What It Means To Be A Republican: The Short List

What it means to be a Republican:  What it means is that you work to keep unemployment over 8% to unseat the first Black president of the United States. What it means is that you belong to the party which shipped American jobs overseas throwing American workers out of work.

What it means is that after you lost these people these jobs you not only made sure they couldn’t easily find new ones, you also cut (with the able assist of the Democrats and President Obama their federal unemployment benefits from 99 weeks to 63 or 73 weeks depending on the state.

What is means is that you fight to retain a work requirement for welfare recipients at a time you are steadfastly working to prevent new jobs from being created so that many welfare recipients can’t possibly meet the work requirement and are then taken off of welfare.

What it means is that after you lose people their jobs and their unemployment you also take their medical insurance away by trying to abolish the Affordable Care Act and take their Medicaid away by refusing federal funds to add coverage for adults and children who don’t have any.

What it means is that you vilify people on Food Stamps as “freeloaders”, “gaming the system”, “accepting free handouts” when without Food Stamps, these people couldn’t afford to buy food since they no longer have jobs, unemployment benefits, or welfare.

What it means is that you take tax deductions and tax credits not allowed to people with lesser income who are in essence subsidizing your tax breaks and paying a higher percentage of their income in taxes than you are.

What it means is that you’re far more interested in telling women what they can’t do with their bodies, and same sex couples what they can’t do with their relationships.

What it means is that it’s all about you and your control over anyone you perceive as weaker than you.

What it means is that you simultaneously live in fear while instilling it in others.

What it means is that you tell lies you think you can get away with and hide the truth that you hope will not give you away.

What it means to be a Republican is to wrap yourself in God and religion when in reality you will never find a needle with an eye large enough to let you into heaven.

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In The Republican World

In the Republican World, there is no need for health care reform because we already have the best healthcare in the world that money can buy.

In the Republican World, millions of illegal Hispanics are flooding over the border and into our voting booths electing Democrats left and, uh, left in all-out voter fraud.

In the Republican World, money talks and these green lips of corporations belong to people, my friend.

In the Republican World, government should keep its hands out of people’s private business, unless those people are non-corporations, pregnant women, and LBGT.

In the Republican World, oil and coal are king and renewable alternative fuel sources friendly to the environment are the jokers.

In the Republican World, lifeguard services are subcontracted out to for-profit companies who fire lifeguards for rescuing swimmers drowning in waters outside the companies’ contracted area.

In the Republican World, people who can’t afford to pay traffic tickets are thrown into prison for months by collection agencies subcontracted by towns to run the courts’ probationary programs and set the fees defendants can’t afford to pay, all in the absence of a judge.  In the Republican World, it doesn’t matter that this is illegal and unconstitutional.

In the Republican World, Democrats and liberals are godless socialist communists worshiping at the feet of their supreme great black Satan lord whose only purpose is to destroy Republican World from all sides.

In the Republican World, Obamacare comes with a price tag which is the highest tax increase in the history of Republican World.

In the Republican World, pouting and holding your breath while sitting in the corner and refusing to play with others until you get your way is the method of conducting the Nation’s business in Congress.

In the Republican World, if you’re not a Christian you’re not a Republican.

In the Republican World, Republican congressmen love their wives and children, and men they’ve just met in airport men’s room stalls and in public parks and in massage rooms.  They love other children so much they download their pictures onto their computers from the internet.

In the Republican World, fear lies around every corner, and in every dark shadow, and within and without our American borders.  It is colored either black or brown, and wears a name sticker that says “Hello. My name is Liberal Democrat.

In the Republican World, a foreign-born black man is coming for their guns.

In the Republican World, the wealthy and powerful make the rules for the Republican World.

In the Republican World, lies masquerade as truth and facts are irrelevant.  Something is presented as true because it damn well should be.

The Republicans Are Protecting George Zimmerman

It doesn’t make sense that George Zimmerman has gotten so much protection from the Sanford Police, the Florida State Attorney, and the Republican mass media. They’re all fighting his arrest and eventual trial. Why would this be?

Zimmerman is just a loose cannon with a homemade police officer badge but with a very real 9mm semiautomatic handgun. He thought he saw a black male in a hoodie sneaking around the condo complex in the dark and immediately profiled him as acting weird and up to something.

Zimmerman got out of his SUV and pursued Trayvon Martin even though the real cop on the other end of the phone told him “We don’t need you to do that” and Zimmerman answered “Okay”.

Everyone on the Left and the Right is expounding on why Stand Your Ground does or does not apply in this case. But Zimmerman’s own attorney, Craig Sonner, has stated Stand Your Ground doesn’t apply in this case, as has State Rep. Dennis Baxley, who introduced the bill into the Florida House, and former Florida governor, Jeb Bush, who signed it into law. Rick Scott, current Florida governor, took State Attorney Norm Wolfinger, who personally told Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee to turn Zimmerman loose, off the case. Again I ask: why would this be?

The answer is clear: the Florida Republicans enacted Stand Your Ground into law. Zimmerman claims he shot Trayvon Martin in self defense, which is what Stand Your Ground is all about. If the law doesn’t exist, maybe Zimmerman thinks twice before pulling out his gun. So it is being argued at the highest levels of the Republican Party that they have a serious exposure problem to this if  with this first high profile Stand Your Ground case, Zimmerman is arrested and goes to court. It won’t just be Zimmerman who’s put on trial but the Republican written, passed, and signed into law legislation. And this…is an election year.  And Jeb Bush, who signed the bill into law, is a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016. If Zimmerman is tried and convicted, Bush would be the “Republican Governor Who Killed Trayvon Martin”. Not exactly a campaign slogan he’d want to see on bumper stickers.

So, that’s why the Republicans along with their media surrogates have circled the wagons on this one. I think it’s possible the “temporarily stepped aside” Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee may have seen the political implications of a male black kid being killed in cold blood by a half Peruvian cop wannabe claiming protection under the law and communicated this concern to Wolfinger. I don’t know both men’s political affiliation but I could reasonably guess it’s Republican. But this would be why Wolfinger got so personally involved THAT NIGHT to the point of meeting with Lee to override the lead homicide detective’s recommendation to arrest Zimmerman on a manslaughter charge.

18 states have passed Stand Your Ground laws, some of these signed into law by Democratic governors who were cravenly pandering to conservative voters, or perhaps had received healthy campaign contributions from the NRA and ALEC-affiliated groups, or just didn’t have the guts to stand up to both. 31 states have passed the so-called “Castle doctrine” into law, which is what Stand Your Ground is derived from.

So, since both the NRA and ALEC funnel so much money—primarily to the Republican Party who introduced and passed the overwhelming majority of these bills, they could also be accused of being accessories to the killing of Trayvon Martin. Once again, not a good thing in an election year, especially with ALEC now bleeding corporate members and the loss of their dues.

This is why Fox, Limbaugh, and all the Republican surrogates are attempting to frame this case as a “liberal” and an “attempt at dividing the races” thing because those words their fans can understand. Most people who turn on right wing shows don’t know how to think logically and see the big picture: that’s exactly why they watch and listen to those shows—it’s done for them so they don’t have to.

George Zimmerman himself is small potatoes and no one on the Right gives a whit about him. It’s the Stand Your Ground law he symbolizes which is the Right Wing lightening rod. If this (literally) fatally flawed law goes down, then everyone who was responsible for getting it enacted—which are primarily Republicans up for re-election or will be in a couple of years—goes down with it. And believe me, there are quite a few Democrats who deserve to go down in flames with them.

The Return Of Candidate Barack Obama?

President Obama just gave a speech at the AP Luncheon that was 99% magnificent and should have been given one year ago.

I say 99% magnificent because during the 1% when he was talking about the people who caused the financial disaster, he neglected to mention that many people who helped cause that financial disaster were given jobs in the Obama Administration—Treasury Secretary for example, and running the Federal Reserve.

But he did attack point after point why Paul Ryan’s budget plan—which Mitt Romney supports—would be the ruination of this country while making the top 1% even more very, very rich.

He did bring up that his own proposed budget—now lying dormant in the Republican-controlled Congress–was based on his Simpson-Bowles committee’s budget plan, but wisely stated he hadn’t agreed with all the Simpson-Bowles budget proposals. Whew, that was a close one!

But the President has always made great speeches but very often failed to follow it up with action, even if the action was merely speaking out against the Republicans the way he did today.

Let’s hope that with this speech, President Obama has decided to go back to his roots and goals that propelled him into popularity and the White House. And let’s hope his far overdue salvos on Republican policies and budget plans will be followed up with action to prevent them from ever seeing the light of day. No more compromises, Mr. President. No more reaching across the aisle only to have your hand slapped away. This is political warfare and the fate of the entire country and the world is at stake.

Trayvon Martin And The Republican KISS Of Death

Republican voters believe in the KISS system, as in Keep It Simple, Stupid. First, because they’re all stupid. Being stupid, they need it kept simple.

Keep in mind that the rich and powerful who run the Republican Party are highly intelligent and understand how to convert complex issues into simple-to-remember talking points.  You don’t get that rich and that powerful by being stupid, unless you inherited your rich and powerfulness from a smart rich and powerful pater familias.

For Republican voters, they don’t have to remember that more domestic oil is being produced by the U.S. than ever before. They don’t have to write down that U.S. oil imports are down because consumption is at record lows, while U.S. oil exports are up. They don’t have to understand how oil speculators account for 85 cents of every dollar per gallon increase in the price of gasoline. Nope, for them, the Republican Party has distilled the entire issue into three little words: drill, baby, drill. One word is even repeated for greater simplicity.

Abortion and birth control are converted to “religious freedom”. Taxation laws, which are way beyond any Republican voter’s ability to comprehend, are boiled down to “economic freedom”. Anybody can understand freedom, right? Republicans are all about personal freedom, except if the freedom includes marrying who you want and getting an abortion if you choose to.

Simple is as simple does to the Forrest Gump Party. That’s why the “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle Doctrine” laws pushed nationwide by ALEC and the NRA have been so popular with Republicans. With the latter, a resident has the right to use lethal force to defend themselves against an intruder or anyone else who they “reasonably” perceive as presenting a hostile threat to their personal being—personal property not included. If they blow the perceived assailant away using the Castle Doctrine, it’s stay out of jail free card.  With the former, if someone “reasonably” feels they are in mortal danger, they can use lethal force on the perceived threat anywhere they perceive themselves to be in mortal danger: on a public street, or in the backyard of a condo in a gated community. They don’t have to turn around and run, they can pull out their concealed 9mm semiautomatic handgun and fire at will, or whatever the perceived assailant’s first name happens to be.

It’s perfect in its simplicity. The shooter/victim is also innocent; the shot/assailant is always guilty—and dead. No thought required because the law has been written so there doesn’t have to be any. These cases are notoriously hard to prosecute and get a conviction because the court can only hear evidence from the shooter that they felt their life was in danger. The deceased assailant always remains strangely silent, offering no testimony on their behalf. Case dismissed, if it even got that far.

But George Zimmerman of Sanford, FL, apparently won’t use “Stand Your Ground” as his defense for shooting Trayvon Martin. He’s going for self-defense. You see he was armed only with that 9mm semiautomatic handgun against Trayvon’s bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea. Trayvon could have opened that bag of Skittles and poured it down Zimmerman’s throat, causing him to possibly choke. And that bottle of iced tea? That would smart something fierce if Zimmerman were hit upside the head with it. Just think of the abject fear Zimmerman felt when trailing the kid after 911 distinctly told him not to. If he had seen that bag of Skittles gripped at Trayvon’s waistband, he had no way of knowing if that bag were empty or if it was loaded with Skittles. And he wasn’t about to take any chances.

Stand Your Ground makes it easy for cops to not do their duty, too. A dead male black teenager walking alone through a primarily white gated community at night? Undoubtedly he represented a perceived threat to somebody and it’s a good thing a decent and honorable Neighborhood Watch captain stood his ground and dispatched this menace to white-owned private property. The law made it unnecessary to test Zimmerman for drugs and alcohol or to even verify that he actually wasn’t officially part of any Neighborhood Watch group. Had Zimmerman actually been part of Neighborhood Watch group, he would have known that Rule One is you can’t carry firearms and Rule Two is you don’t stand your ground in front of a perceived assailant. You call 911 and let the police stand THEIR ground.

Since Stand Your Ground requires no thought or moral considerations, the Sanford Police Chief, the Mayor, the City Manager, and the City Attorney thought nothing of sweeping the whole incident under the rug and going on about their business. George Zimmerman apparently thought nothing of the 17-year-old life he’d taken when he “reasonably” perceived his own life to be in danger from a black male teenager packing a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea.

Drill, baby, drill. Shoot, baby, shoot. Very simple to remember. And one word is repeated for even greater simplicity.

Department of Justice: Home Of The Whopper

“Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security,” Holder said. “The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”

With that statement, Attorney General Eric Holder joined the ranks of those who have made the greatest misleading or untrue statements in U.S. history.

“Saddam Hussein has chemical and biological weapons, and he is moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapon.” – George W. Bush

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.” – Bill Clinton

“I have earned every cent. And in all of my years of public life I have never obstructed justice. People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I’m not a crook. I’ve earned everything I’ve got.” – Richard M. Nixon

“I pledged in my campaign for the Presidency to end the [Vietnam] war in a way that we could win the peace. I have initiated a plan of action which will enable me to keep that pledge. The more support I can have from the American people, the sooner that pledge can be redeemed.” – Richard M. Nixon

Those are some big footprints to follow in, and Holder is no slouch when it comes to big feet. And the bigger they are, the harder their illogic reasoning falls to the ground. And this illogical reasoning is a whopper.

Let’s parse his statement. What exactly is “due process” which is guaranteed by the Constitution in both the 5th and 14th Amendments?

Here’s how it’s typically described:

  • Right to a fair and public trial conducted in a competent manner
  • Right to be present at the trial
  • Right to an impartial jury
  • Right to be heard in one’s own defense
  • Laws must be written so that a reasonable person can understand what is criminal behavior
  • Taxes may only be taken for public purposes
  • Property may be taken by the government only for public purposes
  • Owners of taken property must be fairly compensated

This seems to also describe the judicial process, mentioning a fair and public trial by impartial jury and all. But let’s find out for sure, shall we?

The Judicial Process

Article III of the Constitution of the United States guarantees that every person accused of wrongdoing has the right to a fair trial before a competent judge and a jury of one’s peers.

The Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the Constitution provide additional protections for those accused of a crime. These include:

  • A guarantee that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without the due process of law
  • Protection against being tried for the same crime twice (“double jeopardy”)
  • The right to a speedy trial by an impartial jury
  • The right to cross-examine witnesses, and to call witnesses to support their case
  • The right to legal representation
  • The right to avoid self-incrimination
  • Protection from excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments

That, folks, is straight from http://www.whitehouse.gov/our-government/judicial-branch

Check it out yourself.

So, the judicial process under the Constitution guarantees US citizens that we can’t be deprived of life and stuff without “due process of law”.  Due process under the Constitution guarantees US citizens that we have the right to a “fair and public trial” which is further expanded on by judicial process. So, in effect, the one is dependent on the other and can’t be separated.

Disclaimer: I’m not a lawyer, have never studied law, and do not pretend to be the high muckety-muck Attorney General of the United States.

And what was this illogic put to use to sell to the American people? That the United States has the right to hunt down an kill any American citizen anywhere in the world that the Government deems his hostile and represents a danger to the safety and well-being of the United States. In other words, if an Anwar al-Awlaki has been paling around with Osama bin Laden planning terrorist attacks against Americans here or in foreign countries but have no legal proof that he personally carried them out, there’s no need to attempt to capture him alive, extradite him back to a federal or military courtroom, prove the charges, and then imprison or execute him.  Nope, the President, acting upon the advice of his security and military advisers can simply order “Take him out”, and one drone bomb later, al-Awlaki is history.

Now, I’m in no way arguing for leniency for avowed terrorist enemies of the United States. If I had lost friends and/or family in the 9/11 attack, or at Fort Hood or aboard an airplane, I’d take a 9mm Glock to the suspected terrorist mastermind who’s an American citizen and first kneecap him and then work my way up.  But that’s me, I’m not the United States government sworn to uphold the Constitution of the United States, so help me God.

This isn’t the first hole the Obama administration has poked in the Constitution. The USA PATRIOT Act, the Military Commissions Act of 2006—which was extended by Congress and Obama, NDAA for 2012, the Espionage Act of 1917 all precede this legal opinion rendered by Holder.

The U.S. Supreme Court has already decided that the police can break down the door to your home to arrest you—based on hearsay or what they might think they overhear outside your home-without a warrant. Even if they have a warrant but that warrant is written incorrectly, as long as the police in their professional opinion think you should have been arrested, that’s just dandy with Chief Justice John Roberts and the gang. So our domestic rights under the Constitution have been steadily eroding since 2001. What the Obama administration is now enacting is the erosion of constitutionally-guaranteed rights to any American citizen at any time anywhere in the world for any reason for an indeterminate length of time. You see, you, an American citizen, can be snatched from the streets anywhere and held in some prison without ever being told why you were snatched and imprisoned. Maybe you don’t get tortured or maybe you do but the Commandant has plausible deniability over knowing about it. Maybe you’re sitting in a Pakistani café and your table explodes, or the waiter slips behind and delivers your check behind your left ear. Or you’re camping in the desert and a drone bomber flies overhead and rains bombs on your picnic.

Yes, realistically speaking, almost none of us will ever experience these scenarios. But this erosion of personal and civil rights has been a common tactic in every country where the democratically-elected government was overthrown and the people subjected to tyrannical rule. I don’t believe that President Obama is a tyrannical dictator—but this is the way it starts too often, with the slow erosion of basic rights with the acquiescence of a people kept so frightened by the enemy boogeyman held up to them by their government they’ll agree to anything to feel safe and protected by that same government.

Eric Holder is wrong, and not nearly enough people in the media are saying so. I would have expected this type of specious argument from Republican Alberto Gonzales, the 2nd Attorney General under Republican President George W. Bush. But not an A.G. under the Democratic President Barack Obama. When the Democrats start to resemble the Republicans, it reminds one of the famous Zen koan, “What is the sound of one political party running America?”

Rush Limbaugh: That’s Entertainment!

I like what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Sandra Fluke.  I like that Rush Limbaugh is on 600 radio stations and the Armed Forces Radio Network. I like what Rush Limbaugh had to say about Sandra Fluke on 600 radio stations and the Armed Forces Radio Network and was heard by over 20 million people and his roster of sponsors.  I like all this because over 20 million people and his roster of sponsors all found out what the rest of us knew already: Rush Limbaugh is a bully. Rush Limbaugh is a bigot. Rush Limbaugh is sexist. Rush Limbaugh is overpaid and way past his prime.  And despite the wise counsel of that great Catholic Rick Santorum, Rush Limbaugh is no entertainer.

Rush Limbaugh is not paid to entertain. He is paid to communicate the Republican talking points for the day and for as long as they order him to repeat them. What Limbaugh says on his Monday show will be repeated on every Fox TV and radio propaganda show that night and forever after. From Limbaugh’s mouth to Sean Hannity’s, Steve Ducey’s, Gretchen Carlson’s Laura Ingraham’s, and Mark Levin’s ears, goes round and round and comes out their mouths. It cannot be called “entertainment” if the garbage and untruths spouted on the Limbaugh show are repeated on Fox “news” and commentary shows. Bill O’Reilly considers himself a newsman with his long, long, long, long ago news background and not an entertainer. He can be heard parroting Rushisms. So does that make O’Reilly indeed an entertainer or does it make Limbaugh a newsmaker?

Limbaugh is paid to be an attack dog for the Republican Party. His attack on Fluke was a contract hit. The joke on the Republicans is that he would have done it for free.

Limbaugh calling a female law student “slut” and “prostitute” and demanding to watch her have sex online so he could savor every detail his tax dollars paid for? Now THAT’S entertainment! Or at least it is to Rick Santorum, who’s campaign needs our prayers since it’s on life support and the prognosis is not good. For Rick Santorum has deemed Rush Limbaugh an entertainer.

It must be a Catholic thing because at this time 12 sponsors and 2 radio stations have said, “No, not so much”, pulling advertising from his show and his show from their airwaves.

If an entertainer’s show broadcasts in a vacuum and nobody hears, does it still make an impact? Remember Ross Perot’s “giant sucking sound”? This is what everybody will hear instead after Limbaugh’s show is cancelled. For years his show has served as the official mouthpiece of the Republican Party and when the show is gone, the “rush” will be on to fill the considerable, big fat void left by Rush Limbaugh.

Watching the firestorm of hostility fanned by the anger of both women and men, the sponsors and radio stations feeling the hot heat from the Limbaugh potato and dropping him? Rush Limbaugh’s career imploding as we watch? Now—THAT’S entertainment!