Friday, January 31, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday! Last Football Game of the Season!

On Twitter, ESPN, is having you retweet which team you think will win the Super Bowl -- the Seattle Seahawks or Denver Bronco's.  First tweet I saw to pick had Denver with Orange Crush -- too much orange for me so I didn't retweet.  The second time ESPN used more Navy with the Orange so I picked Denver.

Super Bowl is great to watch even if you are not a big football fan as the commercials sometimes have been better then the game.  Advertisers go all out with Super Bowl commercials.  Beer commercials are usually my favorite even though I don't drink beer.  My favorite Christmas commercial is the Clydesdales of Budweiser. and last year when the Clydesdale came running to find the trainer who had trained him was AWESOME.  Everyone who has watched Super Bowl remembers the three frogs saying Bud - Weis - Er.  

Coming back to Norman this afternoon listening to Sports Talk radio, the majority of the callers were picking the Broncos.  The central theme seemed to be that the Broncos had the better offense with Seattle having a better defense, BUT Seattle under Pete Carroll keeps the same defense for everything.  I said to myself how is that going to work with Peyton Manning who can change up a play at the drop of a hat?  Next thing you know the caller was saying the same thing.

As I was thinking about putting this post together I was wondering if I was picking Denver because Norman is a lot closer to Denver then Seattle, I really John Fox and his coaching staff and my two daughters live in Denver.   Like Seattle colors better but I really don't like the coach who ran out on USC as they were about to go on probation, Pete Carroll,  so as far as coaching goes, I give the edge to Denver.

On quarterbacks I give the edge to Denver because I think Peyton Manning is the best quarterback in the NFL today and has been in plenty of big games over the years.  At the same time I think Russell Wilson has done a better job then I expected this year but he has never been on a stage like this and not sure the offensive coaching staff of Seattle is as good as Denver's.   Having Manning on the field is like having a coach out there.

On defense, the Seahawks have been the best this year but can they handle the various looks and hurry up Denver offense?  Not sure anyone knows what is going to happen in that match-up -- everyone that talks seems to have a different take.

Hurry up offenses can cause problems for defenses as we saw when our Oklahoma Sooners beat Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl when all the powers at be at ESPN and other networks had Alabama blowing us out.  I picked the Sooners to win as I knew how mad our players were at being dissed.  Our team took it personally and played lights out at the Sugar Bowl and now we have the Sugar Bowl trophy added to the Switzer Center and Alabama replaced some coaches.

Is that what is going to happen with Denver?  Their defense has been maligned as not matching up with Seattle -- heard people say they cannot stop Seattle and just think I wouldn't bet on that and have to wonder if the Denver defense will rise to the occasion.

Decided to check out what the Las Vegas odds makers were saying and seems I am not only one who doesn't see a clear cut favorite as they are having trouble picking a clear favorite as well.  Does that mean this is going to be a blow out or a close game?   Linemakers had this to say:
The Linemakers on Sporting News reached out to sports book operators, pro bettors and journalists throughout Las Vegas for their Super Bowl 48 picks. Our own Vegas-based experts offered their predictions as well. 
A few themes that stand out – most of the guys currently running the books are on the underdog Seahawks; those who used to run the books – i.e, The Linemakers crew – are inclined to lay the short number with the Broncos. Also, the majority of our prognosticators, no matter which side their money is on, is predicting a close game, with one calling it “one of the more difficult Super Bowls to handicap in recent memory.” 
Onto the picks from the sports books .... 
Marc Nelson, Aliante sports book director – Seahawks 24-20. I think the Seattle D will prove to be too much for Denver. 
Tony Miller, Golden Nugget sports book director – Seahawks 20-17. Defense comes up big in this game, with Seattle's defensive front putting pressure on Manning throughout the game. Seattle grinds out a close win. 
Aaron Kessler, Golden Nugget sports book supervisor – Seahawks 23-13. I’m predicting the Seattle defense shows up, and once again, Peyton sees all the cards are on the table and folds, throwing three picks. Seattle’s offense bogs down for the most part, but a big day from Lynch (125 yards plus, one TD) and a pick-six (we’ll go out on a limb and call it for Byron Maxwell) prove to be enough, as Denver only holds the ball for three minutes in the fourth quarter. 
Jay Kornegay, LVH SuperBook VP – Broncos 23-20. Seattle is a physical/aggressive team. Manning will turn this into a chess match, make them think, and slow their D down. #Omaha! 
Ed Salmons, LVH SuperBook manager – Seahawks 27-10. Manning gets to face AFC defenses again next year.
Click Here to read more from the sports books 
As for me, I don't bet because I hate to lose money and don't want to jinx a team I favor by putting money on them.

My bottom line is I pick Denver to win 28-21!

Enjoy the Super Bowl this Sunday with all the food, drink responsibly, and root for your favorite team to win.   Good Luck to both teams and their fans and here's hoping the refs don't become part of the outcome!   Want to see a hard hitting football game and enjoy the last game of the season.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

GOP so Fractured it Needs Four Replies to President's State of the Union?

This video link came in my email this morning from MSNBC with Ari Melber describing the Hispanic response to President Obama's State of the Union which was one of four. Get that four responses for one speech as the GOP could not get together to agree on one. Even the Hispanic reply which was supposed to be the same turned out to be different.

It was so great to see this report done with humor because all you can do is laugh at how screwed up the GOP has become. GOP Senate responses were Senators Mike Lee and Rand Paul -- nothing mainstream about them -- not even a little. The funniest was Rep Cathy McMorris Rogers claiming she supports equal pay for women when she has voted against it four times. Did she think we wouldn't notice a little detail like that? Then McMorris-Rogers and Senator Mike Lee vowed to continue fighting to repealing the federal healthcare law.   Where has the GOP found these people?

This video cracked me up because Melber's delivery was just perfect for the content and his understanding of Spanish made the difference IMHO.  It was a  home run by Melber on The Last Word.  Since receiving this link in my email, I have been sent it several more times from friends who speak Spanish who are laughing at how stupid the GOP was to do another outreach to their community but changing what was said.  It flopped big time if my email is any indication.  

The GOP was prepared for Obama to come after them in a bombastic way so they could show how mean he was.  That didn't happen so they have been making things up that were not said which has become the normal in the GOP today.  President Obama really got to Republicans with the tinge of humor in his speech and left them with using narrative not facts.  GOP threats to impeach him if he signs Executive Orders makes me laugh as he has used them less then any President.  GOP hypocricy knows no bounds today as facts don't matter to this group.  

Not one of the four responses made much sense as they were going in different directions kind of like the Republican Party today.   
Lee, a youthful 42-year-old freshman, appeared at the National Press Club,delivering a response sponsored by the Tea Party Express, a political action committee.His speech, which was broadcast live on the group’s Web site, underscored his ascent as a rising star of activists and followed in the footsteps of Rep. Michele Bachmann (Minn.) and Paul, who have delivered past tea party responses. 
Lee hit chiefly on economic issues and imparted his broadsides against the Obama administration with a tinge of exasperation, expressing disappointment with the president’s positions on federal spending, regulatory policy and taxes. Calling on Republicans to articulate a “conservative reform agenda,” he said that the GOP will struggle to win a mandate unless it makes better arguments. 
Sal Russo, a Tea Party Express adviser, said that Lee delivered the speech directly to a camera, with only a handful of aides as his audience. “It’s not a dinner or cocktail party,” he said. “We were looking for someone who is identified with the tea party to articulate our issues.” 
Lee rose to prominence last year during the 16-day government shutdown when he worked alongside Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), urging Republican leaders to be more combative during deliberations. 
Paul, who is considering a presidential run, also issued a Web rebuttal Tuesday, putting out a 10-minute pre-recorded speech on his Web site, YouTube and Facebook. Paul’s response, given from his office, echoed Lee’s barbed tone and economic focus. 
A running theme for both conservative responses was the desire for a more robust Republican anti-poverty program, looking to combat Obama, who spent much of his speech addressing economic opportunity.
Leadership of the GOP told many of us to get lost if we supported Obama but Romney was so bad I never would have supported him at any level.  I refused to support him in Florida in 2008 and my dislike for him increased in 2011/2012.  Sad part is that he acts like he is running again.  He has this notion he is destined to be President and if they just package him better, he can win.  Not happening but with Christie going down, the field is pretty well cleared. 

Would put the chances of Romney running again at over 50/50 which is a little more then Rudy Guiliani gave Gov Christie today when he said there is a 50/50 chance Christie knew what was happening.  IMHO Rudy knows something.  If Christie is out of the race, who do Republicans have?  A very weak bench so do the Koch's go for Romney again?  

Or does the Party split like Hannity is predicting?  A split would ensure the Democrats win big in 2014 or is that what Hannity and some other hard right want so they can blame them for whatever they come up with as part of their narrative in 2016.  Common sense has left the GOP to be replaced by mean, angry white guys for the most part.  Still having a hard time figuring out why any woman would be out in front supporting the GOP today with the ongoing War on Women.  

Can remember on websites, 'conservatives' talking about it doesn't make a difference if they win elections as long as they stand on principle and women should not be allowed to vote.  This isn't new, but the hard right have now taken over the GOP and are calling the shots with the narratives they send out.  Don't be fooled about the Tea Party imploding as they have become a liability to the Koch Bros so they are getting dissed but it is pure propaganda as you saw in the responses to the State of the Union, two of those reponses from the Republicans were representing the Tea Party.  

Don't believe what you hear about the Tea Party as these people are going no where except to shift their venom under another name if even that.  They were the hard right before the Tea Party.   GOP hasn't changed much since 1994 when they took over the House with the Contract with America which contained no social issues but they knew the people getting elected were big social issue people so that would evolve over time and anti-abortion/anti gay marriage would be front and center.  

Is the hard right that mad at the GOP they will tank them for years to come and split like Hannity and others want?  I think would cut off their nose to spite their face and could care less as long as they stand on principle.  A lot of us have already left with the hard right takeover and not going back to work with such negative people who are in the GOP today.  I am a positive person and enjoy being around positive people which the Party of NO does not have.  

Hope you enjoy the video as much as I did -- love my new found home in politics around people with positive outlooks and humor.  Left the negativity of the GOP behind and feels great!  

There is one way out of this mess in DC and that is to vote out the GOP from power -- only answer.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

President Obama gave a Masterful State of the Union Speech with a Lot of Slam Dunks!

Last night while sitting here at the computer, I am reflecting on what brought me to support President Obama in 2012 after years as a Republican activist and supporter at all levels from Presidential campaigns to county campaigns and non-partisan Mayor's races.

As I listened to the President,  I was reminded that I first started supporting him because he truly cares about all the American people not just members of his party.  He is a huge believer in education and so am I. The cuts to education by Republicans are a sin in my book.  Have yet to figure out how cutting arts and humanities which take up such small parts of the budget are a target of the GOP members of Congress and State Legislatures.  Makes no sense to me.  To deprive any child of a first rate education is flat out wrong and should get the people who vote in the cuts fired from office.

Charter schools have become vogue in GOP circles with most being run by big donors and follow no standards.   Evangelical Christian schools here where parents send their kids sometimes because they can make better grades and not worry about flunking are providing an inferior education and one where everyone is taught to think alike.  Teachers do not have to be certified and in once instance north of us some of the teachers have no degrees but who cares as they are members of the same family.

Then there are the home schoolers -- we have some in our neighborhood and many of us are wondering when they do their lessons as they are always outside during the school year.  Their parents are not qualified to be teachers but that doesn't make any difference because they can teach creationism and the earth is 7,500 year old theories instead of real science courses.

Cheered the President when he said that we need schools that teach our children the various trades and skills to get jobs.  He is so right that we have to spend more money on vocational training and the two year college programs because many kids are not 4-year college material and need to know that they can get good paying jobs by developing the skills they need.   Manufacturers are looking for skilled employees and are willing to bring back jobs from overseas which has been a nightmare in some instances if they are guaranteed a skilled workforce.  We need to give manufacturers that skilled workforce and get the jobs back in this Country with better quality control.

You would never watch or hear this speech from today's Republicans who are so much into limited government that it hurts people in disasters but then the GOP in Congress doesn't believe the Federal Government should be helping during disasters.  Today's GOP has the least empathy I have ever seen out of politicians and probably the rudest.  Speaker Boehner looked like he was sucking on a lemon last night as did Cantor and Rubio.  The Majority Leader of the House turned his back on the President last night.  Cantor has the class of a gnat.  On second thought a gnat probably has more class.

It took four GOP to answer the President's State of the Union and all were failures.  Rep Cathy McMorris Rogers was a joke saying Republicans support women on healthcare when that morning the GOP House passed another anti-abortion/contraceptive bill.  Reading her speech left me cold.  All four were billed as answers to the President's State of the Union and obviously they didn't know what he was going to say because none of the four were on the same page and didn't answer what he was talking about.  More of the GOP following a narrative with little facts.

Thought the President was masterful last night as he zapped Republicans in a nice way but left no doubt what he was doing.  I compared him a basketball player getting slam dunks.  It was so funny to watch Vice President Joe Biden enjoying himself and Boehner looking like he was sucking on that lemon. Even on parts of the speech like bringing our troops home from Afghanistan or no more long term commitments of our troops overseas fighting with no end game, the GOP just sat there.  Their lack of reaction to making sure our veterans get everything they deserve was met with the same blank stares -- lot of lemons being sucked on the GOP side last night.

Many of the President's ideas were about a better America and how we get there by working together but with Republicans who will give this President no credit for anything, that is a steep mountain to climb.  The American people could see what he is up against last night and the GOP loses.  They lose on having four responses with none of them making much sense.  They lose on no new ideas by regurgitating their old smaller government for economics but big government for social issues.  That flies in the face of most Americans.

Last night at the end of the speech I said it has been a long journey going from Republican to Democrat but I am at home with the Democrats and have quit being in dust-ups since leaving the hard right GOP behind. I am on the same side of people who believe education is important, our water and air should be clean, renewable energy sources should be explored, our veterans should be a priority as well as a decent wage for everyone.  I believe that infrastructure needs fixed across America which will bring good paying jobs.  Anyone who has traveled I-40 from the east going west knows when they cross into Oklahoma with the accordion road.  Parts of it have been fixed but it needs a total redo.  Bridges are in bad shape across the Country although Oklahoma is near the top for bad bridges and roads.

As an American, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother I feel that we owe our children and their children the same opportunities we have had over the years.  For every rough spot, there has always been the belief that better days were ahead and sure enough they always came.  Want our children and grandchildren to have that same belief and be able to make their dreams come true in the years ahead. We do that by working together not having a major political party be a bunch of obstructionists and defeatists.  We are to the point in DC that either GOP is with the President in getting the job done for all Americans or get the he** out of the way.  No more can the American people allow the GOP to hold our Country hostage for their flawed agenda.  Time to jump on board to help elect people who will get the Country moving forward not back in time.

Together, let's make this the biggest Get Out the Vote effort ever in 2014 to give the President a Congress who has his back instead of stabbing him in the back.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Can Republicans in Congress get any Dumber with their Comments?

The answer to that question is yes!  A short time ago, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), made a fool of himself once again which seems to be happening more and more since being challenged for his Senate seat by the left and right.  What more can he ask for, he has Rand Paul on his side now. McConnell better not turn his back.  His comments about ACA made me almost laugh they are so ludicrous.  What a waste of floor time to grandstand and show America your loony agenda.

Mitch McConnell had the nerve today to demand on the Senate floor that President Obama use the State Of The Union to announce that he is ditching Obamacare:
Actually, Mitch, this isn’t the kind of reform that Kentuckians want. The Republican proposal that McConnell is touting as bipartisan reform would take away healthcare from 116,000 Kentuckians. A new poll by the Foundation For A Healthy Kentucky found that nearly 80% of Kentuckians favor the Medicaid expansion that the Republican healthcare bill would end. 60% of Kentucky Republicans support the Medicaid expansion that McConnell is trying to end. 
Mitch McConnell’s ridiculous demand that President Obama uses his State Of The Union address to announce that he is killing Obamacare is what happens when a desperate incumbent senator who is fighting for his political life puts all of his eggs in the repeal Obamacare basket. 
The Republican alternative to the ACA would raise taxes on the 150 million Americans who get their health insurance from their employer while throwing nearly 10M people off of their current health insurance.
Not to be outdone by the Minority Leader, Speaker Boehner had his moment in the limelight today which also did not go as planned:
On Tuesday morning, at a breakfast discussing the State of the Union address later in the evening, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) told reporters that President Obama is on dangerous ground on his use of executive orders. Essentially, Boehner issued a veiled threat stating that if the President thinks he can enact more change by circumventing Congress and utilizing executive orders, then Obama could be facing a backlash from Congressional Republicans. While he did not overtly state it, it seemed pretty clear he was talking about impeachment. 
“We’re just not going to sit here and let the President trample all over us. This idea that he’s just going to go it alone, I have to remind him we do have a constitution. And the Congress writes the laws, and the President’s job is to execute the laws faithfully. And if he tries to ignore this he’s going to run into a brick wall.” 
The new talking point among Republicans now seems to be that the President is mad with power and is looking to trample on the Constitution by ignoring Congress. Nevermind that the President is well within his rights to issue certain executive orders. Or that House Republicans have pretty much refused to work with the President since he was elected to his first term. It doesn’t matter. If the President has the audacity to try to get something done without the express written approval of the Party of No, then it is time for him to truly pay. 
Also at the breakfast, Boehner made an embarrassing gaffe and said that he felt that the President’s executive order that was issued earlier in the day raising the minimum wage for federal contract workers would help nobody. After the meeting with reporters, Boehner’s aides had to clarify to the press that Boehner really meant that it would not help anyone right away, as this was only for new hires and would go into effect in 2015. Of course, it seems abundantly clear that House Republicans want nothing to do with raising the minimum wage for all workers anyway, so Boehner doesn’t really care if it helps anyone or not.
For the rest of the day, Boehner has been dealing with his gaffe which a lot of people like me say it is what he really believes.  Guess Boehner forgets all the Executive Orders signed by President Bush because he was a Republican and that's okay.  Not being able to function as the President with full powers seems to only apply to Democrat Presidents.

Question is whether the GOP members of Congress will be rude to President Obama like they have in the past or will they at least treat the Office of President with respect.  My guess is that the GOP will sit there like bumps on a log or make a fool of themselves.  GOP already looks petty with the three State of Union replies they have for the President's speech.  One isn't good enough as they need three. GOP can have 50 for all I care as you couldn't pay me to watch one GOP response.  It is not hard to see they operate on narrative not on facts so why would anyone expect them to change for their Response?

At the White House Day in the Life, Dan Pfeiffer has taken over the White House Instagram account for today with the State of the Union Speech tonight:

Dan PfeifferJanuary 28, 2014
09:47 AM EST

After months of meetings, piles of memos and dozens of drafts, it’s gameday — and I'm taking over the White House Instagram to give you a look inside the West Wing as the President gets ready for his 5th State of the Union. Thanks for following, and be sure to watch the speech tonight at 9pm ET on
My favorite picture from the Day in the White House for the State of the Union needs no introduction -- speaks for itself:

The cutest little bundles of fur are set for a walk!  Priorities!  Follow along at Instagram to see more pictures from the day.  Partial to pets who love you with all their heart and only asks you to love them back and if like our dog Chewie, wants spoiled all the time.

Looking at tonight's State of the Union is like our Sooner basketball game last night against our pesky rival OSU -- OU won big even though the media has over ranked and overhyped OSU.  Kind of what the inside the beltway media has done to the GOP in Congress -- overhyped their ideas and almost everything they say against this President.  Predicting the President is going to dunk on the GOP tonight and win the end game!  Will be sitting here cheering the President on and booing the GOP if they decide to be rude.   Once a sports fan always a sports fan.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Oklahoma GOP Legislator Wants to End Marriage in Oklahoma to Keep Out Gay Marriage! WHAT?

Thought I would have some fun today after spending my weekend laughing and talking to friends around the Country reminding them I said the OK GOP when we moved here January 1997 was on the loony side with the hard right seemingly playing a major role.  No one believed me and told me no way could it be that bad.  My friends, the skeptics, are skeptics no more after the latest out of an Oklahoma state representative from Edmond, OK, home of Sally Kern who I didn't think could be topped for some far out ideas, but I was wrong.

Oklahoma Representative wants to do away with all marriage to stop gay marriage in Oklahoma:
Lawmakers Consider Preventing ALL Marriage In Oklahoma 
Posted: Jan 24, 2014 4:51PM CSTMichael Konopasek, News 9 
State lawmakers are considering throwing out marriage in Oklahoma. 
The idea stems from a bill filed by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Edmond). Turner says it's an attempt to keep same-sex marriage illegal in Oklahoma while satisfying the U.S. Constitution. Critics are calling it a political stunt while supporters say it's what Oklahomans want. 
"[My constituents are] willing to have that discussion about whether marriage needs to be regulated by the state at all," Turner said. 
Other conservative lawmakers feel the same way, according to Turner. 
"Would it be realistic for the State of Oklahoma to say, ‘We're not going to do marriage period,'" asked News 9's Michael Konopasek. 
"That would definitely be a realistic opportunity, and it's something that would be part of the discussion," Turner answered. 
Such a discussion will be made possible by a current shell bill -- something that can be changed at almost any time to react to upcoming rulings on Oklahoma's same-sex marriage ban. 
"I think that, especially with issues like this, [these lawmakers are] out of touch with most Oklahomans," said Ryan Kiesel, ACLU Oklahoma executive detector. 
Kiesel says prohibiting all marriage is new territory. In fact, the ACLU was unable to find an example of where a state has ever tried to ban all marriage. Kiesel believes the entire idea just boils down to politics. 
"Moving forward I think we'll see less efforts like this," Kiesel said. 
Turner admits his idea makes a lot of people uncomfortable. He also says, "I accept that." Turner plans to wait until the federal appeals process plays out. The fight over Oklahoma's ban on same-sex marriage will now head to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver
Took to Twitter after my son sent me this link calling this guy "Idiot of the Week" which says a lot because there are any number of Oklahoma Republican elected officials who could fill that title, but this guy is a lock.

After taking to Twitter, I came up with a solution if the idiots at the Capitol in Oklahoma City pass this no marriage bill in the legislature as their answer to gay marriage and the governor signs the bill.  Here in Oklahoma as with other states the territorial lands of the Indian tribes are not subject to laws passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor or state referendums.  (Note:  On Indian reservations, however, only Federal and tribal laws apply to members of the Tribe unless the Congress provides otherwise.)  No tribe in Oklahoma is going to do anything but laugh about this idea.  They are too smart to even think this should apply to their territory.  

With that in mind, I came up with the idea that the casinos on tribal lands should open up wedding chapels as a lot of them have hotels and offer a package deal for the weekend.  There is one south of Norman so you get married, have your room with perks, and the casino gives you a gift of some tokens to spend.  Simple, legal, and a way for the tribes to thumb their nose at the state government.  Gays can already marry in Indian territory so why not include heterosexuals if OK State Government chooses to do away with all marriage in OK.

Lo and behold, I heard from several friends in the tribes saying that was an outstanding idea, and they should think about it.  I told them I want a cut for my idea and they laughed.  I laughed most of the afternoon yesterday because it was so funny to me that any member of the legislature could be this dumb and the fact he has support from others made it funnier.

It has gone viral around the Country that Oklahoma is considering doing away with marriage to stop gay marriage.  I keep hearing from people in various parts of the Country with their mea culpa to me on Oklahoma politics.  Anyone who has known me for years knows I have been complaining about OK GOP going back years since getting involved several years after we moved to Norman in January 1997.

On a more serious note,  The Journal Record had an article in the pay portion of their site:
Legislators’ attempts to maintain a stance against same-sex marriage in Oklahoma are difficult to market as an attractive reason for businesses to move to the state, economic development experts said.
When the Republicans took over state government in 2011, we had a surplus every year including when other states had deficits during the recession.  Our unemployment numbers were low, housing didn't take a huge hit, and the economy kept on going.  Now it is 2014 and our state has almost $200M less revenue than predicted for the budget.  

Oklahoma leads the nation in cuts to education per pupil since 2008, #49 in teacher pay and if they give a $2,000 pay raise, we will still be #49.  Today learned from The Oklahoma Policy Institute that a list by 24/7 Wall Street finds Oklahoma provides the fourth least government benefits in the nation, including pensions, education funding, and Medicaid payments. That is not all from OK Policy.Org today, there is more just today: 
226.7 percentJanuary 27th, 2014
Increase in Oklahoma’s diabetes rate from 1995-2010, the largest relative increase in the nation.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Oklahoma’s oil and gas tax breaks top $300 million
Tax breaks for horizontal drilling and other forms of oil and gas production are projected to cost the state over $300 million this fiscal year and next, according to new calculations by Oklahoma Policy Institute.  
We learned last week even though the state has an almost $200M shortfall in the budget that Gov Fallin wants to bring back the tax cut they passed last session that was overturned by the Court.  All I can do is shake my head at the abject stupidity of Republicans and their tax cuts that make the wealthy even wealthier and provide little to nothing for the middle class and poor.  Money doesn't flow back into the economy -- it flows into offshore accounts.  Just ask Mitt Romney.

There are rumblings that a few oil and gas owners think the rate for horizontal drilling should be raised but no one pays attention as the GOP is the party of the tax cuts no matter if it hurts education and infrastructure.  We have some people in our legislature who believe infrastructure should be financed on a pay as you go basis instead of with bonds which are a bargain today.  Any common sense in economics is missing from the GOP dominated OK Legislature but we have more than our fair share of hard right as witnessed by the bills to keep gay marriage out of the state, marriage laws to prevent divorce that some believe have increased spousal abuse, immigration laws, not to mention Oklahoma leads the nation in restrictions on abortions which keep getting overturned by the Courts as unconstitutional.

What is the answer from Republicans, we must change the way judges are chosen so their (unconstitutional) laws will stand -- constitution means nothing to these people.  We have people here who believe that the State Laws should always trump Federal Law.  We saw that play out with the Governor and the National Guard on spousal benefits for same sex couples where some Guard Members had to travel several hours to sign up for benefits.  These people protect us and because they don't fit the Republican idea of marriage in Oklahoma, they are to be punished?

Never thought I would be saying this, but I am ready to see Oklahoma turn back Blue and get some common sense in state government.  I miss Gov Henry and his low key approach to getting the job done.  Worst thing that happened was Republicans and ALEC taking full control of Oklahoma State Government.  I can name a few Republicans in State Government who believe in doing their job representing all Oklahomans but they can be counted on two hands compared to the large number of hard right now in charge in Oklahoma.  If not hard right, many elected officials bow down to them and their loony ideas.

If you live in Oklahoma or know someone from here, tell them to think long and hard before supporting Republicans because they are tanking this state with their hard right ALEC agenda.  The Democrats have come up with some good people to run for office in 2014 which will be spotlighting in the days ahead.   We need to roll up our sleeves and get some common sense back in this state and evict the loons from office with their 'my way or no way' agenda.  For a group of people who love to spout less Government, they love to tell the rest of us how to live and what we can do in our homes to which I say Bravo Sierra.

Have a great rest of the day!  

Friday, January 24, 2014

Why do Republicans in Red States Hate Public Education?

It is understandable with some of the cuts to all programs in a state with a bad recession but here in Oklahoma, the recession was so bad (sarcasm) it left the state with plenty of rainy day funds as they ran a surplus. This year for the first time I can remember since we moved here in January 1997, Oklahoma has almost $200M less incoming revenue.  We are $200M in the hole and Republican Governor Fallin wants a tax cut along with some of the legislature.  Trickle down economics is one of the biggest myths perpetrated on the citizens of this Country -- it doesn't work.  Here are the links to the facts:
When President Obama on Tuesday declared that decades of Republican trickle-down economics "never worked," conservatives were predictably apoplectic
But for all of their protests of "class warfare", "socialism" and worse, Obama was being kind to the Republican ideologues. After all, as the historical record shows, from economic growth and job creation to stock market performance and just about every other indicator of the health of American capitalism, the modern U.S. economy has almost always done better under Democratic presidents. Despite GOP mythology to the contrary, America generally gained more jobs and grew faster when taxes were higher (even much higher) and income inequality lower. And while the U.S. recovery from the Bush recession remains painfully slow, most economists - including the nonpartisan CBO and some of John McCain's own 2008 advisers - believe President Obama saved it from the abyss.
Excerpt:  Read more from Crooks and Liars 

Will someone tell me why Republicans have such a problem with reading comprehension and are dead set on giving tax cuts when you already in the red on income in your state?  The more I see and hear these GOP office holders pontificate, the possibility that these GOP office holders are bought and paid for by ALEC, Koch Bros, Chamber, and other major donors is rearing its ugly head.

Why would a state like Oklahoma that was not really affected by the recession cut Education spending per student from FY 08 to FY 14 by 22.8%.  As a parent here, I have heard the Republican evangelical anti-education mantra against public schools:
  • Don't teach the Bible
  • Don't allow organized Christian prayers
  • Teach evolution in biology; refuse to teach creationism
  • Teach the earth is 4.5 billion years old not 7,500 years 
  • Visit Sam Noble Museum of Natural History
  • Teach the Founding Fathers did not use the Bible when they wrote the Constitution (that blew my mind)
  • Teach Sex Education instead of Abstinence Based
From the Center on Budget and Priorities:

The Republicans are all for using tax dollars for charter schools and vouchers.  Their voucher idea this term is a joke because the only schools parents would be able to send their students are evangelical schools not the good Catholic schools in Oklahoma City.  A lot of charter schools across the Country are owned by GOP donors (imagine that).   Why should tax payers have to support evangelical schools that are not subject to the same rules and regulations of the public schools?  Hard right Republicans may have taken over the State but there are a lot parents furious at what we see out of the legislature on the amount they are cutting education which is against the Oklahoma Constitution.  Teachers don't get pay raises, The Governor and State School Superintendent Barissi ignore what OU and OSU have to say about their plans on testing.  A bill is submitted on 3rd graders having to pass a reading test to move on that doesn't leave an exemption for special education.   Oklahoma is going back in time on education instead of forward.

Education is so important and time for Oklahomans to take this state back Blue and throw out the hard right Tea Party/ALEC Republicans to return some common sense to this state especially on education. What we are seeing on Oklahoma is a tragedy for our students.  If your child is not in one of the best school systems in the State and Country, then your child is going to be left way behind as they go to college in the future.  To lead the Country in cuts in education per student is a travesty that the Republicans need to answer to Oklahomans WHY?

Once again, Oklahoma did not suffer in the recession as much as other states but we are #7 in the Country for less dollars spent per student.  Bring it up to a Republican and get told we have other priorities.  They are unable to answer what priorities.  Since we are seeing the same bills submitted in OK and NM, assuming ALEC told them what to cut in the state and what needs passed so my next is "What do the Koch Bros have against education?"  Are these wealthy donors and GOP elected officials afraid that an educated America will catch on to their scams and lies they are spouting?

Oklahoma is #9 out of 15 states who cut student spending for FY 13 to FY 14 -- bet we lead the country next year on this with a $200M shortfall because education will probably #1 for cuts.  That's how much confidence I have in this GOP Legislature based on prior experience.  Will never understand how a state sitting surpluses with a lot in the rainy day fund manages to be one of the leaders in cuts to education.  If you look at infrastructure, it is the same deal.

Maybe if the Oklahoma Legislature stopped passing bills that keep getting overturned on social issues like abortion that cost our state money to defend in the courts, we might have more money.  Our AG is still fighting ACA.  How much has been spent on defending unconstitutional bills that any Civics student would know would never pass the court tests?  Where is the accounting?  Why are most of Oklahoma's bills written by lobbyists, ALEC, and Chamber not the representatives themselves?  Why is Oklahoma #2 in ALEC bills passed?  The list of Why's go on and on.  GOP answer to have bills overturned for being unconstitutional is change the way judges are selected.  First time I heard that I said WHAT?  They don't like a ruling so let's throw out the judge instead of taking responsibility for passing unconstitutional bills time after time by the Republican Legislature.

There is only one solution that this former Republican supporter can come up with and that is to throw out the religious right, hard right, Tea Party and Republicans as a whole from governing as they have proven since 2010 that they cannot handle being in control of all of State Government.  Who wants to move to Oklahoma when you find out it is #1 in cuts to education and #1 in anti-abortion bills passed and signed into law that keep getting overturned.  This is what happens when you have a hard right attorney general who puts religion above the law IMHO or he would be saying these bills will never pass the Courts.

The hard right is destroying Oklahoma IMHO with their 'my way or no way' attitude.  Their attacks on gay marriage are so far over the top I cringe.  They want to tell people when they can get married and divorced like they are the experts.  They need out of our bedrooms and out of our lives.  For a party that wants less Government in their lives, they sure do want the rest of us to have MORE Government in ours as long as it it conforms with their religious beliefs.

After Huckabee, Pierce (NM), and other GOP defending the two, this little bit of humor fits!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

GOP War on Women Continues with Huckabee and Rep Pierce (R-NM)

Just when I think the Republican Party cannot get any dumber with their continual War on Women, they do just that. Huckabee made some of the dumbest comments I have ever heard about birth control and makes you wonder what makes these guys tick because no sane human being could make these comments.  Is that what being a member of the religious hard right does -- fries your brain so your sanity disappears although I thought Huckabee was nuts when he was Governor of Arkansas and not a particularly truthful candidate.  One of these he was against home schooling as Governor and became this huge home school person when he ran for President.  When he opens his mouth over the years, the lies continue to grow although this one I put on the pile of dumb, stupid statements: 
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said the Republican Party is waging a “war for women,” at a meeting of the Republican National Committee Thursday. 
Addressing a luncheon of committee-members, staffers, and operatives, Huckabee took aim at Democrats who accuse the GOP of waging a “war on women” with its policies against abortion and government-subsidized birth control. 
“Republicans don’t have a war on women,” Huckabee said. We’re having a war for women. To empower them to be something other than victims of their gender.” 
“If the Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without Uncle Sugar coming in and providing for them a prescription each month for birth control, because they cannot control their libido or their reproductive system without the help of the government, then so be it,” he continued. “Let us take that discussion all across America, because women are far more than the Democrats have played them to be.” 
Huckabee, a 2008 presidential candidate and Fox News host, credited RNC Chairman Reince Priebus for pausing the party’s annual meeting so that members could attend the annual March for Life Wednesday. 
Democrats immediately jumped on Huckabees comments, touting them as examples of the GOP’s troubled efforts to rebrand itself to appeal to a broader demographic. 
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said we hadn’t seen the report, ”but whoever said it, it sounds offensive to me, and to women.” 

Read more: Huckabee: GOP Waging ‘War For Women’ |
You could have fooled this former GOP that the likes of Huckabee are fighting a war for women when women are smart enough to know that it is just the opposite.  I find Huckabee's comments very offensive as someone who had three c-sections and between the first two had to take birth control bills to make sure I didn't get pregnant which could have killed me if I had.  Under the Huckabee scenario, he might as well have called me a slut.  Yes, Mr. Huckabee take that argument across American and help former Republicans like me to make sure that Republicans like you never get elected again.

Thought Huckabee was bad but along comes Rep Steve Pierce of NM with his book when boiled down basically says that women are to be subservient to their husbands -- God's Will.  Mr. Pierce can take it and put it where the sun doesn't shine as he doesn't have a clue.  What about all the women in this Country who are in an abusive relationship, mental or physical.  They are supposed to just not say a word and do whatever they are told.  I lived with someone who would tell me "see that on the ground, pick it up" and probably why today I refuse to take this crap from the GOP.  Any man who treats their wife like they are a servant, needs to be kicked to the curb.  What gives these white males the idea that they can say and do whatever they want and women are to take it -- women of American need to stand up to these bullies and tell them to shove it.  How any women can vote or support Republicans today is beyond me.
The Washington Post reports that a chapter from Pearce’s new book emphasizes wives and husbands each have roles in the household, and the wife’s role is obedience. “The husband’s part is to show up during the times of deep stress, take the leadership role and be accountable for the outcome, blaming no one else,” Pearce writes. “The wife’s submission is not a matter of superior versus inferior; rather, it is self-imposed as a matter of obedience to the Lord and of love for her husband.”
I read this crap and you need to scrape me down off the ceiling.  These hard right evangelical jerks have jumped the shark completely to the stage I wouldn't vote for my best friend if he ran as a Republican.  After their GOP white males make their dumb comments, they always send out one of their women puppets to try and clean up the mess.  I wrote that and then a link appeared in my email that Cathy McMorris Rogers from WA is is going to give the reply to the President's State of the Union. Perfect timing.

She continues with her role from the Romney camp of defending the GOP once again against claims they have a War on Women on-going so I guess this is her reward for acting like a jerk for Romney in 2012 and standing by the GOP accusing the Democrats of the War on Women.  Typical GOP to accuse your opponent of what you are doing. Excuse me but may I be so bold to ask what she is looking for to keep propping up these jerks?  They always have her standing behind Speaker Boehner at press conferences so she is the face of women in the GOP but she is nothing more then a rubber stamp for the white male, dominated GOP.  Why? is the question.  Is Romney running again and she wants to be his VP?
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers took her first bite at the apple with trying to pretend that Democrats are actually the ones waging a "war against women" during her interview on Hardball last month. She came back for round two with Andrea Mitchell and was apparently undeterred by the fact that her party is the one that is passing all of these bills which go after women's reproductive rights, contraception, redefining rape, or funding basic health services, like cancer screenings.  
What does she think of Huckabee saying Democrats want women to be sluts.  So far it is crickets chirping. Huckabee is kicking off his campaign to run for President so we are going to hear a lot more crap from him in the months ahead.  Just need to keep in mind that a jerk like him will never be President because while the religious right evangelicals are loud they are not a majority of anything except the Tea Party owned by the Koch Brothers.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is the Tea Party the face of corporate oligarchs? Raw Story has the Answer!

When I read this article at Raw Story, light bulb went off more then it has already.  As someone who has been around the Tea Party and been at meetings with the Koch's AFP, you can put their knowledge of how Government works in a thimble.  Some of the dumbest statements have come out of Tea Party members of Congress or those running for office on the Republican ticket.  I have been thinking the more they are elected to Congress, the dumber they get.

When you stop to think about it, most intelligent people wouldn't be caught dead in the Tea Party movement because they are followers not leaders for the most part.  Old fashioned Republicans wouldn't be caught at some of their rallies with the likes of Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin or if you really want dumbed down you go to one with Michelle Bachmann and Louis Gohmert of Texas.  Some of the crap you hear from the hard right you have to wonder if they are serious.  Question one of their followers and you find out they are serious and you are left to shake your head at abject stupidity. Noam Chromsky has pegged the Tea Party and shows they are basically fronts for the wealthy GOP like the Koch Brothers.

Here in Oklahoma the Congressman from the 5th District James Lankford is running for the seat being vacated by Dr. Coburn.  Here is his background:
Lankford's move is not surprising given the ambition that propelled his rapid ascent to House leadership in only his second term in Congress. But the soft-spoken Oklahoman is hardly a political animal. He spent more than a decade as a Christian camp director before feeling God "calling" him to run for Congress
He had this to say when asked about impeachment because he thinks it would help Obama but my question is why didn't he tell them nothing has risen to high crimes and misdemeanors as the President obstructing but the GOP House and GOP Members of the Senate are so why haven't they reached the high crimes and misdemeanors they accuse the President of doing.  I am less then impressed:
“There is great debate whether [Obama] is at a level of high crimes and misdemeanors,” Lankford said.  
Instead he talks about a great debate about impeachment like the House would like to impeach him. For what?  Is it because those poor white GOP males cannot stand a black in the White House?

All I can say is that the 2014 election including the primary is going to be interesting especially with the 5th District Lankford is leaving starting to turn more Democrat -- it does have a lot of former Democrats and if they decide to return to their roots after the hard right has taken over the GOP in Oklahoma, it could make for an interesting election.

When I read this article, I am so happy not to be supporting the GOP and their candidates.

Noam Chomsky: The Tea Party is the ‘petit bourgeois’ face of corporate oligarchs (via Raw Story )
The Tea Party is just the popular face of corporate power in the United States, says political philosopher Noam Chomsky. “I wouldn’t call them revolutionary,” Chomsky said, dismissing a suggestion that the conservative political faction had anarchist…

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Why the GOP is in Trouble for 2014/2016

Today at The Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky, has an excellent article asking how bad the GOP needs Chris Christie.  As I read the article, I was nodding my head in agreement.  Then I got to the part I fully agree with on how the establishment GOP has allowed the nutcase hard right (my words) take over the GOP and are afraid to say much for fear of a split of the Party and they will be wandering the political wilderness for years.

What the Republican Party Establishment has done in playing to the hard right was to toss more centrist people like me under the bus.  They refused to listen to us in 2010 that the Tea Party was bad for the GOP as they were from the hard right, the John Birchers, militia, anti-immigration, and in fact pretty racists at least from what I saw around me.  Instead of listening, they embraced the hard right and their earth is 7,500 year old, creationism theories along with demanding that public schools teach the Bible but they didn't stop there.  In short order they started condemning public schools where all of my three children received an outstanding education in various states except for Massachusetts and Ohio.  Didn't make sense until all of a sudden the Charter school movement took off and realized it was run by big GOP donors in places I knew so I assume it is all over.

You could say that 2010 stands out as the year the lunatic, my way or no way fringe was elected to the Halls of Congress followed by more lunatics in 2012.  Their racism and hatred for anyone who are not white knows no bounds.  The idiots at the RNC hold seminars in how to speak to people so not to irritate them.  It is not working.  As a woman, I couldn't be any more disgusted with the GOP today and their war against women.  Women of all ages deserve better then the Republican Party.  If women are staying in the GOP, then it is like a woman who is an abused spouse who cannot bring herself to leave.

Tomasky has done an outstanding job with his article about the GOP today and they need Christie as I have excerpted below:
The fact that the GOP establishment needs to come face-to-face with is that they have no one to blame for this but themselves. They’ve reached the point where they almost have to have a Northeasterner like Christie to run for president, just as they had to settle for Romney last time. They’ve let their party go so far off the deep end that practically no Republican officeholder from any other region of the country could appeal to enough moderates in enough purple and blue states to win back the territory the party ceded to the Democrats in the last two elections. 
Remember: the Republicans come into the next presidential election with 206 reliable electoral votes from states their nominees have won at least four of the last six elections. The Democrats’ corresponding number is 257 (just 13 shy of the victory threshold). These tallies leave five states on the table: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, and Nevada. And I’m not even sure if, with Clinton in the race, if the last three could even be called purple anymore. The Republicans have a lot of territory to reclaim. 
They were, and I suppose still are, hoping that Christie could win it back for two reasons. First, and more obviously, he’d give them back the White House. But second, a Christie presidential win could paper over the profound and disturbing problems with today’s GOP. This is a party deeply in need of an internal thrashing of heads to pull it out of loony-land and back toward the center. Republican grandees know this, of course, but they’d much rather not have to go through this civil war. Indeed, the war could be cleansing enough that the party splits into two. Only Christie can save them from that possibility. The party would just become whatever Christie wanted it to be, and the Big Conversations could all be shelved. 
Pretty high stakes. So the establishment isn’t going to give up on Christie easily. And of course he can enjoy the benefit in these next weeks and months of becoming a more sympathetic figure to the hard right than he’s ever been, because all he has to do to please that crowd is carry on about how the East Coast liberal media are trying to do him in. And it may just work. 
But ultimately, facts are facts. And if the facts finish him off, and the GOP is stuck with Cruz-Rubio-Paul, or even a right-wing governor like Scott Walker, the establishment will be reaping what it’s spent the Obama years sowing: a party that cares more about feeding its base’s fever-dreams than being nationally electable. And that’s where things stand, as Christie begins a term that there’s a sporting chance he may not even be able to finish.
Wouldn't take a bet on Christie finishing his term.  He reminds me of Richard Nixon only nastier. The day Christie said he wasn't a bully, almost spilled Coke on my keyboard which would have meant off to the OU IT Store to pick up another Apple keyboard.  Next time I am on Campus Corner might pick up another one as a backup just in case.

I burst out laughing at Christie because he that typical New Jersey bully.  The only thought that came in my mind was the #1 bad GOP candidate in 2010 "I am not a witch" Christine O'Donnell, GOP candidate for DE Senate, who was wearing a black dress when she said it.  She had the full support of the Tea Party and establishment GOP when she was one of the biggest loons I have seen run for office. She accused her opponent, Rep Mike Castle, in the primary of lurking behind bushes outside her apartment in order to spy on her.  Yet she won the primary, but fortunately for the Senate, she lost big in the general although she got a lot more votes then I thought as she was not fit mentally to be in the Senate.  Although looking back, she would fit in well with Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee, and others who have gone over the edge.

Then the GOP had Sharron Angle opposing Harry Reid who has never been my favorite Senator as his lack of backbone always made me wonder about him.  That said I donated to his campaign because Angle was the #2 bad candidate who after winning primary forgot to campaign or debate and had a campaign manager from MO who spent more time in MO then in Nevada.  She was fully backed by the Tea Party movement.

Must not forget #3 Joe Miller of AK.  Talk about loons, he is stranger then Sarah Palin which gives you some idea how bad he would have been in the Senate.  He beat a sitting Senator Lisa Murkowski in the GOP primary and then many GOP, Indy's, and Democrats encouraged Murkowski to run as a write-in candidate.  GOP laughed at her attempt but then Miller said Eskimos and other tribes who did not speak English should not be allowed to vote.  These people are native to Alaska and have been there a long longer the white man.  With Sarah Palin, the former Alaska Governor and GOP VP candidate on Miller's side, Murkowski won the write-in over Miller whose name was on the ballot.  Then the Miller camp tried to throw out ballots that didn't have her name spelled correctly but got overruled if the intent was there.  Funniest election I have seen and enjoyed watching Miller go down.

That was a sampling of 2010 hard right candidates for Senate backed by the Tea Party.  There were more but those are my Top Three looney candidates.  It only got worse in 2012 when Texas sent Ted Cruz to the Senate.  It could have been even worse but GOP candidates for Senate in MO and IN made total fools of themselves talking about rape and how a woman cannot get pregnant from rape.

Couldn't take it any more -- office holders I had considered reasonably sane people were sounding like the hard right loons so I told the GOP and their 'my way or no way' crowd to shove it and joined Republicans for Obama and then Obama campaign.  That began my donating to Democrats and working for their election.  Before leaving the GOP, I never posted on Twitter -- was a member but had maybe 20 tweets if that.  Since telling the GOP establishment and the hard right where they could go, I have over 10,000 tweets and loving every minute of leaving the GOP behind and meeting new, reasonable people on Twitter.

Started with Republicans for Obama and then Unite Blue finding a home with like minded people. Then it  expanded to others who share the same philosophy of helping others have a better life along with not telling people how to live.  I want clean air and clean water, environmental regulations enforced, racism ended, every person has a right to vote, women's rights upheld, veterans jobs bill passed along with other jobs bills, access to medical care and the list goes on.  Those are issues that today's hard right Republican Party oppose and no amount of seminars on how to talk to voters is going to change their basic beliefs as they come out almost daily attacking the President and calling him all sorts of names like school yard bullies.

GOP refuses to acknowledge that a lot of us have told them to go jump, take a hike, shove it, and some a lot worse.  I am still getting snail mail telling me to renew my 2014 membership in the RNC.  If I had received my phone calls, email, and snail mail there is no way I would have kept me on their list.

This is what is wrong today with all of their GOP bogus attacks on the President calling him all kinds of names and GOP Senators refusing to allow him to appoint people to his Administration.  Harry Reid and the Democrats ended the filibuster by the GOP minority on appointments because a President of either party that is in office has a right to their own appointees.  GOP claims to be the Party of the Constitution and the only Party that loves America but by their actions it is just opposite as pointed out by Friedman of the NY Times:

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Legacy of Martin Luther King

This Message from Rep Joe Dorman reminds all of us of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Joe Dorman is running for Oklahoma Governor to be the Governor of all Oklahomans:

Sharon - 
Today, we take time to pause, remember and to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His dedication and service changed all our lives for the better. We owe a great debt to his work, and the work of other great civil rights pioneers, many of whom are Oklahomans. 
I hope you’ll join me to reflect on the progress our society has made and the promises we have yet to fulfill. In honoring Dr. King's life and legacy, may we remember what connects us instead of what divides us. His example, his life, his actions all demonstrate the power of love and kindness to change the world and the necessity to stand up for what is right and inclusive versus tearing down through division and hatred. Dr. King’s inspiring legacy demands that we continually work to make our state and nation a place where freedom and equality are a reality for individuals of every race, creed, ethnicity and gender. 
The message of Dr. King is just as important today as it was during his life. 

“Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. . . every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”  - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rep Dorman is correct that the message of Dr. King is just as important today as it was when he was alive.  Over 50 years ago, Dr. King gave his 'I Have a Dream' speech. This excerpt is what I remember the most from his speech when I have listened to it over the years:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. 
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." 
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. 
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. 
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today. 
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. 
I have a dream today. 
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. 
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring." 
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! 
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! 
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California! 
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! 
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! 
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. 
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
Where would we have been today if the life of MLK was not cut short?  Sometimes the hateful words that come out of the hard right toward minorities make it seem as though we are going back in time not forward.  Will never understand men and women I used to think were reasonable who have become so hateful and nasty because a black man was elected President.  It says more about them then it will ever say about President Obama.  The Conservative Republicans who attack our President relentlessly are small minded people who are not open to change.  They want the status quo before minorities or women could vote in their non-reality world.  The leadership of the hard right is devoid of empathy for their fellow human beings as the 'my way or no way' crowd has taken over.  

It is up to all of us to ensure that the legacy of Dr. King is never forgotten and strive every day in our own communities to make this a better place for all Americans.

When I read this today it hit home the foresight Dr. King displayed and how important it is that we not only honor him but we take his words to heart:
Martin Luther King's Leadership Lessons
Posted: 01/20/2014 4:49 am 
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader who, like Mahatma Gandhi before him, and Nelson Mandela after him, showed us the way from weakness and division to strength in unity. 
He challenged and inspired us to reach deeper within ourselves, despite ourselves, for our best, which sometimes is, simply, better than yesterday. His power endures because it's rooted in the courage to hold hope and faith in each others potential: "knowing" we can do it... we can be better every day, each in our own way. 
On this, the U.S. holiday celebrating his life and legacy, I present you with ten of his extraordinary thoughts on leadership:
  • "A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus."
  • "I am not interested in power for power's sake, but I'm interested in power that is moral, that is right and that is good."
  • "All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality."
  • "Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
  • "The time is always right to do the right thing."
  • "We must use time creatively."
  • "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
  • "The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically."
  • "Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness."
  • "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy"
Was so impressed with the President's speech on the 50th Anniversary of the MLK 'I Have a Dream' Speech on August 28, 2013, that I thought it was worth reliving on this MLK Day:

Heard on the news that over 10,000 people lined the parade route today in Tulsa:
Tulsa's MLK parade draws thousands downtown 
Clear skies and shirt-sleeve temperatures drew thousands of people to downtown Tulsa’s Martin Luther King Day Parade. 
With nearly 200 entries from as far away as Missouri and Kansas, the annual parade has become a truly regional event and one of the largest MLK celebration in this part of the county, said parade chairman Fred Jones.
“We like to look good in Tulsa,” he said. “And I guess we do because we’re getting attention from all over the place.” 
Highlights included the University of Oklahoma’s Sooner Schooner followed by the 2014 Sugar Bowl trophy.
As we go forward into the 2014 election cycle, we need to elect office holders who will work for all the people not a select few.  The person who donates $5 needs to be considered the same as the person who donates thousands because it is a lot harder for some to donate that $5 then it is for wealthy donors to give thousands.  

We need to make sure that our water and are air are clean for our children and grandchildren and they have an opportunity to be anything they want to be by joining forces to fulfill the dreams of Dr. King.

God Bless this Great County and its people!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Oklahoma Republican Against Using Bonds for Infrastructure

As I am sitting today asking myself what I should post, my email starts coming in with story after story and then the Oklahoma Policy email hits and I go through the roof.
The Tulsa World reports that Oklahoma's budget crunch colored the budget summit we hosted yesterday in Oklahoma City. AP notes that Governor Mary Fallin and House Speaker T.W. Shannon differ on state budget ideas
Had no idea what I was going to find at the link but I figured it would make me happy that I am no longer a GOP activists or call myself a conservative.  I am a full fledged Progressive today who believes in helping people who need a helping hand to live like the unemployed or those who need food stamps because they work and cannot afford food for their family or are elderly who get so little from social security, that the food stamps help them put on the table.   Have always had empathy for others and still do which shows why I had all those dust ups over the years with GOP pols and activists.  It is great to be around people with common sense.

I go to the link above and remind myself that for the last 1 1/2 years after joining Republicans for Obama and starting to switch to supporting Democrat candidates,  I made the right move.  I still know a lot of the office holders in Oklahoma who except for a few have really disappointed me over the last ten years.  When we moved here with the closure of the Kelly depot in San Antonio, I had no idea Oklahoma had so many far right loons.  I have been in more fights here including changing the name of the Norman Christmas parade to Holiday parade.  Been threatened, told off, told to move back to Texas, been cussed out etc. by a group of so-called Christian Republicans.

Today I will gladly admit to being a full-fledge Progressive who also believes in clean water and air and think it is deplorable what Koch Bros chemicals is doing first in West Virginia, then to the Ohio River and later to the Mississippi River and the Mississippi Delta on the chemicals trek to the Gulf.  I have turned from a conservationist into an environmentalist and today understand what they have been saying all these years about contamination in our states.

Republicans gutted the EPA so they don't have the manpower to go after the Koch Bros like they should.  If it was me, I would throw the Koch's and their chemical manufacturing company heads in jail for what they are doing to the environment and yet Koch's want no regulations.  As good friend said, then we all have to buy bottled water and they make more money.

BTW, the overturn of DOMA has made me laugh so hard to see some of the comments you have to wonder if these people are for real.  How does it affect anyone's marriage if gays get married.  Their marriages for the most part seem to be happier then a lot of heterosexual marriages where they yell at each other all the time.

Back to why I am happy to no longer support Republicans.  When I think the Oklahoma legislature cannot get much dumber, I am proved wrong.  This time I am on the side of the Governor which hasn't happened for a while:
Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said during a summit on the state budget that Fallin prefers a bond issue to pay for infrastructure improvements instead of the "pay-as-you-go" approach supported by Shannon and some House conservatives. The summit was hosted by the Oklahoma Policy Institute, a Tulsa-based think-tank that supports additional funding for state programs. 
Fallin last year signed a signature proposal by Shannon to develop a long-term plan to address improvements to some of the state's dilapidated facilities in part through the sale of state property, but Doerflinger said the governor has concerns about that approach given some of the state's more pressing needs. 
"Sometimes it's OK to say maybe that wasn't the wisest move," Doerflinger said. "When we look at the pay-as-you-go model, that causes us to use current revenues on things that could otherwise be used on program areas." 
Doerflinger said Fallin also doesn't support Shannon's proposal to make permanent a 6 percent reduction in the gross production tax for horizontal oil and gas drilling. Put in place in the late 1990s when horizontal drilling was costly and experimental, the incentive that reduces the tax rate from 7 percent to 1 percent is now costing the state hundreds of millions of dollars each year since most new wells are drilled this way. 
Shannon has said he wants the incentive, which is set to expire in 2015, permanently placed at 1 percent. 
"That's his prerogative to do so," Doerflinger said, "but I don't think at the end of the day anybody believes it's going to remain at 1 percent and be made permanent." 
Shannon has consistently rejected the idea of a bond issue, and wants to push ahead with a cut to the state's income tax as well as making the horizontal drilling tax incentive permanent. 
"While we share common ground on many issues, I cannot agree to raise taxes on Oklahoma's top industry or on Oklahoma families and businesses," Shannon said in a statement. "Oklahoma can address its financial needs and infrastructure issues in a conservative, fiscally responsible manner without taking on more debt or increasing the tax burden on our citizens." 
Excerpt:  Read more at Oklahoma Policy Institute
Bonds being released right now carry a low interest so it is beyond dumb to take cash to pay for infrastructure when this year Oklahoma already has a shortfall in revenue.  It is very poor management of state resources and like saying I won't buy a house until I can pay cash.

Then to say we cannot tax oil and gas more when the tax was lowered from 7% to 1% in the late 90's is ludicrous.  The Speaker wants to continue the 1% rate permanently as it expires in 2015.  Oil and gas are falling off their wallets and today we discover for horizontal drilling they only pay a 1% tax?  Give me a break.

Will be doing more research and have more next week since all bills for the legislature had to be submitted by 4 p.m. yesterday.  Now we start learning how many bills have been written by ALEC.  It is great to be on the side of the people fighting ALEC legislation instead of hearing people from the legislature brag how they take credit for bills they don't write.

Please join the efforts to return Oklahoma to common sense and start firing some of the legislators touting the ALEC line instead of what is best for Oklahomans.