Tuesday, May 27, 2014

MSNBC's Joe Scarborough's Lame Apology to Unite Blue

Not Accepted Joe by this Republican Longtime Unite Blue Member who Supports Democrats in 2014.  The fringe is in the Republican Party not Unite Blue!

Will someone explain to me why Joe Scarborough brought up the union movement and then Unite Blue as there is no correlation between the two?  Many of us in Unite Blue are current Republicans supporting Democrats in 2014 as GOP went too hard right embracing the hard right ideology, former Republicans especially women and veterans who have had it with the hard right attacks on both, independents, and Democrats who the GOP counts hard left but most I have met are not hard left yet we're all counted fringe by Joe Scarborough?   Who is feeding him that garbage about Unite Blue?

We come from all walks of life -- met a lot of former Republicans and also Republicans supporting Democrats, military, veterans, consultants, writers, senior citizens, young people, middle age, doctors, lawyers, and the list goes on and on as Unite Blue is a cross-section of America.  We come from all states including Red States who are joined together to try and bring some common sense back to Government because the GOP today has so little common sense it is hard to find.  Want stupid comments?  Look no further than the GOP and their candidates.

Former Congressman Scarborough's comments make zero sense to me and if this is an apology, I am missing something.  Scarborough talks about hateful remarks from Unite Blue people or unions but what about the hateful remarks about veterans, women, LBGT, poor and the list goes on from the right. When is the last time he went after the hard right for their nasty remarks?  Got news for Joe, the hard right was going after him long time before Unite Blue even came on the radar.  Did he say anything then?

This morning(Tuesday) Joe Scarborough attempted to explain his recent demeaning comments that offended so many passionate UniteBlue members.
"I brought it up on Friday... I brought up UniteBlue, and I could find people in UniteBlue who said some terrible things about me over the past two, three, four years, but that doesn't mean there aren't great people in the union movement, that doesn't mean there aren't great vets and great people in UniteBlue... Don't we at some point realize that there are some people who will try to associate them self [sic] with a bigger group and say hateful things that shouldn't be associated with the labor movement or UniteBlue?"
Joe Scarborough on Morning Joe, 5/27/2014.

From Unite Blue:  
While this was not the full-throated apology that thousands requested, this display of respect is a promising first step, and we will continue to call Joe Scarborough out when his commentary devolves into divisive and disparaging attacks. 
From Unite Blue:  This morning (Monday) UniteBlue delivered the following letter to MSNBC's president Phil Griffin and 15 executives directly responsible for Morning Joe. After giving them time to respond, we are releasing our request as an open letter:
Mr. Phil Griffin
President, MSNBC
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY
May 26, 2014 
Dear Mr. Griffin: 
Last Friday May 23, Joe Scarborough insulted thousands of honest, hardworking Americans who choose to organize under the banner of #UniteBlue, falsely alleging on MSNBC's Morning Joe show that "these people are on the fringes; they're freaks; they're hate mongers." 
Mr. Scarborough owes an apology to the mothers, fathers, retirees, veterans, soldiers, activists, professionals and all members of UniteBlue. Calling tens of thousands of good, decent people 'freaks' is a sweeping condemnation and makes him a hate monger. 
Half a million Tweets use #UniteBlue each month, more than #GOP or #TeaParty. Many of us are MSNBC viewers who were personally offended by these demeaning words and petty attacks. In response to the unprecedented outrage that resulted, Mr. Scarborough decided to double down instead of apologizing. This time he called each of us 'extremists,' and it's really deeply offensive. Your entire network is being poisoned thanks to this behavior. 
At this time, we are considering a number of petitions that have arisen calling for boycotts of Morning Joe and its sponsors. We have stood firmly against the promotion of hatred on the airwaves from others such as Rush Limbaugh, and cannot find any attempt on behalf of Joe Scarborough to move the political conversation forward meaningfully. 
We respectfully request that Mr. Scarborough personally and publicly apologize for his comments on air and offer the opportunity for a UniteBlue representative to explain who we are; real people who want a voice in our democracy.
That apology that links unions and Unite Blue together is not good enough for me.  I am not fringe and neither are the people I have met from Unite Blue.  In fact I left the fringe which has become the Republican Party of today.  The Republican Party I grew up with wouldn't have mounted a war against women over contraceptives.  Today's GOP disapproves of contraceptives and abortions but Viagara and pills like that are just fine for men.  Blame the rape victim when a woman gets raped and deny a morning after pill or an abortion as it was the woman's fault -- heard that a lot out of the hard right in Oklahoma and now nationwide.  How about domestic violence against spouses?  Simple explanation it's the woman's fault for not doing what her husband wants in their small minds.

Today's GOP attacks veterans refusing to pass the Veterans Job Bill while cutting the VA budget but expects veterans to line up to support them?  Not happening.  Cong Ryan's draconian budget cuts decimate social security and Medicare treating both like an entitlement when workers pay into social security and Medicare.  The list goes on and on of the hard right attacks on regular Americans including the school lunch program where they only want the summer lunch program in rural areas not cities.

Yet, the the same GOP in Congress and in States will bend over backwards for the wealthy.  They treat the poor like it is their fault they are poor.  How would the GOP and Scarborough like to work two jobs and still be below the poverty level with children they have a hard time feeding and keeping a roof over their heads because the minimum wage is so low yet Republicans in Congress refuse to raise the minimum wage.  GOP continues to give subsidies to farmers while cutting the SNAP program that feeds veterans, the poor, and children.

Then there is Oklahoma where the State Legislature passed and Governor signed into law that our cities are not allowed to have a higher minimum wage or give more sick and leave days.  That's Republican State Government at work while on the flip side their just gave another tax break to oil and gas when three of them -- Devon, Chesapeake, and Howard Hamm threw a hissy fit threatening to leave the state if they didn't get a 5% tax cut for three years on vertical drilling and agreeing to raise horizontal from 1% to 2% when it was to go back to 7% in 2015.  Once again Oklahoma residents got the shaft from the Republican dominated Government in favor of big oil because that is what the Chamber and ALEC wanted.

Mr. Scarborough I appreciate what your office did in 2000 to help us with the overseas military ballots that were tossed in Florida to get the information on who the military were -- then I went to the military locator thanks to a very good friend to find their location so they knew their ballots were tossed by county election officials like in Hillsborough County.

Today you have defamed me along with others who just want the best for all Americans not just the wealthy which separates us from today's Republican Party who are bought and paid for by the wealthy donors starting with the Koch's and Adelson plus the Karl Rove PACs including a dark money one who no one knows the donors.  Do you think it is right for people to keep their donating anonymous so no one knows where the money being spent in campaigns is from or that businesses are people? Defense Industry has had PACs for years for their workers so the Citizens United ruling makes no sense even today.  Why should the wealthy be able to give millions to buy elections because that is what the Koch's, Rove, and Adelson are doing?

Mr. Scarborough you have insulted our intelligence and that lame apology is a joke!  Think about who the extremists are today and you are going to find them in your own party.  If you cannot see it, take off the blinders!

Note:  Will be switching my registration to Democrat following the Oklahoma Primary -- want one last chance to vote against some Republicans running in the primary like State School Superintendent Janet Barrisi and Senator Jim Inhofe.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day 2014

This year, 2014, marks the last year we will have combat troops in a war zone in Afghanistan as our troops will be home by the end of the year and the 13-year long war will be over.  Please take a moment today to say a prayer for those who sacrificed it all over the years for all of us to be free.  

WASHINGTON (AFNS) -- Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the U.S. Air Force and their families:

On May 30, 1868, the first official Memorial Day observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery to honor and to decorate the graves of those who died during the Civil War. Today, Memorial Day serves as an opportunity to pause and remember the sacrifices of more than one million Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen who gave their lives to secure our freedoms.

As we remember our fallen, captured, or missing service men and women, we also express our gratitude to those who are currently defending our Nation. Among our all-volunteer force serving today, more than 75 percent of our Airmen joined the Air Force after 9/11 and have never known a peacetime military. The men and women who answered the call by saying, "Send me," exemplify the core value of Service Before Self.

In addition to recognizing the service of our Airmen and fellow service members, we pay tribute to the families of the fallen, as well as to our wounded warriors and their families. For these families -- the husbands and wives, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers -- every day is Memorial Day. To the loved ones of our fallen, captured, or missing service men and women, we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

On this day of remembrance, as we honor those who gave the last full measure of devotion serving our nation, we affirm our commitment to military family survivors, as well as to our wounded warriors and their families. To all of our Airmen, serving at home or abroad, please know that your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. We are grateful for your service and are privileged to stand with you, by you, and for you.

This is a day we honor our men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom.  We must never forget their sacrifice or those of their family and friends.  Former Florida Governor Charlie Crist sums it up in his email message today:
Thank You was Never Enough 
Sharon --

The single hardest moments serving as Governor were when I met with the families of our Florida brothers and sisters who were killed in service of our country.

Every single one of them volunteered for duty. Many were the families of National Guardsmen, who by day were teachers, cops, bankers, and other members of our community -- and by night, they did heroic things to defend the freedoms we all enjoy. They all believed that defending an ideal was more important than their own lives. 

They are heroes to all of us, including their families. But they are also parents, siblings, children, friends, and neighbors. A grateful nation can never fill the void they left behind. 

I never knew the right words to say to those families. "Thank you" could never fully express both the sorrow and gratitude for their sacrifice.

Everything we do is because of those who gave their lives to our country. 

So on this Memorial Day, let's all try to commit ourselves to honor their sacrifice a little more -- not just today, but everyday. Thank a soldier in an airport. Greet the woman wearing the "Proud Army Mom" t-shirt. Buy an extra baked good at the local VFW. 

Treat each other with a little more respect. 

And most importantly, be grateful and forever humbled by those who love their country so much that they would die for all of us.

God bless their memories, 


Sunday, May 25, 2014

Thank You President Obama!


Sunday, May 25, 2014 12:30 PM EDT 

Obama Makes Surprise Visit to U.S. Troops in Afghanistan 

President Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Sunday to visit American troops there, landing at Bagram Airfield outside the capital, Kabul, for the first time since a visit in 2012 when he signed a strategic partnership agreement with the government there to bring the war to an end.

The trip was unannounced, and Mr. Obama slipped out of the White House secretly on Saturday evening in advance of what White House officials said would be a Memorial Day rally with the troops.
Officials said the president is also expected to get an on-site briefing from his military commanders and visit wounded service members.

Officials said that Mr. Obama will rally with some of the 32,000 service members who are currently in Afghanistan, many of whom are due to return home at year’s end when the 13-year war is officially brought to an end.

Brad Paisley, a country music singer, traveled on Air Force One with Mr. Obama to Afghanistan and will perform at the rally on Monday. The president is expected to use the appearance there to offer thanks to the members of the military, but is not expected to make any major policy announcements.

Instead, Mr. Obama is expected to wait until he returns to the United States to offer his latest foreign policy and national security vision, during a speech that he is scheduled to give at the West Point graduation on Wednesday.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Armed Forces Day 2014

USAF Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS
Saturday was Armed Forces Day honoring the the men and women who are serving, veterans, and their families.  The reason I chose the picture of the Air Force AWACS is that we live about 20 miles from Tinker AFB, home of AWACS which was located at Tinker when I was still working for the Air Force.  They had to increase security at Tinker in order for AWACS to makes its home here.  Never thought then, we would be living just miles south of Tinker someday.

Almost every time I am out driving and come down Robinson, I look in the sky and see an AWACS headed in for landing or sitting here at my desk, I hear them take off.  We have a replica of AWACS sitting in our home from Boeing as thanks to the work my husband did on AWACS.  One of the few gifts you are allowed to receive as they make sure the amount stays under a certain sum.  He was involved in surveillance aircraft for years but this is by far his favorite plane.  

It is humbling to be around the military for all these years and realize the sacrifices they have given to keep this Country free.  May not always agree with the political decisions that are made but I will support the men and women who serve and have served to the fullest.  Our veterans deserve more than the rhetoric they are receiving -- they deserve a jobs bill to be passed and a VA Hospital system then can count on to give them the best care possible.  Right now they have neither.  We have to do better and work together to get it done.  When it comes to veterans, compromise is not a dirty word which some Republicans members of Congress seem to believe today.

This message from Secretary of Defense Hagel Friday speaks for so many of us who support our troops and our veterans.  If you get a chance, tell a member of the military or a veteran "Thank You" as it makes their day!
Hagel Issues Armed Forces Day Message 
American Forces Press Service 
WASHINGTON, May 16, 2014 - Tomorrow is Armed Forces Day, and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has issued the following message to service members, veterans and their families to mark the occasion: 
For the past 65 years, America has taken the opportunity each May to celebrate Armed Forces Day - a day when our nation expresses its deep and abiding gratitude for all those who help protect and defend our country and its people. In the words of President Dwight Eisenhower, "it is fitting and proper that we devote one day each year to paying special tribute to those whose constancy and courage constitute one of the bulwarks guarding the freedom of this nation and the peace of the free world." 
To every United States Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsmen: On this day, and all days, you have every reason to be proud to wear the uniform. You are members of the greatest fighting force on earth, one that strives to make a better world for all mankind. You are respected and admired by your friends, your fellow countrymen and our allies. Your presence is welcomed around the world, and you are making a profound difference in the world. 
To our nation's military spouses, partners, children, parents, and families: Today we also recognize and celebrate the vital love and support you provide our men and women in uniform. We are grateful not only for their service and sacrifices, but also for yours.
To America's veterans: Today we thank you for devoting so much to the country you love, and we renew our unceasing commitment to honoring you with the care, the compassion, and the dignity you deserve. 
As our nation marks its 13th consecutive Armed Forces Day at war, and as service members continue to return home from the battlefield, we reaffirm a basic responsibility that we all share. We must do more than merely hold these brave individuals in such high regard; we must support them in every way, knowing that whatever we do, we can always do more. 
We're proud of all of you.
Chuck Hagel
Secretary of Defense
The United States let its guard down before December 7th, 1941, and the result was the attack on Pearl Harbor aimed at our Navy fleet and planes at Hickam.   Before September 11, 2001, we let our guard down again with the so-called peace dividend following the fall of the Berlin War.  That fateful day our Pentagon was attacked after the two World Trade Center towers were taken down and brave men crashed a plane in Pennsylvania that was headed for DC.

We must all remember that we have to stay vigilant and keep the latest technology as our eyes in the sky, at sea, and on the ground to protect the United States and all of us.  We cannot afford to let our guard down again.

God Bless those who serve, veterans, and those who paid the ultimate price with their lives along with all of their families.   Thank you to all who wear or have worn the uniform our our military services -- Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard!

USS Arizona Memorial and in the background a USS Navy Destroyer --
past and the present meet at Pearl Harbor

Voices will be on Vacation This Week!

Will be back next week to report on the final days of the Oklahoma Legislature and see how they can continue to get their priorities wrong.  Biggest problem I see is their pandering because it is an election year and taking it all back if they get back in office.  Today so many of the Republican elected officials have the integrity, ethics, and credibility of a gnat.  They have pandered so long to the wealthy and the lobbyist, they have forgotten the people who helped elect them but are now part of the opposition. They should have thought about consequences when they went hard right to become sellouts to the Koch's and their wide array of organizations.  They didn't think twice of leaving more moderate Republicans in the dust aka Democrat conservatives today to show how far right the GOP has gone!

Republicans made a conscience decision to tell many of us to get lost as they pandered to the Tea Party and hard right of the Koch Bros.  In the next few election cycles the Republicans are going to discover that it is payback time from a lot of us who will never support the Republican Party again.  

Enjoy the week!

Friday, May 16, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama is a Role Model for Young People to Dream High!

“She saw firsthand the impact of Brown v. Board of Education in her own life,” said Valerie Jarrett

This is a tribute not only to Michelle Obama but to her parents who refused to keep the status quo and instead encouraged her to do well in school and qualify for the first desegregated magnet high school in Chicago.  Sounds like in Chicago like Dayton, Ohio, whites fled the neighborhoods as soon as a black family moved in so you had your all black high schools on the west side and all white on the east.  Both sides of town were filled with GM/Frigidaire factory workers who worked side by side but their kids were in segregated high schools in the city of Dayton.  Never made sense.

To move out of your neighborhood because a black moves in left a lot of people outside of Dayton asking why?  They sold their homes for pennies on the dollar -- Dad used to say it was real estate agents who were part and party to the scare tactics as they made money off the sale and again off the purchase of a new home.  After dealing with them over the years, he was probably right.

Cannot even fathom what it would be like to be a young child and have a teacher tell you not to dream high -- every child in this Country has the right to have the best education we can provide them.  It is time for Republicans to get with fully funding education for all students or get out of the way.  We can no longer tolerate this mentality we are seeing out of our elected officials who keep cutting education and underfunding poor school districts to give the wealthy more tax cuts.   It is imperative all kids get a good education to break the chain of low expectations for some.

Parents, teachers, educators need to follow the lead of Michelle's parents who taught their children to aim high and not settle.  It is a tribute to her tenacity and willpower that she overcame the odds and is a role model for young people today of what they can accomplish with an excellent public school education to fulfill their dreams.
A Decision That Helped Shape Michelle Obama
WASHINGTON — She was born into the segregated Chicago of the 1960s, when public schools actively resisted integration. But in 1975, the city, under pressure to comply with the landmark Supreme Court decision desegregating public schools, opened a racially integrated high school for high achievers that changed the young woman’s life. 
Michelle Robinson, a graduate of that integrated school, is now Michelle Obama, the first African-American first lady of the United States. In this season of civil rights anniversaries — in particular the 60th, on Saturday, of the 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kan. — she is talking in new and more deeply personal ways about race. 
“She saw firsthand the impact of Brown v. Board of Education in her own life,” said Valerie Jarrett, a senior White House adviser and close friend of Mrs. Obama. “What she appreciates is the strength of diversity, how important it is to be in a community, a classroom, where you are hearing from all perspectives.” 
On Friday evening, President Obama will meet privately at the White House with the families of the plaintiffs in the Brown lawsuit and two of the lead lawyers. Aides say he wants to pay his respects. Mrs. Obama will take center stage in Topeka, where she will visit the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site — formerly an all-black school — and address graduating seniors at the Kansas Expocentre. 
The anniversary comes at a time of historic milestones, including the anniversary of the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which have repeatedly put a focus on the Obamas’ place as the first black occupants of the White House. But Brown v. Board of Education had more of a direct impact on Mrs. Obama than on her husband and shaped her life in ways she does not always openly discuss. 
While Mr. Obama grew up partly in Indonesia and attended an elite prep school in multicultural Hawaii, Mrs. Obama was raised on the South Side of Chicago, first in a one-bedroom apartment and later in a house in South Shore, a neighborhood experiencing rapid white flight. By 1980, the year she turned 16, it was 96 percent black, and so were its schools. 
In 1969, Mrs. Obama started kindergarten at Bryn Mawr Elementary, her neighborhood school. Data from the federal Department of Education show that in 1970, out of 1,258 students, 1,214 were black. 
One of her kindergarten classmates, Dr. Theodore Ford, described their class this way in a 2012 article in The Chicago Sun-Times: “There were five little white faces and 23 shades of brown faces and one Middle Eastern face, a subtle shade darker than that of the Jewish kid to his right in our class photo.” 
The school appears to have had more resources than most. In the sixth grade, Mrs. Obama was selected to participate in its gifted program, which allowed her to take French, and to study biology at the local community college, according to Ms. Mundy’s book. She graduated as its salutatorian. 
But it was the creation of Chicago’s first public high school for high achievers — the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School — that really changed the trajectory of Mrs. Obama’s life, by getting her out of her neighborhood and giving her exposure for the first time to an educational environment that was truly diverse. 
“She often speaks about the importance of diversity as a strength, that her education was enriched by listening to people who had different life experiences and differences of opinion,” Ms. Jarrett said. 
Click Link to read more
This is an amazing story of what a young person can do when they refuse to be told they will never fulfill their dream of where to go to college.  Now it is time for all of us to put pressure on our elected officials to FULLY fund education and make this the most educated country in the world instead of a Country that fails so many of its students.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Concrete Piece Falls from Oklahoma Capitol into Basement Office -- Will the Legislature Fund Repairs to the Capitol NOW?

The dome on the Capitol with the Guardian statute looks really nice but I have to question if the feasibility study that was done by a company that doesn't design domes was the right fit.  Because now for the first time a piece of concrete has entered an office and there is still no solution to funding the Capitol exterior renovation.  Are Republicans afraid of what might be found?

Here is a picture of the Capitol with the Dome:

This is one of the few pictures I could find of the Oklahoma Capitol without the Dome:

Cannot remember since the dome went on when entrances to the State Capitol were not shut down due to the danger of falling concrete -- now a four pound piece of concrete fell into a basement office through the roof.  Will this be enough to get the Oklahoma Republican Legislature off the dime or are they waiting for a 100 lb piece to fall?  Still cannot get over they spent millions to cosmetically renovate the inside of the Capitol last year knowing they had a structural problem along with wiring and sewer. If Oklahoma doesn't have some of the most hard headed legislators in the Country, I don't know what qualifies.  This is beyond disgusting that this State Capitol building has been allowed to fall in such disrepair including poor wiring and water/sewer problems but spend millions to remodel offices and get new furnishings.  Talk about stupid.

Why did Governor Keating insist on the new dome before the other problems were fixed?  Would like to know if the dome could be contributing to the problems with the building shedding concrete which many of us have said in the past but what do we know.  It just makes common sense something that is lacking in a lot of Republicans today.
Frankfurt-Short-Bruza Associates P.C. (FSB), Oklahoma City, completed a feasibility study for the project in 1998 that determined that the existing structure could support the 5- million-lb, 157-ft-high x 80-ft-dia dome. Once the feasibility study was completed, the Oklahoma legislature, through a special act, allowed the project to go forward using design-build. It was the first design-build project authorized by the state. FSB provided architecture and engineering services and two of the state's oldest construction companies, Flintco Inc. and Manhattan Construction, entered into a joint venture as Capitol Dome Builders, Oklahoma City. It was unanimously selected by the state in 2000.
Although FSB had never before designed a classic dome, Schmidt says the firm has experience in designing long-span structures, especially engineering airplane hangars with long, column-free spaces. The firm completed its design for the dome in 2001 using Layton's old drawings as a template. However, FSB incorporated modern materials into its design, which cut the weight of the structure from an estimated 14 million lb to 5 million lb. A structural steel framework largely was responsible for the reduction. It was designed for fast and easy placement and a "wagon wheel" of additional steel provided a temporary platform for interior and exterior scaffolding. It later was removed through the windows of the dome. 
Details on the Guardian statute that tops off the dome:
‘The Guardian,” which is the name of the statue, has a total weight of 5,980 pounds and a total height, including the lance and berm, of 22 feet, 9 inches. It took 3,000 hours, 300 linear feet of welding, 4,000 pounds of bronze and approximately $300,000 to create. 
Did the State Government ever consider they might want to get a second opinion from an out-of-state contractor about the feasibility of putting a 5 million lb structure on top of an 89 year old limestone building?  Did we have falling concrete before the dome?  Maybe the money should have been spent to upgrade the entire capitol before putting on the dome.  Just a thought!
Piece of concrete falls in latest problem at nearly century-old Oklahoma state Capitol 
Four-pound piece of concrete falls near desk sometime over the weekend at the Oklahoma state Capitol 
by Rick Green Published: May 12, 2014
A four-pound piece of concrete fell through a ceiling tile and into a basement office at the state Capitol sometime over the weekend, in the latest problem at the nearly century-old building. 
Building management officials say nobody was hurt in the House media office where the accident occurred. 
The concrete piece landed near a desk, where the person who works in the office found it Monday morning. 
This is in the same general area where a floor drain backed up recently, sending smelly water up through the floor. 
The Oklahoma Legislature is considering proposals this session to fix longstanding problems in the building. 
Four House media employees will be moved out of their basement offices and into a new location on the first floor of the Capitol.

How is the OK Legislature going to fund the necessary repairs to the Capitol or are they going to punt again to the next legislature like usual.  Term limits cannot come soon enough for the social conservatives who don't want to fund anything but social issues.  They have cost this state millions in bills that have been overturned by the Courts and keep coming back back with more bills that get a priority.

Even though the State has an almost $200M shortfall, the GOP Legislature made sure they had time to pass a tax cut that could kick in in 2015 and cost the state another $200M.  Hate to call a legislature stupid but frankly any group that listens to ALEC instead of the citizens of the state qualify.

They have made a mess of education as we are witnessing, our infrastructure is falling apart, and we have an unfinished Indian Cultural Center because today's hard right in the Legislature rejected the agreement for the legislature to help fund from a previous legislature.  That means the word of the legislature is worth zero, zip, nada to the next group of elected officials.

Oklahomans need to wake up and oust the hard right social conservatives from the legislature and return some common sense to Oklahoma starting with the Governor's Office.  If you have never voted for a Democrat in Oklahoma how about going all in and voting for one for Governor who represents all Oklahomans not just the wealthy, oil and gas, The Chamber, and ALEC.  Let's give Joe Dorman a chance!  There is only one way for Oklahoma to go for Governor as we are at rock bottom with the current Governor and her 'my way or no way' attitude.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sen Warren (D-MA) Comments on Benghazi Select Committee head by Rep Gowdy

"So let me be blunt: that kind of seriousness is sorely missing from the no holds-barred political theater of the House Republicans."  Sen Warren (D-MA)

Senator Elizabeth Warren has earned my total respect.  After discovering that Cong Gowdy had already fundraised for himself off of Benghazi after warning others not to use it, you knew that ethics and honesty did not fit Mr. Gowdy.  To read some of his questions for Elizabeth Warren concerning her being involved in setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  Must admit that I am really not surprised.  This is nothing but a witch hunt the Republicans led by Speaker Boehner think is a winning issue.  All it has done has brought up the embassy deaths that happened under Bush 43 and Reagan.  Almost seems like Karl Rove is advising them after his meltdown in 2012.

This article from Senator Warren gives the background on Rep Trey Gowdy.  He is more of a joke then I thought when I first heard him.   Should have known that any Republican who still had a shred of ethics and integrity wouldn't touch this Benghazi Investigation with a ten foot pole.  He is the worst kind of Representative who is arrogant and thinks only he knows the facts.  Dangerous combination.
BenghaziMay 9, 2014 | By Elizabeth Warren 
Earlier this week, Speaker John Boehner announced the formation of a new select committee to investigate Benghazi led by Rep. Trey Gowdy. 
All three of my brothers served in the military, and I know firsthand how much Americans serving abroad -- and their families -- sacrifice. What happened in Benghazi on Sept. 11, 2012 was a tragedy. Four Americans died putting themselves in harm's way in service to peace, diplomacy, and their country. I look at what happened in Benghazi with sadness, with seriousness, and as yet another call to honor the men and women who keep us safe. 
So let me be blunt: that kind of seriousness is sorely missing from the no holds-barred political theater of the House Republicans.   
I know a little bit about the way Trey Gowdy pursues oversight. I was on the other end of it when I was setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and I was called to testify before the House. As the Huffington Post reported at the time, Gowdy's interrogation of me "seemed to lack the basic facts" about the agency he was attempting to oversee. I'd like you to read their reporting on one of these exchanges just so you know what this Benghazi "investigation" is likely to look like: 
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) grilled Warren on whether the bureau would make public the complaints it gets. She answered that the complaint issue was a work in progress, but that at the very least, there was progress in creating a system for large credit card companies. 
"Are any of the complaints public?" Gowdy demanded.
"Congressman, we don't have any complaints yet," Warren said of the still-nascent agency. "What we're trying to do is build the system." 
Gowdy also seemed to think that Warren had written the Dodd-Frank law, and he was determined to know what Warren meant by defining "abusive" practices as something that "materially interferes" with the ability of a consumer to understand a term or a condition. 
"That suggests to me that some interferences are immaterial. Is that what you meant by that?" he asked a momentarily perplexed-looking Warren. 
"Congressman, I believe the language you are quoting is out of the Dodd-Frank act," she said. "This is the language that Congress has adopted." 
Still, Gowdy insisted on her answer, although the definitions and regulations required by the law are still being written. 
As a Senator, I take oversight seriously because it is powerfully important. But Trey Gowdy gives oversight a bad name. The House GOP is on a waste-of-time-and-resources witch hunt and fundraising sideshow, shamefully grasping for any straw to make President Obama, former Secretary Clinton, or Secretary Kerry look bad. This stunt does a disservice to those who serve our country abroad, and it distracts us from issues we should be taking up on behalf of the American people. 
Click on Link for Full Post
As someone who has been around the military my whole adult life, I am appalled.  One small example that we didn't hear\d the GOP say a peep including Lindsey Graham and John McCain plus Gowdy, Boehner, and the GOP House:
Sep 17th, 2008,  Yemen Embassy attacked with 18 deaths and 16 injuries.  Two of those deaths were a young couple who had just gotten married.  
How about Pakistan?
March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what's considered American soil.)
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had this to say about the Benghazi hearings in an interview with Steve Kornacki:
Rep. Pelosi was asked by Up host Steve Kornacki if Boehner had talked to her about the select committee on Benghazi that he was forming. Pelosi said, “That would be news to me. I have not been informed by the Speaker of his plans to establish such a commission is it? Benghazi is such a very sad event, more than an event — a tragedy. Ambassador Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, we carry their names in our hearts, pray for their families. And for the exploitation of it to just be never-ending by the Republicans is really hard to understand.” 
Later, Pelosi explained why Republicans are exploiting Benghazi, “I think people are tired of that. What are your ideas about job creation. They have none…They have no plans. They don’t govern. They have no initiatives for the future, so they have to make personal attacks. I think most people want to know. What do you have to offer?…I consider them to be stuck in a poverty of ideas. They have none, and that’s where they have to go.”
It is hard to understand how the Republicans in House can be so callous because they are the ones who voted not to fully fund security for the embassies/consulates.  Why not why investigate why they are too cheap to provide proper security for our diplomats overseas?

There were 13 Benghazi's during President George W Bush years killing almost 100 people but that was not investigated.  Why?  Those numbers don't include the attacks on the diplomats in Iraq after the US took over Iraq with the coalition forces after Saddam was ousted and arrested plus his sons who were so brutal were killed.  It certainly doesn't include 9/11.  Yet three people plus one Ambassador die in Benghazi, and it is the end of the world when it is the only one attack under President Obama versus eight (8) attacks under Bush for the same amount of time.  Cannot even fathom what the families of the four victims must be thinking of Republicans fundraising off their dead family member.

Whatever drives Republicans today, I have no clue.  It is not a Party I recognize or want to be associated with at either the Federal or State level.  They have lost their perspective, common sense, integrity, reality, and ability to compromise for the betterment of the American people.  They are a total embarrassment to a lot of us who used to call the Republican Party home.  Many of us are realizing that things got worse in the GOP in 1994 when the Contract with America kicked in and the hard right started slowing taking over the GOP to where ethics, integrity, and honesty mean nothing to most elected Republicans.  The end justifies the means no matter what.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Governor Fallin Denies Chronically ill Oklahoma Inmate Medical Parole for Drug Convictions

Must be missing something because in all the states where we have lived when a Parole Board recommends parole for drug convictions, the inmates are paroled.  Governors just do not turn them down and didn't until Mary Fallin, Governor of Oklahoma, denied this inmate's medical parole.  The man is about to die, his sister had arranged for him to live with her, and then the Governor of Oklahoma says no which basically gives him a death sentence in prison.

Didn't understand Fallin's reaction to the two executions on the same night using untested drugs. It was downright ghoulish when you read the timeline of what happened.  Botched execution and no amount of spin out of Fallin or her supporters are going to change that.  Now this -- what gives with the Oklahoma Governor.  This is not a heinous crime and the man is dying but that's not good enough for Fallin to grant parole?  Doesn't seem very Christian like to me.

Either the person I knew before presented a good facade and this is truly the real Mary Fallin or she is a puppet of major donors who does what she is told.  Frankly I don't know which it is but this is just another in a long line of bizarre statements/actions out of the Governor this year.  Oklahoma can do better then this!
Chronically ill Oklahoma inmate denied medical parole 
An inmate who was told he will likely die this month from cirrhosis of the liver was denied medical parole in March. Wendell Green has served 15 years of a 20-year sentence on drug charges. 
by Graham Lee Brewer Published: May 8, 2014 
Gov. Mary Fallin sentenced an Oklahoma inmate serving time on drug charges to life in prison when she denied his medical parole, the offender’s sister says.

Mary Ladd said her brother, Wendell Green, has cirrhosis of the liver, among other ailments, and was told by doctors early this year he would likely not live past May.
Green has been incarcerated since 2000 on two drug charges. Ladd said her brother was caught in 1999 with methamphetamine and the tools necessary to manufacture the drug. He is due for release in 2019. 
Green also served time on convictions in Arkansas throughout the 1980s and 90s, including burglary, battery, and possessing a firearm after a felony conviction, according to the Arkansas Department of Correction. He is incarcerated at the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center. 
In March, the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted to recommend Green for a medical parole. Ladd said she had arranged for her brother’s hospice care, and the plan was for him to live out his remaining days in her home. Motions were made to send Green home, but Fallin eventually denied his medical parole. 
Ladd said the medical exception counted as her brother’s annual shot at parole, and he is not eligible again until May 2015. 
“They even called him in and had him sign his release forms, had everything arranged, and then he was called into the office and told to just sit down because he was going to be there for a year. If you make it, you make it. If you don’t, you don’t,” Ladd said. “I think it’s cruel to say those things to him, because it is life or death.” 
Click Link to Read More at The Oklahoman
Been told by long time residents of the state that Fallin is by far the worst Governor they have ever had which in some ways made me feel that I wasn't imagining things that she is really is that bad.  She has quite a reputation from people who are speaking out and it is not good.  There is a solution, Oklahomans need to take the state back to common sense and elect Joe Dorman for Governor!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Is Speaker Boehner and GOP House Investigations Going to Hand Democrats the House and Senate?

If I was a betting person, I would say that the odds of Democrats being able to take back the House in the fall just got higher.  American people as a whole are sick and tired of these worthless investigations costing millions.  Speaker Boehner's House GOP are playing to the hard right but in the process are losing Republicans who are not hard right and are sick and tired of the radical right running the GOP including Pat Robertson who spoke out which begs to question how hard right are the current GOP leaders?  Cannot get over Robertson going after them:
Pat Robertson is taking Republicans to the 700 Club woodshed, because the ‘radicals on the Right’ have taken over the party.  It’s like watching an old B-movie where the mad scientist regrets his creation.  One can’t help but stay glued to their seat while enjoying the popcorn. 
Robertson is concerned that Republicans are fielding unelectable far-right candidates, which will cause voters to break in favor of Democrats at the ballot box.  Without explicitly saying so, he was most likely referring to Tea Party primary challengers, who come largely from the ranks of the Religious Right.  As conservatives are generally not known for taking personal responsibility, he fails to implicate himself in any of the backlash.
Pat Robertson over the years has made comments that I thought were radical so that has to tell you how radical the people are who now control the Republican Party.  Scary comes to mind as a friend and I decided today when talking about the Kochs.

Speaking of the Kochs, how much are the Koch Bros paying Boehner and friends in the House to make fools of themselves over Benghazi, IRS, and Impeachment of Obama.  Most of the current GOP in Congress have lost all sense of fairness, decency, honesty, and ethics as they are nothing more then puppets of the Kochs who are pulling their strings.  How much are the investigations out of the Rove playbook he used against Clinton in the 90's?  It sure reads like it with these investigations and throwing around the word 'impeachment' but President Obama is no Bill Clinton.  Is Rove that out of touch like he was on election night demanding Fox not call Ohio as he was sure Romney was going to win Ohio when only Cuyahoga County was still out?

For the last few years thought Boehner has been acting like someone who is mouthing words put in his mouth.  You could call him the village idiot after his latest where he wants to impeach Obama over Benghazi and the IRS investigation where they investigated more liberal groups then conservative:
Boehner first promised that the Republican Benghazi investigation would not be a circus, “This is all about getting to the truth. This is not going to be a sideshow. This is not going to be a circus. This is a serious investigation. Our system of government depends on transparency and accountability.” 
Later he turned around and claimed that President Obama is lying about everything, “Who’s been fired over the targeting of conservative groups by the IRS? No one that I’m aware of. Who’s gone to jail for violating the law? When is the administration going to tell the American people the truth? They’ve not told the truth about Benghazi. They’ve not told the truth about the IRS. They’ve not told the truth about Fast and Furious. Now, only one would have to guess. If they’re not willing to tell the American people the truth, it must not be pretty.” 
So much for House Republicans holding a fair and open minded investigation that is interested in the truth. The point of these “investigations” is to drum up a case for impeachment. If Republicans can smear the Obama administration with a scandal, they think they can derail Hillary Clinton’s run in 2016. Boehner threatened the president with impeachment in January over his use of executive orders.
Anyone who doesn't think this Benghazi hearing is going to be a circus doesn't understand the GOP clowns in the House.  They are not about getting at the truth or they would have investigated all the people killed in embassies under President GW Bush but they were silent then.  Thirteen attacks in a timeline put together in an article by Bob Cesca of Huffington Post details the attacks on embassies other then in Iraq (my red highlighting) under Bush:
The Benghazi attacks (the consulate and the CIA compound) are absolutely not unprecedented even though they're being treated that way by Republicans who are deliberately ignoring anything that happened prior to Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009:
January 22, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen associated with Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami attack the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed.
June 14, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber connected with al Qaeda attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12 and injuring 51.
October 12, 2002. Denpasar, Indonesia. U.S. diplomatic offices bombed as part of a string of "Bali Bombings." No fatalities.
February 28, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Several gunmen fire upon the U.S. Embassy. Two people are killed.
May 12, 2003. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Armed al Qaeda terrorists storm the diplomatic compound, killing 36 people including nine Americans. The assailants committed suicide by detonating a truck bomb.
July 30, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. A suicide bomber from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan attacks the U.S. Embassy, killing two people.
December 6, 2004. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda terrorists storm the U.S. Consulate and occupy the perimeter wall. Nine people are killed.
March 2, 2006. Karachi, Pakistan again. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate killing four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy who was directly targeted by the attackers. (I wonder if Lindsey Graham or Fox News would even recognize the name "David Foy." This is the third Karachi terrorist attack in four years on what's considered American soil.)
September 12, 2006. Damascus, Syria. Four armed gunmen shouting "Allahu akbar" storm the U.S. Embassy using grenades, automatic weapons, a car bomb and a truck bomb. Four people are killed, 13 are wounded.
January 12, 2007. Athens, Greece. Members of a Greek terrorist group called the Revolutionary Struggle fire a rocket-propelled grenade at the U.S. Embassy. No fatalities.
March 18, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Members of the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Jihad of Yemen fire a mortar at the U.S. Embassy. The shot misses the embassy, but hits nearby school killing two.
July 9, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four armed terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed.
September 17, 2008. Sana'a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with an arsenal of weapons including RPGs and detonate two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband (they had been married for three weeks when the attack occurred). This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months. 
Also, my list above doesn't include the numerous and fatal attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad during the Iraq war -- a war that was vocally supported by Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Fox News Channel. 
Speaking of Graham, I ran a search on each attack along with the name "Lindsey Graham" in the hopes of discovering that Graham had perhaps commented about the attacks or raised some questions about why the (Bush) administration didn't prevent the attacks or respond accordingly to prevent additional embassy attacks. No results. Of course. Now, this could mean the search wasn't exhaustive enough. But one thing's for sure: neither Graham nor any of his cohorts launched a crusade against the Bush administration and the State Department in any of those cases -- no one did, including the congressional Democrats, by the way. 
This leads us to the ultimate point here. Not only have numerous sources previously debunked the Benghazi information being peddled by the Republicans and Fox News (for example, contrary to what the Republicans are saying, yes, reinforcements did in fact arrive before the attack on the CIA compound), but none of these people raised a single word of protest when, for example, American embassies in Yemen and Pakistan were attacked numerous times. Why didn't the Bush administration do something to secure the compounds after the first attacks? Why didn't he provide additional security?
To add to all of this GOP nonsense on Benghazi, IRS, and impeachment, Senator Rockefeller, D-WV, is now saying the GOP won't work with Obama because he is black:
Retiring Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller unloaded on Republicans during a hearing today. He said that Republicans don’t want anything good to happen for this president because he’s the wrong color. 
During a Senate Finance Committee hearing on transportation funding, Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV) said, “It’s an American characteristic that you don’t do anything which displeases the voters, because you always have to get reelected here. I understand part of it. It has to do with — for some, it’s just we don’t want anything good to happen under this president, because he’s the wrong color.” 
Rockefeller admitted that he is mad at himself for not speaking up about a lot of things earlier, and he criticized his colleagues for putting their own political self interest ahead of making the tough decisions to do what is right.

I am betting they would say the same thing about a woman.  In fact, this group of hard right GOP will never work with anyone that is not hard right IMHO!  Laziest group of Congressman I have ever witnessed with their lack of days they work now along with passing very little that amounts to anything.  I object to the fact they draw a full salary working only 113 days in 2014.  We pay for their transportation as taxpayers for the scum to go back and forth like the privileged.  How did most of them become millionaires after going to Congress since they cannot have outside jobs?

Then there is the GOP fundraising off of Benghazi where four people were killed even though the new Chairman of the Committee urged them not to fundraise off Benghazi.  GOP cannot help themselves as they play to their hard right.  One word describes today's GOP who are fundraising off Benghazi -- 'scumbags' -- fits perfectly IMO!

Gowdy sat down with CNN’s Jake Tapper later in the day to tape an interview for Tapper’s The Lead. Tapper pressed him on this issue. Gowdy once again stated that he will not raise money on Benghazi and he urged other Republicans to follow suit. 
Here’s the thing. The NRCC is NOT going to listen to Gowdy regarding this. Republican leaders see this as the way to energize the base and get the hardcore conservatives to rally around something prior to the midterms. This is the Republican platform heading into November, and quite possibly, all the way into 2016. They are going to use this as a way to raise money over the next few months. Perhaps Gowdy feels like he is doing something legitimate and worthwhile by investigating the White House’s response and conversations regarding Benghazi. However, most Republicans see this as a way to change the narrative in Washington and try to hang some kind of scandal on the President and potential 2016 Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. 
While Gowdy may go around telling everyone he isn’t going to use this investigation as a way to fill his campaign coffers, the NRCC has already come out and defended itself and will not stop raising money. The committee made the following statement in response to its fundraising efforts. 
“The Obama administration has not been honest with the American people with regards to Benghazi, and if Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker the American people will never know the truth. Our goal is to hold Democrats in Congress accountable who vote against creating the select committee on Benghazi and who continue to try to sweep this controversy under the rug.” 
So, per Gowdy’s own words, it seems that his fellow Republicans feel it is perfectly fine to raise money “on the backs of four dead Americans.” That is good to know.
Someone please tell me why anyone would vote for these Republican scum who could care less about the average American but bows down to their wealthy donors like the Kochs plus do the bidding of Karl Rove who is joined at the hip with the Koch's.  Time to tell the GOP to go find another career so our tax dollars can go further instead of all the millions they have spent on useless investigations along with the House repealing the Affordable Care Act over 50 times.  Help send the GOP to the Unemployment Line on November 4th!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

One Teacher Made a Difference for the Governor of New Hampshire

The teacher who made a difference in the Governor's life to teach him how to read represents a lot of teachers who do not get enough credit for what they do outside the classroom.  Good teachers are found in many elementary, middle, and high schools who prepare our children for college or a career in what they want to do.  College professors are found everyday who go outside their normal routine to help a student who comes to them and asks for help.  Their doors are always open.

The Governor of New Hampshire wouldn't be where he is today except for a teacher who took an interest in him and was determined he would learn to read.  

How many children today fall behind in poor school districts in States like Oklahoma whose legislature cannot seem to get their act together to fund education.  Oklahoma teacher's are 49th in pay which brings up the question of why are Oklahoma Republicans are so much against paying some of the best teacher's I have met a fair wage for teaching?

How many kids like the NH Governor are going to be left behind because GOP State Legislatures keep cutting education.  Oklahoma ranks as the #1 state in the amount of cuts to education since 2008 when the GOP was in full control of the legislature.  Why do Republicans hate education?  Don't our children all deserve a quality education with good teachers?

A lot of questions but few answers in Red States.    

My first effort at volunteering to teach reading at Yucaipa Elementary in CA, almost made me not try again.  I had this little boy who all he wanted to do was count ceiling tiles no matter what you said.  I finally had it and told him to count tiles on someone else's time because he was there to learn to read and if he didn't want to try, then why should I waste my time.  He looked at me with wide eyes and said I want to get better at reading and every time after that he was ready to spend extra time on reading and never counted any more ceiling tiles.  By the end of the semester he had already caught up.  

I tutored reading for years as long as my children were in elementary school.  Had one little girl in Ohio who couldn't read a word at the beginning of first grade and by the end after working with her three days a week for an hour she read a book the to class and had tears running down my cheeks.  In Boerne, TX, they had mentoring program for elementary schools to help students with reading and math.  

Being a stay at home Mom I could volunteer in the schools which I did until my children graduated doing different things the schools needed after my children were older.  One of the worst things I ever had to do was to record the Edgar Allen Poe book For Whom the Bell Tolls which was a real pain to read out loud into a microphone.  That tape was used for English is a Secondary Language High School Literature Course.  Worst thing I did in the schools was becoming the President of the PTO -- had to have rocks for brains to take that when no one else would come forward.  Found out you not only cannot please everyone but you can please very few people in the long run.  

Oklahoma loses teachers all the time who go to surrounding states who pay more.  You would think the Governor would spend as much time on education as she did on making sure two men were executed on the same night which was botched.  The State School Superintendent Barrisi's answer was to ask the Legislature to give teacher's a $2,000 raise while Gov Fallin gave the heads of her agencies tens of thousands in raises.  Something is very wrong in Oklahoma and it starts in the Governor's office. Thought that she would make a better Governor then she has -- she is the worst Governor I have ever had in all the states we have lived and have had some pretty bad ones but nothing close to this.  I hear all the time people asking who is advising her because she sounds like a puppet.

How did the Governor's Association made her the Chair?  Wonder what they think now with all the bad publicity of the last few weeks.  

Oklahomans need to get out to vote and elect a new Governor who is a man who supports all the people of Oklahoma just not oil and gas along with wealthy donors.  He is very big into supporting teachers and education for our students at all levels.  Time to turn Oklahoma Blue because frankly Red is not working for the average Oklahoman.  We need better schools around the state not just in places like Norman where schools are excellent.  Every Oklahoma child should have access to that same type of education we give our kids in Norman.  Please get out to vote for Joe Dorman for Governor!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Why are Three Major Oil and Gas Producers Waiting Until Last Minute to Make 2% Tax Proposal?

Legislature has a few more weeks left yet oil/gas comes up with this proposal now -- no way to hold hearings as all bills have already passed out of committee.  What is the real reason behind this proposal because these three men are not stupid?  Special session of legislature to grant their wishes?

At least one person gets it in the Oklahoma gas and oil industry:
The plan has drawn swift criticism from others in the state, including fellow oilman George Kaiser, who said he is concerned the state regularly is among the lowest in the country in teacher pay and health care. 
“I have lived here for more than two-thirds of the life of the state. I see what’s happening to the state,” said Kaiser, owner of Tulsa-based Kaiser-Francis Oil Co. “Something has to give. I’m prepared to pay my fair share to the state of Oklahoma.” 
Kaiser said he would like to see oil and gas companies — including his — pay 7 percent in gross production taxes
This article by the Oklahoman shows that some oil and gas executives in Oklahoma could care less about education or infrastructure -- they are intersted in their bottom line.  They figure they can make a suggestion along with a threat and the GOP Governor Fallin and GOP Legislature will bow down to their proposal.  One slight problem is that the Legislature is in the last few weeks of session.  Does Fallin plan on calling a special session that costs the average taxpayer money so she can bow down to the wishes of the big guys of Oklahoma oil and gas?

Why do we have to wait four years to see the tax rise to 7% when it goes to 7% in 2015?  The initial lowering to 1% for horizontal drilling took place in 1994 for four years.  It is now 2014 and it is still 1%.  Kept getting renewed.  What started out as a good idea never ended when oil companies starting make huge profits again.  
Obvious to most people that these three oil company heads, Oklahoma energy company leaders Harold Hamm, Contingental Resources, Larry Nickols, Devon Energy, and Doug Lawler, Chesapeake Energy could care less about education and infrastructure as they continue to take full advantage of the tax breaks they keep getting for oil and gas.  Are they behing the tax on solar power if you install it yourself or opposing wind energy?  My guess would be yes.  
For those who don't know, Harold Hamm was the huge Romney supporter from Oklahoma.  Romney is currently under investigation by the Federal Government after one of his victims sued him in Federal Court along with several others for racketeering under RICO statute which has brought in the Feds to investigate. 
These oil companies have been skating for years in Oklahoma paying 1% for horizontal drilling and now are complaining because the 2% is a 100% increase when it should have gone back to 7% in 1998.  How dumb do they think the Oklahoma taxpayer is because we are not bought and paid for plus many of us still have a brain that functions.
This article from the Oklahoman also contains a veiled threat that if taxes go up to 7% in 2015, these companies are going to take their oil drilling elsewhere.  It gets better because they want to lower the production tax on vertical wells from 7% to 2% for four years when they are making record profits.  They are not stupid as they know as long as Republicans run Oklahoma that tax will not go to 7% in four years.  You could say they have their number.  It will stay at 2% indefinitely and cause even more of a financial crises in this state as long as GOP controls the Governor's office and legislature.  
Mary Fallin needs to recuse herself as her new husband is part of oil and gas as a lawyer.  (He is currently a practicing attorney, specializing in litigation, banking, agribusiness, real estate, oil and gas, and other commercial related matters according to RGA website
Energy Giants Float Production Tax Proposal for Oklahomaby Adam Wilmoth Modified: May 5, 2014 at 10:00 am •  Published: May 4, 2014 
Executives from three of Oklahoma’s largest oil and natural gas companies have proposed a new plan for the state’s tax on oil and natural gas production. 
The newest proposal would change the gross production tax rate to 2 percent for both horizontal and vertical wells for the first four years of production. The rate would then rise to 7 percent. The proposal has earned the backing of Larry Nichols, executive chairman at Devon Energy Corp.; Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources Inc.; and Chesapeake Energy Corp. CEO Doug Lawler.
“We’ve come up with a proposal that makes the tax simpler, makes it permanent, treats everyone in the industry the same way so it’s totally fair for everyone in the industry,” Nichols said. “It has a modest tax increase to it and continues the economic activity, which benefits everybody.”
Gov. Mary Fallin’s office indicated a willingness to discuss the 2 percent proposal. 
“The governor is inclined to support the concept and thanks the industry and Legislature for collaborating in the review process we recommended last summer,” Secretary of Finance Preston L. Doerflinger said.
The issue 
The state historically has assessed a 7 percent tax on most oil and natural gas production. In 1994, the Legislature created an incentive for horizontal drilling. The incentive initially lowered the tax rate to 1 percent for the first two years or until costs were recovered. In 2002, the incentive was extended to up to four years. 
The incentive program is set to expire next year in a move that would return the tax rate to 7 percent. Industry leaders have said the tax credit should be extended because it has been successful in boosting drilling throughout the state, and that higher taxes would leave less money available for drilling. 
Critics, however, say the tax credit has served its purpose and is no longer necessary. They point out that the lower rate was put in place when horizontal drilling was new and risky, but that it now represents about 90 percent of the drilling activity in the state. 
Industry leaders say the low tax rate is needed to make Oklahoma competitive with drilling in other states, such as North Dakota and Texas. 
“While we have a lot of opportunity, Oklahoma does not have the best rock,” Lawler said. “We have good rock, but not the best rock.” 
“We are very focused on driving additional value and additional investment towards the opportunities in Oklahoma, but with an increased tax, a 100 percent tax increase is what we’re endorsing. But ... if we go beyond that, it will limit the amount of activity and reduce the investment in the state,” Lawler said.
Expiration is next year 
While the tax credit will not expire until the middle of next year, the issue needs to be addressed before the legislative session ends later this month. 
Like most companies, oil companies will set their 2015 budgets this fall. If the tax structure is not changed this session, they will assume that the rate will move to 7 percent next summer. 
“That will undoubtedly result in the budgets we prepare in the fall having less drilling in Oklahoma because we cannot get it all drilled before July 1,” Nichols said. 
Click Link to read more at The Daily Oklahoman
Once again the citizens of Oklahoman are finding out what it is like to live in a state that puts powerful oil and gas owners over ordinary citizens.  It just never stops.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

OK Governor Mary Fallin Vetoes Bills She Asked for as She Attempts to Show the Legislature Who is Boss by Vetoing 17 Bills!

Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, said he didn’t understand why the governor Tuesday vetoed two of his bills that he said were requested directly from her office.  He said one of the bills was designed to save tax dollars by allowing state agencies to better use their purchase card authority.  “The governor is essentially vetoing her own request bill,” Murphey said. “It makes no sense.”  (My bold and emphasis in article)

The Fallin aggressive agenda isn't to move Oklahoma forward but to brandish her conservative credentials with the Tea Party.  When I read that former Senator Cal Hobson said she was originally a moderate Republican, it is starting to make sense.  Fallin made sure her opponent in the last primary, former State Senator Randy Brogdan who is very hard right, pulled out of the Governor's race to run for US Senator. What did she offer him is a question many here are starting to ask?
Gov Fallin has the disdain of people from around the world after the botched execution and her lie that he didn't regain consciousness or the whopper from Attorney General Pruitt that these drugs had been tested when it was the first time they were used.  Reporters witnessed him coming back and trying to get off the table hearing him say "Man" but she tries to tell us he didn't regain consciousness.  How dumb does she think Oklahomans are -- not all of us are Tea Party and even some Republicans I know here are questioning her being Governor for four more years.  The details of the botched execution are chilling:
While Mr. Lockett was convicted of a gruesome and disgusting murder, this does not change the fact that the way he died was in violation of both the laws of this nation and our collective morality as a community. 
As a result of these actions, we demand that the United States Department of Justice open a full investigation into Governor Mary Fallin and the Oklahoma State Department of Corrections, and their decision to 1) use an untested combination of chemicals during a state-sanctioned execution, despite the severe risk of severe pain and suffering for the condemned; 2) the secrecy with which these drugs were obtained; and 3) the coercive means used to get the Oklahoma Supreme Court to reverse its stay of execution and essentially fast-track the proceedings, which led to Mr. Lockett's horrible death.
Agree 100% that the Department of Justice needs to investigate all of this including our Supreme Court being faced with impeachment and setting up a constitutional crises by the Governor, Attorney General, and some State GOP Legislators.  
Personally after what we are witnessing, I think having her for eight more months is too long.  That press conference yesterday on the botched execution made me cringe.  She has totally lost it and the State suffers.  She has attempted to move the state very hard right when the majority of our state is moderate to conservative with Democrats, Independents, and a good number of Republican who are not part of the hard right which has driven me out of the GOP for good.  Didn't like the hard right when I first got involved in GOP politics here and now I loathe them and am leaving the party because the Republican Party is not big enough for me and the hard right, militia, Tea Party, John Birchers, Libertarians, and religious right social conservatives.
Why all the secrecy not just with the drugs and the protocol but with her office.  It almost takes an act of Congress to get her to honor a Freedom of Information request.  What is she hiding?  Never would vote for someone who pulls the stunt of vetoing bills to get their way.  I have lived in various states and she is the worst Governor I have ever had by far and that includes Dukakis in MA and Jerry Brown in his first term in California.   You cannot fathom how I regret supporting her in 2010 as I have watched her get progressively worse.  One of the worst choices of supporting a candidate I ever made.  Falllin should become the poster person for the "My Way or No Way" group of hard right!
April 30, 2014 
Gov.: Vetoes will continue until ‘major issues’ are addressed 
By Janelle Stecklein 
The Norman Transcript 
OKLAHOMA CITY — In what critics describe as an attempt at political manipulation, Gov. Mary Fallin took a swing at legislators Tuesday, announcing she would be rejecting their bills that were awaiting her signature until they tackle the state’s “major issues.”
By noon Tuesday, Fallin rejected 15 of 16 House bills awaiting her signature that she claimed didn’t have “substantial” benefits, are “redundant” or are “just bad policy.” At a press conference announcing her decision, she pledged the vetoes of House-proposed bills would continue until the House tackles issues that she believes are important to Oklahomans rather than special interest groups. 
“Lawmakers continue to find ways to avoid passing meaningful legislation,” she said. “We cannot continue to ignore the big issues facing the state.” 
Fallin said the House needs to pass legislation dealing with storm shelters at schools, set the budget for this coming year, look at funding Capitol improvements, fix the pension system and improve the health of Oklahomans. 
“I’ve used my executive power, my executive authority to set aside ‘minor issues’ so that we can have more time to deal with major issues here at the Capitol and hopefully get the attention to get those things done,” she said. 
Among the causalities of Fallin’s pen were bills that came from legislators across the state. They dealt with issues like expungements, regulating the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, liquor industry regulations and a bill that she claims makes it easier to sell stolen watches. 
“Gov. Fallin developed an aggressive agenda this session to move Oklahoma forward, however moving that agenda through the legislative process requires developing relationships with legislators across the state,” said House Speaker Jeff Hickman, R-Fairview, in a statement. 
He said legislators have passed an income tax cut, pension reform measures, and a ban on youth access to e-cigarettes, which were all part of the governor’s agenda 
Fallin vetoed the bill authored by Williams and Senate Minority Leader Sean Burrage, D-Claremore, which would have made it easier for people to get crimes expunged off their records. The bill had bipartisan support, and Williams said it was frustrating to lose a substantive bill “on the 1-yard line” because Fallin needed to pad her veto list for the day. He predicted her move would “infuriate” people, and hopefully lead to moves by the legislature to overturn her vetoes. 
He said such behavior by an Oklahoma governor is unprecedented and “politics of pride.” 
“She does not believe the House has addressed her set of priorities so this is our punishment,” he said. “I don’t like being used in this manner. My constituents don’t like being used in this manner. I don’t think there’s a constituent out there that would support her in a move like today.” 
Click Link to Read More at Norman Transcript
Veto of 15 bills wasn't enough for the out of control Governor as she vetoed two more today.  She says that the Legislature is not taking action on her key agenda items but two of the bills of Rep Murphey (R-Guthrie) that were sent to her office that she vetoed, she asked to be submitted in the Legislature. Tell me that the OK Governor is not out of control when you veto bills you asked to be passed.

Today Fallin vetoed two more bills saying it was in the best interest of Oklahoma:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Gov. Mary Fallin has issued two more vetoes on bills she says are not in the best interest of Oklahoma. 
Fallin vetoed the pair of bills on Wednesday, the same day the House voted to override a previous veto on a bill regarding federal regulations on firearms.  
One of the bills would have prevented law enforcement agencies from entering into contracts with non-law-enforcement entities. Fallin says the bill was well-intentioned but may slow the progress of law enforcement activity. 
The second veto was for a bill that would change the amount of paid time a state employee can spend on professional development.  
The vetoes come after a string of 15 vetoes earlier in the week. Fallin has accused state lawmakers of not taking action on her key agenda items. 
This article was written back in January about Governor Fallin -- would like to know what former State Senator Cal Hobson thinks today since she has gotten much worse:
January 16, 2014 
Fallin: Not pure enough for Tea Partiers
By Cal Hobson 
The Norman Transcript 
NORMAN — Let me make something very clear at the very beginning: I served with then-state-representative and now-Gov. Mary Fallin for a number of years when we both were in the legislature. I liked her then and like her personally today. She was and is a pleasant, dedicated career politician and a very successful campaigner. 
She was a moderate Republican legislator who seemed to vote policy first, politics second. 
However, apparently her political leanings have changed dramatically. To put it bluntly, she has been an awful chief executive of our state. 
Clearly, based on her policies and initiatives, Fallin’s top objective during her first term as governor has been to make sure no Republican challenger would be able to attack her for not being conservative enough. And she really worked at it.  
How otherwise to explain the deepest cuts found in the nation in funding for public schools (22.8 percent cut in a system where 95 percent of our kids are enrolled); a huge drop in the state’s share of financial support for higher education plummeting from 30 percent six years ago, now moving toward 11 percent in 2014; and endless and, thankfully, so far, futile efforts to cut our state’s already very modest tax base. We were seventh lowest nationally in 2012.   
Her personal income tax reductions are ill-conceived and unnecessary in an already very friendly environment to do business. Additionally, the governor’s 2013 tax hoax, just struck down unanimously by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, with the opinion written by a Republican appointee, would have rewarded a family of four with an annual income of $40,000, a whopping tax cut of 35 cents a day in 2016.  
Besides ignoring our aforementioned educators, Fallin stiffed public employees by ordering a “study” of their salaries, a classic dodge, while she gave generous pay raises to her own staff. 
Click Link to Read More at the Norman Transcript
We don't have a Governor, we have a dictator so New Jersey we know exactly how you feel with Governor Christie.  Wonder what the National Governor's Association is thinking having Fallin as their spokesman.  Her statement about looking out for Oklahomans is a bad joke IMHO.

Democrats need to work together with Independents and some GOP to oust Fallin as Governor by supporting Democrat Rep Joe Dorman, who is opposing Fallin for Governor.  I have yet to find anyone who doesn't like him.  Maybe my GOP state rep but I won't talk to him ever again.  The Conscientious Objector who had the Oklahoman taxpayers pay for his college and Law School then claimed CO status twice so not to serve overseas can shove it in my book.  First time he ran we had State Chair who understood why so many of us opposed him but he is probably the last honest chair that has led OK GOP.  He might be the ONLY honest one to head OK GOP since we have been in the state.

Return Common Sense to the Governor's Office, vote for Joe Dorman for Governor!  Follow Joe on Twitter at @Dorman2014 or on Facebook -- time to elect a Governor for all Oklahomans not just the wealthy!