change a rule right before the shutdown:

Friday, October 11, 2013

OU/TX Red River Rivalry Weekend! Boomer Sooner!

This is OU/TX Red Rivalry Weekend in TX of one of the longest running rivalries in NCAA Division 1 football.  As a longtime Sooner fan, I am looking forward to the game at the Cotton Bowl stadium in the center of the Texas State Fair as the conclusion to Hate Texas! week -- made even easier this year with Cruz being a Texas Senator.  Sorry I could resist.

Go Sooners!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Hard Right GOP in Congress Continue to Get Government Pay and Benefits While Shutting Down Government

“We’re very excited,” said Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.). “It’s exactly what we wanted, and we got it.”

The crazy Tea Party crowd has spoken from the hard right as symbolized by one of their leaders Michele Bachmann who makes some of the dumbest comments I have ever seen.  This time she means every word of what she is saying.  The hard right Koch Tea Party is giddy the Government is shutdown and don't believe there is a problem if the debt ceiling is not raised as we are not going to default.  These GOP TP Members of the Congress are truly delusional plus they are also hypocritical as their pay and benefits come from the US Government.  Their pay should have been stopped when the Government shut down.
Is Speaker Boehner afraid of Bachmann?  Sure looks like it as he refuses to bring a clean CR and debt ceiling rise to the floor.  Does he have the votes to pass a clean debt ceiling rise with just Republicans with no strings attached. No way IMHO!  Why hasn't Boehner and his leadership said anything to members about knocking off the attacks on Federal Employees?  Are they too chicken?
The attacks on Federal Employees and the Government by the so-called conservatives who are on the air is beyond pale.  As a former Civil Service employee of the Air Force I know how hard we worked. We spent hours working overtime with no pay because of the Vietnam War.  You had to be careful where you drove your car with a base decal because it would keyed by the protesters.  Today's hard right remind me of the Vietnam protestors who tried to shut down Wright-Patterson AFB but failed. They tried to destroy vehicles in line at the gates by jumping up and down on them so I know the hard left and the hard right share a similar hatred of the Government.

I have met Tea Party who also demonstrated against the Vietnam War starting with my neighbor.  The vast majority of Americans are not part of the hard right or hard left.  The difference is that the Republican Party has been taken over by the hard right while the vast majority of Democrats are not hard left.  These excepts from conservatives show a lack of reality to the current situation and are driving the GOP TP in Congress to think people are with them when the vast majority of people are against what they are doing.

That is what happens when you reside in a bubble and get all your news only from conservative talk radio, Fox News, and conservative sites.  They refuse to believe anyone who has facts if those facts go against what they are told.  My neighbor honestly believe that every Civil Service employee is a worthless worker who gets nothing but freebees and pays for nothing including health insurance or retirement.  When I told him my insurance is over $400 a month or the fact that 7.5% was taken out for CSRS funding so when you retired, you still had an income.  He said I was laying because it was all free.  You cannot deal reason with people like that and now some of them are in Congress which should frighten everyone.

Then you read what some conservatives have to say and realize that my neighbor is who these people are aiming their message -- people who are told what to think and are mad at the Government about everything that goes wrong in their life.

Excerpts from OurFuture. org:
American Thinker: “…the public is learning that most of the federal government employees are not essential, and that we can get along fine with a smaller government.” 
Along the same lines, Bob Owens, formerly of Confederate Yankee, now of Bearing Arms, tweeted that: “There is no government #shutdown. There are, however, a lot of people in govt terrified that you might discover you don’t need them.” 
Heritage Foundation: Guess How Many Education Department Employees Are “Essential” 
Have you ever wondered what is going through the head of a suicide bomber at the moment he or she hits the trigger button? Just spend some time reading conservative blogs and media as they encourage each other to blow up the government. Let’s hope this fever subsides before the debt ceiling is reached. 
With that said, why does the Mainstream Media spend so much time trying to say both parties are responsible when in this instance the shutdown is all the responsibility of the GOP TP House.  Even some members of the House like Rep Peter King (R-NY) say it is the fault of the GOP TP led by Senator Ted Cruz agrees it is the GOP fault, but that doesn't stop the conservative media led by Fox News and others from blaming Democrats and attacking Civil Service employees.

Then there are those on the right like Erick Erickson of Red State who want the Government shut down through the 2014 election.  Are they really that stupid to think a Government shutdown is going to help the economy when it is going to destroy not help?  
Many conservatives are hoping the shutdown will prove to Americans that they don’t need government at all. For example, Erick Erickson at RedState
The fight must be to either now keep government shut down till the Democrats blink or drive from office Republicans who vote to fund Obamacare.
In the meantime, life will go on. Americans will see they really can get along without Washington’s constant, daily interference in their lives.

We are not dealing with rational people here but people who have become convinced that the Government is evil or at least until the Republicans take charge.  GOP is who drove up the deficit with new programs and a phony war in Iraq.  Where were these so-called patriots then?  How about all those people not only in the Government but contractors who depend on federal contracts or those farmers who depend on subsidies, or mothers and babies who depend on WIC and the list goes on and on.

If you are a Government employee or retired Civil Service, I would like to know how you can listen or watch the likes of Fox News and hard right conservatives on the air like Laura Ingraham or Rush or Hannity:

Laura Ingraham on shutdown: ‘I’m just beginning to enjoy it’
“Do you like the government shutdown?” host Laura Ingraham asked a caller to her program Tuesday. “I’m beginning to enjoy it.” 
Courtside Entertainment Group’s The Laura Ingraham Show complained about freebies being given to furloughed federal employees by businesses, dismissing the giveaways as publicity stunts. 
“I think the freebies encourage entitlement mentality,” Ingraham said. 
The radio host said federal workers had made a choice to work for the government, which she described as being $16.9 trillion in debt and an inherently “unstable, unreliable organization.” 
“The largest employer in the United States is not to be trusted in the way it handles money, OK, (but) that was your decision,” Ingraham said. “You wanted to work for the federal government; that’s fine, but then we shouldn’t have to bail you out, we — private industry or the federal taxpayers — when the thing goes belly-up. That’s not our responsibility.”
From The Daily Caller -- are they that stupid to believe that the National Park shutdown was to turn the public against Congress aka Republican House?  They didn't need to shut down any Parks for anyone with a brain to turn against the GOP House Tea Party obstructions and their other members supporting the Tea Party.  The Daily Caller will never be known as anything but a conservative Koch TP shill site:
This isn’t an accident. Joan Anzelmo, a former spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park told the San Jose Mercury News that shutting down the parks was a tactic used by the White House to turn public opinion against Congress.
The blogger community has been posting the nasty comments about Federal workers with the shutdown while the MSM keeps ignoring preferring to blame both sides for the shutdown when the blame rests squarely at the feet of the Cruz House GOP TP.  Twenty times the Democrats asked for a joint committee to be established on the budget and 20 times Cruz blocked it in the Senate and Boehner refused to nomination anyone from the House.  Explain to me why the shutdown has anything to do with Democrats as Majority Leader Reid accepted the Republican numbers for a budget to avoid a shutdown.  That didn't work because you cannot depend on the Republican House TP leadership of John Boehner to keep his word as he plays both sides.  
We've seen a lot of weird reactions on the right wing to the Government Shut down. These range from "it doesn't matter" to "its terrible" but one thing that really strikes me is the rage and antipathy that has been displayed towards Federal Workers themselves.  It doesn't strike me as unusual, but it does strike me as significant.  Yesterday's on air rant by Stuart Varney makes it pretty explicit: Federal Workers and, indeed, the entire Government are failing Stuart Varney. They cost too much and they do too little.  In fact: they are so awful they don't even deserve to be paid for the work they have already done. Contracts, agreements, and labor be damned. If Stuart Varney isn't happy then they deserve to be fired. Here's the quote if you haven't seen it:
HOWELL: Do you think that federal workers, when this ends, are deserving of their back pay or not?
VARNEY: That is a loaded question isn't it? You want my opinion? This is President Obama's shutdown. He is responsible for shutting this thing down; he's taken an entirely political decision here. No, I don't think they should get their back pay, frankly, I really don't. I'm sick and tired of a massive, bloated federal bureaucracy living on our backs, and taking money out of us, a lot more money than most of us earn in the private sector, then getting a furlough, and then getting their money back at the end of it. Sorry, I'm not for that. I want to punish these people. Sorry to say that, but that's what I want to do. 
JACOBSON: But it's not their fault. It's not the federal employees' fault. I mean, that's what I'm sick of, I hate and it makes me anxious, to see people who are victimized because of a political fight. 
VARNEY: I take your point Amy, it is not directly their fault, but I'm looking at the big picture here. I'm getting screwed. Here I am, a private citizen, paying an inordinate amount of money in tax. I've got a slow economy because it's all government, all the time. And these people are living on our backs, regulating us, telling us what to do, taxing us, taking our money, and living large. This is my chance to say "hey, I'm fed up with this and I don't miss you when you're on furlough." Sorry if that's a harsh tone, but that's the way I feel.
We need to thank President Obama for standing with federal employees:
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says long-standing views that federal workers are lazy or don't do important work have contributed to the government shutdown.Some 800,000 civilian government employees were idled when the shutdown began Oct. 1, but about 350,000 civilian Defense Department workers were recently called back to work.
Obama says federal employees work hard daily providing a range of services to veterans, business owners, potential homeowners and others. 
He says he's been distressed by anti-federal worker rhetoric he calls "damaging and destructive." He says a contributing factor in the shutdown is the attitude that civil service workers somehow aren't providing important services and value to the country. 
Obama says politicians who complain about federal workers are "dead wrong." 
He commented in an interview Wednesday with Washington TV station WRC-TV.
If you are a federal employee, think twice before ever voting for a Republican again because they don't have your back!  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Koch Bros Tea Party Responsible for Government Shutdown and Destruction of Common Sense in GOP

“At least let’s name this for what it is — sabotage of the democratic process. Secession by another means.” Moyers said. “And let’s be clear about where such reckless ambition leads. As surely as night must follow day, the alternative to democracy is worse.”  

First picked up the video of Billy Moyers from his site with a short commentary:
Bill Moyers Essay: On the Sabotage of DemocracyOctober 4, 2013 
This week’s government shutdown has consequences for all of us, costing an estimated $300 million each day that the government is closed for business. Many Americans have voiced their frustrations with the fallout from the shutdown on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter using the hash tag #DearCongress. Here, Bill Moyers shares his own thoughts on the shutdown, and the resulting sabotage of democracy. 
“When the president refused to buckle to this extortion, they threw their tantrum,” Bill says. “Like the die-hards of the racist South a century and a half ago, who would destroy the union before giving up their slaves, so would these people burn down the place, sink the ship.” He goes on to tell us where the “reckless ambition” of the Republicans could lead us.
After watching this video, I watched some others and forgotten how much I have enjoyed Bill Moyers over the years and how each and every time whether I agreed or not, he has put his thoughts into a clear and concise editorial on what is happening in DC.  This is one of those times where he nailed what is happening to the Republican Party that has been taken over by the hard right Koch Bros Tea Party who really 'have sucked the last bit of soul' from the GOP.  

Greg Sargent at The Plum Line has this to say this morning about the Democrats backing a debt ceiling increase with a bill:
Senate Democrats are planning to start the process this week for a Senate vote on a clean debt limit increase, sources tell me – a move that could call the bluff of Republicans in both chambers and force them to take a stand on whether they will allow default and economic destruction if Dems don’t accept their unilateral demands. 
The move has the backing of the White House, according to a source familiar with discussions. 
The idea is that Senate Dems will move their own clean debt limit bill, rather than wait for the House GOP to hold its own vote on either a clean CR funding the government (which Senate Dems have already passed with broad bipartisan support) or on a debt limit hike. Dems would be challenging Senate GOP moderates to vote for or against averting default and economic havoc outside of any set of conditions House Republicans insist must be attached to any measure raising the debt limit.
This also raises another question: If Senate Republicans filibuster a debt ceiling hike, will Senate Dem leaders change the rules to allow it to pass by a simple majority, on the argument that so doing is imperative to save the U.S. economy from meltdown? 
Remember, the deal that averted the “nuclear option” this year left the current rules in place, but Dems reserved the right to act again if GOP obstructionism continued.
The current debt limit brinkmanship provides a particularly stark example of destructive GOP governance at work. Republicans themselves have previously said the debt limit must and will be raised.
Excerpted - Read Full article at The Plum Line
If Majority Leader Harry Reid has to use the nuclear option to pass the debt ceiling against the obstructionist GOP Senate, then I say go for it.  Most Americans including Wall Street and Big Business except the Kochs and their partners would back Reid 100% IMHO as unlike the GOP hard right, understand what a default would do to our Country.  This is one ex-GOP supporter who will be happy to support Reid for reelection.  It will show that the Democrats finally get it that you cannot negotiate with hostage takers even if they are members of Congress.  The Republicans in Congress are holding our Nation hostage for their selfish gains and don't seem to mind if the Nation defaults on its debts.  Why should they?  They are still getting paid.

When rational people are elected to the Congress, a bill needs to be passed that if there is no budget along with appropriations passed by midnight 30 September, then the members of Congress will not be paid.

President Obama telling the hard headed Speaker Boehner that he will not discuss the Republican demands until he gets a clean CR and rise in debt ceiling, makes me proud to have supported him last year in his reelection bid.  Best move I made was to join Republicans for Obama and the Obama campaign as a supporter and then becoming a charter member of Organizing for Action which is all about helping the American people. Found a home with like-minded individuals that are not telling you how to think after years of putting up with the 'my way or no way' crowd of hard right Republicans.

Nice not to be yelled at or demeaned for not following the hard right ideas which frankly are crazy. Discovering Democrats to be much nicer with common sense who are much more open to new ideas instead of locked into an agenda where new ideas are not welcome .  Never going back to the Republicans after years of activism, working campaigns at all levels, donating, and following their agenda that shifted to the right gradually and then when it went all in with their hard right politics and platform to the point I could no longer support Republicans.  Wasn't happy with the initial shift to the right as I thought the GOP had gone too far but I was in for a shock in the 2010 platform which mirrored too many of the hard right state platforms starting in 2009.  Know the one here in Oklahoma was only good for filing away in the trash.

Koch Bros Tea Party and their vast organizations they fund including the RNC and members of the GOP in Congress can now thank themselves for a lot of Republican women going out the door to leave the Republican Party even more of a white male dominated party.  Don't recognize the GOP today and more importantly have no desire to try and figure out if they will ever get common sense back because I will never trust them again -- not today, not tomorrow, not ever!

That is today's hard right Republican Party in a nutshell which is why it was easy to tell the Republicans to shove it as I have moved on to supporting the Democrats, their candidates, and their ideals.