If You Are A Republican, You Cannot Be Pro-Life

There will always be a strong anti-abortion movement amongst those who view themselves as god-fearing, Jesus-loving Americans. In fact, the Republican/TeaParty-led House has proposed 41 abortion-prohibitive bills as they view abortion as an affront to the sanctity of life principles they hold so dear; or so they’d like us to think. Being Pro-Life means one must advocate for ALL life, not just unborn fetuses. Most fundamentalist Christians and followers of the teachings of Jesus have forgotten the Golden Rule. Their morals are shaped by a deity that serves corporations and the wealthy who would have a harder time entering the Kingdom of Heaven than a camel passing through the eye of a needle. Narrowing down the ways the GOP violates the teachings of Jesus and the rights of humanity to a simple article is nearly impossible. I will briefly list what I feel are the most obvious contradictions of the Republican Party Platform.

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You cannot be pro-life and support the death penalty or support, advocate for, or participate in war. In summary, killing is wrong if you are PRO life. Period. You cannot be a man of god like Mike Huckabee and advocate for the hunting of Democrats. A successful hunt means something has to be killed, and a Democrat is a human being and fellow American. Nugent-Huckabee are not only misanthropic but very unpatriotic. Southern states especially have more people who identify themselves as Christians. Coincidentally, these states, like Texas, execute a disproportionate number of minorities. Being a proponent of numerous executions like Governor Perry negates a pro-life agenda and violates the teachings of Jesus.

You cannot oppose gender equality. Women cannot be treated like sinful beings with less value than men. Violence against women should not be overlooked, as if often is. Norfolk, Virginia recently overturned a long time policy where it was assumed the victim is lying. With matters of sexual assault, only 6% of cases are proven false. No woman wants that degree of scrutiny and shame without provocation. Women have also suffered income inequality, been downplayed to subservient status by religion, and continue to be “slut-shamed” by the GOP plutocracy. Without full gender equality, pro-life only means pro-male life.

You cannot oppose the idea of healthcare for all while advocating for loosely controlled gun laws that endanger American lives every day. America is quite uncharacteristic for a Western nation where a vocal portion of our citizens feel guns are a right and healthcare is a privilege. Most industrialized nations have effective, strict gun control legislation and provide their citizenry with essential healthcare while the USA ranks 38th worldwide. Ron Paul’s supporters cheered when he failed to denounce the idea of letting people die if they can’t afford healthcare at a GOP debate. Only permitting the fortunate to access healthcare seems awfully antithetical to a pro-life agenda. Proving they are against helping the poor, the GOP voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act forty times! The GOP has also vetoed veterans benefits and first responders’ compensation, showing no compassion for those who have sacrificed for their country.

You cannot oppose a livable, minimum wage. Federal minimum wage is only $7.25 an hour, or only $15,080 a year for a full-time worker. That’s more than $8,000 below the federal poverty line for a family of four. The minimum wage for tipped workers currently stands at only $2.13 an hour — the same as it was over 20 years ago. After Republican-led state governments slash funding for the victims of these insulting wages by cutting SNAP and other welfare programs, they ask these struggling Americans to pull themselves up by their bootstraps while defunding public education thus making that whole concept non-utilitarian and unachievable. Economist and talk show host, Thom Hartmann brilliantly advocates for the benefits of raising the minimum wage to a livable level.

Lastly, you cannot advocate, support, or passively tolerate economic policies which oppress the poor, minorities, or any other marginalized group. Hateful policies like those of conservative dinosaur Phyllis Schlafly only serve to portray the GOP as an unbelievably callous, inhumane group of monsters with no compassion for those escaping a life of dire poverty to settle here in the USA. When the GOP 2012 debate candidates mentioned ways of making the border as treacherous as possible and treating undocumented immigrants with cruelty, the crowd cheered in a very disturbing manner. The GOP has proven and continues to prove how truly misanthropic they are. If one is for the life of the unborn, they should also advocate for the life of every living being as well. Jesus preached forgiveness, tolerance and love. The current Republican party fails to include these principles in their legislation and modus operandi.

Murder, Extra-Marital Affairs are Marks of Prestige in the GOP

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Stephen Colbert vs. Joe Scarborough

Like a parody news program come to life, the Republican party has featured an array of characters that parallel the wildest reality show stars. Perhaps because the GOP contains representatives that equate the limiting of gun magazine capacities to less than 30 bullets with bestiality, some who want to establish a “State” religion, directly violating the First Amendment and there are others who want to force rape victims to give birth to their rapist’s baby. In order to maintain their stellar reputation as the party of god, they must continue to feature candidates that are as hypocritical as those they represent (yet claim to rebuke).

It isn’t surprising Republicans continue to defend each other, no matter how serious their offenses may be. Stephen Colbert brought to light Joe Scarborough’s close friendship with ex-South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford on his show (which aired April 3, 2013). Naturally, both Sanford and Scarborough are viewed by their party propitiously, even to the tune of being prominent figures in the GOP. Scarborough feels quite comfortable endorsing a man who was abhorred by a nation for his breach of fidelity to his wife and children while governor which involved taking trips to visit his mistress in Argentina on the taxpayers’ dime.

Both men are Republicans, who are held to much lower standards than their Democratic counterparts. Joe Scarborough escaped investigation in a case that would certainly grasp the attention of a nation had it not happened right before the biggest tragedy (9/11/2001) to impact our country since Pearl Harbor. Who better to endorse and befriend the disgraced former governor than a man who escaped prosecution from the inexplicable death of one of his office staffers?

The MSNBC Morning Joe host and ex-Florida Congressman, Joe Scarborough has seldom been questioned about a very suspicious death in his very own Florida office. Friday, July 20th, 2001, the body of Lori Klausutis, 28, was found slumped next to a desk on the floor of Florida Republican Congressman Scarborough’s Fort Walton Beach office where Lori had served as a constituent services coordinator since May, 1999. Her body was found around 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning by a couple arriving for an appointment. She had been dead for some time. A second employee, who would have normally arrived for work at around the same time, was away on vacation. Police cordoned off the area for investigation, later announcing that there was no reason to suspect foul play, nor were there signs of suicide…”The results of the mandated autopsy, however, were deemed “inconclusive”

The Medical Examiner in the Klausutis case was Michael Berkland. He is also the same Michael Berkland who was found to have rented a storage unit where the remains of more than 100 humans were found on August 24, 2012. Medical Examiner Dr. Andi Minyard told the Pensacola News Journal the remains appear to be from private autopsies Berkland performed at local funeral homes between 1997 and 2007. The fact the death of a 28 year old healthy marathon runner was never questioned or investigated is as remarkable as the medical examiner who found no foul play in the case. The lack of scrutiny in this case was absolutely the opposite of the close examination faced by two disgraced Democrats from New York.

Two of the more powerful and influential liberal politicians in recent years were completely decimated by behavior deemed socially unacceptable. Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner were both rising stars whose prominent careers were railroaded by the exposure of extra-marital infidelities. Neither Congressman Weiner or Governor Spitzer were guilty of any crimes/expenditures which cost taxpayers any money.

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Elliot Spitzer and Anthony Weiner

Neither Weiner nor Spitzer has publicly announced any plans to return to public office at this point. It is very telling how quickly the GOP seems to forgive and forget the most egregious of offenses while Democrats are held to a different standard. Mark Sanford is now officially the Republican nominee for South Carolina’s First Congressional District, garnering the endorsement of his “good friend” Joe Scarborough. He received a generous amount of free air time and softball questions on his Morning Joe program. The topic of note today was his great proclivity towards honesty and running a fine campaign. The gushing over a man with very questionable moral fiber is not surprising coming from someone who may have gotten away with murder. There have even been rumors floating around that Scarborough is considering a Presidential run in 2016. People at NBC know that questioning anything about the Klausutis case will get you banned from the network, so nobody brings it up anymore. I suppose he is the ideal candidate, replete with scandal and plenty of corruption.

I’d like to just sit back and watch this train wreck unfold. But we all must stay diligent and support our Democratic candidates. Hopefully, Sanford will be defeated by Elizabeth Colbert Busch, the sister of Stephen Colbert, who will be facing Sanford in a special runoff election for Tim Scott’s old seat. It would be tremendous to have more blue in red South Carolina.

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Elizabeth Colbert-Busch (D) and Mark Sanford (R)

Dividing the Progressive Movement by Standing With Rand Paul Insanity

Drones were devised for the purpose of conducting strikes and surveillance over territories deemed too perilous for our own pilots. Unpleasant as it may be to imagine, we have many enemies, through much fault of our own, who wish to harm Americans worldwide. Since their invention, the American military has utilized drone technology in countries like Yemen and Pakistan because the countries are a safe-haven for terrorist activities and they’re very remote. Manned military strikes are exceptionally treacherous. The mere existence of drones is simply for the purpose of launching these offensives in areas that are foreign, so by design, they’re not for domestic use. Perhaps on rare occasion, if a foreign combatant threatened the U.S. and there was no other way (which is quite outlandish) a president could use any means necessary to protect our citizens. However, it never was an issue which an economically hampered America should concern itself with, especially in light of all the other threats which endanger Americans, like teachers in South Dakota legally allowed to carry firearms while instructing children. This is a smokescreen, nothing more, and it is embarrassing progressives fall for such nonsense.

A Kentucky Republican launched a filibuster for what he considers a noble Libertarian cause, emphatically asserting domestic drone strikes should be illegal because they violate due process in a land founded on Constitutional principles. Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky/Teaparty) droned on for almost 13 hours over this pressing issue. Paul filibustered the Senate, in protest of ANOTHER Obama cabinet appointment for simple self-aggrandizement and shameless political posturing. He received the following letter a few hours hence from our Attorney General, Eric Holder:

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Courtesy of The Huffington Post

The incessant references to Hitler, the mentions of tyranny, liberty and freedom were numerous and based in fantasy and paranoia, as per usual with this Teaparty caucus. Paul also managed to defend awful Supreme Court decisions which were blatantly racist and abhorrent. Nevertheless, he was lauded by progressives who agreed with Senator Paul’s “brave” filibuster, including Van Jones. Much to my dismay, this man aired his pro-Paul sentiments on “CNN Newsroom,” and called the senator “a hero” for “sticking up for civil liberties.” Similar praise erupted from Senator Ron Wyden (D-Or) and Code Pink. On Friday March 8th, Arianna Huffington appeared as a panelist on Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO and said: “I want to defend Rand Paul…I think what Rand Paul did was fantastic…What he did was incredibly important. First of all, it completely scrambled that right-left way of looking at politics.” She critiqued Democrats (aside from GOP ally Wyden of course) for not taking a similar stand. Really Arianna? Domestic drone use is a pressing concern? More pressing than another fiscal cliff, environmental insanity and gun violence? Sorry, ma’am, you’re costing us time and money for contrived threats which benefit the GOP by allowing them to divide Democrats and skirt the real issues. President Obama has never once threatened ANYONE domestically with these highly technical killing machines and he has no intention of doing so.

Naturally, the Right Wing couldn’t thank Paul enough for his obstructionism. Fox’s favorite immigrant-loathing “Anchor Baby” Michelle Malkin heaps praise on Rand Paul for singlehandedly saving the Republican Party.

 

Ironically, immediately following Holder’s letter, which negated his entire thirteen hour charade, Mr. Paul fell in line and confirmed the new CIA director at once. After the dramatic episode concluded, we learned that the whole charade was staged for the purpose of showboating and fundraising. Obviously Rand is unconcerned with the threats to American citizens and real civil liberties as he feels it is more important to allow manufacturers of lethal weapons to sell their products unchecked to a nation incited to violence by none other than the racist agenda he promotes.

The Southern Poverty Law Center estimates over 1200 anti government patriot groups in existence today, where the anti-Civil Rights Act agenda of Mr. Paul along with others like Teabagger Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx) operate in perfect symbiosis. Not only is he opposed to the 1965 law which is THE cornerstone of anti-racism legislation in America, but he opposed VAWA, denies abortion as a right and believes Biblical Law should replace the U.S. Constitution. He believes in low taxes for the rich and wouldn’t hesitate to cut funding for the poor woman he forced to birth a baby (after he defunds all women’s care facilities), because this is what Jesus would do. Maybe I forgot how Rand Paul sees Jesus: A White, Southern, GOP, and male chauvinist Jesus, not that Aramaic Semite from the Middle East who preached tolerance, humility and poverty.

Heaven forbid the first black president, or any president, chooses to use a weaponized drone on a person or group threatening the safety of the United States from within. We have an audaciously well-armed police force, FBI, ATF, CIA and four branches of the world’s largest military to defend our citizens. If at any time, a president chooses the drone option for domestic use, we are in so much trouble, I think Rand Paul’s freedom (to wear any animal on his head) is the last thing we need to worry about. Things are about to get real. I’m sure his outlandish soliloquy gave President Obama plenty of time to contemplate a domestic drone-strike option. He is far more tolerant than I would have been, as he dispensed with Senator Paul’s histrionics with a simple NO. Progressives and supporters of Democratic principles should have done the same thing. History will not be kind to the Rand Paul grandstanders of these tough times. This should be the last we hear of this nonsense, but I’m sure it will drone on ad nauseum.

Gerrymandering and Jim Crow: The Republican Plan to Keep America White

As it is appearing with greater frequency, the commonly used term “gerrymandering” is an unusual practice indigenous but not exclusive to these United States. The odd practice of drawing voting districts in a random shape for a particular party’s advantage is named after Elbridge Gerry, a Massachusetts Governor and the fifth Vice President of the USA under President James Madison. He redrew his own district in the shape of a salamander,

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The original “gerrymander” in Massachusettes circa 1812

so in 1812, the idea of gerrymandering was born. This is a legal way of redistricting which is used by both political parties in our country. Unfortunately, in most Republican implementations of gerrymandering, the motives are insidiously racist. No representative historically is unwilling to abdicate power, so the Republicans have gerrymandered their districts to maintain sovereignty over a changing demographic that should technically deem them unelectable. With Machiavellian strategizing, the GOP has continued to maintain control of the House of Representatives which is certainly not of, by and for the people.

With the relevancy of Section 5 of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) on trial this week, it is vital more people understand exactly what damage the Roberts Court could inflict on our Civil Rights. The unlikely hero of the Affordable Care Act’s landmark decision, Chief Justice Roberts will play a different role in Shelby County v Holder. He will, once again, prove to be a painful reminder of the Bush Administration that appointed him.

This is a fight that’s been near and dear to Roberts’ heart since he was an attorney for the Ronald Reagan Administration. In 1982, Roberts led the fight against the VRA’s Section 2, which prohibits denial of voting rights “on account of race or color.” In the case of Shelby County, a largely white suburb of Birmingham, the number of instances between 1975 and 2007 where election laws were judged to have discriminated on the basis of race occurred 20 times. But I suppose with the election of President Obama, Roberts and his cohorts are purporting the myth that racism is no longer a problem in the areas which Section 5 was designed to protect.

But how does gerrymandering work to the advantage of Republicans and how is it relevant to this latest SCOTUS battle? In North Carolina, where the two-party House vote was 51 percent Democratic, 49 percent Republican, the average simulated delegation was seven Democrats and six Republicans. The actual outcome? Four Democrats, nine Republicans — a split that occurred in less than 1 percent of simulations. If districts were drawn fairly, this lopsided discrepancy would hardly ever occur.

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A typical gerrymandered district in North Carolina

Gerrymandering is a major form of disenfranchisement. In the seven states where Republicans redrew the districts, 16.7 million votes were cast for Republicans and 16.4 million votes were cast for Democrats. This elected 73 Republicans and 34 Democrats, not exactly proportional.

Why would Shelby County object to federal oversight? If they don’t plan on reinstating unfair registration requirements, poll taxes, literacy tests and the like, why would it matter if your electoral processes are supervised by the Federal Government? These folks have and always will be proponents of States’ Rights. States’ Rights is code for we are going to allow discriminatory disenfranchisement to proceed unchecked in our jurisdiction and we’d like you all to butt out.

The best example of racially motivated redistricting was evident in the Texas redistricting after the 2010 census. For the first time, the Republican state is populated by a majority of minority residents. However, the final tally redrew Texas to now have 25 congressional districts that lean Republican and 11 that lean Democratic. A representative government is the antithesis of Rick Perry’s racially motivated voting map.

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Areas subjected to Section 5 supervision during federal elections

Most of the areas on the map are in the south, but there are a few northern rural areas included, as historically, violations of Section 5 were common. All the evidence we need for determining the necessity of Section 5 was very evident this past election in the voter suppression attempts in Florida and Ohio that were thwarted by federal intervention. The GOP must be stopped because democracy isn’t waiting in line for several hours just to vote. This was a big problem in 2012 where voters in districts heavily favoring minority voters waited as long as nine hours just to cast their ballots.

In a shocking but not uncharacteristic display of racial callousness, extreme right wing Justice Antonin Scalia claimed the Voting Rights Act is a “perpetuation of racial entitlement,” which explains why he found a landmark law preventing race discrimination in voting to be suspicious. Simply by derogatorily using the term “entitlement,” conservatives show the disdain they have for allowing ALL citizens of any color, creed or gender to exercise simple rights which Americans have fought so hard to attain.

This plan may very well backfire on Republicans where Teaparty hard liners dominate the party’s agenda and prevent any candidate with sane and moderate views to win on a national scale. A recent example is Richard Mourdock of Indiana who was the Teaparty’s choice to replace Senator Dick Lugar. However, his insane fundamentalist opinions on rape allowed Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, to win in a Republican-dominated district. By gerrymandering themselves into an ultra-far right platform while the rest of society at large seems to be evolving towards a Progressive agenda, they will eventually redistrict themselves into obsolescence. If SCOTUS acts responsibly and rules against Shelby County, Alabama, it may help drive another nail into the GOP coffin. If the Court decides in favor of a racist, regressive Voting Rights Act violation, things will get very messy for both sides. Those who fought bravely to protect the sacred right of voting (which is not an entitlement), like Representative John Lewis, will not back down from this fight. Whether the GOP likes it or not, progress can not be stopped entirely, but they sure as hell can slow it down which seems to be their only advantage in a battle they are destined to lose.

The GOP Will Never Stop Being the Stupid Party

If one simply analyzes the election of 2012, it’s quite obvious the GOP has an imaging problem; they have lost much of their support due to the changing demographics of 21st century America. I believe February, 2013 was unusually rich with incidents which signal the growing irrelevance of the Grand Old Party, truly an epic month chock full of the increasingly frequent bloopers that illustrate the true character of Republicans.

Trying to gather a manageable list of their latest blunders which purport their claim they are “trying to rebrand the party,” is quite a Herculean endeavor. John Brabender, Rick Santorum’s campaign manager believes their problem is merely in the context of perception, not actual platform. “The perception of our party is, number one, we fight for the rich more than we fight for anybody else. Number two, we fight for the big corporations. And number three, we`re obstructionists to everything.” We’ve got news for you John, this is reality.

The platform and policies the GOP favors have been deviating from the mainstream. The current reality is a dystopian nightmare where the fringe social, political and theocratic factions of the party have literally taken over the asylum. Stupid is actually a very nice way to describe the continued insanity that plagues Republicans nationwide. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana Governor (R) tried to sum it up.

One barely has to search for striking examples which make the word “stupid” seem like the understatement of the year. Psychotic, sociopathic and mendacious are far more apt characterizations of the party that is slowly becoming an embarrassment. The downward spiral began just after President Obama finished one of the most memorable State of the Union addresses and the GOP chose “rising star” Marco Rubio to give his rebuttal. The man they selected, a denier of man-made climate change science, a signer of the Norquist Pledge and a real “patriot” who voted against raising the debt ceiling , clearly represented a party uncomfortable with changing ethnic and social demographics. Most recently, on a trip to Israel, he wrongly identified Jerusalem as the capital merely to pander to extreme right-wing hard liners in both countries.

Former First Lady, Laura Bush came out in support of gay marriage in 2010. However, just this last week, she asked to have her name removed from a gay marriage ad. Once again, a prominent Republican drops the ball and abandons support of an issue which is only increasing in acceptance from the American people.

A GOP Missouri lawmaker shoots at a bill which would make it a felony to possess certain types of assault weapons. Their perversion of the second amendment continues. Watch the video below.

In Iowa (as well as The Dakotas and most Southern States), they are hell bent on criminalizing abortion in the most Draconian ways imaginable. By enacting personhood statutes, Iowa Republicans have introduced a bill that redefines murder to include knowingly “killing” a fertilized egg. This law would lead to the imprisonment of women who have abortions (currently, approximately one-third of women in the U.S. will have an abortion in their lifetime) as well as women who use certain types of birth control that prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg.

Not to be outdone by their ineptitude on women’s and social issues, the GOP has a healthy degree of xenophobia, especially against any possible affiliation with the “great Satan,” Iran. Just linking Hezbollah or Hamas with an Obama nominee would make any Teabagger salivate, so it’s no wonder the intuitive folks at Breitbart.com fell for a joke by NY Daily News reporter Dan Friedman. He used a preposterous name like “Friends of Hamas” to sarcastically link Former Nebraska GOP Senator and DoD nominee Chuck Hagel with terrorist groups. Not only did these conservative “journalists” not fact check, they spread this fabrication around the right wing blogosphere. The absurdity went unnoticed and traveled all the way up through the highest ranks, even so far as duping Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Mr. Friedman wrongly assumed everyone could see the obvious satire in his writing. Unfortunately it is a common practice to assign deductive reasoning skills to the fear-mongering, anti-education, anti-science and highly xenophobic members of the American Right.

Teabagging star Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx), the darling of fundamentalists in the Lone Star State, went so far as to link Hagel to Iran directly simply because the nation spoke favorably about a reasonable, non-hawkish defense department leader after so many years of preemptive American wars. This man not only looks like Eugene “Joe” McCarthy, he is already on a witch hunt only two months into his dreaded six year reign of terror. This extremist lunatic will prove to be a hot mess of problems for both America and his party. Naturally, that makes him a star.

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Because McCarthyism worked so well the first time. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Tx)

I focus on Cruz because he is the quintessential obstructionist who embodies every abhorrent quality which will hasten the demise of the once powerful GOP. A recent Salon piece by Steve Kornacki says it best: …conservatives’ appetite for Cruz shows that the GOP base’s animating spirit still hasn’t changed: Loud, aggressive and reflexive hostility to President Obama, the Democratic Party and any Republican who would dare contemplate compromise is still how “conservatism” is defined.

Fast forward to March 29, when the home run of all racial epithets was uttered by former GOP representative Don Young (Alaska). When asked about growing up on a Central California farm, he said, “My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes, it takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.” True, he was not trying to be overtly offensive, it simply eluded him he even said something that is incredibly bigoted because he grew up around that sort of offensive vernacular. He issued an apology stating that there is no place for that type of racial slur in this century. What’s most telling is his time frame of when racist comments are permissible. Was 1999 a time when you could insult an entire group of people without consequence? It appears even the 1950’s is too avant-garde for Republicans and hiding their obvious disdain for minorities is a daunting task.

This legitimacy and relevancy problem only seems to worsen over time. In fact, a Pew Research Poll has concluded only 22% of Americans would label themselves Republican, most hiding behind the guise of the Independent label, for obvious reasons. I doubt the party will go the way of the Whigs, but the infighting between Teaparty hard-liners and so-called moderates violates Reagan’s “11th Commandment,” thou shalt never speak ill of a fellow Republican. I sure enjoy watching the mayhem and it may just expedite their ultimate defeat. I anticipate the 2014 midterms will exacerbate the Republican irrelevancy problems with massive defeats. These anti-government government workers have surely outworn their welcome and their incompetence is finally obvious to the majority of Americans.

What the Heck Can We Do About Congress?

The following is a letter sent to Representative Joe Heck (R-NV) written by a Henderson, Nevada business owner. Her letter was well stated and addressed the important issues the House has ignored since the midterm elections. She naturally received a form letter in return, not specifically addressing any of these problems. Here is her letter.

To Representative Heck:

Is there any chance you can help with these topics?
– Filibuster limitations/restrictions or, Congress has to physically stand there and filibuster, not just threaten it countless times.
– Campaign finance reform/disclosure – A foreign company can literally infiltrate/buy our election and we wouldn’t know it.
– Agree to let the Bush tax cuts expire and then introduce a middle class tax cut that everyone would certainly vote for.
– A uniform national voting standard: Everyone should run their elections like Nevada. Our polling stations were efficient and hassle-free and the early voting couldn’t have been easier. Why would we not link up our DMV with voter registration, that way, if you move you still are registered and it’s automatically in the system, instead of having to remind people to re-register. The current system is archaic! Voting rights should be the same, no matter what state you live in.
– Please also tell me that you are not for defending “traditional” marriage. We need to be about equal rights and be accepting of who people are, instead of pushing a religious belief onto others. We are a nation founded on secular principles and no one’s freedoms should be limited by a state-sanctioned, religiously motivated laws.
– A very radical but a more ethical system would be for insurance companies in every area including health, to be non-profit industries. They should not have the incentive of profit to make decisions that would negatively affect someone’s life. Also, if a religious workplace doesn’t want to allow birth control to be covered due to their beliefs, then as an employer, can I state I don’t believe in immunizations, therefore everyone who works for me cannot get immunizations covered? Both matters are important to people of different religions, so can we cherry pick which services are covered by insurance? When we put it in these terms, it kind of sounds preposterous, doesn’t it?

Ways to drastically reduce the deficit without cutting “entitlements”

-Lastly, as a “job creator,” I NEVER make hiring decisions based on taxes, the decision is ALWAYS based on demand. Increased demand only comes from a strong middle class. PERIOD. TRICKLE DOWN DOES NOT WORK… NEVER HAS NEVER WILL.

This next point was added by Cassandra after the letter was sent, so I thought I’d include it.
-Instead of talking about the deficit we should be talking about the fairness deficit and we should be pass a financial speculation tax- 3 trillion over 10 years, repeal capital gains tax break, limit deductions for high earners- people say it can’t all be done on the revenue side?? As Joe Biden would say, MALARKY! The attached graphic from “Up” with Chris Hayes illustrates ways to accomplish deficit reduction without punishing the poorest citizens among us.

These issues are very important to me as a small business owner, mother of four and a community organizer.

Thank you for working with others to accomplish legislation that will help regular people, not just the very rich and the big corporations.

Signed,

Cassandra Rice

Henderson, Nevada

Here is the response sent from his office:

November 16, 2012

Dear Ms. Rice,

Thank you for contacting me with your comments regarding the partisan attitude in Washington. I strongly share your concerns and appreciate the opportunity to respond to you on this important issue.

I understand the American people are frustrated with the direction of our country and angry about Washington’s out-of-touch responses to the challenges families and businesses are facing. I ran for the House of Representatives so that I could work to change business-as-usual in Washington. Representatives are elected to be accountable to the people and must understand the impacts that their decisions will have upon our country. I’d like to share a few examples of my bipartisan work in Congress.

You may be interested to know that I have introduced a number of bills that have received bipartisan support to help create jobs and restore certainty to our economy. In an effort to reduce the cost of energy and promote the use of clean and renewable energy, I introduced H.R. 470, the Hoover Power Allocation Act of 2011, which passed both houses of Congress with strong bipartisan support and has been signed into law (P.L. 112-72). H.R. 470 authorizes the continued allocation of clean, renewable electricity to southern Nevada from the Hoover Dam until 2067. This legislation is essential to the millions of consumers who invested in this renewable source of energy over the past 75 years because it will continue providing them with Hoover power and allow new customers to benefit from this low-cost, clean energy. I am a strong supporter of clean renewable energy, and have supported a number of measures from members on both sides of the aisle to promote renewable energy in Nevada.

In order to help create jobs in Nevada, I have introduced H.R. 3039, the Welcoming Business Travelers and Tourists to America Act. My bill has received strong support from members of both parties and will allow for a more efficient tourist and business traveler visa process and address the systemic backlog of applications, all without reducing security protocols. As you know, Nevada’s economy greatly depends on the continuance and expansion of tourism and international travel, and improving the efficiency of America’s visa application process will stimulate job growth in Nevada and generate billions in revenue for our state.

We also need to address the housing sector of the economy and help homeowners. In Nevada, almost 400,000 homeowners are currently underwater on their mortgages. Because of this, I believe that homeowners should have both options and resources available to keep them in their homes and avoid foreclosure. That is why I was the only member of my party who voted against H.R. 830, the FHA Refinance Program Termination Act. This bill would eliminate a program that allows for those who are current on their mortgages, but underwater, the ability to refinance. I was also one of only two Republicans who voted against H.R. 839, the HAMP Termination Act, which would have eliminated a program used by many Nevadans affected by the downturn in the housing market. Taking away programs that help homeowners who are trying to do the right thing is not the answer.

I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to give Nevadans the country they deserve. It is my honor to represent Nevadans in the House of Representatives and I will continue to do so with honor and integrity. My responsibility is, and always has been, to the constituents of the 3rd District of Nevada.

For additional information, please visit my website, http://www.heck.house.gov. From this site you can access statements about current events or pending legislation, and receive detailed information about the many services that I am privileged to provide for Nevadans.

Again, I appreciate your thoughts and it is an honor to serve you in Congress. Your suggestions are always welcome, and if ever I may be of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,DR. JOE HECK
Member of Congress

He presented nothing new or nothing of any practical application, which is unfortunately consistent with the platform of his party’s Presidential candidate (Willard Romney). There is nothing mentioned about eliminating the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy, repairing our health care system or equal rights. These matters don’t seem to concern the Republican party. Maybe if everyone sent their Representative something like this, we would make progress. Feel free to use any part of this post if you wish! Follow Cassandra @CassLibinVegas on Twitter.

VegasJessie

The Fiscal Cliff Exposes GOP Insanity

Doomsday is here! Remember when Ted Nugent called President Obama “a criminal” and denounced his “vile, evil America-hating administration” which is “wiping its ass with the Constitution.” “If Barack Obama becomes the president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” “If you can’t galvanize and promote and recruit people to vote for Mitt Romney, we’re done.” Well, Ted, I for one am eagerly waiting your next move. As expected, it’s not just Ted who’s gone off the deep end. Now many disenchanted Americans, relatives included, see a one day drop in the Dow as validation the wrong guy won the White House.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. The stock market drop on Wednesday was the byproduct of two events. 1. The election behind us, the Fiscal Cliff looms as fear of GOP non-cooperation will force another downgrading of the United State’s credit rating and 2. The European markets fell 2% when the European Central Bank President (Mario Draghi) expressed concerns for continuing weakness in the European economy for the foreseeable future. Regardless of who won the US election, this was inevitable. I’d like to ask those people, relatives included, who blame the one day plummet on the election outcome, to please explain the previous day’s 1% gain when most polls showed Obama was going to win reelection? I hear the crickets already.

Rove in panic mode on Election Night

Without going into all the complex details of financial markets, let me get to the heart of the matter. The GOP is in a temporary state of disarray. They know they have to move to the moderate center but continue to pander to their evangelical, racist base and of course grovel to all the billionaires who shelled out millions to get their puppet, Romney, elected. The GOP mastermind Karl Rove realized he was taking a shellacking on election night and was in rare form on Fox News. Megyn Kelly, when listening to Rove’s desperate plea to reconfigure Ohio numbers, even said, “Is this just math that you do as a Republican to make yourself feel better, or is this real?” Perhaps it was, by far, the funniest thing said on election night mainly because it came from a Murdoch broadcaster challenging the de facto strategic leader of the Conservative movement. He mentioned the money the big GOP donors dumped but naturally failed to mention his take off the top on all monies invested; he got his cut. His assumption America was snowed by Obama and would never come back out to support him in sufficient numbers was an unforgivable mistake and he knew it.

Conservatives got distracted by perceived ‘momentum,’ SuperPACS, and ignored real polling data and forgot the function of a political campaign: convincing voters you have their best interests at heart. You can’t ask some Latinos to self-deport and expect them to vote for you. Underestimating the resolve of Latinos, given their growing percentage of the population, was political suicide.

The DNA of these right wingers may be their Waterloo, as Jim DeMint so aptly phrased it. If you believe you lost the election because you weren’t “tough enough on abortion” or too moderate, as some truly believe, you are certainly facing peril as a party. The real sane voice in the GOP would tell you exactly what a coach of a championship team would say: you have to lose a few games to win the championship. The losses should tell these guys something, America is not terribly excited by a misogynist, bigoted agenda that threatens to reward the rich at the expense of the poor. Job creators and tax cuts create jobs is pure garbage propaganda that America has rejected. It is time to regroup and take a few hits before their credibility is restored.

The fiscal cliff will have to be avoided by Republicans abandoning their insane Tea Party base and coming to the table and acting like responsible legislators. Period. The Democrats have compromised as far as possible, numerous times, during President Obama’s first term and the time to tax the super rich at a fair level is at hand. A reasonable Republican may be a distant memory from Barry Goldwater’s era. He said, I think every good Christian ought to kick Falwell right in the ass, referencing the rise of the religious right hijacking the Republican Party, which it still does today. If they continue this doomsday strategy, it will be their “Rapture.” America is ready for Harry Reid’s suggestion of a compromise which will prevent our credit rating from taking an avoidable beating.

In a speech in Iowa yesterday, rising “star” and newly minted Creationist Marco Rubio, one of the GOP’s 2016 hopefuls, pretended to understand the challenges ahead. He said to a crowd in Iowa, “Now comes the hard part. America faces monumental challenges in putting people back to work, reducing our crushing debt and advancing our interests around the world.” Does anyone see a problem with this? He’s spouting the exact same party line: debt is our biggest concern and we need to embroil ourselves in more foreign entanglements. Naturally, he was alluding to Democratic policies as the cause of our woes even though he and his party know damned well they caused this crisis. They will be cut from the line-up and left off the playing field soon if they don’t openly change their losing strategy. If the past is any indicator, they will continue to be obstinate hardliners who will ultimately suffer the fate they so richly deserve: extinction.