Friday, March 28, 2014

Russian President Putin Blinked -- Calls President Obama on Ukraine

According to Bloomberg, Russia was already starting to feel the effects of the sanctions.  During this week's G-7 Conference, leaders of the European Union discussed even tougher sanctions against Russia which seems to have sparked President Putin to reconsider his saber rattling at least for now. Did Putin believe the loudmouthed Republicans that President Obama was weak?   If he did, he found out they like talk to hear themselves talk and espouse a narrative since they have a problem with facts. Best to ignore what they have to say because most of the time recently it has added little to the conversation.  When President Obama does something the Republicans want they then decide it is not such a good idea and go the opposite direction.  The credibility of Republicans in Congress is rapidly going into a black hole. So happy that today the President seems to just laugh it off as you cannot please these Republicans.  Today he once again is showing he can get the job done without their support.  
The President is proving to the neocons that diplomacy does work which is something they cannot seem to understand as today another Bush Administration official, Former Secretary of State Condi Rice joined Former Sec of Defense Rumsfeld and Former VP Cheney talking about being tough and trying to rally Americans to support another war.  Takes a lot of nerve from the trio that got us into Iraq on false pretenses to say anything at all.  Arrogance of former Republican leaders from the Bush Administration knows no bounds as we are seeing on an almost a daily basis.  Extremely happy that President Obama doesn't seem to pay the saber rattlers much attention.  Smart man!
The White House readout on the call is telling (Note: Russian Pravda has still not reported the call):
Readout of the call by Russian President Putin to President Obama from the White House
President Putin called President Obama today to discuss the U.S. proposal for a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine, which Secretary Kerry had again presented to Foreign Minister Lavrov at the meeting at the Hague earlier this week, and which we developed following U.S. consultations with our Ukrainian and European partners. President Obama suggested that Russia put a concrete response in writing and the presidents agreed that Kerry and Lavrov would meet to discuss next steps. 
President Obama noted that the Ukrainian government continues to take a restrained and de-escalatory approach to the crisis and is moving ahead with constitutional reform and democratic elections, and urged Russia to support this process and avoid further provocations, including the buildup of forces on its border with Ukraine. 
President Obama underscored to President Putin that the United States continues to support a diplomatic path in close consultation with the Government of Ukraine and in support of the Ukrainian people with the aim of de-escalation of the crisis. President Obama made clear that this remains possible only if Russia pulls back its troops and does not take any steps to further violate Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. President Obama reiterated that the United States has strongly opposed the actions that Russia has already taken to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The comments by Jason Easley, Politicususa, made my afternoon:
Bloomberg reported that the sanctions are pushing Russia’s economy towards a recession and that current sanctions will already hurt Russia’s economic growth for two quarters. Experts also suggest that the energy sector of the Russian economy could take a big hit if the sanctions are expanded. 
All of the Republicans who suggested that sanctions have been a pointless failure are wrong. The sanctions are doing what they are supposed to do. Putin is coming to the table, and he suggesting that he is ready to solve this crisis diplomatically. 
President Obama hasn’t needed troops or to threaten militarily. His administration has clearly targeted Putin and the oligarchs that control the Russian economy. Republicans have been like fanboys with their praise of Putin’s strength, but it turns out their new hero has been being brought to his knees by the intelligent and determined foreign policy of Barack Obama.
Imagine that -- sanctions are starting to work and there is zero need to even consider going to war. What do Republicans have to say now their hero, Putin, blinked?

The call from President Putin was made to President Obama while he was in Saudi Arabia today  on a formal visit with Saudi King Abdullah.   Wonder what made President Putin pick today while the President was meeting with Saudi leaders after yesterday when he met with Pope Francis?  Is Putin feeling world opinion turning against him?  Time will tell!

President Obama Bids Farewell to Pope Francis


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Oklahoma GOP State Legislator Wants Oklahoma Science Teachers to Have the Freedom to Question Their Textbooks

Can I say I am tired of Baptist in our Legislature with their 6,000 year old earth and dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans theories?  Not saying that Rep Blackwell subscribes to these theories but know of plenty of Baptist in Oklahoma who won't allow their children to visit the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History on the OU campus because it dates the earth back millions of years.  They don't want their children to hear the truth preferring to feed them the hard right religious version of history of the world.

It is a fascinating place to visit and my children and now my grandchildren love visiting.  It is so well done making it easy to follow as the earth went from one age to the next.


Kids love going up in the elevator to the second floor to be greeted by the dinosaur head -- little kids get so excited. There is a workshop area for kids and on the second floor they cover the wildlife here in Oklahoma where you can hear the birds, see the buffalo, the snakes with their rattlers moving, roadrunners, and all kinds of animals on display that you have to look twice to see they are not real.  It gives a whole history of wildlife in this part of the Country.

Oklahoma used to be under water and today we have the Wichita Mountains which are actually 5,000 feet tall but have gradually been sinking into the ground.  Now the hard right comes along and wants to teach their version of science in our public schools -- how about confusing children or more important why are children of the non-hard right going to be forced to learn junk science that has been debunked. If my kids had not graduated and came home from school with a theory the earth was 6,000 year old from a a science teacher, that school principle would wish my kids were not in their school.  I value a good education and some things are not subject to interpretation and the junk science of the age of the of the earth being 6,000 years old is one of them.  It is mixing someone's religion and science no matter what Blackwell says as this has been part of the curriculum change in the Platform at the State GOP Convention for years.

Several years ago they demanded the Bible be taught in classrooms and made the mistake of asking which Bible and got told there is only one -- have a lot more then that in my home.  I find this bill goes against everything I believe about a public education and time the legislature got their noses out of the classroom.  If they don't like what public schools teach, then send their kids to a private Christian school.  This Country is not theocracy and was not founded on the Bible no matter how much the hard right wants to rewrite history.

Another example of a legislator in Oklahoma trying to tell schools what they can teach.
New bill gives Oklahoma science teachers the freedom to question their textbooks 
Posted on: 4:02 pm, March 27, 2014, by Paige Hill, updated on: 04:17pm, March 27, 2014

OKLAHOMA – The debate over how science should be taught in Oklahoma classrooms is back. 
Lawmakers say teachers need more freedom. 
The Scientific Education and Academic Freedom Act makes its way on the agenda every year. It gives teachers the freedom to editorialize hot button issues like evolution and climate change. 
The author, Representative Gus Blackwell believes science is wide open to a range of theories, while science educators disagree. 
“This bill really is misunderstood by a lot of people,” says Blackwell. 
Blackwell says the bill’s current language doesn’t mandate teaching creationism in the classroom, but instead gives teachers the right to talk about it and other scientific theories. 
“We just say a lot of people say it so it must be true and that’s it and you need to accept it,” says Blackwell. 
Blackwell says his law is needed to protect educators who want to explore what he calls controversial scientific issues, like evolution and climate change. 
“Many times they just say, ‘I don’t want to do anything that might rock the boat. I’m worried about it,” says Blackwell. “I think this bill says no you do have the academic freedom to explore.” 
The Oklahoma Science Teachers Association is concerned. They say current text-books describing evolution and climate change are more than wild theories that you can pick and choose. 
Board member Bob Melton says, “There is no doubt, or discussion, or controversy about evolution or climate change.” 
Melton says this bill opens a door for teachers to stray far from accepted science.
“Established theories are that. They are explanations of how the world works and they’re based on solid evidence and that should be the focus of our science and structure,” says Melton. “Any controversy is actually a political controversy.” 
The bill will not allow teachers to teach their own opinion unless they use existing scientific theories. 
It also specifically states teachers do not have the freedom to promote a certain religion or religious doctrine. 
If passed, it will be in effect by next school year.
Freedom to the hard right I have discovered after living years in Oklahoma is freedom for them to say and do what they want and the rest of us have to follow along!

Won't be silenced nor will millions like me who have had it with the religious right and their version of history and now science.  The United States of America's Constitution says freedom of religion which means we are free to choose how we want to worship without state interference.   It would do Republicans some good if they remembered that but it would mean they would have to read and comprehend what something says which they have a hard time doing today.  Common sense has left the Republican Party.  We can thank President Reagan for that when he brought in the religious right types to win his primary and election.  The culture of the white male was  brought back to prominence -- we are paying a heavy price for that today.  Just ask women and minorities about the culture of the white male dominated society they want where they don't want any of us to vote.

We have a chance in Oklahoma to start to right the ship and bring some common sense back to our public schools instead of the nonsense from the heavy Republican Legislature and Governor.  Rep Joe Dorman is the person to get the job done -- he is going to need help of not only parents but all Oklahomans who value a good education.  Many of us have had it with the hard right school agenda they are trying to foster on our public schools!   Let's get behind Joe and take Oklahoma back Blue to Common Sense on November 4, 2014!



Note:  I am not paid or employed by any political campaign.  The views are my own. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

President Obama Calls for a Recommitment to Peace in Europe During his Visit to Flanders Field Cemetery in Belgium to Honor of Our WWI Soldiers

President Obama visits Flanders Field Cemetery with Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo of Belgium and His Majesty King Phillipe to participate in a wreath laying and tour the grounds. 

Following the tour, the President, Prime Minister Di Rupo and His Majesty King Phillipe delivered statements at Flanders Field Cemetery. Flanders Field American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War I cemetery on the southeast edge of the town of Waregem, Belgium. This is the only American World War I cemetery in Belgium and 411 American servicemen are buried or commemorated there.


My Grandfather on Dad's side was one of the soldier's gased in WWI and died from that gasing when my Dad was five years old.  I have a vase that he had engraved to my Grandmother that sits on our old German buffet that reads from Orie to Helen 1919 with roses on the vase.  The very idea that the Germans used chemical weapons in WWI and were allowed to come back under Hitler in the 30's shows a reckless disregard for lives of our military from all nations who refused to stand up to Hitler. There is a huge difference between appeasement they did to Hitler and negotiations/sanctions being imposed by Europe and the United States on Russia.  Shame some loud mouth Republicans cannot see the difference.  How much money was made in Europe from Hitlter by Americans before WWII and was that a reason not to stand up to Hitler?  Koch Bros Father was right at the top of that food chain from Hitler but so were others.  

Unfortunately some of that mentality to rush into war still exists in the Republican Party with comments being made about Ukraine from McCain, Graham, and now Rumsfeld who takes the cake for sleaze since he was part of the rush to war in Iraq knowing a lot of the evidence they were using was false.  He, along with Cheney, could have cared less they were sending young men and women to die in a phony war.
Former Bush Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wasn’t content with disagreeing with President Obama’s foreign policy. He felt the need to compare the first African American president to an ape.
Today's Republicans have the class of a gnat or less.  The crickets on the Republican side when remarks are made like Rumsfeld's paint a terrible picture of the lack of integrity in the Republican Party even today when we honor the men who gave their lives to defend the Belgian people.  Shame on the so-called leaders of the Republican Party to allow these crass comments to go unchallenged.  No wonder the Republican Party is beginning to show signs of disinergration with their lack of empathy and white males only matter mentality where they feel free to say anything they want no matter who gets harmed in the process.  There are no repercussions for bad manners/lies in the GOP today -- everything is fair game.

Our family proudly stands with President Obama and his stance that you only send in your men and women to fight when you are left with no other option.  Applaud the leaders of the G-7 who chose to not meet in Sochi, Russia, but meet in Brussels, Belgium, making it a G-7 not a G-8 meeting after Putin moved Russian troops into part of Ukraine.  G-7 leaders standing together give me hope for the future they will put diplomacy over rush to war and use sanctions not weapons.

As our dead and wounded from WWI are honored today, we need to remember in war more then just the solder feels the pain as it extends to families and friends.  My Dad grew up without a Father because of war.  This Nation has paid a terrible price over the years when it has rushed into war and escalated when there was no need.  We have to elect leaders like President Obama who will not be goaded into going into a war that could be catastrophic no matter how many names the Republicans choose to call him.  President Obama is the adult in the group not the name callers!

President Obama invoked Canadian poem "In Flanders Fields" as a call for a recommitment to peace in Europe.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Hobby Lobby For Profit Company Buys Merchandise for Resale from China the #1 Country for Abortion

Hobby Lobby Opposes Paying for Contraceptives for their Female Employees Counting some Forms Abortion before SCOTUS? Hypocrites?

Yesterday I made comments on one of the websites about Hobby Lobby's owner David Green who buys most of his merchandise from China where abortion is rampant seeming like a hypocrite.  Also was complaining about the Oklahoma Attorney General wasting our tax dollars to support a corporation.   It was posted to a Facebook page.   Don't post on Facebook generally speaking -- not my cup of tea much prefer Twitter. I post openly and don't hide behind a pseudo name on either site.   Some of the comments were laughable they were so off the wall but two things the religious right refuses to answer when it comes to Hobby Lobby:
1.  How can you buy your merchandise from the leading country for abortion and consider that a business decision to make more money but make it your business to tell your women employees they cannot have access to contraceptives from their insurance company because Hobby Lobby is a religious company?     
2.  How can you support your insurance company providing Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs as part of the insurance but not contraceptives for women?
Had graphics thrown at me and thought it was strange that it is 2014 and we are talking about birth control and contraceptives?  Feel like we are going back in time not forward.


Do the Texas Values Coalition understand where Green buys his merchandise?  How is denying contraceptives to women by a for profit company supporting religions freedom?  What am I missing?Where did these religious right come from who want to tell us how to live according to their standards? We are not supposed to have any beliefs of our own because we are not blessed like they are?   A neighbor has told me in the past if you don't go to church you cannot be a Christian.  We are not dealing with rationale people here.

This all white male movement in the Republican Party is starting to trouble me because you are hearing more and more that women shouldn't be allowed to vote -- only white males who are behind Hobby Lobby and the movement to deny women and minorities rights. Beginning to think most of the viagra users are white males the way they want to protect their access for free.  Heard on a country music station while driving a commercial about going to see a doctor for male problems with performance followed by a commercial for female lubricants. Think I need a new genre for music.

It is okay for men to have their prescriptions paid for by insurance but not contraceptives for women to keep from getting pregnant?  Is this about male dominance over women where women are supposed to stay home, be barefoot and pregnant especially in the Mormon Church.  Have some evangelical churches joined this movement who believe the reason to have sex is only to procreate.  If that is the case, then they don't need erectile dysfunction drugs when they get older, but yet they have demanded they be paid for as prescription from almost day one.  Guess it boils down to when you don't have a legitimate argument, those arguments you throw out sound stranger and stranger.

This group of hard right loudmouths are going to destroy religion if they keep this up -- they are usually angry and demanding you listen to them or you are going to hell -- such nice people (not).  They have all the answers if they pray hard enough they make a drought go away and get a flood just ask this Oklahoma minister who takes responsibility for the floods


People like him and others like him in Oklahoma are who are backing the Hobby Lobby attacks on women's contraceptives.   You sit here shaking your head remembering the days when these people were in the minority with loud voices in the GOP -- now those same people run the Republican Party which means that Party is no longer big enough to house them and a lot of more common sense people.

This article from Huffington Post shows women are not happy with the Hobby Lobby lawsuit -- hope they keep that in mind come November and start voting out the Tea Party and hard right from Congress and State Government:
Hobby Lobby's Facebook page turned into a social media war zone Tuesday afternoon. 
But people weren't fighting about crafts; they were discussing women's rights. 
The Christian-owned crafts supply chain is the largest of the companies challenging President Obama's health-care law in the Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby wants to be exempt from an Obamacare provision that requires for-profit companies to cover the cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives in their health plans. Hobby Lobby says certain forms of birth control are not in keeping with its religious beliefs. 
Most American women don't think companies should able to refuse to cover contraceptives, but the Supreme Court is having trouble ruling on the case, which will have wide-ranging implications on whether or not companies' religious beliefs should exempt them from federal laws. 
As the Supreme Court deliberated on Tuesday, Americans on both sides of the aisle took a stand on the issue on social media. Many shoppers flooded Hobby Lobby's page with thought-provoking dialogue: 
And snarky criticism (For the record, health insurance generally does cover Viagra and other erectile dysfunction drugs for men), as well as flat-out outrage while others called for a boycott of the store (some samples):


See Huffington Post for more comments
Will never darken the door of Hobby Lobby again and have bought a lot of items from them.  If they don't have what I am looking for at Michael's I will go on-line.  Not shopping Mardel religious book store which Green owns either.  He can keep playing to the hard right and they can spend their money there.

Cannot believe this is March 25, 2014, not March 25, 1954, the way the religious right is sounding when it comes to women's issues.

As for NRO, yes women died using coat hangars -- talk about head buried in the sand!  Little Green Footballs has the story.  The dishonesty on the right knows no end today.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Majority of Oklahomans Oppose Tax Cuts!

Will the Republican Governor and Legislature Listen?

Oklahomans are waking up to the fact these Republicans in State Government will bankrupt state entities in order to give their wealthy donors more tax cuts.  Voters are not happy as recent polling is starting to show:
Voter Support for Income Tax Cuts Falls
By MATT TROTTER

A new poll shows falling voter support for Oklahoma personal income tax cuts. 
Approval of income tax cuts fell from 52 to 46 percent. When surveyed voters were asked if they approve of cuts an analysis says would largely benefit the top 1 percent of Oklahoma households, less than one-third did. 
"There really is nobody at this point, no constituency out there clamoring for tax cuts," said Oklahoma Policy Institute Executive Director David Blatt. "At the same time, you have a legislature that still seems hell-bent on passing a tax cut whether anybody's asking for one or not." 
Tax cut support among voters is even lower when asked which public services they favor cutting to support lower income taxes.
The poll also asked voters whether an educated and well-trained workforce or low personal income tax rates were more important to economic growth in the state. 
"People understand that it's an educated and well-trained workforce," Blatt said. "Seventy-four percent responded that an educated workforce is what's needed to create economic growth, compared to 17 percent who said low personal income tax rates." 
The poll of 610 registered Oklahoma voters was conducted earlier this month by Washington, D.C.-based Global Strategy Group.
From OK Policy Email, 24 March 2014:
Less than half of Oklahoma voters now say they support income tax cut plans, and opposition jumps to more than 60 percent when voters learn more about the plan. OETA reported on implications of a study that ranks Oklahoma near the bottom in the nation for family financial security
From Together Oklahoma Email, 24 March 2014:
Oklahomans Agree...
A new public opinion poll shows that less than half of Oklahoma registered voters now support the plan to reduce the state’s top income tax rate. Huge majorities oppose cutting funding for services like education, public safety, and health care to pay for tax cuts. Oklahomans know that isn't a good trade.
The poll shows that Oklahomans are starting to pay attention, but chances are high that our legislators haven't got the message. We are the anti-tax cut majority, but we won't be heard if we don't speak up! 
Tell your legislators: "Fund my services, don't cut my taxes!"
Haven't talked to my conscientious objector State Rep since he was elected and not about to start now.   The man joined the National Guard to have them pay for college and when he found out they were being deployed declared CO status not once but on two separate occasions.  He also lied about where he was living.  First time he ran we had a State GOP Chair who agreed a GOP CO should not be elected along with State House office holders. Then the hard right took over Oklahoma GOP and he got the support of the State Party.  Because he has an (R) behind his name some people here vote for him without any hesitation.   He has accomplished one thing -- help lead me to support Democrats for good.  Cannot take the hard right and their 'my way or no way attitude' which is prevalent in their ranks.

Maybe there is hope after all since people are waking up on tax cuts maybe they will wake up to the fact that our statewide Republicans in some offices in state government are costing taxpayers a lot of money.  Sill waiting for someone to explain why our state Attorney General is wasting tax dollars supporting a law suit by a Republican Major donor David Green who heads Hobby Lobby before the SCOTUS on the ACA mandate for birth control.  

Like many Oklahomans we are getting tired of social issues being the end all be all.  Many of us are upset that vouchers and charter schools are being pushed by the OK State School Superintendent Barrisi at the expense of public schools using text books from Bob Jones University which has been proven to be a fringe University years ago along with Beka Books.  These schools are teaching creationism and substituting conservative ideology for science.   At the same time we are seeing school funding cut by the OK legislature since taking over in January 2009 by over $600M -- why?  Have they gone that far right that normal voters are starting to wake up?  We can only hope!

Now will the Governor finally wake up and realize that Oklahoma cannot afford a tax cut?  We have our serious doubts since major donors are pushing for more tax cuts:
“Lets take this opportunity to show the country that lower taxes and limited government do work,” Fallin said. “We believe in them for a reason. The Oklahoma way and not the Washington way is the best way to support economic growth and help the middle class, Oklahomans and Americans.” 
Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger said the $7 billion budget contains $71 million in budget cuts. Cuts would include $47.7 million from the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and $49.4 million from the Regents for Higher Education. 
In response to the budget released by the state, University of Oklahoma President Boren released a statement. 
“This budget will be very damaging to the future of our state if it is not modified in the weeks ahead. How can we afford another tax cut when we are already shortchanging the education of our children and grandchildren? Failure to adequately support higher education and all of education will discourage the creation of new jobs and investments in our state. Investors are looking for a highly-educated and trained work force. It is a tragic mistake to invest less per student in education than is being invested in surrounding states.” 
David Blatt of the Oklahoma Policy Institute responded that as Fallin calls for another tax cut, the budget is already $572 million below Fiscal Year 2009 after inflation. Oklahoma has jumped from a budget shortfall in a national recession to an equally serious shortfall of our own creation, he said. 
“Especially troubling is that at a time when Medicaid needs new funding just to continue existing services, the governor suggests cutting state funding for Medicaid while continuing to refuse federal funds,” Blatt said.
If the Governor was truly for limited government, she would tell the hard right there is a moratorium on social issues and quit wasting our tax dollars joining lawsuits against ACA which has been declared the law of the land by SCOTUS.  Gov Fallin knows in her heart the right thing to do for Oklahomans would have been to take ACA Exchanges but she caved to the hard right and now our Medicaid recipients are going to be cut even more along with education.  This is not responsible governing but putting your reelection ahead of what is best for the State of Oklahoma.  Count her as another Republican I was wrong about -- they are mounting up as they put re-election over doing the right thing -- shame on the whole bunch of them.  It is a joke that they say they are for limited government but want to tell the rest of us what we can do -- my way or no way attitude is on full display.

The experiment to put the Republicans in charge of states has failed -- please join in returning common sense to our state government -- no more social issues and fully fund education and infrastructure at the state level.  Today's Republicans have trouble with the facts when it comes to tax breaks:





Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Oklahoma Governor Fallin Receives Black Hole Award for Second Year in a Row

Fallin and her attorney, Steve Mullins, were recognized a year ago for citing executive privilege – which doesn’t exist under Oklahoma law (Freedom of Information OK)
Guess the word 'transparency' was only a con when Gov Fallin ran for office.  To win the award for the second year in a row means only her first year she didn't qualify but have to wonder how close she came.  What happened to the Mary Fallin a lot of us thought would be a good Governor who cared about all Oklahomans?  Obvious to more and more people she only cares when the spotlight is on her. Should have known that from the Congressional campaign that she ran in the primary -- win at any costs and truth goes out the window.  Turning out to be a partisan hack as Governor like so many other Republican Governors who support the wealthy, cut education and ignore infrastructure.  Forgot the most important part -- diss Affordable Care Act (ACA) at every turn, refuse to take the federal exchanges and money, and screw the citizens and taxpayers of Oklahoma royally with the partisan lawsuit antics on ACA.

Fallin is head of the Governor's Association which means she comes in contact with President Obama. Would like to know how she squares that with her hard right base who detests him here in Oklahoma based on lies which our local politicians know are lies starting with our two Senators not to mention our Congressmen.  Does she tell them a different story in private?

How Oklahoma members of Congress lie to your constituents over and over again about President Obama is beyond me.  Worse is that The Oklahoman seems to ignore the lies unlike the Tulsa World. Personally think The Oklahoman has gone downhill since it was sold and now go to the Tulsa World for most of my information.  Then there is always The Oklahoma Policy Institute which is non-partisan no matter what Republicans say where you always get sourced information -- highly recommend you sign up for their Daily Newsletter to get the facts.

Having worked for the Federal Government and handled Freedom of Information requests, we were told not to stall but handle the requests right away because the longer wait the worse they get.  Our office was responsible for a USAF Medical Center so we got the worst ones to answer, had get all the info, redacted, and then had my boss review and sign off on the reply.  Command Surgeon had a policy that you answer them ASAP with an initial response and then follow up in a timely manner.  He was adamant on not stalling because nothing good comes from a stall.  Looks like Governor Fallin could use some of his wise advice.

Why did Gov Fallin hire a private attorney and not use the Attorney General who keeps suing the Federal Government at every turn.  Stalling seems right up his alley.  The GOP Attorney General is out of control -- what got me is when he joined in with the lawsuit by the millionaire owner of Hobby Lobby on ACA birth control requirement.  What is the Attorney General of State doing being involved with a private business?  Never mind as big donors get special privileges.  Republicans in Oklahoma have gone over the edge of the cliff.  Now the Governor is caught in a lie about transparency for the second year in a row!  Imagine that!  Channel 4 news has the story:
Gov. Fallin earns latest award, but it is not a good thingPosted on: 6:15 pm, March 17, 2014, by Dallas Franklin and KFOR-TV

An organization whose goal is to support groups and individuals trying to access open records or have access to meetings that are illegally closed has named our governor as this year’s recipient of an award no state official would want to receive. 
Local organization, Freedom of Information Oklahoma, has recognized Governor Mary Fallin as this year’s recipient of their Black Hole recognition. 
The Black Hole award recognizes an individual, agency or organization that has most thwarted the free flow of information. 
According to FOI Oklahoma, Gov. Fallin was named as deserving the Black Hole recognition for damaging access to records that should be easily available to the public. 
Gov. Fallin has received many complaints regarding delayed access to public records for sometimes more than a year. 
The Tulsa World reportedly waited 15 months for the governor’s office to release more than 8,000 records related to prison reforms.
This is the second year in a row that Gov. Fallin has received the recognition for failing to release records to the public. 
Two new lawsuits have been filed because of her office’s slow relase of public records, and today another organization joined the list. 
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma Foundation filed a motion for summary judgement and a supporting legal brief today in Oklahoma County District Court on behalf of Vandelay Entertainment, the publisher of TheLostOgle.com, in its suit against Gov. Fallin. 
According to a release, the suit seeks a court order compelling Gov. Fallin to release 100 pages of public records she has refused to turn over regarding her decision to reject medicaid expansion. 
Governor Mary Fallin has hired a private law firm to defend her office in this ongoing open records lawsuit
Haven't gotten over making the Tulsa World wait 15 months?  Was the Fallin Administration hiding something or are they that incompetent?  Either way she looks to be over her head as Governor and listens to way too many people giving her bad advice.  This from the Freedom of Information Oklahoma organization about the award they gave Gov Fallin:
Gov. Mary Fallin is a repeat recipient of the Black Hole recognition for persistent stonewalling on requests for public records. Fallin is the first repeat recipient of the Black Hole. 
Fallin and her attorney, Steve Mullins, were recognized a year ago for citing executive privilege – which doesn’t exist under Oklahoma law – in refusing to turn over emails regarding the state health insurance exchange. A lawsuit was filed for full release of the emails. 
Two new lawsuits have been filed because of her office’s slow release of public records via the creation of a “first-come, first served’’ procedure. 
Her attorneys argue that access delayed is not access denied. 
The Tulsa World waited 15 months for the governor’s office to release more than 8,000 records related to prison reforms. 
“First-come, first-served” resulted in an Open Records Act lawsuit filed in late October by the governor’s former Tulsa office director. 
Wendy Gregory’s attorney said Fallin’s staff had “stonewalled” his request for her personnel records for “the past six or eight months.”  In January, the judge refused to dismiss that case. 
Also, the mothers of two Moore schoolchildren killed in the May tornadoes filed suit accusing Fallin of violating the Open Records Act by not releasing records related to school safety that were requested several months earlier. 
 (snip)
FOI Oklahoma recognizes Black Hole recipients but does not make an award presentation.
Please check out FOI Oklahoma for more info on Black Hole Recipients
My mind is boggled how Fallin and her private lawyer cited 'Executive Privilege' on turning over emails when 'Executive Privilege' does not exist under Oklahoma Law.  What am I missing?  How can they be that dumb not realize that 'Executive Privilege' does not exist in Oklahoma since Fallin was Lt Governor for 12 years, before going to Congress for four years, and now Governor?

To all Oklahoma voters, please do not just mark a straight party ballot but THINK and do some research on the candidates which is exactly what Republicans don't want you to do.  Time to Turn Oklahoma Back Blue as the Republican experiment has been a disaster and getting worse.  Cost the taxpayers school funding, infrastructure funding, and millions in unnecessary lawsuits filed by this Attorney General.  That doesn't even take into account all the bills pass by the legislature, approved by the Attorney General, and signed by the Governor declared unconstitutional by various judges.

My favorite is the Oklahoma Constitutional requirement that every bill only deal with one subject and last time they had a bill that was declared unconstitutional because it dealt with three subjects.  Are Republicans that stupid or did they try to sneak it through which was never going to happen.  More waste of tax dollars by the Republicans in charge.

Have a good rest of the Spring Break week and enjoy the Final 64 Basketball Tournament -- Go Sooners -- both men's and women's teams are in the Tournament.   

Monday, March 17, 2014

Time to Oust Oklahoma Republicans from Control Over Higher Education and Public Schools

Happy St Patrick's Day -- Rivers across America are being turned green today from the San Antonio River on the Riverwalk to the Chicago River as everyone becomes Irish for the day!  Little corned beef, potatoes, carrots  and cabbage on the menu at many households and restaurants with some soda bread and mint brownies for dessert with loads of whipped creme.  Today is the day that green alcohol becomes extremely popular with a lot of people needing to park their car and take advantage of a ride home.  This is Spring Break for The University of Oklahoma but it has not stopped the OU President from having his say on cuts to high education:
“It’s almost hostility to higher education,” University of Oklahoma President David Boren said. “We’ve gotten out of whack.”  
That is probably the understatement of the day, month or year!  Can only imagine what is being said behind closed doors when I know what I am saying about this Republican run state that is being run into the ground following the lead of Kansas.  The Kansas State Supreme Court had to restore some funding for Kansas public schools.  Republican members of the legislature and the Governor's offices across America have no right to take public tax dollars for private religious schools -- guess separation of church and state are not on their radar? My tax dollars going for any private school goes against what I believe because private schools are not subject to rules or regulations like public schools are in order to keep their accreditation.  The religious schools are free to teach their own version of science and thus have a generation of illiterate children who believe the earth is 6,000 years old and dinosaurs roamed the earth with man just like in the Flintstones.    

In Oklahoma today, would say we have two happy college Presidents because University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University made the NCAA Basketball Tournament but at the same time they are are as disgusted with this Republican Governor as you can be especially President Boren who was the Governor at one time and also a US Senator before becoming President of the University of Oklahoma. What is mind boggling is Governor Fallin wants to cut higher education more while giving the wealthy a tax cut -- typical Republican Koch/ALEC puppet.  Just don't understand what Republicans have against public education including higher education -- makes no sense to me unless they don't want an educated populace.

This Republican Governor has been a disaster for education at all levels and her good friend the State School Superintendent, Janet Barrisi, is the absolute worst and most detested State School Superintendent by both sides of the aisle -- total arrogance from someone with no recent background in public education since she sat on the school board for a charter school and was a dentist.  Barrisi was the first Republican State School Superintendent and hopefully the last.  Republicans are showing that education means nothing to them unless they can use charter schools to help their donors plus be able to teach what they want with no regulations or oversight. This anti-public education movement on the right has many long time supporters of public schools up in arms -- I am one of them.  Have volunteered countless hours over the years to public education from tutoring reading to being head of the PTO and everything in between.  There is no way I am sitting on the sidelines and allowing Republicans to destroy public education without a fight.

Oklahoma leads the Country in cuts to public education since 2008 when Republicans took over complete control of the legislature.  Maybe if they quit wasting so much of our tax dollars on social issues, they would have money left for educating our students.  Republicans received my last dollar along with my last vote in 2010 after their attacks on education in Oklahoma after Republicans took full control of state government.  All children deserve a very good education but you don't get there with the draconian cuts by the Republicans in the Legislature and Governor's Office since 2008/2010. Asking higher ed to take a $50M cut while handing out tax cuts is stupid and irresponsible.  The very fact these Republicans refuse to increase the taxes on horizontal drilling that were cut in the early 90's says all you need to know about these bought and paid for Republicans in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma higher education leaders hope to avoid budget cut 
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education requested an increase of 7.7 percent — or an additional $76.3 million — for the next fiscal year, but the governor has called for a cut of nearly $50 million. 
By Kathryn McNutt Published: March 16, 2014

Higher education leaders are optimistic they can avoid the cut in state funding Gov. Mary Fallin proposed in her fiscal year 2015 budget. 
The governor’s budget includes a 5 percent reduction for most agencies because estimates show the state will have about $188 million less to appropriate for FY15.

“I’m pushing to at least make up the 5 percent cut,” Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, said last week. 
Wright, chairman of the House Higher Education and CareerTech Committee, said he thinks lawmakers can keep the funding level and keep tuition as low as possible. 
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education requested an increase of 7.7 percent — or an additional $76.3 million — from the current fiscal year, but the governor has called for a cut of nearly $50 million. 
Higher Education Chancellor Glen Johnson said the state appropriation makes up about 38 percent of the total higher education budget, down from half in 2007. 
The state has cut the higher education budget an average of 8.4 percent each year since 2008 at a time when enrollment is increasing and costs have gone up, Johnson said. 
“It’s kind of an unsustainable crunch. The governor has Complete College America and wants to graduate more students,” Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis said.
“Meanwhile, we’re cutting the dollars and, therefore, how do you make that up?” 
“It’s almost hostility to higher education,” University of Oklahoma President David Boren said. “We’ve gotten out of whack.” 
Revenue sources 
Boren and Hargis both support reducing the gross production tax exemption for horizontal wells to increase the available dollars for state appropriations. 
Estimates of the money that would produce are pretty dramatic, Hargis said. 
“I think there’s going to be a little more money (in the state budget) than they currently are working on,” he said. 
Another step that would put more money in the budget is delaying an income tax cut, Boren said.
Read More on Education by Kathryn McNutt at The Oklahoman

Now we will see if OSU President Hargis sticks with his Party, the Republicans, or stands up for higher education and the OSU college students.  The jury is out on that one as we wait to see which side major OSU donor Boone Pickens falls.

With President Boren we have no doubt -- he would be saying and doing the same thing no matter who the Party in charge was who wanted to cut higher education.

Time for Oklahomans to get a clue and return this state to common sense by getting rid of the anti-education faction in this state.   That means electing Democrat Rep Joe Dorman for Governor who values public education for all of Oklahoma's children.  Rep Dorman is willing to work across the aisle for the betterment of all Oklahomans versus the Republican 'my way or no way' attitude of some members of the Legislature and State Government.  Rep Dorman has my support and my vote in November -- time for a change in Oklahoma!


Disclaimer:  Opinions are my own on this blog.  I do not receive compensation from any candidate, organization, or group. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Florida Special Election for Congress

The very fact that Alex Sink came this close to winning in a Republican district in a special election should have the Republicans wondering what happened.  Instead yesterday I kept getting email from some Democrat groups all upset they didn't raise/spend enough money.  That wasn't the problem.   Neither was Obamacare.  If you want to point one finger, you look at ground game -- it is hard to flip a seat in a special election but more important then all the ads the Dems wanted to counter was the ground game -- the on one one -- getting people to turn out for a special election.   Personally think the margin being so thin bodes well for Democrats in 2014 but what do I know -- the media has spoken and anyone who has been around campaigns knows nothing as they parrot Republican talking point papers.   Now I am wonder if the media is lazy or stupid and not sure which yet but they are doing the American people a disservice with their shoddy reporting.

This snippet from the article at Politicususa says it all:
The media looked at a Democrat losing by two points in a district where Republicans have a built in 11 point advantage, and concluded that this was a devastating loss for Obamacare. The only way that anyone could reach such a conclusion is if they didn’t bother to look at the numbers, and instead repeated the Republican spin. A majority of voters in the district (50%-48%) said that Jolley’s hard line repeal position caused them to have serious doubts about him. 
David Jolley won even though his position on Obamacare was unpopular with voters.
The message for Democrats is that they need to do a better job with voter outreach in the district. DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel is already encouraging Sink to run against Jolley again in November. Jolley only won the seat for the duration of the late Bill Young’s term. He will have to run for reelection this fall. Democrats suspect that the high profile Charlie Crist/Rick Scott gubernatorial contest will bring their voters out to the polls.
The reason lesson in FL-13 is that Republicans are gambling on the wrong strategy of running against Obamacare. The GOP can still only win elections in places where they have a clear registration advantage. As long as the electorate stays white and old, Republicans can win. If Florida Democrats turn out to vote this November, Rick Scott will be defeated, and Alex Sink will be elected to the House. 
Analysis of the Florida special election has been bungled so badly because many lazy media outlet would prefer to pass off Republican talking points as fact than do their own work. The media are absolutely wrong about why Alex Sink lost, but this is for the course for corporate media that wear their Republican bias on their sleeves. 
Read more at Politicususa
With the Crist/Scott race for Governor turnout is going to be much higher and agree chances of Sink wining are high.  She has already been campaigning in the district and now needs to double down and get a real ground game going.  Democrats need to quit worrying about if they are being outspent and concentrating getting people out to vote.  People get turned off by ads so do a few good ones to counter but don't run ad for ad.  The seat is winnable for the Democrats if they play it right and #1 issue is to quit worrying about is the 2016 election and Hillary Clinton.  Concentrate only on 2014 and any donors looking ahead to 2016 need their heads examined -- plenty of time for that.  Looking at it from the outside, it seems the split that happened in 2008 is still in the Democrat Party in some areas.  Time to set it aside and stop the grandstanding from the Clinton camp.




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Just Say NO to Tax Cuts for Oklahomans -- Fix OK Education and Infrastructure

Tax cut boosters offer the false promise of a free lunch — that we can cut taxes 
without paying for it with other tax increases or cuts to services.  These are empty 
political promises that defy common sense.  (TogetherOK.Org Fact Sheet)

The more I think about the very idea of a tax cut for the wealthy in Oklahoma, the madder I get and more determined I will never support any Republican who votes for this nonsense.  Are Republicans so brainwashed by the Koch organizations that they feel tax cuts are the only way to prosperity when the economic indicators say otherwise.  When most wealthy get tax breaks, their money ends up in their pockets or much of it overseas, not in new jobs.  It was a false notion under Reagan about trickle down economics and it is just as false today as it doesn't work according to Forbes.

Want to stimulate the economy, raise the minimum wage to a living wage.  Also provide a safety net of unemployment when someone does lose their job. Problem is that doesn't fit the libertarian, religious hard right Republican Party of today where common sense took a flying leap and crashed on the pavement below.
Does anyone else see a conflict between libertarian of old and religious right?  I cannot believe the two groups came together but I guess when Koch Bros millions came into play back with Contract of America, anything can happen with spineless Republicans.  It sure explains why there were no social issues in the Contract with America.  Republicans sold out completely in 1994 in the House and in 1996 in the Senate elections and are still bought and paid for by the Koch's.  Estimates of $25M to 30M has been bandied around the Koch's spent on the 1994 House elections.

It explains Speaker Boehner as he bragged about being part of writing the Contract with America along with Dick Armey who went on to work for the Koch's Citizens for a Sound Economy (CSE) founded in 1984 after he left the House.  CSE split into Americans for Prosperity and Freedom Works in 2004 which led to the Tea Party.  Retired Rep Dick Armey headed Freedom Works until there was a split last fall between him and the Koch's and he got paid millions to shut up.  The puzzle pieces are fitting nationwide and are now beginning to fill in for state wide Republicans owned by ALEC and the Koch Bros.  Tax Cuts which will be bankrupting states in the future are being introduced in Red State legislatures across the Country.

This is not some deal just in Oklahoma.  Kansas is in real problems after all their tax cuts under GOP Governor Brownback so much so that he was told no more.  Brownback is in dire straights politically as he has most of the state angry at him.  It is so bad in Kansas that the Supreme Court had to step in and increase school funding because of Brownback and the legislature cuts.  Yet the Oklahoma Legislature wants to be like Kansas?  
From TogetherOK.org a clearer picture has been emerging of how bad a tax cut is that is put on automatic pilot.  It is a way for the members of the legislature to blame future members and also a way to have a tax cut kick in even if federal funding on programs are lacking that year.  It is abject stupidity for lack of better words.    
Priorities for OklahomaProtect Essential Revenues
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging!-Will Rogers 
Middle-income families would get just $29 per year. 
Two out of every five Oklahoma families would get no tax cut.
One-fourth of the tax cut would go to a few Oklahomans already making more than $1 million per year.
Will someone explain to me what millionaires are going to do with another $2,000 which is chump change to them?  Why are wealthy not telling the legislature to stop the insanity of tax cuts and fix education and infrastructure?

This Oklahoma tax cut is from last year was overturned because the Republicans in the Legislature combined three bills together which is against the State Constitution, yet the Governor signed. What do you call a group of Legislators and Governor who are supposed to know the Constitution but are so arrogant they think they can sneak a tax cut through as part of another bill when they know it is unconstitutional?  Hard headed, arrogant, puppets?  Then you read this from TogetherOK.org where Oklahoma stands on a shortfall for this year already and you ask yourself why a tax cut: 
We have yet to restore cuts made during the recession to education and other critical services. This year’s budget is $572 million below five year ago after inflation. Now we are facing a $188 million shortfall.  
Oklahomans are suffering because of state budget cuts. We have too few foster families for neglected and abused kids, students crammed into overcrowded classrooms, understaffed and unsafe prisons, rising tuition and fees, and more.
Separate tax cut bills have passed in both the House and Senate, but the debate is far from over. All Democrats and several Republicans have bravely opposed the tax cuts.  We know there are more who would like to do so, but aren't yet so brave.  Your legislators need to hear from you that cutting taxes even further when we're already in a budget shortfall is not what they were elected to do!
Protect essential revenues (download the fact sheet) 
Bill Watch!: A House tax cut bill passed the full house on March 6th.  Many legislators made compelling debates against the income tax, and those in favor had very little response. Watch the video of the debate here.   
The bill would cut both the top personal income tax rate and the corporate income tax rate in 2016, or as soon as revenues increase after that year. Although the bill passed the House, it was opposed by all of the Democrats and several Republicans. See who voted how here
The bill now goes to the Senate for review by the Finance Committee.  Now is a good time to contact your senators as well as members of the Finance Committee to tell them that putting tax cuts on auto-pilot could hurt our economy
Bill Watch!: The Senate's tax cut bill is next heading to a House Committee. Check here to see who voted how in the Senate so that you can contact your Senator and let them know how you feel about their vote.  Be polite and keep them accountable!   
Your Representatives in both the House and Senate need to know that you don't approve of these bills.  So few Oklahomans follow these issues that every phone call or letter they receive counts! NOW is a good time to call and remind them why they should vote Nay before they vote on another version of this unaffordable tax cut bill. 
Read the email from TogetherOK.org
When I was reading The Oklahoman on Sunday, I saw this letter and said he speaks for me and many like us across the state.  Over 50% last year were opposed to tax cuts but the Republicans ignored the will of the people because they know what is best for donors not the people (sarcasm):
Republican priorities wrong in Oklahoma 
Oklahoman Published: March 9, 2014 
The Republican-dominated Legislature and the governor want to give high income earners a tax break. Teachers haven’t had a raise in six years; and our best teachers continue to move to states that pay more. The Department of Human Services is a mess, and children not only fall between the cracks, they routinely die. Our roads and bridges are a mess. We are defunding what was once an affordable and outstanding higher education system that allowed most Oklahomans to attend college and not be so burdened by student loan debt that they were unable for years to contribute to the state economy. 
I am president of a startup biotech company that employs eight people. I can assure you that we don’t make economic decisions for the company on the basis of personal tax liability. I would far rather the few hundred dollars (at most) I would save go toward fixing the state’s many problems. Quality of life is far more of an issue for us than is a few measly bucks in state taxes. Obviously, the Republican Party’s priorities aren’t teachers, roads, education or anything but serving the people who already have it made. 
Robert E. Hurst, Oklahoma CityHurst is president of DormaTarg Inc.
This is a small business person who gets it -- why doesn't the legislature?  Are they that bought and paid for along with the Governor to where education and infrastructure take second place to tax cuts for the wealthy.  Wealthy can be bought cheap when we are talking about a little over $2000 a year could lead to bankrupting the state which makes you wonder what the wealthy have to gain with a state going into financial difficulties.

Just maybe Oklahoma Republicans might want to go back and read Will Rogers as they might actually learn something if they would open up their minds for a change.  Have a hard time believing many people in the legislature are more like puppets today doing their donors bidding then independent thinkers.  What this Oklahoma Legislature since 2008 has been doing to education in Oklahoma at all levels from pre-K to PhD is a travesty that defies any one's beliefs who care about education.  Have never seen anything like this State School Superintendent Barrisi and hope to never see another one. She is rude, close minded, and doesn't have the background to be State School Superintendent but she is good friends with the Governor.  The very fact she refuses to listen to those with a background speaks volumes but then she wouldn't be trying to put all these charter schools in place owned by the same groups if she didn't have a separate agenda.
Why is Oklahoma cutting higher ed when the University of Oklahoma has so many research facilities that bring people in from around the world or is that the problem?  The abject racism in the Republican Party today has turned me off so far I want nothing to do with them.  When Rush Limbaugh says that the reason Congressional Republicans don't get along with Obama is because he is black speaks volumes.  How many people in the Oklahoma Legislature don't like minorities and because a lot of research positions go to minorities now want to cut higher education here and at OSU?  Wouldn't put anything past this group of Republicans in our legislature.  Most of them have lost my total respect by being "me too" to jump on the bandwagon and quit thinking for themselves.  Whatever happened to pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and being the best at what you do?  Or is that only for white males?  Minorities and women are treated like second class citizens by Republicans today.  Women are to stay home and raise children according to many in the GOP?  Have had people tell me recently, women shouldn't have a right to vote if they are married as the husband votes for the household -- sitting here rolling eyes.

What happened to the Republican Party of Eisenhower?  One sentence:  "Libertarians and Religious Right" took over thanks to the millions from the Koch Bros over the years.  How far does the Koch influence go back?  Still being investigated but pieces are falling into place.  They made one big mistake and that is introducing the same bills in Red State Legislatures so you can track them.  Are the Koch's intent on bankrupting Government so they are free to pollute at will -- only explanation many of us can come up.

JUST SAY NO to TAX CUTS in OKLAHOMA!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

University of Oklahoma Sooner Women's Softball National Champions Visited the White House Yesterday

Most impressive Women's Softball Team I have ever seen -- they were simply the best last year after being runner-up the year before.  One of the neatest things was seeing the number of male athletes from other sports especially football that were there to support them during the spring and in the College World Series.  Class all the way when meeting the President and representing The University of Oklahoma!

Head Coach Patty Gasso about President Obama's comments on female athletes:
“One thing that really stuck with me was that he was appreciative of the female athletes that were there,” Gasso said. “He talked about how far we had come and our role as leaders for the future and young women. I really appreciated that he recognized female athletes and the importance of what we do.”
This President has done a lot for equality and love having a President who is into sports!  


The Sooners visited Washington D.C. and met with President Barack Obama to celebrate OU's 2013 national championship, which they capped with a 4-0 over Tennessee.


March 11, 2014

NORMAN, Okla. – The celebration of Oklahoma’s 2013 national championship culminated Monday afternoon with an invitation to the White House to meet President Barack Obama.

“It was fantastic,” head coach Patty Gasso said. “It was one last grand celebration, and to do it this way in getting to see a piece of history and meet the most powerful man in the world who was recognizing your accomplishments, it was phenomenal.”

The team arrived in Washington D.C. on late Sunday night, around midnight local time. The next day the Sooners ate breakfast before heading to the U.S. Capitol Building to meet United States Congressman Tom Cole (4th District – Oklahoma) and get a tour.

“Each state has a representation of a statue and Oklahoma’s is Will Rogers so we took a photo around him,” Gasso said. “There’s a story that one of his shoes has the shine off and there’s a legend that you touch his shoe for good luck, so everyone was rubbing on the shoe.

“We got to see some neat history, statues and art; it was all very interesting and kind of an ‘awe’ moment to see all of that in front of us.”

After spending approximately two hours at the U.S. Capitol, the Sooners departed for lunch and then back to the hotel to change before leaving for the White House. After passing through multiple security checkpoints, the team was permitted to explore certain areas like the Green Room and the Red Room.
“I used to watch the show The West Wing in history class, and then I found myself looking out the window starting at it, so it was interesting to see all the different areas you’ve heard about,” junior Lauren Chamberlain said. “Being in those same rooms where so many historic political figures had been and the history of it all was pretty cool.

“I was surprised at how many rooms there were; it’d be easy to get lost there are so many rooms. They’re all connected and there were a lot of little things about each room that were unique.”
The team then gathered back up and was assigned to Green Room, along with a few other national championship teams, for their meeting with President Obama.

“We were the fourth team he was going to meet and he talked to each of us and shook each of our hands,” Chamberlain said. “He talked about how his niece played softball and basketball, but ended choosing basketball. He said he was a fan of softball and talked about how competitive it was getting and congratulated us before heading off to the next room.

“I thought it was really incredible because we were shaking the President of the United States’ hand. To be in the same room as one of the most powerful men in the world and have him take time out of his day to meet with us, congratulate us our season, commend us on our work ethic and handle stress on a daily basis like he does, I thought was pretty cool.”

Gasso said that when she spoke with the President he asked how many games they played in a season, how the current season was going and who the seniors were.

“He shook everyone’s hand and they got to introduce themselves,” Gasso added. “When he got to Michelle [Gascoigne], she introduced herself and he said Michelle was a great name. He was very friendly and engaged with us.”

After the photo opportunity, the team was escorted to the South Lawn where the President gave a short speech to welcome the teams and congratulate them.

“One thing that really stuck with me was that he was appreciative of the female athletes that were there,” Gasso said. “He talked about how far we had come and our role as leaders for the future and young women. I really appreciated that he recognized female athletes and the importance of what we do.”

Once the ceremony had ended, the Sooners headed to dinner before stopping to visit the Lincoln Memorial and then headed back to the U.S. Capitol to see it lit up in the night.

“I talked to Lauren, Jessica Vest and Callie Parsons over dinner and we were talking about some of the things that this team has gotten to do and experience over the last six to eight months,” Gasso said. “It has been amazing. They’ve gotten to do more things in that short amount of time than most people get to do in their whole lifetime.


“I think it all caught up to me when I was standing in that Green Room with this team, this is the last and biggest icing on the cake.”

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring is Around the Corner

After months of cold weather include -13 chill factor in Norman a short time ago, it was over 70 degrees today and is still 69 degrees at 8:35 p.m.  What a difference!  We have one more day of warm and then here comes slightly colder but now near as cold as it has been.  Looks like spring could be on the way.

With that in mind, I spent most of my afternoon outside and finally was able to start planting the early garden where if this keeps up it will run into the other.  This year I am not trusting the frost free date to be 1 April -- could be a real April Fool!

There is a lot to do outside and decided instead of sitting in here doing my blog, I would be outside working and it felt great.

The only thing really going on over the weekend was CPAC which I refuse to cover as I didn't like it when I was a so-called conservative which seems a long time ago -- cannot feature being a member of the same party as that group at CPAC.  Just shake my head at abject stupidity on display and was trying to figure out which I thought was the dumbest and think that has to go to Michael Medved who said it was liberal lie that some red states banned gay marriage.  Where has he been.  Oklahoma had a referendum shortly after the turn of the century to ban gay marriage.  Now when it has been overturned by the SCOTUS, a state legislator wants to be all marriage to keep gay marriage from happening.  What has Medved been?  Obvious he has been in any of our states.  Heard some people in OK were really mad he said it and thought he was making of Oklahoma for having it overturned.  OOPS!

The other major happening which is much more serious is a Malaysian Airlines 777 airliner that has disappeared at 36,000 feet two days ago -- search and rescue cannot find the wreckage so they are looking at other areas the plane might have gone.  It is just strange with all kinds of intrigue with two Syrians with stolen passports with tickets from a code share with one number after the other.  A lot of theories banded around but no one knows.  Prayers go out to the over 200 passengers and crew.  Not knowing would be horrible.

Hopefully with expanding the range of search they will be able to locate the plane and find the boxes if they haven't been turned off.  This is not a deep area and the Navy's Orion planes can see something that is very small which would explain expanding the search area.  It looks like it is not located in the flight path over the seas before entering Vietnam as that area has been gone over with a fine tooth comb.

Really strange that no ships have spotted anything.  Hopefully morning will bring some news to families.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Rep Issa Needs to Resign as Head of House Investigation Committee NOW!

Rep Issa (R-CA) may be the biggest jerk of either party to head the Investigation Committee while Speaker Boehner is flat out wrong after seeing this video, if he bothered to watch, defend this lowlife.  Do Republicans not know any shame or what the word "decorum" means?  For the non-educated in the Republican Party:  
Decorum:  correct or proper behavior that shows respect and good manners 
Decided to use the Merriam Webster Learner's Dictionary to make it easier for Republicans to understand the word "Decorum" because it is obvious they have no clue.

This interview on Hardball including the clip of President Reagan saying he paid for the microphone when they tried to cut him off in the campaign is well worth watching.  This is a reminder of the man that Speaker Boehner and the Republicans in the House stand behind.


What kind of a House is Boehner running when someone can run a committee like this -- turning off the microphone of the ranking member of the Democrats on the Committee.  Do Republicans want the Democrats to have no voice?  This is not how the Congress worked up until the Republicans took the House in 2010 and Republicans started filibustering in the Senate in 2009 when President Obama won the White House which has been more then all the time in the history of filibusters.  Republicans have lost it and look like mean, angry, old white guys who act like bullies.  Do Republicans refuse to honor the results of the election since President Obama was elected twice by the Country, and the lowlife Republicans are still filibustering in the Senate to stop anything from passing.

After things I have learned this week, I cannot believe these Republicans are even in charge of the snack cart in Congress.  They deserve to be banished to the dust bin of history -- in fact the whole party does with the spectacle going on at CPAC in DC this weekend which makes me cringe but that has been happening for years.  Difference is this group of hard right are now in charge of the Republican Party.  

In my lifetime, I have never seen someone who as head of a committee be so rude and nasty to the Ranking Member of the opposite party.  Issa is the worst example of a thug in a suit I think I have seen.   Republicans in Congress have lost it between the trumped IRS Scandal, Benghazi, and voting the 50th time in the House to repeal ACA. 

It gets even worse as the lawyer for the person they wanted to answer questions on the IRS Scandal agreed to answer the questions for the witness but Issa was having none of that after all he is King of this House Committee on Oversight and Investigations and everyone will do as he says.

The Republicans truly are "USELESS."

Have a terrific weekend and get ready next week for the road to the NCAA March Madness to begin with Conference tournaments of the larger conferences.  This is the time of year that it is basketball 24/7, spring football for colleges, and regular season opens for Major League baseball.  What you have is a trifecta for the sports fans of America!

Boomer Sooner!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Republicans in US Congress are "USELESS!"

After the 50th vote to repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA) by the worthless Republicans in the US House of Representatives, I started searching for a word that described what I thought of Republicans in Congress and their spokespeople that was fit for a website.  I immediately settled on the word USELESS and decided to look it up in the Oxford-American dictionary -- it was a fit for these do-nothing Republicans in the Congress:
USELESS Syllabification: use·less
Pronunciation: /ˈyo͞osləs   /ADJECTIVE 
1.  Not fulfilling or not expected to achieve the intended purpose or desired outcome: a piece of useless knowledge
SYNONYMS:
futile, to no avail, (in) vain, pointless, to no purpose, unavailing, hopeless, ineffectual, ineffective, to no effect, fruitless, unprofitable, profitless, unproductivearchaic bootless
1.1  informal Having no ability or skill in a specified activity or area: he was useless at football  
SYNONYMS:
incompetent, inept, ineffective, incapable, unemployable, inadequate, hopeless, no-account, bad • informal pathetic
How would you like to be so USELESS yet be paid $223,000 to be Speaker of the House, $193,000 to be Majority/Minority Leaders of the House and Senate, and a paltry $174,000 to be a regular member?  Republicans planned the obstructionism of President Obama on the night of his inauguration in January 2009 and they are still at it with their dumb ideas and continual threats of shut-down of Government unless they get their way.

Came to a boiling point this week on Ukraine and the comments coming from some of the Senate Republicans and some House Members calling this President weak and wanting him to start a war with Russia.  Stupidity needs added to USELESS.

This week in addition to Ukraine, there was Cong Issa with the integrity of a gnat who heads the House Investigative Committee  in the Committee Room for a hearing turning off Ranking Minority Member Rep Cumming's microphone on the IRS scandal when he was correcting Issa's lies.  No decorum and probably the worst person to have lead the House Investigations Committee ever is Issa. Republicans don't seem to see any problem in Issa being unethical and a liar, not to mention a car thief and a crook from the past who is suspected of hiring someone to torch his building for pay.  Yesterday took the cake for obnoxious out of Issa for his USELESS hearing:
So this happened.On Wednesday, after former IRS official Lois Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination, Issa quickly moved to adjourn the session, saying he could “see no point in going further.” But as Cummings began to ask a procedural question about the issue, the Chairman tried to cut his mic, leaving Cummings to shout from his seat. 
“I am a member of the Congress of the United States of America! I am tired of this,” he said, adding that after spending at least $14 million, the Committee has uncovered “no evidence to support allegations of a political conspiracy against conservative groups.” 
Issa tried to abort the meeting after Lerner invoked her 5th Amendment right, and Cummings attempted to ask a question, prompting Rep. Issa (R-National Enquirer) to pull an O’reilly: cutting Rep. Cummings’s mic, and since he can’t cut to commercial, literally running from the room.
Bonus Video from Little Green Footballs:

Read more at LittleGreenFootballs
This IRS Investigation is a total sham and perfect for the word USELESS as Issa has wasted $14 million of taxpayer dollars as it has been proved almost immediately IRS targeted both sides which Issa refuses to admit. He is only one of some of the most arrogant, unethical Republicans in the House who the word 'decorum' is foreign.

In the House we have the Issa IRS scandal that Republicans keep going after and in the Senate we have Benghazi which Senators especially Graham (R-SC) will not let go.  That is $358,000 wasted on their two salaries not including benefits to go after worthless investigations that have already been finished but neither Issa or Graham will let go.  Maybe they should be looking in the mirror and asking themselves what is driving them because the the two words 'common sense' are completely missing as they make fools of themselves.

The list of Republicans making fools of themselves who are USELESS in the Congress is quite lengthy starting with the Speaker who has said nothing will get done before the election.
Taxpayers pay Speaker Boehner a base pay of $223,000 to tell us nothing major will be voted on before the election.  Guess that puts ACA into the minor category as anyone with a brain knows that ACA is the law of the land no matter how much Republicans hate the Affordable Care Act which is something they touted in the early 90's but now since Obama and Democrats came up with the idea, it is no good.  
Then there is Majority Leader Cantor who determines the House Calendar:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is rewarding the least popular House in history by cutting their number of scheduled work days from 126 in 2013 to 113 in 2014. 
The 2014 House calendar reveals where the Republican majority’s priorities really are. House Republicans are scheduled to be in session for only 12 days in each of the first three months of the year. The “busy month” for House Republicans will come during the usually slow July political season. 
This schedule is all about giving House Republicans the time to campaign in their districts and fundraise. They will be on vacation for the entire month of August, in session for 10 days in September, and will only be working for a laughable two days during the month before the 2014 election.
The idea that they can spend more time in their district meeting with constituents is laughable unless you count donors.  Town Halls are almost non-existent by Republicans which means Oklahoma has very few if any since our whole delegation is Republican.

One of the dumbest statements I have heard recently (there are plenty) for just being dumb is Rep Joe Barton, R-TX, who is a big supporter of oil and gas and against wind power:
"Wind is God's way of balancing heat. Wind is the way you shift heat from areas where it's hotter to areas where it's cooler. That's what wind is. Wouldn't it be ironic if in the interest of global warming we mandated massive switches to energy, which is a finite resource, which slows the winds down, which causes the temperature to go up? Now, I'm not saying that's going to happen, Mr. Chairman, but that is definitely something on the massive scale. I mean, it does make some sense. You stop something, you can't transfer that heat, and the heat goes up. It's just something to think about."
Lest we forget the shutdown we had comments from these two brainiacs last year who voted to shut down the Government:
“I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line. I understand that there may be some other members who are deferring their paychecks and I think that is admirable. I’m not in that position.” (Rep Rene Ellmers, R-NC) (later gave it up when constituents got mad) 
“I’ve got a nice house and a kid in college, and I’ll tell you we cannot handle it. Giving our paycheck away when you still worked and earned it? That’s just not going to fly.” (Rep Terry, R-KS)
Then there is this one from Rep Steve Pierce, (R-NM):
A Republican member of Congress says in a recently released book that a wife is to "voluntarily submit" to her husband, but that it doesn't make her inferior to him. 
Rep. Steve Pearce's (R-N.M.) memoir, "Just Fly the Plane, Stupid!" was released last month. Its publication -- and his acknowledgment in the book of the controversial nature of the submission debate -- come as the Republican Party reevaluates how it talks to and about women.
Less then a month into the year we had this from Long Island's Rep Grimm when he didn't want to answer a question:
Rep. Michael Grimm (R—N.Y.) physically threatened a local news reporter during a heated exchange following an interview after Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, telling the reporter, “I’ll throw you off this f—–g balcony.”
Then along comes these two from the House Republicans:
Republican Congressman Randy Forbes (VA) led a crusade to convince members of the National Republican Campaign Committee not to support openly gay Republican candidates running for Congress.  
Gays have bad plumbing. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) stated earlier this month that judges who rule in favor of same-sex marriage, “need some basic plumbing lessons.”  No list for dumb comments would be complete without Gohmert.
Republicans as a whole today have a real problem with the people speaking for them to the stage there are days you want to hit your head on the wall for stupid comments out of Republicans. Not only is it Congress but the RNC is trying to figure out why women are deserting them in droves after the 2012 comments on rape by their candidates?  Add those comments to these from Mike Huckabee who is thinking of running for President as a Republican:
Mike Huckabee and the giant libido. At last week’s RNC meeting, Mike Huckabee stated that Democrats want women to believe that they are helpless, without “Uncle Sugar” providing them birth control since “they cannot control their libido … without the help of the government.”
When you thought people speaking for Republicans couldn't get any dumber, think again as this time it is against gays and minorities.  Don't think the rebranding of the GOP by the RNC is working out very well, e.g.,
Demonizing gays is “common sense.” RNC committeeman Dave Agema astoundingly stated a few weeks ago that Russia’s anti-gays laws are “common sense.”  (ask to resign)
Iowa GOP’s “fun with racism” quiz. On Friday, Iowa’s Republican Party posted a flowchart “quiz” on its Facebook page that jokingly asked people to determine, “Is Someone a Racist?” The chart concluded, “If you think this flowchart isn’t funny, then this flowchart is racist.”  
Sarah Palin misplays the race card. To commemorate last week’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Sarah Palin commented on Facebook, “Mr. President, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and all who commit to ending any racial divide, no more playing the race card.” 
My next question is why are people voting for Republicans today who can think because it is obvious the hard right has not only forgotten how to think and reason but they have no common sense.  Boggles my mind that any woman or a minority could keep supporting Republican candidates who think they are less then equal.  Makes no sense to me -- it is like the hard right is so into Fox News and their pundits along with talk radio,  they have lost the capability to think for themselves.  Little did I know when the Democrats were talking about Rush Limbaugh's mind numbed robots that were right in a lot of instances as I have met some of them over the years and just shake my head.

Hope you enjoyed this article on the obstructionists Republicans and why I consider them USELESS as members of Congress and Spokespeople for the GOP!  Wish I could say it was satire because that is how it reads but the comments are sourced.  That's how far the Republican Party has sunk when you think their comments could be satire.

Please open up your eyes with your brains and look very closely at who you are voting for in 2014 -- we need to get this Country moving forward at a faster pace for all Americans not just the wealthy. That requires ousting Republicans in Congress who put the wealthy over the average America like Cong Paul Ryan (R-WI) is doing with his new budget which is an insult to anyone who thinks as he is doing Tax Cuts for the Rich on the Backs of the Middle Class. 

Welcome to the world of today Republican candidates who are mostly bought and paid for by wealthy donors starting with the Koch Bros and Karl Rove who pull the strings to get what they want.  Do us all a favor and think hard before you vote, remember this, and vote accordingly: