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The Rise of Fascism in the GOP

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

art-gop-fascism-posterIt is a sad day when many Americans are unaware of a growing trend that currently drives the Republican Party to an extreme fascist realm. Fascism is when corporations own, operate, and control all facets of a nation’s government without any input from the people. Fascist is an apt description of Republican tactics and policies and an ideology that their mislead base ardently supports and falls victim to. But now a new force is driving Republican Fascist tendencies to new scary extreme.

Last week, Conservatives and Republicans starting calling Donald Trump a fascist. Today, GOP Presidential candidate, John Kasich’s Super Pac unveiled a new commercial calling Trump a fascist. Saturday, Trump supports beat up an African American protestor and Trump said he deserved it. Today Trump called upon Americans to monitor and report fellow Americans they suspect of [terrorists] wrong behaviors. This caps off months of immigrant bashing by the Trump machine. In the midst of this growing Trump fascist wave, Republicans are racing to wage a massive campaign against Donald Trump. Yesterday, the Trump campaign warned, “if they treat us unfairly, Trump will tear up the promise not to run as an Independent.

Regardless of what any American thinks of Donald Trump, he has performed a public service to America highlighting the fascist inclination that drives the Republican Party’s policies, practices, and allegiance to the rich and corporations. Trump is unafraid to publicly practice fascist tactics and he is having success with this message to the GOP base because of the past six years of Republicans’ conditioning their base to embrace extremism.

It is no accident that the fascist zeal of today’s Republican Party and its racist, religious extremist base is precisely the same as the rampant fascism of the early and mid-20th century; and Mr. Trump has exposed the GOP as a fascist movement. Republicans have embraced voter suppression, immigrant deportation of 11 million people, targeting Muslims, and restricting women’s rights.

It’s true – Trump is not saying anything Republicans and their base do not strongly believe and support; he is saying it loudly and it explains his growing popularity among conservative and the Republican base. Trump is the superhero that conservatives believe and desperately want. He has tapped into GOP core beliefs and conservative resentment to class, race, religion, sex, and economics.

When many people think of Fascism – they think of Nazis and the Gestapo and concentration camps. That concept is not the only perspective on Fascism. In current politics a popular trend of fascism is growing and caution should be used at this resumption of an early-stage of what is a New Fascism, (Neo-Fascism,) far more subtle and with a propaganda arm that moves over our culture like a slow, dark cloud.

The purpose of Neo-Fascist is long-term control and oppression of a society. Only if the People are fooled, lied to, made to think that there is some great danger lurking around every corner will they submit to total domination by a ruling authority.

Our society must come to terms with the real idea and definition of totalitarianism – we falsely believe that totalitarian rule cannot happen to use because we have free and open selection, but we fail to address the threat of voter suppression resulting in rigged elections that are not the will of the People.
We the people

Clinton Calls Out GOP on Voter Suppression

Friday, June 5th, 2015

559953_545779358786752_100427983_nTexas – Yesterday, in a major speech on voting rights, Hillary Clinton denounced Republican efforts on voter suppression. She laid out a far-reaching vision for expanding access to the ballot box for all Americans.

Clinton, the clear front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, talked about voter suppression and called out by name several of her potential 2016 rivals for taking actions that restricted voter participation. She discussed Jeb Bush, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and Chris Christie and their supporting/imposing restrictive voting policies. She said, “Republicans should stop fearmongering about a phantom epidemic of voter fraud.”

As demographic trends have shifted toward an increase in Democratic voting, Republican voter suppression tactics have increased in an effort to slow it down and/or stop it. Republicans have a long history of voter suppression tactics. As dark money bought elections putting Republicans in charge of state legislations, and in the face of losing five of the last six majorities in presidential elections, Republicans have used these victories to impose a variety of voter suppression laws.

Speaking at Texas Southern University in Houston, Clinton called for every American to be automatically registered to vote when they turn 18. She also backs a nationwide standard of at least 20 days of early voting. She urged Congress to pass legislation strengthening the Voting Rights Act, which was gravely weakened by a 2013 Supreme Court ruling. And she slammed restrictive voter suppression laws imposed by the GOP in North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin, Texas, and Ohio.

Hillary said, “We have a responsibility to say clearly and directly what’s really going on in our country, because what is happening is a sweeping effort to dis-empower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other.”
She continued by saying, “What is happening is a sweeping effort to dis-empower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people, and young people from one end of our country to the other.” Hillary Clinton put the GOP on notice that further efforts to make voter suppression will be used to motivate Democrats and increase Democratic turnout.

She is the first presidential candidate to discuss in detail the massive voter suppression/discrimination that has surged in “red” states since the Voting Rights Act was gutted in 2013.

Noting that approximately one third of all Americans aren’t registered to vote, Clinton called for sweeping modernization of the registration process – universal automatic voter registration, in which every citizen is automatically registered when they turn 18. Oregon passed such a law earlier this year, and several other states, including California, are considering doing the same.

Clinton said she believed, “this would have a profound impact on our elections and our democracy.”

She also called for 20 days of nationwide early voting; including evening and weekend voting should be implemented to help those who work or have family commitments.

North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Ohio [all Republican-controlled states] have cut their early voting periods, North Carolina and Ohio have also eliminated same-day voter registration. And a third of all states (most in the south) offer no early voting at all.

Clinton also bashed the Supreme Court for weakening the Voting Rights Act. She said, “We need a Supreme Court that cares more about protecting the right to vote of a person to vote than the right of a corporation to buy an election,”

Voting is the cornerstone of our nation’s democracy and voter suppression laws by Republicans are dismantling our nation’s democracy.

Memorial Day: Remember Those Who Gave All

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

ap_transfer_remains_ceremony_ll_120914_wmainTo many, Memorial Day is another long weekend. It’s also known as the official start of summer. However, the true meaning of Memorial Day goes far beyond barbecues and celebrations.

The holiday began after the Civil War, and was known as “Decoration Day.” It was originally founded to honor the soldiers who died in the Civil War, today, Memorial Day is a day to honor all of the Americans who have died in military service. At Arlington National Cemetery, it takes one thousand soldiers four hours to place flags on the graves of each of the falling soldiers.

Every Americans should take a moment from their day of celebration and leisure to reflect on the brave sacrifices of those who have given all for this great nation.

Obamacare Exceeds Goal: 8 Million Sign Up

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

obamacare_400_360_360Open enrollment for Obamacare ended last night at midnight. The 7 million target was exceeded on the last day to sign up for ObamaCare.

President Obama confirmed that 8 million had signed up by mid April.

Seven million was the original target set by the Congressional Budget Office for enrollment in taxpayer-subsidized private health insurance through new online markets created under President Obama’s signature legislation.

Early website problems made that target appear unattainable.

During the last week of open enrollment, a technical glitch was preventing people from filing new applications. A tech team, though, was brought in and resolved the issue.

The website, which was receiving 1.5 million visitors a day last week, had recorded about 2 million through 3 p.m. EDT. Call centers have more than 840,000 calls.

The White House said that more than 6 million Americans have signed up for private insurance plans since October 1 through the federal and state ObamaCare exchanges — a major accomplishment toward the White House’s goal of 7 million enrollees by March 31, considering the disastrous start.

Although open enrollment ended at midnight, the White House announced that Americans who have unsuccessfully tried to enroll by March 31 now have until mid-April to complete registration.

The White House and other supporters of the law were hoping for an enrollment surge that would confound skeptics and they got what they hoped for but some skeptics refuse to admit they were wrong.

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio said Monday that Republicans remain committed to repealing ObamaCare. The congress has voted [unsuccessfully] over fifty times to appeal Obamacare.

Benghazi: A Political Circus

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

WASHINGTON — Nothing better for a do nothing congress than to create a scandal. Politicians love few things better than a diversion, to trip up their opponents, and mask the fact they have done nothing of substance in creating jobs or solving the nation’s problems. Republicans hope that last year’s fatal attack on U.S. diplomats in Libya will do exactly that to Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front runner for the 2016 Presidential Election.

History suggests it might be a tough case. It is going to be hard to convince the public that the death of a four diplomats is “Watergate level” conspiracy after thousands were killed and injured in a war in Iraq based on Republican lies. There was no Republican outcry as a long parade of American flag draped caskets flowed into America over twelve years.

The issue is complicated, the next presidential election is more than three years away, and a number of reports and a majority of officials have disputed criticisms of Clinton’s role when she was secretary of state but the facts do not seem any interest to Republicans who are desperate to damage Democrats and Clinton.

Still, Republicans and conservative talk “wing-nuts” hosts are hammering away at Clinton’s and the Obama administration 8 month after this old news story broke and became history. Even though Congress looked at this issue months ago and found nothing. A daylong House Oversight Committee hearing last Wednesday starred three State Department officials invited by Republicans proved nothing but a waste of time and taxpayer dollars.

Clinton, seen as the overwhelming early Democratic favorite for president in 2016, leading all Republican hopefuls by large margins, draws strong reviews for her four-year stint as secretary of state. The Republicans rail against Clinton and the Obama Administration’s handling of the tragedy but fail to acknowledge the fact that they have gutted funds to protect US embassies that left Benghazi with weak security.

US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans were killed. President Obama immediately acknowledged the attackers were well-equipped terrorists acting under plans and a major independent inquiry totally cleared Clinton of wrongdoing but Republicans refuse to face the reality that no scandal exists.

The lack of findings has incensed many Republican leaders and conservative news outlets, who falsely portray Benghazi as a simmering scandal about to erupt.

The three officials testifying Wednesday offered no new details or findings. Afterward, Republicans all but acknowledged they’re still seeking a knockout punch.

“This hearing is now over, but this investigation is not,” said Rep. Darrell Issa of California, the hard-charging Republican chairman of the House committee, as his committee found nothing new. He urged mythical “whistle-blowers” and “witnesses who have been afraid to come forward” to step up and “tell us your story, and we will make sure it gets public.”

Republicans hope public anger over the Benghazi attacks and their aftermath will hurt congressional Democrats in next year’s midterm elections and more importantly damage Hillary Clinton in 2016.

By late Wednesday, Democrats were laughing and Americans yawned.

“The unsubstantiated Republican allegations about Benghazi have disintegrated one by one,” said Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the House committee’s top Democrat. “There’s no evidence of a conspiracy to withhold military assets for political reasons, no evidence of a cover-up.”

“The Republicans are pulling out the stops to manufacture a scandal, to redirect attention from their failed policies.

“It may not be a smoking gun or a warm slingshot,” Republican Rep. Doug Collins said in the hearing’s final hour. “But we have four dead Americans,” and his constituents “are looking for the truth.”

There are issues that need addressed related to Benghazi from preventing this from happening again but the mistake of making this issue political has probably resulted in a lost opportunity to address some weaknesses that could have been corrected.

VOTE of SHAME: SENATE BOWS to NRA

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Washington — In a 54-46 vote, in favor of tougher gun laws, a minority of the Senate defeated a compromise to expand background checks on firearms sales.

The following Democrats broke with their party and voted against the amendment: Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Max Baucus of Montana, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota. The majority of Republicans voted against the amendment.

The package of gun laws was pushed by President Barack Obama and Democratic leaders in the aftermath of the Newtown school massacre in December.

Fierce opposition and lies by the powerful National Rifle Association led a backlash by conservative Republicans from gun “ignorant” states doomed the key proposals in the gun package.

After the votes, Obama angrily criticized the NRA and senators who voted against the expanded background checks for rejecting a compromise he said was supported by a strong majority of Americans.

“Instead of supporting this compromise, the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill,” Obama told White House reporters.

Noting polls that showed 90% support for such a measure, Obama called it a “pretty shameful day for Washington” and wondered of Congress: “Who are we here to represent?” It was obvious that 46 Senators serve the NRA!

Rubio shamefully tried to deflect from the disgraceful vote by saying, “We have a violence problem”. No… we have a gun problem and the vote today showed who is beholden to the NRC and not the American people.

The Manchin-Toomey plan would have expanded background checks to include private sales at gun shows and all Internet sales, while continuing to exempt most sales between family members and friends.

Due to procedural steps agreed to by both sides, all the amendments considered Wednesday required 60 votes to pass in the 100-member chamber, meaning Democrats and their independent allies who hold 55 seats needed support from some GOP senators to push through the Manchin-Toomey proposal.

However, the NRA promised political retribution against supporters of tougher gun laws, and it called the expanded background checks a first step toward a national gun registry and government confiscation of firearms which is an obvious lie.

Will those who voted against the bill have to answer to voters during their next election?

Renaissance of Liberalism?

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Poetic, in this greed filled age of conservatism; liberal issues dominated the 2012 election. With stunning results, in an election where pot is legal and gays are free to marry. Who would believe that a African American who campaigned to raise taxes on the rich would win his second election in America by a majority? This feat has not been accomplished by a Democrat since Franklin Roosevelt’s second election in 1936.

In many ways, the recent economic situation in America mirrored the events of the Great Depression. And in this election, only 25 percent of voters identified themselves as “liberal” in national exit polls. 35 percent proclaimed to be conservative while 41 percent called themselves moderates. There was a three percent point increase in those voters who called themselves liberal.

Demography and democracy advanced the progressive political ideas by a majority of voters. Before the election of Barack Obama, liberalism has been silent in America for several decades.

Abraham Lincoln’s push to erase the original southern sin of slavery from the land was a liberal achievement. Teddy Roosevelt’s embrace of the income tax was a liberal moment. Other liberal causes include the Women’s movement in 1920, Social Security entitlements in 1935, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Other events such as the creation of national parks, and laws against child labor, poisoning the environment, and the more recent move to give most Americans access to health care are liberal causes.

This brings us to the fascinating self-portrait of America at the genesis of the beginning of second term of the Obama era. A war is ongoing where the center-left majority wants to restore some equality to the growing imbalance between the very rich and the rest of us. If President Obama can successfully lead this coalition, he will be remembered among the greats.

For this to be successful, this will involve raising taxes on the top 2% and reforming entitlements enough to ensure their continued success and sustainability. Obama will have to make the Affordable Care Act “Obamacare” work, address climate change or immigration reform and in the process, he can restore liberalism to greatness.

For at least a generation’s time, liberals in this country have been afraid to call themselves liberal, calling themselves progressives. One can argue why the left was cast into exile but the demonization of liberals by the conservatives’ relentless vile smear campaigns seems to be the most obvious reason.

Liberalism, in the purest form, is about expanding opportunity and human rights, while embracing science and logic. Liberalism created the entitlement programs, after the Great Depression, to protect the poor, old and the majority of Americans from failed Republican policies. Liberalism created the American middle class.

Liberals of the 20th century have had some amazing successes — regulation of monopolistic greed driven trusts, modernization of strong public schools, and ensuring a safe food supply.

The New Deal’s lasting legacy, Social Security, and its counterpart of the 1960s, Medicare, have allowed millions of American to live out their lives in dignity. These programs are now under attack by modern day conservatives driven by a vile agenda of greed, but now these programs are considered sacred by Americans of all political affiliations. Even the mislead teabaggers will fight you over their social security while they chant and rant against socialism.

Conservatism, in its desire to destroy social programs and entitlements have now lost its way. They abandoned fiscal responsibility in exchange for the Bush doctrine. Recently they have resorted to attacking women, rejecting science, demonizing immigration reform, restricting personal freedom, and adopting voter suppression laws in order to steal elections and/or remain relevant.

If you believe in science, technology, climate change, finding a path to citizenship for millions of hard-working immigrants, support strong public education and the right to marry the person you love, there is no place for you in todays Republican Party. Moderate Republicans are not welcome!

The neo-con wing of the Republican Party started a pair of disastrous unfunded wars that all but bankrupted the country in the wild west Bush era. And for leaders, the party put forth crackpots and wing nuts in 2012. The Republican Party is on its way of assuring its place as a regional party unless it adopts reasonable change. Talk of civil war in the Republican Party is discussed by TV political analyst and fills the dreams of modern day progressives and Democrats everywhere.

This election has created some strong possibilities for restoring liberalism in America. Obama has the unique opportunity to shore up a weakened middle class, address climate change and make the promise of health care expansion work. For now, the majority of Americans have Obama’s back. And should he succeed, the Democrats could enjoy a growing majority in the future.

Exchange We Can Believe In

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

Wade Munday is a writer in Nashville. Governor Bill Haslam caved to the far right wing of his party over the decision for Tennessee to set up a state-based health insurance exchange. He says federal government can’t do for Tennesseans that which we can do for ourselves, and yet he’s going to allow the federal government to set up our exchange for us anyways. He is becoming a case study in self-contradiction. It is no more comforting that the ones making up his mind antagonize the same government that encourages free market principles by creating this health exchange. During a holiday season of giving, they bemoan the idea of limited government that helps the most vulnerable, and expensive, people in society. If you want government out of YOUR life, then couldn’t you achieve that by having government involved in the lives of others less fortunate? But that’s more about Medicaid expansion.

The federal government is willing to set up a health exchange for us, and we should be thrilled to accept it. If left to the legislature in this state, then the health insurance exchange could just as easily serve as the list of companies who contributed the most to Republican candidates in the last election.

Not so long ago Tennessee was a land of barefoot farmers and outhouses, and then Tennesseans’ lives were transformed by a federal project that brought rural electricity. That big government project saved a lot of lives, improved our prospects for lengthened life, and improved the lives of future generations. There’s a statue in downtown Nashville that shows a TVA man standing watch over an impoverished family, a single mother and her children. In those days, the federal government was concerned with the quaint notion of life, liberty, and the pursuit of indoor plumbing because, let’s face it, dysentery isn’t a way to happiness.

The decision not to set up a state-based health exchange for Republican Bill Haslam was a political calculation, another weak response to an established conservative legislature that doesn’t need to respond to the interests of the supermajority of Tennesseans that elected them. Instead, they and their governor are content to divine what’s best for their careers by sticking their thumbs in the political winds to see which way it blows. Unfortunately, most of us in this state are standing downwind.

Tennessee’s Backwoods Legislature

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Between the monkey law and gateway sexual activity, backwoods legislation in the Tennessee Legislature has brought shame to Tennessee. Add in an outrageous quote from Sen. Stacey Campfield and a review of the legislation of guns in bars, guns in cars, and guns in schools and you have the winner of the nations worst legislation.

National recognition of ignorance for Tennessee!

Mother Jones magazine, the liberal publication best known lately for unearthing a videotape of Mitt Romney kissing off 47 percent of the nation’s voters, has published a new list of the nation’s worst legislatures and given Tennessee top honors.

Tennessee legislators have set themselves apart by actually passing the abstinence-only bill, the one severely restricting discussion of sexual activity in public schools. The quote from Campfield, in which he traced the origin of AIDS inaccurately to sex between a monkey and an airline pilot, didn’t hurt our entry.

Special honors should have be given to Ron Ramsey and Beth Harwell who led us to this dismal point in legislation. Honorable mention should be given to our governor, Bill Haslam, who allows ignorant legislation to slide into law without actually signing it.

You also have proposed bills that sanction bullying of kids in schools and a legislation focused on serving the special interest groups. The backwoods boys of NETN have managed to disgrace Tennessee with their ignorance and arrogance. Americans are laughing coast to coast at the expense of the Tennessee Legislature and its moran based legislation. Wonder why folks talk about barefoot Tennesseans? Ask our backwoods ignorance based Legislators where their ignorance is celebrated with acts of stupidy every open session!

Is the GOP Losing its Southern Comfort?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Much can be said about the red states and the GOP strong hold on these states. But are cracks beginning to appear in this strong hold? If you review the data, the blue votes are increasing in the red states.

The cracks became obvious in the 2008 Presidential Election in Florida, Virginia and North Carolina when these states voted Democratic. Florida and Virginia went blue in the 2012 Presidential election, North Carolina went red by a narrow margin. Blue votes have also been increasing in Georgia, Texas and Arizona.

Gerry mandering has allowed the GOP to maintain control of many local governments and legislatures in red states but is this control a paper tiger? Many of the old red firewalls across the south are crumbling.

The increase in the Hispanic vote can be attributed directly as one example to these phenomena. In south Florida, in the 2012 Presidential election, Cuban Americans voted overwhelmingly for President Obama. Experts contend that older Cuban Americans who blamed the Democrats for the Bay of Pigs has died off and the younger Cuban Americans don’t remember the Bay of Pigs event.

In the next two to six years, Georgia, Texas and Georgia will become a blue state. These same phenomena are also occurring in the West where once held red states are now becoming blue. Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado have voted blue the last two Presidential elections.

LBJ (President Johnson) noted that with the passage of civil rights legislation, the south would be lost for generation. After thirty-five years his prediction appears to be coming to past and some of the red control of these states is disappearing.

The biggest reason for the blue voter increase in the south is because of the GOP’s wrong stance on many issues. From attacks on immigrates to voter suppression, the very segments of the population that are increasing are under attack by Republicans. During the recent Presidential election, the Republican Party lost virtually all segments of the population except for angry white males. Almost a month after the election, there is no indication that Republicans have learned anything from their dismal election results.

They appear to be prepared to hang onto their old outdated wrong stands on an array of many issues. These same issues resulted in the re-election of President Barack Obama. There is a good reason why many Democrats are smiling today and Republicans are unhappy. Is the old southern strategy dead? If major changes are not adopted by the Republican Party, the 2014 midterm elections may bring even more gifts to the Democratic Party from sections of the south.