Tag Archive for Republicans

When is a “Democrat” not a Democrat?

Ah, for the “good old days.”  It’s a lament that’s heard a lot these days — from a lot of quarters and for a lot of reasons. Some pine for their youth and vigor. An “empty nester” might long for the days when the kids were little. Some might wish for a full head of hair.

But more often than not, those words are spoken in a political context. Conservative Republicans long for their hero, Ronald Reagan. Progressives have to go all the way back to Carter or Johnson, and especially to Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Up and down the political “food chain” there are not many “real Democrats” left. (Yes, I know, very punny.) It’s especially true as you go further up that chain. The genuine Democrats were replaced by others heralding from the Democratic Leadership Council or eliminated by the painstaking work of Newt Gingrich to poison the public’s perception of Congress so that it would be ripe for a takeover by his clones.

OK, I can see conservatives and corporatists “visitors” uttering “yeah” with two thumbs up. The “flat earthers” and the “birthers” and the “Bible thumpers” may not join in the cheers. But, hey, they are mostly just along for the ride (or the votes), while the money changers are forming “one world under the dollar with liberty and “justice” only for them.”

In reality, there is no more Democratic Party. Oh, yes, they still use that name. We have only ONE political party in charge of our government; but it has two branches. I like to call them the Republican Corporate Party and the Republican Lunatic Fringe Party.

Which leads me to the point of this article — President Barack Obama and his junior wannabe president Governor John Hickenlooper. The “we have every right to spy on Americans” president and the “fracking fluid drinker” governor are two cases in point.

worried ObamaWhile spending some time exploring the many articles that find their way into my Inbox, I found one especially astute and honest, brought to me courtesy of OpEdNews. “Dear Obamaheads” by John and Jean Anton is worth reading in it’s entirety. Please do. But here’s the part that I’ll borrow for this article. (Some of my good Democratic friends may not like this.  But there’s an elephant that some don’t want to see.)

[Obama] should consider how much easier life would be for him, if he were a Republican.   He wouldn’t have to make any more promises that he had no intention of keeping.   He could build even more nuclear plants, extend even more gas lines, and subsidize fracking everywhere without worrying about environmentalists.   Whistle-blowers could still be arrested as traitors, tortured, and imprisoned indefinitely “for their own good” without guilt….

Best of all, in the name of national security, he could join Republicans in ignoring all the amendments to the constitution except two: the one that says corporations are people, and the one that says yes, even four-year-olds have the right to carry weapons of mass destruction to school, to libraries, to lavatories.

He could lie like a Republican.   He could bully like a Republican.

He could steal from the poor and the middle class to give to the rich like a Republican.   He could continue to wage war everywhere in the world with only a nod of his head, without congressional approval, without the support of the American people whose blood he could spill and treasure he could spend because —  he wants to.

In other words, instead of being a fake Democrat, he could be a real Republican.

 What is it that broadcasters like to say?  “And now we return you to your local programming.”  Moving on to Colorado…

Frackenlooper appears to be digging his own political grave.

Frackenlooper appears to be digging his own political grave.

Yes, I really need to say more about our beloved Frankenlooper.  We wouldn’t want him to feel slighted.  After all, he may be the “chosen one” to replace Obama in 2016.  The Democratic Governors Association loves him and is doing everything in its power to elevate Hick’s profile (with a little help for oil and gas $$$).  And he’s a safer bet than New York’s guv, Andrew Cuomo — at least when it comes to oil and gas.

Although not everyone has faced the true political identity of Barack Obama, there IS a growing body of awareness where Frackenlooper is concerned.  He knows how to get down to business, Big Business, Big Oil Business.  Whether overt or covert, he gets the job done for them.

BUT!  He overplayed his hand when he sued the City of Longmont.  No one bought his “sleepless nights” or his “last resort” rhetoric.  Well, maybe not “no one.”  But it certainly was a media and public wake-up call. Even then, Hick was more politically tone-deaf than what might be expected of a calculating pol.  He went for the knock-out punch and instead got knocked out himself when he strutted his stuff and said that he’d sue the pants off anymore communities that dared to ban fracking for oil and gas.

Oops!!  That’s when his handlers stepped in.  And if he didn’t figure it out all by his lonesome, they said, “Hey, Hick!  You can’t keep doin’ this.  When you find yourself in a hole, stop diggin’.  Let COGA [Colorado Oil and Gas Association] and the industry folks do it for you.”

It wasn’t long ago that Hickenlooper was sporting a 54% approval rating. However, the recent Quinnipaic poll has him now at 47%. That’s frightening for an incumbent, even if it’s spun otherwise.  Quinnipaic coupled this survey with Hickenlooper’s decision on the Dunlap death penalty matter. But they were too narrow in their research into causation. Many of those up in arms about Hickenlooper’s decision for a temporary reprieve won’t vote for the governor for any number of other reasons.

Hick is losing support from “his base,” the Democratic voter that is furious with him for his position on oil and gas legislation.

No-fracking-logoSo here’s the message to our Colorado governor: If you want to get re-elected in 2014 and have that shot at the coveted whole enchilada, get on the right side of history. Let local governments determine whether or not they want oil and gas drilling and specifically hydraulic fracturing for the stuff in their communities. Don’t con us. No weasel words. No lies.

If you do this, most will come back to you next November in stead of staying home or even voting Republican because they just can’t pull the lever for you. The big oil and gas bucks into your campaign account are not going to save your political hide. In fact, they will help do you in. “You can run but you can’t hide.” has all kinds of meanings this time around. Your Republican opponent may not bring that up, but be sure that others will.

So spend some of those sleepless nights that you really didn’t spend before you sued Longmont thinking about YOUR future. The rest of us are going to do all we can to preserve ours. And that might not include YOU.

Boenhner smoke

By Justin K. from Flickr

By Justin K. from Flickr

Mr. Chris Douse wrote a letter lambasting Senate leader Harry Reid for a pork-laden Sandy relief bill. I agree that there should be no pork in the relief bill. But let us take a closer look. Money appropriation bills like this are supposed to originate in the House. Speaker Boehner is led around by the nose by the tea party fanatics and did exactly nothing, leaving it to the Senate and Harry Reid to help the victims.

Reid can do nothing without the approval of Republican leader Mitch McConnell or he will be filibustered. McConnell filibustered 60 times in the 111th and 48 times in the 112th Congress. He even filibustered one of his own proposals when he proposed it and Reid then offered to vote on it. So the pork-laden bill had his full approval.

Reid was forced to buy the votes of some senators by their demands for a favorite pork project in order to get enough votes to pass the bill. Mr. Douse found a list of the pork projects, but failed to go further and obtain the names of the people who demanded the pork. If he had done so, I’ll wager that at least half were from Republican senators. In the meantime, Speaker Boehner fulminated and chain-smoked in the House instead of doing his job of helping the victims of Sandy.

Consumed by hate

On MSNBC’s “Hardball with Chris Matthews,” Matthews ends the program with his “Let Me Finish” segment.  On November 14th, he provided a litany of assaults against humanity from the Republican presidential candidate debates.  It appears that one of the ties that bind Republican candidates and their enthusiastic supporters is their joy at the suffering of others and their desire to inflict pain, punishment, misery and even death.

This, from those who label themselves “Christian” and who apparently never learned the lessons of Christ, or redefined them in their own image and likeness.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Anyone finding this post via a site that has a long-winded and copyright-infringing response should hopefully be asking ‘Who could be behind this? Who has the motive? Who would care that much?!’ and then look carefully at recent events. It’s really sad to hear the Lunatic Fringe in Longmont cooing about civility and yet continuing to spew vitriol from behind masks. It’s cowardly and, frankly, uncivil. But very much expected and not surprising. FRL will continue to call out the extremist lies and slant in Longmont regardless of attempts to defame us.

Road to … a Banana Republic

Dead set on doing damage

Trampling the republic into a Banana Republic

I wouldn’t be breathing a sigh of relief over apparent agreement over the national debt and deficit. Getting a runner to first base isn’t much, and we haven’t yet got him there (the “fat lady” – the Tea Baggers – will have to commit to the mixed bill at least once more). If there are words in it having more than one syllable, well . . . It’s easy to see why I’m not very confident yet. We have been here before. Remember the Newt Gingrich “Contract With [On] America?” The government shut down in 1995. And what happened? That flareup cost the USA plenty. And U. S. companies slammed on the hiring brakes. Markets HATE uncertainty, and companies, while not fearing the shareholders, tend to take a wait-and-see approach. Why do you suppose we’ve had a “soft patch” in the economy so far this year? When did the Tea-Baggers go to Washington? With all the continuing instability we still look like a banana republic, and interest rates could still rise, perhaps a lot. That would really help the economy, like throwing a drowning man an anvil.

The wealthiest among us drew a pass – again. So, too, have the “job creators,” or corporate titans. McDonald’s created 60,000 jobs or so via a nationwide job fair of sorts over a month ago. Over one million people applied. Bravo for Ronald, but those jobs pay what? $10 an hour? Wow. Pardon me if I’m underwhelmed. Those workers won’t be buying much, beyond toilet paper, gasoline, and beans.

Workers have never claimed a lower share of national income growth than now, after inflation. Total employment remains lower than in late 2008, when corporate profits troughed. Not much sign of a trough now. But there’s no more tailwind from federal spending, and there won’t be any, now that the GOP has arm-wrestled the rest of Washington to no worse than a draw. And it’s all one way with the “Inc.” crowd, which still has more than $1 trillion stashed overseas. The firms intend to either hold their breaths until they turn blue, or secure yet another exemption or sweetheart deal allowing them to repatriate those funds with few or no worries about their disposition. Can you say, it’s third Lexus time? No, the very rich will peel that largesse out of the coffers and invest it. Wasn’t it overinvestment that got us into such a mess in 2007-09? Same verse, different tune in 2000 (Internet bubble).

Numerous banks are repaying TARP funds by – you guessed it – borrowing from the U. S. Treasury. The financial industry spent almost $half a billion last year lobbying in Washington. That’s a lot of champagne, sister. Private-equity fund operators have shown they are willing to repudiate debt at the drop of a hat. Meanwhile, they continue to pay themselves enormous management fees. Banks or bonds, it hasn’t mattered. But stop the (federal) borrowing, they say. I submit these nefarious practices need to stop long before federal “spending” does. And know this: there are no data suggesting that deficit spending in inflationary, either (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, 2010).

Those who advocate “austerity” should look around to see how well it’s working elsewhere. In the United Kingdom, austerity has become a dirty word. Retail sales languish, tax revenues are stuck in low gear, and home sales are lousy. A lot to like there. The tea haulers should tell us whether they are aware that in 2007 the average income tax rate for the 400 largest tax returns in the USA was 17%, down from 26% in 1992. Fair share, my butt.

Businesses may claim that regulation or uncertainty or banks’ reluctance to lend lie behind their slow sales, but it’s easy to find the villain here. People out of work don’t buy. Larger firms have made a conscious decision to avoid adding labor. These same firms are taking business away from smaller concerns. No wonder corporate profits are through the roof.

I find it interesting and amusing that the American people have suddenly had it up to here with debt. These are the same people who couldn’t borrow enough. Maxing out three, four, even eight credit cards was pretty common four years ago. So now they’re ticked off at their national government for apparently behaving in similar fashion? I have long advocated higher wages for the “rank and file;” had many of us had higher incomes in 2005 or so, would we have just borrowed more? There’s a bet.

What a fragile, perilous state we find ourselves in. It’s like sailing through an iceberg field while the captain and helmsman are drunk. But don’t be complaining about federal spending if you are benefiting from same. And items as remote as federal prisons, water quality standards, the operation of the federal judiciary, and border patrolling benefit us all. Yup; federal spending. You’d think Uncle Sam was throwing hundred-dollar bills out of helicopters. No, that was said to be Fed Chairman Bernanke’s strategy. No, the only thing we have to fear is (guess what?) Fear itself.

Thanks, Franklin.

Republicans seek to conceal campaign donors

Scott GesslerAt the Longmont City Council meeting on May 3, 2011, Mayor Baum and Council Members, Santos, Sammoury and Witt aligned themselves with Scott Gessler to set the reporting threshold for Longmont ballot issues at $5,000, an amount far too low for a municipality and not mandated by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court ruling in Sampson v Buescher.

The success of representative democracy rests on the faith that elections are honest, fair and transparent. The office of Secretary of State should NEVER be politicized regardless of the political affiliation of the person holding that office. The Secretary of State is closely and directly involved in elections. He monitors campaign reporting and certifies election results.

Scott Gessler is Colorado’s Secretary of State. Mr. Gessler’s specialty is election law. He is in this specialty solely for the purpose of facilitating Republican partisan objectives. One way or another, Gessler uses his specialty to accomplish partisan goals. It is why he sued Longmont along with Western Tradition Partnership and certain Longmont Republicans who provided legal standing for that suit. It is why Scott Gessler ran for the office of Secretary of State. From this position he can do all manner of damage to the election process. And mark my words, if you are following his actions and proposed legislation, he is trying as hard as he can. For those who want to know much more about Gessler, they can find the information by searching at the website Free Range Longmont.com

Today Scott Gessler held a rule-making hearing on the subject of reporting thresholds for ballot issue committees. It is extremely suspect whether he even has the authority to do this. Law is made by legislatures and signed by governors. Secretaries of State are simply and only charged with carrying out law. Certainly they are free to offer opinions. But that is as far as they can go. They are not a legislature of ONE.

Gessler’s close associate Matt Arnold of Clear the Bench spoke at length today during the so-called rule-making hearing. His position was that NO reporting for ballot issues should be required; but if there is reporting ,a $10,000 threshold should be as low as it goes. Gessler offered an inadequate and insufficient disclaimer. Gessler was the attorney for Clear the Bench. The purpose of Clear the Bench was to remove Colorado Supreme Court justices from office because of rulings the Republican Party didn’t like.

Whatever dollar amount is determined for Colorado, let it be clear that the frame of reference under discussion at the hearing is for statewide ballot issues. Municipalities are, with rare exception in Colorado, much smaller. Contributors are usually fewer and amounts contributed smaller. USUALLY. The blatant exception was the Comcast/Communications Association’s $250,000 contribution to prevent Longmont from fully using its fiber optic network.

The Sampson ruling affirmed the need for voters to know who contributes to what, but did not draw a bright line – intentionally. Longmont should establish a line for LOCAL issues. That line should be somewhere between $1000 and $1500.

Revised address to Longmont City Council — May 3, 2011

Here’s Your Hat: What’s Your Hurry?

The GOP's newest 'mobile home'

This was a dominant theme by some of the Republicans who appeared on the weekend “news” talk shows as they advocated early adjournment by the current Congressmen. Their argument? These people have already faced the voters and lost so they should just fold their tents and quietly go home, leaving the nation unattended and its citizens without even a fiscal budget until the Republicans can be sworn in and “take the helm.”

(Is it not strange that Republicans always say that they are doing manly things like “steering the course” or “driving the train” after they have, according to the President, “driven the car into the ditch?’) They are so utterly confident that they know best what the nation needs and what the people want even in the face of the great fiasco that their former president created. Now, they want the Democratic majority to simply throw up their hands and go home while the rest of us want them to roll up their sleeves and get as much done as possible in the short time remaining.

Not only the Progressives but the vaunted “Independents” will shortly regret their decision to “punish” President Obama by sitting on their hands and withholding their support in the Congressional elections. The Party of HELL, NO will revert to the Party of WHY NOT the instant that they take control of the House and have the Senate hobbled beyond any ability to act. Their campaign-trail protestations of fealty to the Constitution will fade to a whisper as they pass measure after measure to continue their path of turning our nation from a beacon of freedom to one of primeval slavery as they continue to scrape every shred of pride from the “have-nots.”

You lose your home? Live on the streets! You can’t afford to feed your kids? Cook a stray cat! You are sick? Go ahead and die but just don’t litter the streets!

This will be the predominant attitude as they try to pass laws to revoke the new health care provisions, and end Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Unemployment, rather than being extended will be ended without ceremony so that the working class must “accept their fate.” Food stamps and school feeding programs will end so that the corporate farmers will be able to get all the money that is appropriated for that purpose. Wages will fall into the ditch and the few jobs that remain will be at what is now no more than minimum wage. Those who lived prudently and now own their own homes will find themselves trying to sell them at a fraction of their real value.

This is truly a grim future but it is one that those with eyes have predicted all during the Bush regime and, if the Republicans continue their march to absolute control, the prediction will become reality in an amazingly few years. We seem to be on the slippery slope that leads to the miseries of the Great Depression and, if the American voters do not wake up to the fact that politics is no longer a game, but a very real war, it will not take long.

If one doubts that this could happen “in this country”, one should read the history of the world and learn how it happened in the past in other places. With the advent of the Christmas season, perhaps one should again watch the beginning of the Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.” See the man who worked from dawn to dusk for very little money to maintain a home and rear his children, one of whom was in dire need of medical care and in danger of dying. Note the sheer misery of their existence.

Don’t bother to watch the last part, though, because there are no Ghosts of Christmas and the rich are not about to realize how miserly they are. They will not be able to see the suffering of their underpaid minions because they just don’t care! Ponder this as you determine whether we would be better off with a Republican president in 2012 so that these ravening beasts would be free to continue their depredations.

This has happened to every other powerful nation in history until they become so enfeebled by conquest that they have nothing left with which to defend themselves. The United States of America is getting close to that point. If the Republicans continue to rule in the paths of George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay, and Alan Simpson, you may find that it will be sooner than you think.