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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Gay Marriage: Panicky Weasels Running in Circles No Purpose

GOP-RW Since Gay Ruling
Seen on Every GOP
(What about Gay family members - oops)
                                         
GOP's "Fair and Balanced" Thinking and Policy
(pick and choose rules)

Some headlines like from here since the 5-4 gay marriage ruling:

Following the emotional high from the weekend after the decision wore off, a budding resistance had emerged from mostly RED states unwilling to give up their gay-marriage bans without a fight. For example:

1.    Texas AG Ken Paxton has deemed state employees exempt from granting same-sex couples with marriage licenses if it violates their religious beliefs.
2.     Conservatives in Tennessee have started drafting legislation that would protect religious leaders from being forced to preside over same-sex marriages.
3.     Utah and Mississippi are considering doing away with state-issued marriage licenses.
4.     County clerks in Kentucky and Alabama have already taken it upon themselves to stop granting licenses altogether. (NOTE: they should be fired for neglect of their duties).

While such push back looks poised to provoke legal action, constitutional experts (like Greg Magarian, a professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis) say most of these state efforts are “the political equivalent of temper tantrums” attention-getting yet extremely difficult to implement.

In fact, moves to stop issuing marriage licenses to anyone, for one thing, are highly problematic, and if a state continues to recognize religious marriages but doesn’t offer any legal opportunity for same-sex marriage, that state would inevitably end up handing out marriage-based benefits only to those who’ve participated in a religious ceremony, which is unconstitutional.

It would then only be a matter of time, before someone who doesn’t want a religious ceremony sues the state for discriminating against their religion or lack thereof by preventing them from having a civil ceremony. They would sue and they would win and the state would will be ordered to start issuing civil marriage licenses again.  

Married couples receive benefits not only from the state but from the federal government as well.
So even if states managed to remove themselves from the marriage business entirely, ceasing to provide benefits in addition to marriage licenses, it’s not as if the problem would just disappear.
Similarly to the result of states refusing to set up health insurance exchanges in accordance with the ACA, marriage would become the federal government’s responsibility.

“You can stand in the corner and hold your breath until you’re blue in the face, but people in your state will still be signing up for Obamacare, only now you’ve given the authority over it to the federal government” the professor said. From a political perspective, daring the federal government to take over a long-held state responsibility like marriage would be “a strategically stupid move.”

In the fight against gay marriage, opponents have long cited concerns that legalization would result in Catholic priests, Evangelical pastors and other religious clerics being forced — against their beliefs — to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. That is an unfounded fear like legislation currently being drafted by a pair of Republican Tennessee lawmakers.

They aim to prevent it from becoming a reality. NOTE: THE USSC RULING DID NOT MANDATE SUCH ACTIONS FOR ANY GAY MARRIAGE CEREMONY OR ANYTHING ELSE… THAT IS MISGUIDED FEAR - THE GOP'S MIDDLE NAME.

My advice to the overly nervous and panicky GOP would be this from FDR's First Inaugural Address: "... so, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself — nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." 

Closely related: 

"Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” is the language as straightforward and as moving as political rhetoric ever gets, and we live in its light today just as we did when we broke from England and become the United States of America in on July 4, 1776.  “Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness.”(Historical background here)


Historians still debate how Thomas Jefferson arrived at those three words. Surely, most say he surely had in mind the English philosopher John Locke, who wrote in 1690 that “no one ought to harm another in his Life, Health, Liberty, or Possessions.” 

Even that took several turns:

For example, in 1774, two years before the Congress met in Philadelphia, the now little-remembered Declaration of Colonial Rights paraphrased Locke in asserting a right to “life, liberty and property.” But Jefferson, with the backing of Benjamin Franklin, prevailed on the other drafters to substitute the phrase and insert “happiness.”

Sadly, even today and over the years, there are those, notably like libertarian followers of Ayn Rand, who think Jefferson unfairly shortchanged the word “property.” But those who think that way seem to forget that the “property” angle along with “secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects….” Kind of guarantees that right since it is in the Bill of Rights and can’t be taken away (what we commonly refer no “search and seizure clause without proper warrant” clause).

Justice Kennedy’s decision in the Obergefell v. Hodges gay ruling, striking down bans on same-sex marriage, didn’t directly reference the Declaration per se (although the dissents by Justices Scalia and Thomas did, as they make the exact opposite point).

But Kennedy’s opinion did cite a ruling in a 1967 case — Loving v. Virginia, which struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriage (white man married black woman), saying the right to wed “one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

It is a bit ironic that now we reflect on that ruling as recently as that year such an opinion could be written without acknowledging in its language that women might also be pursuing happiness through marriage.

I don't know, but I suspect the Goofy Old Poops won't give up on this "cause celebre" anytime soon... look how long they have clung to repealing ACA (Obama-care). Stay tuned.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Texas Weasel: Threat to Texas Sanity (if possible in Texas)

Texas AG Ken Paxton (R) 
(deflecting what - one wonders)


The headline is startling: 

Texas Attorney General Calls USSC Gay Marriage Decision a Lawless Ruling

AG Ken Paxton (his official page) says he will defend state officials refusing to grant same-sex marriage licenses or perform weddings based on religious beliefs.

Here is the “heart” of the “movement” issue that Paxton in Texas and RW Talk Radio are now spreading across GOP la-la land: The landmark 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges declared same-sex marriage a constitutional right, but Paxton said in a statement that the ruling “...stops at the door of the First Amendment and cannot touch religious freedom."

While critics see this as short-lived political posturing, some conservatives see it as the start of a state's rights movement against the high court's decision on gay marriages.

I noted at Paxton’s homepage this short snippet (Note: He was a Texas State Senator at the time he ran for AG) “… Paxton has consistently been recognized as a conservative, stalwart leader with a deep passion and respect for our U.S. Constitution (my emphasis).” 

Oh, any talk of secession or disobeying a high court decision equals "deep respect for our Constitution?" I see, I see. So, a “pick and choose policy" is what most Texans perceive as best for the country and our rights (which I assume is their rights, too). Only in Texas – yep, only in Texas. Must be the water.

Finally, I say as usual, hang on tight. Plus any more secession talk on top of this crazy-ass “movement talk to dismiss or disobey the high court” leaves me with one thought: Let the pricks secede and take their Bibles with them to, um, let’s see to where? Oh yeah, how about nearby Mexico???  

I hope all level-headed Texans are paying attention to this crap for that is what it is. We are about to see some serious shït folks, and hell, we are not even at 88 miles per hour yet, right Doc. Brown and Marty??

Friday, June 26, 2015

ISIS Target Countries: Get Your Shït Together - Carry the Load

Two Horrible Examples and Reality

Two More Horrible Examples and Reality

My message is short and not so sweet, but needs to be stated, or re-stated again and again:

For the people in the affected countries and regions who truly say they peace or whatever life Allah wants for then this brief message: Pitch in and help combat ISIS and like-minded terrorist groups.

You cannot continue to hate the West and U.S. and also rely on us to clean you back yard and use American blood. You must as we say, “Get with the program and take charge.”

We can and will help, but you have to do the heavy lifting. This post is based on these headlines:


The images posted above are reality – stark and brutal. The region’s people need unity to combat ISIS and now…!!! 

Thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Police With Suspects: Mass Killer vs. Man Selling Cigarettes

(L) Dylann Roof, age 21, single, premeditated shooter of nine innocents in church.
(R) Eric Garmer, age 43, married, father of 6 children - choked to death or selling "loosies."


Link to Eric Garner story: He died on Staten Island after a police officer put him in a choke hold 
for 15 seconds. The NYC ME concluded that Garner died partly as a result of the choke hold. 

NYPD policy prohibits the use of choke holds, The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association  (PBA), a NYPD police union, said that the officer did not use a choke hold. NYPD officers approached Garner on suspicion of selling "loosies" (single cigarettes) from packs without a tax stamp.
After Garner told the police that he was tired of being harassed and that he was not selling cigarettes, the officers went to arrest Garner. When officer Daniel Pantaleo took Garner's wrist behind his back, Garner swatted his arms away saying he hadn't done anything wrong. Pantaleo then put his arm around Garner's neck and pulled him backwards and down onto the ground.
After Pantaleo removed his arm from Garner's neck, he pushed Garner's face into the ground while four officers moved to restrain Garner, who repeated "I can't breathe" eleven times while lying face down on the sidewalk. After Garner lost consciousness, officers turned him onto his side to ease his breathing.
Garner remained lying on the sidewalk for seven minutes while the officers waited for an ambulance to arrive. The officers and EMTs did not perform CPR on Garner at the scene; according to a spokesman for the PBA, this was because they believed that Garner was breathing and that it would be improper to perform CPR on someone who was still breathing. He was pronounced dead on arrival (DOA) at the hospital approximately one hour later.
Dylann Roof story: He admitted he killed the nine people in the church in order "to start a race war." His legal process starts in October and will go on for years and even if he gets the death penalty, which SC has, it is unlikely it will carried out.  
Justice in America. Pictures worth a 1,000 words.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Trump into the Fray (now officially): Birthers Not Far Behind

So who will follow JEB (seen standing in back row)

Reality Show "Star" - His New Sign Off

All the headlines about Trump to go with another Bush-Clinton show - the GOP clown car just got fuller by one: THE DONALD — in head first — he probably wants to own the car.

Oh yeah, the birthers reference - can they not be far behind ... the face of the Trumpettes from the past:

Wait and watch and see ... my money's on this gal... Trump needs them as much as they need him ...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Pop Quiz: Pick Biggest Weasel — GOP, RNC, Koch's, All Three

The Fight is On: Control of the GOP, the System, and Hell, America itself


By way of introduction, I have many times expressed my views and opinions about the GOP and the Koch billionaire brothers that my extensive reading and listening have shown and I am also sure those views are shared by millions of others, maybe even this same way: (1) The GOP professes to stand for principles, family values, and the American people (sadly on their terms); and, (2) the Koch's who want to buy and own the country. (Bonus: FOX is the propaganda machine and arm for the GOP).

The cartoon graphic above was snatched from here — it and the article are both keepers. Why do I say that?   Well, it seems that the RNC and ergo: the GOP in general are now “seeing the light” as it were, or more apropos “feeling the heat” by aligning with people like me who hold the above stated view that “The Koch's want to buy and own the country and thus, run it their way.”

More from the piece here, in part. Cal it the juicy part: 

The Republican National Committee’s (RNC) data arm last year called it “historic” occasion when it struck a deal to share voter information with the Koch brothers’ rapidly expanding political empire. 

It was an uneasy détente between the committee, which views itself as the rightful standard-bearer for the GOP, and the behemoth funded by Charles and David Koch, which is free of the campaign finance restrictions that bind the RNC and Koch plans to spend almost $900 million in the 2016 election cycle to elect a Republican to the White House. 

Party leaders, including the current chief digital officer for the RNC, hailed the deal as an important step forward in the GOP’s attempt to modernize itself. 

But after the fall midterm elections, the deal was allowed to expire without being renewed. Since then, relations between the two sides have soured, turning into what one Republican operative described as “all-out war.”  

You gotta luv this stuff, right (smile). (So, may the biggest, phoniest jerk with the most money and fewest donors win – for the people, natch???) … We’ll be watching and tracking. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

If ACA Subsidies Get Tossed What is GOP Plan "B" for Relief

Sen. Mitch "Make Barack Obama a One-term President" McConnell has Plan "B"

RNC Then Will Adopt New GOP Mascot to Fit the Times


MAIN GOP SCENARIO (besides McConnell’s plan cited above):
Tea Party Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) has a plan to provide temporary help to the millions of people who might lose health coverage if the Supreme Court sides with the King challengers and guts subsidies in three dozen federal-exchange states (the pending King v. Burwell ruling expected soon).
Johnson’s fix reportedly has 29 GOP co-sponsors, including Sen. McConnell. It is fair to assume the eventual GOP post-King contingency plan, if there is any GOP consensus plan, may look something like this:
1.  It would keep subsidies going for everybody across the country who would be adversely impacted by the Court ruling (that the GOP hopes and prays daily for) — until September of 2017.
2.  That date is similar to a few other GOP contingency plans that have been floated by Republicans, which also provide a temporary subsidy.  
3.  The idea is to buy time to develop a more comprehensive GOP replacement for Obamacare (since they obviously don’t have one at the present – cite: McConnell remarks in the chart above).  
4.  Johnson himself recently put it this way (I call it “the cat’s out of the bag) – why? That time lag Johnson proposes would allow the future of health reform to be litigated in the 2016 presidential race. Ah, ha – so it is politics as usual? I see, I see.  Why am I not surprised? Stay tuned.  

May I offer this advice from Will Rogers, Mr. McConnell? "If you find yourself in a holestop digging."

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Potpourri: GOP Tidbits That Ring Truer Than Some Believe




FOX's 2016 Campaign Bracket:  Their "Sweet 16" As It Were
(this is my fav)


Okay, I admit, it's pretty simple stuff; that's why I call it my weekly "hit and run" segment, or more apropos "post and run." Anyway, enjoy. I did. Though, hard to dispute, isn't it?

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, June 1, 2015

U.S. Senate: Two Who Can't, Won't, or Know How to Lead



  
Reaction to NSA Extension Vote and NSA Hater 
(Sen. Mitch efforts down in flames and Sen. Rand merely in flames)


Major Update: WASHINGTON — In a remarkable turnaround, Senate Republicans have agreed to debate a House bill that would overhaul the National Security Agency's handling of Americans' calling records (see below reference) that at the same time would help preserve other domestic surveillance provisions. 

Previous Post: In the U.S. Senate today: Rand Paul wants the entire NSA program and similar ones scrapped even though the Senate has a positive common sense rational program right before them from the House (see post entry below), yet Paul keeps saying “No...”  This is why I hate the Senate rules:

1.  GOP Senate Majority “Leader” Mitch McConnell, in an about-face, reluctantly embraced the House-passed bill that would extend the anti-terror provisions that expire Sunday at midnight, while also remaking the bulk phone collections program.

2.  Although the lapse in the programs may be brief, intelligence officials warned that it could jeopardize Americans' safety and amount to a win for terrorists.

3.  The Senate voted today 77-17 to move ahead on the House-passed bill (see below) called “the USA Freedom Act,” which only last weekend fell three shorts vote of the 60 needed to advance in the Senate.  

For McConnell, it was a remarkable retreat after objecting ferociously that the House bill would make the bulk phone collections program unwieldy by requiring the government to search records maintained by phone companies.

Background noted from above reference: On May 13, 2015, the House passed the new the new “Freedom Act but it was hung up in the Senate with a lot of fear tactics in play. McConnell and a few others wanted a “clean extension of the bill specifically Section 215 until 2020 and in its present form.”

Opposition and fear were strong on all sides…  So, where are we now? We are about to find out ... and lest we forget how the GOP promised before the 2014 vote: "Give us Congress and we'll show you how to govern." 

Related from my earlier post here:

Alrighty then.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Texas Weasel (L.): Rafaelus Edwardus Cruzus or Just "Ted"

John McCain's Label for Cruz and Paul: Cruz Apparently Loves the Title

McCain Then Apologized to Both


Cruz in his own words — about 2:30 seconds:



Cruz drew the ire of many New York and New Jersey residents two years ago, when he voted against the 2013 disaster aid package (some $51 billion) to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy. 

Now, Cruz and a 2016 presidential candidate has been drawing criticism for requesting federal relief for the flooding that has damaged 46 counties in Texas this year.

How many ways can we spell and pronounce hypocrite? Oh, let me count the ways. Suffice it to say, Ted Cruz is sufficient in that regard ... what a nasty, mean, two-faced, no-account son of a gun - and I'm being polite, too.

Texas wanted to secede from the Union, did not want to help any state or citizen in dire need and now with hat in hand .... and grubby mitts on the national wallet, wants aid for Texas.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Greedy Insurance Weasels: Top of the Line and the Worst

The Main Goal: Still Alive and Sipping TEA


The headlines from here - quite the shock treatment and from your friendly HMO, too:
Health insurers seek hefty rate boosts

(Proposals set the stage for debate over federal health law’s impact)

Major insurers in some states are proposing hefty rate boosts for plans sold under the ACA (Obama-care) setting the stage for an intense debate this summer over the law and its impact. Samples from around the nation:
In New Mexico: Health Care Service Corp. is asking for an average jump of 51.6% in premiums for 2016.
In Tennessee: BlueCross BlueShield has requested an average 36.3% increase.
In Maryland: CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across all its products.
In Oregon: Moda Health seeks an average boost of around 25%.
All of these insurers cite high medical costs incurred by people newly enrolled under the ACA (Obama-care), which is ironic in view of the fact that health cost growth has slowed to historic lows in recent years, and that is a fact consumer groups are expected to bring up during rate-review debates.
Under the ACA, insurers can file proposed rates to their local regulator and, in most cases, to the federal government. Some states have begun making the filings public, as they prepare to review the requests in coming weeks. The federal government is due to release its rate filings in early June.  Insurance regulators in states can force carriers to scale back requests they can’t justify. The Obama administration can ask insurers seeking increases of 10% or more to explain themselves, but cannot force them to cut rates. Rates will become final by the fall.
Consumer groups are demanding federal and state officials put premiums requests under the microscope this year, saying: “We are really wanting to see very vigorous scrutiny,” said Cheryl Fish-Parcham, director of the private insurance program at Families USA, a group that advocates for the health law.
The insurers say their proposed rates reflect the revenue they need to pay claims, now that they have had time to analyze their experience with the law’s requirement that they offer the same rates to everyone — regardless of medical history. (I note: everyone knew that aspect existed going into the law and that was a huge selling point – more people more business and thus more money – now they want to renege)? 
Insurers add that they face significant pent-up demand for health care from the newly enrolled, including for expensive drugs, saying in part: “This year, health plans have a full year of claims data to understand the health needs of the [health insurance] exchange population, and these enrollees are generally older and often managing multiple chronic conditions. Premiums reflect the rising cost of providing care to individuals and families, and the explosion in prescription and specialty drug prices is a significant factor,” said  Clare Krusing, a spokeswoman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry group.
Odd, since the GOP screeched that Obama-care was a job killer, too expensive, and would wreck the industry and country as they have worked hard to get the law repealed, yet, now the money makers, the insurance industry leaders, are asking for more money and where is the GOP? I told you; um.. yeah, maybe but who is driving us back over that cliff? Hint: it ain't Mr. Obama or this law.

What does come to mind, however, is “Back to the Future," part who knows. Right anyone – anyone at all??

Thursday, May 21, 2015

FOX Goals: Disparage, Embarrass, Insult, Put Down America


FOX Milked This Crappy Story Like An Oversized Udder

To emphasize my post title, this is FOX's latest stunt - and yes, it is typical of FOX practically 24/7 and reruns: FOX's War on the Less Fortunate in Our Society.

I have had these notes from my files dated September 2014. I now post here for your review.

My label was then and remains so today: “A legitimate news organization does not do these things, but FOX has and continues to do so.”

  1. Source its research to conservative blogs.
  2. Purposefully present stories out of context.
  3. Regularly declare Victory! when a White House initiative fails.
  4. Ignore a breaking news story that embarrasses the Republican Party.
  5. Invite fringe conspiracy theorists to appear on news shows.
  6. Suggest during a news program that Democrats voted to protect pedophiles, but not veterans.
  7. Routinely accuse the president of the United States of being like Adolf Hitler.
  8. Describe itself as the voice of the opposition.
  9. Air more than 100 commercials promoting partisan political rallies.
  10. Show 22 clips of health care reform opponents who attended town hall forums, and none of health reform supporters.
  11. Purchase full-page newspaper ads to spread falsehoods about the news competition.
  12. Invade the privacy of second-grade students.
  13. Promote violent political rhetoric.
  14. Allow a news anchor to suggest a Supreme Court nominee is guilty of reverse racism.

Now this post for today re: the photo above and related story below – enjoy:

FOX News continues to mislead with this smear about a certain food stamp recipient “known as the Surfing Freeloader.” Now that story has found its way into a congressional hearing aimed at examining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

For example: On May 20, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing addressing the “Past, Present, and Future of SNAP.”

Throughout that hearing, FOX News used the misleading 2013 special, “The Great Food Stamp Binge” that attempted to make the Surfing Freeloader (photo above) the face of food stamps" and he and that story was referenced several times as evidence of abuse within the food stamp program. That misrepresentation found its way into the hearing via two members on the committee who used the FOX “special” as anecdotal evidence of abuse within SNAP as follows:

(1)  Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) cited the FOX example of that “surfer in California living on food stamps and eating lobster” as evidence of abuse within the program, though he “forgot which network” had aired the spot.

(2)  Then later, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) referenced “the same surfer that was on one of the news channels,” as he claimed was, “unfortunately, what we see in our districts, and I hear stories about that every day.” (I note: so there are a lot of suffers in Ohio, Mr. Yoho? I see, I see). 

The background: That surfer mentioned by Gibbs and Yoho identified himself as Jason Greenslate. He was featured in FOX’s special as part of their “News” longstanding history of maligning the poor and misrepresenting food stamp recipients. After it aired, the network delivered physical copies of the special to members of Congress in an attempt to influence a vote to cut SNAP benefits by billions of dollars.

What the special failed to note was the fact that according to the Agriculture Department's Food and Nutrition Service, that kind of fraud and waste rate in SNAP is roughly only about 1 percent.

A key point: The FOX special also ignored the fact that SNAP kept 4.7 million people out of poverty in 2011 alone. Many on food stamps are children, and further, some 82 percent of all households with SNAP include at least one child, at least one elderly person, and, or disabled person or persons. (I note: it is pathetic and ironic that FOX would skip those numbers).

But, Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), corrected the record by pointing out the “surfer on food stamps was is not the reality of the program, and he said “… it's our job to tell anybody who says it is, that it isn't.”

Mr. McGovern’s precise words: “I want to make sure that the record is corrected on this. We heard a couple of times mention the guy who is a surfer on food stamps. That is not the reality of the program, and it's our job to tell anybody who says it is, that it isn't. The majority of people on this program are kids, senior citizens, or are those who are disabled. And of those who are able-bodied, the majority of them work. Given the opportunity between working at a job that pays a wage where I wouldn't have to rely on this benefit, or a job that I have to work full-time and I still need to rely on SNAP, I mean, we know what people would decide. So let's not demonize this program by taking some examples that may have appeared on some news show that I won't mention the name of the news show, but anyway, the point of the matter is we ought to be talking, we ought to make sure that the narrative we are echoing here reflects the reality.”

I wonder who reported that surfer to proper authorities for proper legal action, for surely some is needed. I tend to doubt that any member of that committee even thought about that aspect.

Shame on FOX and shame for anyone who listens or watches them and falls for their crap for surely it is a heaping pile of horseshit. Now how do they get the shit back in the horse? (Line in the 1992 movie: “The Distinguished Gentleman” spoken by Joe Don Baker).  

Closing note is this reminder, as if many of us didn’t already know. Watching Fox Makes You Stupider

Monday, May 18, 2015

Defining Issue: Common Sense Campaign Finance System

Looks Like Someone Counting Drug Money 
(Campaign Money: Hard Drug Habit)


As polls showed after the 2012 election cycle, there was an unprecedented torrent of negative TV attack Ads that took their toll on almost every presidential and congressional candidate.  A hearty kudos to the Supreme Court (5-4 decision in Citizens United in 2010). Thanks for nothing.

In a candidate I want what I think a lot of Americans want. That is strong leadership. Not just a savvy person, well-spoken, sharp, good looking, with a silver tongue and “business or industry or military experience per se” and tons of money, but someone who listens, follows their heart but most of all is true to the public and offers bold decisions that do and are not harmful to the public or country – in other words: substance on tough issue that benefit us all – not pick and favors for the tons of money that put them in office. Sounds corny, I know, but that’s the kind of leadership I want – how about you?

A lot of Americans have spoken out about that dreadful Citizens United ruling and later in the McCutcheon case (also USSC 5-4 ruling) that followed and for good reason – some of that damage: 
  1. It swept aside decades of bipartisan regulation of campaign finance and sent us “back to the future” as it were – an ugly future to boot.
  2. Some 23 billionaires contributed a minimum of $250,000 each so far in the upcoming cycle.
  3. That number is really much greater because many of these contributions are made in secret.
  4. That small handful of powerfully rich Americans are just not content to own our economy, that 1 percent wants to own all of government (said Sen. Bernie Sanders in his remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights advocating repeal of Citizens United).
  5. That small handful already own a significant part of the wealth of America and have enormous control over the entire economy.
  6. The wealthiest 400 individuals own more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans — half the country.
  7. One family, for example: the Walton’s of Wal-Mart fame, is worth $89 billion, more than the bottom 40 percent of America (Sen. Sanders noted).
What the Supreme Court did in Citizens United was to say in essence that those billionaires and the corporations they control:  “Okay, you own and control the economy, you own most of Wall Street, you own the coal companies, you own the oil companies, and now, here we’re going to give you the opportunity to own the entire United States government” (also what Sen. Sanders said).

Advocates want an amendment to the constitution that says in part: “(1) for-profit corporations are not people, (2) they are not entitled to any rights under the Constitution, (3) they are subject to regulation by state legislatures consistent with free press protections, (4) they are prohibited from making contributions or expenditures in political campaigns in any amount, and (5) that Congress and the states have the right to regulate and limit all political expenditures and contributions in all elections.”

People each election cycle scream for government that is both effective and efficient, less-taxing, and truly stands for these famous words: “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” (my emphasis added).

On the other hand, it seems to me with little organized public outcry and demand for reverse course that leaves an impression “I can’t give that kind of match. The big guys can, so what. That’s politics as usual and the money is speech, right?” I retort: Okay, if money is speech then it follows that only a small group of billionaires is allowed to own all the dictionaries and vocab lists in the country, and I ask: Why???

I strongly believe and have advocated for years that the massive amounts of big money from uncontrolled and unknown sources in most cases is and will be the further decline of political discourse in America.

I sincerely wonder how a handful of billionaires can override the will of the people while having the support a 5-4 high court without debate and discussion about reform that serves us all, because now it seems to me that the new rule is painfully obvious: “Don’t Kill the Golden Goose.” 

Let’s face, big money does not always win, but it drowns out less financed voices. Money is needed in politics for sure – to be effective to win – we all know that, but the massive amounts that we have seen in recent years is totally out of control.

Some people advocate and say: “Hey, that’s our system.” Yes, it is, but it needs to be changed on this critical point to keep in step with time and events and the general public who says: “The current campaign finance system with the tons of money from a few in a system that that is clearly corrupt has to go.  The standard must return to: “One-man/one-vote and not One-billionaire/all the votes.”

How we can’t see a serious need for reform is beyond my comprehension. I guess a supportive 5-4 court and a handful of billionaires forking over billions to those seeking their blessing (cold hard cash) who collectively stand for the status quo clearly comprehend, and they have a miserable record to prove it.  So, is this is anyway to run a great country or railroad? The answer is self-evident. 

Related:  

April 2013 from Alternet.org http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/how-we-ended-worst-congress-money-can-buy

Friday, May 15, 2015

FOX in Weasel Den or Weasels in FOX Den: No Difference at All

FOX and Their Moneyed Backers Who Blast the Clintons
(apparently hiding in plain sight)

Attention Clinton haters, listen up: Drop pants, bend over, grab ankles, and smile ... you are on hypocrite TV run by FOX. Yeah, that FOX who has many folks on the air 24/7 blasting HILLARY about BILL’s big money machine (the Clinton Global Initiative the "Foundation") propping her up for 2016… Two major oops follow:

Oops #1: Many Republican Party-affiliated individuals have attended and supported Clinton Foundation-affiliated events, including the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meetings.

That “A” list as it were includes those well-known GOPers: 
  1. Former first lady Laura Bush,
  2. Fox News founder Rupert Murdoch,
  3. Mitt Romney, 
  4. Sen. John McCain, 
  5. NJ Gov. Chris Christie,
  6. Carly Fiorina, 
  7. GOP billionaire, T. Boone Pickens,
  8. Colin Powell, 
  9. Condoleezza Rice, and
  10. Dubya Bush daughter Barbara Bush.
Romney praised Bill Clinton and his CGI in the middle of his 2012 presidential campaign, saying in part: “One of the best things that can happen to any cause, to any people, is to have Bill Clinton as its advocate.  I have been impressed by the extraordinary power you have derived by harnessing together different people of different backgrounds, and different institutions of different persuasions. You have fashioned partnerships across traditional boundaries -- public and private, for-profit and nonprofit, charitable and commercial.”  

McCain spoke to CGI in September 2008 during his own presidential run, and also praised its efforts, saying: “You know something about great change at the Clinton Global Initiative, because you are striving every day to bring it about. I thank each one of you for the good work you have done to relieve suffering across the earth, and to spread hope. I thank you for the even greater works that you seek to accomplish in the years to come, under the leadership of the man from Hope.”

Laura Bush appeared at CGI in 2006 and said that she was “delighted to be a part of this year's Clinton Global Initiative. Thank you for inviting me, and thank you for the terrific development work you're doing through your foundation.”  

Newsmax CEO and Editor Christopher Ruddy just recently praised the foundation for helping “… improve global health and wellness, increase economic opportunities for women in less-developed nations, reduce childhood obesity, and spur economic growth in countries that desperately need the help.” (Note: Ruddy dogged the Clintons in the 1990’s) now says: “I  found CGI to be nonpartisan. I have never felt the whiff of politics from either its staff or any of its activities.”

Oops #2: Numerous others who do not fit the model for critics of the Clinton’s have in fact donated big money as well. Here are some key and big time “conservative” donors: 
  • Newsmax Media, Inc. (cited above) made donations of between $100,001 to $250,000, and between $1,000,001 to $5,000,000.
  • Trump donated between $100,001 to $250,000.
  • The late Richard Mellon-Scaife “one of America's leading funders of conservative causes” donated between $250,001 to $500,000.
  • News Corporation Foundation, the foundation for News Corp., (and FOX’s parent) run by Uncle Ruppy himself donated between $500,001 to $1,000,000.
  • James R. Murdoch, the co-chief operating officer of FOX News parent company, 21st Century Fox and son of Uncle Ruppy, donated between $1,000,001 to $5,000,000.
So, are those GOPer-Conservatives somehow all helping HILL with her 2016 campaign goal of raising billions to beat their team?  How about a hearty wow…!!!